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Sewing against the Corona virus: Bonn Opera wants to produce 1000 protective masks per week

Sewing against the Corona virus : Bonn Opera wants to produce 1000 protective masks per week

Where normally splendid, colourful costumes are sewn, for a few days now only one product has been on the table: infection masks in plain beige. The currently five tailors hope to produce about 1000 copies per week. In this new series GA presents everyday heroes during the crisis.

Until recently their challenges were called „Die Fledermaus“, „Staatstheater“ and „Tod in Venedig“. But the Corona virus has written a new drama for the staff of the Bonn Opera. Thus, they are now working on it diligently behind the scenes - to help it to come to an end as quickly as possible.

The currently five tailors at the Opera hope to create about 1000 copies per week and hand them over to the municipal health department. The decisive impulse for the campaign came from a conversation with his sister, who is on duty as a "helper on site", says Gewandmeister Gerhard Kreuzer. "She reported that she and her comrades-in-arms had no protective masks. So the idea came up that we could sew them here", said the 58-year-old. And as far as it is known that the opera house is closed anyway, he also found an willing ear among his colleagues and staff as well as the management of the house.

"First we developed a prototype, which we are now producing in series," Kreuzer explains. On Tuesday, he and three colleagues were exclusively occupied with mask production in the tailor's workshop overlooking the Rhine - supported by two other employees working from home. The work was based on instructions from the Essen fire department. "As few seams as possible" was an important premise for the Bonn team, Kreuzer said.

The material used by him and his colleagues is simple, untreated and naturally coloured cotton. The special feature: The masks are washable and not a disposable product. From a clinical point of view, the makeshift products do not have the certified standard, but they do protect to a certain extent against droplet infection, for example.

Until recently, even Kreuzer would not have thought it possible that a situation could arise in a highly developed industrialized country like Germany in which theater cutters help out the state healthcare system while politicians claim that the country is stably prepared for the crisis: "Nobody expected that the situation in China could escalate in such a way and that we would now be affected in the same way," says the Bavarian, who has lived in Bonn for 21 years.

Not only in the opera house at Boeselagerhof, but also in the theatre workshops, employees of the Bonn theatre are fighting against the spread of the virus. Seven people around master carpenter Peter Brombach have been busy for days making hygiene walls from stored acrylic glass sheets. They were able to produce 30 of them, each measuring 70 by 65 centimetres, in one and a half days. They are now to be used within the city administration. Peter Brombach and his people are still standing by: "We help where we can," says Peter Brombach.

The sewing and care instructions for makeshift masks can be found online at www.essen.de/gesundheit/coronavirus_6.de.html