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Sewing face masks to put people at ease during COVID-19 outbreak

One Monticello woman is doing what she can to help the people of Indiana during the COVID-19 outbreak. She's sewing masks to help put people at ease.

Posted: Mar 24, 2020 11:31 PM
Updated: Mar 25, 2020 12:09 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- One Monticello woman is doing what she can to help the people of Indiana during the COVID-19 outbreak.

She's sewing masks to help put people at ease.

Tammy Merkel said it's the least she can do. She said it's a fantastic way for her to spend her time. 

"It's simple," said Merkle. "It's not real hard. Anyone can do it."

It takes a sewing machine.

"Two pieces because you want it to be 2-ply," said Merkle.

Sewing the masks also takes two pieces of cotton and an elastic band.

Merkle said she felt a calling to sew these masks together.

"I was worried about health care workers," said Merkle. "I have friends that are nurses and you know they are running short nationwide."

Hospitals are seeing a slash in the supply of N95 masks nationwide.

Merkel had a great suggestion.

"I'd like to see them used for seniors who need to go out," said Merkle.

The cloth masks are not ideal but they could be used by medical workers.

IU Health and Franciscan Health released statements Tuesday.

"It is up to supply chain," said IU Health spokesperson Rhonda Jones. "I have suggested to the calls that have come directly to me to reach out to nursing homes and home care companies."

"We're developing criteria for what we need, and want to be respectful of peoples' time and resources," said a Franciscan Health spokesperson.

"I actually started sewing masks before even I got to that group," said Merkle.

The group was on Facebook; Greater Lafayette Sewing Masks. It was created to organize seamsters, stichers and maskers.

To join the group click here. 

"You want to make a whole bunch,but it is hard to stop," said Merkle.

Merkel works a full time job but has already found herself with 30 new masks. She has spent more than 20 hours sewing this week.

"People offer to buy them but they are not for sale," said Merkle. "One of the things I want to push on that. People are making these but this is out of the goodness of their own heart.

Goodness is the message Merkle wants to leave with the community.

"Just want everyone to know and remember; do what you can stay calm and be humble and kind.," said Merkle. "I think that is important."

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