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Masks Are Hard

Holy shit!

Vintage G.I. Joe Cobra Officer action figure mint in box

I have been waiting all my life for it to be socially acceptable to dress like this in public. COBRA!!!

I have been sufficiently scared and socially pressured into being a militant face mask influencer. The problem is that all of the pressure is on to make your own masks, and all the how-to videos I have watch have decimated my confidence.

I’m a pretty adept DIY person. I know how to learn to do things by watching YouTube videos. It’s where I learned to repair tube amps, replace power window motors in my car, and it’s even where I learned to sew1! I figured making masks for my family would be a breeze. I was wrong.

I’ve watched dozens of videos, I’ve read dozens of articles, and I’ve studied dozens of info graphics. Rather than instilling confidence in me, they have me completely overwhelmed. I don’t know where to start. I think my anxiety mostly has to do with the urgency of the situation, and the lack of resources I have to work with. This prompted me to take inventory of my situation.

What I don’t have to work with:

  • bandanas
  • rubber bands
  • elastic
  • pre-washed cotton fabric
  • a washing machine
  • coffee filters
  • paper towels
  • vacuum cleaner bags
  • experience with a sewing machine
  • time

What I do have to work with:

  • a good paying job
  • overtime checks
  • an Etsy account

Do you see where this is going? At a time when most people are embracing their can-do, DIY spirit, I solved my problem by throwing money at it. Do I feel like a failure? Kind of. Will I learn to use a sewing machine? If I survive this pandemic, fuck yes I will.


  1. Hand stich