As of Wednesday morning, April 22, people over the age of 12 in Marin and other Bay Area counties are required to wear face masks in public. It is now mandatory to cover our noses and mouths when we leave home to go to the doctor, grocery store or other essential places—but not for exercise or while driving.
This new restriction is being billed as an interim step toward easing restrictions on social and commercial life, but it’s likely to be in place for some time.
The once highly sought-after N95 respirators, with an exhalation valve (or one-way vent) turn out to be less than ideal in blocking transmission of COVID-19. While they protect the wearer, they do not protect others from a potentially infected cough or sneeze due to their ability to release large respiratory droplets into the air. And they should be reserved for medical personnel. That’s why authorities are encouraging people to make their own masks or improvise with scarves and bandannas.
The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on the new face mask rules and even provided patterns for making them out of household cotton garments like t-shirts.
Emergency Services Chair Flo Hoylman has been making masks for Sausalito Village and for friends and neighbors for a couple of weeks now, and she could use some help. She’s looking for Stitching Angels who might have sewing machines and stashes of tightly woven cotton fabrics. If you don’t sew, but have some cottons on hand, you can cut out the masks from patterns Flo will send you. She’ll collect them and turn them over to others for stitching. She could also use donations of ¼” elastic for securing the masks. If you think you can help, please contact Flo directly, with FHA Stitching Angel in the subject line of your email.
Meanwhile, Julie Durbin of West Pier has received a shipment of masks and gloves from a friend in China and is offering them free to anyone in our community while supplies last. Just drop by the Fairy Tale on West Pier and call through Julie’s window to tell her what you need; she will hand them over the gate.