Possible upcoming good news! I'm really glad to see everyone coming together on this one.
Some sources are saying China has ramped up to producing 110 or even 200 million masks per day. They already seem to be available from the usual sources.
Pretty soon, there's probably going to be a large supply of imported masks, and depending on how the lab tests go, even the counterfeit ones may be way better than nothing.
A few newer articles starting to say that masks are in fact somewhat effective, just nowhere near as important as protecting the supply for doctors, and of course nowhere near as good physical distancing.
So there's probably going to be some "I've got a mask on, it's fine to go out", types running around, and you're probably going to be best off ignoring them, since we need as many layers of defense as we can get, and a cheap mask with no training won't guarantee anything.
But depending on how effectively they ramp up production and what the quality of these new masks are, it's quite possible that they're going to start suggesting more people wear them when they absolutely can't avoid going out.
There is probably going to be some really specific guidance you're going to need to follow for them to do you any good, and some people are still going to go around saying they're useless, even when official suggestions change.
A lot of people might not follow the guidance on proper use, so it's probably going to be fairly helpful if you watch out and make sure your friends are, if they choose to use them.
But for now, watch the real scientific sources, and seriously don't hoard things. This is not a "back to the stone age" prepper thing.
You'll be able to buy things later, because production is increasing, which is pretty much the opposite of the usual "Prepper" apocalypse people think they need to hoard for.
Thank you Ethel Decker for letting me know about some of the newer research and advice on this, and to Robin Debates for informing be that "Physical Distancing" is a more accurate and less depressing description than "social distancing".