Just make sure you wash and dry thoroughly after each use (Picture: Twitter)

The US government advised people in the country to wear protective masks every time they leave their home to curb the spread of COVID-19.

People wearing masks in the street have been a regular sight for the last few weeks, as well as websites hiking up prices of the protective gear, or even selling out completely.

As a result, some are taking matters into their own hands making their own masks with items they have around the house.

One particular tutorial currently going viral uses a bandana and two hair ties to create a simple cloth mask you can put on before you head out for your daily essentials.

One tweet from user fakerapper has garnered over 51,000 likes and 15,000 retweets.

If you want to make your own, here’s what to do:

  • Fold the bandana horizontally to about the size of four fingers.
  • Place the hair ties over the folded bandana. One should be around either side, at the general width of your face.
  • Fold either side of the bandana over the hairbands and into the middle, tucking one side into the other.
  • Place the ‘mask’ over your face with the hair bobbles over your ears to secure.
  • Adjust to make sure it fits over your full nose and mouth.

There has been some debate over whether these makeshift masks can actually protect you from the coronavirus.

While there are various theories – and for medical staff there will be much more stringent measures in place in terms of what constitutes proper PPE.

For the general public, however, Dr Jen Gunter wrote on Twitter that wearing a cloth maskI ‘likely reduces spread to others.’

She continues: ‘Universal masking is not about protecting yourself, rather reducing the risk of transmission. It catches large droplets and probably smaller ones.

‘The bigger issue is they need to be washed after each wearing, dried appropriately etc. so we really don’t know what we don’t know. There are theoretical pros and theoretical cons. I think the current belief is pros > cons.’

So, if you do decide to get crafty and make your own in lieu of a specifically-designed surgical mask, make sure you wash it on a hot wash and dry it properly before every use (which shouldn’t be for very long – ie while it’s still dry and not moist from your breath).

Do you have a story to share? Get in touch at MetroLifestyleTeam@metro.co.uk.

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