“I can’t make you guys do anything, but I am literally begging you to listen to us healthcare workers and take this seriously.” ~Aleixandrea Macias, Nurse
On today’s Full Pink Super Moon, this face greeted me on my Facebook newsfeed.
Macias’ tear-stained, glistening face represents the face of thousands of medical heroes struggling with the overwhelm and the onslaught of COVID-19. At a glance, it tells a partial story of the pain, fear, suffering, and exhaustion that she and her colleagues experience every day at work.
Do you see the worn, almost-wound-like area on her nose? Imagine feeling this wear and tear on your body and soul. It's truly a badge of courage.
She and all medical heroes are the reason the SewingArmy is making masks!
If your heart is open and you’re moved to inspired action here’s information I’ve gathered and learned from two weeks of mask-making with my mom—a fearless sHero in her own right who at 88-years-young is working with her 69-year-old Singer sewing machine to help.
Here are 5 questions to focus your loving heart and hands:
1) GETTING STARTED
The most important question to ask before starting is
WHO ARE YOU MAKING A MASK FOR?
There are six major kinds of masks with different levels of protection and degrees of sewing skill (see image below). Our pocket mask is made for family, friends, and surgical nurses who add a medical (or other filter material) inside the pocket.
2) WHAT MASK-MAKING GROUPS CAN YOU JOIN for SUPPORT and INSPIRATION?
* My Tampa Bay group is the Corona Masks for Medical Heroes (4.6K+ members from around the USA and globe; coordinates requests, distribution, and offers everything about sewing masks.) To request masks email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please be patient and put your address and validate your needs. Shipping to a medical/ care facility or a work badge can validate the need. First-come, first-serve basis.
* Million Mask Challenge Group; information is easy to access, i.e., Beginners, Fabric, Tips, etc. You can also request masks from the group.
* Get Us PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) is the largest nationwide database for connecting folks who are making and donating masks to people in need
3) WHAT’S YOUR SEWING SKILL?
Mom is an expert seamstress who, for decades, sewed lined drapes, tablecloths, and dresses for every benchmark in my life, including a wedding dress. I’m an enthusiastic assistant who cuts, pins, and irons whatever is needed.
Know that there’s a pattern available for every skill level. So be bold and sew one mask. If that doesn’t work, sew another type! Most of all, don’t give up. People’s lives are in the balance. That’s why it’s crucial to join a mask-making group--you’re not alone.
After watching three videos and trying several patterns, mom and I use this video tutorial to make a cloth pocket mask which is more effective than wearing only a 2-sided cotton mask or bandana; you can add a medical filter, dishtowel fabric and/or paper towels folded to size for more added protection.
4) WHAT WILL YOU USE TO MAKE YOUR MASK?
Everything and almost anything is being used for masks since the CDC suggested that everyone wear a mask when outside the home--bandanas, tee-shirts, leggings, plastic bags, and more!
There are different degrees of protection offered by different fabrics, so please read Making Your Own Mask? Some Fabrics Work Better Than Others, Study Finds. This is a helpful guide to consider before buying yards of fabric or making dozens of masks.
|Love from Momma Clare with our first batch of masks made for St. Anthony’s Hospital, St. Pete, FL|
Nurses, family, and friends report that the pocket mask is soft on the face and ears--a must when you’re wearing it for a long time.
5) WHAT CARE IS SUGGESTED FOR A MASK?
The cloth mask provides protection for the filter so that it can be used multiple times; otherwise, CDC and some hospital guidelines suggest tossing away the paper mask as often as every 20-30 minutes, or at the end of the day.
Cleaning the paper filter mask- The coronavirus doesn’t like heat.
"70 C / 158 F heating in a kitchen-type of oven for 30 min, or hot water vapor from boiling water for 10 mins., are additional effective decontamination methods." -
BLESSING YOUR MASK
While mom and I think about the group or individuals while we’re sewing, we wrap up with this prayer before sending them out:
Mask up! Be well, stay well, and stay home!
With love to you and all masketeers.
|My mom Clare and I modeling the first masks that we made three weeks ago.|
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