It is no question that the uncertain times brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are unnerving and scary for many people. The CDC has a full page on their website dedicated to coping with Coronavirus related stress and anxiety. COVID-19 has also undeniably caused great tragedy for the world as a whole, with the current global death count at around 146, 291 people. With all this being said, it is clear that any amount of light in this darkness is not only welcomed, but essential.
One such example of this can be found in a recent article from UN Women, which details the inspiring story of Serbian women, in a domestic violence safe house, sewing masks for essential workers. The article details, “The protective face masks sewn by survivors will help protect…healthcare workers, taxi drivers, cleaners and others on the front line of the pandemic.” One woman featured, Marija Tomic*, “has made hundreds of these fabric masks since Serbia declared the COVID-19 epidemic in March.”
This inspiring initiative within the safe house came about as a result of the sewing skills that Tomic already possessed, and then the operation quickly grew. UN Women explains,
“Tomic has been working in a sewing factory for years. Shortly after the pandemic was declared, Serbia saw shortage of face masks, now recognized as an important personal protective equipment in the context of COVID-19. Since the safe house had five sewing machines, Tamara Savovic, head of the shelter, swiftly procured some fabrics and Tomic delivered a quick training to current and former beneficiaries as well as volunteers who wanted to help make face masks.”
Not only have the masks helped essential workers, but the women making them have reported feeling, “empowered and valued,” as a result of aiding the pandemic relief. This story of empowerment and support is an inspiring one, and is definitely needed, in this new age facing all of us.
*Name has been changed to protect the privacy of the person.