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August 1, 2020

My morning writing time got switched around a bit today. Temps will probably reach 100. The sun was shining hot and bright when I took Lola out at 6:30 for her morning “business.” I had to squint looking east across the lawn. But surprisingly, Lawrence of Arabia’s yard in the back was completely shaded. I decided to put out fresh water and her salad post haste before the back yard is scorched in a few hours. The sun gods gave Miss Lawrence a reprieve!

And how I envy Lawrence’s perfect existence. Protected in her natural habitat of dirt, weeds, and edible desert plants and flowers, our desert tortoise doesn’t have a worry in the world. Like having to wear a face mask. Even when walking Lola, we have to be careful that people don’t pet or hug her as dogs can be carriers of the coronavirus, too.

Yesterday on my walk I saw a wonderful wood carving of a pair of bears on a front lawn. The larger bear had a face mask. As long as you’re out in public, no one is spared.

We keep our stash of masks next to the back door so that we can grab one whenever we venture out. Mine hang on one hook. Like at a clothing store, I look at each one to decide which to wear. I look at what I’m wearing. If I can coordinate colors and patterns, why not? And if I have to cover half my face, I might as well look good -- if I can. I think it’s healthy to have some vanity, especially in Covid times. Just because we have “no where to go,” doesn’t mean we can’t look nice for one another.

I saw a fascinating article the other day about the resurgence of not just wearing face coverings in Japan -- a country that has long been accustomed to the practice of covering up – but clothing and tech designers putting their signatures on them.

Pre-Covid, the Japanese citizenry donned masks regularly to protect against influenza, pollen or to warm their faces in cold weather. Today, as the mandate for wearing masks is at an all-time high, clothing manufacturers are pulling out all the stops, redirecting their energy into mask-making – and having fun doing it. Even technical designers are looking at making “smart” masks. The world will be dealing with Covid for a long time to come, they say.

In particular, the article read, “Taisuke Ono, the chief executive of a tech start up, Donut Robotics, said he envisioned a world where people could be wearing masks on trips abroad for the next 10 years or more. If that happens, they will demand that their masks do more than just protect them from viruses.”

I haven’t thought that far ahead. But I am intrigued by the pearl-laden mask made by jewelry designer Rieko Kawanishi in Tokyo that is meant to be worn over a traditional face mask. That wouldn’t be the one I’d wear on a power walk. But it would add pizzazz to whatever I wear to my next social distancing lunch with friends at the park.

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