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Even though just a month ago Americans were told by experts that wearing a mask was not effective or necessary to stopping the spread of coronavirus unless in direct contact with an infected person, public health orders have changed and wearing a mask is now strongly recommended. Allegedly, the CDC will soon make an announcement supporting this information.
Although covering the face with a cloth mask or a bandanna does not provide protection from infection with the virus, it limits the amount of respiratory droplets emitted by the person wearing the mask which serves as a protection to others. Many people are coronavirus carriers and unaware they are infected, so if they cover their face it further insures they won't unknowingly spread the virus.
In short, my mask protects you and your mask protects me.
Wearing a mask might seem over-paranoid or ominous to Americans because culturally and historically we have not worn protective health masks in public. But for the health of our communities, country and the world, it's important we let go of outdated, preconceived notions and do the right thing.
Remember, when wearing a mask, do not to touch the mask just like you wouldn't touch your face. When you return home after an outing, the mask is considered contaminated and must be washed or tossed.
The easiest, no-sew way to make a mask is with a piece of cloth – a bandana or a scrap from a T-shirt – and two rubber bands (hair bands work particularly well). Here is a video of this style created by Milwaukee's Julie Krawczyk who uses an 88.9 Radio Milwaukee bandana:
For a slightly more involved mask-making design from the New York Times, but still uses common household items, click here.
For mask designs that include sewing, check out this website from the Masked Sewists from SE Wisconsin which launched this morning. They are also on Facebook. This group of volunteers is making masks for individuals as well as on a much larger scale for frontline workers. You can also request masks from this group. Go here for more information.
Molly Snyder grew up on Milwaukee's East Side and today, she lives in the Walker's Point neighborhood with her partner and two sons.
As a full time senior writer, editorial manager and self-described experience junkie, Molly has written thousands of articles about Milwaukee (and a few about New Orleans, Detroit, Indianapolis, Boston and various vacation spots in Wisconsin) that range in subject from where to get the best cup of coffee to an in-depth profile on the survivors of the iconic Norman apartment building that burned down in the '90s.
She also once got a colonic just to report on it, but that's enough on that.
Always told she had a "radio voice," Molly found herself as a regular contributor on FM102, 97WMYX and 1130WISN with her childhood radio favorite, Gene Mueller.
Molly's poetry, essays and articles appeared in many publications including USA Today, The Writer, The Sun Magazine and more. She has a collection of poetry, "Topless," and is slowly writing a memoir.
In 2009, Molly won a Milwaukee Press Club Award. She served as the Narrator / writer-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel from 2013-2014. She is also a story slam-winning storyteller who has performed with The Moth, Ex Fabula and Risk!
When she's not writing, interviewing or mom-ing, Molly teaches tarot card classes, gardens, sits in bars drinking Miller products and dreams of being in a punk band again.