A challenge many people face during the coronavirus outbreak is how to help the response effort while staying at home and adhering to social distancing guidelines.
One Minnesota woman came up with her own answer to that question: she’s sewing face masks with fun, colorful, and vibrant designs that also provide people with protection they might not otherwise have.
Cristina Kjos, a Delta employee who is working from her home in St. Louis Park, started making the masks for herself, sharing her initial attempts with her friends on Facebook. As she made revisions and shared more examples of her work, a nurse reached out to her, and asked if Kjos could make her a few.
As the nurse explained, like many of her colleagues, she could only use one mask a day at work, and she was afraid she could end up passing the virus to her family when she got home.
“I said, ‘OK, sure, no worries. I'm going to make it for you.’ And so I did,” Kjos told the Paul and Joranda show on Tuesday,
More people started reaching out, both to help and to ask for their own masks. Kjos improved her design with practice, and has added sport themes, as seen in the gallery above. While first mask took her about 20 minutes to make, she can now finish one in seven minutes.
While Kjos’s facemakes are unique, she is not alone — homemade mask-making has become popular in the online crafting community, driven by sites like Etsy. Healthcare providers are taking notice, including Allina Health in Minnesota, which is accepting donations of homemade face masks.
For now, Kjos is still donating all the masks she makes. She leaves them by her door, so people who reached out to her can pick them up.
“And I have other friends who are helping (deliver to) caregivers or places that are asking for donations, so I have lots of friends helping out, which is wonderful,” she said.
Listen to the segments with Megan Muske and Cristina Kjos below: