Homemade masks can slow the spread of COVID-19, save lives, and help restore the economy#Masks4AllThe scientific evidence and global consensus is clear: homemade masks can slow the spread of COVID-19 because «my mask protects you and your mask protects me.» Take action now to save lives and restore the global economy!
The U.S. “CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings” because “a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms” and they can be contagious spreaders of the virus.
The scientific, government, and health consensus is clear: masks limit the spread of COVID-19
These 40+ governments have made face masks mandatory in public (updated 4/21): Indonesia, Israel, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Austria, Bosnia, Mongolia, Taiwan, Singapore, Colombia, Poland, Panama, Philippines, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Vietnam, Cuba, Morocco, Turkey, Kenya, Zambia, Luxembourg, Ecuador, Chile, Venezuela, Honduras, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Benin, the Bahamas, Liberia, Guinea, North Macedonia, Thailand, Peru, Lithuania, Gabon, Bahrain, Mozambique, Guatemala, Parts of China, Parts of USA (New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Hawaii, Colorado: Workers Only, Puertorico, Los Angeles, Miami, Washington DC, San Antonio, Dallas County, San Francisco, Parts of Illinois, Parts of Massachusetts), Parts of Russia, Parts of Germany, Parts of India, Parts of Italy, Parts of Argentina, Parts of Mexico, Parts of Cameroon, Parts of Pakistan, Parts of Democratic Republic of Congo and partial laws in many other countries.
8 of the 10 most powerful countries in the world (measured by GDP size) endorse the science and recommend wearing homemade masks in public: the United States, China, Japan, France, India, Canada, Germany, and Brazil.
Why do the experts agree that masks limit the spread of COVID-19?
Note: Your mask helps protect others, and other people’s masks help protect you but masks are not a replacement for other critically important things like staying home, frequently washing your hands with soap and water, and maintaining your distance from other people (6 feet / 2 meters).
“Putting a mask on yourself is more to prevent you from infecting someone else. And if everybody does that, we’re each protecting each other.”
–Dr. Anthony Fauci, U.S. director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (and the United States’ leading expert on infectious diseases)
“Research finds speaking produces droplets that could be a mode of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. Asymptomatic people should wear masks to prevent spreading the virus through saliva droplets. Keep those around you safe by wearing a mask!”
–Francis S. Collins, Director of The U.S. National Institutes of Health (the primary agency of the United States government responsible for biomedical and public health research)
“The big mistake in the U.S. and Europe, in my opinion, is that people aren’t wearing masks. This virus is transmitted by droplets and close contact. Droplets play a very important role—you’ve got to wear a mask, because when you speak, there are always droplets coming out of your mouth. Many people have asymptomatic or presymptomatic infections. If they are wearing face masks, it can prevent droplets that carry the virus from escaping and infecting others.” –China’s CDC Director
There are “34 scientific papers indicating basic masks can be effective in reducing virus transmission in public — and not a single paper that shows clear evidence that they cannot.” –The Washington Post
“Research supported by Nobel prize-winning virologist Harold Varmus tells us that placing a layer of cloth in front of a person’s face stops 99% of the droplets. And modeling by Yale researchers estimates that “the benefits of each additional cloth mask worn by the public are conservatively in the $3,000-$6,000 range due to their impact in slowing the spread of the virus”” –The Guardian
“In a paper published in Nature on Friday, a five-year study from the University of Hong Kong and the University of Maryland has found that a simple non-fitted mask blocked 100% of coronavirus droplets and aerosol.” –The Guardian
“The available evidence suggests that near-universal adoption of non-medical masks when out in public, in combination with complementary public health measures could successfully reduce effective-R to below 1.0, thereby stopping community spread. Economic analysis suggests that the impact of mask wearing could be thousands of US dollars saved per person per mask “, so “we recommend the adoption of public cloth mask wearing, as an effective form of source control, in conjunction with existing hygiene, distancing, and contact tracing strategies. We recommend that public officials and governments strongly encourage the use of widespread face masks in public, including the use of appropriate regulation.” –Face Masks Against COVID-19: An Evidence Review
Want the full scientific explanation? You can read more about the science here.
There are still a few skeptics about the effectiveness of masks, why?
The WHO only recommends masks for those infected with COVID-19 or those taking care of people infected with COVID-19. (source)
But ~50% of people who have COVID-19 are asymptomatic. (source)
So it follows basic logic that if we don’t know who has it and anyone who has it needs to wear a mask, then we should all wear masks.
The Prime Minister of Slovakia released this statement after making masks mandatory: The WHO says “that only those infected should wear a mask. Only the future will show which countries have chosen the right approach and which haven’t.”
“The study proves the importance of washing hands and wearing face masks in public places because the virus can linger in the air attached to fine droplet particles.”
–Study published in the peer reviewed Practical Preventative Medicine
“Implementing barriers to transmission, such as isolation, and hygienic measures (wearing masks, gloves and gowns) can be effective in containing respiratory virus epidemics.”
–Study from the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
Want the full scientific explanation? You can read more about the science here.
Why homemade masks keep yourself and others safe
“A double layer of 100% cotton cloth is about 70% as effective as a surgical mask at capturing small particles (up to five times smaller than coronavirus).”
–Office of the Principal Scientific Advisor to the Government of India (study #1 & study #2)
1. Protect others by not spreading the virus if you have it.
2. Protect yourself by reducing your chances of catching the virus when you go outside.
3. Reduce face touching by wearing something that covers your face.
“Any type of general mask use (including homemade masks) is likely to decrease viral exposure and infection risk on a population level, in spite of imperfect fit and imperfect adherence.” –2008 Study Published In The U.S. National Library of Medicine
“Currently available research supports the possibility that [coronavirus] could be spread via bioaerosols generated directly by patient exhalation. I’m not going to wear a surgical mask, because clinicians need those. But I have a nice western-style bandana I might wear. Or I have a balaclava. I have some pretty nice options.”
–Dr. Harvey Fineberg, Chair of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences’ Standing Committee on Emerging Infectious Diseases and 21st Century Health Threats
Now that we know that homemade masks can help end the COVID-19 crisis, how do we implement them?
#Masks4All started the movement for people and Governments to listen to the overwhelming scientific evidence that masks limit COVID-19 spread.
Now that the science is widely accepted as fact, we need your help getting mandatory mask laws in place and if you haven’t already, please make a homemade mask.
Because my mask protects you and your mask protects me.
We now know that masks slash transmission of COVID-19. Modeling suggests if 80% of people wear a mask, we’ll stop the spread of the disease.
When we don’t have symptoms, in the early stages of infection, is when we’re most infectious. Countries with mask laws have 100x lower COVID-19 rates than other countries. If you go out without a mask, you might kill someone. You wouldn’t even know it. If you see someone out without a mask, they could kill you.
Therefore, we need every state to enforce mask wearing in public. Every store, transit company, etc needs to force all customers and staff to wear a mask. No mask, no service.
Masks can be made at home – they shouldn’t be medical grade, because hospitals need them. A scarf or bandana is fine, or make a mask out of a handkerchief.
Mandatory Mask Laws Are Already Working In The Czech Republic
The #Masks4All movement was started as a grassroots movement in the Czech Republic. In a matter of 3 days, almost 100% of citizens were wearing homemade masks. And as you can see from the chart, it has been effective. (source)
The rise of #Masks4All led the Czech Republic government to make it mandatory for citizens to wear masks in public.
“Much of Central Europe is now following the example set by China, Taiwan and South Korea. On [March 30th], Austria mandated its citizens wear masks when outside the home, after the Czech, Slovak and Bosnian governments issued similar orders.”
–Wall Street Journal
“Wearing a simple cloth mask, decreases the spread of the virus by 80%! Czech Republic has made it OBLIGATORY for its citizens to wear a mask in public.” –Prime Minister of the Czech Republic
“Masks for All laws are now in place in Israel, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Mongolia and elsewhere, with more locations added every day. In the United States, where these laws are taking a long time to appear, some counties are going it alone, including Laredo in Texas and Riverside county in California, which have created their own local mask use laws. New York and Texas haven’t yet used legislation, but their leadership have made a clear and direct plea to their communities to always wear a mask when in public.” –The Guardian
#Masks4All In The News
Washington Post (the article that kicked this off the U.S.): Simple DIY masks could help flatten the curve. We should all wear them in public.
Major Update! #Masks4All is Working: The U.S. CDC (Center for Disease Control) Now Recommends Americans Wear Face Masks (April 3)
New York Times: It’s Time to Make Your Own Face Mask
ABC Good Morning America: Growing Debate Over Masks
National Review: A Lesson from Japan’s Fight against Coronavirus: Masks Help
“The median-fit factor of the homemade masks was one-half that of the surgical masks. Both masks significantly reduced the number of microorganisms expelled by volunteers, although the surgical mask was 3 times more effective in blocking transmission than the homemade mask.” –Cambridge University Study
“Research shows that fluids spread when coughing/sneezing are a big transmitter of COVID-19. Each of us needs to do what we can to stop the spread. One easy thing we all can do, today, is wear homemade masks in public. My mask could help you, your mask could help me. #Masks4All“ -Senator Pat Toomey
“Standing firmly with Dr. @jeremyphoward in MASKS FOR ALL–he’s entirely correct–COVID-19 spreads via millions of viruses produced before people have symptoms–masks prevent those viruses from spreading! Cloth or paper fine! Fit them snugly and don’t touch your face!” –Nan Hayworth, First Congresswoman Who Is An MD
CNN: Dr. Fauci signaled he would “lean toward” recommending that the general public wear facemasks “if we do not have the problem of taking away masks from the health care workers who need them. Particularly now that we’re getting some inklings that there’s transmission of infection from an asymptomatic person who is not coughing, who is not sneezing, who just appears well.” – Dr. Anthony Fauci, the US director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
How To Make (And Clean!) A Homemade Mask
Before Making Your Mask:
1. Help save lives and limit the spread of COVID-19 by sharing #Masks4All on social media! Please Share #Masks4All
2. U.S. Only: Please take 60 seconds to send a pre-written message to your government leaders asking for mandatory mask laws. Send the message Masks4all via text to 50409 (click to text), via this Twitter link, or via this Facebook link.
3. Please remember that masks are not a replacement for other critically important things like frequently washing your hands with soap and water and maintaining your distance from other people (6 feet / 2 meters).
4. Please donate professional masks to hospitals (or sew them at home and then donate them using that link!). We are advocating for homemade masks.
What Homemade Mask Material Is Best?
Based on the data, we recommend using a combination of cotton material and a paper towel but any mask is better than no mask. This DIY guide will show you many different ways to quickly make and clean a protective homemade mask.
Option 1: Bandana, Scarf, or Towel + 2 Elastic Bands + A Paper Towel (1 Minute)
We recommend adding a disposable paper towel between the mask layers each time that you wear it.