Last spring, Lori and Randy Reinbold were searching for ways to help. Both had been reading stories about frontline workers around the world in desperate need of masks. Sewing wasn't their strong suit, but organizing was. The Beverly residents joined a Facebook group, "North Shore Fabric Masks for Health Professionals," originally created by Heather Staples-Heitke. Together they assembled a team and got to work.

Over the next 13 months, the group sewed and distributed over 25,000 masks and caps around the North Shore. Last week, it announced that it was essentially shutting down after demand for its services had slowed. But the community created through helping others is continuing on.

According to Reinbolds, there's even been talk of meeting up in person once it's safe to do so.

"It's kind of neat," Lori Reinbold said. "It's almost like some friendships were built through this."

Randy Reinbold said that what started as a way for him and his wife to keep busy during the pandemic evolved into something more.

"Going back to March, at that time there was misinformation out there," Randy Reinbold saod. "The thing was growing. I mean, there was so much to be down about, you know, and we were faking it all the way through, and we were aware that we were faking it. Like, we're just going to start creating stuff and creating spreadsheets and all that kind of stuff. But, you know, maybe this thing will actually work, and we'll be able to do what we want to do and actually make a difference for human beings. And it kindof worked out that way."

For those looking to be more safely social after a year of social distancing, we also heard from Dr. Michelle Durham, an adult, child and adolescent psychiatrist at Boston Medical Center and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Boston University School of Medicine. Durham had some tips on how to safely enter a more social life after a year of isolation.

Click on the audio player above to listen to the full episode.


Dr. Michelle Durham - 2:13
Lori and Randy Reinbold - 14:44