I had to smile when I told my wife that anti-maskers had it so easy. They just don’t have to worry about a face mask.
We, on the other hand, try to follow all the rules.
When the original masking recommendations came out, I recall how there was a real shortage of face masks and so the recommendation was to just get a cloth mask and wear it. You may remember this post about buying a mask online. To save you the click, here’s how I looked in it. We bought a couple of them because we were worried that the poppy campaign might not run due to all the lockdowns at the time and we do support it annually. This seemed like a nice alternative.
The masks sold out online pretty quickly and that’s a good thing. I saw someone else wearing one at Leamington Raceway this past summer but haven’t seen it anywhere else except on my wife and in the mirror.
There was one time when I was out doing something and I had forgotten to wear my mask. As a result, I had to drive home to pick it up and then go back to where I was going. It was at that point that I decided to buy a couple of packages of disposable masks to keep in the glove compartment of our vehicles should this ever happen again.
It happened again over the weekend. We went to a hospital in Windsor to see a dear friend and I realized I didn’t have a mask just as we turned into the parking lot. Aha! My prior planning paid off. I got one of the paper ones and in we went.
It turned out to be a smart move, although not by planning. There was only one other couple in the lobby waiting to go in and we stood behind them, spaced out accordingly, of course. They were wearing cloth masks and, after checking vaccination information and ID cards were told they had to wear one of the hospital-supplied ones instead of their fabric mask. Or, wear both. She took the first option and he the second.
When it was our turn, we found our credentials easily and got to pass. I asked about my paper mask and he indicated that I was welcome to take one of theirs. I felt the difference immediately. Mine just felt cheap and flimsy. It wasn’t like they were providing an N95 mask or anything but what we had just felt inferior. Theirs was more substantial and I’m guessing does a better job. After all, a hospital should know all about masks, shouldn’t they?
It had the same effect on me as any other mask. I fogged up my glasses immediately. I could have kicked myself for not wearing my contact lenses which I had specifically bought for wearing a mask. If you don’t wear glasses, you probably don’t know what I’m talking about but trust me, it’s annoying. You end up taking off your glasses to clean them and often get the mask straps caught in the process.
As it turned out, the hospital was pretty empty; we had the elevator to ourselves and our friend was in a semi-private room with the other bed empty. She was triple vaccinated and we doubled so I’m assuming that we’re as good as we could be at this time. We sat a distance away and had a nice visit.
On the way out, it’s always a breath of fresh air to rip that damn mask off and just soak in the fresh air as I watched the Commissionaire check the time stamp on the parking ticket on my car’s dash.
As always, there was learning for me from this experience and I’m going to be a little more particular when buying masks in the future. I’m not headed to N95 land anytime soon but I do feel like I’m a little more informed as a result of this. Not all masks are created equally, apparently.
Do you have any advice to share? I would hope that my friends that are going into classrooms with kids on a daily basis are protected by their employer with the best they can lay their hands on.