Mask of a Superhero

“I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination.” -Jimmy Dean

As the Tsunami wave approaches our shores, we’ve been advised to seek shelter in our nests. It is comforting to be privileged in a crisis like this. As some of us are dosed with a daily serve of nostalgia at 10am, our less fortunate countrymen bleed out their feet trying to discover what they can call home. As we sit and absorb the summer vacation vibe with a dollop of Dalgona and strips of sweet nectary mango delight, our doctors are out fighting a battle with an enemy they cannot even see. The same doctors that we once thought to be mere mortals are out and about in their superhero capes (scrubs) with a message for us to ‘stay at home’. 

This is not about rebroadcasting the facts on hygiene in a crisis like this, as we’re fully aware that you must have read and seen some of the developments revolving Covid-19 all over the world. But, we have to reiterate some of the major facts as they deeply concern beneficiaries in Khwaab communities, as well as people living in other low-income communities all around India. 

Now, there has been misinformation about the use of masks being reserved for only the Covid-19 positive individuals. However, GOI’s verdict is out and they say- “once 80% of population wears a mask, the outbreak can be stopped immediately.” Wearing a mask is essential as to not absorb the infected droplets into our system from a covid positive individual. This practice has to be put in place in combination with the hygiene practices to avoid the spread of this deadly virus.

Masks are Essential! They’re the need of the hour but the problem is there is grave shortage in the supply of N95 and other surgical masks. Medical stores are getting overwhelmed with such demands, so much so that our doctors are facing the brunt of our buying decisions. With depleting supplies how can we aide our frontline heroes?

The answer is to shop locally for handmade cloth masks. Firstly, these are reusable and the government of India and the WHO has endorsed their effectiveness in restricting the flow of droplets into the system. Secondly, if you shop locally, you support millions of low-income community members. Unfortunately for them they cannot indulge in the extravagance of working from home. Their daily incomes have been sealed shut for the foreseeable future and now rely on selling masks as a way to support their families. Maybe this can restrict the modern day Exodus, maybe not but the reality is people are migrating to their villages because they have no source of income and no food to feed their children. If this can hand them hope on a wooden platter in a crisis like this, maybe it is not a bad idea after all. 

*Source- Masks for curbing the spread of SARS-COV-2 coronavirus (GOI)

Lastly, there is an urgent need to equip each and every community member with masks to avoid the rapid spread of transmission. Even if we can purchase masks for people in our communities, we will join the ranks of our health workers in their quest to combat the virus. We must do what we can to help flatten the curve. 

At Khwaab, we’ve realized the need for essential items in a medical crisis like this and how this crisis unfavorably impacts the household earnings of our beneficiaries during the lockdown period. Hence, we’ve decided to follow the guidelines provided by the Government of India for making two-layered handmade cotton masks. This decision not only helps us aide in the fight against covid-19 but also ensures that our didis earn a steady income during these extraordinary circumstances. All we ask of you is to-

Get a mask for a stranger, A loved one, And yourself!!

We are all in this together!

Yash Warrier

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