It’s possible to make your own face mask at home with cotton, cloth, and other common materials. Chalinee Thirasupa/Reuters

The outbreak of coronavirus around the globe has led to a shortage of protective face masks. During that shortage, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that healthcare workers should use homemade masks as a last resort when no protective equipment is available. 

Homemade masks offer much less protection compared to surgical masks and N95 respirators. But they are better than nothing, most medical professionals say.  

“While homemade masks are not as effective as surgical masks or N95 masks, they are absolutely helpful in this time with the major shortage going on,” says Shawn Nasseri, MD. “They help keep the area clean and clear, so it is better than wearing nothing…” 

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