Post #603: No, our local hospitals don’t want your homemade mask.

Posted on April 5, 2020

Following on to my prior post, I’m already getting blowback because people think that any home-made masks need to go to hospital workers.   The upshot is that we’re going to have a bunch of older people, around Vienna, who refuse to mask up because they think they need to give any home-made mask to the local hospitals.

Let’s ask the Inova health care system.  We don’t even have to ask, because they’ve already addressed this issue.  Note the boldface.  That’s a dead giveaway that this issue has already become a nuisance for them.  They really, really don’t want you bothering them with your home-made mask.

They want your money.  They want your blood.  And if you have it, they will accept full, unopened boxes of genuine surgical masks and gloves.

They don’t want your homemade mask.  They have genuine N95s and surgical masks.  Even if we get to the point where they have to re-use N95s, those will be VASTLY BETTER than any mask your or I could make.  It would be frankly illegal for them to use home-made mask if they have any other alternative whatsoever.  If you look at CDC guidance on this issue, of all the things hospitals are allowed to do, use of homemade masks is dead last, following going bare-faced behind a face shield.

Use of homemade masks puts hospital staff at unnecessary risk, so long as there is any other alternative.  The only time hospitals can legally consider use of home-made masks is in the event that the only alternative would be to go bare-faced, i.e., literally no protection.

And now that a) everybody knows how to re-used N95s safely, and b) we are going to allow China to flood the US with cheap KN95s, not only does Inova not need your home-made mask, they will never need your home-made mask.

If you want to make a mask, absolutely the best thing you can do with it, in this situation, is wear it.

Rule #1:  Don’t be the dumbass who fills the next empty hospital bed.  Do what the CDC now tells you to do.  Wash your hands, keep your distance, no crowds, disinfect high-touch household surfaces, and so on.

And now they’re telling you to wear a mask when you go out of your house.  The best thing you can possibly do, right now, is to follow the CDC’s guidance.