Kennedy: Ideas for repurposing those COVID-19 masks, from beard bibs to hamster hammocks

If your family is like mine, you probably have a stack of COVID-19 face masks.

We have a basket on a table near our back door that’s overflowing with throwaway paper masks, comfy cloth masks, super-safe KN95 masks.

There are masks with valves, masks made of fleece and masks with pleats. We have masks with filters that are not being used — too complicated. There are masks that anchor around your ears, and others with elastic straps that encircle your head.

At the bottom of our basket, I even found a seersucker mask — which would be perfect on days that I decide to dress like Atticus Finch.

Our mask stockpile is sufficient for the foreseeable future.

Which brings me to today’s topic: How will we repurpose all these masks once the pandemic is over? We shouldn’t just toss them out.

This repurposing occurred to me last Sunday driving home from our younger son’s soccer tournament in Birmingham, Alabama. When I looked over at our 13-year-old son sleeping in the car after the soccer tournament, he had his face mask pulled up over his eyes. Getting his “beauty rest,” I suppose.

That got me started thinking of other ways to reuse face masks.

Here are a few that came to mind, or were suggested by others:

* Beard bib: Since beards seem to be all the rage with men these days, why not use a face mask as a drip shield when eating messy food — spaghetti and cheesy pizza come to mind.

* Dipstick rag: There’s never a cloth handy when you need to check the oil in your car’s engine. Keep a few disposable masks in your glove compartment (or, as our boys used to call it, the glove department) and you’ll never have that problem again.


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Kennedy historic facade renovation nears completion

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This is the kind of facelift no one minds talking about.

An impressive $5-million façade renovation to Kennedy Collegiate Secondary School is almost complete.

Built in 1928 using an elaborate Gothic design, the historic high school next to Jackson Park was showing its age.

Now, the entire façade facing Tecumseh Road has been brought back in brilliant detail, from the leaded glass library windows to the eye-catching masonry.

“It made for an interesting project,” said Brad Gyori, the co-ordinator of capital projects for the Greater Essex County District School Board.

Work started eight months ago and faced a few set backs, including a COVID-19 slowdown.

WINDSOR, ONT:. SEPTEMBER 30, 2020 -- The front facade of Kennedy Collegiate Institute is pictured after a nearly $5 million in renovations, Wednesday, September 30, 2020.  (DAX MELMER/Windsor Star)
The front facade of Kennedy Collegiate Institute is pictured after a nearly $5 million in renovations, Wednesday, September 30, 2020. Photo by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Each original stone was taken down and assessed for its integrity. Those that were in good shape were returned and repointed while those showing distress were shipped off and replicated.

“We basically took it all down and rebuilt it,” Gyori said. “We were concerned that the (new) stone might be a different colour but it blended in really well. They did a great job on making the stone look like the era.”

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