In these darkened times during this Coronavirus pandemic, many are sitting back feeling helpless – DON’T. All across America, people are starting to fight back against COVID-19 in a very special and interesting way.
The CDC now recommends wearing a face mask in some cases. Some areas are reporting that face masks are in short supply. A more ugly side is that some have stolen face masks or even piracy of face mask orders. But many groups across America are mobilizing in groups and sewing guilds to step up to the task of filling the void of face mask short supplies.
Yes, it is possible to become self-reliant and make your own DIY face mask. U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams makes a simple face mask out of a T-shirt. The government now suggests Americans wear face masks while out in public to slow the spread of Coronavirus. See here a video from Surgeon General Jerome Adams:
All across America, local people are setting up groups to make face masks in the battle against COVID-19. Check out this small sampling of groups doing this:
Kansas – Kendra McBroom stocked up on fabric supplies in the past, the president of the Prairie Quilt Guild of Kansas would joke that she was saving for retirement. For the past couple of weeks, she’s been spending some of her retirement stashes on making fabric face masks. She’s made at least 175 face masks to give to family, friends, neighbors and other places that are asking for the masks, she said in a phone interview earlier this week after dropping off 90 masks to fulfill a request from Heartspring, a local facility that provides services to children with special needs.
California – Fabric is in high demand now that health officials are urging the public to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With masks in short supply, more and more people are learning to sew them at home. Some Bay Area fabric shops, like Piedmont Fabric, are rising to the occasion. “I use very soft cotton because it’s going to be on your face all day,” said Lan Nguyen, the owner of Piedmont Fabric. She showed off two basic patterns she uses to make face masks.
In Concord, the Joann Fabric Superstore is giving out free face mask kits. The kits include fabric, elastic, and step-by-step instructions. “This is a great gift and blessing Joann’s is doing for the community,’ said customer Diana Gearing. She arrived with her daughter to pick up the kit curbside. Each kit can produce five masks.
Texas – Jane Carver, president of the Golden Needles Quilt Guild, takes a bag full of hand-made masks from Diane Miller, Tuesday, March 31, 2020, in Conroe. The organization collected more than 200 hand-made masks from its members to be given to Tri-County Service for its medical workers. Prestigiovanni pointed Carver toward a design they recommended which is what the quilters have been working with. “We’re proud to serve,” Carver said. “No matter how little, we’re proud to serve. To do what we can.”
Washington – Judit Gebhardt said it takes just four pieces of fabric, some thread and a couple of ponytails to make a mask cover. “I can do about seven in an hour,” she said. After speaking with the women of the Washington Stars Quilt Guild and watching them sew, it’s clear the masks they’re making come with a few more essentials, such as kindness, compassion, and support.
“We’ve tried to purchase masks and, as you can imagine, there’s nowhere we can get them at this time,” said Sgt. Shannon Barnes of the Lacey Police Department. Gebhardt, her good friend Pat Zarp and the other quilters starting making mask covers themselves. “We said we can do that, it’s fabric; we know what to do with fabric,” said Gebhardt. Guild members have given out more than 700 face mask covers to first responders in Thurston County. Last week, Lacey police officers picked up 100 from Zarp’s home.
Utah – Tammy Norman said she temporarily closed her business that caters to the tourism industry on Tuesday as part of efforts to avoid social interactions and slow the spread of COVID-19. “I didn’t want to sit at home for 15 days. I called my friend and said, ‘What do you need help with?'” Norman said, adding her friend is the director of purchasing and supplies at the Moab Regional Hospital. As the friends talked, they realized Norman might be able to help the hospital, which has been rationing face masks to make up for industry-wide shortages. Doctors said they won’t get their next shipment until August 1. See their team in action below:
New York – Healthcare workers on the front lines of the new coronavirus, battling what elected officials have called a “war,” are exhausted and facing a shortage of necessary personal protective equipment. But on the North Fork, a group of dedicated angels has taken flight to help, working tirelessly to make handmade masks and distribute them to hospitals in need. Kait’s Angels is a not-for-profit organization that was created with a mission of doing good work in honor of Mattituck’s Kaitlyn Doorhy, who died tragically at 20 while away at college in 2014.
The Project Protect ICT Facebook page was started by Stella Hankins, owner of Bella Bonita Designs. She’s been coordinating pickups and deliveries of donated masks for senior communities, medical practices, and other large groups.
The Masks for ICT Facebook page was started by Aram Coyle, whose husband, Dave, owns In the Bag Cleaners. The business is involved in collecting and sanitizing handmade cloth masks before Project Protect ICT distributes them. By Wednesday, the business had cleaned and packaged about 1,400 masks, David Coyle said.
Here is another video for DIY face masks (but a search on YouTube reveals there are many):
American companies are stepping up to fill the face mask supply gap as well. Apple is designing and shipping 1 million face shields per week for medical workers. Home Depot to donate all N95 face masks to health care facilities. McDonald’s to donate 1 million N95 masks to Illinois health care workers. New England Patriots team plane transporting 1.7 Million masks for Coronavirus relief. And the list goes on.
With so many negative stories about the Coronavirus permeating over the Internet, it is wonderful to see the American spirit of caring and pitching in to solve problems. If you are feeling a bit down during this crisis, there is no better way to pick yourself up and get active – by joining one of these groups and fight back against COVID-19. If you have a group doing these efforts, please feel free to post a link in the comment section of this article.