So... we've been in lock down in California for just a month (official lockdown orders came on March 19) and all of us are still trying to get a grip on what it all looks like and what it all means.
In California we have no official end date for quarantine, and today we officially enter a period where people are expected to wear cloth masks in public. In fact, not wearing a mask in some California counties can even get you a ticket and a fine.
Before all this started, there was a lot of information insisting that we shouldn't wear masks chiefly because there was a shortage of masks for the people on the frontlines who really needed them. But then people began to share patterns for homemade masks and folks figured out the masks for the general public might be a good idea after all... add in some cool fabrics and a little fashion chutzpah and suddenly it's a thing.
One night I found a pattern I really liked and that I thought could make a good mask for myself and my family, so I started digging through the mountains of fabric I've collected over the years to find something I really wanted to try... and wear.
I've been sewing my entire life and I have four sewing machines of various styles from assorted years so I'm sort of over prepared for such a situation.
As we all have, I was going a bit crazy in the midst of "shelter in place." I was feeling completely unable to paint and I was spending most of my time fretting in front of my computer.
But then I started to make masks. At first I just made a few; for myself, my partner, and my kids and their families. Then people people began to see what I was doing and they started asking me if I could make one (or some) for them.
So now... after two weeks of mask making I've produced 125 masks and counting, and I'm still getting orders by the hour. Just when I thought it was all slowing down I got a whole second wave of requests.
I don't know where this is going (any more than any of us know where the whole thing is going) but I love being able to use my artistic talent and inclinations to help people cope with the turmoil and tragedy. Doing the work is also calming to my spirit and is restoring my soul.
We really are all in this together and doing my small part in the battle is helping me feel more whole.