Please Be Considerate & Wear A Mask

PH: nbcnews.com

POST MEMORIAL DAY AND IN MEMORY OF ALL THOSE WHO FOUGHT FOR OUR COUNTRY, LET’S ALL AGREE ON ONE IDEA: WEAR A MASK. 

My step grandfather fought in Vietnam and lost both his legs below the knee during service. He also happened to be the reason why my family and I were able to immigrate to America legally as he was our sponsor. He was the sweetest man who would give anything and everything to his family and loved ones. Fifteen years ago he passed peacefully in his sleep like the angel he was.

I always remember him, particularly on Memorial Day. This Memorial Day, of course, was unlike any other. We remember the 100,000 lives lost due to COVID along with our fallen soldiers. 

There is too much information flying around these days about what this virus is and isn’t, but here’s an article shared with me by a physician friend which outlines what the numbers and fatalities actually are. According to the medical community.

This virus has sadly divided us into two people: those who wear a mask and those who choose not to as it infringes on their 1st Amendment rights. The thing is, wearing a mask is a choice and by wearing one you say I care about YOU and not just ME. 

Here’s why we should be considerate and wear a mask.

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I run a production company in Los Angeles and like most businesses I have been paused for months. However, being the social activist I am, I had to get involved somehow. 

Below is an interview of how I helped a shoe company co-owned by my partner pivot into making masks for the public. 

An interview with William Pritchard, COO of Inkerman NYC on how and why this all started. 

Q&A

Balbinka: How and why did you decide to turn your shoe factory into producing masks?

William: Once the city was placed on lockdown, our stores closed, each of us hunkered down to see what would materialise. Like many business owners the uncertainty was unprecedented and something nobody could prepare for. It became about survival.  

Tuning into the news everyday, I remember my partner eagerly awaiting the daily announcements from Governor Cuomo to Governor Newsom, she ensured I didn’t miss a moment – things were developing so quickly. It painted such a fragile picture of human life. 

However soon there was a feeling of unity that surfaced through the despair and it became clear that those who could should support in any way possible. We had a supply chain based in Mexico so we immediately started focusing on repurposing this, making mask samples, purchasing materials and machinery to begin production as soon as possible. 

Balbinka: Once you knew you could enter this market, what then became your strategy?

William: We launched a 1:1 donation initiative meaning we donated one mask to the State of New York for every one purchased. It allowed those who did not necessarily have the same access to resources to contribute to the wider cause through our collective initiative.  

With their help and all the people who have guided us along the way, we are set to donate over 26,000 masks to help support essential workers on the frontline. 

It has been amazing seeing the response and support people have shown; certainly has been heart-warming witnessing the compassion and strength in unity across the country. Truly a team effort on a grand scale. 

To order a mask visit the site and/or IG: inkerman_nyc.

Now is a chance to support a small business and stay safe. If you already have a mask, consider donating one to the Native American population which is the most at risk and in need of help at the moment

For all of us Americans, whether they are here with us in spirit or presence, let’s support a small business and one another. That’s the patriotism my grandpa fought for. 

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