I Sent My Kids Back to School. It Took 3 Days for Them to Get Sick.

    “We sent my now six-year-old to kindergarten at the end of August and he came home with a cold within the first week,” Laura Burton-Bloom, 36, a mom of three from Montreal says, unsure whether or not it was COVID-19. “After a day, all seven members of our household were sick. It really put it into perspective the risk we face.”

    Our district initially opened with masks required only for common areas indoors for K-5 students, but with new emergency orders in place, all elementary students are now required to wear face masks all day, even outdoors during recess. I’m behind the mask mandate but I wonder if it’s enough—how much protection are they really providing for a group of 30 six-year-olds who share the same classroom air all day long?

    Briana Meade, 32, a mom of a third and first grader from North Carolina, works from home as a healthcare communications professional—she knows my struggle. Her kids attend an in-person charter school two days a week, with strict restrictions that include a school app to record temperatures and log health, all-day masks, and no options to use the playground at recess.

    “I worry about the compassion (or lack thereof) they might experience in a school environment where the focus is not really on my kid anymore, but on the larger world and issues of COVID,” she says. “Sometimes I wonder if it would be easier to just keep them with me and not worry about what they experience out there.”

    Our first foray into sickness after staying home since March was a chilling reminder of how easily an entire household can get sick. It brought up a whole host of new questions for our family: If one child is sick, should the other stay home as a precaution? What about my husband, who is a teacher and therefore is risking exposing his own students if someone in our household is sick? Should we be tested every time someone has symptoms?

    After my kids got sick, I found myself questioning if I should continue to send them to school. I worried that experience was just the first in what would be a vicious cycle of non-stop illnesses and that while they had mild symptoms this time, another exposure could be worse. My two oldest girls are doing our district’s virtual school option. They’re fully independent in their schooling and old enough to make that choice on their own but, as we found in the spring, the experience was a nightmare for my younger kids. All day on screens plus twice-daily meetings was double the work of in-person school. For the younger kids, it felt like my choices boiled down to homeschooling, which offered more flexibility, or sending them back into the classroom.

    As we head into the cold-weather months, I am feeling cautiously on-edge about what the rest of the school year will hold. It was one thing to send them back in August, when they were excited and eager and the sun was shining. But it feels like another to keep sending them, when they are tired and complaining about their ears hurting from wearing masks and spending time outside in the fresh air will soon be a thing of the past. Every day I debate the decision over and over again, weighing what’s best for my kids and for me against the ever-shifting path of the virus. It’s exhausting.

    I finally came to an earth-shattering conclusion: I can take the school year day-by-day if I need to. And I’m allowed to change my mind.

    I’m a person who likes to plan but if nothing else this year has taught me that plans have to be flexible. I don’t have to worry about what the school might think about me or what the other parents are doing—I just have to focus on doing the best I can for my family with what I have available to me right now. As long as I can learn to adapt, my kids will too.

    In the last few weeks, our school district has been having regular, isolated cases of COVID-19. Thus far, they seem to be well-controlled but as I typed this story, another school email came through confirming a case in an elementary school teacher. Deep down, I feel like I’m just waiting for a full-blown outbreak to happen. But for now, I’m living in a type of limbo, trying to navigate my family through the crisis, ever watchful of new updates and temperatures as I take my kids to school every day.

    I don’t know if I will ever feel confident that the choices I am making for our family are the right ones. But I do know one thing for certain: I’ll be hanging on to all of our homeschool supplies for a while.

    Chaunie Marie Brusie is a writer and a mom of five from Michigan. Find her on Twitter at @ChaunieBrusie.

    Getting Sober on Bravo, As Told By Leah McSweeney, Lala Kent, and Braunwyn Windham-Burke

    Below, we talk to Windham-Burke, McSweeney, and Kent to understand, in their own words, what navigating their sobriety on television has been like.

    Getty Images

    Braunwyn Windham-Burke, The Real Housewives of Orange County

    If you look at the footage [of the premiere], you can see my hands shaking because I knew if I said, “I’m an alcoholic,” I couldn’t take it back.

    When I first got sober, I was scared I wouldn’t be fun anymore, that my life was going to be boring. I really thought alcohol made life enjoyable, and that’s sad. Now, nine months [into my sobriety], I realize that’s not at all true. Honestly, I dance even more now because I can stay awake. I sometimes used to pass out at, like, 7:00 p.m. because I had been drinking all day. So, yeah, I actually have way more fun now.

    I’ve never had a healthy relationship with alcohol, from the first sip I took at 14. When I drank, I drank until I blacked out or got sick. But I never drank when I was pregnant or nursing—and in many ways, I think that probably saved my life. I went to a meeting when I lived in Miami, but instead of sticking to a program I just got pregnant. I have seven kids, so that’s a huge chunk of my life that I was sober—or, I should say, not drinking. Now I realize there’s a difference between not drinking and being sober, for me.

    When I say I’m getting sober, I mean that I’m taking the time to be still and think about why I drank so much. For me, it’s insecurity, it’s anxiety, it’s that I’m uncomfortable in my skin. I’m working on understanding why I have those feelings and finding a healthy way to deal with them.

    Right before Real Housewives started filming last season, I had weaned [my daughter] Hazel and thought, You know what? I haven’t drunk in seven years. I’m fine. If I was an alcoholic, I couldn’t have done that. That wasn’t the case. When I would watch the show, there were some scenes I had no recollection of, like my weaning party. Becca, [a Bravo public relations executive], had to babysit me at BravoCon last year, taking tequila out of my hands. That wasn’t fair. I was putting the crew that I worked with and my family in really uncomfortable positions, and it got unmanageable quickly.

    On January 30 this year, I was in Miami. Kelly Dodd was hosting a birthday party for her fiancé and I was drinking around the clock. I was hiding alcohol bottles in my closet; I couldn’t go more than half an hour without a drink because I started shaking. I woke my husband up and said, “I can’t stop. I need you to sit on me. That’s how bad it’s gotten.” It was ugly. I had the tremors, I was seeing spots when I closed my eyes. It was a nightmare.

    I’m friendly with [Below Deck star] Captain Sandy’s girlfriend, Leah. I knew Captain Sandy was sober for, like, 30 years, so I called Leah and asked if I could speak with Captain Sandy. We talked for an hour, during which time I told her what I was dealing with and asked if I could do this [sobriety journey] on film. She said, “Absolutely, but you need to own it on the show. You need to be accountable, otherwise you’re going to drink again.” Before I could change my mind, I called my producer and said, “This is the truth: I’m an alcoholic. I have been for many years, and I need to get sober. Let’s tell this story.” Five days later, we started filming.

    Netflix’s ‘Social Distance’ Review: The Series Is an Emotional—and Very Accurate—Portrayal of Our New Normal

    I hadn’t heard the phrase “social distance” until this year; now it’s one of the only things I think about. Netflix knows I’m not alone here, which is why the streaming service made a series perfect for these pandemic times. The title? Social Distance. Fitting!

    Each episode is a brisk, breathable 20 minutes—thank God—and centers on a different standalone story about people navigating our new coronavirus normal. You’ll recognize many of the faces: Danielle Brooks and Guillermo Díaz are among the actors who appear in their own vignettes. The format is something you know very well, too: Zoom calls. 

    Yes, this series takes place almost entirely over Zoom or FaceTime; we watch family members and friends call each other, nag each other, support each other—just like you’ve been doing with your circles all year. The series nails all the technical difficulties you’ve no doubt experienced—people who forget to mute themselves and all that jazz—not to mention the communication barrier that comes with not being in person. Audio dips in and out on this series, and not always at the most opportune moments. 

    Two episodes of Netflix’s Social Distance stuck out to me the most. In one, a family mourns the loss of their patriarch with a Zoom funeral. It goes off the rails quickly, with a random group people crashing the call and the older siblings yelling at each other. But everything is grounded after the patriarch’s brother finally un-mutes himself and says his piece about the man they’ve all lost. It brings everyone to tears. 

    A Zoom 


    In a separate episode, we learn about a nurse (Brooks) who’s caring for an elderly patient with just one request: to see her daughter, a college professor who’s made it clear she has no free time. So Brooks’s character steps in as the patient’s surrogate daughter, which is difficult because she has her own young daughter at home. When COVID restrictions kick in and visitors aren’t allowed at the hospital anymore, the group’s arrangement turns upside down. I don’t want to give much away beyond that, but something happens that makes the college professor see just how important it is to visit her mother.


    Billboard Music Awards 2020: The Best Dressed Celebrities of the Night

    The Billboard Music Awards 2020 aired on October 14, and it was a fun show. Because of the coronavirus, the event didn’t have a studio audience. However, a small handful of celebrities, including host Kelly Clarkson, did appear in person at a venue. She was joined by Nicole Richie, Billie Eilish, Jane Lynch, Lil Nas X, Lizzo, and a slew of other artists. And don’t worry: They all turned out lewks, both on the red carpet and stage. 

    From chic gowns to crisp pantsuits and monochromatic vibes (wee see you, Ms. Eilish!), the fashion at the Billboard Music Awards 2020 was on point. And thank goodness! During such a tumultuous year, these moments help us escape a little bit. While it’s important to stay alert and awake (and vote, of course), we also need to give our brains a break every now and then. Looking at glam red carpet outfits is the best way to do that.

    So let’s take a look, shall we? Here are the best dressed celebrities from the Billboard Music Awards. Naturally, Sia turned it out. 

    John Legend Dedicated His Emotional Billboard Music Awards Performance to Chrissy Teigen

    On September 30, Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend revealed heartbreaking news: They lost their baby, their third child, due to pregnancy complications. In the weeks that followed celebrities and fans alike sent messages of love and support to the couple, who understandably took a break from social media and public appearances to focus on their family. 

    So it was especially emotional when Legend appeared at the 2020 Billboard Music Awards to perform his song “Never Break,” which contains lyrics like, “We got a good thing, babe. Whenever life is hard, we’ll never lose our way. ‘Cause we both know who we are.” 

    Legend began the performance with a simple, touching dedication: “This is for Chrissy,” he said, before launching into the song. It was clearly an emotional for Legend—his voice cracked slightly, and there were tears in his eyes as he sang. 

    Naturally, people were teary-eyed themselves while watching:

    Host Kelly Clarkson introduced the moving performance with her own tribute to Legend and Teigen. “I want to take a moment to talk about a friend who inspires me on the daily, not only as a musician and a songwriter but as a human,” Clarkson said. “John Legend is one of my favorite people on this planet, and it’s easy for us all to feel that way about him because he and Chrissy both just have this warm way of inviting us into their world… My heart—obviously all of our hearts—go out to you both in this very difficult time, and I’m thankful you continue to share your light and your talent with all of us with a very special performance.” 

    “We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we’ve never felt before,” Teigen wrote in her Instagram post about the loss of her child. “We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn’t enough.” 

    She continued, “We never decide on our babies’ names until the last possible moment after they’re born, just before we leave the hospital.  But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack.  So he will always be Jack to us.  Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever.”

    “To our Jack,” she wrote, “I’m so sorry that the first few moments of your life were met with so many complications, that we couldn’t give you the home you needed to survive.  We will always love you.”

    Lizzo Wore a ‘Vote’ Dress to the 2020 Billboard Music Awards—And Gave a Powerful Speech

    Lizzo took home the Billboard Music Award for Top Song Sales Artist on Wednesday, October 14, and she did it in a powerful way. The “Good as Hell” rapper wore a black-and-white dress with the word “vote” splashed all over it and delivered a speech about the importance of using your voice. 

    “I’ve been thinking a lot about suppression and the voices that refused to be suppressed,” she said. “I wonder would I be standing here right now if it weren’t for the big Black women who refused to have their voices be suppressed. I just want to say if you’re at home watching this and you are thinking about changing yourself to feel worthy, this is your sign to remain true to who you are. When people try to suppress something, it’s normally because that thing holds power. They’re afraid of your power. There’s power in who you are. There’s power in your voice. So whether it’s through music, protest, or your right to vote: Use your power, use your voice, and refuse to be suppressed.” 

    Watch Lizzo’s full speech for yourself, below, and take a look at her iconic dress: 

    Lizzo has always been outspoken about social issues. In June 2020, she posted an improvised song urging her millions of followers to vote. 

    That same month, she also sent out an important messages to her Black followers reckoning with the tragic deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor at the hands of police. 

    “Black people: This is your daily reminder that it is not your job to educate people on racism or white privilege,” she said. “It is exhausting and if they don’t see it or believe it by now, they don’t want to. There are Googles and there are books, and they can do that for themselves.”

    So…Lizzo for president 2024? I think so!

    Peach Hair Is Fall’s Most Unexpected Trend

    While most of fall’s biggest hair color trends have been fairly predictable, one surprising trend has become the frontrunner for the season’s it shade: peach hair. 

    DIY pink was without a doubt the color of quarantine, but once salons reopened their doors it appears that cool girls everywhere traded in their rosé for a golden wash of peach. It has the same fun vibe and flattering warm tones as pink, but feels fresher and just a hint more natural depending on how much orange you want in it. Red shades like copper and scarlet have been trending heavily this year too, so it’s also a great way to cash in on the trend without too much commitment. 

    According to Mark DeBolt, master colorist and co-owner of New York’s Mark Ryan Salon, one of the main reasons we’re suddenly seeing peach everywhere is its versatility. It works for both dark and light hair—in subtle washes over blondes or poppy highlights for brunettes. 

    “Peach is also so pretty on so many different skin tones,” he adds. “Because it’s such a warm color, it makes skin and eyes glow and makes your hair look so healthy.” In addition to different placements of the shade, there are also tons of variations on it, from the lightest pastel sorbet to natural-looking strawberry blonde or even full-on ginger. 

    Like most fun colors, it’s also a fairly low-commitment option. While DeBolt doesn’t recommend trying this particular shade at home—although Manic Panic, Lime Crime, and Overtone make some pretty great DIY options if you’re skilled with coloring your own hair—it behaves the same way as temporary colors since it’s usually done with a gloss. “With each wash, the peach pigments rinse out of your hair, and you’re left with a golden blonde shade,” he says. 

    Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Semi-Permanent Hair Color Tint in Sushi


    Lime Crime

    Manic Panic Amplified Semi-Permanent Hair Color


    Manic Panic

    Overtone Original Rose Gold Coloring Conditioner



    Overtone Pastel Orange Coloring Conditioner



    Personally, I’d been considering dipping my toes into the trend back in April, after obsessing over photos of singer Charlotte Lawrence and Dua Lipa’s ever-changing quarantine color. After months of debating DIY’ing the shade, I ended up in Debolt’s chair, where he convinced me to give it a try (I had planned on my usual bright blonde). 

    First, we had a fairly in-depth discussion about both what we wanted my peach to look like, and what we wanted the blonde to look like once the tint faded out. Debolt’s number one tip if you want to try this shade yourself? Bring in pictures. It’s the best way to make sure you and your colorist are on the same page, since “peach” can mean a range of shades.

    Where Amy Coney Barrett Stands on IVF

    Fertility doctors are speaking out to oppose the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett over concerns regarding her controversial stance on in vitro fertilization (IVF). In 2006, Barrett publicly supported an organization which promotes the idea that life begins at the moment of fertilization and that discarding unused embryos created during the IVF process should be criminalized.

    More than eight million babies have been born through IVF since its inception in 1978. One in 8 couples (or 12% of married women) have trouble getting pregnant or sustaining a pregnancy, according to the CDC.

    I am one of those women. After four miscarriages, ten doctors and nine rounds of IVF, I finally had a baby. She’s not a baby anymore, she’s a five year old, actually—one who, like so many others, would not have been born without the help of science.

    Concerns Among Fertility Doctors

    During the Senate confirmation hearings this week, Barrett was directly asked whether criminalizing IVF would be constitutional. She replied that she couldn’t “answer questions in the abstract.” 

    Fertility advocates are worried about how her beliefs might impact fertility treatments. “Over a dozen states have attempted to pass ‘personhood’ laws that would grant a single-cell fertilized egg the same legal status and legal rights as a grown woman,” says Dr. R. Alta Charo, the Warren P. Knowles Professor of Law and Bioethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Until now, such laws would have been clearly unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade.  If Roe’s core reasoning about the legal status of eggs and early fetuses is rejected, then using technologies such as IVF could be deemed criminal acts.”

    A group of fertility doctors published a letter in the medical journal Fertility and Sterility voicing their opposition to Barrett’s confirmation—the first such statement in the history of the 70-year-old publication. 

    “Profound concerns over the protection for women’s equality and reproductive choice have never been more immediate than with the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett,” the doctors wrote. “The seating of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court threatens those who seek to build a family through in-vitro fertilization. Legislation that restricts doctors from standard treatments today that carefully manage an egg with a sperm inside would render those procedures impossible to perform.”

    Barrett’s Stance on Reproductive Rights

    In addition to her support in 2006 for legislation that would jeopardize IVF, Barrett signed a letter in 2012 opposing access to contraception as provided by the Affordable Care Act. 

    Nobody knows how Barrett, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, would vote on Roe v. Wade, or how it will affect the business of IVF. (The industry is estimated to be worth  $25 billion globally, and is predicted to grow to $41 billion by 2026, according to Catherine Waldby, author of  The Oocyte Economy: The Changing Meaning of Human Eggs.) But overturning Roe v. Wade, chipping away at abortion access, or even supporting personhood legislation threaten not only fertility treatment like IVF, but stem-cell research, contraceptives, and even the treatment of miscarriages (including one proposed bill that would mandate funerals for miscarriages).

    “Infertility is a disease,” says Dr. Lora Shahine, a reproductive endocrinologist specializing in infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss at Pacific NW Fertility and IVF Specialists in Seattle, referring to the World Health Organization’s definition of infertility as a disease. “For people trying to build a family, IVF is the only medical treatment to the disease. It’s that simple. You would be limiting the ability of Americans to build families. For someone who is dedicated to families, that seems kind of intuitive. IVF is pro-family.”

    Parents Are Sharing Their IVF Stories

    “Should Amy Coney Barrett be seated to the Supreme Court, with her publicly stated positions that would severely hamper fertility treatments making them less effective and less safe, we fear that reproductive healthcare would be set back many decades, endangering the families for which we care,” the doctors wrote in Fertility and Sterility.

    IVF parents like me are speaking out with the hashtag #ThanksIVF.

    “Most of us know someone (or are that someone) who has used IVF to help build their families,” Tweeted Dr. Pietro Bortoletto @BortolettoMD. “We are all worried about SCOTUS nominee ACB’s view on IVF.”

    “While some criticize IVF, I remain grateful that this path to parenthood exists,” says infertility advocate Jennifer “Jay” Palumbo. “To meet my son or to look in the eyes of any other child conceived through assisted reproductive technology and dismiss their existence is unconscionable. While there are many family-building options available, we all have the right to explore the God-given gift of medical science first to try to have a biological child, if that’s what we wish.”

    Amy Klein is the author of The Trying Game: Get Through Fertility Treatment and Get Pregnant Without Losing Your Mind.

    Angelica Ross Sees Herself As a ‘Loving’ Version of Miranda Priestly

    So, a loving Miranda Priestly. One who makes sure her mentees understand they have to rise up to the opportunity. “If not, someone’s right behind you, sweetie.”

    Here, Angelica Ross shares what else inspires her—the movies, the books, even the comfy pants—in our latest installment of Your Fave’s Faves. Read on.

    A movie I find inspiring

    My favorite movie directed by a woman is Selma by Ava DuVernay, and I say that because she had the audacity to challenge the white narrative of history. As a black woman, I found it to be so brilliant and liberating. I think she’s amazing—not only from that movie, but from When They See Us as well. Again, she was challenging the white narrative in a way that starts to create a reckoning. 

    My go-to movie snack

    Definitely popcorn with hot sauce! I like Frank’s RedHot. It’s all in the wrist. You can try to mix it up or whatever, but really just keep the hot sauce bottle near. Go light on the first level, and keep going until you reach the bottom. 

    Orville Redenbacher’s Movie Theater Butter Popcorn



    Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce



    The coziest outfit

    I have a closet full of Adidas sweatpants, and that’s what I’m lounging around the house in. During quarantine, when I’m not on camera broadcasting different things from my home, I’m in my sweats on the couch trying to catch up on all the amazing TV and film that’s been created. There are so much more women involved in TV, and I’ve also been added to the Screen Actors Guild voting committee, so I’m trying to catch up on all the greatness that’s been coming out this year. 

    I have Adidas tracksuits in lavender, in red, in black—all the different colors. It’s so easy to get in and out of when I’m dressing with wardrobe for different things, and it’s so comfy. But when I’m leaving the house, I’m wearing my Lululemon booty-boosting yoga pants because, listen, I love my body. I’m feeling it these days. 

    Adidas Originals Women’s Superstar Track Jacket

    Adidas Originals Superstar Track Pants



    Lululemon Align Pant 28″



    Lululemon Wunder Under High-Rise Tight 28″



    A book I’d love to see turned into a movie

    One of the first that comes to mind is Janet Mock’s Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More. I’d like to see her story be told [on screen] because it’s so interesting. Whenever a marginalized person goes to tell a story, usually the powers that be say, “Oh, well, we have already made a movie like that.” But when a white story happens, no one says, “Oh, that’s one too many white men leading a movie.” Diversity needs to be a lot more outside the box. I think no matter what people’s challenges are, things like filmmaking, acting, and storytelling can be so much more authentic. I think we’re getting there, but it’s super slow. We are getting there, and I think the reason why is because there’s more access to creating content that can be distributed in many, many, many different ways now.

    Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet Mock



    The TV show I keep rewatching

    I’ve been watching each episode of Lovecraft Country probably two or three times. That’s new for me, especially with something that is as gory as it can sometimes be. It’s very intense. But I listen to the podcast that accompanies the show, Lovecraft Country Radio, and hearing the writers talk about each episode, as a Black woman, is incredible and complicated. That’s the thing—when you bring diversity into the director’s chair or the writers’ room, you finally get these really beautiful, complicated [stories] because you’re not telling them from just one perspective. I think that’s what storytelling does, at its best: It humanizes even the most complicated decisions or actions. And you don’t always have the answers, it’s not like you walk away with this pretty bow. You sit with it for days and think about it and that changes people.

    How I set the mood for movie watching

    I have hue lights set around my TV—so I can set a color using a spectrum of colors that I have, and I dim the lights down. Then I’ll light some candles. Right now I have this amazing candle called “Sundown” from Bright Black, which is a Black-owned candle company. “Sundown,” which uses the company’s Durham scent, was named after an episode of Lovecraft Country. I also recently upgraded my living space with a huge social distance-friendly couch, so a few people can sit down and enjoy a movie without being on top of each other. It’s great. 

    Durham by Bright Black Candles


    Bright Black

    Melania Trump Says Her Son Barron Also Contracted COVID-19

    In a new essay published to the White House’s website, first lady Melania Trump revealed that her and President Donald Trump’s son, Barron, also tested positive for COVID-19. 

    “It was two weeks ago when I received the diagnosis that so many Americans across our country and the world had already received—I tested positive for COVID-19,” she wrote in the essay, published October 14. “To make matters worse, my husband, and our nation’s commander-in-chief, received the same news.”

    She continued, “Naturally my mind went immediately to our son. To our great relief he tested negative, but again, as so many parents have thought over the past several months, I couldn’t help but think, What about tomorrow or the next day? My fear came true when he was tested again and it came up positive. Luckily, he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms. In one way I was glad the three of us went through this at the same time so we could take care of one another and spend time together. He has since tested negative.”

    Trump added she’s also since tested negative for COVID-19, and according to CNN, so has President Trump. 

    The president’s stance on COVID-19 has been wishy-washy at best, with him practically mocking his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, for diligently wearing a mask. He then tweeted on October 5, “Don’t be afraid of COVID,” sparking even more ire from people. Just a little reminder that more than 200,000 people in the United States have died from the coronavirus, so it’s definitely not something to take lightly. 

    “I encourage everyone to continue to live the healthiest life they can. A balanced diet, fresh air, and vitamins really are vital to keep our bodies healthy,” Melania Trump wrote in her essay. And while all those things are important, of course, it’s even more important to…ya know, wear a mask.