With face masks almost impossible to find now, be self-sufficient and make your own. Here is a bunch of options on making face masks yourself. See links below. These can be made by hand sewing. You don’t need a sewing machine. Also think great simple project to teach your kids how to hand sew.
I’m told fabric masks aren’t as efficient a filter as the commercial medicinal ones, so I figured out how to make them much safer. Thieves oil essential formula (available from DoTerra distributors but also other essential oil perveyors) can be added to high percentage alcohol (think Everclear, pure grain alchohol or moonshine) with a pinch of Epsom salt to emulsify the oil into the alcohol. Witch hazel is also an emulsifier. It’s also available thru Young Living essential oils and a few other sites.
If you are making these masks for the use of others than yourself, do not spray them or use any essential oils or other things to the masks. Let people do their own thing with them.
If Thieves Oil isn’t available, Tea Tree Oil, Clove Oil, Cinnamon Oil, or other anti-viral essential oil can be mixed or substituted. And there are other good mixtures on the internet which can help protect from viral infections. I personally like Thyme, Oregano, Lemon Grass, and Olive Leaf essential oils as well. Thieves Oil just has a very ancient success rate having been used since the plague pandemics in Europe hundreds of years ago.
Some use a mix of aprox. 20 drops of essential oils per oz. of alcohol which is sufficient to create a nice film on anything it’s sprayed on. This sprayed onto the surface of the fabric mask, then allowed to dry, to let the alcohol evaporate off, leaves a film of the oil to kill virus and bacteria in the air. I’m also told that adding the alcohol with oil to water with some witch hazel to help emulsify it is a way to stretch it for use.
Also, finding elastic for attaching to the ears is now pretty hard. I’m told Eastic Cordage can be found on the internet, or ponytail bands can be cut and used. Or sew thin bands of the same fabric as ties. I don’t have a link for that but I’m told it is available with a bit of a google search.
Use 100% cotton fabric and wash the sizing out of it before sewing. And take care to wear gloves and face mask when sewing and preparing them – especially for nurses. And make a note of that to them when giving them out so they know it is safe to use. They might still want to wash them too but at least you are not contaminating them.
Also, for general protection if you have an ionizer air purifier, use it. This captures particles and they fall to the floor. Then vacuum or clean the floor and surfaces with a citrus all purpose cleaner. Collect orange, lemon, and/or grapefruit peels, soak in vinegar for a couple of weeks (I use a quart mason jar, filled 3/4 full of the peels, then fill up with vinegar and cap with a plastic cap or a sheet of plastic under the metal cap). Then strain and add a Tablespoon or so of dish soap, which makes an effective DIY terrific floor and surface cleaner.
You can also use this citrus cleaner on any surface in your house except stone or marble (it will pit those surfaces) to kill unwanted disease causing germs. It smells nice too. Just keep in a mason jar and add to a regular spray bottle as needed. You can add a few drops of essential oils like Tea Tree oil or more of the Thieves Oil to make it more potent.
Using a smudge stick around the house (white sage is traditional) has been proved scientifically to knock out virus and bacteria in the air. These smudge sticks can be found at: https://www.shamansmarket.com/?fbclid=IwAR36cREYn_6mR3IlkhrwFlYeTAm6cdWkhX3_HeNDS4-BiRHzRwPnKKMTOn8 or you can make them yourself. https://frugallysustainable.com/smudge-sticks/ This site gives which plants you can use for this air cleansing as well as how to construct them. I personally have not used this technique but I have done quite a bit of research on it and have seen scientific studies that confirm their effectiveness. I always suggest people do their own research when trying something new. Check out this site for the science behind smudging: https://upliftconnect.com/science-behind-smudging/ .
Here are the face mask links:
Be safe and use your heads to protect health. Good luck.