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Victoria’s Diary: The value of wearing masks 

Wearing masks allowed us to safely gather at the Stone Creek Inn in East Quogue.

To wear or not to wear? That is the question that some people still have when choosing to wear a mask and gather in large groups.

I, for one, see mask-wearing as a silver lining in the COVID-19 pandemic. With no place to go and no dinner parties or business meetings to attend, the need or even ability to shop has decreased. But mask buying … let’s talk!

In early March we did a story about the legendary Martin Greenfield Clothiers, whose factory is in Brooklyn. Master tailor Martin Greenfield has dressed presidents, mayors and movie stars. But being in survival mode because of the pandemic, his son/partner decided they could start designing masks, which marked the start of “trendy” masks. What fun it is!

TRU47 offers a literal silver lining in their masks. The silver helps create a barrier to stifle and defeat the activity of viruses, bacteria and fungi, preventing them from getting the oxygen necessary to survive. The masks can be purchased at www.tru47.com.

Not to be excluded from the new fashion trend are mask holders. 

I was walking down the street in Westhampton when I saw an attractive woman wearing a mask attached to a stunning chain. I stopped her and asked where she found it. Sure enough she responded with a big smile and said,  “I made it!” Within minutes, we arranged a sale right there on the street!

Down the block is a store called Shock, which is owned by Elyse Richman, one of our Dan’s Papers Power Women. Her store is stuffed with boxes filled with masks. It’s like shopping in a candy store! And if the hundreds of masks are not enough, she has dozens of chains of every color and texture hanging from display racks. What fun! 

My female friends are all-in when it comes to wearing fashionable masks so they could look good while having fun and being safe! Men might not be as into the new fashion trend yet, but they won’t be too far behind!

But avoid the masks that have one-way exhalation valves, because every time you breathe out, you are spreading germs, according to Dr. Peter Micholas

Etsy, the popular e-commerce website that offers handmade or vintage items and craft supplies, has sold $350 million worth of masks since the pandemic started. It may be uncomfortable to wear masks, but it’s a small price to pay to stay healthy and stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Dice Garcia creates masks with your face’s image on it! The fantastic masks are available on her website, theoriginalselfiemask.com.

This year has forced us into unique celebrations for Hanukkah, Christmas and New Year’s. But as my wise mother used to say, “This too shall pass.”

We must stay committed to protecting ourselves and our family and our friends and one way to do that is through Zoom. I laugh when I say, “I’ve turned from a boomer to a Zoomer,” but being able to connect with family and friends via Zoom — I recently had a virtual bingo match with my grandchildren — will be another silver lining to come from this terrible pandemic.

While my company’s offices in the Bronx, downtown Brooklyn, Bayside and Southampton are officially closed, our employees are all connecting thanks to our IT wiz Eric Hercules

In addition to running our day-to-day operations remotely, we have even reinvented how we run our events. 

My great staff led by Toni, Dimitra and Amanda — who is living in Australia — have been able to bring our “leaders” and hundreds of attendees together through the power of Zoom. Last week, we broadcast our virtual Power Women of Long Island and Dan’s Papers event.

The thrill of walking down the red carpet was accomplished safely, beautifully and powerfully and over 500 people viewed the event through Zoom. Remarkable! 

One thing that I think everyone can agree on is that virtually connecting with our friends and family is helping to keep us safe and healthy. 

Acts of Kindness from people we have featured come from your heart. It’s a message our media has been embracing by reporting on people and businesses who have shown that kindness. Kindness is a power we all have — we just have to use it!

I must pay tribute to Sara Pecker, whose kindness was on display during our dear friend Claire Shulman’s final months of her life. At 94 years old, Claire lived alone in her Whitestone home and her children all lived in different states. 

Although I would call her every day, it was Sara — who lived a few blocks away — who helped Claire with chores like picking up food and medicine and being a safe companion to Claire. She shared dinner with Claire and I heard about their many Scrabble matches. 

Sara is a true hero who personifies what “acts of kindness” are all about! Every day, people are doing great things to help others. If you know someone we can feature, please reach out to our editorial team by emailing editorial@qns.com!

Never before has it been so meaningful to wish you a happy and healthy new year! May we all find ways to safely have fun with our friends, family and colleagues.

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