Like it frogs in an illusion by David Blaine masks come from masks from strange places. In the midst of a national shortage of protective equipmentwe learned this week that companies are on stocks of N95 respirators: first, Facebook produced 720,000 (leftover of the occupational safety and health regulations after the California wildfires, it turns out), and today, Apple promised to get an extra ten million from the supply chain. It seems only natural that Washington National Cathedral would find thousands of masks in its crypt. It did and the cathedral reports that it donates 5,000 of them to local hospitals. “Seek and you will apparently find,” they said tweeted this afternoon.
The Mystery of the Haunted Masks has an experienced stonemason, Joe Alonso, who recalled, according to a Washington National Cathedral representative, that the cathedral bought thousands of masks in 2006 amid fears of bird flu to protect clergy. Alonso checked the crypt-level storage, discovered the masks, and cathedral officials confirmed with the manufacturer and CDC that they were still safe for use. (In February, the CDC produced guidelines when assessing respirators in stock that have survived their service life in the event of a shortage.)
In a press release, the cathedral stated that they have delivered 2,000 N95 respirators to Children’s National and 3,000 to Georgetown University Hospital. They keep a small number for their future pastoral services.
Currently, Washington, DC has 187 confirmed cases from Covid-19. The national shortage of protective equipment has worsened by citizens save personally masks, has led to the hashtag “#GetMePPE” or “Get Me Personal Protective Equipment”.
Do you have hundreds, if not thousands, of masks in your basement? Or even just one? Donate it.