Rally Masks 2020 is an effort to provide a protective layer from contamination in the air for people as a fashion accessory in the form of a cotton mask with decorative prints. These are not a medical device and for collectible and advertising purposes.
Originally we were simply trying to buy mask for our customers at Bernie Sanders events and rallies, but none were available. The few mask I found were made of a couple of layers of cotton. As I analyzed the make-up of the mask and it's ability to provide a layer of protection from the coronavirus COVID-19, I realized it would not meet the standards of a medical device, but definitely added some comfort to the wearer and provided a vehicle for humor, to promote a political candidate or advertise a sports team with prints and logos.The idea here is to make a reusable surgical style mask that can be washed, sanitized and re-used. I learned that putting a layer of paper towel between the mask and your face would add another barrier from outside contaminants. These are not protection from the Coronavirus or COVID-19, but a Bernie Sanders campaign collectible for 2020. They may help protect from a cold, but are not being sold as protection from COVID-19.
We have since developed a pocket type mask, that is made of cotton, and it allows for an additional paper towel to be placed between the cotton, to add to the filtration process. None of this is full-proof, but being able to switch out the inside layers between use could help block contaminants from the porous knit cotton material. We are currently using Viva paper towels. But ideally a towel that is non-woven may provide the best separation of materials, while allowing for a breathable interface.
Lastly, the cotton material also provides a surface that can easily be printed on for slogans and logos. Every sports team or event in the future will most likely have to distribute some form of mask at public events to alleviate the spread of coronavirus and make the atmosphere feel safe. The isn't stoppable from the use of mask, but if someone has a cold it can prohibit the infection from being released into a broader community population.
The question remains if local production can make a satisfactory mask that can have some benefits and provide a stream of revenue to support production of these mask by printing logos and decorating the surgical mask? I was able to manufacture simple mask with a filter patch using a single needle machine, t-shirt cotton and screen printing logos onto the material. Like a t-shirt these would be washable and depending on the handling they can be sanitary for reuse. These types of mask made of cotton layers are also more comfortable to wear in that they feel like a t-shirt. It would take additional testing to confirm if these types of mask would be useful for the current coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak, but since very few mask are available at all, these are a low-level substitute for the real mask referred to as N95, but would not provide the same level of protection without modifications and serious analysis of the materials that are used.