How to protect yourself and others #3

The WHY and DIY of face masks

WHY Face Masks (incl. cleaning instructions)?

Starting April 27, Masks are Officially Mandatory in Bavarian Shops & Public Transport. Here’s What You Need to Know


: Homemade face and nose masks are no sure protection against the Corona virus!

However, they can be part of the so-called “Smart Distancing” protective measures now recommended by the two leading German virologists (Kekule and Drosten). It is important that we all prepare ourselves for when the nationwide lockdown is eased and, in the meantime, protect ourselves and each other as much as we can, especially in situations where it is difficult to keep the recommended safety distance of 1.5 to 2 metres (e.g. on public transport, in shops etc.).

Face masks can help you to protect those most at risk (especially senior citizens and people with pre-existing medical conditions) and yourself in some measure, but only if they are worn properly and washed regularly (once a day in the washing machine at 60 °C or boiled in hot water for 5 minutes). When you wear a face mask, you are less likely to touch your face or eyes thereby reducing to a degree the risk of infection. However, you must take care that you put on the mask correctly and that you handle it correctly. Never touch the front of the mask, and only take it off at the ear pieces.

Another less known rule of conduct, which seems to have helped in Asian countries, is to open doors, windows etc. with your less dominant hand (i.e. with your left hand if you are right-handed, with your right hand if you are left-handed) because we normally touch our face, eyes etc. with our dominant hand.

Of course, the official Govermennt rules for Social Distancing will apply until further notice (see English documents at
A simplified set of rules by the German government, translated into English can be found here on our website.

The general rules of hygiene apply both during this lockdown and will continue to do so after the lockdown. See here on our website.

DIY Face Masks

Here are a couple of helpful links for making face masks, either for yourself or others. But remember, DIY face masks are only helpful if you handle them with appropriate the care as explained above!

Photos and clear video (German) instructions on how to make two different types of mask:

Contains a table with links to many free mask templates - many in English! - about three-quarters of the way down the page.

The following English website shows how to alter this to make a pouch for inserting tissue/kitchen roll:

This Hong Kong website has a table showing how well paper tissues/kitchen roll can help filter nasty particles. The HK Mask was designed by Dr. K. Kwong during the Corona outbreak in early 2020. These videos are not commented on the German page, so are easy to follow. The Hong Kong website has English subtitles and descriptions in English.