As the novel coronavirus, Covid19, continues to spread worldwide, the CDC has put out multiple recommendations for how to stay healthy. Handwashing, social distancing, and the wearing of cloth masks have all been suggested as ways to keep yourself and others healthy.
Cadillac Asphalt Office administrator, Kelly Jager, took the CDC recommendations to heart. Kelly has worked for Cadillac Asphalt since November 2013, but she’s been a crafter since she was a teenager, and sewing has been a lifelong hobby. She and her sister started researching mask patterns to make for their own families when they heard that the virus had spread to Michigan and surrounding states.
Kelly’s daughter-in-law, Jamie, works for Ascension Healthcare in Southeast Michigan. “My son called me the week of March 13 and said that masks were scarce and asked if I would be interested in making some for Jamie to take into work,” Jager said. “I started making masks that weekend and have been making them every weekend since.”
Kelly’s other daughter-in-law, Alexa, also works in the medical field, with the Royal Oak Beaumont health system. Alexa was pulled from her normal work on the transplant team in late March to work on the Covid19 floors of her hospital.
“She’s our family’s hero,” Jager said. Over the course of two weekends in late March and early April, Jager sewed more than 100 masks that she donated to Ascension Healthcare and Beaumont Hospital of Royal Oak. She’s continued to make masks and ear savers for medical professionals, some of which have been sent to ER, ICU, and Covid19 wards in New York City hospitals, which have been heavily hit by the novel coronavirus.
While cloth masks are not 100% effective against the spread of coronavirus, their use limits the spray of germ-carrying saliva when speaking and breathing and can also help extend the life of medical-grade masks when worn overtop of them, keeping the outer surface clean.
Word of her donations has spread; Kelly has received multiple thank you messages for her work, from the Brown City police department, fire department, and post office, as well as Marlette’s fire department. She also continues to get requests for more masks.
Kelly Jager plans to continue making and donating masks, but materials are beginning to become scarce. Elastic has been particularly hard to come by, but she and her sister have been managing.
“This is the least I can do,” Jager said.