Original Article — Published on October 16 2020
This was the very first article for Scotscoop, which makes it important for the portfolio because it shows my personal growth as well as something important during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
San Mateo County’s Mask Mobile distributed over 900 masks to the hardest-hit communities in the past week to keep families safe during the pandemic. The Mask Mobile project was introduced on Sept. 15 to ensure that the most vulnerable are getting the protection they need from COVID-19. Funded by the San Mateo County Office of Community Affairs, the project hands out masks, cleaning supplies, COVID-19 advice, and guidelines to those in need. It has been helping San Mateo County citizens for almost a month. The community outreach team lead by Mitzy De La Peña Medina and Helen Guo have been scouting San Mateo County for cities and communities in need.
Using the Mask Mobile, a brightly colored van, with the words ‘The Community Crew #CometogetherSMC’ painted on the hood, they encourage citizens to wear their masks and practice social distancing.
According to the lead outreach coordinator, De La Peña Medina, the service has helped the people it serves, many of whom are disproportionately affected by the pandemic.
“I think one of the most impactful things that I have personally heard was a resident telling me that he could not afford a second mask, and us being able to provide him with one,” said De La Peña Medina.
According to the community specialist, Guo, the team visits the cities with the most COVID-19 infections to distribute their multi-lingual packages because these areas are usually very diverse, both linguistically and culturally.
“We have an intentional focus on communities that are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19,” Guo said.
While the team looks for a solution to slow the spread within the county, some Carlmont students believe that by helping underserved communities, Carlmont is protected as a whole.
“Many low-income students would really benefit if they have good masks and cleaning supplies when they get home to make sure they do not get infected, as it would interfere with their school experience,” junior Ethan Ng said.
According to Ng, if the Mask Mobile helps students with less access to resources like masks or cleaning supplies, it wouldn’t help just them, but everyone else in their community too. “If we go back to school, it might even benefit a larger population of the school body,” Ng said. Nolan Russell, a freshman, thinks that the Mask Mobile would ensure everyone’s safety because wearing a mask protects those around you. “It could provide masks to students on campus and make sure that almost everybody is protected from COVID,” Russell said. The Mask Mobile and the community outreach team have made it their goal not to stop until everyone is protected and safe against COVID-19 during these unprecedented times.
“Whenever there is a need, we are out there,” said Guo.