By Matthew Simmonds
Homemade face masks, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 may not be making people safer, according to a public health expert.
Face mask crafting was adopted as a new hobby by some Australian retirees, aiding in the fight against the coronavirus.
The heightened demand for protection was quickly filled by the crafting wizards, who put their skills to use from the comfort of their home.
Finella Loch, crafter and retiree, said she was unable to help with the bushfire disaster last summer, but saw an opportunity to give back when homemade face masks became a well sought after product.
Ms Loch included multiple features to her mask, such as adjustable ear loops and a changeable filter, to ensure customers were both protected and comfortable with what they were wearing.
She said users should be proud to wear their mask out in the community.
But crafting masks at home is cause for concern for some health experts.
Dr Holly Seale, a senior lecturer in public health and community medicine at the University of New South Wales, said crafters must follow the government instructions to accurately cover and protect particular areas of the face.
Dr Seale said face mask users must correctly wear the covering to maximise potential protection, but had noticed some members of the community failing to do so by wearing them under their nose.
She said this practice, “defeats the purpose”.
As Australia’s crafting wizards continue to fulfil face mask orders, Ms Loch said she looks forward to the next crafting project to keep her busy.