Heroes of the Pandemic – Sylvia Wilson

Rising in the Storm

On March 16, 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic became real to me. My job with the Federal Government moved to 100% Telework; and what I thought was something that would only hit overseas was now at my doorstep.

The stores were out of toilet paper, paper towels, meat, etc. I looked around and the first thought that came to mind was, ‘This is a movie!’

After seven weeks of the lockdown, I realized I was witnessing some noble people emerge from the storm to set their place at the table of heroes. These people put their own safety, dreams and aspirations on pause and rose to assist others.

The previous two weeks, The Lyfe Magazine acknowledged the work of two nurses putting their lives on the line each day for people they didn’t know. Again, we acknowledge someone who is putting her life on hold for those in need. Her name is Sylvia Wilson.

Sylvia is from Tampa, Florida, and we have been friends for several years. She is a person who always put others before herself. I watched her on Facebook as she continued to do work to provide support for others in this trying time and on this occasion, she has surpassed everything I imagined of her.

From the first day this pandemic hit the East coast of the United States, Sylvia started helping others. She made masks for many of our front line heroes who are working every day, including those in the medical field, police officers, and other essential personnel. Sylvia did not stop there as she provided supplies for the elderly, the homeless, and those who can’t afford supplies for themselves. She did all of this using her own money. As the movement grew, she received donations from supporters of her work. Another caveat to her mission is to support black owned small businesses.

One business, Naman’s Deals and Steals, provided Sylvia with the elastic for her masks. Naman’s is a family-owned business in Tampa, FL. They provide excellent customer service, fast shipping, and quality products at an affordable price. Visit them at www.namansdeals.com and support a black owned small business.

Abe Brown Ministries is a non-profit organization that enjoyed Sylvia’s selflessness. She provided mask, and toiletries to 17 men in their transitional housing program.

Sylvia’s day starts before the sunrise. At 4am you can find her at work creating new masks for those in need. She does all of this while working a 40-hour a week job!

It’s easy to admire the work that many people are doing while we’re going through this pandemic, but I couldn’t go without acknowledging the tireless efforts of Sylvia Wilson. Making and providing masks free of charge may seem a trivial contribution to some, but having a mask could literally be a matter of life or death in the midst of this pandemic.