Now that's using your skullcap: Jews turn to yarmulkes for face masks

As Americans grapple with trying to cover their faces to ward off coronavirus germs, Jews are turning to their ancient head coverings for help.

Tweets and YouTube video tutorials abound, with how to turn a yarmulke, also called a skullcap in English or a kippah in Hebrew, into something that can protect your mouth and nose when you're out.

Yarmulke is the Yiddish word for head covering, which Jewish men are supposed to wear to show respect for the faith and the fact that God is always above. 

The tutorials come as health officials on Thursday began formally urging residents to wear face coverings when grocery shopping in another effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

In one video, a man shows how to staple rubber bands to the small cloth cap, which can attach around the ears. 

In another, a woman shows the variety of different fabrics people can use, urging people to avoid shiny or velvet surfaces. 

On Twitter, Jewish Currents showed a picture of a zayde, which is grandfather in Yiddish, with a purple kippah around his face.

For one, Ben Gruenstein thought it was a good idea. 

"That's using your skullcap," he wrote. 

Lisa Fernandez is a reporter for KTVU. Email Lisa at or call her at 510-874-0139. Or follow her on Twitter @ljfernandez