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Keeping you safe- March 30, 2020

Greetings Stitchers!
Today we are going off the topic of sewing to talk about your health. We are going to talk about some of the protective equipment, everyone is scrambling to find and how to use it correctly. 
See below Life before Smile Spinners to view my credentials.

So what should you know to stay safe today and everyday? This is really important! It is common sense which isn’t really common!

#1  Personal Protective gear; masks and gloves, will not keep you safe if you don’t use them correctly! Learn how!

#2  Hand washing has to be done correctly! Learn how!

#3  Hand sanitizer, use plenty so your hands stay wet for 20 seconds

#4  Not touching your face really is very important! Learn why!

#5  Maybe over the top but worth thinking about.

Hand washing!

Many do a fantastic job of washing their hands for 20 seconds with soap and water. Unfortunately, you can easily undo any good you did when you turn off the faucet. Think about it, you turned the faucet on with your contaminated hands so it only stands to reason that when you turn it off you recontamination your hands!  Recommended method: After washing with soap for 20 seconds, with the water running, pat your hands dry with a paper towel. Throw that paper towel in the trash. Obtain another paper towel and turn off the faucet! Drop the paper towel into the trash.  Much better! Reference: CDC Hand Hygiene

Update: 3/30/2020 Dr Fauci: "Everyone should be covering their nose and mouth with something"! 
View how to make a mask here.

Everyone is scrambling for mask. The filtering abilities of masks vary greatly. Know what micron sizes your mask will filter and what particle size you are dealing with.

* Important! No matter what mask you are wearing if you are constantly readjusting it then you are touching your face!     Don’t touch your face!

*Also: Stop wearing your mask on the top of your head. Stop touching it!

* Stop pulling it away from your mouth to talk. If you are sick now the pathogens are on your hands!


Everyone wears gloves, but just watch someone who is wearing gloves, they touch everything! Gloves are of little use if you put them on, touch all kinds of surfaces and then touch your face.

Why can’t I touch my face!

Things that make you sick, pathogens, have to have a way to enter your body. Portals of entry into your body include but are not limited to, your eyes, your nose and your mouth. Not touching your face is extremely important! Resist the urge, don’t touch your face!

Social Distancing
Stay away from others! This doesn’t just mean strangers, this includes friends and family!

Other precautions I’m taking.

I have been largely working from home but prior to the shop closure:

-       we used separate entrances

-       we established work zones

-       we did not share bathrooms

-       we did not share phones, computers, cutting tools, pens etc.

-       mail was not brought into the shop.
-       deliveries are left unopened for 3 days.

-       our hair is pulled back so we don’t constantly touch our hair and face

-       shoes are left at the door.
-       bags holding takeout food or groceries were not placed on counter tops.

You need to be very cautious!  We cannot overwhelm the healthcare system. We can order companies to increase their productions of supplies but there is not a factory that can produce competent health care providers! 

Joel Bacon, Mechael D. and Cathy Queitzsch

Life before Smile Spinners

Many of you are new to Smile Spinners and are probably wondering what makes me qualified to talk about healthcare. Before I owned Smile Spinners, I was a Respiratory Therapist. I hold a Bachelor of Science in Respiratory Care from Indiana University of PA and Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh. I worked as a Respiratory Therapist, Respiratory Therapy Supervisor, Clinical Director and eventually Department Director at the former Polyclinic Medical Center in Harrisburg, PA.

In the early 90’s my family and I left Harrisburg to work in Respiratory Care in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In addition to working in a large Pediatric ICU with doctors from around the globe, I developed the first home care programs in the Kingdom which included mechanical ventilation for homecare patients and expanded the respiratory therapists role hospital wide.

After working in Saudi, I returned home and started doing a different type of therapy at Smile Spinners. While running Smiles Spinners I also taught health careers at Harrisburg Area Community College. Yes, that is where I drove my students crazy learning the cycle of infection, the proper use of Personal Protection Devices (PPE) and handwashing. Many of them thought I was over top in my demands for excellence when demonstrating those techniques.


I am well aware that over the years I have driven more than a few of you crazy with all the information I have researched on products and techniques! We never just follow the pack; we always do our research first. Yes, many of our sewing decisions are based on supporting science and now you know why!

Be safe and wash those hands!


CDC Guideline for Hand Hygiene in Health-Care Settings Recommendations of the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee and the HICPAC/SHEA/APIC/IDSA Hand Hygiene Task Force

Introduction to Healthcare, Mitchell,Haroun