Helping the Cause!

Happy Mask Monday!

This is the day when you will need to thank everyone who was able to pick-up fabric kits over the weekend. In addition to the thanks, you will also need to share are a few things you may not have remembered to tell everyone. First of all, you need to remind the army of sewers that when they put their finished masks in the collection totes, you need them to add in a post it note or slip of paper with their name so you can track which kits are done and which are still being worked on. You also need to warn them that they may find when cutting their fabric, that things got a little wonky while the prep crew was cutting the kits because those were some seriously large pieces of fabric you started with. The sewers may have to cut down a little to be straight and match pieces, and that is fine.

You will be back at the high school parking lot Tuesday evening to hand out more kits, and you are hoping to see many more familiar faces at that time.

Initially, you were dreading the two hours in the parking lot over the weekend, and then realized that you enjoyed myself more than you could have imagined. Seeing old friends, meeting new friends, and marveling at everyone working together for good was just the thing that you needed. Some people having their moms come help to sew; some are going to be teaching their daughters to sew; some just love to sew. There were teachers and paras and parents asking about your children and you had a chance to talk to show choir moms from other schools sharing the love for music and what the kids do. It was a great day. your heart came home full.

And while you realize that your efforts may pale in comparison to the medical work that both of your daughters do and the pharmaceutical laboratory fume hood work that your husband does, but coordinating this sewing project has kept you busy, kept you motivated, kept you sane. And while your husband is reconsidering the protocols of checking the fume hoods at least once a year by an independent certifier to make sure it has the correct airflow to meet Cal/OSHA criteria, you have a few quality control plans in place as well. An army or moms, and anyone else who wants to sew can make a difference, just as the nurses and doctors who are treating patients and the pharmacy companies working to develop a vaccine.

Carbon 14 Production and Other Kinds of Pharmaceutical Work Is in High Demand

With the highest production rate 10 to 13 miles above Earth’s poles, Carbon-14 is produced in the stratosphere by nuclear reactions of atmospheric nitrogen with thermal neutrons produced naturally by cosmic rays. And while this other worldly definition may seem like a long ways from sewing cloth masks, during these Covid-19 times it is obvious that success will require an attack from all sides, including carbon 14 production and mask making.

These seem like uncertain times. Politicians and the public seem to be in an all out battle about whether masks are necessary or needless and about just how soon a vaccine for the Coronavirus will be available. One thing that few, if any, people can argue about is the need to find a way to be productive. And while it is easy to see how pharmaceutical researchers are able to play their part with all things science, it may be more difficult to discover how the average individual can be involved. Fortunately, from making donations to food pantries to delivering necessary items to neighbors who feel they need to continue to self isolate, there are plenty of options. As the school year opening looms ever closer, many parents are helping schools prepare for the possibility of needing to wear masks. Scientists and researchers are using their knowledge of carbon 14 production, clean room standards, and radiolabeling techniques; doctors are encouraging patients to come in for normal check ups; and teachers are making plans for the possibility of more remote learning. And while not everyone can understand the science behind carbon 14 production and radiolabeled compounds, everyone can do something!