Coronavirus mask shortages leave people with makeshift solutions

Edelmira Martinez prepares fabric for cutting into pieces for face masks at the Tom Bihn factory in Seattle, Wash. on March 26, 2020. Tom Bihn is a travel bag company that shifted production to face masks because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

A couple covers their faces with improvised masks to protect themselves from coronavirus as they walk in Washington, DC, March 26, 2020.

Romy Humphries wears a face mask and face shield at SugarHouse Industries, March 26, 2020, in Midvale, Utah. SugarHouse Industries, a Utah company that usually manufactures boat tops and covers, has reconfigured its operation amid the spread of the coronavirus to produce face shields and masks.

A pile of masks is seen as a worker continues to make masks at Laundry Bags Unlimited in Paterson, NJ on March 25, 2020. Until a week ago, Laundry Bags Unlimited was manufacturing backpacks and cosmetic supply cases. Now it's churning out 100,000 protective masks a week, with plans to double that capacity by next week.

Italian engineer Mario Milanesio poses with a Decathlon snorkeling mask, with 3D-printed respiratory valve fittings he designed, on March 26, 2020 at his home in Savigliano, Piedmont, during the country's lockdown aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, caused by the novel coronavirus. Engineer and professor at a technical institute in Fossano, Mario Milanesio developed a different version of fittings for valves of Decathlon's snorkeling mask, created by Brescia-based Italian startup Isinnova. Milanesio's version is being created after a web marathon with a large online group of 3D-printing passionates in the Piedmont region over the past days.

While other employees work on wedding gowns, Seamstress Adita Rodriguez, right, sews a surgical mask at Sareh Nouri's atelier in Rutherford, N.J., March 25, 2020. The couture wedding dress designer is continuing to make some high-end bridal gowns and many of the seamstresses are being put to work sewing surgical masks. They are hoping to produce approximately 300 masks a day and give them to the more than 20 hospitals that have asked for them.

This image provided by Fanatics, shows a model wearing a protective mask and gown for medical professionals made from the fabric of a baseball uniform. Fanatics, the company that manufactures uniforms for Major League Baseball in Pennsylvania, has suspended production on jerseys and is instead using the polyester mesh fabric to make masks and gowns that help fill the dearth of protective wear at hospitals in Pennsylvania and nearby states.

Palestinian tailors make protective face masks with the patterns of the Kaffiyeh, the chequered scarf that is worn by Palestinians to symbolize struggle, at a workshop in the refugee camp of Burj al-Barajneh, south of the Lebanese capital Beirut on March 27, 2020, during the novel coronavirus crisis. The masks are to be destributed for free to the Palestinian refugees in the camps of Lebanon.

Academics at the School of Engineering and the Faculty of Architecture of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul talk while making protective masks using 3D printing technology on March 26, 2020, in Porto Alegre. The equipment will be donated to health professionals in the state of Rio Grande do Sul fighting the coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic. By the end of the week, more than 200 masks will be delivered to hospitals. According to the Ministry of health, Brazil has 2433 confirmed cases infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and at least 57 recorded deaths.

A worker wears a protective face mask as she makes scrubs for front-line National Health Service (NHS) staff in O'Neills sportswear factory in Strabane in Northern Ireland on March 26, 2020. The company, which had laid off its workforce due to the Coronavirus outbreak, has now brought staff back to make hospital scrubs for health workers in Northern Ireland.

In this March 23, 2020, photo provided by Bauer Hockey Corp., an employee models a medical face shield the hockey equipment manufacturer has begun creating to help those treating the coronavirus pandemic, at Bauer Hockey Corp. in Blainville, Quebec.

A man holds a respirator made with 3D technology and aimed for use in the combat against the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus at the Skoda Auto company in Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic on March 26, 2020. Czech carmaker Skoda Auto switches to printing respirators amid the virus spread. Shuttered over the coronavirus infection, the unit of Germany's Volkswagen produces 60 sophisticated face masks a day. Its prototype and model department is using a design by the Czech Technical University. The certified FFP3-class face masks are made of polyamide powder and some silicone and can be reused after disinfection. The components printed at Skoda are equipped with a filter at a Prague company. They are primarily designed for doctors and nurses.

A man wears a handmade face mask during the Movement Control Order, limiting the activities of people in Malaysia as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Kuala Lumpur on March 25, 2020.

Fashion designer Isabelle Herzogenrath poses with her self-made masks in her studio in Dormagen, Germany, on March 25, 2020. Herzogenrath produces clothing for for handicapped people, but as the Covid-19 coronavirus spreads around the world, she and her three employees now mainly produce masks for both children and adults.

In this Monday, March 23, 2020, photo, a seamstress of the mattress and foam manufacturer Wegerich, sews masks due to the coronavirus in the production of the company, in Wurzburg, Germany. The company produces mattresses for mobile homes and care beds. As packaging she uses a special fleece, which lies around the company in rolls and of which surgical masks are also made. Together with a nursing service, Wegerich has developed a protective mask based on this model.

Stephanie Cave tries on a finished mask at Stitch House in Dorchester, Mass. on March 22, 2020. With a huge shortage of mask at local hospitals for nurses and doctors, many hospitals have put out calls for donations, Stitch House and their volunteers hope to make close to 1000 mask to donate. Across the globe an estimated 900 million people are confined to their homes, according to an AFP tally. The majority are hemmed in by obligatory government lockdown orders while others are under curfew, in quarantine or following advice not to leave their homes. In the US more than a third of the population are adjusting to life in various phases of lockdown.

Bill Purdue, left, cuts pieces of fabric while Mike Rice sews them into face masks in Rice's autobody and upholstery shop in Washington, Ind. on March 22, 2020. They will deliver the masks this week to Deaconess Health System in Evansville, Ind., which asked community members to sew cloth masks for health care workers who may face a shortage amid the coronavirus pandemic. They're among legions of everyday Americans making face masks for desperate hospitals, nursing homes and homeless shelters that could run out of personal protective equipment.

Briana Danyele sews cloth face masks that say "We Got This!" in her mother's living room in Greer, S.C., on March 22, 2020. The masks will be sent to health care workers. Legions of everyday Americans are sewing masks for desperate hospitals, nursing homes and homeless shelters amid the expanding coronavirus pandemic.

A vendor carries facemasks for sale on a deserted street during a lockdown amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Lahore's old city on March 23, 2020.

A woman with her face covered with a makeshift face mask gestures at the colonial area of Santo Domingo on March 22, 2020. The Dominican Republic has so far reported 202 infected people and three deaths due to the new coronavirus.

A man wears a makeshift face mask made from a plastic bottle against the spread of the new coronavirus as he walks along an avenue in downtown in Tegucigalpa, on March 22, 2020. Authorities have confirmed 24 cases of COVID-19 in the country so far.

A Nepalese man covers his face with a handkerchief at Tribhuvan International airpot in Kathmandu, Nepal, March 23, 2020. Nepalese government has suspended landing permission to all scheduled international airlines carrying Nepal inbound passengers as a precaution against COVID-19. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some it can cause more severe illness. (AP Photo/Niranjan Shrestha) ORG XMIT: XNS102

A woman is seen wearing a mask embellished with petals in the central Iraqi holy city of Najaf on March 21, 2020 amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Buddhist monk Chamnanwej Sutthiyano inscribes spiritual incantations on masks made from recycled plastic bottles, amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, at Wat Chak Daeng Buddhist temple in Samut Prakan on March 23, 2020.

A man wears a protective suit and a gas mask as he walks along a street in central Moscow on March 21, 2020 as Moscow city officials have limited public gatherings of more than 50 people and schools across the country will close for three weeks from March 23 in an effort to stop the spread of the COVID-19 infection caused by the novel coronavirus.

Tony Sanchez, wearing disposable gloves and a homemade mask made from a cut up t-shirt to help fight the coronavirus outbreak, cleans and sanitizes a can of olive oil at A. Litteri Italian Specialty Delicatessen at Union Market in Washington, DC, March, 17, 2020.

Making use of fabric and elastic cord on hand, Henderson resident Tiffany Willett is making face masks in her home shop she normally uses to make dog collars, March 19, 2020.

A worker of the state-owned Concepcion Palacios Maternity Hospital manufactures face masks in Caracas, Venezuela, March 17, 2020. Workers of the city's main maternity are preparing makeshift masks with disposable blue sheets to distribute to medical staff and other workers of the health center for protection of an eventual spread of the COVID-19 illness.

Jo Bershenyi sews together a mask near the end of the assembly line in the new 'sewing room' at at Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, Colo. on March 19, 2020.

A passenger wears a face mask and plastic food bags on her face as a precautionary measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus after landing at Hong Kong's international airport on March 19, 2020.

An employee of the National Theater sews a face mask in a costume workshop in Prague, Czech Republic, March 19, 2020. The Czech Republic has made it mandatory that all people must cover their mouths and noses in public to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus called COVID-19. Improvised methods such as a scarf or homemade mask are allowed.

Volunteers make face masks at a district office in Seoul on March 20, 2020. The volunteers make some 2,000 face masks per day as part of an initiative by the Nowon district office to address the shortage of face masks amid concerns over the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, and are handed out to people in need. the masks feature a range of designs and accept replaceable filters.

A student, wearing a homemade protective mask as a precaution against the spread of the new coronavirus, lines up for class in Havana, Cuba, Friday, March 13, 2020.

Women sew face masks at the workshop of a garment distribution point at the University hospital in Essen on March 18, 2020, Germany.

Hand made face masks are seen on a table at the workshop of a garment distribution point at the University hospital in Essen on March 18, 2020, Germany.

A street vendor, Abderrahim, 55, poses for a portrait while wearing a makeshift face mask made of fig leaves, in the Medina of Rabat, Morocco, March 18, 2020.

Local residents prepare facemasks with cotton cloth and surgical wrap materials to distribute among the underprivileged people amid concerns over the spread of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus, in Kolkata, India on March 20, 2020.

A boda-boda, or motorcycle taxi driver wears a makeshift mask made from a local fabric known as Kitenge as he looks for customers in the Kibera neighbourhood of Nairobi, Kenya, March 20, 2020.

An employee wearing a face mask sews surgical masks at a leather workshop turned into a mask factory, close to Vigevano, Lombardy, on March 19, 2020 during the country's lockdown within the new coronavirus pandemic. A crafts company specialized in the production of leather goods and accessories for the automotive and clothing sector, has now turned its activity to the production of surgical masks on behalf of a company from the nearby town of Galliate, in the wake of the needs following the coronavirus pandemic.

A woman wears a homemade protective mask as part of precautionary measure against the spread of the new coronavirus, at the Clinic University Hospital, in Caracas, Venezuela, March 14, 2020.

A man counts bills wearing a makeshift face mask as a precautionary measure against the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in Caracas, on March 17, 2020.

A Muslim man wearing a makeshift mask as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus leaves after performing the Friday prayer at the 23rd Street Mosque in the predominantly Muslim neighbourhood of Mayfair, Johannesburg, on March 20, 2020.

An Ethiopian soldier providing security during a visit by the president to a women's 5 km fun run wears his chinstrap as a makeshift face mask to protect against the new coronavirus, in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 15, 2020.

Passengers wear face masks and makeshift plastic visors as a precautionary measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus as they speak to the media after arriving at Hong Kong's international airport on March 19, 2020.

Two men wear a makeshift mask with an article of clothing to be able to travel in the Caracas metro on the 1st day of the closure of the city during the Quarantine in the capital city due to the arrival of the COVID-19 virus decreed by Nicolas Maduro in the national network on March 16, 2020 in Caracas, Venezuela.

An employee displays surgical masks at a leather workshop turned into a mask factory, close to Vigevano, Lombardy, on March 19, 2020 during the country's lockdown within the new coronavirus pandemic.


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