Utahns embrace DIY culture in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Coronavirus Updates

Utah (ABC4 News) — With the COVID-19 pandemic closing everything from shopping malls to hair and nail salons and a scarcity of things like face masks and hand sanitizer, people are needing to get creative.

A DIY or Do-it-yourself culture is beginning to emerge as quickly as the virus itself. Here are some top DIY projects that have trended on Google over the past two months in Utah:

DIY Face Masks

Courtesy: Stephanie Riches

This should come as no surprise. Face masks were one of the very first items to be drained from store shelves and even Amazon when coronavirus hit. KN95 masks ranked at number 7 with sales up by 919 percent for Amazon’s top seller during quarantine.

Some common google searches about face masks include: “diy N95 mask,” “diy face mask with filter,” and “diy face mask pattern.”

Stephanie Riches, a Salt Lake City resident, had already made cloth masks for her family and friends when her church leaders asked if she wanted to help make face masks for Project Protect.

Riches said she was quick to volunteer since she already had her sewing machine out and had the time, resources, and desire to find ways to help the community.

As the youngest in a family of nine children, Riches said her family has always looked for ways to save resources and finances, which included making things at home by hand. When the coronavirus pandemic hit, she said she already had skills that could come in handy at home.

“With the coronavirus and being pregnant, I haven’t been wanting to go out as much, so I’ve been finding even more things that I can do and make at home,” Riches said. “I started making my own yogurt because my toddler loves yogurt, so that was one less thing that I needed from the store.”

Riches said it’s important to have DIY skills, especially during the coronavirus pandemic due to either the impulse to stay inside, restrictions, and even the financial aspect of trying to save resources since many people are out of work.

“It’s comforting knowing that I have the skills and resources to help protect my family and to help contribute to the community as well,” she said. “I think a lot of people- they either have the skills or are realizing they need the skills to be more self-reliant. That’s why I started making yogurt. If ever I do need to use it, I know how.”

Click here or see below for instructions on how to make a simple cloth mask at home.

DIY Hand Sanitizer

This one is also a no-brainer. Just like face masks, hand sanitizer was quick to disappear from store shelves when the virus hit the United States.

Here are two versions of DIY hand sanitizer– one gel and one spray- that you can make at home.

DIY Disinfectant Spray

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an entire page under COVID-19 that explains how to effectively clean and disinfect your home to prevent the spread of the virus. The CDC recommends using an EPA-registered household disinfectant, but also includes the recipe for an effective DIY bleach solution.

DIY Garden Box

This DIY project peaked in Utah in early and mid- April with the beginning of warmer weather. Though it doesn’t necessarily have to do with coronavirus, it could indicate that people were turning to the outdoors to recreate due to either being furloughed or working from home.

People across the nation seemed to be searching for similar DIY topics, with many searches involving different types of face masks.

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