Curtains for COVID

Issues with Cloth Face Masks

Medical experts are pretty uniform in delivering this message about the use of cloth masks:
Cloth face masks MAY reduce the spread of infectious respiratory droplets from the person wearing the mask. They do not afford significant protection to the person wearing the mask.

To drive this message home, consider this text:
“The evidence is not sufficiently strong to support widespread use of facemasks as a protective measure against covid-19. However, there is enough evidence to support the use of facemasks for short periods of time by particularly vulnerable individuals when in transient higher risk situations.” [BMJ Article, 7 April 2020]

In short, cloth masks MAY reduce the transmission (outward) of the virus, but other personal protective measures are proven to be more effective including frequent hand washing with soap, minimizing touching of the face, disinfecting surfaces, isolation, maintaining physical distancing and using barrier protection where it is hard to maintain safe distances from others.

In the course of my research, I became increasing concerned about the issues associated with using cloth masks. This is a partial list:

  • For the most part, there is no quality control on the materials used or construction
  • Loose fibres can be inhaled
  • The mask muffles the voice and hides non-verbal facial cues - hindering communication
  • Largely ineffective if not worn properly, and from observation, many are not
  • People with existing respiratory conditions - a noted vulnerable population -
    should not wear masks which could impede breathing
  • Cloth masks have reduced effectiveness when worn by people with beards
  • Cloth masks need to be washed - with soap or detergent - between uses
  • When a cloth mask does capture a virus, it traps it against the face of the person wearing it
  • Wearing a mask leads to more face touching, which transmits the virus
  • A cloth mask does not protect the eyes
  • Wearing a mask can provide a false sense of security, which I have observed personally
    (medical professionals using N95 respirators do get infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus)
  • Reuse of cloth masks can lead to other health issues (e.g. skin rashes and infections)
  • Face masks are uncomfortable in hot weather
  • Coughs, sneezes, and heavy breathing can drive jets of breath - and potentially the virus -
    forward through the fabric, and deflect out around all the edges (do not seal to the face)
  • Cloth masks are not a panacea for the COVID-19 pandemic.


    All material related to the curtain design for face-shields is copyrighted by Darryl McMahon.
    This includes, but is not limited to the designs, patterns and instructions for the curtain construction and the terms: 'Curtains for COVID'; 'Curtains4COVID'; 'COVID Curtain'; 'face-shield curtain'; and 'face-shield wraparound'.
    All rights reserved.


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