Citizens Respond to the Pandemic; Gain a Sense of Purpose

By now, you’ve all seen the stories and videos about people all over the country who are dusting off their sewing machines and sewing face masks at home to address the shortage of N95 respirator masks in hospitals. My understanding is that these homemade masks don’t qualify as PPE but can be used to cover an N95 respirator to help extend its life.

My wife and I have a friend and neighbor (Debra) who started sewing masks this week. She made something like 64 masks on day one! As you’ll see in the photos below, she had children’s fabric on hand so that’s what she used for this first batch of masks. They are both cute and useful!

The first I learned of this movement was when Deaconess Health System went public with its need for masks and shared a video, mask pattern, and sewing instructions (PDF). In their video, Cheryl Wathen, the organization’s CFO, demonstrates the process for sewing face masks. I love this! What a great way to get your community involved and to give them a sense of purpose during an otherwise scary time.

I am so moved by the stories that keep popping up about people across the country doing what they can to help. People are taking action, contributing to the cause, and no longer feeling powerless! There’s a Facebook Group called the Million Mask Challenge representing a global sew-a-thon of nearly 10,000 individuals. Other Facebook Groups like the BadAss Quilters Society are jumping on the bandwagon. Artists from Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre’s costume shop are sewing masks that will be distributed to Georgia hospitals. JOANN Fabrics created and published a video tutorial on how to make face masks. The organization encouraged its customers to drop off the completed masks at JOANN store locations, where they will be donated to local hospitals. There are dozens of examples of other companies and groups stepping up and answering the call. For more information on this movement, check out some of the links below. We being with a video from ProperFit Clothing Company.

Can DIY Masks Protect Us from Coronavirus?


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