‘Rona Fighters

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Rona Fighters and EPICS

EPICS makes fun, patterned masks

Yulianna Gomez, Staff Writer

This summer ‘Rona Fighters, a group of high school students from Xavier College Preparatory, made it their mission to help protect the people of their community.

Xavier’s EPICS team, consisting of seniors Natalina Putrino, Carlie Peak, Bella Hutchinson, and Joey Hernandez, along with juniors Angel Polk and Catherine Sabol were tasked with creating a website and making masks that could be donated to the Native American Tribes.

Their website included instructional videos, masks and even shared tips on mask-etiquette. It also featured donation links to help other Native American communities who are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. 

 As Arizona continues to be a Covid hotspot, Native American communities continue to suffer from high rates of cases.

I think it is important to include mask-etiquette because it is important that everyone knows how to stay safe even while wearing a mask,” said junior member Catherine Sabol.  

As seen on their homepage, the transmission probability of getting infected when both carriers of the disease and healthy people wear masks is extremely low. On the mask care tab on their website, users can find ways to wear, clean and isolate their masks.

“It is important for students to know how to properly wear and clean their masks,” said Catherine Wyman, EPICS moderator and Computer Science department chair. 

This project was entirely produced by students, the project lasted from June through August, and everything was done with social distancing. Ultimately 30 masks were hand-stitched.“They did such an incredible job,” said Wyman. 

Step-by-step instructions and videos, which can be viewed on their YouTube channel, are available for those who may not be able to buy masks themselves, said senior Natalina Putrino.

‘Rona Fighters also accept materials to make masks. The requirements for certain materials are listed on their website under the donate tab.

The most important thing to come out of this project was the fact that we helped, while only a small part, our vulnerable community that is more easily exposed to the virus. We helped the Navajo Nation obtain these masks to hand out to those who needed it, and we also helped them look fashionable with our Xavier-created masks,” said junior Catherine Sabol.

All masks made by ‘Rona Fighters will be donated to the San Carlos Apache Tribe.