Aging Well in the Gorge July 15th 2020


If you’re like me, you’re finally getting use to wearing a face mask whenever you go out in public. But this is The Dalles and you know during the rest of July and August there will be many hot over ninety-degree days. But it’s a dry heat, right?

You may already struggle with foggy glasses and chafed ears but now with the heat there is the potential for hot and sweaty face masks. So, what do you do? Andy Markowitz in his June 25th AARP article “Sweaty Face Mask? 5 Tips to Keep Cool While Covered Up” offers suggestion of how to stay comfortable wearing your face mask - while protecting others.

1. Choose the right fabric. A light, breathable material like cotton will likely keep your face cooler than medical and N95 masks made from synthetic materials. A two-layer cotton mask comes close to matching a surgical mask's efficiency in stopping potentially infectious droplets from coughs and sneezes. Lighter, softer cotton coverings can also help you avoid chafing, heat rash or inflaming a skin condition. Take the time to feel the material against your skin so it feels good as well as looks good.

2. Keep it dry. Cotton traps less air and moisture than standard medical and industrial masks, and it's more absorbent. But if it gets damp due to breathing and sweating, it can be less effective in filtering respiratory particles, as well as being uncomfortable and abrasive to your skin.

3. Time trips to beat the heat. In The Dalles who doesn’t - unless you’re headed to the river! You can also use an umbrella to shade yourself on sunny days.

4. Skip the makeup. Because sweat cannot evaporate with a mask on, perspiration mixed with makeup or oily skin care products can clog the pores and contribute to what has been dubbed “maskne,” a combination of mask and acne. But creams with dimethicone are a good moisturizer and creates a protection between your skin and the mask.

5. Bring a spare. If your mask does get damp and dirty, switch it with another. But try to follow the CDC recommendations when changing masks.

To keep the coronavirus from spreading, wearing a mask is small price to pay. And fortunately, in the summer we don’t have many sticky high humidity days. But when we do, we want our mask to be an effective barrier – and also comfortable.

I have been told that talking about dying won’t kill you - and can actually be life-affirming. You can join a conversation about death and dying at a Death Café where people come together to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 it will be held through ZOOM and not in person. (Sorry, no cake this time.)

The objective of a Death Café is “to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives”. It is a group directed discussion of death in a relaxed and safe environment with no agenda, objectives or themes. It is not a grief support or counselling session.

You can join the conversation on the last Wednesday of every month from 7:00 – 8:30 starting July 29th. Registration will be limited to 10 people. Email  brittany.willson@providence to register. The Death Café is offered to the community by Providence Volunteers In Action and AgePlus Circles of Care.

The first Beatles motion picture, a 1964 musical comedy directed by Richard Lester, was A Hard Day’s Night. I received correct answers from Jess Birge, Barbara Cadwell, Rhonda Spies and I have a nagging feeling I am missing someone - or was that a feeling from last week? Well, anyway this week’s winner of a quilt raffle ticket is Jerry Phillips.

Warner Bros. produced an animated comedy series from 1930 to 1969 during the golden age of American animation. For this week’s “Remember When” question, what was the name of this animated series that brought us Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Elmer Fudd, Tweety and Sylvester, and the Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. Email your answer to mcseniorcenter@gmail.com, leave a message at 541-296-4788 or send it with the Academy Award winning animated short “For Scent-imental Reasons” starring Pepe Le Pew.

Well, it’s been another week, learning to smile with my eyes. Until we meet again, don’t jump to conclusions because you might not make it to the other side.

“It’s no longer a question of staying healthy. It’s a question of finding a sickness you like.” Jackie Wilson


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