The breakout of SARS in2003 rendered a wave of change throughout Asia and, by extension, the world. Since then, sanitation awareness continued to rise and alcohol wipes became a staple for your purse and pocket.
People developed these small habits years ago - and these small habits haven’t changed.
If anything, with the onset of COVID 19, such healthy habits have accelerated into obsessions. It wasn’t long ago that we were fighting in grocery shops over toilet paper!
And there is still a need to build better habits for hygiene now. Calligraphy artist and watersports enthusiast Mabel Lau (mabellau-calligraphy.com) opened up to us about her own habits - some new, some borrowed and some a little blue - some she’s practiced for years and some that have arisen out of the recent global pandemic. Chatting with us, she’s giving you her experience in the crisis and tips on how to deal.
Pollution has been a widely recognized 21st century issue in Asia, a continent where a good number of people can attest to a ‘shared malady of an allergy’ to pollution. Wearing masks is and has been a common antidote to battling the coughing, sneezing, wheezing effects of poor air quality. Lau is one of the many lifelong sufferers of such allergies. “I sneeze a lot so I always carry a few masks with me - it’s such an instant relief to my nose!”
And the constant storage of alcohol wipes on your person isn't a joke, either. You’ll be hard-pressed to find any person in Lau’s native Hong Kong without pocket tissues and hand sanitizer. The fact that hand sanitizer is becoming a global phenomenon is progress in the cause to be clean, with incredible biopolymer based innovations like our own Hand and Screen Pocket Spray.
In this new age of normal, we would do well to follow Mabel Lau’s lead; keeping PPE on us at all times and normalizing mask wear for the instant relief of our noses and our neighbors.
Carrying a mask around extends beyond Lau’s personal needs. Lau keeps the greater good in mind, too when it comes to pandemic times: “I still socially distanced myself... It was such a struggle... If I caught something, I could recover, but [socially distancing myself was] for the sake of the people around me.”
You can probably empathise with Lau if you’ve recently felt cornered during quarantine. “Social distancing is the biggest challenge because I’m quite extroverted, I like to hang out with friends and I have a lot of activities.” Happily, if you read our blog last week with Oliver Ma, you would note that being cautious and wearing the right PPE makes it possible to socialise with your circles. Wearing a mask when we go out is a small act of respect and kindness towards our communities as well as an easy way to count
But social distancing is not an option for so many whose work requires their presence at close quarters. These cases make er our isolation.
protective gear all the more important. Maskz of Sweden FFP2 and FFP3 antiviral facemasks actually block the spread of droplets and prevent them from infecting other people’s respiratory systems.
Yet, In other places where mask-wearing is increasingly politicized, others choose to be at close quarters unprotected. This has only led to an alarming proliferation of viral exposure. If we rethink the real consequences of these conscious choices, lives will be spared. We need to contain the contagion.
Lau agreed with us on this and her dialogue is all about getting back to basics. There are major contributors to heart-happy-health that Mabel narrows down into her Top 3 List: motion, munchies and mentality.
“I like watersports. I can’t do them now, but I try to stay active. When I don’t move, my mood deteriorates. I get really tired. I go for a walk, even in the carpark so I don’t have to go too far. I just keep myself moving.”
Quarantine and isolation couldn’t hold her down, either. “When we have less movement, we feel like we don’t need as much water, but we have to stay hydrated and healthy. Exercising and drinking water are the most basic things we can do to stay healthy. I think we should take care of our own personal health first.”
And, just as Lau has touted time and again, personal health is and should be our MO in this era of the New Ordinary: “Apart from physical routines, we have to take care of our mental health.” Whereas before Lau could turn to outdoor sports to decompress, she now has to turn to new de-stressing techniques at home. “ I meditate more. I embed meditation techniques in my calligraphy projects. It ensures a good mental state.”
It seems Lau has come across the key to our nouveau existence under quarantine. In times that we must cope with so much chaos, it’s necessary to “take care of your personal health first before dealing with external things”.
Mabel Lau left us with some final words that couldn’t go unshared. “My advice to my followers: please wear masks. It’s the most basic thing that you can do. You’re not just protecting yourself, you’re also protecting other people. We don’t know [enough about the spread of] COVID19. [Mask wearing] is something so basic and something you can do. Just please do it. You have nothing to lose if you wear a mask.”
That’s the thing about mask safety and why MaskZ of Sweden promotes its ease and accessibility. It’s something so simple that everyone can do it.
Mabel and MaskZ of Sweden are getting back to basics with the mentality that mask safety is the least we can do to reap the most from our health.
Are you convinced yet? Take our style quiz to find your mask-match.
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