The Manatee Sarasota PPE Mask Story The movement started when Manatee County Aging Network, a 501c3, that is a local agency dedicated to serving the Senior population in our area, were having an emergency board meeting to determine how to use formerly allocated grant money toward emergency response efforts. It started before we heard the first case of Covid had been diagnosed in Florida. However, we were starting to hear other Governments to follow the overwhelming scientific evidence that shows we need to wear homemade masks in public to slow COVID-19. Manatee County Aging Network during this time also learned that a small Facebook group had started growing and was gaining momentum in rallying volunteers to make masks. It was the perfect pairing April 5 Update: In light of the scientific evidence, more than ten countries have now implemented mandatory Masks4All laws and this number is rapidly increasing. The COVID-19 Pandemic Novel (“new”) coronavirus appeared in late 2019 and causes the deadly respiratory disease, COVID-19. We now know the novel coronavirus spreads quite easily from person to person, even when an infected person has no symptoms. The highly contagious virus spreads when infected people cough, sneeze, or even simply talk near uninfected people. Unfortunately, COVID-19 spread undetected in the United States for several weeks, catching communities in all 50 states off guard with overflowing Emergency Rooms and ICUs, before any steps were taken to slow the spread. Hospitals in other parts of the country are now above capacity and their resources are spread extremely thin. Our goal here is to get ahead of the cure. Even severely ill COVID-19 patients are having trouble accessing testing kits, ventilators and the care that they need. Sadly, this means skyrocketing mortality rates among many people who could have been saved. With no cure and no vaccine in immediate sight, the necessary steps to prevent COVID-19 from completely spreading across our country and the globe are extremely limited, but incredibly important to take for all of us. It’s up to each and every one of us to take immediate action. Healthcare & Essential Workers First In order to do this successfully a healthcare professional or essential worker is first. This allows us to prioritize the most critical need and get you the right type of mask in the hands of those fighting covid directly.