Sketched March 31, 2020

A lot of regular folks are stepping up to help in any way they can during the coronavirus pandemic. Allan Capacia Carandang of Mukilteo is one of them.

Since hearing about the shortage of protective equipment in the medical community, Carandang has been sewing face masks for health workers.

“Last week I made 15 a day and by the end of the week I had 70,” he told me recently over a video conference (a socially distant way of sketching that I plan to do more often).


As a senior art director for Dillon Works, a Mukilteo design and fabrication company with clients worldwide, Carandang is no stranger to making things. That explains why his face masks look so professional.

He uses one layer of polypropylene fabric — a breathable textile commonly used in sportswear and cold-weather garments — for the outer layer of the mask; two layers of cotton for the lining; elastic thread for the ear loops; and a pipe cleaner to make the edge around the nose adjustable.

Carandang first thought of donating the masks through a program spearheaded by JOANN Fabrics and Crafts, but he has been hearing from enough friends and acquaintances in the medical field to keep a steady number of shipments going out in batches of five or 10 masks.

“I want to make sure they go directly to the people on the front lines,” he said.

P.S.: In future posts, I’d like to feature more people who are stepping up to help in this unprecedented health crisis. Email me if you or someone you know would be interested in being a subject.

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