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Iowa woman sews masks, hangs them on ‘giving tree’ during coronavirus

An Iowa woman has started sewing cloth masks for her neighbourhood, and hanging them on a tree for taking.
An Iowa woman has started sewing cloth masks for her neighbourhood, and hanging them on a tree for taking. Deb Siggins/Facebook

Christmas came early for the community of Lisbon, Iowa — even during the coronavirus pandemic.

While the virus hasn’t been an easy circumstance, some peoples’ acts of kindness are brightening up the days.

Deb Siggins, 55, has been hard at work sewing face masks for those in need. The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends wearing cloth masks to stop the virus from spreading.

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Maintaining social distancing protocol, Siggins has hung her colourful and practical creations on a tree near her home so whoever needs one can grab one, CNN reports.

“My goal was to do 100 for the hospital, but then my friends and family wanted some and it just snowballed,” Siggins told the publication. “It went crazy, I’m getting so many requests from everywhere to the point where I can’t keep up.”

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She first got the idea when a local hospital, UnityPoint St. Luke’s, put a call out for donations in late March, per Good Morning America (GMA).

Coronavirus around the world: April 21, 2020
Coronavirus around the world: April 21, 2020

After finishing her first batch and donating it to the hospital, she just kept going and now has a mask count of 400.

“I just felt like [my sewing] is a gift that I could put it towards other people because it’s a gift that God has given me,” she told GMA.
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The tree that she and her husband decorate for holidays has now become “the giving tree” during the pandemic.

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“It was really cool to see people driving up, grabbing a mask and leaving,” she said. “It’s been a hit.”

Siggins is always replenishing the tree with new masks, and doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

“[I’ll] keep doing it until the need isn’t needed anymore.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Health officials caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are legally obligated to self-isolate for 14 days, beginning March 26, in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.

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Some provinces and territories have also implemented additional recommendations or enforcement measures to ensure those returning to the area self-isolate. Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease.

If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities. To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

meaghan.wray@globalnews.ca

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