Yesterday was the final day of the all-Estonian mask making initiative ‘Let’s clean the virus out of Estonia’. Masks were made in 351 places and a total of 7336 cloth masks were sewn. Harju County, Tartu County, and Pärnu County were the counties where the most masks were made. Masks were also sewn in various places outside Estonia – in Germany, France, and Luxembourg. Today marks the day when large shopping centres are reopened across Estonia and that gives us reason to remember the safety measures and also wear a mask.
Tarmo Tüür, leader of the Let’s Do It collective action day, said that this year’s mask making initiative was a success and that an unexpected high number of masks were made. ‘As the emergency situation forbade us from holding the annual Let’s Do It communal action day this spring, we decided to contribute to raising people’s awareness of the necessity of wearing a mask in order to help stop the virus from spreading and life in Estonia return to normalcy,’ said Tüür, adding that thanks to the Let’s Do It initiative, Estonia is now 7336 masks safer. ‘We hope that the corona virus will not be returning in large waves, but various virus outbreaks can still occur in the future. This spring gave us all a valuable experience in protecting our own health and that of our close ones, and also taught us to protect ourselves together from viruses in the future.’
According to the Let’s Do It mask making final tally, the most masks were sewn in the Harju County, where 138 mask actions were held and a total of 2629 masks were made. Tartu Country (1103 masks), Pärnu County (794 masks), Viljandi County (660 masks) and Võru County (504 masks) followed. The rest of the counties participated as follows: Ida-Viru County (312 masks), Saare County (317 masks), Jõgeva County (167 masks), Lääne County (123 masks), Järva County (37 masks), and Hiiu County (20 masks). Outside Estonia, people in Germany, France, and Luxembourg took part in the mask making action, sewing 283 masks in total. The summary is available here: media.voog.com/0000/0046/6693/files/Maskitalgud_arvudes.xlsx
Estimating the retail value of every handmade mask at approximately €5, people made approximately €36,680 worth of masks at home during the mask making action. If every mask were to be used for three hours, all the masks could then be worn for a total of 22,000 hours, after which the masks can be washed and reused over and over again. The Let’s Do It website provides recommendations about how to wear a mask and how to care for it.
This year’s do-it-at-home mask sewing got underway on 20 April and reached
its peak on the first Saturday of May, the traditional all-Estonian Let’s Do It
collective action day. Mask making continued until 10 May. The domestic mask
making held instead of the traditional collective action held every spring constituted
an all-Estonian mask making communal action, the aim of which was to make
wearing self-made masks an everyday thing, to promote the correct way to wear a
mask and the necessity to wear a mask in public indoor spaces in order to quell
the virus from spreading further. The social media hashtags of the mask making
action are #TeemeMaske, #KannameMaske,
mask making workshop under the guidance of handicraft teacher Anna
Lutter held during the mask action can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/teemeara/videos/294668031690184/. Video summary of the Let’s Do It team’s own mask making action together with seamstress Anu Kaelussoo can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bw__NmfxznQ.
The collective action day Let’s Do It is a major annual spring event for dozens of thousands of people in Estonia, where they come together and get all the most urgent tasks in their neighbourhood done together. We were not able to assemble this spring, but the most important task of the neighbourhood, cleaning the virus out of Estonia, we could still only do together.
The organisers of the collective action day were The Estonian Fund for Nature, Kodukant, the Estonian Village Movement, and the network centred around them. National Foundation of Civil Society, Tamrex, Vizeum, Tele2, Nordic Hotel Forum, R-Kiosk and others participated as partners.
The next Let’s Do It collective action day will be held on 1 May 2021, and hopefully in the traditional form.