April 2, 2020
As you know, there’s a serious shortage of protective masks and respirators for doctors, healthcare workers, first responders, and patients. So, don’t spoil a perfectly fine mask with your facial hair. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has warned that facial hair may interfere with the effectiveness of face masks and respirators used to combat the spread of diseases such as coronavirus. Why? Your beard-do makes them leak.
And, they’ve made a fantastic respirator infographic (suitable for framing) with 36 illustrations of beards and mustaches. And they've given them each a handy moniker for reference. If you’re sporting a Circle Beard, Lampshade, or a Van Dyke, get outta here. But Balboes, Zappas, and Walruses are welcomed with open arms. The stockpile of masks is so low that some doctors and nurses are making their own. This has pushed production to go rogue. A student in Florida uses a 3-D printer to make his. And, in Cincinnati, there’s a group of more than 6,000, including Biotica’s Susan Abramovitz, that sews them at home. They’re free to the users, too.
The CDC advises that the masks do not prevent COVID-19, but they do tamp down the spread of the virus with people already infected with the virus, says the CDC.
Would you like to make masks?
The New York Times has step-by-step instructions for mask assembly. Most hospitals and healthcare organizations accept mask donations. Just google “donate facemasks (your city), and you’ll get an organization near you.
Stay safe and healthy.
Note: respirators need to fit more tightly than masks thus the beard prohibition.