Our talented friend Linda Verboomen kindly whipped us up enough cloth masks to cover our entire family as we ramp up our efforts here in Wisconsin to protect ourselves and everyone else from COVID-19.
Our other friend Linda Drezdzon has been happily sewing masks for weeks. Alerted to the crisis early on by her daughter, a resident at Froedert Hospital in Milwaukee, Linda fired up her sewing machine. To date, she has shared 39 with Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, 31 with Froedtert in Milwaukee, eight with the City of Appleton for first responders, and several others for family and friends (including a matching set for her running group). She is currently working on another 30 for Froedert and 20 more for Appleton.
“I know there are machines that can make hundreds in a minute but this is giving me such joy and feeling of purpose,” she said.
The two Lindas join hundreds of home sewers all over this beautiful country doing their part. My friend Catherine, for instance, has been whipping up Rosie the Riveter themed masks, among others that she is putting together. Another friend, Margie, is making masks using a pattern from her quilt guild.
As I have mentioned before, I have very talented friends and I live in a very earnest town. Someone even masked up our sculptures so the little rain dancers are protected and even the controversial “Collective” currently sports protective gear.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, as of yesterday, Wisconsin had 2,885 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 843 people hospitalizations and 111 deaths. These are scary numbers and they are almost definitely going to get far worse. We have some advantages here, though, in addition to our Rosie the Riveter attitude. We can see the progression of this disease from both coasts and we have time to mitigate its effect.
So, we stay home. And, when we do leave the house to grocery shop, we cover our faces to prevent us from spreading the virus to others. We wash our hands. We keep the heavily trafficked areas of our house especially clean. We stay at least six feet away from people. We forego some of the activities we’ve planned and really looked forward to because we know it’s the right thing to do. We call our friends and neighbors to make sure they’re doing okay. We take care of ourselves. If we believe in God, we find the time to pray.
We mine joyful moments to sustain us, and breathe fresh air when we can. We keep our chins up because we know that even the longest winters eventually turn to spring.
And, we use our talents for the common good.
Thank you to all my sewing friends. It isn’t at all true that anyone could do what you’re doing (Just ask Mrs. Lee, my eighth grade Home Ec. teacher). We all appreciate our generosity and skill.
And now, it’s up to us. Mask up, Wisconsin and we’ll see you on the flip side.