This site isn't being updated now.The site was updated with pro facemask-related science findings and initial cloth facemask designs between February 28, and March 23 2020. Newer more polished sites include: makemasks2020.org (from March 23),makefacemasks.com (from March 18), aboutmasks.com (from March 28), masksnow.org (from March 22), masks4all.co (from March 28). Older sites include diymask.site popular in Hong Kong from when it was created on Feb 26.
Ragmask Max cloth mask design. This has a cupped satin liner for extra breathability (Apr 17, 2020 onwards), and layering that can allow for higher filtration for people that may have to be around possibly infected people but do not have N95 or FFP2 masks
More articles on cloth facemask experimentation (from April 2020 onwards) here: http://fu-cv.blogspot.com/
Content below here frozen as of March 23, 2020
Context: Some countries have said facemasks don't work for Coronavirus self-protection (unless you're a medical professional). Some countries have passed laws or rules that all everyone in public should have a facemask on (and gloves?). Some countries even include the allocation of replacement surgical masks to citizens. This page is about scientific studies not shitty national policies - March 2020
Eight studies on use of face masks use to avoid viruses that can infect self through inhaled breath (Not COVID-19 specifically). These would be in addition to other practices (gloves, goggles, hand-washing, distancing), NOT instead of.
1) A previous study on masks: Professional & Home-Made Face Masks Reduce Exposure to Respiratory Infections among the General Population (van der Sande et al - 2008, via NCBI)
From that study, an excerpt from the "results" section: [...] Surgical masks provided about twice as much protection as home made masks, the difference a bit more marked among adults. FFP2 masks provided adults with about 50 times as much protection as home made masks, and 25 times as much protection as surgical masks. [...]
If you are wearing a homemade mask, then no medical professional or emergency service worker is being deprived of a mask. A list of "how to" articles on homemade face masks:
2) A previous study on masks: Facemasks and hand hygiene in the prevention of Influenza transmission at home (randomised trial, Suess et al - 2011, via NCBI)
From that study, an excerpt from the "results" section: [...] When analysing only households where intervention was implemented within 36 hours after symptom onset of the [first family member infected], secondary infection in the [groups wearing masks in the house] was significantly lower compared to the group [that wore no masks in the house] [...]
3) A 2010 study on masks: Simple Respiratory Protection—Evaluation of the Filtration Performance of Cloth Masks and Common Fabric Materials Against 20–1000 nm Size Particles (Listed on the UK's "Oxford Academic" site)
From that study, an excerpt from the "conclusion" section: [...] Common fabric materials and cloth masks showed a [widely varied in effectiveness] [The material used in N95 / FFP1 masks are far superior] but [the materials tested were] in the range found for some surgical masks in previous studies. [higher velocity particles and badly fitting masks could make homemade masks mostly ineffective]
4) A 2008 study on masks: Evaluating the protection afforded by surgical masks against influenza bioaerosols (randomised trial on the UK government's "Heath and Safety Executive" site)
From that study, an excerpt from the "Main Findings" section: [...] our findings show that surgical masks provide around a 6-fold reduction in exposure. [...]
5) A 2008 study on masks: The First Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial of Mask Use in Households to Prevent Respiratory Virus Transmission (International Journal of Infectious Diseases Vol. 92)
From that study, an excerpt from the "Results" section: [...] In an adjusted analysis of compliant subjects, masks as a group had protective efficacy in excess of 80% against clinical influenza-like illness. [...]
6) A 2009 study on masks: Face Mask Use and Control of Respiratory Virus Transmission in Households (Emerging Infectious Diseases Vol. 15, No. 2 by the US CDC - page 233)
From that study's summary: [...] We concluded that household use of face masks is associated with low adherence and is ineffective for controlling seasonal respiratory disease. However, during a severe pandemic when use of face masks might be greater, pandemic transmission in households could be reduced.
7) A 2013 study on masks: Testing the Efficacy of Homemade Masks: Would They Protect in an Influenza Pandemic? (Cambridge University's "Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness" - July 2013 edition)
From that study's "Conclusion" section: Our findings suggest that a homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals, but it would be better than no protection.
8) A 2019 study on masks: Modeling the Effectiveness of Respiratory Protective Devices in Reducing Influenza Outbreak (Listed on the USA's "National Center for Biotechnology Information" site)
From that study's "Results" section: The level of compliance was assumed to be the same for the susceptible and infected populations. [...] A 20% compliance rate [of surgical or better masks] cuts the infection prevalence roughly in half and delays the peak of the epidemic to around day 25. For 50% compliance [of surgical or better masks] reduce the prevalence to less than about 5%. At 80% compliance, the infection prevalence is negligible where the maximum is roughly 5%.
influenza vs Coronavirus: The size of influenza virus - 80–120 nanometers in diameter (refer to Wikipedia) and the size of Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is debated (bigger would be better for homemade masks):
This site: David Powell is International Air Transport Association's (IATA) medical adviser and he said "forget facemasks" on a published Skype interview on Feb 9th, 2020 (or so). It took me 90 mins to find study #1 and post that to social media. This microsite was first published on the 28th Feb.
(suggest changes to this page)