As coronavirus testing increases, Los Angeles County still experiences shortages of other important supplies like swabs, gloves and masks according to outraged nurses and other officials.
This is why tons of volunteers from all over California have committed to creating homemade face masks to help health workers, and meet the demand until government aid arrives. A health economics Phd student at UC Berkeley, Alexa Magyari, is helping distribute the masks to hospitals that accept them.
Alexa came up with an idea to produce a database for hospitals accepting homemade face masks, after seeing individuals in crafting groups creating masks and then wondering where to send all of them. So, she started calling several hospitals across the state.
At first, several hospitals said that they were not accepting masks. However, as time went on, more and more said yes. This is because the demand for protective equipment was rapidly increasing.
The donated face masks won’t be used by health workers treating COVID-19 patients.
According to Magyari, the masks are being used for those in waiting rooms, and other caregivers and patients in other departments. That frees up the usual surgical face masks for those working specifically with suspected coronavirus patients.
She now works with a team of 19 University of California, Berkeley students, as well as other volunteers. Over 150 hospitals across the United States are accepting their handmade face masks. She has made a list of all the accepting hospitals, and is continuously updating the document.
Just recently, several medical frontliners, including nurses, have gathered at the Kaiser Permanente L.A. Medical Center in East Hollywood. This is to voice out their anger at being ill-equipped in the middle of a pandemic. Protective equipment supplies are rapidly increasing. According to Allesha Jeffries, a nurse, they are being stripped of everything they require to stay safe.
Alex Villanueva, the sheriff, said that hospitals all over the county will soon get around a quarter million N95 face masks. He said that the Sheriff’s Department is working hard to deliver it to a medical supply station in Long Beach.
The Importance of Wearing a Face Mask
One of the most remarkable lifestyle changes we’re experiencing from the coronavirus pandemic is the mandatory use of masks in public spaces. Wearing a face mask is imperative to slowing down the spread of COVID-19. The thing is, so many people wear them the wrong way: pulled down below the nose, resting below the chin, or dangling from one ear. These mistakes increase the risks of spreading the disease. As we move towards reopening the economy, public knowledge of the right masking technique is now more important than ever.