Shannon Lee Mannion

I’m going for it. Masking, that is. Now that the collective medical profession have their heads on straight, word’s out that it’s okay to mask, in fact it might even made a difference.

Of course, it’s a bit late for we who were told, nah, you don’t need a mask because now, there are no masks available. Well, as it was emblazoned over the doorway of my high school, When the going gets tough, the tough get going. They also get incredibly resourceful.

It’s easy to make your own masks and I am convinced that all of us, the very young and the incredibly old, can and will, in the next day or two, design their own respiratory PPE or personal protective equipment.

You may have seen the complex instructions for making one out of a T-shirt. While there’s no sewing involved, there is extensive cutting and you have to have a vision of what you’re going for if you embark on one of these. The result is something a bank robber would wear on the day they get caught.

I have personally fashioned three no-sew, no measuring, no cutting fashion statements that not only look fabulous on everyone, but can be made from things you have in your house at this moment. Damn good thing because we can’t go out and shop and besides, did I mention that there are no masks available anywhere.

Who doesn’t have a bandanna handy? They are usually approximately 20” square and cotton is best. Making a mask from one of these is so simple, you can whip one up on the dash of your car in the parking lot of the grocery store. The other thing you need are two reasonably-sized elastics, hair elastics, if you have them, even a couple scrunchies would work, and then, it’s all in the folding which can be got from this YouTube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1r2C1zGUHbU

Men, you might use a large linen dinner napkin in a pinch if you’ve misplaced your biker bandannas. And no, Bruno, your leather face piece won’t work. The good thing about cotton is that when you return home, you can remove your mask carefully via the elastics and pop it into the washing machine after one wear.

While it’s not mentioned in the video, some people like to insert a piece of coffee filter or paper towel in the folds as an additional barrier. Just remember to carefully remove this before laundering. Wash hands well afterwards, as per the virus protocol.

Note matching accessories. Now’s the time to get out those over-the-top, clunky earrings you haven’t worn since the sixties and go nuts. No one will recognize you and if anyone asks, say it was your sister they saw.

The other two masks are more in the make-do category. A long scarf can be draped to prevent sneezes and exhalation from leaving your orifices and this particular one, The Full Bedouin, is especially useful on bad hair days and when you can’t find matching earrings. If you’re good with a Kohl pencil, this is the time to lay it on thick to give you that mystery shopper look.