Celsious, an eco-friendly laundromat in Brooklyn, New York, made major changes to keep customers safe.
COVID-19, quarantine, and social distancing changed the way we do pretty much everything — even something as simple as laundry. Luckily, one Brooklyn-based laundromat was uniquely set up to weather the storm.
Founded by sisters Corinna and Theresa Williams, Celsious always aimed to offer something different: a community gathering space where you can grab an espresso with a bite of delicious pastries in the morning, join for a movie screening in the evening, all while doing your laundry using environmentally friendly cleaning products and energy-efficient washing machines. Unfortunately, like with many other businesses, COVID-19 disrupted the sisters’ plans.
“We’re not the typical laundromat,” Williams says. “We’re the first sustainable laundromat in New York City. We were really conscious to provide a beautiful, welcoming space, but we had to aggressively pivot. We closed down for one day, and we transitioned from a self-service experience to a drop-off-only laundromat.”
The sisters consulted one of their customers, a health care worker, to make sure they had the right procedures in place to keep everyone safe. Everything turned completely contactless — customers come in and drop off, then the staff suits up in protective gear to wash their clothes. Within two weeks, they were fully operational and thriving.
Williams says that one of the most rewarding things about changing Celsious’ business model was realizing how differently they could connect with their customers.
“For some of the customers, we might be some of the only people they talk to in a whole day, or maybe even a whole week,” Williams says. “Just a two- or three-minute conversation with someone is maybe even more important than it was before.”
See more of how the Williams sisters shifted and adapted how Celsious operates in the video above.
Bustle’s Small Business Salutes series celebrates small business owners who’ve been going above and beyond to make it work as the world grapples with the ramifications of COVID-19. Subscribe to Bustle Digital Group on YouTube to watch more. https://bit.ly/2BUqGfA
Even if you’re not all that political, the upcoming 2020 election is hard to ignore. While the outcome is still hard to predict even just weeks out from when voting closes on Nov. 3, 2020, President Donald Trump has a plan for if he loses the election — and it’s not what most people might expect from the Republican incumbent.
The 2020 election is particular in many ways, not the least of which is that many states offered mail-in ballots and opened up for early voting to allow for social distancing due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. That means counting all the votes could take a little longer than usual, and Trump already suggested that he would take the results to task if he loses, citing possible voter fraud with the mail-in ballots, per the NewYork Times.
Per the outlet, experts say that voter fraud is extremely rare, and even more so when it comes to mail-in voting. Nonetheless, the president claimed that his administration would be monitoring the vote count more closely than ever. “We have people watching. We have U.S. attorneys watching. We have sheriffs watching. We have U.S. marshals watching,” Trump said.
Despite the unlikelihood of voter fraud and his promise to be “watching” as the votes come in, Trump has a plan if he loses the election to former Vice President Joe Biden.
Donald Trump seemingly changed his tune about how he'd react to the election results
Although President Donald Trump suggested in September 2020 that he wouldn’t commit to leaving office even if he lost the election, per Vox, he’s now singing a different tune. At a campaign rally in Georgia in mid-October 2020, via Business Insider, Trump suggested he would take a seemingly drastic measure if he lost to Joe Biden. “Could you imagine if I lose? I’m not going to feel so good. Maybe I’ll have to leave the country, I don’t know,” the president said, although it’s unclear if he was joking.
At the time, per CNN, Biden was ahead of Trump in polls and campaign contributions, but Trump added that he wasn’t worried about money: “I could raise more money. I would be the world’s greatest fund-raiser, but I just don’t want to do it.” According to another CNN report, Trump has more to worry about if he loses office than just booking a trans-Atlantic flight. The outlet reported Trump could run into legal issues with a number of ongoing investigations.
“In every regard, his leaving office makes it easier for prosecutors and plaintiffs in civil cases to pursue their cases against him,” Harry Sandick, a former federal prosecutor in the Manhattan U.S. attorney’s office, told CNN. “For example, he is claiming a higher protection from subpoenas in the criminal cases and also in the congressional subpoena cases, [and that] is based largely on the fact that he is President.”
Several celebs wanted to leave the country in 2016 if Donald Trump won
Threatening to leave the country depending on the outcome of an election is all too common, especially when it comes to President Donald Trump. Back in 2016, his opponent Hillary Clinton never tossed the idea around (at least in public), but many celebrities did, per The Hollywood Reporter.
Back then, dozens of celebs were triple-checking their passports, including Lena Dunham, Snoop Dogg, Whoopi Goldberg, Miley Cyrus, Cher, Samuel L. Jackson, Amy Schumer, Bryan Cranston, Barbra Streisand, and Chloe Sevigny, among others. For the record, many of them never actually packed their bags and left America for good, though some did. Raven-Symoné for example had an entire special about a temporary move to Canada with her family.
The 2020 election is arguably even more contentious than the 2016 election, and no matter what side you come down on, the election results are going to matter. Most of all for the president and his family, it seems.
Since the dawn of social media, the option to speak and be spoken to anonymously has always been in place, if only so you can share the responses you get for all your followers to see.
From Formspring to Ask.Fm, from the anon ask on Tumblr to the current day CuriousCat, finding out what others think of us behind closed doors has captivated internet users for many years.
Not only do we love asking anonymous questions, we love receiving them.
Whether it’s a banal ‘do you prefer cats to dogs’ or an invasive ‘who do you fancy right now’, announcing our thoughts on various topics – legitimised by someone else asking us about them – has been and remains a popular part of being online.
Am Golhar, a trained coach in human behaviour, thinks that opening ourselves up to these questions could be a sign of isolation.
‘There could be several reasons that someone signs up to an anonymous questions website,’ Golhar tells Metro.co.uk. ‘Loneliness definitely being one, especially if you have isolated yourself away from people close to you for various reasons.’
While loneliness might be a factor, so might the desire to fit in.
Ellisar, a 22 year old who used these sites in high school, says: ‘Everyone at my school was on those websites, it was about wanting to join the bandwagon by signing up to these sites.’
After signing up, however, having an account wasn’t enough on its own. She continues: ‘It felt like a measure of popularity to be asked questions and a way to get validation.’
Elissar knows that seeking validation is a normal part of human nature, but she also saw these sites get out of hand – with damaging results.
‘People want to know what others think of us, even when it’s negative,’ she explains. ‘It’s almost as if you want to stay on these websites to defend yourself and stand up for yourself, even if that isn’t great for your mental health.
‘I don’t think we’re meant to be exposed to all of these unfiltered opinions, especially during times when we’re vulnerable and easily influenced.’
With most sites not having a filter for their offensive messages, it’s easy to find yourself the victim of abuse to anonymous accounts.
‘When I got Formspring about 10 years ago I started to get insults telling me how shit my hair looked, how much of a faggot I was and even messages telling me to kill myself,’ recounts Will, a 28-year-old stylist living in London.
‘I had a feeling I knew who the person was and that they were just trying to wind me up, so it didn’t hurt me too much. That isn’t always the case though for a lot of people, if it happened to someone with less thick skin it could’ve been quite devastating.’
Hannah, who also used anonymous question sites as a teenager, said she received similar abuse and while she knew it was damaging, she couldn’t pull herself away from the screen.
‘About 90% of my anonymous messages were abusive,’ she says. ‘Jabs about my looks, my weight, my personality. People would ask me to kill myself, threaten to kill me, etc. You’d wonder why I didn’t delete it sooner but some kind of morbid curiosity just kept me coming back.’
Golhar comments that it should be the responsibility of these sites to filter and block hateful messages being sent to its users: ‘If the individual is in a vulnerable state, sites should be safeguarding them from bullies and spam comments.’
While simply avoiding these sites, or deleting your account after encountering abuse, seems like a more solid solution to not receiving anonymous hate, the temptation to see into other people’s points of view makes experiencing hate ‘worth it’ to some.
As Hannah points out, ‘everyone wants to know what people really think of them, or what people wanted to know about them at some time or another’.
She adds: ‘”Reading minds” is a common answer when people are asked what super power they’d like. That desire to know people’s true thoughts lives in all of us, even if its deep down and very small.’
Whether you have the thick skin to take troll comments on the chin, or just see them as part and parcel of being online, Golhar advises remembering the comments aren’t about you, but the person making them.
‘When someone is being [abusive online] to others who they know and don’t know, then there is a deeper issue, not with the other people, but the individuals themselves,’ she explains. ‘It comes from anger in the individual that they have been suppressing, and they are using anonymous abuse as an outlet for it, but this will not resolve their issues.’
Anonymous question sites are an outlet for us all – whether that is making us feel special, giving us a platform to share stories that wouldn’t otherwise come up in conversation or, worryingly, to expel anger onto another person.
But it’s important to take a step back and reflect on how use of these platforms – which often miss the mark when it comes to protecting people from abuse – is actually making us feel, and to step back when it’s all becoming too much.
We all understand the importance of trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
But what do you do when someone in your own household comes down with it?
If you’re living in a shared flat, you need to be prepared and know what to do if someone you live with starts displaying symptoms.
It can be stressful if you share a house with other renters, particularly if you aren’t close, but you must come together and follow the rules.
The most important thing is to stay up to date with NHS and government advice around isolation periods and what you need to do, as these can change.
Visit our live blog for the latest updates Coronavirus news live
But there are things you can do to try to stop the spread within your own household.
Of course, there are still no guarantees that you will avoid the virus, even if you follow all the guidelines but it can reduce the risk.
Aidan Rushby, CEO of Movebubble, knows a thing or two about dealing with housemates and he has some tips about what to do if one of yours has the virus.
If anyone feels unwell
Many of the symptoms of coronavirus are similar to the ones you would get with a cold or flu, but there are things specifically to look out for – a continuous cough, a high fever and a loss of taste or smell.
However, many people experience very mild symptoms but can still pass the virus on so if someone you live with experiences any of the signs, it’s important to treat it like it is coronavirus, until you know different.
Aidan explains: ‘It can be hard to determine if symptoms are Covid-related or something else – especially with winter fast approaching.
‘As a first step, ask them to call 111 or their local GP (which you can do on their behalf if they’re feeling too unwell). After the call, they will have a clearer idea about whether or not they should get tested.
‘At this point, you should try your best to maintain a distance of six-feet and both wear a mask when in contact with each other.’
While waiting on a test result, the household should isolate in case it does come back positive.
After they’ve had a test
If they have a test and it comes back as positive, everyone in the household will be required to isolate for 14 days. This means you cannot go out, even to the shop or for exercise. You should order food online or get someone to bring it for you and you should not go to work.
You should not have any visitors to the house and if someone is dropping something off, they should leave it on the doorstep and step back at least two metres.
While you yourself may not have coronavirus, it can take up to 14 days for it to develop.
During this time, you need to do everything you can to avoid catching it.
Aidan explains: ‘You should still try and keep a distance from your housemate who tested positive. It’s advisable to work out a schedule that sees them using communal areas at different times from the rest of the household. If you need to be in the same room together, everyone should wear masks and keep six feet apart.
‘Both yourself and your covid-positive housemate should wipe down all surfaces with disinfectant after coming into contact with them. It’s also incredibly important to continue washing your hands regularly.’
Choose a sick room
It’s best to choose one room where they can stay to avoid contact with others in the household – probably their bedroom.
Other housemates should not go into the room unless absolutely necessary.
If you have more than one bathroom in the house, designate one for them to use and another for everyone else. If you only have one, you will need to clean it every time they use it.
Try to avoid them using the kitchen or other communal areas – if they need something to eat or drink, it is better for you to make it for them and leave it outside their door for them to pick up when you step away. They may also be feeling too unwell to do those things for themselves so be kind and step in.
Try to avoid your belongings mixing so don’t share a laundry basket. If they really need new towels, bedding or clothing, you can do a wash for them.
Ask them to leave the basket outside the door. Wash the clothes separately, wearing a mask and using gloves.
Once you have put the clothes in the washing machine, wash your hands and all the surfaces.
While you might be focused on protecting yourself, it’s important to remember that your housemate who had tested positive may be feeling scared and even more isolated. They may also feel guilt for bringing it into the household.
You can offer support without being physically close to them – phone or text them, even though they are in the next room and check-in to see how they are feeling.
Wait it out
Even if your housemate starts to feel better, it’s important you continue to isolate for 14 days.
If you or someone else in your household starts to develop symptoms, you will need to get a test and isolate yourself for a further 10 days.
Once the two weeks are up, if no one else has developed symptoms, you are able to leave.
Aidan adds: ‘Finding out that you, or someone you share the home with, has contracted coronavirus can be very concerning, but if you all follow the procedures and support each other mentally, there’s no reason why everyone can’t get through the situation.
‘If you’re rational, stay safe and quarantine for two weeks, you can all head back out into the world and resume the new normal.’
The iPhone 12 lineup — iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max — was unveiled during a virtual Apple event on October 13. With 5G technology (say hello to service in crowded spaces), the A14 Bionic chip, aka the fastest chip there is, and a new Ceramic Shield front cover that’s tougher than any other smartphone glass, this is Apple’s most advanced iPhone lineup to date.
If you’re ready to upgrade your phone or add one of the new iPhone 12 models to your holiday list, here are the colors you’ll get to choose from from the different models.
iPhone 12 & iPhone 12 Mini Colors
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini come with Super Retina XDR displays for a brighter viewing experience, dual camera systems — including a brand new Wide camera — and two different sizes to choose from. The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini are essentially the same iPhone, except one fits in the palm of your hand — and is $100 cheaper. The iPhone 12 is 6.1 inches (the same size as the iPhone 11) and the iPhone 12 mini is 5.4 inches, making it the smallest, thinnest, and lightest 5G smartphone ever.
Starting at $799 and $699 respectively, the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini both come in aluminum finishes, including blue, green, black, white, and (PRODUCT)RED.
iPhone 12 Pro & iPhone 12 Pro Max Colors
If you’re in it for the camera quality, you’ll want to consider the iPhone 12 Pro (starting at $999) or the iPhone 12 Pro Max (starting at $1,099). Its new camera system includes an Ultra Wide camera, new Wide cameras that boast 87% improvement in low-light environments, and Telephoto cameras for portraits, closer shots, and tighter crops. They also have a LiDAR Scanner for AR experiences and better portraits in Night Mode. Like the iPhone 12, the iPhone 12 Pro is 6.1 inches. The iPhone 12 Pro Max, at 6.7 inches, has the biggest display — and the highest resolution — on an iPhone to date.
The iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max come in stainless steel finishes, including graphite, silver, gold, and pacific blue.
THIS is the horrific moment a man deliberately mowed down an armed cop with a Mercedes in London, leaving him “scared I was going to die”.
Aydin Altun, 26, of Tottenham, continued accelerating towards White Hart Lane Station despite the terrified police officer clinging to the car's bonnet, a court was told.
The officer told the Old Bailey: “I remember being scared for my life.
"I thought I was going to die. I remember thinking if this car was going to crash, I was going to die.”
The court heard that police officers were called to a shooting on Fairfax Road in Haringey on October 28, 2019.
Cops arrived to find an empty car riddled with bullet holes.
A witness reported seeing a black Mercedes leaving the crime scene.
The Met’s Specialist Crime Command launched an investigation into the shooting, the court was told.
Then, the following day – October 29 – officers saw a black Mercedes on Tottenham High Road.
Armed police followed the car as it turned into White Hart Lane.
The Mercedes pulled over, partly on to the pavement and stopped.
A firearms officer then approached the front of the car and shouted “armed police, show me your hands”.
CCTV and body worn video footage played in court showed how Altun then drove forward at speed, throwing the officer onto the bonnet.
The injured cop was left clinging to the Mercedes as the car sped towards White Hart Lane Station.
Altun tried to throw the officer off the car by zig-zagging across the road.
After a few seconds, the cop somersaulted across the road onto the pavement – luckily missing various items of street furniture.
The Mercedes drove off, but officers found it a short time later abandoned on Tiverton Road, with the officer’s mobile still wedged between the bonnet and windscreen.
The officer – discovered lapsing in and out of consciousness – was taken to hospital.
He was treated for significant grazing and cuts to his head, elbow, knuckles and hand, and was later discharged.
Altun was identified as the suspect and the Metropolitan Police launched a manhunt to find him.
On October 30, 2019, Altun was arrested after he walked into Edmonton police station.
Today he was found guilty of attempted grievous bodily harm with intent.
Altun will be sentenced at the Old Bailey on Friday, October 16.
He was found not guilty of possessing a firearm with intent to endanger life.
Altun’s mum, Sultan Altun, 54, and sister Hanim Altun, 24, both of the same Tottenham address, were also on trial for perverting the course of justice and were found not guilty.
After Aydin Altun's conviction, Assistant Commissioner Louisa Rolfe, Met Operations, said: “We’re just weeks on from the awful killing of Sgt Matt Ratana.
"I’m pleased that a dangerous criminal who drove at an officer and put his life in danger has been convicted.
“Thankfully such incidents are rare but being an officer in London can be tough and officers can face danger every day."
Hero New Zealand expat Sgt Matt Ratana, 54, was shot dead at the Croydon Custody Centre by a handcuffed suspect while the veteran cop was on duty in south London on September 25.
Louisa added: "However, this does not stop the amazing, dedicated and professional men and women putting on their uniforms, going out there on the streets of London and continuing our mission of keeping everyone safe.
“We do not tolerate any violence towards our officers and we relentlessly pursue anyone assaulting our officers to bring them to justice."
Wedded bliss! Larry David and girlfriend Ashley Underwood tied the knot on Wednesday, October 7.
Celeb Weddings of 2020
The Curb Your Enthusiasm creator, 73, and the producer wed in Southern California after dating for three years, People reports.
The couple met through mutual friend Sacha Baron Cohen at the Borat actor’s birthday bash in 2017 and instantly hit it off. At the time, Underwood was a producer on Cohen’s series Who Is America? and David was seated next to her at dinner.
“Much to her surprise I left before dessert,” the Seinfeld cocreator recalled of the couple’s meeting in a New York Times interview in April. “I was doing so well, banter-wise, I didn’t want to risk staying too long and blowing the good impression.”
They began living together in 2019, when Underwood moved into David’s Pacific Palisades, California, abode.
Celebrity Couples Who Got Married in Secret
When the coronavirus pandemic began earlier this year, the couple quarantined with David’s daughter Cazzie, 26, Underwood’s cat, Elwood, and the duo’s Australian shepherd, Bernie.
The Fridays writer joked about the problems the trio experienced in quarantine, telling The New York Times, “There’s not a moment in the day when there isn’t friction between at least two of us.”
He added: “Another issue is the business of one of us starting a show and not waiting for the other. Huge problem! You at least have to ask. Ashley does not ask. She starts and then it’s impossible to catch up. And I’ll catch her. I’ll walk into the room, and she’ll instantly click off the TV.”
Ahead of their nuptials, Underwood spoke about David and revealed the perks of dating one of Hollywood’s funniest and most successful men.
“We get a social pass,” Underwood told GQ in January, referencing the TV mogul’s actions at gatherings. “We’ll be at a dinner party, and Larry will take his last bit of food and just stand up for us to go. I just shrug. He gets the laugh, and I get to ride his coattails.”
David was previously married to activist Laurie David from 1993 to 2007. The pair share daughters Cazzie and Romy, 24.
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That’s the question we are out to answer this week, as we hear from George*, 26, a straight man who married the love of his life, Beth, last summer.
In How I Do It, our sex and love diary, the newlywed reveals that he isn’t all that bothered about having frequent sex (they do it once a week, or less).
That doesn’t stop the couple from having other kinds of fun, like partying or playing video games – but how does the lack of bedroom activities affect their relationship?
Does a couple need regular sex to be happy? Let’s find out.
My wife Beth and I are one of those married couples who usually have sex about once a week.
When we were first dating, we were long-distance – and it stayed that way for about two years. We’d see each other every six weeks, so when we eventually got to spend time together we could have sex three or four times a day. It was electric.
This week though, we’re not on ‘staycation’ or in a fancy hotel, my footie team probably won’t win, it’s not our anniversary or my wife’s birthday – so it’s more Channel 4 pre-9pm than Pornhub.
In other words: no sex.
Mario Kart 8 arrived for the Nintendo Switch, so f*** sex.
It’s safe to say that marriage has changed us – I get that. In the past, we used to send each other dirty messages, pictures and videos and I’d usually wank (even at work) over them mid-week.
Now, I’d rather sit in my pants with my wife and play Mario Kart with snacks for hours on end, then collapse into bed after I’ve royally whooped her ass on the Switch.
She’s my best friend, I couldn’t imagine being this comfortable and happy with anyone else.
Though it sounds mind-numbingly boring, my night was perfect.
‘Want to have sex tonight?’ Beth asks. Hmmm. ‘Sorry baby, I’m too tired,’ I reply.
After working all day, and being in lockdown, tiredness plays a big part in not wanting to have sex for me.
My wife smiled and kissed me, said she was too, and we made a banging dinner and played Mario Kart in our pants. Again.
I used to feel guilty about saying no to my wife. She had a very high sex drive when we got together and it’s only changed to my level since we’ve gotten married.
In fact, the biggest (and only) argument we’ve ever had was when my wife said we were ‘sexually incompatible’. It was a buzz-phrase she’d read in a bullshit article in a magazine.
We were screaming at each other in the street (it was after a boozy day of drinking, to be fair) and we were both in tears afterwards as we realised how ridiculous it was to be fighting.
Sex is important, but it’s not everything.
We went climbing together during the morning, and once I’d reached the top of a wall successfully, I got a high-five from my wife.
Then we took turns buying coffee. It was my turn – and I decided I didn’t want one, which annoyed her. I always laugh at her irritated pout and narrowed eyes.
I love spending time together with her like this. She really is my best friend, and I guess this is our equivalent of dating.
We push each other to be our best selves and it’s so rewarding to see a grinning face after a challenge that you’ve conquered. It is so, so exhilarating.
I know, it’s our first year of marriage and we sound boring, but I really couldn’t give a f***. This works for us. It makes us stronger, and closer.
Plus I get to see her ass at the top of a wall in sports leggings, and it’s all mine.
The closest thing we got to an orgasm today was the pizza we had.
My wife went to bed first (stoned) while I stayed up and had a deep and meaningful chat with a friend who was staying over.
Beth always leaves the bedside light on for me when I eventually come to bed, which I find really sweet.
I can’t help staring at her – her wild hair splayed out on the pillows (usually it’s mine, I find that shit everywhere).
We had friends over for dinner, drinks and a boujee (Covid-approved, thank you!) evening. Then we racked up the lines of cocaine and MDMA. We are in our twenties, after all.
‘You guys are the best couple – ever. You are so natural around each other. Like you’re best friends, with all the benefits,’ one friend said, buzzing.
We’ve heard it before, and it’s true.
We don’t always sit next to each other at parties, we don’t cling to each other like life depends on it, there’s not a soppy amount of baby names and PDA – we just do us, and it shows. It’s what I love about our marriage.
We partied the night away, dancing with our best friends until 11am. I’d catch her smiling at me, coyly, while she jived away in the corner and I smiled back – as if we’re teenagers, courting across the classroom. God I love her.
‘When was even the last time we had sex?’ my wife asked me today. Well, it’s 7pm. We’ve just gotten up.
After a few moments of trying to work it out in our heads, we laughed.
We’d spent all day (I mean all day) in bed nursing our hangover/comedown, both snuggled in our pyjamas, taking turns to be the little spoon.
Usually we’ll have Sunday morning hangover sex, but today was about appreciating sharing a bed with another person who cherishes your life together.
Honestly, sex isn’t everything to me – it’s important, – but finding your soulmate, that’s what life is about.
*Names have been changed.
How I Do It
In Metro.co.uk’s How I Do It you get a sneak peek into a week of a person’s sex and love life – from vanilla love-making to fetishes, threesomes and polyamorous relationships, they reveal it all.
In early April, I decamped from my Brooklyn apartment to the sprawling countryside of central New Jersey, where my boyfriend’s parents lived. Like almost everyone in the beginning of the lockdown, we spent most of our time at home, barely going out, save for a trip to pick up takeout or the occasional grocery store run. For these occasions, we picked up one of the 10 or so disposable surgical masks we had laying around the house, in the car, or stuffed in jacket pockets.
When we felt we had finally gotten our use out of the masks (which was, admittedly, too little too late), I bought a three-pack of double layer cloth masks. We kept these in rotation between the two of us, washing every second, third, or … sometimes, 15th wear. We thought, ignorantly, that a trip around the block to walk the dog did not warrant a wash — really, what’s the harm if you rewear a mask that had previously been worn for a mere 20 minutes?
RELATED: Do Plastic Face Shields Actually Do Anything?
Of course, I’ve seen the videos and read the CDC guides. It’s safe to say that I chose not to think too much about my mask hygiene because I knew the answer would lead to an inconvenience.
In September, I visited a close friend who lives in Manhattan — it was the first time we had seen each other in seven months. She described the need to wear a mask pretty much any time she opened the door to her apartment, whether picking up the mail from the lobby, or stepping outside for a bit of sunshine. Between herself and her boyfriend, my friend had 18 masks.
This number seemed astronomical to me and my measly team of three shared masks. But 18 was too many, right? Who has the time for all that laundry? (Not to mention, the in-unit laundry to support it.) Or the money for all those masks? How do you keep track of this one and that one, and which is fresh and which has been sweated through?
I asked Twitter, and then, thinking better of it, I asked Neha Pathak, M.D., Medical Editor, WebMD. Here’s what she had to say.
InStyle: How should we handle our masks?The CDC recommends that you don’t touch your mask when it’s on — but I see plenty of people that pull their masks up and down 10-20 times while outside. Is this bad?
Dr. Pathak: You want to try to avoid touching your mask, but we all know that this is not always possible, especially for young children. Ideally, you should wash your hands before putting on the mask, and use hand sanitizer before you touch your mask to adjust it while you are wearing it. When adjusting your mask or taking it off and on, try only to handle the attached strings or elastic bands. And always remember to wash your hands AFTER taking off as well, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth until you have washed them.
Where is the best place to store your mask between uses if you aren’t going to wash it right away? (IE. for people doing outdoor dining.)
You want to avoid stuffing a used mask into your pocket or purse because that can contaminate the surface that will then touch your face again. If you need to store it in between uses, fold it so that the contaminated side is folded inward (against itself) and put it in on a sanitized surface or in a clean (paper — not plastic) bag. If it's soiled or wet you should reach for a new mask.
I’ve heard a lot of people talk about washing their masks in the shower, presumably with body wash. Is this as effective as laundry detergent?
The best thing to do is wash your face mask after every use. You can hand wash or use a washer, using hot soapy water and then drying on a high setting. Detergent, dish soap, hand soap — doesn't really matter. Some experts recommend using a bleach solution to hand wash (5 tablespoons bleach per gallon of water and rinse thoroughly). Drying on the highest possible setting or letting it air dry in the sunlight (ideally midday sun for about an hour.)
Many people have said that they only wash their masks after use if they spent a prolonged amount of time outside, but that for small trips (running to grab the mail if they live in an apartment complex; running to the grocery store for 1-2 things), then they won’t. Is this thinking correct?
You want to wash after each use — having multiple masks on hand so you can switch them out in between washes is a good idea. If you are wearing a mask, you are presumably in an area where you are at potential risk for infection, so you should think of your mask as contaminated after being exposed in any of these situations.
Some people have compared wearing masks to wearing underwear, or bras … Is this an apt comparison to make?
The most important thing to remember is to wash after each use. You can think of it like bras or underwear in terms of throwing your face masks into a mesh bag before putting it into your washing machine.
How strictly should we adhere to the mask guidelines? Are they just that — guides — or should we be following them exactly?
We should be serious about masking in places where we can't avoid close contacts, crowded places, and confined spaces with poor ventilation … masks, physical distancing, and hand hygiene should all be followed strictly outside of your usual household contacts.
Trump made fun of Biden for wearing a “big” mask. Does size matter?
In this situation, size does matter — too big or too small can make your mask less effective. The key is that the mask fits over your nose and mouth snugly without gaps and that you can breath easily. For the record, Biden's masks seem to fit very well from what I've seen.
How many masks do you, personally, own?
I have 5 reusable masks for everyone in my family (we have 3 kids — the baby, obviously, doesn't have any).