With a reported worldwide shortage of medical masks to protect medical staff, first responders and the general population from the spread of COVID-19, groups and individuals are taking it upon themselves to make a difference.

Sarah Potter Davison, director of communications for Visiting Angels, recognized the need and felt led to contribute what she could — which, so far, is 82 masks in about a week, Davison said.

She works as much as she can on the masks, but she can’t devote all her time to it because of the services she provides for Visiting Angels, Davison said.

The N95 mask used by medical staff is meant to be used once and thrown away, Davison said. However, with a shortage there has been no choice except for users to keep wearing them “for as long as they will hold up.”

By wearing a protective mask over the N95, health care workers can prolong the use of the N95 by taking the fabric mask off and washing it each day, she said.

Davison is making masks to wear over the N95 masks, and they have a retro look since she is making them from a special order of fabric she bought to use in the renovation of her 1963 Shasta camper, she said.

In addition to the N95 cover masks, she is making a mask people can use and put the filter of their choice inside.

Davison hasn’t been solo in her efforts. Her husband, Jeff Davison, has cut and ironed fabric, as have Bridget Wiley and her daughter, Harlie Wiley.

Although area hospitals are short on masks, Davison knows that home health agencies and hospice groups also are asking for masks, she said.

“Having masks for them is critical because they are out and about in the community and in and out of patients’ homes,” Davison said.

PROVIDING HELP

If you know of others who are helping in the effort to deal with coronavirus, email us at tdt@tdtnews.com or call 254-778-4444.