Since we're all heading back indoors for the winter...
I say it like it was a lifetime ago, but I remember at the very beginning of the pandemic, my wife started making tons of masks for us. If for no other reason that there was literally nothing else to do during lockdown. We drank beer, watched the news, and made masks. That was about it for weeks.
Then of course, we got the magic news at the beginning of summer that we could pretty much burn our masks like war protesters burned their bras in the 60's. And then the delta variant reared its ugly head. Now we're about to head into winter, and the variant, which is a bazillion times more contagious, is picking up steam.
The masks we made last year, aren't really going to cut it this time.
Since the variant is so much more contagious than the original virus, the CDC and other health officials are asking people to re-think their mask situation. According to WMTW, those folks are no recommending surgical grade, N95, or KN95 masks as a better source of protection. They may offer double the protection of a homemade mask.
Of course, at the beginning, these styles were super hard to come by. It's gotten much better, although not perfect. And there are companies out there that make suitable cloth masks, but they're probably not super cheap. But what you want is something that encloses your whole face, as much as possible.
New masks are probably going to run you a few bucks.
This article has some great options for purchasing the right ones, and also lays out some good guidelines. And this mask meets the CDC standards, but again, not necessarily cheap. But hey... it's your health and the health of those around you. It's up to you to decide what costs too much.
Or, just get the good old fashioned N95 or KN95 masks. A quick search on Amazon shows them in packs of 50 for anywhere between $15 - $40. Again, they're not super cheap, but who can put a price on ease of mind? But yeah... it may be time for last years homemade masks to find their way into the trash.