As we continue to navigate the best path to reducing the spread of the coronavirus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been regularly updating its recommendations.
In light of new evidence that shows asymptomatic carriers may still be able to spread coronavirus without knowing they have it, the "CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission." While there is currently little to no evidence that cloth masks do much to protect the wearer against exposure to someone else's germs, the "CDC is additionally advising the use of simple cloth face coverings to slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. Cloth face coverings fashioned from household items or made at home from common materials at low cost can be used as an additional, voluntary public health measure."
Many people with sewing skills have started making masks for themselves, family, friends, and essential workers using a number of patterns that have popped up online, including on the CDC's own website. But for those who don't sew and don't know someone who does, there are several tutorials on social media that share how to turn a bandana — the CDC recommends "tightly woven cotton" — into a face mask with some folding and the clever use of hair ties to keep it secured behind the ears. The tutorial on the CDC's website also advises folding a coffee filter into the center of the folded bandana for additional effectiveness.
Check out this how-to from hairstylist Bridget Brager: