Taking our medical professionals’ lives for granted…
Some of Ventura County’s amazing health care workers took time out last Friday to remind us what’s at stake here. None of the hundreds of protesters raging about “Freedom!” could replace any one of those four doctors on the median in a medical emergency. Across America, over 9,200 health care workers have tested positive for coronavirus and at least 27 have died. Health-care providers are literally risking their lives to save ours. What if they just stopped showing up?
Although the Health Care Foundation for Ventura County has organized an incredible volunteer task force, including the Mask and Gown Brigades, and those who provide meals, temporary shelter and equipment, every one of us has a role in stopping COVID-19 and protecting our medical professionals – simply by following the social distancing and shelter-in-place orders from our county and state public health experts. For the impatient, “Stage 2” of reopening CA businesses starts this coming Friday. Worldwide COVID stats here.
A “thank you” to volunteers, and how you can join in…
(Photo of homemade gowns in action! Ventura County has an amazing group of volunteers creating PPE, including masks, face shields and gowns, as well as community members who’ve donated equipment to keep our frontline workers safe. Those workers want you all to know how much they appreciate your efforts! Information below from Amy Towner, CEO – Health Care Foundation for Ventura County from 4/23)
Our nurses, doctors and staff wanted to thank the brigades for their sewn masks so I have been collecting video. I put out a call on Facebook and asked if someone would make them into a video and my friend Hugo Zamora Camilha Contreras put this together as a donation to show the circle of love of our community.
Action update on making your homemade masks more effective.
In the 1940’s, American women took to drawing lines up the back of their legs to mimic the look of nylons, as the real product was rationed to produce nylon parachutes, flak jackets, cords and rope.
Nylons are once again being called to the front, the front of our faces, that is.“Researchers at Northeastern University have found that adding an outer layer made from nylon stockings to a homemade face covering can boost its ability to filter out small particles in the air by creating a tighter seal between the mask and the wearer’s face. In some cases, that extra nylon layer helped homemade cloth masks match or exceed the filtering capability of medical-grade surgical masks.” (npr)
Create a nylon stocking overlayer made by cutting an 8-10″ tall ring of from one leg on a pair of pantyhose. “Queen-size” stockings recommended as being more comfortable.
Tights should also work, as long as they offer a snug fit, says the researcher, who plans to include tights in future testing.
The wearer puts the ring over their head like a headband, then pulls it down on top of the cloth mask, creating a tight fit to the face. This forces particles that might have otherwise gone around the loose edges of the mask and been inhaled to instead go through the mask, which can filter them out
Join the Mask-making brigade for VC health care workers (now at 4871!): here
Volunteer opportunities, including those for healthcare workers, in Ventura County: here.
Want to be part of the new Gown Brigade? Send your name, address, email and cell phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org
(Information below from Amy Towner, CEO – Health Care Foundation for Ventura County.)
Mask Brigade update.
We had 255 masks donated on Tuesday. Pictured here are some cute ones from Ventura County Probation Department’s Pamela Henderson. She said this was so much fun! Gina and I have done mass passing out of masks to essential workers throughout the county and it’s been fun to see some masks that you have made being sported all around the county. I am asking employees to thank you so I can post on social media, We can not let our guard down and we still need more masks so thank you for continuing to sew especially since we had 33 new cases as of tonight.
Gown Brigade update.
For those new to the Gown Brigade – Welcome! Today, we had our first drop off shipment at Gina’s. With 12,000 trash bags, that’s a lot of ironing. So glad we have an army of community sewing and ironing for our community safety. The message is clear, in Ventura County, we are not ok with sitting around not having basic PPE for healthcare or people. Our community has been extremely resourceful and not waiting around for others to fix the problem.
Attached are the instructions for making the hospital gown from plastic bags.
And today, we’re writing about making cloth masks for yourself and your family, because the CDC now recommends wearing them in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies), especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.
Masks for you, your friends and family – some caveats first.
(Information below from Amy Towner, CEO – Health Care Foundation for Ventura County.)
Wednesday, the VC Reporter wrote about all of you and the incredible grassroots efforts in protecting our community. These measures seem to be flattening the curve more than in other regions by us staying home and taking simple precautions like social distancing, washing our hands, not touching our face and protecting ourselves if out in public. Below is the article highlighting several of you!!!
Photo above includes some of our health care professionals wearing masks made by community volunteers. (Use this pattern only.) They now have over 500 of the 3000 they need!
Here’s the list! There’s something for everyone!
Go here of all sorts of volunteer activities to help during this pandemic.
Our health care workers want to say “thanks for the awesome masks and please make more!”
From Amy Towner of the Health Care Foundation for Ventura County – “Your sewn mask donations are going into the hands of healthcare workers at both Ventura County Medical Center and at Santa Paula Hospital as a personal gift to them with the message that their community appreciates and values them. In a clinical setting, ideally, we want authentic personal protective equipment (PPE). With the national shortage and unavailability, our community (all of you) was not ok with that answer and found a way to help by using their talents at the sewing machine with readily available resources like cotton fabric to create a mask style that has been used for hundreds of years to protect those delivering care to us. These masks can be washed and sterilized hospital grade laundering and autoclave. Paired with the 3D shields, this duo from the community is great protection compared to no protection in the event PPE runs out. Our healthcare workers feel the time, energy and quality of the finished product. “We can’t buy masks made this well.” “These are incredibly comfortable, with great coverage and encourages me not to touch my face” are just a few comments amongst all the thanks and gratitude.”
If you want to join the mask-making volunteer brigade, go here for fabric specifications, how-to video and downloadable instructions and pattern. The hospital requires this very specific pattern which was designed by a nurse. It has no elastic, which dissolves in autoclaves and causes irritation around ears, and is the required size, shape and strength to last for 5 months. Continue reading “Sat 3/28: Here are today’s featured volunteer/donation opportunities!”→
UPDATED 4/01:Total cases: 160. Active under quarantine: 124. Deaths: 5. Tested:2,987. (Source: VC Emergency) New – Action #14 – Train online to be a volunteer certified nurses aid.
Action #1 – More masks please! They need at least 3000 3500!!
Check here for all updates to mask project pattern and specifications.
Update 4/02/2020: 2,194 completed masks out of 3500 needed! Update 3/25/2020: Ventura’s mask-making volunteers have made the New York Times! Check out the bottom paragraphs of this article! Then watch this video of the project from KEYT. Local high school students are also using 3D-printing to create face shields for medical workers. Ventura County is full of awesome people!
Update from Amy Towner, CEO of Health Care Foundation for Ventura County, Inc.:
“Our community continues to grow, today 250+ people to help protect and serve our county. Infection control is thrilled with the quality of masks being produced as is administration, doctors and nurses. (We knew all along that we could produce something better than money could buy and made with love to provide additional protection). We now have about 1,769 masks in current stock and we need at least 3,500 and we can do it.” UPDATE 4/01: 500 additional masks required for drive through clinic personnel.
Send an email to Amy here to volunteer (do this first!) Tell her the following:
Full residential address
“I have fabric/thread supply to donate”
“I need need fabric so I can sew”
“I can drive for supply/demand”
Mask pattern, instructions, fabric specifications and drop-off information are here.
Action #2 – UPDATED 4/01 – Check your garage and storage areas for unused baby monitors and other medical equipment!