Delaney Donnohue & Turner Cole, Reporters
In light of the country’s current health crisis, face masks have become an integral and necessary precaution for the purpose of “flattening the curve” and reducing the spread of COVID-19. Due to the devastating effects of the virus, students across the country have experienced various graduation circumstances and even cancellations.
Marley Fishburn (Delaware) took her in-person graduation ceremony at Seaford Senior High School as an opportunity to showcase her individuality and her future college home at William and Mary.
“I designed my mask with the logo of the high school I graduated from and the year, as well as the college I will be attending, and the year I intend to graduate from there, respectively,” Fishburn described.
Fishburn wanted to make up for the fact that she and her fellow classmates were not going to have the traditional ceremony they desired and also felt compelled to follow all safety guidelines.
“Everything feels so out of control right now and how my mask looked was something I could control, so I took advantage of the situation and made the most of it.”
Jessika Crockett-Murphy (Massachusetts) designed a mask with home state flair. She decided to create a “CONA Care Package” for all the members of her Massachusetts CONA delegation. Her care packages included a special homemade mask, a can of Cheerwine, a few stickers, a notebook, a pencil, and other trinkets. Crockett-Murphy even spent eight hours delivering the packages to her delegation members.
“I went to CONA last year and had a literally life-changing experience, and I realize this year it would be harder for delegates to feel that amazing ‘Blue Ridge Spirit,’ so as CLC, I wanted to give them all something to get excited for and prepared for CONA. The mask will always remind them that they were a part of ‘that one CONA that was online.’ This is such an odd experience for everyone, so I really wanted to make sure everyone felt appreciated, celebrated, and excited for CONA,” Crockett-Murphy explained.
The Massachusetts CLC and her mother made all of the masks for CONA from fabric that features their home state and landmarks. According to Crockett-Murphy, she found the fabric on the Jo-Ann Fabrics’ website, and she loves that it was “unisex” and also has a Massachusetts theme. The masks take about five minutes to make, but the CONA masks are not the only ones the CLC and her mom made this year. They have sewn more than 2500 masks to protect friends, family, and others who have reached out online during this pandemic on two sewing machines donated to the effort.
“Getting to help people in that capacity has really helped me get through the fear and mental stress about the pandemic. Youth and Government has instilled in me that love of helping and serving people, so making the masks for my fellow delegates and friends helps me stay positive,” stated Crockett-Murphy.