NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — New Yorkers are getting creative after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended Americans start wearing non-medical cloth face coverings while out in public to protect themselves against the coronavirus.
The recommendation, which the president stressed is voluntary, comes after new studies show asymptomatic people have played a more significant role in the spread of the virus than previously understood.
President Donald Trump said Friday Americans can wear a basic cloth or fabric mask that can either be purchased online or made at home. The face coverings can be easily washed for resuse.
A day before the CDC's announcement, Mayor Bill de Blasio made the same recommendation, urging all New York City residents to wear a scarf, bandanna or article of clothing over their nose and mouth when leaving the house.
“You can create your own version, you can be creative and put whatever you want on it, it can be as homemade as you want, but that’s what we want you to do – something homemade. Not something professional. Not something from the supplies we need for our heroes,” de Blasio said at his daily briefing Thursday.
Brendan Cross of Poughkeepsie came up with a simple and quick solution using a common article of clothing most people should be able to find in their closets.
He says all you have to do is take a short sleeve T-shirt, cut off the sleeves slightly past the shoulder and then slip the now detached sleeve over your head to use as a mask.
"I noticed I had a lot of T-shirts lying around so I cut one of the sleeves off a T-shirt, slid it over my head and covered my nose with it and stayed up," Cross told WCBS 880's Michael Wallace. "You can probably wash them in your washer dryer and have them for the next day if you need them."
The best part is, one T-shirt can yield two masks.
"It's something that can be used if you're desperate," he tells WCBS 880.
New York Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said it's not clear whether face masks from different materials are effective, but Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it's fair to say that it might help, but he doesn't want New Yorkers to "get a false sense of security" and forgo social distancing, which officials say is still the best way to mitigate the spread of the disease.