In March, when the hospital where Sabrina Paseman's brother-in-law works was running low on personal protective equipment, she knew she had to help. After the first few days, she knew she needed to find another option. The former Apple engineer began researching why N95 masks were the "gold standard" and began creating prototypes, putting braces around regular masks to form a tighter seal around the face. What she found was that N95 respirators have two qualities that make them more effective in virus protection compared with other masks: Their tight fit helps them form a better seal, and they include a filter made from melt-blown fabric. N95-quality masks have to have both. But as demand for the material has grown during the pandemic, manufactures have run into shortages, slowing their ability to supply the demand for the masks. Paseman is now working on her third iteration, and she makes her instructions available online for anyone who wants to make the masks.

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