Langley’s Gabe Gat has come up with a creative variation of the mask straps that help reduce irritation for medical first responders.”
His “Hero Hooks” design offers users a choice between a silhouette of Superman or Wonder Woman, flexing both arms in a suitably heroic pose.
“It’s pretty basic,” Gat described, but “a little bit different and a bit more creative,” something appropriate for people he views as real-life heroes.
By clipping mask elastic straps that usually loop around ears to the hooks, irritation can be avoided.
With nurses and doctors and other medical staff having to wear protective masks all day long due to COVID-19 concerns, rubbing from the elastic straps can leave the back of their ears sore, said Gat, who described himself as one of many in what he termed the “maker community” building gear to help medical professionals.
His design is made from easy-to disinfect acrylic.
Once word got out about Gat’s unique creations, the response was “overwhelming,” he told the Langley Advance Times.
Requests have come in from as far away as Washington State and Manitoba, with “dozen and dozens” of people expressing interest.
He’s made about 1,000 so far with a laser cutter he usually uses to build projects in his home garage in Langley’s Willowbrook neighbourhood.
Often, Gat said, he’s heard from people reaching out on behalf of a family members or loved one who is working on the front lines of the novel coronavirus battle.
Gat, who is making the Hero Hooks at his own expense, is hoping to get donations of more sheets of acrylic.
Anyone interested can reach him at reach him at HeroHooks2020@gmail.com.
Others have been making versions of mask straps for health care workers in Langley, including staff at the Langley Christian School, a teacher at Lynn Fripps Elementary and work-from-home-staff at the Signify plant.
There has been an international movement to use 3D printers to fill the gap in supplies for health care workers during the COVID-19 outbreak, with public domain designs released to make everything from face shields, masks, ventilator parts, safety goggles and even hands-free door openers.