Anyone else’s laundry look like this these days?

According to page 3 of today’s update from the Ministry of Health, wearing face masks in public is now strongly recommended here in Senegal. Considering the movement of things, I would not be surprised if it became mandatory soon. In any case, there’s no time like the present to get yourself stocked in reusable, washable face masks!

But it’s not just slapping on a colorful mask and prancing out the door. Take the time to read up on proper protocols for how to wear your mask safely and what exactly it does and doesn’t do for you. There are many excellent resources available online in many languages, and it is up to each of us to do our own research and get informed. That said, here are some starting points I would recommend:

NPR: Is A Homemade Mask Effective? And What’s The Best Way To Wear One?

NYT: A User’s Guide to Face Masks

CDC: Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19

CDC: Recommendation Regarding the Use of Cloth Face Coverings

Did your research and feeling informed? Great! Next step… Locally made masks for the whole family are available from A Vos Masques (wax print with a cotton linen liner, form-fitting and secured with adjustable elastic), Dakar Masks (many prints with a felt-like liner, form-fitting and secured with elastic), Apiafrique (wax print with cotton liner, flat mask secured with elastic), LuëlysMINITECTURE, Khady Couture (wax or other prints with cotton liner, flat mask secured with elastic), Petits Coquins Wax Kids and many others. Prices range from 500 to 2500 CFA each, and many offer delivery within Dakar. Plan on three masks per day per person.

There are many tutorials online for making your own as well, like this one from Kaiser Permanente (and a video here) or this one from Johns Hopkins Medicine. Another popular model circulated by the CHU in Valence has been shared (en français, obvs) by both ApiAfrique and Dakar Masks.

For information in Wolof, check out Dakar Masks and ApiAfrique on Facebook.