My wife has designed something she calls the Fuck You CDC mask. She’s very much against lockdowns, and believes the government is communistic, dictatorial, and overreaching when it tells us to stay home and orders businesses to shut down. So she has an attitude that’s willing to rebel against any CDC requirement.
However, she partially agrees with the CDC on the issue of facemasks. But only for wearing while indoors at businesses, and not outdoors where few people are around. Wearing them outdoors is just plain unnecessary and stupid, according to her. Fortunately, our county no longer requires them outdoors, so she’s no longer in danger of being cited.
She also doesn’t like CDC’s design for a mask. It’s painful, hot, and suffocating, and she wonders if the CDC might be trying to kill us with this mask.
Here’s the design, in case you disagree with her and want to go with the CDC recommendation: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html
She’s a handy seamstress, and made her first masks using the CDC design. She even made a bunch for some nurses at a local hospital. But after wearing them for awhile, herself, she decided these masks are bullshit, and are not suitable for human use.
So she redesigned the Bullshit CDC mask into the Fuck You CDC mask. This mask is much less uncomfortable to wear, and is her way of saying “fuck you” to the CDC. It’s still uncomfortable, as any mask will be if you wear it long enough. But it is not nearly as painful, hot, and suffocating as CDC’s bullshit mask.
She eliminated the elastic bands that go around the ear. These damned torture restraints pull painfully on the ears when you wear them for long periods of time. She replaced the bands with bias tape cloth ties that wrap around the head and tie in the back. After you tie them once, you never have to tie them again. You simply slip the mask over your head, to put it on or take off.
Also, there’s only one set of ties. The mask ties at the top, and that’s it. There are no bottom ties. Yes, technically bottom ties seem necessary, to comply with the CDC requirement that masks fit snugly against the side of the face. But fuck you, CDC! Bottom ties make masks suffocatingly tight, and impossible to comply with the CDC’s other requirement, that masks allow for breathing without restriction.
Besides, even without bottom ties, I’ve found that the Fuck You CDC mask does a good job at holding against the sides of the face. But it does so without pressing the mask against the mouth and restricting breathing. And it stays against the side of the face even when coughing or sneezing.
She makes the ties 18 inches long, and this length allows for an option in wearing, besides tying behind the head. Rather, you can drape the ties over your ears, and the weight of the dangling bias tape material will be sufficient to hold the mask in place.
Also, if some store manager tells you that your mask must have bottom ties, there’s enough slack to allow you to drape the ties over your ears, then wrap them under, and tie them in place below your chin.
But that suffocates, because it pulls the mask against your mouth. So you only want to wear the mask this way in the unlikely event that you’re required to wear it this way. Allowing the bottom of the mask to hang loose like an apron makes breathing much easier, and complies with the CDC requirement of having unrestricted breathing.
To further aid in breathing, she sews a vertical pleat down the middle of the mask. This creates an air pocket below the nose and around the mouth. In addition to easier breathing, the air pocket makes the mask cooler to wear.
She cuts the cloth layers of the mask to two 10-inch wide by 7-inch long rectangles. But the 10-inch width narrows to 7 inches at the top, and 9 inches at the bottom, after she creates the pleat, and connects the two layers using a half-inch seam.
The Fuck You CDC mask hangs loosely from the nose, down to around the chin. Since there’s no bottom tie, it’s open from below and allows the convenience of drinking through a straw, slurping poisonous coffee, or picking your teeth with a toothpick.
My wife believes this mask will protect OTHERS from the wearer, if the wearer fails to sneeze or cough into their arm. But she says it will NOT protect the wearer FROM others if they’re not wearing a mask, and they sneeze or cough into the open air.
Personally, I feel skeptical about the Fuck You CDC mask protecting anybody. But then again, I feel skeptical about all cloth facemasks, as I doubt their effectiveness at blocking airborne particles as fine as a virus. According to an article in USA Today, cloth surgical masks won’t block fine particles, and the only mask that will keep you from inhaling the coronavirus is the N95.
Even the CDC was against most people wearing cloth facemasks, until they changed their mind in mid-April. Now they claim that cloth facemasks will slow virus particles down, so that when someone coughs or sneezes, the virus won’t travel as far from the mouth. Perhaps, but it will still get into the circulating air of a building, and in more concentrated form.
Seems to me like it’s safer for people to cough or sneeze into their arms. But I suspect people are less inclined to do this when they believe the mask they’re wearing is protecting the air around them.
In fact, coughing or sneezing into the arm seems to have been dropped from public education campaigns, since the mask requirement came into being. I sure haven’t noticed it. So even the CDC seems to have fallen into the false sense of security of mask wearing.
If it’s true that a cloth facemask slows the velocity of a virus (and it may well be), then the mask must be able to stay in place when sneezing or coughing, and not flop around like an 18-wheeler’s mudflap. I’ve found that the Fuck You CDC mask does stay in place when coughing or sneezing. So if cloth really can slow the velocity of a virus down, this redesign will do it, in my view. For what that’s worth.
The redesign also succeeds at another thing. Admission. When I wear my Fuck You CDC mask, I’m allowed admission into supermarkets, drug stores, and doctors’ offices. Nobody has yet challenged my Fuck You CDC mask.
It’s a little uncomfortable, but not too bad. It’s bearable. And it’s much less uncomfortable than that damned, Bullshit CDC mask.