As the Wife of a Healthcare Worker, I Thank Christian Siriano for Using His Atelier as a Mask Factory

Christian Siriano Mask BELatina
Photo Credit IG @csiriano

The healthcare industry is one of the most hazardous environments to work in, but I never deeply thought about it until the Covid-19 became a pandemic. Whether they are doctors, nurses, patient service representatives, emergency medical technicians, helpers, laboratory technicians, or even medical waste handlers, everyone currently delivering care and services to the sick is at risk, and so are their families. 

As the wife of a healthcare worker, I can confirm that the coronavirus has completely changed the dynamic of those living in the same household as a hospital employee. No kiss hello or good night, no hugging, no having dinner together at the table, no sleeping in the same room, and no putting work clothes in the bathroom hamper: These might be some of the things workers and their families are doing as a preventive measure. 

Although we are living in perilous circumstances, I’m grateful that there are people like fashion designer Christian Siriano who are using their resources to let the frontliners know that we are in this situation together, and as a team, we are going to overcome this terrible crisis.    

On March 20th, when New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in his daily press briefing that “If you’re making clothing, figure out if you can make masks,” Maryland native and winner of “Project Runway” season four, immediately took to Twitter to offer his help. “If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some. I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help,” the thirty-four-year-old fashion designer wrote. Within an hour, the nation witnessed how the fashion world — often considered as frivolous — lined up to help the healthcare industry.  

It’s been two weeks since the Governor’s office and Siriano’s atelier confirmed they were collaborating, and thousands of masks have been shipped out to hospitals. “Melanie in our office has us up to 600 masks a day and that will be 3,000 just this week!” tweeted Siriano sharing a photo of his team in action and thanking everyone’s generosity and asking for donations. “Thank you, everyone, for all your wonderful donations we so appreciate you. Donate,” he continued. 

 

According to The New Yorker, Siriano asked Gov. Cuomo permission to reopen his fashion house and gather his team under one roof but always keeping the recommended distance from each other. The designer is making sure that absolutely everyone is working in a safe environment; therefore, twice a day every employee must check their temperature, they all commute in private cars and eat food provided by a caterer inside the atelier. This guarantees us all that this special project is in fantastic hands. 

When you are a journalist married to a hospital personnel, reading and writing about the pandemic hits differently. There’s a constant battle between your emotions and keeping your cool to produce a good quality of thoughts. 

But seeing so many other designers , musicians , editors, and everyone who is in a position to help, coming together to somehow contribute with items for our healthcare workers gives me peace. 

Regardless of your religion, let’s continue to pray for the health of our doctors, nurses, and the rest of the medical staff so they can continue helping those infected. Let’s pray for the speedy recovery of the sick, especially those who are currently hopeless. Let us pray for the deceased so that they are in a better place and let’s pray for their relatives so that they find the comfort and strength they need to accept their loss.

I greatly appreciate the great effort of all those who have done the impossible so the crisis doesn’t continue to affect us. Keep following the rules and stay at home. Together we can win this battle.