A group of sewers from Predator Ridge, along with a colleague in Vernon, have been busy making masks for people concerned about COVID-19. (Photo submitted)

Okanagan women spending quarantine making masks

Group at Predator Ridge, and a colleague in Vernon, keeping busy making surgical masks for others

In her last days in Phoenix before returning to her Predator Ridge home, Alanna Petrusich noticed in her community newspaper a call for surgical masks to help people offset the COVID-19 pandemic.

Knowing she would be quarantined for 14 days upon arriving back in Canada, Petrusich decided to give back to her community.

The quilting instructor along with others at Predator Ridge and one in Vernon has been busy making masks.

“All I can do during the day is bake bread or make masks,” laughed Petrusich, who put out a call to fellow quilters in the Predator community to see if there would be an interest in making masks. She has been teaching quilting at the resort for the past five years.

The group of seven has been spending hours each day creating a mask from a pattern Petrusich found online.

READ MORE: Kelowna medical supply shop sells out of surgical masks amid coronavirus panic

“Our sewer in Vernon has 45 people (seniors and post-surgical friends) waiting for a mask,” said Petrusich. “We have another lady here at Predator who asked for one because she is undergoing chemo treatments.”

The group, which also includes a former Predator resident and two others now living in Victoria, is sending 20 masks to a care facility in Ontario, whose workers are working unprotected.

So far, the group has made more than 150 masks.

“We are communicating through email and phone, so we’re maintaining social distancing,” said Petrusich, adding the group is waiting on a shipment of elastic from a Vancouver wholesaler. Some masks are being made with ties.

These masks also come with nose clips and extra protection.

READ MORE: Summerland quilter ready to produce reusable face masks

They are not N95 resistant but Petrusich said the masks are “a great line of defence.”

“Making the masks is keeping us busy, and we feel good about giving back to the community,” said Petrusich.

The sewers are making the cotton masks from their own stash of materials. Petrusich said there is no formal charge for a mask but a suggested donation of a toonie would help with the cost of materials.

For more information on the masks or to help with their creation, contact Petrusich at joeandalanna@yahoo.com.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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