It’s my turn to weigh in on the subject of masks.
To be clear, I agree with the scientists and doctors who tell us that we wear cotton or disposable or even bandana masks for others, not for ourselves. It turns out that our masks help deflect the micro-drops of virus even if they are not the N95 quality that medical personnel wear. But we wear them in case we have the virus so we don’t spread it and to encourage a social compact that if we all wear them, fewer will get sick or die.
It probably was in February when my daughter-in-law sent me a pattern for cloth masks and suggested I could make them to help medical people in need. By the time I made my first few, the call for masks for medical personnel required a different pattern that allowed the insertion of filters as liners. I had just barely figured out my until-then-unused new portable sewing machine and the instructions Andrea gave me. The new pattern, for hospital masks, looked daunting. A lot of measuring and folding would be required.
The experts in the US and WHO were saying that it would not be advisable for average people to begin wearing masks as they do in Asia. I made masks for my family and my son’s store employees anyway.
But then the experts changed their tune. They said they hadn’t recommended masks because there was a shortage of them for medical personnel, and they were afraid people would rely on masks too much and not take the other precautions such as hand washing and not touching their faces. Ever since, the experts on TV have reminded and begged us over and over to wear masks if we come around other people.
Meanwhile, my mask sewing was improving (my apologies to those who got the first batch), and I finally got some elastic and the right type of wire for the nose area from Amazon. A friend’s daughter asked for masks for her older parents; so, I volunteered, and I also offered masks to my church members (virtually all of us are elderly.)
Ever since, I’ve been making masks every few days. I even put some in the Little Free Pantry behind our church for people in need. But not everyone has bought in.
My son who is scrupulous about health habits and works in a factory--where they were laid off for two weeks due to a case of Covid 19--was frustrated that the men in the plant, including the managers, won’t wear masks. The managers still aren’t, but since there have been two additional cases, and maybe because of the experts on television, now almost half of the workers are wearing them. His co-workers made fun of the masks I made for him, but he has since found more effective masks that look more ordinary, I guess.
Being over 65, I haven’t gone away from home much. I’ve seen crowds of people on TV who ignore both social distancing and mask wearing requests. I’ve heard about Trump supporters who become angry when asked to wear a mask and sometimes become violent.
In our small Georgia town, there are quite a few mask wearers. I’ve noticed that more African Americans than whites are masked up.
I plan to stay the course, keep wearing mine, and make more if anyone needs them. Both for ourselves and for others, we’re better safe than sorry, And please step back if you get too close to my face!
Observations on the subjects of friends, family, country, cultures and nature.