Masks as Merch
Today’s post is a little news about the merch available on this site. I sell my merch through Redbubble, where for reasons too long and boring to go into I go by the name Moonbug, and Redbubble are now doing masks. Actually they’ve been doing them for a while, since late April in fact, but I just got round to enabling them.
Why are Redbubble selling masks, well because the COVID pandemic means we all now need to wear a face mask in public. It is a sad sign of the times that I can’t assume everyone is just going to take that statement at face value. Just in case you are hesitating about wearing a mask, and keeping it up over your nose, for any reason at all, here are a few mask myths debunked. (I have no idea what kind of evil nut would bunk them in the first place, but people have taken the time and trouble to debunk them again).
Firstly, you need to wear a mask even if you don’t think you are sick. Secondly, wearing a mask will not increase the amount of carbon dioxide you breathe, and it will not make you sick. Thirdly, if you are wearing a mask, you still need to practice social distancing.
Okay, with that out of the way, what happened was a lot of the artists who sell through Redbubble contacted them to ask if they could sell masks printed with their art. Spotting a chance to make a quick buck, Redbubble said you bet and introduced masks as quickly as they could. Of course, so as not to look quite so mercenary, the decision was taken that for every mask sold Redbubble are going to donate a mask to Heart to Heart International.
Heart to Heart International works with volunteers, partners, and donors to make healthcare more accessible, including international, domestic, and local responses to COVID-19. Donated masks will be given to people who are in line for drive-through testing, before they get to the testing station. They will also be used in hospitals and clinics for non-frontline workers, including administrative staff and hospital workers who are delivering food to patients. With all that good stuff happening, it makes me feel a little less opportunistic about wanting to shift a few masks myself.
A Message from the Author
Forever Young is a modern take on a classic Gothic novel, combining horror, death, and romance. It is firmly in the tradition of the most famous books of the genre but it is also something new. The book introduces us to Jasmine, a student of the occult, newly arrived in Venice, and to Violetta, who is trapped in an ancient and violent world with no escape. After the two meet, Jasmine gradually awakes in Violetta the desire to escape.
The book is also available at Kobo and at Smashwords.
Apparently, the masks consist of two layers of washable woven polyester, with over-ear elastic straps for a snug fit over mouth and nose. The masks come in one size and are said to fit most adults. Obviously these are not going to protect the wearer in a clinical setting and are intended for general public use only. They are not surgical masks, nor are they personal protective equipment, nor N-95 respirators or anything like that.
If you intend to sell masks as part of your own merch it’s important to remember to be respectful of all the unfortunate people who have been directly impacted by COVID-19. Key workers in particular are both under enormous stress and at much higher risk of catching the disease and having a negative outcome. Just remember that fact when deciding which of your designs are appropriate for use on a mask.
Making masks available for all my merch involved some extra work for me, because I had to go through my portfolio of designs, click on the cog icon for each design and select Edit. It was worth the effort, though, as I am particularly proud of the Sun Chaser mask I created.
If you still need some persuasion before wearing a mask, or pulling it up from round your chin where it isn’t doing anybody any good, here is what the CDC says. The CDC recommends that people wear masks in public settings or around strangers, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Masks help prevent people spreading the virus to others. They are most likely to reduce the spread of COVID-19 when they are widely used.
They are simply a barrier that prevents droplets traveling into the air and onto other people when you cough, sneeze, talk, or raise your voice. They should be worn over the nose AND mouth. Also remember COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. That’s why it’s important for everyone to wear masks.
Along with wearing a mask it’s a good idea to avoid close contact as much as possible, clean hands often, avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and frequently clean and disinfect surfaces.
Interestingly, you should not wear a mask if it might get wet, like when swimming at the beach or pool. A wet mask may make it difficult to breathe. For activities like swimming, it is particularly important to maintain physical distance from others when in the water. Another interesting complication is that while face shields are excellent when used for eye protection, at this time it is not known what level of protection a face shield provides from the spray of respiratory droplets from the wearer. Therefore the CDC does not currently recommend the use of face shields as a substitute for masks.
Well, that’s all the merch news for now, we all learned something I hope, and now I can get back to posting about random sci-fi musings and naked attempts to sell more books. To end, just a reminder that the best way to support this blog is to buy one of my sci-fi novels. Simply go over to Amazon, or Kobo and get one.