Jamie Harwick remembers the free fall when her spring orders for baseball jerseys, tshirts and other items suddenly canceled one after the other. Was it just a few weeks ago? Seems like a lifetime in many ways. Her company, Glassic Designs, is a screen printing and embroidery business that had been growing enough that her husband was able to “come home” to help work the family business. Suddenly the orders were gone. And the income.
They fully realize they are not alone, and are among the entrepreneurs and small business owners that are hunkered down during the coronavirus crisis, and the others who have lost their jobs.
Soon, she started receiving other calls with the question: “Can you make masks?”
The answer was yes. Now the whole family and friends are helping make masks as fast as they can. There was a shipment to New York City to some nurses, and one to Oregon. Fifty went to an Oklahoma City company to get their non-health care employees back to work. They needed ten more the next day. She’s sending a package to Arkansas later today.
Her masks include the filter inside, and she says take a little longer to make. But they will keep making them as long as she can help. She is giving masks free to healthcare workers, and charges $10 for the fitted masks. She also will accept donations via Cash App.
Harwick is not the only “mask game” in Luther. When Harwick began making masks, she said she got her first bundle of fabric from her friend, Felicia. You read about Felicia Pringle earlier in The Luther Register.
After making hundreds of masks for healthcare workers, fire fighters, police officers and others, Pringle made one more fabric run on Monday morning. She posted about social distance measures taken at the fabric store where she had to wait in line, but then she got right back home and back to work – measuring, cutting, sewing, disinfecting, repeat.
“I’m making about 130 mask a day and make them for anyone,” she said. Although she doesn’t charge for the masks, she does include a business card in every bag, and accepts donations. Eventually, after the coronavirus crisis, her business will be sought-out when festivals and shows begin again. Find Felicia Pringle on Venmo for donations or contact her on Messenger. Her business is Felicia’s Country Corner. And fun fact, Pringle said she wears a Luther teeshirt on every mask delivery. It gives her a chance to talk about her town. That unity and support also shows up when it was pointed out that the tee pictured below, worn by Pringle, was made by Harwick for local artist Lindy Jerlow, read about her in this article.
Felicia Pringle made a supply run to make more masks.
Do masks help?
The following is from the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s website.
Common surgical face masks are not designed to block viral particles – the little droplets that are expelled into the air when you cough or sneeze while sick. These types of masks do not create a seal around your nose and mouth and therefore are not an effective method for keeping germs out.
They are, however, an effective way to reduce the spread of viral particles. You might be saying to yourself – wait a minute, how is that possible? A mask can help keep me from spreading germs if I’m already sick, but it can’t prevent me from getting sick in the first place?
Yes. That is exactly what we are saying here. The CDC indicates that surgical facemasks can help prevent further spread of viral particles for those who are feeling unwell. This guidance focuses on the 25% of Americans who may be positive for COVID-19, but are not exhibiting any symptoms. When people must go into public settings, such as grocery stores, a facemask can reduce the respiratory particles released in the air.
So there is no confusion here – the facemask is not intended to protect the person who is wearing it, instead it is intended to prevent the spread of the virus from the wearer to others.
For CDC recommendations on face coverings, as well as a video of our U.S. Surgeon General making a cloth face cover, click here.