Amid the coronavirus pandemic that’s sweeping the globe right now, there’s a lot of misinformation going around, and that can be confusing. What’s clear though is that personal hygiene when it comes to simply washing your hands and not touching your mouth are something that’s going to stop the disease from spreading. Protective face masks are a hot product right now because they are helping protect those who have the virus, from spreading it to others and those who need protection from people they might be caring for with the virus. There is certainly a shortage due to the overwhelming need for them and the manufacturing of generic face masks suffering from the effects of staff not being able to get into work. Not only that, but materials being shipped over can stop production of them also.
With that in mind though, there’s still plenty of ways that you can buy protective face masks online and to also make use of your own DIY skills.
Firstly it’s important to note that unless you’re in a position where you are likely going to catch the virus because you’re vulnerable or in a place that has people who are sick, like a hospital, for example, you should avoid having a mask. This can help in making those supplies last and helping those who really need the masks, like the key workers looking after the vulnerable. If they don’t have masks, then there’s an even greater risk that these key workers will get sick and then there will be even less medical help available.
The overwhelming pressure that’s being put on medical institutions around the world is not going to be helped by having key workers falling sick as well. So with that being said, one way you can buy a protective face mask is by going via your favorite fashion stores. A lot of fashion companies have now utilized their ability to manufacture clothing and make face masks. Although, they might not be as good as the real deal, they can still serve their primary function, which is to keep you from touching your face. They also stop any bacteria that you might come across by being coughed at from hitting your face.
Apparel brands like Raleigh Denim, for example, have noted the call that a lot of hospitals and medical workers are experiencing in the lack of masks and have done their bit to help. They’ve pivoted their factory workers and sewers to make masks available for purchase for the general public and to donate to hospitals who desperately need them. The CDC-approved masks are going to be the most effective, but at the same time, it’s good to wear these alternatives than to wear nothing at all. Even common household materials are better at filtering out harmful bacteria. With fashion companies across the world taking action and helping their own countries to fill the gap in the shortage, it gives the general public the opportunity to get something alternative.
Of course, no one wants to make these masks stylish during the pandemic, but it could be that these get sold beyond the point where the virus has been contained. It has definitely shown that the world was naive to the effects that this virus caused and that everyone having face masks within their home is likely to be useful for any future viruses that might attack the human population in the future. There are plenty of brands that are making and donating masks, which include but are not limited to:
You could also try the following stores for fabric masks that are currently quite popular amongst the general population.
Love Your Melon
This is a beanie-making brand, but they have consulted medical professionals and refined their designs in order to make single-use and reusable masks, which is amazing. It’s great to see these companies who don’t typically sell this type of product, go to such great lengths in order to make these products for those in need. You can buy the single-use masks for $10, or you can get the reusable ones for $15. They also do offers where they donate part of the funds to charities.
For those who want fabric masks that are somewhat stylish - and as far as stylish can go for protective face masks, the brand has created fun and nostalgic options featuring the likes of Wonder Woman, Betty Boop, and more. They are a subscription-based company that enables you to buy one and donate one that benefits First Responders Children Foundation. These brands are doing their bit to not only provide for the public but to also help out those charities who are on the frontline and supporting those in need. These masks are made out of polyester and are double layered for extra protection. Each of the masks is $13.99, or you can subscribe, support the business, and get a new mask each month for just $9.99.
Independent Selling Platforms
Even though there might be limited options available in terms of the face masks that are CDC-approved, having alternatives that are just as good in protecting you can be found on independent selling platforms. For years now, we’ve had the ability to sell and make money online. It’s a great way in order to really get creative and to become your own boss in some respects. With that being said, a lot of people over the last few years have seen the allure that the online world has to offer and have built followings by starting their own business. As a result, eBay’s selling platform has inspired and helped create sites like Etsy where there are thousands upon thousands of online shops where the average person has been able to sell their own handmade and pre-sourced goods.
If you’re trying to buy face masks online at the moment, then you might want to start your search by looking on these websites. Etsy is a great platform for finding those creative individuals who have likely made numerous face masks in a variety of colors, designs, and sizes to fit everyone. As these individuals are all at home, likely working during the day or not at all due to being on pause from work, they’ll have plenty of time to make and distribute more. Not only are you providing some protection to yourself you’re also keeping small businesses and these entrepreneurs in business and thriving during these turbulent times. If we’ve learned anything so far, it’s that we need to continue buying things in order to keep the economy going and to help those who are vulnerable.
eBay is obviously a viable choice when it comes to getting face masks, but it’s also worth checking the rating of the seller and looking at the reviews. Unfortunately, there are some users on eBay that might mislead you with what they’re selling, and the quality might not be as good as it is pictured or described as being. As well as these sites you’ve also got sites like Amazon and local groups that might be on Facebook for you to utilize in your local area where you live. Whichever independent shop you get your face masks from, you’re certainly going to help those who are needing the extra cash that they would usually have earned when selling in normal situations. With a lot of uncertainty, people are tending to shop less, but for essential items like this, it’s worth supporting the local and independent shops where you can first.
Do A General Search Online
The online world is a pretty big place, and over the years since it’s existence, it’s only grown more and more. Anyone can create a website, and anyone can sell stuff online so long as they have a check-out system. So if you’re struggling to find protective face masks in the above places that have already been mentioned, you could do a general search online. This might pull up independent stores and online shops, but it’s important to check where they are in the world so that you’re not waiting weeks or months for your face mask to arrive. By then, it might be over, and the need for a mask might not be so great at that point. Try to shop in your own country’s domain because anywhere further afield is going to have delays to the delivery.
When it comes to buying face masks from these sites, make sure you are taking precautions and checking the legitimacy of each site you go on. Most sites that are safe to buy from will have a website that has a green lock next to the URL. That means it’s a secure payment method that’s used on the site that has been done to protect you as the buyer from the seller gaining access to your financial information. If the green lock isn’t there, then it’s worth shopping elsewhere until you find one.
Be sure to check the look of the website too, and whether it looks professional or not. Look for any official e-commerce references or official logos that would say it’s a legitimate store online. It pays to be vigilant, especially during these times where you could be vulnerable. There are so many hackers and scammers out there that will see this as an opportunity to try and take from those who might be unaware. The last thing that you want is to become a victim of identity theft or fraud. Be careful when you’re shopping online, especially on sites that you’re not familiar with or haven’t been on ever before.
Buy Materials & Make Your Own
And finally, seeing as any form of face cover is better than no cover at all, you could always do your own DIY face masks. If you’re someone who is good at sewing or even knows the basics, you can make your own protective face mask. Buying materials is the first step to making your own mask, and you want to shop wisely for the fabric.
Ideally, you want to get a thick fabric that’s going to be big enough so that you can cut out the shape to fit your nose and mouth. However, you’ll want a fabric that’s also breathable for you. Comfort is a big factor, and so you want a material that is going to fit well against your skin but is not going to cause irritation.
Hopefully, you’re not going to be in the position where you need to wear it all day, every day. For the most part, it might just be when you need to go out to the shops or to get some fresh air for the day.
Buying your materials shouldn’t cost the earth, and again, it’s worth considering where you are buying this fabric from. Make sure it gets to you within a reasonable time so that you can then work on it as soon as it arrives. For the assembling part, there’s plenty of guides online for you to use as templates for your mask. We supply the largest variations of non woven Polypropylene Bags fabric bags which you will be able to use to make face masks at home.
Think about the elastic or fabric needed to support the mask and keep it in place. When sewing, you can use a needle and thread, or you can use your sewing machine if you have one. Measuring the fabric mask is important, so always be trying the mask as you go to check that it covers the entirety of the face.
Even though you see in the media that there’s a shortage of essentials like face masks, this goes to show that there’s actually a lot more ways that you can utilize the internet and to take advantage of getting alternative options. Of course, when they’re not CDC-approved, they might not be as effective, but it’s better to be wearing one when it’s needed, than not at all. Use these tips to help buy any face masks that might be needed for you or your household. It’s a small cost that might help you avoid this deadly virus.