What is a minimalist lifestyle?
It means living with things you really need. It means removing anything that distracts us from living with intentionality and freedom.
In that sense Andy and I are minimalists, we’ve never bought into consumerism or buying things to make an impression. But we do have a fair share of tools/junk/whatever. It’s not for pride of ownership, it’s because they might come in handy someday.
Andy has a shed to keep his stuff on the land, and down here I have more storage space than junk so our living areas are fairly uncluttered. I go through my junk from time to time to see if some things can be tossed or recycled before I shuffle off. I occasionally find things that are expendable, but there will still be a lot left. So I’m starting to look into services that could handle the mess for Kaitlin when the time comes. (Living in a small remote town makes it harder, but I haven’t given up.)
Anyway, the powers that be are starting to think people should wear masks, even homemade ones, when they go out for necessary errands. Hmm. I gave away my sewing machine a long time ago, and when I suggested to Andy we should rig something up for ourselves he wasn’t thrilled with the idea. So I got out this old N95 mask, which he is willing to try. I think I bought it about 30 years ago and used it once. It still seems to work, so it’s better than nothing. I’ll have to see if I can hand wash it after he uses it.
I also got out a Solumbra face mask I bought about fifteen years ago, when I was photo sensitive. I ended up using something else at the time, so I never wore it outside. (It’s shown in black, mine is in stone.)
I’ll have to add a layer of cloth inside to cover the breathing area, and I have an old cotton pillowcase I can cut up and use. Apparently that’s a good choice:
Making DIY Masks with Household Materials
Bottom line: Test data shows that the best choices for DIY masks are cotton t-shirts, pillowcases, or other cotton materials.
These materials filter out approximately 50% of 0.2 micron particles, similar in size to the coronavirus. They are also as easy to breathe through as surgical masks, which makes them more comfortable enough to wear for several hours.
Doubling the layers of material for your DIY mask gives a very small increase in filtration effectiveness, but makes the mask much more difficult to breathe through.
—What Are The Best Materials for Making DIY Masks?
Anyway Andy and I are set for our shopping trip tonight, and I’ll no doubt continue to play with other ideas. The elastic on his N95 is in amazingly good shape after all these years, but it has to stretch a lot to get it over his head, and it’s not made for long term use.
At least we’re getting started. Take care and be creative!
April 3, 2020