Shortage of face-masks prompts some to come up with homemade solution
RIVERVIEW, N.B. -- Advice to cover your face in public has lots of people hand-making their own face masks, while some others are making facemasks to send to front-line workers.
With the shortage of face masks during the pandemic, Louise Arsenault has taken it upon herself to make her own. To date she's sewn around 350.
"I usually get down here around ten o'clock and I'm probably here until seven, eight o'clock at night," said Arsenault.
Orders for cloth masks are coming in to her basement-business from various industries -- including nursing home workers and veterinarians in Riverview, N.B.
"Owners are not allowed to come in the clinic, so they go to the parking lot to arm's length, to get the dog or the cat and they have to be fully protected," said Francis Arsenault, the Riverview Animal Hospital medical director.
Arsenault says the masks being used at the Riverview Animal Hospital are crucial in protecting their staff and the animals, as they are an essential service with twenty four seven emergency care.
While face masks are in short supply so, too, are the materials to make them. Louise Arsenault says a shortage of elastic halted production for a short while, but she's now back in business with her drive-thru style fabric hall.
"I call, I order, she picks something out, because I can't go in the store so I tell her what I need, and she cuts it and I drive in front of the store, pull the window down, she throws it in the car, then I leave," said Louise Arsenault.
It's a similar scene in Nova Scotia, where the Maritime Tartan Company is doing their part, with 500 masks already sewn and 500 more to come.
They've now hit their capacity of supplies and won't be making any more after that, but the ones they have given out on a donation-base have raised money for local charities, said Sherrie Kearney, the Maritime Tartan Company owner.
"We donated $1,000 to a foodbank in Cape Breton and we've donated 4,500 brown paper bags to Hope Cottage in Halifax because they need bags to hand out their lunches."
The handmade masks are especially popular for their ability to be washed and re-used.
Those behind the sewing machine say it's a tedious task, but worth every minute.
"I'm just enjoying my sewing machine and I feel good knowing I'm doing something to make a difference," said Louise Arsenault.