Importance of Flour Sack Towels in COVID-19 Pandemic

Flour Sack Towel Mask

Flour Sack Towel Mask :: The unseen future may have a thousand secrets stored for us, many happy moments and encounters as well. There have been wars and there have been many pandemics in history and humans have always tried to overcome these epidemics using their limited scientific knowledge and emotions. Not to forget humans are full of emotions and there has been no decision and reasoning without having emotions involved. Having said that we are still not ready for any outbreak of disease, any unexpected war or environmental loss.

The ongoing pandemic COVID-19 which evolved from Wuhan, China has been a toll on the whole globe. Thousands of lives have been swept with the wave of COVID-19 also known as Corona Virus. Healthcare Industry has been under tough waters saving people’s lives and trying to save their own healthcare support which includes residents, CMOs, Consultants, Nurses and nearly each and every person who is working in the hospital during this pandemic and the job description doesn’t matter here.

The disease is invisible but getting infected by it doesn’t mean a death sentence. The pattern has been almost the same in different countries around the world. Each country, its citizens and governments are learning from the experiences of the other and yet there hasn’t been a pause to this malignant disease. There has been multiple testing going on in almost every healthcare institute and the results have not been too favorable for the humanity. The disease is spreading on a very high speed and politicians, media, leaders and our very own enthusiastic team of doctors have been loud enough to follow the precautions set by the WHO (World Health Organization).

Corona Virus is spread by the transmission of micro droplets. When an infected person sneezes or coughs the droplets which are heavy and don’t stay in air, rather drops on the surface or are transferred to another human being if there is one in the radius of 1 meter. Hence, Social Distancing has been the word out there. Practice Social Distancing to avoid the infection, human interaction and public gatherings. Yet here we have to learn how to be emotionally connected and physically disconnected.

We are still learning on how to fight with Corona Virus together and evolve as one unit. We all know that the pre-Corona times can never come back. People will be different; they are learning to be a different human being in this quarantine. Self isolation, no doubt can be life changing for many.

What are the precautions that one can take during this pandemic?

Well, to mention the most important ones can be

  • Avoid large gathering
  • Say NO to public events
  • No hugs
  • No hand shakes
  • Wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds
  • Use Hand Sanitizers
  • Healthcare workers should wear PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) while dealing with patients who are infected or suspected
  • Disinfect your houses and work places
  • Use flour sack towel maskmasks if infected or near people who are suspected patients

These are some of the points to memorize that have been on news, websites, blogs and directly from our knowledgeable doctors as well. Lock down have caused economy to fall all around the world and this means factories have slow production and some may have no production at all. The disease you see has a terrible effect not only on our lives but also on education, businesses, lifestyle and our psychological health.

As mentioned above the droplets can enter your body when you touch your face, eyes or nose which means that wearing a mask has been effective enough not to let the droplets enter. There has been a great requirement of masks in every country and people have been finding out ways to somehow get a hand on one of these masks. Now, the question is which mask is suitable and which isn’t? Which will really work and which ones are just a hoax? Retail prices of Surgical Masks which are worn by paramedic staff were soon seen out of stock from all the stores, and if by chance there is an availability of these masks, the prices are multiplied into 3.

Humans change! This is surely an ironic situation.

Everyday scientists are testing, experimenting to find a way to end this sickness but the vaccine according to the officials is still not out there. So the only way to help ourselves and our loved ones is to stay safe and follow the precautions. But what is the best material out there to cover our faces with? Many textile companies have been introducing their own version of masks but is it okay to rely on them? Thousands of questions will arise with so many options to choose from. There has been different statement by officials on the instructions of wearing cloth masks and during the past few months it has turned into a whirlpool of confusion for many.

Know your mask!

The famous N-95 mask is for doctors who are directly dealing with Corona Virus patients. The N-95 blocks out 95% of airborne particles and don’t forget it is also quite an exercise to breathe in it, so hats off to our doctors who struggle everyday with the mask. Many people who are not related to the medical field had their hands on N-95 which made its unavailability to the ones who really need them in this time.

Surgical Masks should be worn with the colored side out and are disposal. If you are sick or infected, wearing this will help your droplets coming out through cough or sneeze not to get transmitted to other people around you. Caretakers who are living with the COVID-19 patients should also wear this mask at all times when near an infected member.

Homemade cloth masks which are made from different kinds of cloths are reusable and washable. They are not costly and can be made, sewn at home and can be worn by people who are unable to avoid public places though not recognized by WHO for the filtration of droplets of the virus.

Also we need to keep in mind that the cloth masks are only going to work for you if worn correctly. The fit should be good and there is no space on the sides for the droplets to enter. There has been a study that showed that 1 in 5 knew how to wear a mask correctly.

Well, there has been enough noise on the media and the internet for that as well so it is our duty to educate ourselves. Some very common mistakes can be the metal clip not being pressed on the nose correctly. Many people tie the straps with their masks under their noses which then again fails the whole purpose of wearing it and some straps are not tight enough to contour the face properly.

How to control the shortage of masks?

We know that multiple masks are out there in the market but the prices that the retailers are offering and the shortage of these masks is for sure a stressful situation for everyone.

CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has approved to wear a cloth face mask when going out in public. They also said that it might not help you stay protected from COVID-19 but it will help not spreading the virus if you are infected and has not shown symptoms. On the other hand, it might also help you not to touch your face unconsciously. The cloth masks have been popular by the name of Bandana Masks and people have been using different prints and patterns for their masks, talk about fashion during this pandemic.

Flour Sack Towels by far have been the most talked about material to be used in the making of the mask to protect ourselves and many DIY tips and videos have been out there. These towels are made up of 100% cotton and absorbs well too.

They dry up really quick. The Flour Sack Towel has a higher thread count which makes it more heavy and better than normal cheese cloth and also it is readily available in every house since it is a very common item being used in the kitchen, on the dining table, during cooking and in everyday household chores. Flour Sack Towels are recommended for making a DIY mask at home when compared to the Bandana masks being made by pillow covers and T-shirt fabric.

face mask diy

Flour Sack Towel Mask DIY

Remember that CDC suggests not to place masks on children who are under 2 years old or anyone who has asthmatic problems or someone who won’t be able to take off the mask without assistance.

Very good find about how to make a flour sack towels mask

Material being used are

  • Flour Sack Towel also known as Tea Towel
  • Elastic rubber bands, hair ties or cotton strings
  • A pair of scissors
  • A sewing machine
  1. Flour sack towel mask can be made in small, medium and large sizes. The standard can be a 10 by 6 inches Rectangle of flour sack towel. You will need 2 pieces of the mentioned size and shape. Sew them together to make them as one single piece of rectangle.
  1. Do a ¼ inch hemming on the longer sides and sew them together.
  1. Leave a small open space for the elastic to go in on the shorter sides and sew a ½ inch and sew the edges.
  1. Thread in the hair tie or the cloth string that you have to secure the flour sack towel mask nice and tight on your face.
  1. Gather the short side of the flour sack towel mask and stitch the elastics in place. Be sure that the elastics or the cloth are nicely stitched so that it doesn’t come out.
Tea Towels Face Mask

As per Stanford Anesthesia Informatics and Media Lab – Flour Sack Towels are much better than Linens or T-shirts

Also purchasing Flour Sack Towels isn’t a difficult task. If you are practicing Social Distancing or observing self quarantine which we all should do then you can always order them in bulk if you want to make these easy DIY masks at home for your neighbors, friends and family. Do not forget to disinfect the package after you receive it.

Now making these flour sack towel mask wasn’t that much of a hassle but do they really work by filtering out the particles in order to stay away from the virus. It was then suggested that a filter should be placed in between the two cloths in order to make the flour sack towel mask more durable and effective during this pandemic. Using filters and also replacing them often will make the Flour Sack Towel Mask more effective to filter away the particles. It should also allow proper breathing and no other fiber should be inhaled while wearing that flour sack towel mask.

Since, CDC encouraged people to cover their mouths and keep wearing masks when they are outside means the DIY should make a perfect flour sack towel mask which will also work for the right purpose and not just be there for the heck of it.

Basically what people were trying to do was to imitate N_95 masks and come as closer as possible to it.

Will Filters really work?

Now comes the deal where we have to chose the correct form of filter for the mask. The thickness should be appropriate and the weave should be the correct one too.

HEPA have been the word out there for the filter that can be used and works good enough to filter out the particles. Although they have a high efficiency but HEPA filters are had to breath in and common people or people having even a little bit of breathing issues won’t be able to use these filters. Vacuum bags have been used as filters too. With all this in hand and excessive talks about the materials, what to use, what not to use is definitely too much on the plate.

Then there are coffee filters and tissues. Tissues we all know will get mushy and will most probably tear off as well. They are not washable and hence cannot be used again and again too. CDC has endorsed to used materials and filters which are low at cost and easily available in the market or at home so that the N-95 masks stay available for the Healthcare workers fighting day and night and risking their lives to save others.

Coffee filters will get saturated really quick. It will not be able to be used again. The CDC mask recommendation includes a coffee filter. Apart from filters being able to filter out the particles or not doesn’t mean you cannot use them for a one-time use.

There have been many labs and scientists that have been testing by having multiple volunteers and using DIY flour sack towel masks in the laboratories and testing out the filters being used. Some of the results also showed that moisture had little or almost no impact on the effectiveness of the DIY homemade masks. Also it was seen that when kids wore these masks it was less effective as the fitting was not the right one. So it is for sure that no matter how good of a mask you carry or wear, if it isn’t worn properly then it is almost close to not wearing a mask in the first place.

So, to sum it up we all need some kind of protection when going out even if it is just merely for groceries. The epidemic has caused a change in the lifestyle at 180 degrees. Many people are suffering from this disease.

Many families are infected. Some are in Intensive Care Units and are fighting for their last breaths but let’s be positive and see the other side of it where a large number of people also got healthy. Many people sustained it and are back on their feet now. Let’s not forget the underprivileged ones who cannot afford these masks and maybe are also exposed more. Let’s all fight together to defeat Corona Virus and stay safe.

Wear flour sack towel mask and stay protected! Stay indoors and maintain Social Distancing. Your life and your loved ones are important.

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