Blog / 2021 / Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Masks

February 26, 2021

[video transcript]

Ursula and her eels are part of Lifesavers Fan Art, a collaborative pro-mask project that you are welcome to make art for like these artists have. All you have to do is choose a pop culture character you love, make an image of the character wearing a blue surgical mask, and share it with me and with everyone you know!

You can also buy the orignal Little Mermaid fan art painting for $150 plus shipping—see all currently available artworks.

mixed media Little Mermaid fan art of Ursula and moray eels wearing face coverings because of the pandemic
Gwenn Seemel
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Masks
acrylic, colored pencil, and marker on paper
8 x 8 inches

I remember the last time someone knowingly gave me a cold. It was seven years ago, and I am still annoyed. I was meeting a friend for brunch. We had already hugged when she started coughing and I remember thinking: why would you hug me? Also, I resolved not to embrace people before looking carefully at them.

Of course, that doesn’t always work, because I also remember the last time I knew the exact moment when I caught a cold. It was a few years later and I was visiting friends. One of their kids was having a multi-adult meltdown, so the baby was practically thrown at me as the parents went to deal with their toddler’s emotions. I knew the baby had a mild cold, but in the urgency of that moment I accepted him into my arms a little too enthusiastically and, before I knew it, the world’s cutest zombie had chomped down on my nose.

I’ve probably had a coronavirus or two since then. I’ve certainly had plenty of colds, and every time it’s been the opposite of fun. Colds are hitting me harder as I age.

And in that way, COVID’s lockdowns have pretty much rocked my world: no cold in eleven months! I don’t want to be nutty about it, but even once the pandemic winds down I’m going to hug fewer people than before—an elbow bump is plenty friendly! I won’t give up entirely on wearing a mask in winter either.

Maybe COVID-19 will go the way of some other coronaviruses, evolving to be less deadly in order to spread more effectively. Maybe we’ll make vaccines that work on all mutations. Maybe we’ll remain immune to it even though that’s not the case with other coronaviruses. Whatever happens, I’d rather keep being careful.

All of which is to say the pandemic has been a kind of a gift. It’s given us permission to communicate more around health and it’s given us a chance to practice having boundaries with others. Both of which are very positive changes.

This video is made with love and microdonations from my community!

Maybe this post made you think of something you want to share with me? Or perhaps you have a question about my art? I’d love to hear from you!


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