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Wearing Masks In The Age of Corona

It's been a question for a couple of months now: To Mask or Not To Mask? At first we were

told you only need them if you HAD corona virus, and that wearing could be more harm than good. Then it seemed they were an okay idea but we need to leave them for the medical field and law enforcement (still true). Now the tide is shifting and many states are enforcing the usage of face masks or at least face coverings out in public. Here in California as of April 10th it is now required if you enter into a store or establishment. Employees must also wear them, and you can be denied entry if you do not wear some sort of covering.

I personally am all for the shift. People in the streets and especially store workers, transportation, mail carriers, delivery people, waste management, police, medical professions - I hope that some day soon everyone will have the proper PPE to protect themselves. My family and I were fortunate to have access to face coverings early on and used them starting in March on walks and going into stores. It can be a nuisance, BUT, it can also save lives. I think a little nuisance is worth that, don't you?

I will admit that initially I felt a bit strange wearing a mask - I definitely felt that everyone I passed was looking at me. Maybe they were. Let them!! This is about my safety and nothing else. So I let them look. And I am sure I was looking at folk too. It's all good - we're all in this together, right?!

More masks are becoming available for us "regular" people looking for protection. We actually found Ebay to be a little easier to navigate and could find US sellers for a shorter shipping time. Amazon can also be an option if you don't mind waiting. There are also more local stores and street vendors in your area that may be selling some form of mask now.

You don't need an official "mask," per say. Many have been simply tying a bandanna or handkerchief which seem to be okay. However, if you want to go for it here are some great instructional links:

YouTube: DIY No Sew Face Mask Easy and Quick for Anyone

CNET: Coronavirus face mask: Here's how to make a covering at home using a bandana or cloth

Good Housekeeping: No Sew How To & Recommended Materials

We should also remember, no matter what type of face covering we are using, to wash and sanitize them every day. I like to use a paper mask and have hand washed it and dabbed with hand sanitizer, and on top of that I put a cloth covering (Gaiter Mask) that I also wash and rotate. For more tips click this link from Glamour.com for tips on cleaning your masks and face coverings.

It is still a bit scary, seeing everyone walking around in masks. It is something we are just not used to doing here in the United States, and for me it really punctuates the reality of this situation. As it should. We are not in Kansas any more, and we will need to adapt and make changes in our actions and what we perceive as acceptable normalcy. I pray that it is temporary. The first steps towards that is to continue to be vigilant in what we are doing. Staying home when we can. Reducing shopping trips. Keeping our distance. Heeding the advice of authorities. It is this preventative submission that will enable us and empower us to regain power over our every day lives. That time is coming. Sooner than later if choose our actions wisely.

Be Covered. Be Open Minded. Be Safe! It is our hope that compliance now will bring us closer to an end to this pandemic!!

- Written by Janine Kai Robinson

For other tools to help you while you are out walking or shopping, please check out Shades of Color's Bag Collection including Crossbody Bags, Travel Purses and Tote Bags.

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