Safe school spirit

Quinnipiac student sells face masks to help the local community

Ashley Pelletier, Associate Arts and Life Editor

In a time when students are feeling disconnected from campus, one student shifted a federal recommendation to a display of school spirit.

Camryn Bernstein, a freshman English major from Fair Lawn, New Jersey, decided to make Quinnipiac-themed face masks for friends and family after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released guidelines recommending the usage of cloth face coverings when social distancing is not possible. However, she recognized that there was a further need for masks in her community, leading her to sell and donate masks.

Bernstein models the newest piece of QU merchandise — a mask! From Camryn Bernstein

“Somebody in the Quinnipiac parents Facebook page was asking about masks,” said Gina Bernstein, Camryn’s mother. “I showed her that and she said, ‘Oh, I can do that. I can make masks.’ So, she designed the Quinnipiac mask with the logo and posted it online and some people were interested in buying from her.”

The Quinnipiac University bookstore sells cloth face masks but does not sell any with affiliated logos. Camryn Bernstein’s masks bear a “Q” filled with blue and yellow plaid on a navy background. Citizens are encouraged to use non-medical face masks and coverings such as Bernstein’s in order to preserve personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals and other healthcare facilities.

Bernstein designs and sews the masks herself at home to spread QU spirit and safety. (From Camryn Bernstein)

The CDC first released guidelines on wearing cloth face coverings in public on April 3. Thirteen states currently require that masks or other face coverings be worn in public including New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Of the remaining states, 29 recommend the usage of face coverings but do not enforce them.

“Masks are a good way not only to protect yourself, because it’s not so much about that,” Camryn Bernstein said. “It’s just about protecting others. I think that wearing a mask is just a sign of respect to the people that you surround yourself with.”

The CDC initially only recommended that masks be worn by healthcare workers and people displaying symptoms of COVID-19. It changed its recommendation based on studies that reported respiratory droplets can travel around six feet without a covering.

“I think that if anyone has the resources or the means to either donate materials or donate money to somebody who can get materials or can put them together to donate to either the homeless community or first responders or essential workers, that it’s just really important to do so,” Camryn Bernstein said. “Because it’s not just about one person now, it’s about all of us.”