Post #588: What is the most effective expedient DIY mask? Why not ask the US Army Corps of Engineers to figure that out?

Posted on March 30, 2020

OK, next question:  Fine and dandy if this appears an obviously cost-effective gamble (just prior post).  Where are we going to get 250,000,000 masks?  In the next couple of days?

That’s the wrong question.

Here’s the right first question:  What is the best expedient mask, that can be made in a typical community, quickly and in volume, from commonly available materials and semi-skilled labor?

A Victory Mask, if you will.

Lord knows, a crapload of people have a crapload of time on their hands just right now.  It’s a huge labor force.  All of us could take an hour off from streaming video, and chip in.  If we had guidance, and leadership that endorsed the concept.

I say, let’s ask the US Army Corps of Engineers for a design or two.  They seem to have their act together.

If there is a single figure who appears to know what he’d going, who inspires confidence, who talks sense, and who looks like he can get done what needs to be done, I say it’s Lt. General Todd Semonite, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the US Army Corps of Engineers.  Watch this clip (caution, it’s Rachel Maddow), and see if you agree.

I realize they have more than enough on their plate.  But you wonder if they couldn’t just knock out a pattern for this, without a huge diversion of effort.

Heck, in some sense, this is well within their current mission.  A bed that isn’t going to be filled is a bed that doesn’t need to be built.  Kind of a reverse Roemer’s Law.

I’m going to work on my best shot at this.  Just examining materials, I’m not immediately dismissing 3M Filtrete plus Tyvek as a reasonable basis for reasonable multi-fabric-layer mask.  But I have no way even to conceive of how to test it.

Clearly, there’s no way that 3M could ever endorse that use.  They’d get sued if they did.  But there’s nothing to stop US citizens from using it “off label”.  If it has any sort of effectiveness at all.

Barring the US Army Corps of Engineers, where are the Mythbusters when you need them?  Seems like an ideal project for them to work out.