corona mask

I’m not a craft person.

I can’t crochet, I’m allergic to knitting.  Pinterest holds no allure for me.

As a kid, I made the requisite macaroni necklaces and glued googly eyes on felt, but it was always clear my talents lie elsewhere.

So why did I spend my Saturday searching my home for fabrics and stretchy bands?

Because of coronavirus, of course, the puppet master of 2020 pulling all our strings.

By the order of Governor Tom Wolf, all Pennsylvanians must wear masks when entering grocery stores.  (I’m pretty sure the actual order lists more than grocery stores, but as that’s the only place I go these days, that’s all I need to know.)

In the pre-coronavirus world, of course, this would be a snap.  I’d log onto Amazon and order a box of surgical masks, or head out to Home Depot and buy as many as I wanted.

But as anyone not in a coma knows, there aren’t enough masks to go around, and nurses, doctors, and essential workers get dibs.

No argument from me.

If I’m honest, I’m not thrilled at the idea of wearing a mask.  I’m not complaining—I know how good I have it right now, and I’m not criticizing the order—it makes sense that if we don’t breathe and sneeze on each other, the disease is much less likely to spread.

But it’s jarring not to see people’s faces.  The masks are a constant slap in the face that life as we know it is over for a while.

Also, it feels defensive.  I like the protective measures that feel like I’m going on the offensive against the virus.

Take cooking, for example.  I’m trying to stretch my grocery store trips out as far apart as possible.  This means using up all the things that have been in my pantry and at the bottom of my freezer for ages.  I’ve gotten creative, learning to make substitutions and cook new things.

Trying to lure to me the store because I’ve run out of bread?  I’ll make my own.  I’m still eating the frozen potato soup I made months ago when I was suckered into buying ten pounds of potatoes buy one get on free.

Take that virus!

Stay home all the time?  I’m reading my way through a huge stack of books and watching classic films.  You’re practically doing me a favor!

And the cleaning, the cleaning is my favorite.  I feel like a gangster pumping my enemy full of lead.

I run around the house spraying Lysol yelling, “Say hello to my little friend, corona!”

But the mask, the mask feels like hiding under the bed.

But I’ll do it, because to not do it is just plain stupid.  And it puts others at risk, and there’s no way I’m doing that.

So Saturday was craft day.

I’m a millennial (albeit it a very old one) so when proposed with a new challenge, I immediately consulted Dr. Google.  And because I’m not crafty, I was immediately intrigued by the “no sewing required” options.

Loathe to cut up any of my t-shirts, as that’s the only thing I wear these days, I opted for using a bandanna.

The video made it seem easy enough—a few folds, tuck in some hair bands, and you’re good to go.

The folding went smoothly.  But the hairbands were too tight against my ears.  Same with rubber bands.  I scoured the house for materials—my yoga headband made it too much like a gag, and a regular headband just straight up didn’t work.

I read some articles suggesting cutting up shoelaces, but I didn’t have any I was willing to sacrifice.

Finally, I pulled out my gift wrapping supplies and found some Christmas ribbon.  The first one I tried was a little too thick, but I hit paydirt with some decorative string I bought at Target last Christmas.

Is it pretty?  Definitely not.

Do I feel silly wearing it?  Obviously.

Does is get the job done?  Yes.

And right now, that’s all that matters.  The job is keeping ourselves and each other safe.

Let’s get it done.