Amanda Jones has made over 150 face masks as the demand for them continues to rise, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Amanda Jones has made over 150 face masks as the demand for them continues to rise, because of the coronavirus pandemic. The Cleveland County resident like many others handy with a needle and thread has given her talents to a worldly cause starting right here in Jefferson County.
“I saw there was a need, so I decided to try and make one,” said Jones. “Then, I noticed my neighbor needed one and I asked if she needed the few I had made. She said that she did need some, so I made her some for her lab staff and decided from there to offer them to anyone else who may be in need.”
Initially, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised against healthy people wearing masks. But, as the death toll climbs in the United States along with the number of those diagnosed with COVID-19, the CDC says its reviewing its previous guidance.
“The CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a face mask to protect themselves from respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19,” the agency said. “You should only wear a mask if a healthcare professional recommends it. A face mask should be used by people who have COVID-19 and are showing symptoms.”
In an interview with “Good Morning America” on Wednesday, Jerome Adams, the United States Surgeon General remarked the CDC was asked to review their previous guidance related to the public wearing masks.
“Now we've learned about this disease -- and we've always said we're going to learn more, we're going to adjust -- and we've learned there's a fair amount of asymptomatic spread and so we've asked the CDC to take another look at whether or not having more people wear masks will prevent transmission of the disease to other people,” Adams said.
President Donald Trump also chimed in on the need for citizens to wear nonmedical face masks during the rapidly evolving pandemic.
“That’s certainly something we could discuss,” Trump said during the coronavirus task force briefing Monday. “It could be something like that for a limited period of time.”
Arkansas, just like other states around the country, need personal protection equipment (PPE) to keep up with the stream of patients testing positive for the virus. According to officials, PPE is the first line of defense healthcare workers use to protect themselves against those with COVID-19. So far, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has allocated $75 million for the procurement of personal protection equipment for workers across the state.
“Our health care workers are on the front lines in the battle against COVID-19,” Hutchinson said. “I have no higher priority than ensuring that they have the protection they need as they test and treat Arkansans. This funding will allow Arkansas to better compete in the worldwide marketplace and secure the necessary equipment to keep Arkansans safe.”
Masks such as the N95 protect the wearer from airborne particles and liquids contaminating the face, according to the CDC. According to the medical experts, the coronavirus spreads to people in close [within about six feet] contact with one another through respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. With a shortage of PPE, officials have asked those not in the medical field to refrain from purchasing the much needed emergency purposes, N95 masks.
“You don’t want to take masks away from the healthcare providers who are in a real and present danger of getting infected,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director in an interview with CNN on Tuesday.
And as everyday citizens worry about the possibility of catching the virus as it advances throughout communities, it’s people like Jones offering them a bit of calm through a simple gesture.
“As Helen Keller says, I am only one, but still I am one,” she said. “I cannot do everything, but still I can do something and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”
Jones who sews clothes for her three children says she makes the face masks out of the left over fabric that’s “regular cotton woven.” Her husband even assists her with ironing and sewing.
“I will continue to make them as long as I am asked and have the supplies to do so,” she said adding that they are free. “I have been very blessed to have everything on hand up to this point.”
The Children’s Advocacy Center of Southeast Arkansas took to social media to thank Jones for her efforts.
“Amanda handmade all of these masks for the CACSEA to help keep us, our kiddos and their family safe when they come to our center,” the post read.
Jones maintains anyone from healthcare workers to elderly residents can get their hands on the face masks.
“It always makes you feel good to know that you are able to help fill a need for others,” she said. “I may not be a healthcare worker on the frontline, but I can do my part to help those who are.”