The mask making cottage industry is in earnest!  Those of you who can sew are doing so and those who can't can certainly buy them.  They are another layer of protection besides physical distancing and frequent washing of hands to control the Covid pandemic. 

The easing of restrictions in many places has allowed us to venture forth to some places but with recommended safety precautions.  I was in the lineup this local shop which sells craft and household supplies.  Only a limited number of people are allowed in at any one time and all had to be masked.  If you didn't have one, the shop sold you one!

I noticed that the majority of people were wearing handmade masks and ear loops dominated.  That's because they are easier to put on as there is no tying involved. 

Note that wearing some sort of  ear savers or ear guards also help masks fit better if the ear loops are too big. 

I've written about polymer clay ear savers before (see links below). Others have been making yarn button ear savers like this crochet one on Ravelry. This ingenious crochet one even allows for a ponytail!!  Fabric or thick ribbon ones like this tutorial will also work.  

HomemadeGinger shared 5 different hacks for making your masks fit better including one which involves sewing buttons to a fabric headband. 

However, one ear saver hack I spotted in a couple of places including TikTok (see clip below), uses just buttons and mini elastic bands.  I thought it was a neat idea for those who wear glasses.  As you can see from the photo above, I did try it out.  

@da_real_bia_kris The best ear savers EVER!! ##healtcareworkers ##coronavirus ##fyp ##momsoftiktok ##maskhack ##over30club ##xyzbca ##earsavers ##glasses
♬ bad guy (In the Style of Billie Eilish) [Karaoke Version] - Instrumental King
Where would you get mini elastic bands? One very inexpensive source are those which are used for the Rainbow Loom. You can just buy the elastic bands separately.

Rather than use a paper clip hack as in the TikTok video.  I just used a 1.5 mm crochet hook to do the same job with a 1 inch 4-hole button. The 4 holes allow for 2 elastic bands which stabilizes the button on the eye glasses. 

Hang on to the end of the elastic band while you hook up the other end through the second button hole.

Can't or won't get Rainbow Loom elastic bands?  Delve into your jewelry making supplies for 1 mm beading elastic. Cut 2 short lengths tie the button to the eye glass.  Use a surgeon's knot. Trim the elastic ends. Not quite as tidy as the elastic band method but it won't be as obvious with clear  beading elastic. 

Smaller buttons like this half inch one will not work as there isn't much for the ear loop to catch. 

How did I find this hack?  It works but it depends on the ear loop length.  

I fitted the elastic on my face mask for a tight but still comfortable fit. When I moved the elastic to the buttons on my glasses, the mask felt loose even after I moved the buttons as far back as I could.  I think this will work better for too tight ear loops with some room for adjustability by moving the buttons forward or backwards. 

The hack will not work for glasses with thin temples - the term used for the "arms" of the glasses.  Too skinny to hold the rubber bands.

I actually only need glasses for close work - the joys of getting older. So I added jump rings and a chain for an easy holder for glasses!

I have been making masks for others. Sizing the ear loops fit different people is a problem.  So I prefer to make adjustable ear loops with the help of another staple of jewelry making supplies - beads!!  This method also allows you to use non- elastic materials.  As you know, elastic is very hard to come by these days due to high demand. This method still works if you use thin strips DIY t-shirt yarn or ready to use t-shirt yarn like zpagetti which are great elastic alternatives. 

I used 1/4 inch soft webbing tape with large hole beads. The beads stay on the tape unless it is physically moved. Once the person puts on the mask, he or she can pull on the tape ends to tighten. I do shorten the tape ends so they do not dangle too much and knot each at the end so that the person doesn't accidentally pull off the bead. 

You can also use smaller beads as I did with this 1 mm waxed cotton cord and brass beads.  

Despite that great shop example I gave above, they were exceptional.  It's disheartening to see and to read in the news tons of people now out and about in close quarters and without masks. That would not bode well for future lockdowns or the probable second wave of cases to come in the fall/winter months which will coincide with the seasonal flu epidemic. Also consider  - the frontline staff are already exhausted dealing with current cases - what will they be like come the fall?

Dr Bonnie Henry, the chief medical officer for British Columbia and infectious disease expert said recently in a CBC interview, "The optimist in me would like to think that maybe it will go away, and the virus will mutate and won't become worse. But you know what? We've never had a pandemic in recorded history that has not had a second wave."

 The 1918 flu pandemic saw three waves. The first was in March 1918 which affected mostly army personnel returning home to the US and Canada and were in camps. Cases subsided over the summer.  The second wave that fall was the most deadly. Followed by a third wave in 1919. 

A number of countries saw cases spike after effective control. Even the ones with hot tropical climates like Singapore and Malaysia.  Both went back into lockdown after such spikes.   This short and to the point Malaysian food shop notice was shared on Facebook (unknown source) :

Translation :  Please wear face masks. If not later... (the rest needs no translation).

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM