Coronavirus masks – we play our part



Masken gegen Corona 1 Masken gegen Corona 2
Masken gegen Corona 3 Masken gegen Corona 4

I recently sold my sewing machine - following a move to a smaller flat – a machine which my grandmother had given to me as a wedding gift. I thought I would have no further use for it, but I had been using it for such a long time that it was not easy to part with it. And now we have coronavirus …..

In the Medoc where we live there has not yet been any sign of the virus increasing, nor is there a critical situation in the clinics, or even a shortage of ventilators. But we have heard of the flight of Parisians to the Atlantic coast as a result of lockdown, and a ban on access to beaches (which are now closed to us too). Over the last few days more and more people can be seen wearing masks, and they are now starting to keep their distance in an obvious way, so we too are now preoccupied with protecting ourselves and our household.

My husband therefore suggested that we follow this advice: that we really should wear masks when we go shopping in the village, to show we are being careful. He straightaway suggested that we make them ourselves since none were available at the pharmacy. But ….. without a sewing machine? We asked our neighbour if she had one: yes, she did have one and would be happy to lend it to us. So here we were, poring over the manufacturer’s guide that we found on the internet.

But it wasn’t my machine, and we first had to become familiar with the right way of using it, before giving it a test run. Being active in this coronavirus crisis was in itself very motivating, but we also took great pleasure in making the masks. Nevertheless, the thread ran out just before completing the third mask for our neighbour. Not knowing how to re-thread it - it wasn’t my machine - so we gave it back to the neighbour, with the mask almost finished!

Now we wear our masks when we go into a shop or if we have to cross the path of people in the street. Does that give us a safe feeling? Not really ….. and you can no longer see our smiles of sympathy, unfortunately!

2020 Elke Schwichtenberg (Saint-Vivien), translation: Margaret and Richard Beasley