By Dayna Woodruff, News Editor
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there have been shortages of many essential items – one of them being face masks. Hospitals and other facilities across the globe are running out of both the standard N95 masks, which cannot be made at home, and regular masks that healthcare workers can wear with other protective equipment such as a face shield. To answer this need, members of the community have stepped up to help by making and donating homemade face masks.
Senior Kimberly Reisinger has used this time to make 55 masks and counting to donate to Meadville Medical Center. “I saw online that there was a need for masks, so I put my sewing abilities from 4-H to use,” Reisinger said. The face masks are composed of cotton fabric, elastic, and a metal piece that forms to the nose. She has already donated a portion of the masks to the hospital, but she has run into another shortage.
“I’ve been getting my materials from Walmart, but they’ve been out of the elastic that’s needed. It’s most likely from how many people are making these masks,” she said. Reisinger isn’t the only one looking out for those who are tirelessly working to combat the virus. Many people in the county have been donating homemade face masks, as well as businesses donating extra N95 masks.
According to a March 31 article from NPR, former FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb shared that homemade masks may help prevent people who are asymptomatically infected from transmitting the disease unknowingly.
In addition, William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University, noted that there is some data that the homemade masks give modest protection. “We can use all the protection we can get,” Schaffner said.
For anyone willing to help out Meadville Medical Center, drop-offs can be made at the North St. facility (Mill Run Complex) at 241 North Street at door “D” from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Masks can also be shipped.
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Journalism Adviser, Saegertown Jr. Sr. High School