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Happy Face Mask Day, Seattle

More good news: “Vivace will open its Brix location at 532 Broadway Ave. E. Monday morning at 7 AM for coffee to go. In addition, Alley24 will be open at 10 AM both of which close at 5 PM. 321 Broadway,our sidewalk bar, will open on Saturday.”

Reminder: Monday brings the start of required face masks around Seattle and King County.

The May 18th start of the directive requires King County residents to wear “a cloth face covering in indoor public spaces or confined spaces where it could be difficult to maintain six feet of physical distancing.”

Examples of where the coverings are required include “stores, restaurants, farmers markets, banks, and public transportation.”

“Deaf hard-of-hearing and other individuals who rely on face and mouth movements to communicate are not required to comply with this directive,” the county says.

Officials announced the directive last week after initial mixed messages as hospitals and health workers struggled with low supplies of “personal protective equipment.” In April the CDC finally issued its recommendations on the “use of cloth face coverings” to slow the spread of COVID-19 and sightings of the face coverings around the Hill began to increase as part of efforts to protect others from possible infection.

21st Ave’s Girlie Press has free “No mask No entry” posters for local businesses while supplies last

In addition to now providing clear guidance about the masks for people as they go about their errands and trips outside the home, the rules will also help businesses set policies for their customers as venues reopen under loosened COVID-19 restrictions.

The county has said past directives “may be subject to enforcement actions, which could include legal actions” but Mayor Jenny Durkan has said there are no plans for enforcement in Seattle.

The city is providing masks at no cost to “to vulnerable communities, including people experiencing homelessness, low-income older adults, and food bank staff.”

The face coverings are also required on Metro public transit and at Sea-Tac Airport.

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13 thoughts on “Happy Face Mask Day, Seattle

  1. Think this one through – deaf and hard of hearing people who rely on mouth movements aren’t required to mask….. Have you (who wrote this) never been around a deaf person – they don’t need to *make* mouth movements…. they need to see yours, so having them not having a mask doesn’t do them any good at all… they’ll need you to pull yours down so that they can see your face to lip read – or write things out.

    • I know.

      But these directives are being thrown up very quickly, give the public health people a break…okay?

      Just wear a damn mask?


      I mean…there is good evidence (I forget where I’ve seen this…possibly the Guardian) that, if we all wore masks in public, we could get the R-naught down below one.

      Which is huge, and would effectively allow Washington to reopen!

      So wear your damn masks!

      FYI, I had HUGE trouble getting mine…they are hard to find. For the **moment** the QFC on 15th Ave. has some decent ones….

      So get and wear a mask.

    • You beat me to it. Deaf and hard of hearing individuals don’t find it harder to communicate when they are wearing a mask, but when others are. This is common sense. The fact that the people in Public Health couldn’t figure out this obvious flaw in their directives makes me question their competency. The logic is as bad as the gibberish spewed by Trump. But it seems to be a pretty good example of the nonsensical leadership we have in Seattle/Washington State who are constantly encouraging us to focus on the nonsensical leadership of Trump to distract from the fact that they are pretty much as incompetent.

      • “. But it seems to be a pretty good example of the nonsensical leadership we have in Seattle/Washington State who are constantly encouraging us to focus on the nonsensical leadership of Trump to distract from the fact that they are pretty much as incompetent.”

        This is simply not true. For example, Governor Inslee has been a thorn in Trump’s side since the onset of the pandemic.

    • Writing things out seems like a sounder option considering pulling down a mask could expose the person to the virus. But that requires getting closer to read it. I don’t know the right solution. I don’t believe there are clear materials that would make suitable masks and still be breathable.

      Then for people who are deaf and blind, there is a reliance on touch, and gloves can be a challenge in reducing finger sensitivity from what I understand. Still avoiding disease spread is first priority but I hope accessibility is taken into account throughout this. Beyond the obvious of people needing access to masks for free.

    • Another aspect of the exception for hard of hearing is that the elastic-over-the-ear masks interfere with the proper fitting/wearing of hearing aids.
      My mom wasnt able to wear the ear ones and she was having trouble tying the tie-on ones.
      However I was able to find masks with elastic bands that go around the head at Retail Therapy on Pine (via the online shop).
      If you know anyone with hearing aids and having difficulty with the ear masks or just want an around-the-head style (which is hard to find) message the shop and ask.

  2. Correction: The Seattle and King County Public Health directive does not require that residents wear facial coverings. It merely instructs them to do so. Residents cannot be cited or arrested not complying.

    I personally will follow the recommendation of the World Health Organization that only the following individuals should wear face masks:

    * Healthcare workers caring for patients
    * Those showing COVID symptoms
    * Those caring for COVID patients in their home

    WHO does not recommend mask wear for those simply out and about in public. So if you should decline to follow the directive, you have expert opinion on your side.

    • Yes, you won’t be cited or fined, but any business who chooses to can legally refuse you entry/service, non-mask wearers aren’t protected class, so don’t be a crybaby or make a fuss when you are asked to leave.

      Not to mention you somewhat misrepresenting the WHO, who’s latest document addresses non-medical masks for healthy appearing members of the public. The newest document has a section that addresses the concerns – and no they shouldn’t be taken lightly….. people in countries where non-medical mask wearing is common understand that the mask is for protecting other people, but folks here aren’t used to the practice, so may need some education lest they think a mask can be used in lieu of proper and often hand hygiene and physical distancing BUT – that does not mean that widespread non-medical mask use may not help control the spread of infection….. Even The WHO, at this time, admits there’s not been enough study to make any recommendations for *or* against governments mandating their use. So no – you don’t actually have an expert opinion on your side, at best you have a maybe.

      • Shopped at QFC this evening (love their return to later hours) and neither I nor the other 75% of shoppers who were unmasked there were denied service. I think we’ll get along just fine unmasked.

        And as summer heat arrives, I predict more Seattleites will see things the way the WHO does. Those masks are going to get rather hot and sweaty when temps reach the 80s and 90s.

      • Cue the sad violins….. geeze, we have an average of 2 days that temps get over 90 in Seattle and only maybe 20 where the temps peak 80….. poor boo-boo, you might just melt if you are asked to put on a mask in an *air conditioned* grocery store for an hour or so…

        QFC should have more regard for their employees (who are the ones most likely to become ill), as apparently their customers don’t give a crap.

  3. “Deaf hard-of-hearing and other individuals who rely on face and mouth movements to communicate are not required to comply with this directive.”

    This makes sense, since we all know that those types of marginalized folx cannot carry the virus.

    Also, I pray to Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Lord Fauci that I be granted the grace to not come closer than 5-feet and 11 inches from my fellow human, for we all know the virus cannot reach people beyond 6 feet and 1 inch.

  4. When wearing a mask it amplifies your own voice/breathing, which makes it harder to hear others. This probably not obvious to you if you are not experiencing hearing loss.

    If someone is not wearing a mask, instead of being upset about it, step back and realize it might not be obvious as to why they aren’t.

    Asthma? How about people who experience anxiety when wearing one?
    Hearing loss is just one example of a reason why someone might not be wearing a mask that is not visibly obvious.

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