Campus News

Behind the Mask: Merissa Schumacher 

Wearing masks made by her future mother-in-law, she’s staying safe by practicing physical distancing. 

UNC Security Officer Merissa Schumacher wears a mask made by her future mother-in-law. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)
UNC Security Officer Merissa Schumacher wears a mask made by her future mother-in-law. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Merissa Schumacher

Security officer, Department of Public Safety, 10 years at Carolina

Why do you wear a mask?

I wear a mask for my own safety, for the people I work with and for my mother and my future mother-in-law, who has a lung condition. She’s made the majority of masks that I wear and she’s made masks for nurses and other healthcare workers. My fiancé and I were planning a wedding in October, but we’ve rescheduled it for next year to ensure that both of our families can all be there and that everyone will be safe.

What’s your best strategy for staying healthy during this time?

I’ve been practicing social distancing. My aunt came over for my birthday and dropped off flowers on the porch. We abided by the rules, I wore a mask and we talked at a distance. It’s been hard to turn down invitations to family gatherings, but we’ve been staying home. I have anxiety and fear about going out. It’s just not worth risking getting the virus. Since I’ve been staying at home, I’ve been cooking and trying new recipes. It’s been a great experience on some level, but I do miss spending time with my mother.

Why do you wear a mask? The Well would like to hear your story. Email thewell@unc.edu with responses to the questions above and send us a photo of you wearing your mask. We’ll share as many of your stories as space allows.