‘This was like some Little House on the Prairie shit’: The intensive care(work) of making PPE during COVID-19
carework for the self and others, COVID-19, gendered disaster research, project-based leisure, volunteering
Journal of Leisure Research
In March 2020 during the first wave of COVID-19 in the United States, the national supply and distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) was dangerously underwhelming. Skilled volunteer quilters, sewists and 3D printer enthusiasts emerged in a groundswell of life-saving gendered disaster response, creating face masks, ear savers, and face shields. Making PPE was both tiring and comforting, a distraction from, and solution to, the pandemic, revealing the tense overlap between volunteering and project-based leisure opportunities. Qualitative data collected from July 2020 to January 2021 demonstrate PPE makers engaging in carework for the self—turning to a chosen leisure activity to relieve anxiety and provide a needed momentary distraction from the pandemic, and carework for others—constructing and distributing PPE for those in need.
Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Criminology
Original Publication Date
DOI of published version
Stalp, Marybeth; Leap, Braden; and Kelly, Kimberly, "‘This was like some Little House on the Prairie shit’: The intensive care(work) of making PPE during COVID-19" (2023). Faculty Publications. 5360.