Orange Beach, ALA., – As an added measure of prevention, since Monday, April 6, 2020, all Community Senior Life (CSL) staff members have worn face masks during their shift. Although this is not required, CSL felt this was best for the prevention of COVID-19 for both the residents and the employees.

Wearing facemasks for 8 to 12 hours a day can be uncomfortable – especially when wearing surgical masks that wrap around the ear. Jackson O’Connell wanted to fix that.

Jackson is nine years old and a third grade student at Gulf Shores Elementary. With the help of his parents, Jackson started his own business, Jax Bag Tags (, 3D printing custom bag tags for backpacks, luggage, and sports bags. He explains that 3D printing works like a regular printer, but it uses plastic to make layers. While in sheltering-in-place, Jackson saw the ear guard pattern posted by a Canadian boy scout named Quinn on Facebook.

Jackson quickly started 3D printing ear guards to help alleviate the discomfort of wearing a facemask.  “I make ear guards because we heard masks were hurting people’s ears,” Jackson said. “So many people are wearing masks now because of the coronavirus.”

Community Senior Life requested 60 ear guards to disperse across its senior living communities. Within 24 hours, Jackson hand-delivered them to the CSL corporate office door.

Jackson says he’s handling sheltering-in-place well. He’s been printing lots of ear guards while also talking to his family and playing with his little brother. Most importantly, when the threat of COVID-19 is over, Jackson wants to hug his grandparents, eat at a restaurant, and go to Waterville! Jackson’s advice for young people who want to help during COVID-19 is simple, “see if there are problems and figure out how to solve them.”


Community Senior Life is owned and operated by Community Health Systems located in Orange Beach, AL. CSL is a family of not-for-profit healthcare-related organizations specializing in senior independent living, assisted living, and memory care communities throughout Alabama and Florida. Dedicated to enhancing the quality of life for an ever-growing senior population, each organization within the CSL family is committed to meeting the social, spiritual, physical, and financial needs of its residents through innovative services in safe and caring environments. For more information, visit