100 plus and counting. One stitch at a time, Rose State College Professor Michelle Brockmeier and her friend, Vicki Dimmer, a former Special Education teacher in the Mid-Del school system, are sewing together masks to protect loved-ones in the hardest hit area of the country, in New York City.
For Brockmeier, this pandemic has become incredibly personal. Brockmeier’s son is quarantined in New Jersey. Her niece is a nurse working in New York City. Her nephew is a police officer working at NYPD without a mask. Her sister is an 80-year-old living in NYC and scared of what happens if she contracts Covid-19.
“When I saw the catastrophe unfolding in my hometown (in New York), I was sick,” stated Brockmeier. “As I watched, it upset me to see people selling masks for higher prices and I was thinking ‘shame on you’ we should be giving these away,” said Brockmeier. So, she found a pattern on Facebook and with friends starting using anything she had to create cloth face masks. Apparently elastic is a hot commodity right now so Brockmeier says she pulled elastic out of clothes she had set aside to donate. Others were pulling elastic out of bed sheets to be used in the mask making.
Several boxes of masks have already been shipped off. Brockmeier’s family in New York are passing them out to co-workers in the hospitals and the police department.
Moving forward it will take a small army to keep the assembly line going. While sewing away at night, Brockmeier is teaching seven online classes during the day at Rose State. She says she wouldn’t change a thing and is looking to expand her mask-making services to those who need it across Oklahoma.
“It’s a drop in the bucket but I’m doing what I can,” Brockmeier says.