No facemask? – Be crafty and make your own

Are you feeling crafty?  Now’s the time to start making facemasks.

First, we must be clear,  wearing a facemask is no cast-iron guarantee that you won’t get sick – viruses can also transmit through the eyes and tiny viral particles can penetrate masks.

However, masks are effective at capturing droplets, (a main transmission route of coronavirus). Some studies have estimated as much as a fivefold protection v no barrier alone.

If you are likely to be in close contact with someone with Covid19, a mask cuts the chance of the disease being passed on. If you’re showing symptoms or have been diagnosed, wearing a mask can also protect others.

Masks are crucial for health and social care workers looking after patients and are also recommended for family members who need to care for someone who is ill – ideally both the patient and carer should have a mask.

In the current case of shortage it is possible to make basic masks and they could come in very useful in many situations.

There are many online links for making such masks but this one has been assessed by local Woodbridge medical professionals as most appropriate:

Happy sewing!


Mask myths busted:

Covid19: practical advice for those who might get it


There’s a lot of information out there about how to try to avoid getting coronavirus in the first place – good hand washing, personal hygiene and social distancing – but what is less available is good practical advice for what happens if you actually get it – which many of us will.

A nurse makes these suggestions:

You basically just want to prepare as though you know you’re going to get a nasty respiratory bug, like bronchitis or pneumonia. You just have the foresight to know it might come your way!

Things you should actually buy ahead of time

  • Kleenex,
  • Paracetamol,
  • your generic, mucus thinning cough medicine of choice (check the label and make sure you’re not doubling up on Paracetamol).  Honey and lemon can work just as well!
  • Vick vaporub for your chest is also a great suggestion.

(Not sure what the obsession with toilet paper is)

If you don’t have a humidifier, that would be a good thing to buy and use in your room when you go to bed overnight. (You can also just turn the shower on hot and sit in the bathroom breathing in the steam).

If you have a history of asthma and you have a prescription inhaler, make sure the one you have isn’t expired and refill it/get a new one if necessary.

This is also a good time to meal prep: make a big batch of your favorite soup to freeze and have on hand.

Stock up on whatever your favorite clear fluids are to drink – though tap water is fine you may appreciate some variety!

For symptom management and a fever over 38°c, take Paracetamol rather than Ibuprofen.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!
Rest lots. You should not be leaving your house! Even if you are feeling better you may will still be infectious for fourteen days and older people and those with existing health conditions should be avoided!

Ask friends and family – or the Woodbridge Emergency Response Groupif you are unsupported,–  to leave supplies outside to avoid contact.

You DO NOT NEED TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL unless you are having trouble breathing or your fever is very high (over 39°C) and unmanaged with meds. 90% of healthy adult cases thus far have been managed at home with basic rest/hydration/over-the-counter meds.

If you are worried or in distress or feel your symptoms are getting worse, ring 111 and they will advise if you need to go to hospital. The hospital beds will be used for people who actively need oxygen/breathing treatments/IV fluids.

If you have a pre-existing lung condition (COPD, emphysema, lung cancer) or are on immunosuppressants, now is a great time to talk to your Doctor or specialist about what they would like you to do if you get sick.

One major relief to you parents is that kids do VERY well with coronavirus— they usually bounce back in a few days (but they will still be infectious), Just use pediatric dosing .

The nurse finishes with this cheering message:

“Keep calm and prepare rationally and everything will be fine!”