This is an excerpt from an article by #Masks4All – Read the full story and learn more about the cause on their website!
During the COVID-19 crisis, the Czech Republic is experiencing shortages of protective equipment. Initially, a majority of this equipment was saved for the most vulnerable workers – doctors, nurses, social workers, etc. On March 14 (two weeks since the first confirmed case), social media influencer Petr Ludwig made an educational video on the importance of wearing masks. Ludwig states that masks protect you and others. For example, if you are sick, but unaware and not showing symptoms. The video cites a study by researchers from the University of Cambridge which concludes that surgical masks are 3x more effective than home-made masks, nevertheless, they recommend home-made masks as a last resort when surgical masks are not available.
As of March 22, the video had 560k views and was shared and promoted by many other Czech influencers.
As the shortage continued, hospitals reached out via social media to ask people to sew masks for them. In an unprecedented show of support, many people started making masks, not just for the hospitals but for everybody. Individuals were making masks by hand sewing or sewing machines at home. While theaters, non-profit organizations, small businesses and factories which redirected their efforts into full-time sewing.
Local companies were sewing in bulk, supplying hospitals, senior citizen homes, the police or firemen.
Masks were delivered to hospitals or to friends and neighbors who would often find them in their mailboxes. In some areas, people created “mask trees” for extra masks available to others. As more people took to the streets and social media with masks, on March 17 at the daily government press briefing, all members were wearing masks. On March 18 the government announced it was compulsory to wear something covering a part of your mouth and nose when leaving your residence. Scarf and handkerchief masks are fine. It would be extremely unfair to mandate masks if the government could not supply them. Once almost everyone made their own, the directive was much easier to implement.
Be sure to check out Masks4All.org for photos, resources, DIY mask tutorials & more!