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Long Beach man uses downtime during pandemic to build face shields

Biloxi-Gulfport WLOX logo Biloxi-Gulfport WLOX 3/29/2020 Desirae Duncan
a man standing in a kitchen preparing food: A Long Beach man is using his extra time during the coronavirus crisis to make face shields for Coast doctors and nurses. © Provided by Biloxi-Gulfport WLOX A Long Beach man is using his extra time during the coronavirus crisis to make face shields for Coast doctors and nurses.

LONG BEACH, Miss. (WLOX) - During this coronavirus pandemic, a lot of people have found themselves with a lot more time on their hands. So some are using it to help those who are spending all of their time helping with the coronavirus crisis.

Zeke Fairbank has come up with a creative way to make homemade face shields; he’s using pool noodles. He came up with the idea by modifying a design from a Seattle hospital.

“One of the things that came up was that foam was going to be difficult to get and it was going to be very cumbersome to work with, and I started thinking about it and said ‘gee, why don’t we use foam noodles?’" Fairbank said.

He found the pool noodles worked perfectly. Now, he and several others are working to assemble a thousand of these face shields. They’ve already made a hundred, which are being used at local hospitals and clinics.

His idea is quickly catching on.

“I’ve had people in Dallas, and in Chicago and Boston and in Washington, D.C. pick it up and say we’re picking this up and sending it out to the local hospitals,” he said.

Fairbank said he bought the supplies from local stores, eBay and Amazon. Each face shield costs a little more than a dollar to make. He said this simple and affordable idea gives him a way to help others.

“Could I sit around and watch Netflix all day? You know the problem is at my age, I’ve seen most of the movies already, so it’s great to be able to go out and do something that’s so important for other people,” Fairbank said.

As those on the front lines continue to fight this contagious virus, he hopes the only thing that spreads faster will be the spirit of giving back during these difficult times.

“People are stitching masks at home, people are making face shields, people are stitching gowns together for people to wear at home," he said. “Everybody’s got a role to play, and instead of sitting at home and being terrified, try to figure out what you can do to help, and what role you can play.”

Fairbank hopes others will use the design to make face shields for Coast doctors and nurses.

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