"COVID-19 has been a roller coaster in every sense. Many of us have learned to work from home or to protect ourselves in ways we never imagined when working on the front lines in essential businesses. Many of our friends and family members have lost their jobs before our eyes and are struggling to make ends meet. If you have small children at home, we all now have infinitely more empathy and respect for childcare providers and teachers, who have some of the hardest and most important jobs of all. I can’t think of a more stressful combination of factors and yet, we will find a way to persevere, support each other and move forward.
When the pandemic arrived in Georgia, we tried to take a balanced approach with our eleven and five year old sons. We wanted them to take precautions, but we didn’t want them to be afraid. We limited our news intake. We gave them gentle reminders about the most effective way to wash their hands. I sang happy birthday for the entire month of March whenever they were near me and I was washing my hands because slightly exaggerated role modelling seemed to help.
When it came to wearing a mask, it was tougher. At first, I couldn’t find anything that fit their little faces. Even when I eventually found a few options that fit okay, they complained that the masks slipped when they spoke or were too confining. I was also getting tired of hand-washing a pile of dirty masks every night and hoping they’d dry by morning.
Just before our recent move from Atlanta to Europe, friends introduced us to Marena masks. I had ordered my fair share of other masks off of Instagram ads only to be disappointed by cancelled orders, extremely delayed shipping or poor quality masks upon arrival. Marena was legitimately different. The masks are soft and flexible. They actually fit the kids’ faces and are the first masks they haven’t complained about wearing. They are made from a naturally disinfecting fabric used in hospitals. And … the best part of all … they go in the washer! (It’s the little things that make all the difference.)
We wore our Marena masks for 20 hours on our journey from Atlanta to Amsterdam without a single complaint. Moving the family to Europe in the midst of a pandemic was complicated. I’m still working through my mental list of things to worry about – but the family’s mask supply is not one of them."
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