Christine Cannon and her mom, Lisa, are doing their part to help in the midst of Covid-19 by making masks. Cannon says it all started when her cousin, who is an emergency room registered nurse, asked if she would make some for her and some of her colleagues.
“After that, other people I know started reaching out to me through social media,” said Cannon. “They work in high contact jobs, everything from the nursing field to foodservice. We aren’t selling them. We just mail them out in batches as they are finished.”
Cannon is an art instructor and the Division Chair for Fine Arts and Social Science at Chattahoochee Valley Community College (CVCC). She says she’s been making things with her hands for as long as she can remember, and growing up, her mom always encouraged her creativity.
“It kept me busy and quiet,” she said with a laugh. “I have been studying art most of my life, and I like to call myself a habitual maker. I just love working on things and making stuff.”
Cannon and her mom have made about 100 masks made of cotton with pleated layers and elastic loops sewn on the ends. She considers it to be a small gesture, but she hopes every little bit is making a difference. Masks are being made all over the country to help fill a need as hospitals are dealing with shortages in protective gear. Cannon feels like she is giving back to her community while also coping with the pandemic.
“Making masks makes me feel a little less helpless,” she said. “I am also painting. I paint whether I am really happy or really stressed, so I always have a few paintings I am working on in rotation. I have started a new series I call my pandemic paintings. They are flowers growing from garbage. It is a way to remind myself that even with the overwhelming weight of the pandemic there is some beauty to be found. I may just need to sort through a few things to find it.”
Cannon is also encouraging her students to express what they are feeling during this historical time.
“In my painting class, I asked them to make their final painting about their quarantine experience — the good, the bad, and the ugly,” she said. “It is really important to have an outlet to process the emotions and experiences you are living in a moment of history, and we should do something to mark this moment.”