It’s been three weeks since my district mandated masks and for the most part the community is embracing it. There was one woman at the grocery store without and she chose to make a huge deal out of the fact that she wasn’t wearing one by being quite loud and obnoxious. You could tell she was just waiting for someone to comment, but thankfully nobody engaged.
I’ve been wearing a mask, not because I want to, but because I feel it’s the right thing to do. I struggle through the anxiety and panic attacks and reminders of a time before, but still I wear it because it feels like I should.
Last week I decided that if I had to suffer, at least I would try to have fun with it. I was also feeling bad because I’d been using the disposable masks which aren’t very environmentally friendly. I searched website after website of companies that made them. I decided to stick with only Canadian companies because again, it felt like the right thing to do. I settled on two for me and one for C because he needs some for school. I only ordered one per company because I need to make sure I can breathe while wearing it.
The first one I ordered was from a company called House of Jimbo based out of Vancouver. I was drawn to the company firstly because for every purchase made they will donate a mask to a homeless person. I later found out that they also have been donating to BLM which also impressed me. The designer was originally from Ontario but moved to Vancouver and actually starred as Jimbo on season 1 of Canada’s Drag Race–wicked! Some of the masks I didn’t really understand because they’re tailored to drag queens but most of them can be worn by anyone. I debated between a black one called ‘skeletons in your closet’ which felt quite fitting as a trauma survivor and another, brighter one, with sugar skulls. I ended up choosing the sugar skulls because black isn’t a colour I feel at all comfortable wearing and I totally love sugar skulls. It should be here this week so we’ll see if I like it and if so, I may order more.
The mask for C I ordered through a company called Handsome and Lace. She’s a designer, also based out of Toronto who normally specializes in handmade ties and bowties–which if I was a dude with extra $ would totally buy. She was the most expensive but her masks are all customized and can be embroidered. C is getting a grey one with the ‘take the L’ dancer silhouette from Fortnite embroidered on it. I more than likely won’t purchase anymore ‘custom’ masks for him though because the likelihood of them being lost is a bit on the higher end.
The third mask I ordered was from a company called Moji. They are based out of Toronto and are committed to ‘flattening the curve’ through supporting local textile businesses and hiring seamstresses who were laid off as result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Moji is also donating a portion of their proceeds to frontline healthcare workers which I love. I chose one called ‘Noa’. It’s pale yellow with animals on it and I don’t know, there was something about it that I just loved. It should also be here this week so I hope I like it.
There is also a company based out of Newfoundland called Terre Neuve and they have a beautiful pattern called ‘Hibernating Animals’. It’s currently out of stock but I’m waiting patiently to see if it comes back. I went to university in Newfoundland, so I pretty love much all things about the place and would 100% support a company from there.
I still don’t go out much because I try to avoid masks at all times. I have to wear one in T’s building and basically feel like I’m hyperventilating by the time I get to his door that I’m basically tearing it off my face as soon as I walk in. Thankfully T doesn’t make me wear it for my sessions. He did offer to write a letter for me to be exempted but I’d rather not deal with the daggers of death from strangers who know nothing of my life but feel free to judge anyways.
I like to tell myself I’m doing my part even though it feels like all other areas of life are going remarkably to shit in a hurry. It’s pretty much a daily struggle to have a relationship with living but we’re working on it. T is going on holidays for a week or so starting on Thursday and for the first time I’m not panicking. It’s most likely due to the fact that I’m still isolating myself quite a bit from the outside world.
I won’t get into the nitty gritty of the other things going on in life because I don’t want this post to be about that whatsoever. I’ll update later in the week once the masks come in and let you know what I think.
7 thoughts on “masking–trying to do my part”
It’s been encouraged to wear masks here, and a few weeks ago a law was passed that masks must be worn in public spaces. I’m very nervous about Kat going back to school and having to wear a mask. We managed to find one brand she likes— of course they are the most expensive out of everything I ordered for her to try. 🤦🏼♀️ We haven’t been out much, either, wearing a mask gives me panic attacks, too. I hope that some that you ordered work for you.
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Hi Alice, it’s so good to hear from you. I noticed you were back, but haven’t had a chance to read much of what you’ve posted. Yes, the school thing should be interesting. In Ontario only grades 4-12 need to wear them and C is going into grade 3 which means technically he doesn’t need to wear one, but we’re practicing in case it changes. I’d definitely like to see him wear one at least on the school bus since it seems that they will indeed be sharing seats. I think one of the masks I ordered will be delivered today, so I’m excited to see if it works. Of course Kat picked the most expensive ones, isn’t that just the way it seems to go. Stay well…xx
I hope C liked mask you ordered! As of right now—as far as the state rules—, kids from kindergarten to 5th grade don’t have to wear masks, but last week a rule was passed that all kids at day camp or in children care must wear a mask. My friend Kay’s little one just turned 3, and she has been wearing a mask at daycare. It makes me worry about what will happen right before school starts. That is, assuming schools actually open for face to face instruction.
Sounds awesome! I just use the disposable ones, but I do have a few cotton ones, I find the cotton ones easier to breathe in, I do have panic attacks though when having to wear the masks, but I still wear them anyway. Love to you hun xo 😘😘
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xx right back at ya!!
Amazing! I’ve also ordered from Canadian companies – Jennifer Glasgow design in Mlntreal uses ethical, equitable labour & materials. Her masks are actually comfy to wear for long periods! A local mom has taken tons of masks for kids with fun designs, and that’s what I did for my kids.. I’ll have to check out these companies you’ve mentioned.
Also, I saw a great infographic about breathing in masks. We tend to take shorter, shallow mouth breaths that can signal a state of alarm to the body. The masks itself may lead you into trigger, but the mouth-breathing likely isn’t helping. Ive been trying to remind myself to take a few deep nose breaths when I can, and to keep still. Your breathing is literally compromised (even if greatly so!) by a mask, that’s really tricky if you suffer from CPTSD!
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oooh I’m going to check out that company you mentioned. And thanks for the tip about breathing through my nose–I’ll definitely have to try that to see if it helps!
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