As I write this post today I am aware that I have not published a blog post for over a month. I began sheltering in place on March 14th, which was a day before my 77th birthday. Since that time, I have been adjusting to my new lifestyle, as I know is true for everyone that I know. Because I am included in the high risk group for COVID-19, I have been developing new  habits in my home to maintain a sense of structure. I have been learning how to take my own photos with a tripod, remote, and iPhone. It has been a challenging learning curve, but it keeps me moving forward and offers new knowledge and skills.

To maintain my health I have been accessing yoga classes online, walking in my neighborhood once a day during low foot traffic times to maintain social distance, meditating, and eating as healthy as possible. I have been focusing on Instagram, and haven’t been motivated to write, which has kept me distant from my blog. I’m hoping to change this with today’s post.

Recently Governor Polis of Colorado asked all Coloradans to wear cloth masks when going out in public. In the photo above I’m wearing a handmade mask gifted to me by my friend, Denver designer Brooks LTD. This does not change the importance of social distancing , staying home, and hand washing. Recent data indicates that mask wearing does slow down transmission and saves lives. Medical masks are reserved for our courageous health care providers, but handmade masks help us stay healthy, which is our social responsibility. I protect you! You protect me! We all protect health care workers.

This mask has inspired me to begin a collection of handmade masks by various designers and artists. I believe that masks will be the new accessory, and a necessary addition to any ensemble that I compose. Our new normal has accelerated change in almost every area of our lives. Resilience and adaptation have become necessary for mental health.

I am aware that I feel safe in my peaceful and comforting home, while sheltering in place is impossible for those who have no shelter.

I am aware that I have healthy food to eat while others have lost their jobs and are having difficulty paying rent and buying food.

I am aware that I have health insurance while others do not, and in fact many have lost their insurance along with their jobs.

I am aware that I have the ability to socially distance, while many in confinement in other life circumstances  are living in danger, shoulder to shoulder.

I am aware that today I am healthy, while health care providers are putting their lives on the line for us everyday. As are other workers on the front lines of essential services. 

I am aware of the many  privileges that I have and that connecting to my sadness and grief is as important as feeling whole and at peace.

As a former registered nurse, I am alarmed by the media images that profoundly display the unsafe working conditions experienced by healthcare workers and those who provide essential services. I am in awe of their courage and resilience and my heart breaks for the conditions that they endure. My most important job is to stay home, remain healthy, and avoid the health care system to the best of my ability. And to look for the inevitable silver linings that magically appear during this period of quarantine. I have hope that collectively we will choose to demand and create a more gentle, sustainable, equitable, safe, kind, and effective world that takes care of its people and our planet after the corona virus fades from view. 

I have been deeply honored to have my portrait included in the “Stay Home Girls”  series of illustrations and stories on Instagram, painted by the multi-talented and gifted artist Rebecca Moses. She has been connecting women from five continents, building a global sisterhood and providing strength and hope during this time of isolation and unpredictability. Thank you Rebecca, for your vision, passion, love, and generosity. 

I met Rebecca through my dear friend Jean of the instagram account Dross Into Gold, who invited me to accompany her to the opening of Rebecca’s “Perfectly Imperfect” exhibit at the Ralph Puccini Showroom in NYC over three years ago. Social media connections, such as my friendship with Jean, have been invaluable in opening my world to beauty and experiences that enrich my life beyond words. Though we are are sheltering in place, these relationship thrive and grow and the circles of support become increasingly expansive, despite distance and uncertain times.

To all of my beautiful followers, I am hoping that you are safe, and I appreciate all of you even more as we collectively experience this global crisis. As I approach the tenth anniversary of my blog, I am thankful for my journey which began in the midst of my own personal grief and loss. I will use some of the same strategies to cope with the unfolding pandemic. Take care and be well.

14 Comments

  1. It is a relief and a pleasure to read your post today Judith and to have you back in communication with your stylecrone blog readers. As a current Registered Nurse and educator, I also appreciate your acknowledgement of our role, as members of the public, and of the commitment of our valiant health professionals and providers. And… bravo to learning new technical skills! Deanna in Canada

  2. You have been missed. Take care, I really appreciate that you express gratitude for all you have. This has become my daily mantra. So many others are not as fortunate. Stay safe. Wear those beautiful masks in good health. Lynette (Australia)

  3. How nice to find a new post from you in my feed! I enjoy seeing you on IG but you are such a beautiful writer that’s it nice to see a longer written piece from you. I am well aware of my privileged position right now, as someone who is able to work from home, and am so far am able to remain healthy with a roof over my head, food to it, and a bit of money to spare to support people I know who have small businesses. I am extremely grateful for all of these things, and for the health care providers who keep getting out and doing their job at risk to their own health.

    I am building a mask collection as well, as someone pointed out to me on my IG that masks can be another accessory to an outfit, albeit with a very practical purpose. XO

  4. So good to hear from you, Judith. You look stunning in your mask! We have not had the mask order here, and I’m not even sure where I could get one! but I love the idea of a collection of them.

    I’ve been hiding – I’ve been going into work at my empty office to keep an eye on things, and then working on my mental and physical health at home.

    Glad you are safe, and take care.

  5. Seeing your post in the email list brought a smile. I had been wondering what you were doing. I agree with all of the earlier responses about your post. There will be no mask collection for me when this is over. However, I may like to restore the hat and gloves routine into the wardrobe choices. That would be fun. Glad to see your post.

  6. Thank you Judith! I am sitting down today at my sewing machine to make a mask. I hope it looks as chic as yours. As usual, you are a wonderful inspiration!
    I was thinking the other day what kind of a world do I want to leave for my grandchildren and great-grandchildren? I have 10 of them. And I thought “Not this one”.
    So after this is all over the new normal I hope will be a kinder, gentler, more caring society, with less pollution where we will appreciate our families and being able to hug and love one another. I hope this new normal will make us become more global in taking care of one another as we are all in this together on planet earth.
    Keep inspiring us Judith!

  7. Thank you for noting that masks will be part of our new normal as the country begins to open up. We need to be aware that “plateau” does not mean elimination of the infection rates, something of which I am sure New Yorkers are painfully aware. I fear that we will become complacent as we reengage in life outside our homes; that we will drop our guard and our distancing and our efforts to not spread the virus. Something I am sure our healthcare workers and heroic essential workers in the other economic sectors are worried about as well.
    Your thought that masks will necessarily be part of our fashion ensembles going forward, until a vaccine for everyone is available, is a wonderful clarion call to all of us to keep safe, be responsible…and frankly have some fun with the new addition to our wardrobes. Be safe. Be happy. Mask up! Namaste.

  8. I’ve been following you for several years, and as a 62 year-old woman I truly appreciate your energy, style, and your thoughtful posts. Thank you for being a bright light in a time when our world needs it!

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