Making Masks and Helping Out: Optical Community Finds Inspiration on Instagram

NEW YORK—Although people around the world are spending more time at home than usual, many communities are coming together online to find ways they can help from a distance—and the optical community is no different. While opticians and optometrists are busy providing emergency appointments, many have taken to social media to share helpful information where they can in their free time. In addition to physical and mental health tips, many members of the optical community are coming together online to discuss masks—where to get them, how to make them, and tips and tricks for wearing them comfortably. Here, we take a look at how the community is getting masked.

Cheryl Murphy, OD, of Northport, New York, used YouTube to learn how to make masks after closing her practice temporarily due to the pandemic. Now, she told Women In Optometry, she’s made and distributed nearly 100 masks. Image via Women In Optometry.

The team at Specs Around Town in Central Illinois shared that one of their clients in Boston has made over 100 masks for loved ones and hospital workers. Image via Specs Around Town on Instagram.

New Jersey-based optician Utenzi Miller also spotlighted a client who is making their own masks, and reminded her followers of the importance of supporting small business whenever possible. Image via Utenzi Miller on Instagram.

For those who already have masks, the team at Binyon Vision in Bellingham, Washington showed some tips and tricks for avoiding fogging up lenses. Image via Binyon Vision on Instagram.

The team at New York City-based Anthony Aiden Opticians is donating homemade face masks to organizations in need—but they also shared detailed instructions on how to make your own at home. Image via Anthony Aiden Opticians on Instagram.

Carissa Dunphy, who runs Optician Now, shared what product she uses to lessen fogging. In addition she shared a link for buying opti-themed face masks. Image via Optician Now on Instagram.

While not strictly part of the optical community, the Instagram account Masks for Heroes is working to connect health care workers in need of PPE with donations. They also share resources for everyone, including mental health tips and tutorials for making your own mask.