Earlier people were told that ordinary facemasks were only effective at preventing those who were infected from spreading it, but did not do anything for those who were not already infected from getting infected. For that one needed the more sophisticated N95 masks. We were also told that we should reserve the existing supply of facemasks for those in the medical profession and other essential service personnel. That sounded reasonable and so I did not try to get any masks for myself
That advice seems to be changing. Now all people in certain areas are being urged to wear facemasks when they go outside. But how does one get hold of one now? I have not been inside a pharmacy or any other store for a month. Do they now have masks on the shelves?
For those who want one and can’t get one, there are various do-it-yourself options. This one (via Carla Sinclair) seems pretty straightforward to make though I have not tried it. I will do so if it becomes absolutely necessary.