The New Norm

I run through the checklist.

Check the Air Quality Index. We’re at unhealthy, bordering on very unhealthy. Remember, that’s an average, and it’s early. The AQI usually goes up (the air becomes unhealthy) as the temperature rises.

AQI 08062018

Checking the weather, I confirm that it’ll be in the nineties in our area, with no precipitation. (Ironically, I check Ash Station, ironic because of the fine ash that covers things after a few days.)

Forcast 08062018

It’s a mask day.

I apply my SPF 50 UV A/B lotion.

Then a hat to cover my head, and sunglasses for my eyes.

I’m ready to meet the great outdoors.

Masking up is becoming the new norm, along with skin and eye protection. It’s not truly the new norm yet. We haven’t monetized the masks.

There’s potential there.

America is a consuming, personality driven nation. I can see masks being spun to political preferences – MAGA masks, blue masks, Code Pink masks – but also to styles, personalities, and trends. Advertising can be put on masks. Budweiser and Coke can issue masks in their colors, with their logos, and give them away for free, or a discount. But two litters of Coke and get a free mask!

Pick up your mask with your Domino’s Pizza.

Or, take zombies. If you’re going to wear a mask, find a way to make it look like a zombie. Prefer Star Trek or Star Wars? Show it on your mask.

Bling can be added to the straps. The masks can be manufactured and offered in different colors. Come on, support the Pittsburgh Steelers in your Black & Gold mask. State your preference for the Oregon State Beavers in orange and black, or wear a green and yellow Duck mask to support Oregon University.

Call me a cynic (or call me Ishmael), I’m so surprised that some company hasn’t jumped all over this. I’m sure it’ll happen soon. When it does, when you finally start seeing blinged masks or masks supporting your cause or your team, then you’ll know that the new norm has arrived.

Speaking of which, I better stock up before the prices jump.

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