Help in the Storm

Disease coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Virus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)

No matter where you live, this has most likely had an effect on you and your family. The challenge is knowing what information is most accurate. Most of the general population is not trained medically, especially in the biology of the intricacies of viral disease. So we do our best to sort through all of the information we are presented, and search for more to compare it and find out the facts. (Thankfully in the beginning of all of this I have a dear friend who’s daughter graduated a biology major in researching things exactly like this. I could not be more grateful for her wisdom and thoughts regarding this pandemic.)

While gathering information, we have done our best not to succumb to the media hype and fearmongering. Hanging back and waiting has been best for mindset, and has allowed for time to research in depth and further into what needed to be done from us – on our end. In my personal home my husband is considered an “Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker (CISA of the Department of Homeland Security)” and an “Essential Worker (FMCSA)” as determined by those agencies. Some days that has been an incredible relief because we still have income; which for many have no guarantee. Other days it comes with all of the concerns and worries that are very real regarding this virus and disease.

We have also done our best to follow recommendations that make the most sense and seem reasonable in comparison to the virus and disease.  We decided that social distancing from our local family (anyone who does not live in the four walls outer of our home) is the absolute best for all involved. This has been an incredibly hard challenge. We miss our children, our grandchildren, our parents, our siblings. THIS IS NOT EASY. Our state and local governing agencies have not issued true quarantine orders, we have what are called Stay at Home orders. Basically it means we should not go ANYWHERE unless an essential worker going to work, or going to retrieve necessary items for survival.

Our focus has been on what we CAN do, so I’m sharing a few ideas and thoughts on possibilities for anyone. We can still enjoy outdoor activity, in fact it is very healthy and encouraged. At first the weather here prevented that which made it very hard for everyone locally. A little sunshine goes a long way in what you can handle, your attitude, and your health. We have been able to finish several projects we had planned and purchased for when we moved here in October. We can support our family and friends with words of encouragement. Staying in contact via FaceTime, Zoom, text, phone calls, social media, or any other communication is wonderful and keeps isolation feelings at bay. Sharing jokes, music, crafts, ideas, worship have all been things I have seen that help keep spirits up. We can make food, and deliver it to people we love, utilizing safe social distancing practices, and the recipient can wipe down containers upon receiving it. This not only gives us something to do, it helps our family and friends feel so very loved. If we have talents and gifts to help the masses, we can also get involved and donate, sew, or anything else that is needed to help our fellow man.


Which leads me to my announcement that relates to Gentle Grace Boutique. The need for face masks (handmade for spread prevention, not medical masks) is very high. Many are struggling trying to find them. I have a another sweet friend who has organized a large operation for mask donations to local essential workers who so desperately need them. They have also donated so much to the community by placing cut fabric pieces and elastics (approximately for ten masks) in each zip bag at our local library in a box on the porch. She refills it twice daily for those who can sew, they make and keep what they need. They return any remaining sewn up to donate. Our community truly is a gift to one another.

I have been asked if I am making masks by so many people. I have been making some for donations, family, and friends; but I see the need is so much greater. People want to wear them. I want to share the best information I have found regarding the actual protection these provide. I want to make certain that everyone knows this is not a guarantee that wearing it will be 100% protection from contracting the virus. It is better than nothing, but be aware it is in no way medical grade.  I am including links to articles I have read with research about what can be used for best practice. I am also including a video link regarding how to take the mask off. THIS IS IMPORTANT. The mask needs to be put on immediately before going in, and removed immediately upon leaving. When you remove the mask and put it in a container, be sure to wash in warm or hot soapy water when you get home (your clothes should be washed also, and showering is recommended but I digress). Please educate yourself regarding this, and make sure best practice is always used so you do not contaminate yourself or your family.


Information and research regarding materials that filter best (updated as they have more information): Smart Air Filters DIY Face Mask

A second article with research for DIY filter: NBC Some Fabrics Work Better for DIY Masks

How to put on and remove a mask: WASH IMMEDIATELY AFTER WEARING EVERY TIME

Here is the link for mask orders, and also one below. These masks have an opening where an additional barrier can be placed inside the mask for extra protection. I wish I could give them all away, but I cannot. I am in no way making a profit from this; the charge only pays for supplies and materials, the time and sewing are donated. There will be multiple sizes listed, and I will use all of the elastic I have available – then will move on to making tie straps (they will last longer in the warm or hot water washes). I am going to offer the option of a price choice:
– One mask for $3 or
– One mask for you and one mask I will donate to Essential Workers $5


We are and will continue to pray for you and your families, the health and safety of our world, and the healing of so many who have this illness. Wishing you joy, keep up the hope – Danielle

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