What a world we live in.
This social distancing business was all fun and Penguono sweaters until the PPE shortage hit home.
I was initially skeptical if the home-sewn masks were any good, but then my mother-in-law called and wanted a few. She drives a regional transit bus and is often taking people to hospitals. I figured what-the-heck, if it gives her peace of mind, then I’ll whip a couple up.
Then my sisters who are nurses started sharing how real the PPE shortage crisis is.
Here’s what I know:
- Maybe the cloth masks work, maybe they don’t. But they are better than nothing.
- Nothing is what some nurses are dealing with.
- Previously disposable masks are now being saved throughout shifts or days of shifts. If anything, cloth masks cover them and keep them as clean as possible.
Then, local hospitals started publicly asking for home-sewn masks. They even released patterns.
There are two major hospitals in my area and they each require a different mask. I contacted a nurse I know locally and asked her which hospital she works for. I figured I would make her hospital’s style of mask so she could take them to work with her.
The Unity Point hospitals are asking for the Olson masks. They have a pocket for a filter and no gathers. The hospitals are adding the elastic, which is great because that is the material most hard to come by.
I had about 10 yards of fabric that I cut down into mask pieces and have been stitching away on them as I can. I stopped to make a few for a video tutorial that I shared on my classroom’s Facebook page.
Yes, I could have spent that time making more masks, but hopefully this helps make the instructions a little more clear so more people can make more masks.
After I get through this big pile of pieces I am going to switch to the pleated type mask until I run out of elastic. Then I will take a break. My area hospitals have said they have the response they need, but I will be on standby for nursing homes, home health, etc.