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Montgomery Place faces mask challenges during this time of COVID-19

 “Knowing is not enough; we must apply.
            Willing is not enough; we must do.” ~ Goethe 

These last few weeks have been quite the challenge for our staff to get accustomed to a new habit of continually wearing a mask. We have a variety of options—cloth, surgical and N95s—and some people like to double-up their masks.  A big thanks to all the sewing angels who donated masks to Montgomery Place. 

To start, we educated everyone about the absolute necessity of covering both mouth and nose. Somehow, covering the chin just doesn’t seem to work with a respiratory virus! Some styles of masks work better for certain kinds of facial structures. Encouraging people to experiment to find the right fit sometimes was a challenge. 

Many wanted N95 masks to feel more secure. That is until they realized just how difficult it is to breathe through them! When you are hot and find it difficult to  breathe, your impulse, of course, is to touch or remove the mask. This defeats their purpose. If you are wearing a mask to filter out virus particles as you breathe, those particles are likely to be on the outside of your mask. So touching them only spreads the particles to your hands, which then will likely spread to your face (because we all touch our face entirely too much). 

There is an entire new industry developing face masks. Different styles, fabrics, some with logos, as well as with and without valves, are popping up all over the internet. I have seen several staff wearing new styles and hear them commenting on how hot or hard it is to breathe using them. But they look really cool! I’m not sure I like those with the face of someone’s favorite dog or cat.  Somehow it feels creepy to see someone talking from behind those masks. 

Oh! And then the ears! After a while, people don’t fret over the mask on their face because their ears hurt from the elastic bands. At Montgomery Place, if your ears become a challenge for keeping your mask in place, we have “ear savers.” They are hooks which clip behind your neck to take the pressure off your ears and keep your mask tight and in place.  Residents and staff can pick-up one at the front desk. 

Regardless of the mask you choose, be sure it fits against your face and you wear it correctly. Here is a good guide to help you. 

Please be brave enough to comment to others about their masks. Compliment them on style, fit and fabric choices. If needed, remind them to cover their nose as well as their mouth. Commiserate about how hot and uncomfortable masks can be, but follow your observation with an appreciative statement saying how glad you are because they are helping keep all of us safe. 

You have the knowledge. You have your mask. You have the Willpower. Now, just continue to wear your mask! 

If you have any suggestions about adapting to our new normal, please call me on my mobile phone at 773-617-1317. 

P.S.  All is COVID-19-free at Montgomery Place.