A few suggestions you may might like to know before you venture out wearing one for the first time. Because, if you haven't already, one day soon you will.
Now that the government thinking has changed, and we’re being advised to wear face coverings when visiting shops or taking transport, wearing a face mask will become yet another 'new normal'. Get yourself mentally prepared with these tips.
1. One mask does not fit all
Although many masks have a degree of stretch, there is a big difference in how our heads are built and the average mask does not account for this. So, if you can, buy a few options before picking the one that suits you best. It's a bit like picking this summer's favourite rosé. It takes a few attempts (and is not easy with your mask on!).
2. Face masks tend to cut you off from reality
Remember: communication is non-verbal, so if masks are our new normal, we’ll need to find better ways of signposting how we’re feeling. So smiling at the shop assistant is not going to cut it. Try a thumbs up or a gentle namaste hand signal.
3. They're uncomfortable
If you didn’t think it was possible to respect NHS workers more than you already do, two minutes in a disposable mask will see to that. So, perhaps, wear one about the house for a while to get used to it. If you're of the disposition to make your own, take a look at 'how to make a face mask out of a handkerchief' and how to 'make one out of a sock'. Both are quick and easy, requiring no sewing. In OGN's humble opinion, the first is more comfortable than the second.
4. You become bizarrely aware of your own breathing
It's a bit like scuba diving, without the pretty coral. Wearing a face mask feels slightly suffocating, and the noise of your breath on fabric becomes distracting. Give it a few minutes, and you'll get used to it.
5. Make your mask stylish
Images of people wandering around in white, medical looking face masks are, let's be honest, a bit Wuhan. So, get creative and / or humorous. See point 3 above for a couple of options, or take a look at Face masks for fashionistas or mere mortals for inspiration.
6. Remember where you are
If you're nipping out to the grocery store, almost any mask will do. But if you're heading to the beach you will absolutely, unequivocally require a (if you're a woman) sexy trikini or (if you're a man) make sure it's casually paired with your Vilebrequin du jour.