VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - A North County man has found a solution to a new problem people are having while wearing masks, and he's giving it away.
Scott Hickey is the founder of "Ear Saviors." He makes plastic straps that people can wear behind their heads. Those straps keep the elastic bands of PPE masks off of people's ears, which helps cut down on irritation.
"It takes the pressure off the back of your ears,' says Hickey.
So far, Hickey estimates that he's made more than 5,000 of the straps. He donates them to grocery store workers, hospital workers, delivery drivers, and anyone else he thinks could use some relief.
"My girlfriend and I have been driving around dropping them off at places like Vons, Albertsons, UPS, Tri-City Hospital, and the VA," he says.
Hickey got the idea from family on the east coast who work in the medical profession. He's shipped hundreds to them so they can pass them out to coworkers.
"I get emails from people I don't even know, thanking me," says Hickey.
Hickey, who is unemployed during the Coronavirus Pandemic, knows he could be selling the Ear Saviors to help make ends meet. But he thinks donating them is the right thing to do.
"I've seen them for sale," he says. "But I think it's a better opportunity for the community to try to step forward and do what you can to help."
He's also getting help from a former employer. Hickey is using the laser cutting equipment at 760 Display in Vista to make the masks.
For more information about the Ear Saviors, or to contact Hickey, go to earsaviors.org.