Originally published May, 2020. Updated November, 2020
The November, 2020 Governor’s Order requires people in Massachusetts to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in all public places, even when they are able to maintain 6 feet of distance from others. Click here for exceptions and more info.
Your mask may protect you. The CDC recently released a scientific briefing, which says that a mask can help protect the person wearing it, in addition to other people nearby. Until now, the consensus was that wearing a mask protected others, but it wasn’t clear how much the person wearing the mask benefits.
We now have a lot more info, tips, and options for masks and face coverings than we did a few months ago! Keep reading for tips and resources.
…Comfort when wearing masks for longer periods?
- Several people we talked with noted that styles that do not go around the ears are helpful. 9 Masks that don’t go around your ears (keep scrolling for less expensive options!)
- General Tips for making masks more comfortable
- Info on mask brackets
- Some teachers, and others who now wear a mask all day, are fans of mask brackets. Mask brackets are designed to keep mask fabric from rubbing against the face, making it easier to be heard when talking and reducing irritation. Also helpful for some people with sensory issues.
- info and caution about making sure it fits well
- Where to get them (Amazon and Etsy)
Designed to be more comfortable for kids or adults with sensory issues or anyone who wants a comfortable mask for all day wear. Available in multiple sizes.
…Tips for making masks?
- A local Mom in Greenfield shared her tips with us: “I use a shoelace to wrap through the slots that the elastic would go through, then can tie the mask behind my head to avoid my ears. I started putting a toggle on the shoe laces as well so I don’t have to actually tie the mask.”
- Her favorite sewing machine pattern for making masks
- Here is a short, easy to follow video on hand sewing a mask with no sewing machine.
- The CDC website has instructions for making several types of homemade masks.
- This list has options that won’t fog up glasses or bump repeatedly against them! In general, masks with adjustable nose bridges help seal the gap and reduce the fogging – likely better for COVID protection too!
…Tips for little kids?
- Practice at home first.
- Explain why masks are important and try using personal examples, like “because we care about grandma and want to help keep her safe and other people’s grandmas safe too.”
- If you can, try a couple different styles.
- Include kids in the process by allowing them to pick out their own mask – or the fabric if you’re making it at home.
- One local parent shared that giving a young child a binky while wearing a mask in public (even if it’s usually just for bedtime) can be helpful to prevent licking and sucking on the inside of the mask, and can help the child feel more comfortable and calm.
…Tips for Talking with Teens and College Students About the Importance of Wearing Masks?
This article has useful tips for talking with teens and college students. The news story video that goes with it is less our cup of tea, because it gives the impression that most college students are partying without masks. While we are concerned that some students are not taking precautions, many are actually doing a good job – letting young people that many of their peers are taking precautions (but they are less visible because of this!) is likely more effective for encouraging mask wearing.
…Info on which types of face coverings are most and least effective?
Ever wonder if it’s OK to use a bandana or your favorite neck gaiter? Turns out that most neck gaiters, bandanas, and balaclavas are not effective unless designed as COVID protection. If they are multi-layered, they may offer some protection, but in general, it’s a good idea to wear a proper face mask under something not designed to keep in droplets from breathing, coughing, and sneezing. See article here and original research here.