Students give back to the community during the pandemic

Under the current circumstances regarding COVID-19, many individuals have purchased N95 face masks. This specific mask filters out particulates within the air and is required by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for health care workers and first responders, according to the FDA. However, the urgency for the general public to take precautionary measures has led to a shortage of the N95 masks for medical professionals.

 With much more time at hand, many people have begun to make homemade masks, either for themselves to reserve the store bought ones for first-responders, or to donate to hospitals to compensate for the shortage. Seniors Morgan and Taylor Boothe have sewed 55 masks to donate to Marin General Hospital, for children and adults. 

“When we realized there was a shortage in N95 masks, we looked up how to make the masks to help people because we enjoy putting our sewing skills to good use,” Taylor Boothe said. 

Senior Nihal Nazeem and sophomore Marie Fehring have been creating masks as well, using the STEM program’s 3-D printers to work towards producing a total of over 150 facemasks to be donated to first responders, according to NUSD’s website. 

Nazeem recognized that he “was fortunate enough to only feel bored under self-quarantine”, thus he wanted to accomplish something productive. He plans to continue printing the masks. 

Junior Izagani Aquino had wanted to volunteer and contribute to his community as well, but with the social distancing order, he was unsure of what to do at first. Soon, he established a fundraising event called Maskathon that is connected with his pre-existing Polish Dogs 2020 campaign. 

“I thought that a Maskathon would be a cool way to encourage others to find ways that they could help, while also making even more masks to donate and raising money for the food bank,” Aquino said.

The Maskathon required Aquino to make as many masks as possible, and people were able donate to his fundraiser during this time as well. Ultimately, he was able to make 32 masks and raise $980 of the $1000 goal within this time frame.

In addition to the production of face masks, many individuals have made an effort to show appreciation for those that are working to maintain the community during the pandemic, including grocery workers, first responders and police officers, among others.

Junior Katie Kosta and freshman Elise Kosta began a campaign called Uplift Novato, where they post motivational signs throughout Novato and encourage locals “to stay safe and spread positivity”, as stated by their website.

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