Wear a Mask. Seriously, Wear a Mask

ThePause’s Official Guide to Mask-Wearing

It's interesting to see how mask-wearing has evolved since February when the U.S. Surgeon General tweeted this:

And this:

Where masks were once thought necessary only for medical personnel — and not effective in preventing the general public from contracting the coronavirus — now they’re de riguer and recommended by the CDC as a way to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. That’s because cloth face coverings serve as a simple barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from traveling into the air when the wearer coughs, sneezes, or merely expresses themselves a bit too exuberantly. #loudtalker

The only people advised against wearing masks are children younger than age 2 or people who have trouble breathing or are unable to remove it without assistance.

A Quick History Lesson

During the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which killed about 675,000 people in the U.S. and up to 50 million worldwide, most Americans complied with mask-wearing ordinances. Since we were embroiled in World War I, mask-wearing was framed as patriotic and a “wartime duty” to protect our troops from contracting the virus.

Not that everyone agreed, of course: Once the war ended, there were mask dissenters and some in San Francisco even formed an “Anti-Mask League.”

Back to the Future

All these years (and pandemics) later, mask-wearing once again faces dissent.

At thePause, you won’t be surprised to hear that after contacting COVID (Sheryl) and losing a family member to the virus (Jennifer), we are pro-mask, pro-hand-washing, pro-avoiding large groups of strangers.

That’s why we want you to wear a mask when you go out, to protect yourself and others. If you haven’t been, consider these facts:

  • The incidence of COVID is climbing precipitously, with cases topping 10 million worldwide and the death rate surpassing 500,000.

  • Some states — like Florida, Texas and California — have rolled back their prior recommended openings and ordered some bars to close.

  • Only two states — Connecticut and Rhode Island — have seen a decline in the number of cases as compared to the previous week.

In other words: WEAR A MASK.


For a Pause

  1. You don’t have to know how to sew to make your own mask. Step-by-step, here’s how.

  2. Haven’t worn lipstick since you’ve started wearing a mask (#whybother)? You won’t be surprised to hear that cosmetics manufacturers are worried about that.

  3. And yet, you can always bat your eyelashes over your mask, which makes the mascara and false eyelash industry mighty happy.

  4. Maskne — acne and irritation caused by wearing a mask — is real. Here, The New York Times offers tips for avoiding it — as well as for making your mask work properly in the first place.

One More Thing…

It looks like we’re going to be wearing masks for some time to come. Maybe it’s time to get colorful?


Or more creative?


Got a good-looking mask? We’d love to see it! Snap a selfie and send it to us by replying to this issue. We’d love to see it!

All the boys think she's a spy, she's got Bette Davis eyes.

— Kim Carnes, Betty Davis Eyes

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