Coronavirus: Glendale couple alleviating demand by making homemade masks for public

Rachel Brown Image
Wednesday, March 25, 2020
COVID-19: SoCal couple make homemade masks for public
HELPING HAND: This Glendale couple is alleviating the skyrocketing demand for protective gear by making homemade masks for the public.

GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- As coronavirus cases surge across the U.S., so is the need to produce protective gear for public workers. Now, even people in the community are doing their part to flatten the curve for demand.

One couple from Glendale has been busy working on making homemade masks. They wake up every day, sit down at their table and get to work sewing hundreds of masks.

"We were in the TV and Film industry," Ruby-Ann Lee said.

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"I feel like we're running a job right now. Like a normal production job," said Lee's boyfriend, Darren Cantone.

Just one week ago Lee and Cantone were working behind the scenes of some of the biggest TV shows in Hollywood. Today, their front porch doubles as their new office space.

"I'm making masks with my boyfriend at the moment because people need them," Lee said.

"I described it as a war effort. Everyone just did a job and made things as needed so that's what we're doing," Cantone said.

They're using their time and their talents to hopefully save American lives. The idea to make the masks at home came when they could not find a mask to purchase.

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Their first batch of masks went to Lee's cousin in Hawaii, who works at a post office.

Then, friends started to ask. Now, their mission is to help any person working a job that requires they come in regular contact with the public - this would include grocery store employees, postal staff, fast food workers and beyond.

"We're hoping that our masks flatten the curve and help us get back to work quicker," Lee said.

These are not the N95 medical masks, but some health officials say homemade masks are better than nothing.

The masks Lee and Cantone make are made out of tight woven cotton fabric, elastic and wool felt. Each mask also has a noticeable touch of fun.

This is a story of human kindness during a frightening and uncertain time.

"No one told her to do it, nobody asked her to do it, nobody told her there was gonna be monetary compensation for doing this - like she did it on her own," Cantone said.

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