As of today (March 31, 2020) there's a '''severe shortage of PPE''' (personal protective equipment) in the United States as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. Many people have been making masks at home in an effort to provide a minimum of protection to frontline healthcare workers, and some hospitals have begun accepting donations of these homemake masks.
I began making surgical-style masks at home, for which there are many online guides, but found them to be '''frustratingly uncomfortable''' and '''seemingly ineffective''', as they fail to form even a rudimentary seal around the wearer's nose and mouth. Instead, I decided to try and make a smaller, more comfortable, and potentially more effective homemade mask in the style of certain disposable Chinese KN95 masks that are available online (KN95 is roughly equivalent to the N95 specification in the United States).
This design has gone through several iterations and seems to work well. It '''uses less material''' than a homemade surgical-style mask, is '''more comfortable''' to wear (in my opinion), is '''reasonably easy to sew''' (even for a beginner like me), and it offers '''arguably better protection''' by eliminating any large air gaps.
== Warning ==
Please note that '''this mask has NOT been rated or certified''' in any way whatsoever. Its effectiveness will depend entirely on the quality of construction, the particular materials used, and how it fits on the person wearing it. Similar to manufactured N95 masks, this mask should NOT be used by anyone with a beard. This mask may provide better protection than a bandana or a surgical-style mask, but '''it should NEVER be used EXCEPT when medical-grade equipment is UNAVAILABLE'''.
== Disclaimer ==
I am not a healthcare professional. This design has not undergone any laboratory or field testing. '''No warranty is implied or provided. Use at your own risk.''' Please use common sense, and please be safe out there.
== License ==
The [https://talldog.dozuki.com/Document/LyXxUabYyWZIY1P4/Mask-Pattern.pdf|mask pattern PDF] and this step-by-step guide are licensed [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/|CC BY-SA]. That means you can use or modify these materials for any reason you want, including commercial purposes, as long as you provide attribution, and that any derivative work is released under the same license.