Tag: Clothing

Face mask use is a social contract. My mask protects you; your mask protects me. But face masks are not perfect and they need to be used in conjunction with other measures to lower risk of infection such as physical distancing and hand washing. There is ample evidence to suggest that widespread use of masks results in significant reductions in the transmission of respiratory viruses. Mask use is grounded in biology and can have a real world and meaningful effect on slowing the spread of infection, protecting your coworkers, and those vulnerable members in your community.

From What’s the deal with Masks? by Erin Bromage

On Autistic Masking (Of The Apparel Kind)

Let’s talk masks again. My current sense is that the specific type, size, and cut of these Braddock masks easily has been the most comfortable on my face, causing me no sense of suffocation. (I’d gotten a three-pack, one each of the grey, charcoal, and black.) However, the elastic ear straps leave something to be desired both because one of my three masks (the charcoal) has a strap that’s already fraying and soon will render to mask unusable — and this after receiving a three-pack twenty-four days ago and not even using a mask every single day — and because ear straps tend to exert force on my ears (especially true with the black mask) of a kind and direction that often causes problems with the AirPods, which I need for the noise cancellation. Some might suggest finding this cut of mask but with around-the-head ties, but I have trouble tying things behind my head like that. What I really need, then, I think, is this cut and type of mask but with stronger elastic straps than these that go around the head like mask-ties do, instead of behind the ears.

Today’s brief photo opportunity during a mostly-unsuccessful errand outing which, if nothing else, established that even just 72º and sunny already is a point at which mask-wearing starts to become intolerable. High-80s are coming, and then summer.

Annie Vainshtein, writing about the loss of social smiling, suggests that “[a]s we ease into a paradigm shift for the way we make nonverbal connections with people, there will likely be misfirings and confusion, but also, perhaps, some room for experimentation”; and I couldn’t help but wonder whether or not it might broaden people’s notions of what social interaction is like vis-à-vis, say, autistic people — and then it turned out that Vainshtein actually thought to include an autistic person in her piece.

For some people, the potential for that shift has some elements of relief. For Fabo JaNecko, the degree of social privacy behind the mask has been a welcome transition for other reasons.

“As an autistic person, it’s great not to have the pressure to smile and interact with people when I pass them,” said JaNecko, 21, who lives in Oakland and works at a program for adults with developmental disabilities. “Usually in public I ‘mask’ so neurotypicals think I’m normal — but now the rest of the world has to literally mask.”

Me, I don’t mind the casual, passing acknowledgment of other people; it just tends to be an upnod (with mirrorhsades hiding an implied eye contact), maybe along with raised eyebrows depending upon the person and the circumstance.

For sure, it would be nice if people overly-reliant on smiles broadened their understanding of what counts as meaningful gestures of social lubrication, hopefully beyond simply relying even more upon eye contact. Vainshtein bothering to cast a wide net here makes me more sanguine about the possibility.

Deborah Blum answers basic questions from Undark readers about masks and hand sanitizer, while public lands managers in the northwest answer some more complicated questions about how to “recreate responsibly” this Memorial Day weekend.

Link Log Roundup for May 14, 2020

In this edition: autism and actual masking, dining with mannequins, genetic drift, ousting Burr, cats and coronavirus, a new giraffe, black churches, reopening Oregon, COVID-19 and the brain, Oregon restaurants, the post-pandemic commute, bicycles, disability claims, the sage grouse, lockdowns and history, “Obamagate”, walking a trail, test failures, the privilege of escape, Multnomah County, the last Blockbuster, public shaming, and an invasion of goats.

Toward the end of this edition of Ouch (which actually comes from this edition of 1800 Seconds on Autism) there’s a brief discussion of autistic people and face masks that raises some other issues: on the one hand, they perhaps mean less emphasis on facial cues in conversations; on the other hand if you rely on “reading” someone’s lips to help you follow their conversation, that’s one less channel for you.

I’m glad The Washington Post published a piece by Shannon Des Roches Rosa about autistic people and masks; people need to understand that this isn’t just being willful or selfish. Of the potential issues she lists, mine primarily are “anxiety” and “sensory”. The feeling of suffocation is a big one, although my latest set of masks significantly lessens that sensation unless I’m already at a point of having low resources. My only issue when it comes to the elastic loops around my ears is that if the mask pulls to tightly, my AirPods Pro won’t stay in and I need the active noise cancellation to mitigate other autistic sensory issues. Ties potentially are an option, but I found with my DIY upcycled t-shirt mask that between the lack of line of sight and the required manual coordination (especially given not having line of sight) I am incapable of tying behind my head.

Sunday afternoon: finally starting season three of the terrific Occupied months after it dropped on Netflix but the service neglected to have the new episodes appear in my queue; learning that even Stark’s Vacuums is selling masks; and listening to the dulcet thuds of the cats chasing a fly that’s somehow gotten into the apartment.

This morning my mixed three-pack of masks made by Let’s Print LA from “upscaled” t-shirts arrived, and I think we’re getting closer to masks I can survive in long enough for errands without autistically feeling convulsions of suffocation. I haven’t run a full test yet, but a quick check of the “fold the top edge” tip to prevent fogging up my eyeglasses seems to work. This weekend really does need a grocery run, so a real-world test will happen soon enough.

That feeling when you can’t go to bed yet because half the items of clothing you need to change into have only just finished up in the washer and now need to dry.

I found a great place to get custom “meh.” masks made, in the spirit of my express your quiet disgruntlement. shop on Threadless but while it’s a site that lets you sell, it’s a bit high-end for this, I’d think; I did order a 4-pack for myself.