Masked Heroes

Nowhere is escaping the impact of Covid-19, and that includes us here on the Isle of Mull.

I had made some simple masks for the staff in our biscuit factory who are still working, albeit at a lower capacity than normal. The picture above is one of those masks. Word of my industry had spread and I had a phone call before long from our local community trust (MICT) about helping to develop some standby surgical masks for use in the local hospital in the event that they ran out of their own supplies. 

A team of volunteers came together to research the efficacy of various fabrics and designs, and it was decided to opt for a design that would be a pouch to hold a HEPA filter fabric that one of the volunteers had sourced. The masks could therefore be washed and re-used, with the filter later disposed of each time.

I worked over the phone and internet with a lovely lady called Diana who developed the pattern itself. My job was then to make prototype masks and deliver them (at a safe social distance) to a nurse practitioner, who lives near me, for feedback. Three prototypes were made before we got to the final design. Then I had to prepare an instruction sheet for the making up of the masks so that it could be shared with eager volunteers who would sew them in quantity.

Despite my best efforts, I got some panicked messages from some folk who couldn’t quite follow the written and photographed instructions. So yesterday, I persuaded a somewhat grumpy son to video me making a mask every step of the way. I spent a few hours in the edit suite and then posted the results to my husband’s Your Tube account to help matters.

I thought I would share the link to the videos here, in case any of you, anywhere, feel the inclination to make a mask for a hero you know. Someone who is out doing your shopping, or delivering vital supplies in your community. There are a lot of heroes about these days, not just the amazing NHS workers. I am sure you know several!

Remember, masks are not a substitute for regular hand washing and social distancing, which we must all continue to observe. But if more people wear masks, the risk of the virus spreading is reduced. They are more effective at stopping us breathing the infection OUT to other people than at stopping us breathing it IN. Of course if you have symptoms of the Coronavirus you should stay inside!

If you wear one of these masks yourself, wash it at 60ºC after every wear, and use a piece of kitchen paper towel as a filter to improve its barrier.

My obliging husband models one of the prototype masks

You can view the pattern instruction sheet here:
Making a Pouch Face Mask Update