These are extraordinary times. In just over a month, the Coronavirus has paralyzed our woefully unprepared nation and overwhelmed our health care system with a massive influx of COVID-19 patients requiring acute care. Each day, heroic doctors, nurses, and frontline caregivers march into battle against the virus without adequate personal protection equipment, fighting to save patients at the risk of their own lives.
The Free Masketeers Hospital Support Program, a San Francisco Bay Area initiative, is aiding their fight by providing hospital-approved cloth masks and KN95 masks. In three short weeks the Free Masketeers has recruited over 200 volunteers, many of whom contribute 10-12 hours each day sewing, procuring, and delivering masks to healthcare workers. To date the initiative has supplied 900 masks to 24 healthcare facilities and is on target to supply another 5000 masks this week. The Free Masketeers is now scaling up its production and procurement efforts to supply masks to all care facilities in the Bay Area.
“These are very high quality masks made of 800 thread count fabric, designed by a leading hospital with safety and comfort in mind and delivered to us, fully sanitized, in our time of need,” said Dr. Kadeer M. Halimi, an emergency medicine specialist who works in multiple Bay Area hospitals including Washington, O’Connor, St. Louis and San Ramon. “We appreciate our local community stepping up to support us as we fight to save lives.”
If you are a local medical worker or hospital and need help, contact us. The Free Masketeers welcomes requests for masks and other PPE.
If you are a non-profit or community organization looking to build grass-roots support for your local health care workers, The Free Masketeers can help by providing detailed instructions (at www.thefreemasketeers.org) on how to:
- Manufacture cloth masks that adhere to strict hospital safety specifications
- Raise funds and garner support from donors and local government officials
- Source KN95 masks and cloth mask supplies from U.S. and international vendors