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COVID-19 Coveting - February 15, 2020

In the middle of doing some dusty home improvements, I thought I should replenish my supply of dust masks. But, the man at the big blue home improvement store explained that they were sold out because all their masks were shipped to China. At the big orange home improvement store, I also found only empty shelves where the dusk masks used to be. So, I began thinking about how to conserve and reuse the few masks that I still had and, for that matter, wondered how much single-use masks impact the environment anyway.

A quick internet search revealed that reusable masks exist and in a variety of fashionable colors and patterns. However, an insert does the actual filtering and it is, of course, disposable. I suppose, as with most hygienic products, there is a balance between cleanliness and wastefulness, and dying for lack of cleanliness could be considered the ultimate wastefulness. As COVID-19 looms as a commercially disruptive and deadly threat, time may tell how it coerces our need to conserve.

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