Submitted by Ann Palmer
In times of crisis, people pull together or apart. They hoard, or they give. They maintain six feet of distance or stand too close at the grocery store. Lopez COVID Health Support shows how a group of people help and give of themselves during the pandemic. They show the best of us. Composed of talented crafts makers, retired and active medical personnel, and local business people, the group quickly came together to help fill gaps in our community COVID-19 response.
One of the group’s goals is to provide equipment to patient caregivers, whether it is hand sanitizer for an emergency medical technician who is about to run into a house with an unknown patient, or cloth masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer for a home healthcare provider tending to an ill elder. The volunteers delivering meals need protection too, and also need to protect the recipient of the meal. The Center for Disease Control recently began asking the general population to wear cloth masks in public. Where will 3,000 of them come from? The mask makers of the Lopez COVID Health Support group are working on that.
The Enchanted Quilters became inspired to make masks for Lopez Island. The idea sprung to life when Anne Dawson of The Quilter’s Studio created the pattern with instructions and donated fabric kits to 30 seamstresses. The initial goal was to complete 1,200 masks. While a double layer of cotton can give some protection from COVID-19, the smart design also included a pocket for a filter to be inserted.
Tracey Cottingham tackled this challenge finding an untapped source of material that is the same fiber as N95 masks and readily available on Lopez. Their goal now is to make 5,000 filters by the end of the week, with the filters team.
While these are not certified or of medical-grade, they have named this mask, “The Social Distancing Mask.” The goal after they deliver to immediate groups on the front lines of community service is to provide to any at-risk member of our Lopez Community.
Denise Clark, who owns Lost Arts Apothecary, is making medical marijuana tinctures. She has the skill, the bottles, and the alcohol needed to make hand sanitizer, using the recipe provided by the World Health Organization. What she lacks right now is additional supplies of hydrogen peroxide.
Many of the makers and local merchants are donating the materials for their products, but if any require monetary support the Catherine Washburn Medical Association has stepped up to reimburse them. Any supplies that can still be bought are paid for by CWMA.
Another goal of the Lopez COVID Health Support is to utilize the knowledge and experience of healthcare professionals living on the island to support the health care infrastructure on Lopez. This may take the form of helping to plan for a surge in sick people needing care on the island, serving as COVID health advisors for home caregivers and others, directing the public to health resources, or providing direct patient care should the need surpass existing healthcare staff capabilities.
If you represent a group or organization in need of supplies or have an ill family member, contact Aimee Nassoiy at email@example.com or Marty Clark at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on how to sew or obtain one will be available on the Lopez Recovers website lopezisland.recovers.org and Lopezrocks.
WANT TO HELP?
If you want to help sew masks contact Anne Dawson (email@example.com). If you have any rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to donate that has not expired, contact Denise Clark (firstname.lastname@example.org).
WANT TO DONATE?
CWMA has approved initial funding for the group efforts, and as an approved 501(c)3 nonprofit will collect funds for the Lopez COVID Health Support group. If you want to donate to Lopez COVID Health Support please go to their website catherinewashburnmedical.org. Be sure to state that your donation is for the Lopez COVID Health Support group.