Local crafters put skills to use to help fill void in medical supplies


East Lansing, Mich. (WLNS)– The Coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on medical supplies, with protective wear like masks, gowns, and splash guards becoming harder and harder to come by.

A Facebook group called ‘Seams, Classes, and Community’, which normally serves as a place for sewers to show off their latest projects, has become a platform to bring hundreds of people together who have now turned to sewing masks.

Jessy Gregg, Owner of Seams Fabric in East Lansing, has been trying to keep up with coordinating the efforts.

“What I’ve been doing really is kind of trying to be a point of contact for people who are organizing,” Gregg said.

Gregg says the need is there, but so are the volunteers. Hundreds of people in Mid-Michigan are working to make masks not just for employees in the medical field, but even local businesses like grocery stores and nursing homes.

“It’s actually not as much health care facilities. I think one of the criticisms that we’ve seen posted is that these are not clinical masks and that is absolutely true they are not clinical masks. It’s just whatever barrier is provided by the fabric,” Gregg said.

Despite not being made for critical medical care, Gregg said the masks are good for people in waiting rooms, grocery stores, and employees who interact regularly with the public to help protect from the rapidly spreading Coronavirus.

“This is a droplet carried virus, so this is will contain, whoever’s wearing it it will contain their fluids within their own little biosphere,” Gregg said.

She adds that for the people making them, it gives them an opportunity to help during a time when so many are feeling helpless.

“You give this group of people that are kind of lonely and frustrated a project that you know, could theoretically do some good, then people really embrace.”

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