SAN LUIS VALLEY — Wearing masks when out and about is becoming a requirement in most parts of America due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Wanda Marquez and her daughter Natasha Martinez have been trying to do their part to keep their community safe by sewing and giving away face masks.
“We started making them for family, and then we thought that the more people that are wearing them out there the more that it helps stop the spread of the virus. We thought maybe giving them away would help everybody out. Times are hard, and not everyone is working so we just thought we’d try to help everybody out,” shared Martinez on what inspired them to start this project.
They have been busy in the last few weeks making around 600-700 masks. Martinez shared that they have had a lot of people in the community come and get masks for their families. Since there is a such a demand they have had to limit them to two free masks per family. For additional masks they ask for a donation, since making the masks requires a lot of materials. They themselves have given a lot of their own resources and time into producing the face gear. So far people have been eager to help by donating materials for more masks. “People have brought us fabric, thread, elastic, and donated a lot of stuff to help us keep going,” said Martinez sharing that if people are interested in donating they can reach out to them through Facebook.
Since wearing masks has become a requirement if you plan on leaving your home it’s important to remember to wash your masks and keep them sanitary. To accomplish this many recommend washing them in your washing machine and running them through the dryer. When removing your mask it is important to be careful not to touch your nose, eyes or mouth, and be sure to wash your hands immediately after removal.
The CDC has recommended wearing masks due to recent studies that say a significant number of people with coronavirus are asymptomatic, and that even those who eventually show symptoms are able to transmit the virus to others before showing any symptoms. According to the CDC, even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms they can still be spreading the virus by speaking, coughing, or sneezing when interacting with others in close proximity. Due to this the CDC has recommended wearing a face covering in public settings where it can be hard to maintain social distancing like grocery stores and pharmacies, and especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.