With our AQI drifting between unhealthy and hazardous in southern Oregon because of smoke from wildfires, masks are the new norm. The N95 is the most popular and the lowest level of protection that should be used if you’re outdoors.

Ashland Fire Department-chart (2)
Purple is very unhealthy and red is unhealthy. Green is good. Nice to see the air quality is improving today. We’ve not been in the yellow since 4 A.M. on July 28th.

While the masks help us stay healthy, I’ve encountered drawbacks, like it’s harder to exchange greetings and smiles as you encounter others. You can’t sip a beverage or eat anything with the mask on, and the mask makes my nostrils itch. With temperatures rising and smoky sunshine, sweat sheathes my face. The combination of breathing through a tight mask and being hot and sweating also recalls my twenty years in the military and the times when we wore our NBC gear. Ah, good times!

But, besides staying healthier, I’ve found wearing the mask protects my beard and mustache from the sun. Without the sun’s influence, my beard and mustache grows in darker and stays darker.

The darker beard and mustache don’t make me look younger, however. There’s a few other things that need to be overcome to rejuvenate my appearance. The mask, though, hiding my nose, mouth, chin, and most of my cheeks, does help with that.

Stay healthy, everyone.

4 thoughts on “Masks

Add yours

  1. I’m envious of your luck, but sometimes the wind blows ill on your area, I imagine. We’re just suffering through a particularly bad episode this year. Could be worse; it could be fire, instead of smoke.


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