My sibling and, if we had souls... each other's soulmate... :-) ... joking of course... has done the self-quarantine since early March. Working in a busy clinic in the midst of a crazy flu season, they were seeing so many patients coming in and out with severe bronchial infections.
Ok, so.... I am the person who was on this pandemic-panic way back in December. So I was looked like a Chicken Little. And if I heard ONE more time that is was fake... or a hoax... or the media... I was going to scream. I followed Dr. Li Wenliang's bravery when he was punished for warning colleagues and the public on social media about the contagion within this unique strain of this virus. His bravery eventually led to some unknown punishment and then to his death from the virus.
My fear is that this would eventually get to the states. My sibling would be seeing patients that could be exposed. I googled. And became the poor--man's prepper. Bought a small amount of N95 masks in January. The kid at Walmart said he hadn't seen those before. He said for "painting homes"? I said... sure they do work for that. Then a safe amount of gloves. Nothing expensive. Weirdly thought, maybe take advantage of a Sam's Club run and grab extra paper towels and toilet paper. What's the harm...
I've never had human children but it felt like I what I imagine "nesting" to be for pregnant mothers. I needed everything. Safely hidden away in my pantry. No one the wiser. I love deals and have always picked up extras of items when they are on sale. I have the room to store it, so what the heck!
When the cases hit our state, the states of New York and Washington were already in crisis mode. Our clinics began to be busy. And I worried about my sibling. The facility is irrelevant. The nation's challenges on PPE's were clear and frightening. Despite forceful opposition to having one's own PPE, my aggravation and insistence made the "care package" a reality. I made sure that there would be a daily fresh mask (with extras) and gloves. Oh... I had purchased the Antibacterial soap and wipes the week before people caught on that they should stock up. So, we're set now. And by God's grace, our state seems to have been a state without the mass casualties.
So... why sell masks? We have 2 older parents. The thought of them becoming ill and then NOT being allowed by their bedside. Not going to happen. At least I'm going to fight their desire to ignore the science and the news. My partner in crime remains in the 2nd month of quarantine. We've seen each other 4 times, for a few minutes. From a safe distance. Our Mom gets visits on the weekends through a bedroom window. And Dad is angry and sad and resistant. He knows that his 82 year old self WON'T get sick. Impossible!!! he says...
I've had begged my family to wear a mask when out. When people were freaked at the sight. I don't care. I told them to ignore the looks. This has been for weeks. When we found partners to make these social masks that we could have fun with designs, we jumped on it. We've been actively selling on our family's website as I wanted to keep our 3 Red Rovers shop separate.
But several of our 3 Red Rovers repeat clients found our family's site and reached out to me when they saw some of our custom designs. Worried this shop had "stolen them". I was grateful! And they encouraged me to add them.
I will be wearing a mask for the foreseeable future. I am the only one to be physically there for our parents. And I have to be healthy. This shop is my only source of income and we're struggling as most micro-businesses are. With no sports games, our normal sales for dog team jerseys is flat. Bandanas are selling though, for the latest Furry Instagram stars, but we are scared.
But, we are not intending to provide masks or supplies to score a huge profit during this time. We want to bring fun masks, using the huge library of graphics that we own and have designed.
Family is our top priority. Having my sibling apart from us by continuing to serve others and provide the best medical care is inspiring but devastating. We pray for health and protection. And we hope that everyone understands that the sacrifices of ALL essential workers is a million times greater than our "cabin-fever". I really miss HomeGoods! Not gonna deny it. Or strolling around Target. But I'll deal with my own depression and anxiety at home.
We so appreciate all of the support and encouragement. We are grateful for each and every sale and know that we intend to survive this. We hope that customers that find us for the masks will see what we're all about.
Thanks for reading this novel. Maybe TMI. But transparency is critical right now.
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Please stay safe. And if you or a loved one has been impacted, we pray for healing and peace.