~ from the Office of Neighborhoods

In April, the Knox County Health Department (KCHD), following guidance from the Center of Disease Control (CDC), advised that all Knox County residents wear a cloth face covering when venturing out in public.

Individuals can be contagious before the onset of symptoms. We may be contagious and not know it. If you have covered your nose and mouth, it can limit the spread of COVID-19 to someone else.

We touch our face less when our face is covered. Touching your face after touching something contaminated with COVID-19 increases your chances of getting sick with COVID-19.

It is recommended that we wear a cloth face covering over your nose and mouth when we must be in public. With more people in Knoxville starting to get out in Phase one, it is more difficult to keep 6 feet from people.

Along with the serious reasons to wear a cloth face coverings, there are some fun silver linings to think about listed below.

It’s not your face’s best day? No problem! There’s a mask for that! Maybe you have a zit on your chin, didn’t have time to shave or ran out of foundation? Don’t fear; the mask is here! Throw on that mask, bandana, buff, or scarf around your mouth and nose and all anyone will see is your cool mask.

You want to work on your eye moves? Let the mask give you an assist! Since the rest of your face is covered, no one will be able to resist looking directly into your beautiful exposed eyes. Practice the eyelash flutter, the glance and look away, or maybe even the direct stare. Without the distraction of the rest of your face, those eyes will be hard to miss.

What’s that smell? The mask has your back! We all know the work restroom can be, well, less pleasant smelling than a cookie factory; wear your mask in the restroom. Voila! Bad smells be gone! You can even spray a little lavender or peppermint oil on your mask and smell the goodness all day.

So, you think you’re less than photogenic? No worries! This moment was made for you. Take all the best selfies, model shots, and more with the benefit of hiding that half smile. Make any face you want; no one will know! Thanks, mask!

Not so sure how you feel about your friend’s new haircut? It’s okay; she won’t be able to see the grimace on your face because you’re wearing a mask! Just nod and giggle, and she will think you adore that crooked bob she cut by herself in quarantine. The mask will not betray you!

It’s a new fashion statement! That’s right, masks are the new handbag. Whether you make your own, repurpose grandpa’s old Western bandana, or buy a fancy sequin mask (yes, that’s an option), make the mask your newest fashion accessory! You can match your outfit, go bold, make it part of a costume, or even show support for your favorite team. Everyone will be jealous: “Hey, girl, where’d you get that mask!?”

Is today a low air-quality day? Thank goodness for this mask! Or maybe you are socially distancing around a friend’s fire; not to fear, the mask is here. Let that mask block unwanted bad air from reaching your lungs while it’s blocking your unwanted slobber from reaching others. J

All jokes aside, the KCHD and CDC do recommend wearing a mask. While a cloth mask does not protect you 100 percent from COVID-19 particulates, it does reduce the risk of spreading particles to others. Even if you are feeling well, you could be asymptomatic. Do your part and wear your mask. Besides, as you can see, there are many other benefits!

Visit the CDC’s website for more on why to wear a mask and tips on effective coverings.

Follow the City of Knoxville’s COVID-19 Updates, and make sure to take photos and #ShowUsYourMask. Post a picture with the hashtag and tag @CityKnoxvilleTN. Let’s see what benefits you can come up with!