Conn. woman creates mask-wearing bear to bring kids comfort during pandemic

HARTSFORD, Conn. (WSFB/CNN) -- A Connecticut college student has come up with a creative way to teach children about coronavirus.

Every bear comes wearing a mask and has a matching mask for the child, as well as a handwritten note and a list of tips to stay healthy. (Source: WSFB/CNN)

Olivia Carlson, 22, invented the quarantine bear, a mask-wearing teddy bear that comes with a matching mask for its young owner.

"My dad passed away from pancreatic cancer about a year and a half ago,” Carlson said. “And right before he passed, we both got Build-A-Bears together. His is actually buried with him, but mine, I still have, and it brings me a lot of comfort.”

Just as her bear has brought her comfort, Carlson hopes these bears will bring comfort to kids during this uncertain time.

“Everyone loves teddy bears!” Carlson said.

Carlson said that when she started the project, she needed to learn how to sew first and recruited her aunt to teach her.

“At first, I was very slow, and it took about an hour to make one mask,” Carlson said.

She has now sped up the process, and what started off as few bears posted online has turned into quite the production.

“I started off with six bears; that’s all I had in my possession. Posted it on Facebook and I had no idea how much shares it would get,” Carlson said.

Every bear comes wearing a mask and has a matching mask for the child, as well as a handwritten note and a list of tips to stay healthy.

Carlson says she’s grateful for all the support, both from the community and her family, who have been there every step of the way.

“I hope these QT bears can help a little bit,” she said.

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