All it took was one Facebook post.
When Kyle Dalton, a maternal support consultant, saw that the Gila Valley Clinic was short on protective face masks thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, she just couldn’t sit there and do nothing.
So, she took to Facebook and asked if anyone would join her in making masks for those medical professionals who are risking their own health to care for others.
Less than a week later, the Gila Valley Volunteers group has more than 200 members.
Many of them complete strangers, they are making mask after mask of 100% tightly woven cotton, much of it donated or simply laying around.
“We have delivered masks to Canyonlands, Gila Valley Clinic and to an OB- GYN,” Dalton, a Safford resident, said.
“We just started this group, mainly to start helping the Gila Valley Clinic, but then it turned into me calling around and asking different facilities if they needed masks,” Dalton said. “I’ve seen a lot of news saying that that many healthcare facilities are experiencing shortages.”
Canyonlands Healthcare employee Marie McCall was really impressed when Dalton dropped off some masks Monday.
“I think it is a wonderful and beautiful thing,” she said. “The community has come together to create these masks and they’re just doing amazing work.
Experts, however, say the only mask that can prevent people from getting the coronavirus is the N95 mask.
It says the following the Centers for Disease Control website:
“In settings where face masks are not available, (health care providers) might use homemade masks (e.g., bandana, scarf) for care of patients with COVID-19 as a last resort. However, homemade masks are not considered PPE, since their capability to protect (health care providers) is unknown. Caution should be exercised when considering this option. Homemade masks should ideally be used in combination with a face shield that covers the entire front (that extends to the chin or below) and sides of the face.”
There could be some benefits to homemade masks, though. Captain Michael Doyle, a U.S. Army New York National Guard physician assistant, told USA TODAY, that do-it-yourself masks “serve as a reminder for us to not touch our face.”