President Donald Trump and the White House are urging Oregonians and Americans across the country to start wearing face masks or other coverings when going outside of their homes in public in the latest effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
UPDATE: On the heels of those recommendations from the White House, the Centers for Disease Control has now officially announced that all Americans should wear masks or cover faces in public as a guideline.
It should be noted that the recommendation to cover faces in public with masks, scarves, t-shirts or other cloth items is not a suggestion to protect members of the public from contracting the virus, but rather to prevent asymptomatic people who have contracted the virus from spreading it unknowingly. It is crucial that members of the public abide by the more critical and effective measures to slow the spread of the virus, which includes staying home as much as possible, staying six feet apart when out in public, frequently washing hands and refraining from touching your face as much as possible.
While this recommendation doesn’t mean you need to go out and buy surgical masks and N95 respirators, those masks should be left for hospital staff and first responders, the guidelines do encourage people to cover their faces when in public even if you don’t have any symptoms – especially the nose and mouth – with homemade coverings like bandanas, scarves, or other types of cloth face masks like ski masks or balaclavas.
What is a balaclava? These are a type of ski mask that covers the entire facial area except for the eyes. This is likely your best option for a facial covering as it covers all areas of the head including the hair, mouth and nose. Many Oregonians may have them already if you happen to be an outdoors enthusiast as they are often used by skiers and snowboarders. Here’s a look at what they look like followed by some places that you can buy them, other ski masks, bandanas, scarves and more that can be shipped directly to you in order to avoid going out to find one.
Cloth face covers like ski masks, or balaclavas:
• Amazon is the quickest way to get one and will get it to you in two days with free shipping if you are a Prime member. This three pack of ski masks is likely your cheapest option at just $15 and ships with Prime.
• Dick’s Sporting Goods is another good online outlet to find balaclavas and other cold weather masks.
• Amazon is once again another place to get scarves shipped to you quickly.
• Kohl’s is once again a good place to find these items online as they have quite a few options for scarves.
• More scarves from Target, which is a great place to get them if you are doing other shopping at the same time.
• Amazon has a good selection of bandanas and free and fast shipping if you are a Prime member, as we mentioned above.
More on how to prepare for social isolation and how to protect yourself from the coronavirus: