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Bates students, professors, sewing masks for coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

Bates professors and five international students build a sense of community during coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

MAINE, USA — With many school and college functions being canceled over the last few months, students have found themselves with unexpected free time, and five rising seniors decided to put that time to good use.

The Bates costume shop didn't seem to have a function when the Spring theater performances and Bates Dance Festival, were canceled.

So to put that resources to use, the Associate Professor of Theater, Assistant Technical Director, and five international students who still live on campus, started sewing hundreds of cloth face coverings for Bates employees'.All of them have been involved in the multi-step processes of outlining and cutting fabric, stitching together the layers of elastic, fabric and wire, ironing, and quality control.

The team has already distributed over 550 masks which primarily going to staff who still need to work on campus, particularly security, Post and Print, as well as dining and facilities staff.

The students say that making these masks has provided them with purpose and structure during a time when that can be hard to come by.

“We are all international students so we were not able to go home when school moved online, so for me, this has been my community.” Explained one student, Nicole Kumbula.

“I feel like it’s very special for me too concentrate on one thing.” Said Wenjing Zheng.“I would say it’s refreshing to come and do something just your hands. Something that is simple,” Grabriele Guacagaite told us.

Through their work, there are enough face coverings for any employee who asks for one and they plan on having masks at the ready when more employees and students return to campus. 

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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