A group of residents with sewing skills are working together to provide face masks for vulnerable residents and essential workers in the community, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“As it has been expressed by health officials on recent news broadcasts, these homemade masks are not a substitute for rigid physical distancing or diligent hand washing,” said resident Michael Walmsley. “They are, however, an additional measure of protection for anyone being exposed to COVID-19 from the mask-wearer. If I am wearing the mask, then I am protecting you; if you are donning a mask, then you are protecting me.”
Walmsley is the president of the Probus Club of Muskoka North. One of the other members is a seamstress and asked Walmsley if her services could be used to help create masks to help with the pandemic.
Walmsley was then put in contact with Katherine Craine, executive director of the Huntsville Hospital Foundation.
“When I realized that there is, indeed, a growing need for non-N95, non-hospital quality masks for the general public, I began coordinating, under Katherine’s guidance, local home seamstresses who were willing and able to produce face masks,” said Walmsley. “The group continues to expand in numbers on a daily basis and, recently, has been dubbed ‘The Mask Angels’.”
Walmsley said he’s working with other community groups to acquire the materials needed and to identify where in the community there is a crucial need for the masks.
“Beyond supplying the protective face coverings for the more vulnerable and workers in essential businesses, we are also connecting with other community members to create an effective and efficient plan for distribution to the general public,” he said.
The group intends to distribute the masks free of charge.
“This is a true measure of the wonderful, caring community in which we live,” he said. “Our goal is to produce as many of these masks as we possibly can in as short a timeline as possible. To that end, we are desperately looking for additional home seamstresses to step up and assist. If you are such an individual, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will gladly welcome you to the team.”
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