Margaret Van Antwerp
Moreno Valley Clinic
The staff at the clinic, particularly the providers, are inundated with information about the COVID-19 virus. We are reading the statistics, the science, the CDC/New Mexico/Federal policies and recommendations, the Holy Cross updates, and much more. As the virus moves closer and closer to our area, I have been frustrated with a lack of protection for the individuals that are keeping our bare minimum businesses up and running. Even those keeping themselves mostly isolated eventually are going to need to go to Lowe’s, or the post office, or to put gas in their car.
After receiving information about homemade cloth masks, I asked for help making some of these for our community. Of course they are not as good as a brand new N95 mask. If I had my wish, every person in town would have their own box of gloves and these very effective masks (matching, of course), but we don’t even have enough for the clinic long term. A fabric mask is literally “better than nothing.” Masks have been shown to be ineffective at protecting people from contamination from others, but do block your own (the mask wearer’s) particles. If everyone covers their mouths and noses, it equates to a lot of protection for our community.
Does this mean you can wear a mask and be close, hug, kiss, shake hands with abandon? Of course not. Hand washing, keeping public surfaces wiped down, and social distancing is absolutely still essential. Depending on how much you are using the mask, they need to be washed frequently, every day or 2. If you are wearing it for 2 minutes as you go into the post office, store it in a paper bag, and wash less frequently.
Let me know by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) how many you want, if they are for male or female, child ( I have a few), adult large, med, or small. I will have to figure out how to get them to you. In the meantime, love one another from afar, laugh a lot, don’t watch too much news (you’ll know when it is too much!), and have faith that we will survive this, together.