#TheNewNormal: A Case in Defense of (Non-Designer) Face Masks

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Cindy Crawford tie dye face mask
Photo: Courtesy of @cindycrawford

Nothing is normal. That’s why the phrase “new normal” feels a bit awkward right now, because it means forcing the acceptance of a world that is in unremitting disarray. Instead of labeling it all “uncertain” and “unprecedented”, it feels more accurate to say that all of society has been deeply – and maybe even permanently – destabilized.  

There is nothing that remains untouched by the virus, and that fact reveals just how much we’ve taken for granted: gathering with friends at a restaurant to celebrate a birthday, going to a packed concert to shout along lyrics, sweating it out at a group gym class, or flying somewhere luxurious for a much-needed holiday break. 

So much of waking up and facing a new day feels like shouting into the void. Pointless. There are some days where you just want to faceplant on the floor for fear of confronting a constantly changing and ever-more dreadful reality. We will be the first to tell you, that’s okay. This WTF world has called for some hard – but incredibly important – changes to our behavior. The truth is, we really are all in this together. 

With some restrictions lifted, and life looking a little more like the one you used to take for granted, the necessity of face masks is at an all-time high. They are a minor inconvenience, with significant results. In a pandemic with a virus that is exponentially more contagious than the flu, when you wear a mask, and others wear a mask, the probability of person-to-person infection drops to 1.5%. 

To that end, buying masks has become as routine as buying toilet paper. It’s an item on every shopping list. But as something that is literally worn on your face, the need for us to individuate ourselves within this restriction is still a strong human need.

Instead of feeling like a faceless automaton, a beautiful face mask might just help you adjust to what can feel like a weird and scary reality. It can make the necessity feel like more of a choice, and have a more positive psychological impact on your wellbeing. Whether you choose a chic black mask to match your chic black outfit, a colorful tie-dye version, a cheerful floral print, or any one of the dozen choices listed below, you are assuring that even in the face of crisis, you’re putting your best face (mask) forward.

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