Friday, August 12, 2022

Faces of Wilmington: Portraits of residents masking up for the Covid-19 crisis [Free read]

Portraits of Wilmington residents wearing homemade cloth masks, ski masks, bandanas, N-95 respirators, and surgical masks. (Port City Daily photos)

WILMINGTON — Over the past few weeks, more and more shoppers have been wearing face masks at grocery stores, gas stations, and home improvement stores across Wilmington.

Some cited the official recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to wear cloth face masks, freeing up the supply of surgical masks and N-95 respirators for health care workers on the front line of the Covid-19 pandemic.

VIEW THE FULL STORY: A portrait of residents masking up for the Covid-19 crisis

On April 3, the CDC warned that recent studies showed “a significant portion of individuals with coronavirus lack symptoms (‘asymptomatic’) and that even those who eventually develop symptoms (‘pre-symptomatic’) can transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms.”

“This means that the virus can spread between people interacting in close proximity — for example, speaking, coughing, or sneezing — even if those people are not exhibiting symptoms. In light of this new evidence, CDC recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission,” according to the announcement.

Last week Port City Daily Wilmington took portraits of residents wearing a variety of face coverings, including cloth masks, ski masks, bandanas, N-95 respirators, and surgical masks.

Artist Jazz Undy was standing outside his gallery on Lumina Avenue in Wrightsville Beach.

“It’s not the easiest thing [to wear a mask], especially here at the beach where you’re used to walking around in shorts and going into the water,” Undy said. “So it’s kind of a new development, and it’s not really an easy transition to wear something like that. You just feel very uncomfortable.”

Undy had created a miniature face mask and life preserver for a Ken doll, which was straddling a sign on the sidewalk that read “WB CRUSH COVID 19.”

“I thought, let’s put a little levity to it,” Undy said. “I obviously take it very seriously and am in no way downplaying what the suggestions are, but I wanted to make it light while bringing some awareness to it … I really want to get this thing over with so we can get back to normal life. But I think we have to follow the rules, the protocols, or we’re going to be in a worse position.”

View the photo essay below:

Faces of Wilmington

Journalist and photographer Johanna F. Still contributed to this article. Contact the reporter at, @markdarrough on Twitter, or (970) 413-3815

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