Free Masks

Free mask table Saturday 5/23/20. Thanks to Jenny Wong for the photo

About 50 masks found takers among park visitors in 90 minutes this morning at a free mask table I set up. People who took masks were grateful. People who were already wearing masks but were stressed by others who went barefaced also expressed thanks.

Special thanks are due to Conservancy member Bob Huttar who donated these masks, left from the fire last year. The masks, made of paper similar to vacuum cleaner filters, are not medical grade but offer better protection than no mask. As with simple cloth masks, the main utility of these items is to protect others.

The great majority of people passing by the free mask table wore masks already. Among the few who did not wear masks and declined to take a free mask, several said they had masks in their pockets or in the car. That answer reminded me of my early days bicycling when I carried a bike helmet slung to my handlebars because wearing it felt uncomfortable …

The number of free masks I had available was clearly too small for the demand. I spoke with a couple of masked visitors who said they had possible sources of additional free masks to give out, and if so, would contact me.

In staffing the table, I wore a cloth mask, a waterproof jacket, and vinyl gloves, and sat with the wind behind me to minimize the risk of viral transfer from a person approaching the table.

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