Since the COVID-19 outbreak was deemed a pandemic on March 12, people all around the world and even here at home have been contributing to limiting the spread.
Musicians hosted online concerts to encourage people to stay at home and help flatten the curve by entertaining them.
Chefs have done the same, using their social media platforms to show people recipes they can try.
Then, there are the front line workers who are unable to stay at home and that’s who fashion designer Anna White was thinking of when she decided to sew 55 reusable masks for police officers.
“I was thinking that I have a skill set, I can’t make hand sanitizer but I can make face masks,” White said.
White along with her daughter Nykima Straker spent three days creating a blueprint for the mask as they wanted it to be comfortable for the officers.
“Because I am slightly claustrophobic I didn’t want anything touching my mouth or my nose,” White said.
“I’m thinking if it’s me and I am out there patrolling I wouldn’t want to have something on my face constantly,” she continued.
After the design was finalised they contacted the Four Roads Police Station and asked if officers there would be interested in what they had to offer.
White said the officers told her they would welcome it and she even visited the station to give a tutorial on how to use the masks.
But why would the officers need a lesson on how to use the masks? Well, that’s because White did not just create a reusable mask, with an arch with mesh material to keep it off the officers face. She also included a pocket where a gauze, which she also contributed, can be inserted to increase protection.
“I was thinking because they are going to be on the front line and interacting with persons who may be sick they would want that extra protection,” White said.
Now, since delivering the masks, White said several officers expressed gratitude, through messages, for her contribution.
“They were thankful,” she said.
The fashion designer admitted that she wished she could have given more but the places where she gets the material remain closed as they are non-essential businesses. Her business as well was closed when we visited.
“I didn’t get to see any officer wearing the masks as I have been obeying the law and staying home,” she said.
White sewed the masks in black cloth to ensure they match the police uniforms but every mask had a unique print on it.
Written in white on each mask are the words, “#Stayingsafe” a print done by the fashion designer’s daughter Straker who owns a printing company.
“I try to put myself in the position on somebody on the front line they might be feeling fear or anxiety and I decided to put a positive message,” Straker said.
“We wanted to give them the extra push,” she continued.
Straker said when officers saw the message they felt empowered.