Year of the Mask


Around this time last year I was scouring the city looking for face masks. My mother had got pneumonia and I always saw kids wearing them in Chinatown and the Eaton Centre. I knew that people in Asia wore them when they had a cold to protect people around them and the custom seemed to be catching on. I saw some cute masks with panda bear snouts imprinted on them at Minisou in September but they were no longer in stock. And I didn’t look too hard because my knee was wrecked pre-surgery.

Now here it is, a year later, and Face Masks are everywhere and in every permutation. I have one to suit every occasion and match every outfit. I bought some more last week because they had Liberty style prints even though I have actual Liberty fabric masks that my mom made me early in the pandemic.

To sum up, I hate wearing masks — they mess with my glasses and hearing aids and they make me sweaty and cause rashes. But I wear them to protect others and to make it easier for officials to manage COVID-19 so we don’t have to wear them. I like to wear interesting masks because like beautiful shoes that mangle my feet, I will put up with discomfort for fashion. And because they are uncomfortable it limits my trips out of the house to essential missions like grocery shopping and medical appointments.

I’ll confess, I’m not 100 percent perfect. I’ve gone into two shops and forgotten that I didn’t have a mask on. But I’m trying. And I plan to wear them when I have colds and things post-pandemic as well.