College senior Ashley Lawrence noticed that many people have started making their own mimic surgical masks, which protect the person wearing it from large droplets or splashes that may contain viruses, and protect others from the wearer's respiratory emissions, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. These masks are different from the so-called N95 respirators that are recommended for health care workers and provide medical-grade protection.
While Lawrence isn't the first person to make a mask with those in the deaf and hard of hearing community in mind, her post comes at a time when masks and other medical supplies are much-needed commodities to fight the spread of coronavirus. And the demand for supplies is unlikely to dwindle anytime soon — especially in the United States, which is now the global epicenter of the pandemic.
The number of cases continues to grow in America, with more than 242,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and over 5,800 deaths in the country, according to numbers from Johns Hopkins University. However, the government has cautioned the worst of the crisis is still to come. President Trump recently told the U.S. to brace for "a very bad" two or three weeks.