So, should you be wearing a mask?

Homemade ones help, says Canada's chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam—but save medical grade ones for healthcare workers.

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The biggest take aways? Save medical-grade masks for professionals and remember: wearing a mask doesn't replace washing your hands. - STOCK
  • STOCK
  • The biggest take aways? Save medical-grade masks for professionals and remember: wearing a mask doesn't replace washing your hands.
First things first: Medical masks need to be reserved for healthcare workers. There is a brand-new, very central circle in hell emerging for anyone who hoards them the way they did with toilet paper.

But, in addition to social distancing, washing your hands and, yes, Staying The Blazes Home, wearing a homemade mask could be helpful in certain situations.

As Canada's chief medical officer Dr. Theresa Tam (she's the national equivalent of Dr. Strang) said earlier today in a press conference, it is now believed that wearing a mask is a way for those who might be sick with COVID-19 but don't know it yet to minimize spreading the illness.

Dr. Strang echoed Tam's sentiment at today's NS press conference but reminded Nova Scotians: "If you choose to use a mask, great, but don’t let that stop you from doing all the necessary personal protective measures"—like washing your hands and social distancing.

Yup, this new messaging follows Tam saying this weekend that masks are a good idea when following the rules of social distance aren't possible—though like Strang, she stressed masks don't replace other, tried-and-tested rules like washing your hands. So, yes, go ahead and pop on a DIY mask before boarding the bus—but don't let wearing a mask somewhere make you feel like you can break the two-meter rule

The sample pattern provided by Northwood is a simple two-part pattern.
  • The sample pattern provided by Northwood is a simple two-part pattern.
Wondering how to make your own? Now's a great time to brush up or develop your sewing skills (check this easy tutorial by a Halifax vlogger to learn how to sew by hand) and make a mask similar to these patterns being shared by the city's senior care facility chain Northwood. Plus, there's some no-sew options you could try. If you've found your calling, consider joining this local Facebook group that's churning out masks for vulnerable Haligonians (along with swapping DIY tips). (Also, you can improvise with a bandana if needed.)

And if you're never one to sacrifice style in the name of practicality? Well, local streetwear line tREv has your back with branded face masks that feel very Marc Jacob at Louis Vuitton now on pre-order. Halifax's grand dame of design, Lisa Drader-Murphy, meanwhile, is pumping out masks made of neoprene with changeable cotton liners at $20 a pop.

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