Stevenson community comes together to battle COVID-19

As more people become impacted by COVID-19, there are many Stevenson students that are doing their part to help others during this time

Arjun+Nair

Pooja Jain, Paulina Ornatsky, and Bayarmaa Bat-erdene

Arjun Nair:

Arjun Nair ’23 has a history of singing for an audience, as he performed in Stevenson’s S-Factor. However, now he is also raising money to help those affected by COVID-19. He has utilized his resources and his passion for music and singing to start a fundraiser to benefit the American Red Cross. Alongside his bandmate, guitarist Siddhant Sen ’23, Nair hosted a concert via Zoom to raise money. 

“We saw on the news how everyone else is doing their part to try to use their attributes and talents to try to do something to help,” Nair said. “Of course, being just teenagers, freshman year, we couldn’t do anything very big, but we just used our talents to help with what’s going on right now.”

Nair and Sen organized this concert by posting advertisements on their respective social media accounts and looking for people who were willing to perform. From there, they narrowed down their list of candidates to 10.

Among the performers were saxophonists, dancers, singers and guitarists, to name a few. They all recorded themselves on Zoom, and the link was then posted so people could watch to display their support and donate money toward the cause.

They raised $706 and came close to their $1000 goal. However, their impact was still apparent, as they had 260 views on their concert and donated all of the money they earned to the American Red Cross. 

“Our comment section was filled with happiness,” Nair said. “Our main thing was just spreading support to the people that are being affected by this.”

 

Smrithi Mukund:

As COVID-19 continues and more people are being infected, hospitals and other facilities are finding themselves in shortage of proper personal protective equipment (PPE). Smrithi Mukund ’21 is working hard to provide healthcare professionals at several hospitals with face shields and masks. 

Mukund started by watching instructional videos online, purchasing the supplies and getting in contact with different hospitals to find out what face shields or masks they would accept. She ordered laminated PPE sheets, the same ones used by the CDC, in order to make the face shields. 

This started when she was inspired to deliver supplies to medical facilities when her family friends shared stories about the lack of PPE in their working environments. The World Health Organization (WHO) has called for an increase of manufacturing PPE by 40 percent in order to meet demands. According to WHO, approximately 89 million face masks and 76 million examination gloves are needed monthly.

“I know there’s not much you [can] actively do,” Mukund said. “But I thought, ‘At least if I make these face shields and masks at home, it would help out in some way.’”

Currently, she has delivered 15 face shields to Edward Hospital in Naperville and is in contact with Advocate Hospital in Libertyville and Northwestern Hospital in Chicago. Additionally, to help pay for the supplies necessary to create the face shields and masks, Mukund created a fundraiser to raise money.

Mukund has also gathered a group of fellow Stevenson students to help her with the task of making the PPE. They’ve set a schedule of how many masks to make and when they would deliver to hospitals; she said they are on track to potentially donate over 1,000 face shields and masks.

“Even if people can’t be super involved or create their own initiative, I think that it’s important that they contribute what they can,” Mukund said. “Stay at home, make a couple of face shields or masks with whatever material they have at their house. It’s an easy way to get involved with the crisis with where they’re at now.”

 

Michael Zaslavskiy:

Another Stevenson student who is doing his part to help the community in this time of need is SHS Junior Michael Zaslavskiy. By urging others to donate handmade masks and food, he is making a difference.

“Originally one of the things that I really wanted to do was help the community. So, when I saw the CDC recommend sewing the handmade masks to wear outside to prevent the spread of airborne water droplets I thought “Oh, that’s definitely a really cool opportunity that the entire community can partake in,” Zaslavskiy said.

As an FMP and a part of the NHS, Zaslavskiy is already involved in the community. Using these groups, he got the word out there to partake in aiding essential workers.

“In the NHS, one of the pillars is service, so I figured we could still find ways to promote service outreach, just not person to person, but this was remotely so I found a link to a donation center in Lincolnshire,” Zaslavskiy said.

Zaslavskiy is also trying to immerse other students in helping to make masks by sewing masks.

“We all have t-shirt material,” Zaslavskiy said,  “And we all know how to hand sew from classes in middle school so it was something that I knew a lot of people could partake in.”

In addition to making cloth masks, Zaslavskiy also mentioned making thank you cards for local essential workers and donating to food pantries as a way to contribute to the community around us.

“There are a lot of different ways that we can be creative and join ourselves together as a community to help each other,” Zaslavskiy said.