Ruby McBeth: Being careful in public places

Spring Work

It is hard to believe but spring is finally here. Both of our local greenhouse businesses are willing to take orders over the phone or by e-mail. You will want to ask what time is best. One place said that opening time was very quiet while the other said it was quieter near the end of their day. The problem I had was arriving at 9 a.m. to pick up my order — I saw all the lovely flowers and wished I could have bought more!

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Face masks anyone

As the restrictions are loosened, I for one want to be careful in public places. I have some face masks I can wear and I am starting to use them.

There are three types of face masks: industrial, medical, and do-it-yourself (DIY). The industrial ones are the N95’s that you hear talked about. In the past you saw workers wearing them. They keep out impurities in the air including bacteria and viruses. They are the gold standard in face masks.

The second type are the medical masks. You have seen those on your dental hygienist. The problem with industrial and medical masks is that they are in short supply. That is why there has been an explosion in the development of the third type: the DIY masks.

For homemade masks, one website gave a listing of the efficiency of various materials. From high to low they listed: vacuum cleaner bags (95%), dish towels (82%), cotton t-shirts (74%), antimicrobial pillowcases (65%), wool scarves (62%), linen (60%), and silk (58%). What they are calling for is two layers of tightly-woven fabric.

You sew, glue, or staple them together using folds or darts to allow room for breathing. Google “make your own face mask” to see some of the interesting approaches. Just one piece of advice: when you wear a mask don’t wear good earrings; they tend to get tangled up in the mask’s ties.

Our daughter Barbara helped us out by sewing masks - a plain brown one for Lorne and a pretty print one for me. When I wear mine on our evening walks, I am glad it is feminine.

An adventure

Ryan Kennedy walked the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail which goes from Mexico to Canada. To watch the video he made from his trip, Google “Pacific Crest Trail - One Second Every Day -YouTube.” This is sort of a variation on slow T.V. — a quiet pleasure.

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