Masks! Eighteen months ago, they were the great unknown. I remember late in February 2020, a man driving in the car next to me had a mask on. I thought it was so hilarious, I tried to take a picture of him while I was driving. Less than a month later, masks were a number one priority. How were we going to get them? They were in as short supply as toilet paper. We were in Hawaii and most supply chains had shut down. Almost no airplanes or cargo ships.
I found out that Katia was making masks and contacted her. Soon I had masks made from colorful Hawaiian prints. I bought enough for us, our grandkids who were living with us, and even for our neighbors. (I set the two I’d bought for Kathy and Mark on the bench by our front door. Kathy left us a can of Lysol in exchange. Lysol!! I was so grateful I had tears in my eyes.)
Although we loved how beautiful Katia’s masks were, I knew we’d need more. I began searching the Internet for masks like I was a crazy person. When the ships started running again, I found I’d bought enough to open an emporium.
I’ve found masks helpful in many ways other than protecting me from Covid and/or colds and flu. I had no idea how much I touched my face before the pandemic began. Wearing a mask keeps my hands off my face while hiding the wrinkles on that same face. I found another use also—I use the mask as an extra sunscreen shield when I walk.
We’re going to be on a plane in about ten days. Fortunately, we’re vaccinated. Which means the shields I bought will probably go unused.
I think everyone is doing a lot of thinking about what they were doing a year ago today. I know I am.
I just looked at my dining room table and remembered my grandsons being here at the beginning of the pandemic. So many thoughts whirred through my head—how scared we were—how unbelievable it all was—how I was always trying to figure out what to make for dinner for college-aged kids—how we couldn’t find toilet paper or hand sanitizer or masks.
I remember getting my neighbor masks for her and her husband. I left them out on the bench by our front door. She’d wanted to pay me for them, and I’d said, “Don’t even worry about it.” When she picked up the masks, she left me a spray can of Lysol. I was so grateful, I got tears in my eyes.
That established a pattern of neighbors helping neighbors through the months. We kept in touch by phone, email or text. If someone needed something, we all pitched in to help—even if it wasn’t in person.
This was about the time I started using Shipt. I didn’t go to a grocery story for months. I did have to go to Costco myself because I needed to have my Shingles shot booster. I was so nervous!
This is also when we became addicted to Netflix and Prime Video. Through the grapevine or our kids, we’d hear about a great series. My husband is a binge watcher while I like to space things out. He went ahead in “Yellowstone” and I felt like he’d cheated on me!
Eventually, we had our first socially distanced cocktail hour with our neighbors. It was the first of many.