Masks are Here to Stay – At Least for Now

Photo by Libby James


Libby James
North Forty News

What’s hiding under that innocent-looking little mask on your face?  What is spewing from your nose or mouth onto its surface as you go about your shopping?

Is it a few harmless droplets or a spray of malignant novel-corona viruses capable of spreading death and destruction?  Will the mask do its job and keep you and your fellow shoppers safe? Will you ever know?

A few weeks ago we were told that simple homemade masks did little or no good and that we should not bother with them. It was even suggested that masks could generate a false sense of security for the wearer. They became a no-no.

Then, quite recently, there’s been a turnabout. These disguises have become suggested, in some places even required, facial covering whenever one ventures from home.

Colorado’s Governor Jared Polis appears wearing a mask at his press conference.  He even initiated a masking-making contest for kids in order to convince them that masks are not scary—that they can be fun to create and decorate using felt markers. And, he suggests, everybody should wear one when they leave home.

Somewhere between the time of “don’t wear” and “wear” I ran across several online patterns for making them. Ah-ha! At last a use for the pile of fabric scraps in my basement. I went to work. I hate to waste stuff and using up this material was somehow good for my soul.

And then I learned that Loveland public works employees all needed masks and I had an order for 50.  The first day I made 20. The next day I made 30. And then my trusty but ancient Bernina sewing machine laid down and died. I took it to the hospital. Luckily, the dead sewing machine can come back to life, and mine did. It’s like a teenager now. It works like a dream. My mask-making count has now topped 100 and I’ve quit counting.

But it is not all sunshine and flowers. Apparently there are quite a few people with boxes of fabric scraps in their basement that they really want to get rid of. They started pouring into my living room. If I make a thousand masks, I’ll not use all this material but it is fun to have an amazing variety of colors and designs to choose from.

I have also been experimenting with different designs. And these days I wear a mask when I go out. I even wear one when I go for a walk but I have not yet mastered the art of wearing a mask and breathing at the same time when I am running.

There are lots of people out these days, and I make it a point to wave and speak to everyone I see. It’s hard to be really friendly behind a mask. No one can see you smile. You have to do it with your eyes and a wave of your hand.

Almost always, masked or unmasked, people respond. If they are masked, I check to see what kind they are wearing.  I wonder if it is comfortable if it’s doing its job.

If they are mask free, I wonder why. Should I offer to give them one?

Do they think I’m a dork because I’m wearing one?

These days, if you could go into a bank, which you mostly can’t, no one would think you were trying to rob the place. Instead, they would think that you were just being prudent.

How times change. Thank goodness. It won’t be like this forever, but the chances are good that masks are going to be around for quite a while.








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