People wearing cloth masks in public is becoming a more common sight as we continue to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has said that Canadians can use non-medical masks in tandem with physical distancing, hand hygiene and other measures to limit the transmission of the virus.
However, these masks are not always easy for the general public to acquire.
The Baysville Lions Club has begun an initiative—the Baysville Lions Cover COVID-19 Campaign—to make 500 cloth masks to distribute to residents of Baysville, as well as healthcare workers and workers in seniors’ homes in Huntsville, Bracebridge and Port Carling for use when the employees are not at work.
Stasi O’Hare, president of the Baysville Lions Club, started the initiative after speaking to her sister who resides in Guelph. Her sister, who is proficient at sewing, had been approached by a friend who needed cloth masks. O’Hare, who has been following the pandemic news since the outbreak, thought that was something that they could do as well.
She approached the club with her idea and asked for approval to spend $1,500 to purchase material, a request that was immediately approved.
Her next obstacle was purchasing the material.
“I got lucky,” O’Hare said. “I called Fabricland in Bracebridge and spoke to the manager who happened to be in the store.” O’Hare was able to get the material she needed with curbside pickup.
O’Hare had already enlisted the help of Lorie Marshall of Baysville, who had been sewing masks, to help sew for the Lions Club. However, realizing the scope of the initiative, O’Hare contacted other people she knows who sew to ask for more assistance and now has a team of nine who all contribute to the creation of the masks. O’Hare said her job is to wash and cut the material before it is dropped off to the sewers, adding she has brought her children on board as a source of child labour. “My son Jonah and I spent two days washing and ironing the material,” she said.
O’Hare also stressed that these are cloth masks meant to prevent the wearers’ respiratory droplets from contaminating others or landing on surfaces. There are important guidelines for people to understand when wearing these masks, which have been posted on the Baysville Lions Club Facebook page.
They have already received requests for 150 masks. “I know there are many more people in Baysville and I want to get the word out,” she said.
There is a form on the Baysville Lions Club Facebook page for residents of Baysville to order masks for their household. Those without a Facebook account can email the club at firstname.lastname@example.org. The masks will be dropped off on people’s porches.
O’Hare said they have already provided masks to three businesses in Dorset, including Robinson’s General Store, who had inquired about masks for their employees.
In addition to the mask initiative, the Baysville Lions have joined all the Lions Clubs in the A12 district, which covers an area from Parry Sound to Dorset, South River to Bradford to provide coffee and snacks on Tuesday and Thursday to retirement and nursing homes throughout the district.
The 14-member Baysville Lions Club and is always ready and willing to welcome new people. The Lions organization formed in 1917 and is the world’s largest service club. They are based on five pillars of service: vision, diabetes, hunger, childhood cancer, and the environment. “In Canada, this is our centennial year and the Lions are working to plant 1,000,000 trees in Canada,” O’Hare said.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!