Alyssa Milano’s attempt to get people to share pictures of their homemade masks may not have gone as well as she envisioned.
The actress took to Twitter on Saturday to share a picture of her family all wearing different styles of face mask, asking her followers to share pictures of their own. But many quickly latched on to the fact that the mask Milano wore appeared to have been crocheted, leaving it with large holes that would theoretically leave it useless to slow the spread of the coronavirus as it would not stop infected respiratory droplets from either coming in or out. Milano’s husband and children all had more conventional cloth and medical masks.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 23, 2020
Many took to Twitter to mock Milano for what they believed to be a poorly made mask. A report from TMZ noted that the mask appeared to be “about as penetrable as a fishnet.”
As TMZ noted, many people took up Milano’s “challenge” as a way to further mock her.
“One lady showed off a feather mask, which only covered the upper part of her face… and said they’re one in the same,” the report noted.
“Tons of other people had examples of non-protective masks of their own… snorkeling goggles, pantyhose, mesh beekeeping veils… and on and on.”
Yes listen to Alyssa Milano. Wear a crocheted mask with holes in it. Its safe and stuff. pic.twitter.com/Mv0j69pV0h
— Carmine Sabia (@CarmineSabia) May 23, 2020
Much of the criticism took a political bend, as Milano has been one of the most vocal supporters of presumptive Democratic candidate Joe Biden and frequently taken aim at President Donald Trump — who is famously averse to wearing a facial covering in public. The president wore a mask for the first time this week during a visit to a Ford plant in Michigan, but took it off shortly afterward.
But the mocking responses prompted Milano to speak up and clarify what some people online had speculated — the personally crafted face mask was safer than it appeared.
“A**holes, mask has a carbon filter in it. So, yes, it might be crochet but totally safe,” she wrote.
Others pointed out that they made similar masks, crocheting it themselves and including a pouch for a filter to be included.
— Stephanie Wilson (@Mrs_Kity) May 23, 2020
Public health experts have endorsed the idea of using filters to boost the effectiveness of homemade masks. As Healthline noted, there are a few different options for people looking to increase the effectiveness of cloth masks.
“The CDC suggests using a coffee filter, which is readily available in many homes,” the report noted.
“You may also consider using part of a HEPA vacuum bag or air conditioning filter (look for products without fiberglass).”