A small group of Wesson American Legion Auxiliary women are practicing social distancing to keep themselves safe from COVID-19 and making masks while they lay low so health care and public service workers and others who can't avoid crowds can protect themselves as well.
On three mornings a week, three of the women -- Cathy Stroud, Melnee Frazier and Sharon Langley -- meet at the Wesson American Legion hall to sew the masks. Pat McCreary, Dot Jones and Janet Currie are also making masks at their homes.
Since early April, the five women have turned out more than 400 masks.
"We are giving them away," says Langley. "They are being worn by Wesson police, Brookhaven fire department personnel, staff and truckers at Wal-Mart Distribution Center, emergency room personnel in McComb and people who just pick them up at the Legion hall as needed. Occasionally, we'll see someone not wearing a mask, who should be, and will give one away randomly."
The Legion sewers have sent them to King's Daughters Medical Center, Silver Cross Nursing Home and other area nursing homes, the Compassus Hospice in Brookhaven and the VA clinic in Natchez.
The sewers use quality cotton material for the masks, which they acquire mostly through donations and some purchasing. They say their biggest frustration has been periodic unavailability of the elastic they use for the mask ear straps.