Every hospital I know of has a serious shortage of masks, not just N95 masks, but even just OR masks. The CDC just recommended a bandana if you don't have a mask.
I was wondering if people can make facemasks which are better at filtering air than OR masks.
My kids (health care providers) are not being given N95 masks unless there is a dire need (e.g. to intubate patients). Even OR mask usage is being unreasonably restricted.
I do some sewing, and I was wondering what I can use to make launderable facemasks. I was thinking of a fabric sandwich, better face fitting than OR masks, in which some filter could be inserted into a clean envelope. The metal nose "mold" could be removed, cleaned, and reinserted into a slot for that purpose.
The problem is the filter.
Would a high MERV home VAC filter be better than an OR mask? The filter could be taken apart and the fabric cut to size to slip into the fabric sandwich.
I did read that in the Pacific Northwest, a hospital asked for community volunteers to sew facemasks but the products they provided were medical grade material that is not available commercially.
I was going to use cotton for the envelope, but would that retain too much moisture? I also have a polyester/spandex knit (used in leggings, athletic sportswear, etc.) in abundance.