If there’s anything good about the coronavirus, it may be the emergence of a new way to help others. Martha Johnson is one of those people who does for others. She makes fabric masks at home and gives them to friends.

I didn’t ask who her best friend is, but if masks are any indication, it may be Joan Harris, who has at least 35 hanging from a bungee cord stretched between the headrests in her pickup.

“Martha made 25 of them. Ten came from the store,’’ Joan said.

She’s proud of them and wears them outside. She has at least two paisley masks, a lot of solid colored ones, some that are polka dotted large and small and at least one that is beaded. She has enough variety to enable her to match them to her clothes. She came into McDonald’s for breakfast Friday wearing a turquoise mask that matched her outfit.

I’m sure Martha isn’t the only maskmaker in town so to celebrate them here’s a little ditty sung to a tune made popular by “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Maskmaker, maskmaker

Make me a mask

Make it real thick,

So I don’t get sick.

Maskmaker, maskmaker

Make me a COVID mask.

Matha has a fine collection herself.

“Every time I make one for her, I make one for me,’’ she said. She has at least 30 on a coat hanger dangling from her ironing board.

She didn’t, however, stitch the one she wore Thursday, at least not originally.

“Actually, my son made this one, but I decided I didn’t like it so I remodeled it,’’ she said.

She also adds flat wire to make it snug against the nose.

Masks don’t have to be expensive. You can buy a block of fabric at Walmart for 97 cents, and, Martha said, “You can get two or three masks out of it.”

She waved off a question about elastic for the loops to secure it to the ears.

“I’ve got 125 yards of elastic,’’ she said.

Maskmaker, maskmaker,

Make me a mask.

Make this one blue

To filter the flu.

Sewn on your Singer,

Bad viruses can’t linger.

I’m starting to think the Red Chinese created this virus just to drive up sales of medical masks. I wonder how much of the trade deficit is in masks and other PPE.

Matha walked into a popular fast food restaurant where I was sitting Friday and handed me a tasteful black mask. I immediately put it on and went back to the task at hand, calling the Glynn County Health Department to schedule a coronavirus vaccination. This is perhaps the most frustrating thing you can do except maybe try to train a 6-month-old Labrador retriever to sit quietly.

I must have called 60 times Thursday and at least three times that on Friday. Some of my friends got lucky and scheduled appointments the first day, but I couldn’t get through. I should have called when I was fishing. I’ll bet they wouldn’t have answered while I was reeling in that one, lonesome trout.

I don’t understand it. About every other appointment, from an oil change to a blood test, can be made on a website except this one depends mostly on luck. I also tried the VA, but they say don’t call us, we’ll call you when we’re ready.

I would get some of my elderly friends together and storm the health department, but my “Don’t Tread on Me” flag is still at the cleaners.

But this black mask came in handy as I dialed. It matched my mood, and it hid the fact I was grimacing and grinding my teeth.

Maskmaker, maskmaker,

Make me a mask,

Make it two ply,

To catch tears if I cry,

Out of frustration

Dialing for a vaccination.

I sometimes wonder if, when the coronavirus has run its sickening course, if we’ll still wear masks and decline the traditional handshake. I’m all for it because it’s probably what’s keeping the flu numbers down this winter at a time they’re usually climbing all over the country. Besides that, my hands are arthritic and shaking hands with some macho guy is like putting your fingers in a pit bull’s mouth.

So far nobody has told us our masks won’t work against the newly emerging and more contagious variant, and I’m thankful for that.

This just in: At 10:55 on Friday, Jan. 8, I finally got through and scheduled a vaccination. I’ll have to wait a month, said the woman who sounded pretty tired although it wasn’t yet noon. She told me to come just five minutes early and to keep to the right when I come in the door.

I’ll show up and, also as instructed, wear a mask, probably the black one Martha made.

Good luck to the rest of you on “Dialing for Shots.”

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