AUBURN, Ala. (WBRC) - There may not be spring football practice right now, but that’s not stopping Auburn equipment manager Dana Marquez from staying busy at work.
Due to the shortage of medical masks, Marquez and his equipment staff started making cloth masks for those in the medical field at the East Alabama Medical Center. Last week, he hand-delivered hundreds to the nurses and doctors working on the front line.
“You can’t put words to it, you just see it in their eyes, and you just feel it. It’s almost like a hopelessness feeling, but it’s one of those things where you know you just brought something good to their day and they appreciate it so much," said Dana Marquez.
Marquez said he first learned how to sew in 2001, but he never imagined he’d trade in stitching a football jersey on the sidelines to sewing a cloth mask.
“It’s been emotional to say the least,” Marquez said.
Marquez is used to tailoring Coach Gus Malzahn’s pants, and sewing ripped jerseys, but the Auburn equipment manager of 14 years said he can now sew one mask in about 60 seconds. On average, he and his staff are making 75 masks a day.
“It’s actually a straight-forward pattern, there’s not a lot of turns, it’s just straight sewing and it’s pretty easy to get it done,” he said.
Although the cloth mask does not protect you against COVID-19, Marquez said they are for healthy nurses and doctors and can even be worn over their N-95 mask to help it last longer, due to the short supply.
“We’re treating it like a Gameday scenario, you have to push through it and keep sewing," Marquez said.
Marquez said he’s delivered masks to hospitals in Birmingham, and as of Friday morning, hospitals in Dothan have requested masks along with Auburn University police and first responders.