(Or, Even wizards Get the Flu)
UPDATE (Nov 2020): A lot of changes and new knowledge have come to light since this blog was written. Some of this content is still accurate, but some of it may have become obsolete. Please read the more recent mask-related blogs for up-to-date information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and mask-related issues.
Expert opinions are very divided on what face masks can or can’t do. In some places they say masks are practically mandatory, and in other places (especially where there’s a shortage, if you’re of a suspicious bent) we’re told they’re basically useless. I don’t know who to believe yet, but I do know that if I get sneezed on while out buying milk, I’d rather be wearing a mask than not wearing a mask, but not so much that I’d take one from a health care professional who needs them more than I do.
That’s not what this particular blog is about (if you do actually you want more general info on that sort of thing, read the FAQs we just put up here). This is about the fact that if you don’t keep your sense of humour at times like these, you will go completely squirrelly. And also, that it’s a dreadful idea to use magic to treat non-magical illnesses, because that way lies danger. All kinds of nebulous but terrible danger. You know, for subverting the course of nature and so forth. This is known.
Ergo, even wizards get the flu. Or the common cold, or novel coronavirus/COVID-19/first pandemic of the millennium, or pollen allergies, or throat irritation from road dust because we need some #@#$* spring rain already. We do not yet know if face masks can help protect you from viruses, but it may stop your kid with the cold (or dragon pox) dribbling on grandma. Plus I’m pretty sure your sneezes can’t travel 2m/6′ through two layers of tight-weave fabric, so you’re at least somewhat protecting others, right? It sure does work well on that dust problem too.
As a borderline-pathological introvert and confirmed misanthrope, I quite like wearing face masks. It reminds people to stay back, and I can scowl when I haven’t had my coffee without offending anyone. It also happens to keeps me from mindlessly pawing at my face, which I do appallingly often. So do we all, probably; we just don’t notice. In this regard at least, masks absolutely ARE effective!
If you, like me, want to join Team Mask, but also don’t want to scare anybody or be a downer (“Mommy, why’s that lady wearing a mask?” “Well, sweetie, it’s because we’re amidst a terrifying pandemic, but don’t you worry.”), why not go with a mask that makes people smile?
Hence Magical Masks.
I’ve had Harry Potter stuff on the brain, just having re-dressed our mannequins in Steampunk Hogwarts gear (blog post here), so this is where my mind went. So we present face masks in House colours:
We’re making them available on our new masks website for both Muggles and Wizards who want to fly their House colours during this trying period. For each mask you buy (Magical Masks or just the regular Muggle ones), we will be donating one to someone who must interact with people in order to do an essential job, like grocery store employees, medical receptionists, or delivery folks.
Please help us support our essential workers and spread the word to all your friends, magical or otherwise, and then ask them to spread it on as well. This is the best thing we can think of to turn our skills and equipment to something useful for the world right now. Just because I dislike humans as a species doesn’t mean I don’t want to help people.
Thank you to all and stay well!