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Natalie Takes a Walk

Updated: Oct 26, 2023

Natalie tries to make a mask during the pandemic. Based on actual events.

5:00 a.m. Natalie wakes up, covers head with pillow, and goes back to sleep.

7:00 a.m. Natalie wakes up, covers head with two pillows, and goes back to sleep.

9:00 a.m. Natalie runs out of pillows and gets up.

9:05 a.m. Natalie brushes teeth and looks in mirror.

9:06 a.m. Natalie socially distances self from mirror.

9:30 a.m. Natalie dresses for morning walk.

9:35 a.m. Natalie turns on TV and drinks first cup of coffee.

9:45 a.m. CDC announces everyone must wear masks.

9:50 a.m. Natalie pours second cup of coffee. Googles How to Make a Mask. “First, gather your materials: sewing machine …”

10:10 a.m. Natalie searches house for sewing machine.

10:25 a.m. Natalie remembers she gave sewing machine away.

10:30 a.m. Natalie drinks second cup of now cold coffee. Brews a fresh pot and pours a cup.

10:40 a.m. Natalie googles How to Make a Mask Without Sewing. “First gather your materials: bandana…

10:45 a.m. Natalie searches scarf drawer for bandana. Remembers she gave it away after last camping trip in 1995.

10:50 a.m. Natalie watches You Can Make a Mask Out of Any Fabric. “We’re using stretchy material like a knit T-shirt, or a woven material cut on the bias so it stretches—I explain ‘bias’ later in this tutorial.”

10:55 a.m. Natalie remembers why she gave away sewing machine. Sips third cup of cold coffee.

11:05 a.m. Natalie googles ABSOLUTELY ANYONE Can Make a Mask Out of ABSOLUTELY ANY Fabric. “All you need is any fabric, scissors and 2 rubber bands. Start by cutting fabric into a 22” square.”

11:10 a.m. Natalie remembers she gave fabric away with sewing machine.

11:25 a.m. Natalie watches Masks for Dummies. “All you need is fabric, scissors and 2 rubber bands. If you don’t have spare fabric, consider using a pillowcase.”

11:30 a.m. Natalie searches linen closet she decimated in social-distancing cleaning frenzy in March. Finds lone surviving avocado- and gold-plaid pillowcase from the 70s.

12:00 p.m. Natalie shreds 1970s pillowcase with 1970s scissors.

12:05 p.m. Natalie tosses 1970s into the trash.

12:15 p.m. Natalie asks friend to lend her sewing scissors.

12:30 p.m. Natalie pours fourth cup of coffee and chugs it. Watches Dummies video. “Follow these five easy steps. Anyone can do it.” Natalie begins to doubt that “anyone” includes her.

1:30 p.m. Friend in custom-made designer mask drops scissors in mail slot. Natalie feels guilty about cutting home-ec in sixth grade.

1:40 p.m. Natalie pours fifth cup of coffee.

2:00 p.m. Natalie follows five easy steps on Dummies video. “Step 4. Slip rubber bands onto either side of fabric. Step 5. Fold fabric over the rubber bands and tuck one end into another so material stays folded.”

3:30 p.m. Natalie tries on mask. Mask falls off.

3:40 p.m. Natalie attaches ends with safety pins.

3:50 p.m. Natalie tries on mask in front of mirror. Natalie looks like a hostage.

3:55 p.m. Natalie turns on TV. Cops pull maskless woman off SEPTA bus. Fauci announces social distancing will continue through 2022.

4:00 p.m. Natalie dumps fifth cup of coffee down drain and opens first bottle of 2014 Caparzo Brunello di Montalcino.

9:00 p.m. Natalie walks to bedroom and crosses “take a nice walk” off her to-do list.

Published in the Pandemic Project, an anthology written by the members of the Bucks County Writers Workshop during the Covid-19 pandemic.

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