With face masks now recommended for shopping and taking transit where social-distancing is difficult to maintain, Tri-City residents are looking to boost their supply of personal protective equipment.
Sure, masks can be purchased at local drug stores to wear at hair salons, the office or SkyTrain. But there are some sew and no-sew ways to take a piece of fabric and fold it for a nose and mouth covering that are cheap and easy to use.
The federal government has provided some guidance with an online diagram of instructions and TransLink this week Tweeted a video of an easy mask to make using elastics for ear pieces.
These initiatives come as British Columbians move into Phase 3 with more opportunities to travel while social distancing.
But opening up the province hasn’t come with some challenges.
While COVID-19 cases in B.C. are still relatively low compared to some provinces, there have been cases showing up in offices, as well as nursing homes, food processing plants and among agricultural workers.
The importance of masks is being highlighted by Canada’s chief public health officer as a way to prevent people who have COVID-19 — but are asymptomatic — from spreading the virus.
Early during the pandemic, the acquisition of personal protect equipment was an issue with local groups helping out by donating medical masks to local hospitals.
But as COVID-19 continues to circulate with no treatment or available vaccine, wearing masks will continue to be promoted as a way to keep us safe.
TransLink, for example, launched a ‘Wearing is Caring’ campaign, and distributed more than 15,000 TransLink branded masks at key transit hubs.
Other companies, such as Glacier Media, the Tri-City News’ parent company, are taking mask-wearing seriously and are producing logo-emblazoned masks for employees.
And, with no and low-cost options, mask wearing may become less onerous and more common in the coming weeks and days.