DARKE COUNTY — Quite a number of people in the county have stepped up to help during the face mask shortage with this COVID-19 outbreak.
Many have started making masks and donating them to health facilities, other organizations and/or for personal usage.
According to one website, face masks can play a role in preventing the infection to this virus, but that role is limited. A healthy individual in a normal situation does not need to wear a mask, as per CDC recommendations.
A surgical face mask is highly recommended for people who have the coronavirus infection or have a high risk of exposure. It offers a certain amount of protection against infection from one’s own hands or droplets from the cough or sneeze of an infected person.
“My 9-year-old granddaughter Allie Bergman and I made a dozen yesterday,” said Judy York. “We just started. Allie spent her last day before shut down here. A third-grader at Versailles, she is learning to sew and it was a great day. I made about 15 more today. I’m just trying to figure out who to donate them to. I have more fabric on order. As for elastic, no one has elastic locally. So I ordered from eBay.”
Kristen Cooper of Union City remarked, “I am making masks for frontline workers and immuno-compromised individuals BEFORE any one else. Not being rude, but these people need protected since they are unable to stay home. These masks are free. No one should be profitting during a time like this. I do not feel that we need the recognition as much as we just need donations for fabric, thread, elastic cording, and/or skinny hair elastics. If anyone feels compelled to help, but cannot sew, reach out to one of us for cutting patterns out or donating said items. I’ve had tons of responses about the masks and donations.”
Cooper added, “I will be making masks today for any locals that need them. It’s time to put my sewing skills to good use. They may be some seasonal fabrics, etc., but they are better than nothing.”
Businesswoman Sharon Arnett said she is feeling determined about this project.
“Let’s all do this. Protect our workers,” she said. “I have contacted a manufacturer to make me a custom die, to cut out hundreds of these in less than an hour. They are now reviewing my submitted pattern and will get back with me ASAP. My supply of materials will go fast, as the growing demand from many health care workers is upon me. I do need to connect with others to take this to a higher level. If you’d like to help now by donating materials, not sewing. I’ve shared many patterns, and am focusing healthcare needs/not personal use.”
One Union City woman, who wants to remain anonymous, made more than 100 of them one recent Sunday for State of the Heart and many friends.
“I started yesterday,” said Audrey Hathaway. “It has taken me a while to figure out what works best as I’m making them for Spirit Medical Transport employees. Today, I was able to get the prototype made and I got several more cut out. I’ll be making them tomorrow while I run the e-learning center for Spirit employees kids who are out of school so our personnel can continue to help patients.”
“I made some for the Brethren’s Home,” said Darrellyn Arnett. “I was told that they were using paper towels. The need is great in our area. I have run out of supplies and no one is selling elastic right now. A friend tried to order some and her order was canceled.”
Diana Unger said she has been getting all kinds of communities all over the country to make them, including helping people with patterns, how they will be used when made, connecting people to facilities that need them, etc. There is a home health care facility in Greenville asking for them and any hospitals, as well. They are used over top their PPE to extend the life of the PPE.”
Jill Staley Grilliot in Versailles is making face masks and selling them for $5 to compensate for materials.
“I have a request from nurses for some, and those are spoken for but I plan on making more.”
Others in the area who are making them and to be commended are Barb Pequignot, Jane Morris Brown, Becky Hunt, Cindy Long Young, Linda Stoltz and Laura Barger.
Those in need of elastic are urged to contact Jeff Brocious of Gettysburg via Facebook and he would be willing to pick it up and deliver it.
Contact Staff Writer Linda Moody at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (937)569-4315 ext. 1749. Read more news, features and sports at DarkeCountyMedia.com.