From March 2020, COVID-19 started to spread all over the world. In the beginning, there were only a few cases of COVID-19 in Texas and I was completely unaware of the gravity of the situation. However, the number of people infected in the United States increased rapidly with time and soon masks, hand sanitizers and toilet paper were out of stock. Public facilities began to close and schools had to switch to online classes. Since I took classes at home, I had an abundance of free time which meaninglessly passed by day after day. I wanted to do something to help fight against this global pandemic. Pondering upon what I could do, I decided to make fabric masks to donate to the ‘Boys and Girls Club’ in central Texas.
As a regular volunteer of the Boys and Girls Club, I became worried about the young children of the club. With the help from my aunt, I learned how to use a sewing machine and together we watched videos on how to make masks. It was my first time using a sewing machine, so it was not easy. It took hours to finish a single mask and the first few turned out to be sloppy and uneven. But by practicing daily, I began to get a hang of it and was able to make a decent mask in just 30 minutes.
In two weeks, I made a total of 50 masks. With countless hours sitting in front of the sewing machine, my back was aching and my fingers were numb. But it was definitely worth the effort.
|[Picture of me making face masks, Photo Credit: Haram Yoon]|
At the end of April, I came back to South Korea because the situation in Texas was not getting better. South Korea’s policy stated that all people entering the country must be quarantined for two weeks. Since I had to be isolated for fourteen days, there was plenty of time to continue making masks. My mother was proud of my plan and willingly bought all the necessary supplies. I managed to make around 80 masks during quarantine and donated them to police officers in Bell County, Texas.
|[Face masks I made during two weeks of quarantine, Photo Credit: Haram Yoon]|
The time I spent making masks turned out to be very helpful for me as well. At the beginning of ‘social distancing’, I spent most of the days on my phone or computer. I missed going out and hanging out with my friends. I felt lethargic and was unmotivated to do anything. But as I began making masks, I felt a sense of accomplishment and was proud of being able to contribute to society. When I was tired, I imagined the children of the Boys and Girls Club wearing my masks. The thought of keeping these children safe motivated me to carry on. At the end, I was extremely glad that I could do something to help others during this difficult time.
With the pandemic still going on, we should all think of ways to help. Out of all, wearing face masks is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of the virus. Let’s all wears masks and stay safe!
Holy Trinity Catholic high school (TX)
Haram Yoon firstname.lastname@example.org
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