South Africans are being called to spread love, not the virus, by getting 10 million handmade masks to people who need them.
This is to ensure that healthcare workers have enough N95 medical-grade masks to serve on the front line of the fight against the pandemic. Shortages of protective equipment have already been reported.
Many ways to help
Sew a mask, donate fabric or become a co-ordinator and distribute masks to communities, urges #10millionmasks, the brainchild of a group of creative agencies including Measured, Papersnap, Hooman Agency, Saskia’s Interiors, Mirra Mirra Media, Currin’t Events and Debbi Shultz.
And they’ve even included a pattern you can download from their website to make getting involved super easy.
Cotton works best, say the agencies, and offers the best balance between breathability and protection. An old pillowcase, a T-shirt or shwe-shwe is ideal.
Protect yourself and others
Though homemade masks will not prevent you from contracting Covid-19, they do stop you from coughing and sneezing on others when you’re at the shops or pharmacy.
Data from China shows a third of positive cases were asymptomatic in the early stages of the outbreak and unwittingly infected others. So, by wearing a mask you’re protecting yourself and others.
“Fabric face masks are considered protective wear under government guidelines.”#10 million masks website
“We have arranged for local security companies to collect masks and drop off the fabric at makers’ homes,” says the #10 million masks website.
“We have been given permission from the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) to produce and courier fabric face masks only during the 21-day national lockdown period.”
Mkhize unequivocal: masks make a difference
While there are mixed messages about whether wearing a mask is effective in keeping the coronavirus at bay, the minister of health’s message is clear.
“There is no question about the fact that masks are actually one of the best ways of preventing the spread of infection. And we recommend them in particular where people have got any cough or any symptoms, Or in a situation where social distancing is a bit difficult,” Health minister Zweli Mkhize said.
To find out more and get involved go to https://www.10millionmasks.africa/ or WhatsApp +27 (0) 64 612 7092. You can also make a donation at firstname.lastname@example.org