Monday, April 6, 2020

Masks For All: Cover Your Nose and Mouth To Prevent the Spread of COVID-19

By Kara Jackman

The Center for Disease Control recommends that people across the country wear masks to protect themselves from contracting COVID-19. Unfortunately, not all the members of our community are able to wear the typical mask outfitted with elastic straps that wrap around the ears. Kids and adults in our community wear hearing aids, BAHA hearing aids, have prosthetic ears, or do not have ears at all. Masks must be accessible to all whom need them during this worldwide pandemic. Some sort of face covering will be part of our every day lives moving forward, especially when in mixed company outside of our homes. 

In this video, I demonstrate one face covering that ties at the back of the head with two sets of thin strips of fabric. Both strips of fabric tie behind your head, easily lacing together like draw strings. 

There are other options, too. You can purchase a prefabricated mask that loops over both ears, and then take paper clip, string, ribbon, or a piece of elastic and lace it though the existing ear loops to create tension and support around the back of the head.  This tension will secure the mask to the back of head, and keep it in place. Ear Community posted on their Instagram page an image of their mask hack using a paper clip. Another option is a strap placed at the back of the head, outfitted with two buttons to hook the ear loops around. Check these options out below. 

I hope this helps people. Moreover, it is my desire to never leave anyone unprotected. Wearing the mask does not mean you can, or should, go out if you at high risk of contracting COVID-19 and not surviving it. Check with your doctor before wearing a mask. Listen to their advice about what to do. This video and blog post should not replace advice from your doctor. 

Please remember to wash the mask in hot soapy water, and then wash your hands before placing the mask on your face. Always be as squeaky clean as possible before touching your face. When you are out and about, do not touch your face, or adjust the mask without a sterile, clean barrier between you and the mask. This barrier could be a fresh, clean paper towel, a new nitrile glove, or a new piece of facial tissue. 

We are in this together. No one will be left behind! We all deserve access to the things of life that we need to survive and thrive. 

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