The U.S. just surged to the top of the charts with the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the world. Although these numbers are grim, especially considering that US hospitals are already experiencing a critical shortage in personal protective equipment, there are makers working, in our community, to help bridge the gap.
How to Help
If you are considering pitching in, by 3D printing, sewing or otherwise, start by reading the information on the GetUsPPE site. Next, check with local hospitals regarding what they are currently accepting. Here is the rundown on what’s being accepted in the metro Detroit hospitals. As of today, the only hospital accepting hand-sewn masks in metro Detroit is Beaumont. Don’t let that dissuade you. There are hospitals all over the world accepting hand-sewn masks. With the situation in the U.S. getting worse by the day, most likely more local hospitals will start accepting these, too.
Making Hand Sewn Masks
Deconess has written information and a video tutorial about how to hand-sew masks. Joanne Fabrics has tutorials, and they are also giving away supplies. Sewing masks can be done by beginners, and Joanne is offering to support makers in creating them. They are also distributing them to local hospitals “This is a grassroots effort, and we will connect with hospitals near our stores to provide the items to local hospitals, so they can be used at their discretion” (https://www.joann.com/make-to-give-response/).
Making Face/Eye Shields
If you have a 3D printer, you can also help by making face or eye shields. Teachers in the Ann Arbor Public Schools have started work on these. How-to information, including design files, can be found on the CoVid 19 “Operation Face Shield” site.
More Help is Coming Soon
Several well-known fashion brands including Ralph Lauren are gearing up to produce masks and isolation gowns, but will they be able to produce enough, and can they retro-fit their factories quickly enough? Hopefully so. In the meantime, you can help to bridge the gap.