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Another mask option?

By Leslie Carto, Managing Director of External Communications— or in other words, a TMC storyteller

Raspberry Pink.

Plum Brandy.

Retro Red.

I miss lipstick— that bold pop of color that I imagine makes my look more awake on mornings when I just want to hit snooze.

My pal Angie has had it, too. “I’m tired of wearing ChapStick,” she mused during an otherwise all business work call.

Applying lipstick during a pandemic feels wasteful when the bottom half of your face hasn’t seen the sun since spring. Plus wearing lipstick creates one big messy smudge inside your mask.

A few weeks ago, I thought I found a solution: a face shield. I called up the TMC Corporate Director of Infection Prevention, Susanna Paschal, R.N., so she could share in my enthusiasm. Paschal explained that a face shield protects the wearer by covering their eyes and preventing them from touching their face. But with a face shield alone, the wearer will still share respiratory droplets, the virus’ vehicles for transmission. Bottom line, says Paschal, most times you wear a facial shield; you’ll need a mask too.

If you’re like my friend Angie, you have masks to match every outfit. But some of us wear the same mask daily. Either way, Paschal advises you need to clean your mask if you plan on wearing it more than once.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a handy guide for washing masks, which we’ll include here. It doesn’t include any real surprises: machine or hand wash. Bleach if it’s safe for your fabric. Only a few rules for drying, too: in the drier on high heat or hang mask in the sun.

I am thankful I have smart coworkers who help me make healthy choices and listen to my silly complaints. That’s the kind of support we all need to get through this with a smile. Even if you can’t see it, or your lipstick, under your mask.

By Leslie Carto, Managing Director of External Communications— or in other words, a TMC storyteller