Masks for safety, comfort or style

art by Sat Ichikawa

To wear or not to wear a mask? Like to be or not to be, that is the question. Our president is unwilling to commit. It is up to us to decide.

As I’ve said before, trips to the grocery store, especially to ones with narrow or crowded aisles, make me nervous.  Which is why I choose to wear a mask to shop.  My husband and I searched on Amazon and found a five-pack of masks that would provide reasonable protection. After placing our order, we received the bad news.  Delivery will occur by May 18.

We plan to go shopping long before that date and need our  masks now. I’ve seen the easy-to-make masks that only require fabric and pony tail holders. But I’m not yet desperate enough to cut up a table cloth to make my first one. And with no pony tail I’ve haven’t laid in a supply of holders.

Monday morning I ventured out with a facsimile of a mask. Admittedly it would have looked more appropriate for a stagecoach holdup then a shopping trip to Whole Foods.

We were encouraged yesterday when Mr. I-save-everything-because-someday-I might-need-it found two money belts in his chest of drawers left over from a trip to Europe… in 1969. If you held one up to your face, it covered both nose and mouth and had zip-up pockets for adding extra layers of cloth. The tricky part came when trying to attach it with a strap normally used to wrap around your waist. It seemed like a good idea, but unless you walked around with both hands pushing the money belt into your face, it didn’t offer much protection.

A third option didn’t make it to the starting gate. It’s a hand-me-down from my father-in-law, protection appropriately worn during the London Blitz. And we only have one of these.  We’d be fighting in the produce aisles over who got to wear it.

Today we’re closer to a solution: a real dust mask which only requires the replacement of decades-old elastic bands for a more snug fit. 

We hope in the future for a better supply of masks manufactured in the twenty-first century.


About stillalife

I retired June 30, 2010 after working for 40 years in the field of education and most recently doing school public relations/community outreach in a mid-size urban school district. I wrote for superintendents and school board members. Now I'm writing for me and I hope for you. In this blog, I offer my own views coupled with the latest research on how to preserve our physical and mental health as we age, delve into issues most of us over 50 can relate to like noticing wrinkles and forgetting where we left our keys, discuss the pros and cons of different ways to engage our minds and bodies after we leave the workplace, and throw in an occasional book review, all peppered with a touch of humor, irony, and just plain silliness. Also, I'm on the third draft of my second novel since retirement.
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1 Response to Masks for safety, comfort or style

  1. Darlene says:

    Crazy times for sure—perhaps we’ll see “runway” mask designs soon. Looks like you have a good start—thanks for sharing once again.

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