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Joshua Yeagley is helping San Diego fight COVID-19 one mask at time

Joshua Yeagley is helping San Diego fight COVID-19 one mask at at time
Photo credit:
Joshua Yeagley

As America and the world try to make sense out of the coronavirus pandemic while following the Centers for Disease Control's (CDC) guidelines and staying home, one community member is finding ways to safely aid those on the frontlines.  

Joshua Yeagley is a local interior designer and business owner. But he is taking focus away from his profession for the time being to help people in need. 

Hospitals and medical facilities are running out of surgical masks due in part to the public's run on them during the initial spread of the pandemic. 

With the help of his sewing machine, Joshua is easing the mask shortage by making his own and donating them to local health care facilities. He got inspired by the sense of community, he says, because without that, "we don't have anything."

"I am very blessed with working hard and building connections," he adds. "I would be a terrible human if I didn’t use my connections and talents for good when the time calls. Plus I have always been a strong leader and motivator. The more I help and set an example the more hope and faith stays alive and when this ends we will be strong and ready to clean up."

Although his leadership and organizing skills are not being used in his private business right now, they are being practiced in other ways.  

"I am doing a food drive and making masks and sending them all over the U.S. and wherever needed," Joshua explains. He's even started an artist's auction on his site to help them until the galleries open back up.

"I also have been passing out masks to businesses still open where I see they don’t have them...just did UPS on Washington and the 7-Eleven next door today."

Even when he goes to the store, Joshua stays a safe distance away and asks people if they need anything, and if they do, he volunteers to drop it off. 

These acts of civility are great ways to help the community get through the pandemic, but Joshua can't do it all by himself. 

"Others can help by donating, volunteering to help deliver things," he says. They can also assist by making masks in their own home. Joshua recently published a video with instructions on how to make the masks.

Other things that people can do are, "keep up positivity and faith. Follow the governer's wishes and try and have fun and be creative with the time we are handed." He says just being there for anyone who is experiencing a hard time does a lot to boost morale. Some people just need "that shoulder they can’t get, and we need to be there to FaceTime, text or call. A 'how are you' goes a long way." 

Joshua says he is keeping safe by adhering to social distancing guidances by sewing and using technology to communicate with others. 

"I only go out when I need something from the store or to drop off things for others," he says. "I wear a mask and wash my hands constantly; hand sanitizer each time I get back into my car. I also double wash with an anti-bacterial soap first then Dove after."