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Are You Ready To Go To A Flea Market?? + Our New Favorite Face Masks


Hi, friends! Earlier this morning, Julie walked us through the ins and outs of both bedroom and furniture design and Y’ALL, it’s such a good post. MEATY. There’s SO much great info in there (and just WAIT til you see the full reveal tomorrow!).

So this afternoon, to balance it out, I’m just dropping in with a lil’ midday snack for ya — the online equivalent of a walk around the office and a water cooler conversation. Take a quick break and talk with me, okay?

This weekend, the Long Beach Flea Market is reopening, which has gotten me thinking: are you ready to go back to the flea market? Or, more broadly, are you ready to start shopping in-store again, period? 

I’m just curious — what’s the vibe like in your part of the world? How are you feeling?  

Here in LA, I’m in a confusing limbo. I spent more than 11 consecutive weeks alone, without any human contact, but that streak ended on May 30th. Over the past two weeks, I’ve spent time in crowds of thousands (or, in some cases, crowds of hundreds of thousands). And now, that’s left me spiraling a bit. Yes, it’s still a pandemic. Yes, our local government has given the green light for businesses to reopen anyway. And yes, it’s wild to process the sudden shift from self-isolating to marching in crowds to seeing lines outside of dine-in restaurants when nothing has changed.

Currently, some of my friends are now choosing to return to self-quarantine again for two weeks, which I think is smart. Some friends are relying on testing — we use the drive-thru site at Dodger Stadium, which employs a self-administered cheek swab over a nose swab — and are getting checked weekly, which I think is responsible. And some of my friends are just returning to life as normal, complete with brunches and weddings (YES, y’all, I know someone who attended a full-on, crowded wedding this past weekend). 

I’m stuck, though. I still don’t know how willing I am to return to regular life. I’ve said on the site before that the only thing I’ve missed more than my mom over the past few months has been the flea market — y’all, I love a small business and I love a good vintage find — and while I was joking (I do love my mom MORE than the flea market, it’s okay!!!), the flea has always been my favorite way to spend a Sunday. 

photo by tessa neustadt | from: our round top flea market trip!

I love that it’s outdoors. I love supporting vendors who don’t necessarily have the time, bandwidth, or funding to reach an online audience. I love negotiating. I love waiting in line at 5 AM and using a headlamp to search for goods as dealers unpack. (Yeah, I’m that nerdy, y’all.) And honestly, I JUST LOVE PICKING. I love snooping through stuff. I’M NOSY, OKAY? 

And these are the thoughts that are rattling around in my head now as I think about the Long Beach Flea Market this weekend. These are real people who deserve support now, more than ever! Many have gone months without the income they’d formerly depended on to make ends meet. Plus, it’s outdoors, and we’re pretty good at wearing masks by now, right? 

But also, it’s still a pandemic AND it’s still getting worse. I’m COVID-free (again, shoutout to the easy testing available at Dodger Stadium, highly recommended for any LA resident who’s been in a crowd over the past few weeks!), but I can’t trust that everyone has been cleared. Is it worth isolating for another week til I can be tested again? Did I really go from “I NEED TO SANITIZE ALL MY GROCERIES” to “hello, stranger, please let me pick through your belongings” in the blink of an eye?

I figured that since a lot of states (and countries!) are re-opening, maybe you’re having this dilemma, too. If you are, ARE YOU AS CONFUSED AS I AM? How are you handling it? Honestly, out of all the places I could go right now, the flea market does feel like the safest bet…but also, should I just wait a month? Do I really need to buy…something? (Cause y’all know…you can go with a list to the flea market, but the real finds are the ones that you just stumble on.) If I am healthy, do I owe it to my community to support those who are rebuilding after months away from an important revenue stream? I live alone and can self-isolate for a few more weeks (I’m a pro now!) — does that change anything? 

LET’S CHAT, please. It’s gotta be a weird time for all of us, right? How are you balancing it? Catch me up on what’s happening in your neck of the woods. (I’ll be here, waiting.) 

PS. No matter where you’re going or what you’re doing, please wear a mask. Two symptomatic hairstylists exposed 140 (!!!) customers to COVID, but no new infections were linked to their salon because both the stylists and clients were wearing masks. We’ve shared some of our favorites on the site before, but here are a few new ones from small businesses and indie makers that we love.

1. Wild Posy Flora Mask With Filter | 2. Purple Print Fabric Mask | 3. Protective Mask | 4. Cotton Floral Face Mask | 5. Hand Dyed Shibori Indigo Face Mask | 6. Face Mask | 7. Summer Picnic – Fabric Face Mask With Filter | 8. Non-Medical Face Masks | 9. Gingham Face Mask | 10. Blue and White Polka Dot Face Mask | 11. Blue Face Mask | 12. Polka Dot And Flower Print Face Mask

PLEASE STAY SAFE, y’all have kept me sane while I’ve been alone and I want you to be healthy!!! OK, now we can chat.

Opener Image Credit: Photo by Alanna Hale | via Real Simple

Fin Mark


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Reopening seems legit insane to me at this point. I’m in California and the number of new cases per day is still on the rise! My county currently has the largest number of active cases to date. I’m so confused why we are beginning to reopen when like you said, nothing has changed! And don’t even get me started on the majority of people who don’t know how to wear a friggin mask 🤦🏻‍♀️


I totally agree with you! Nothing has changed on the infection change but most of all, people behave like nothing happened !!! Total mind-blowing. So many people have died and are dying every day. I understand the importance of economic recovery and that people need to work and make money (I have too) but the way people behave, out and about now is very depressing and scary.


Completely agree. Absolutely nothing has changed. There has been no significant decline in my area and yet people are flocking to restaurants in droves. The virus is still just as deadly and contagious. I’m so scared for my immunocompromised friends and for all vulnerable populations. I am truly disgusted and saddened by how people are handling this.

I have recommended this woman-owned, ethical, environmentally responsible Seattle clothing company on Emily’s blog comments before, but want to link Prairie Underground for their excellent facemasks–they have a nose wire (key for glasses/sunglasses), are made with great organic pleated fabric, and are really comfortable. $28 for three.

Thank you for linking these again! I was trying to figure out where I had seen them and couldn’t remember the name of the site. Ended up buying a couple from another site, but I might still buy a set of these. 🙂

Ruth Allen

I’ve enjoyed their product – well made


We live in a rural town in the Midwest, with only 14 cases in our whole county, so I think it’s just different for everyone. The stay at home orders were to flatten the curve and slow down spread, not stop it altogether. It’s a balance for sure. Great quote from @rachkincaid on insta, I have patients dying from covid, and I have neighbors who have lost their jobs, both things can be true. Also, target had 2 fabric masks for $4 last week if you just need something fast.


I think you can’t be too safe even if you have just a few or even zero cases. I mean look what just happened in New Zealand.


I’m in a small town in Texas that went from 30 active cases to 400 in one week, so my anxiety-riddled butt will be remaining in my house until further notice.

Cris S.

I appreciate this discussion! I’m in the Chicago suburbs and you have to wear a mask to go in to stores, etc. But some people clearly don’t get how the system should work (I protect you and you protect me and both have to happen for shopping to work) and are very lame with their noses hanging out, etc. And in our little downtown eating district I’m shocked by how accepting people are of eating outside, but crowded together and with people walking right past them without masks.

But on the flip side, yes, I’m really hoping to get to a flea market in the next couple of weeks. The outdoors, wearing a good mask, and the willingness to pay for early entry all help with the idea of actually doing it. But we’ll see – I also wanted to go to TJMaxx/HomeGoods, but when I saw the long ‘socially distanced’ line of people outside I rolled my eyes and drove away.


Now that we know more about how the virus is transmitted, the flea market doesn’t seem super risky if you are careful – it is outside and possible to socially distance – and I’m sure the vendors could use the business. I’d feel better though if they discouraged people from touching the products like they do at the farmers markets. But on the whole, I don’t know why everyone seems to have decided the pandemic is over. People may be finished with the virus, but the virus is not done with us! I have read reports from Houston and Nashville (not up on my LA data, sorry) that hospital ICUs are nearing capacity. My health care friends that work in these places point out that because health care is now “open,” they don’t have medical staff available for backup either. This is scary. I live in New York, and when I talk to people in other parts of the country (often on Zoom calls where people are sitting together in a conference room, unmasked!!), they seem to have a false sense of security. “Oh, I’d be more careful if I lived where you do.” Meanwhile, their numbers are not looking… Read more »


I’m in California also and live in a county that DNGAF. The majority of people are not wearing masks, even when they are asked to in public spaces because liberty. And our numbers are increasing and it feels like I and a few friends are the only ones taking it seriously. Not sure when wearing a mask got politicized. My conflict is a cousin is getting married in 2 weeks (also in CA). My whole family is flying in from Iowa and they are breaking my 91 year old grandmother out of her nursing home to attend (!!!) and I am the only one holding out and suck for not yet RSVP’ing. Do I go or do I continue to take the stand I have for months now? It feels so futile to just throw it down the drain after being so diligent. But not going will not protect my grandmother whose coming either way? I may never see her again? I’m truly struggling with this decision.


Nicole, obviously we can’t make this decision for you, but … don’t go. If things go south and Grandma gets sick, I’m willing to bet you you’ll be glad you had NO part of the group/gathering that made her so. I know I’d have a hard time living with myself if I unintentionally hurt or killed someone — especially someone I love, but even a stranger.


I totally understand your dilemma. It seems to me you don’t feel comfortable going to the wedding but more importantly you don’t want to miss visiting with your GM. Would it be possible to visit with your GM, social distancing with mask and all, at a different time other than the wedding? That way you could see GM and not risk her health but you could pass on the wedding itself.


OMG, don’t go. This is terribly TERRIBLY irresponsible. Like…I’m speechless right now at what your cousin/family is doing. This event should not be happening.


Caitlin, I literally had this EXACT convo with myself when I got the email re: Long Beach Flea reopening. On the one hand I thought, maybe it’s ok if I just go very early when it’s less likely to be crowded, wear a mask, bring hand sanitizer, and then leave before it gets crowded. And I want to support the vendors too. But I think I’m coming down on the side of the risk being too high. I wish they had at least said that they were going to try and space out the vendors and aisles more and then maybe I would feel ok going. But if it’s set up as tightly as normal then it feels near impossible to go in a way that is responsibly distant from other shoppers and vendors.

I’m trying my best to take (responsible) calculated risks while acknowledging it’s not going to be perfect AND that my idea of responsible might look much more locked down than other people. But it’s definitely confusing!


If everyone was wearing masks maybe but there are so many people who won’t do their part (I’m looking at you, Orange County)


A flea market trip does not seem worth the risk. We will likely be in this limbo for a year, and while we will sometimes HAVE to see other people, we should keep it essential and safe as much as possible (ie medical needs, mental health visits, socially distanced outdoor exercise, helping others). Everyone will have to choose which risks to take, but it sounds like this flea market isn’t crucial to you Caitlin. There are other ways to support vendors. We are all sick of this and want it to be over. It’s a pandemic, it freaking sucks. However, not taking these precautions will lead to more deaths, bottom line.


I am a vendor at the Long Beach Vetren’s Stadium and I can tell you when Lynn ( the owner) called me to see if I would be selling, I was I have underlying heart and health conditions. I have a corner space in the red section near the stadium. But there is 10ft space between my neighbors and my space. But we have been told that we sellers must make sure that people keep the social distancing and wear mask. I will have not only my mask on but will be changing out my disposal laytex gloves often and still have my own sanitizer closes by. I plan on only taking 3 – 6 ft folding tables ( I will only put out half or even less of what I generally put out) and a clothing rack..and these will be lined end to end at front of my space. I really dont want people up close to me. I also will have wipes and sanitizer on each table. And I will be asking people to use PayPal if they can as another way of safety. ( the less I have to touch cash the better I will feel).… Read more »


I did a “command ‘F'” search on this article and “y’all” was used 6 times! wow!


I love “y’all” as a gender-neutral word for a group.


It was… a little much.


Y’all, I live in Texas and didn’t even notice.


Me too! I’m from Canada so it’s not really part of our vocabulary, but dang I wish it were! I lived in the US for a couple years with a roomie that was from Atlanta, so you better believe I adopted it from her. Such a versatile term!


And “you” was used 18 times. Your point?


I am absolutely ready. Put on a mask, wash your hands, look, touch only what you think you will buy, and get on with life. People are scaring themselves to death when the vast majority of us won’t get covid and the 99+% of us who do will recover.

Just common sense. But those who want to hide in their houses until there is a vaccine (two to five years from now, if ever) can do so.

I’m ready to get on with life.


While I totally agree that the “the 99+% of us who do [get Covid-19]will recover,” I am curious why you say “the vast majority of us won’t get covid.” If everyone wore a mask religiously, that may be true.

As others have mentioned, the goal was never to shut down until a vaccine was available – the goal was to flatten the curve so that medical facilities are not overwhelmed. I live in Northern California – and we’ve done that really well, thus far. So I understand some relaxation of the restrictions here.

However, the situation is fluid, if there is a sharp increase in cases — state and local officials should lock down again, and quickly. (Remember, increases you see today – reflect transmissions 1 to 2 weeks ago!)

If we had the ability to do contact tracing, then maybe we wouldn’t have to lock down again – but we don’t. Oh well. Such is the new normal.


That was the original goal, but now they’re saying they’re not going to reopen public schools until there is a viable vaccine. So what are we supposed to do? Stop educating an entire generation for a couple of years? That’s not realistic and frequent lock downs aren’t realistic either. There are people who are negativity impacted by lock downs, not everyone can work from home. With every lockdown extension people are getting laid off. We need to stop lockdowns and let the masses choose for themselves.


I might have the same attitude as you IF all the other people were wearing masks and washing their hands, but they’re not. (Even here in Brooklyn)

I don’t wear a seatbelt because I think I’m a bad driver, I do it because I can’t trust other drivers not to look at their phones or to take a cab home when they’ve been drinking. And I definitely don’t get on the roads on New Year’s at 12:30am

So I wear my N95 mask correctly, and don’t go out if I don’t have to. Plus, me staying home protecs the folks who don’t get to choose that as an option (like the police – SO many cops here have gotten coronavirus 🙁 )

Actually, epidemiologists say that 60-70% of Americans will eventually be infected. And while, yes, most will recover, if only 1% didn’t that would still be about 2 million people dying of Covid. At this point they estimate that only 5% of the population has been infected so there’s still quite a ways to go. So if you listen to the scientists, instead of the media, you can see why a lot of people are still taking this seriously.
Read the interview with Dr. Michael Osterholm—he literally wrote the book on global pandemics—it’s very enlightening and informative.


Here are a few reasons I’m staying home:

Here in California our daily cases are on a steady rise with no end in sight.

Black people in the US are dying at a disproportionately high rate compared to other groups.

Service workers are being put at unimaginable risk for poverty-level wages.

If things continue like they appear to be, it’s going to be a very deadly summer.

Here in Los Angeles, it is clear that the government reopening businesses has nothing to do with science or public health. It has to do with money.

COVID-19 has claimed over 100,000 lives. Count yourself lucky if you don’t know someone who has been taken, and stay home.

I recommend everyone take a look at the trend of cases in their state:


Just to clarify: I meant to say COVID-19 has claimed over 100,000 lives just in the USA.

The reported total is currently at 116,788 deaths in the US. The reported global death toll is 438,843.

How is this conscionable?


The numbers are inflated and not accurate, tests produces 80% false positives as stated by the creator of the test.


“Here in Los Angeles, it is clear that the government reopening businesses has nothing to do with science or public health. It has to do with money.” Millions of people protesting this month had nothing to do with science or public health, either. Yet I doubt you had any problem with that. Science and public health don’t matter so long as the politics are progressive, right? (I count myself as liberal and support BLM but the hypocrisy of ranting about reopening while ignoring the lack of social distancing for the past month is all too much.) And to say that reopening is only about money ignores the fact that the economy IS life. Money makes life, health, food, housing, education possible. If you don’t understand that, you’ve never truly been poor. My view: Take precautions — especially if you have pre-existing conditions. But otherwise? All these lockdowns have done was ruin millions and millions of people’s lives and futures and health to try to stop a natural phenomenon that can’t be stopped. “COVID-19 has claimed over 100,000 lives. Count yourself lucky if you don’t know someone who has been taken, and stay home.” The vast majority of us don’t know… Read more »


This perspective makes me really sad. I wish the government and our leaders would prioritize human life over commerce and take care of everyone in this global emergency, instead of pushing everyone to go back to work to survive. I know that is wishful thinking. Like I said, I’m really scared for my immunocompromised friends.


I’m high risk, immunocompromised plus chemo a few months ago. I contribute a great deal to society and yes, I’m really really glad to be in Australia and not somewhere else.


I’m a liberal and a blm supporter and the videos from the protests gave me major agita. No one is immune. I’ve had two former co-workers die, both around age 50. Every LA county update includes how many of the dead had pre existing conditions and there is always a chunk of perfectly healthy people who also died. Yeah, we can’t stay inside forever but we can be smarter than we’ve been so far.


@Luka, so sorry to hear about your coworkers. ): That is devastating. Two of my friends have had family members die from COVID in March, and I can only imagine the pain. Much love.


Yes, THIS!!!! So well said, thank you.


We are over the age of 60 living in a small town in East Texas and our county has not had a large amount of cases, but still increase daily. Most people in our area are back to life as normal. Personally we are still wearing masks in stores, but have eaten out three times (It felt so good!!!) twice where staff wore masks and once where no-one was doing anything cautionary. We live an hour from the DFW area and are not going there until the number of cases decrease. DFW cases are still growing daily, most likely due to more testing. It was easier when most everyone in US were under a lockdown. It feels harder now that there are fewer regulations.


Personally, I cannot understand eating out as necessary in these circumstances. Really?!?!


Because people were dying from lockdowns. We had to open up. It’s not that simple.


I’m writing from Canada where we didn’t have the same Covid numbers but lockdown was quite strict. Masks are not a requirement but the majority seem to be wearing them. Still no dining-in etc. And as much as I want to go shopping, flea-marketing or flying, I’m erring on the side of caution, probably till we get a vaccine. We went thru too much to get to this stage. Let’s not get shut down again!


I live in Canada, too! It’s so strange because of course everyone wants to swim and have BBQs and see friends/family… It’s summer in Ontario. We wait all year for these 3 months!

But! It’s so scary. We’ve just been allowed groups of 10 we can see outdoors and socially distanced province wide. But they also are opening malls, hair salons, estheticians, etc and allowing us to “bubble” with 10 other people per household (a static group of 10 ppl we allow into our homes/can hug). It’s all very confusing and just A LOT to consider after being cloistered away for 3 months.

Our township and 2 neighbouring townships have just made it mandatory to wear a mask in any public building/business. You are denied entry if you refuse and there is a $5000 fine for noncompliance. I’m really pleased about this as it forces those who don’t give a fig about others to do their part… at least publically while shopping.


Yes… and the CDC says having a haircut is equally risky as going dancing in a night club. Like … whhyyyyyyyy would you?
Ego? Vanity? Habit?


Epidemiologists (NY Times had a great article on this) are putting a haircut at a “6” and bars/nightclubs at “9”, so not at all the same risk. In my case, my hairdresser is a single-person salon, is wearing both a mask and a shield, and I watched (from outside the salon) as she rigorously cleaned every surface between clients. She taped my mask onto my face while she did my color, and then was able to replace the ear loops while she cut it. So I’d knock that one down to a 3, similar to grocery shopping…


I live in Long Beach, and my husband works for the City on the team responsible for reporting data to inform officials making decisions about re-opening. Based on the data presented and the fact that we have not appropriately met the previously identified gate criteria, I find the messaging of City/County officials to be irresponsible and dangerous. As our Government is not using data to inform re-opening decisions nor effectively communicating science-based risk to help the public make informed assessments, I feel the need to be extra cautious as I fear the broader public either isn’t aware or does not care about increasing levels of risk and are not taking appropriate precautions. Ultimately, everyone needs to weigh their own risk/reward of various activities and make decisions that are best for them, but I do hope people are doing the research for themselves and not relying on their local Government to be making data-informed decisions with public health at front of mind.

Molly H

East Coaster here. Immunocompromised from a prior illness. Taking advantage of every online company sale I can to fulfill my retail therapy needs and staying away from stores and outdoor events. Planted a huge garden. Curbside pickup for groceries: Thank you Kroeger’s for specialty cooking items, Walmart (Yes, Walmart!!!!) for excellent organic produce and chicken and turkey. Ordering online is a cinch, curbside delivery with barely any human contact a breeze with super nice, masked people filling orders and loading into your car. So easy, wonder why I didn’t do it before.

Even though we won’t see family in person for a year (or 2?), we don’t plan on volunteering to be part of the “herd immunity” death rate. Our county and state is relatively low in cases/deaths but we live close to state lines of other states that are desperately not. We see some masks in our city, but for the most part people seem to be clueless. I think it comes down to how lucky do you feel…???

Whenever I get cabin fever, I think of how my grandparents lived through the deprivations, trauma, grief and stresses of WWII–and were all the stronger for it.


Grateful for your perspective and glad it sounds like you are able to stay relatively isolated! Sending you good vibes.

Sarah M

I live in DC and we are a progressive no-mask-no-service city. Police officers have been posted outside grocery stores to make sure everyone wears a mask. All retail stores are still closed. My apartment building issued a notice of a $100 fine for anyone not wearing a mask. Yes, I’m going a little crazy. My most exciting outing was Target, twice in 3 months, and it made me a bit uncomfortable to be so close to people, even with everyone wearing masks!


Ugh, I wish my apartment building would do ANYTHING at all. I feel like I’m trapped in my home with a hundred reckless idiots, in a place where I have to touch multiple door handles just to go outside or get my mail. Doing laundry is a whole other thing. If people would just be respectful and responsible we could “reopen” much more easily.

Sarah M

I’m in a co-op so we set our own rules for our community. Sometimes it means a lot of silly rules, but I’d glad we can self-govern at a time like this. No more than 2 people in the laundry room at once. All social areas/amenities in the building are closed, etc. We had a couple of COVID cases in our building and we were trying to avoid a disaster situation for the 150 apartments.

Reconsidered Things

Many states have record case numbers and the US is on a deadly plateau compared to our allies. Leaders said our meat producers must stay open to feed the country despite workers’ casualties and yet they exported more meat to China than ever before. I suppose people have decided that we and our loved ones ought to die for the sake of the economy. I love to go picking more than any past time, and my heart hurts. But it would hurt more if my family and friends were dead. Sorry, but it’s horrifying that this is even a discussion, isn’t it? We are a foolish, shameful lot.


I would rather my husband get COVID working in a factory than have the factory shut down and not be able to feed my children. The foodbanks are overrun with people trying to get food and not enough volunteers. The factories need to stay open so children don’t starve from their parents not getting paid.


The problem I see is that we shouldn’t have to choose between those two options. Many other countries have provided a third solution – pay. workers. to. stay. home. Not a one time, minimum-wage-based check two months ago. Problem number two, our President won’t even wear a mask and is holding a rally this weekend, making wear masks and social distancing a political choice when it shouldn’t be.


I really appreciate this post and also all of the comments. I live in MI in a suburb of Detroit. We were hit pretty hard initially and had so many cases. Most everyone I know was super careful during the stay at home order, and ours was only recently lifted. I haven’t been grocery shopping or to Target or anywhere like that. I have taken advantage of the online ordering and curbside pickup for these types of things. But, many people I know are now “sick and tired” of the lock down and are doing more things. I am healthy and so is my family, but I still don’t want to go out. I think that the more we go about business as usual, the more this will continue to spread. I do feel some (I am not sure if bullying is the right term) pressure from others to just “get on with things” and “you can’t stay locked up forever”, but I am still nervous. I do go outside and do things, but I stay away from any crowds. I wear a mask, of course, when I do have to go somewhere, but I am now feeling torn as… Read more »


OMG I feel you on the almost bullying! I have gone to a couple of outside only, less than 10 people gatherings were we bring our own chairs and space them apart. But when we arrive my friends want hugs and I’m like uhh no? Then they give me a hard time that I am “terrified of getting the virus” or “paranoid”. I just have to roll my eyes and ignore it.


Stay home


I’m in a suburb of Boston. MA has been really strict, and our area in particular. I go to the supermarket weekly and everyone wears a mask, lines on the floor for where to stand in line. Same at every store you might visit. You can’t get your haircut without a mask. And our numbers have gone way down. Only 10 new cases in my town of 20,000 over the last month, for a total of 191. And did I say we are outside of Boston? It seems to point that wearing masks and being smart when inside does work to prevent spread. But of course now people are getting weary. Kids are hanging out in bigger groups. I think it’s fairly safe as again, the numbers are low, they are all outside, but the bubbles are big due to siblings and all. We’ll see. My kids have said no thus far to hangouts so they can visit their grandmother on the beach this summer. But it’s TOUGH to not see their friends (they are teens) for months on end. And tough to parent said teens in said situation. But tennis and wiffle ball with friends seems reasonable and a… Read more »


I, for one, am ready for flea markets to reopen. Bring on the masks and hand sanitizer!


This is so hard. Yes, on one hand nothing has changed. On the other hand, nothing seemingly WILL change until we have a reliable vaccine deployed throughout our communities. The few places betting on herd immunity have gotten nowhere. A vaccine will not be developed and widely available in a matter of months. We’re talking years …multiple years most likely. So, people are starting to roll the dice in favor of getting some semblance of normalcy. Maybe that’s risky, but if the only other option is staying cocooned indefinitely, is that so surprising? How much actually living do we give up in favor of simply surviving? I don’t know the answer, but that definitely seems to be the question of 2020, 2021, 2023…


Will the Long Beach Flea Market require masks? Will they have hand washing stations? These are some of the questions I’m asking of places I’m considering visiting. I’ve been happy sheltering at home with my husband and daughter, so I don’t feel I’m not missing much. But I did recently visit a historic garden that had social distancing protocols well in place. I’d love to visit a flea market again, but ours has so much crowding in some aisles that social distancing seems impossible. I’m also in Santa Clara County where things are opening more slowly. While there is outdoor dining, I’m not ready for that risk. I can’t eat with a mask on. I hope more people make good choices about wearing masks in public, but I know there are many who are resisting (yes, I’m also looking at Orange County).


I meant to say I don’t feel I’m missing much.


I can’t think of ANYTHING at a flee market that is worth me risking my life, my son’s life, or a stranger’s life…well, maybe Mini Doughnuts.

But the point is, it is too soon.


I’m in Austin and we are experiencing a Covid surge. It’s being blamed on Memorial Day partiers who just couldn’t stay in or masked. This has become extremely personal to me for three reasons: 1. My husband was diagnosed with prostate cancer at the end of February. His surgery was postponed because prostate cancer surgery was considered “non- essential.” We’ve been staying at home awaiting a green light for his surgery, all the while imagining the cancer growing. And 2. My 88 year old mom is in a senior living center which DID require safety protocols including masks, testing and hand sanitizer. However there has now been a Covid case in her facility in the past week. And 3. My son has preexisting conditions and yet felt strongly the need to protest for BLM. He was teargassed at a protest in Seattle when the protesters were indeed peaceful, but the police were not. He was out and about for many nights, but masked, as were most Seattle protesters. But he has now self quarantined awaiting time and testing. I admit to feeling really angry when I see unmasked people wandering around the grocery stores. And I am confounded as to… Read more »


Wow. You have more than your share of worries right now. Sending you and your family wishes for good health and well being.


Unrelated to the actual discussion here, but I want to say that I LOVE this little afternoon “snack” of an article! Keep ’em coming!


Hmm…I’m in Santa Cruz in CA. Relatively few cases but the county just re-opened to tourists and I’m more nervous now. If we had robust contact tracing and support for people who then need to quarantine, I’d be more confident. But we don’t.

At least the flea market is outdoors, but it wouldn’t feel worth it to me. My worries are mainly: I *really* don’t want to be a vector that leads to other people into harm or death. I *can* stay home for things so it feels like I should. So many people don’t have that choice. I’m basically planning to stick to my SIP habits til I can’t anymore – basically til my kids have to go back to school.

To those complaining about protestors out despite the risks, here’s another way to look at it. Most protestors are well aware of the pandemic and the dangers, same as you or me. But they think the call to speak out is even *more* urgent and morally pressing. It shows how deadly seriously they see the cause of protecting Black lives.


In in Texas and people aren’t so great with mask wearing here. Our cases keep rising and rising and sometimes it feels like my husband and I are the only ones who care. So no flea markets for me. We’re still doing curbside pickup with the occasional delivery. And we’ll do curbside pickup at restaurants. And thank goodness for curbside alcohol!!!!

Lynn W

Go and mask up….take the hand sanitizer and tissues too. That is what the CDC is now recommending when out in public.
Be safe.
Have fun too!!!!! That is what I am recommending 💜

Julie P

I’m just going to go into full on public service announcement mode here. Many of the google ads that populate this site today (based on the content and my viewing habits I’m assuming) are for masks with valves. Let’s be clear – this type of mask is WORTHLESS. The valve means that all exhaled air escapes freely, basically not capturing any potential virus as it exits your lungs. If you see anyone wearing an N95 mask with a valve please realize they’re not protecting you at all! If you see someone wearing a fabric mask with a valve then they’re not protecting you AND they’re not protecting themselves. It would be like if a company sold a condom with a valve in it, to release all contents. 😝 I’m relieved that none of the recommended masks have valves!! Please spread the word since the only reason I’m familiar with this situation is a family member who is a healthcare worker….


This collective life-experience has (should have) made perfectly clear what is capital-E Essential — health, housing, food, safety. Anything… any THING… is not needed at this time. Find new ways to keep your mental well-being and social connections afloat but for goodness sake grow up and actively *care* about others. (And I would argue that attending a protest is far more essential than visiting a flea market… we are demanding better health, housing, food and safety for the black community.)


So, I always thought the whole point of the shutdown was to let the government catch up. Get testing in place, get medical workers PPE, get more beds and respirators. It was never realistic to be shutdown until a vaccine was available (the fastest a vaccine has ever been made for mass consumption is 4 YEARS). So, we sacrificed so much, gave them time to get their act together, and for the most part, they did NOTHING. I realize some states got their ish together for testing, I’m in Oregon, we do not have adequate testing. Nurses and doctors STILL do not have PPE, and if a massive wave hits, there are not enough beds! I don’t know why more people aren’t outraged by the lack of action of our leadership. ARGH. ok, rant over. For me, I feel comfortable being outside in a mask when the people around me are also wearing masks. I’ll eat on patios this summer and shop at outdoor spaces. But, I don’t expect things to be “normal” for at least another year…

Julie P

I hear you girl. Why are more of us not angry about the lack of clarity and leadership at the national level!!!


We need to open up. We need to spend money. Big businesses have had the highest grossing quarter while small local places have shuttered their doors forever. People are literally starving all over the world and right here in the USA because we panicked over a virus that the CDC now says has a death rate of only 0.26% (lower than the average flu years, not to mention the rough flu years). People need the get their livelihoods back, suicide and child abuse are up. Bankruptcies and foreclosures are on the rise too. These are things that don’t temporarily impact a family, these are things that take years to recover from, if ever. The lives lost from the deaths of dispare are just going to continue if we don’t get things back to something similar to normal.


I will never understand the callus minimizing of the virus deaths and ignorant flu comparisons. On behalf of the grieving, I ask you to quit. Furthermore, I want to point out that going back to “normal” will not fix starvation, suicide, child abuse, failing small business, bankruptcies, foreclosures, etc. This pause offered us a rare time to stop. Stop the hustle and see how what we are doing is unsustainable. Our unhealthy system has stolen so much from so many. There is enough food, enough water, enough housing, enough care for each of us to live a life of dignity. And not only enough but PLENTY.

Julie P

Thank you for Janean for this thoughtful reply. I am a liberal, and I read multiple news sources both national and local. CNN and USA Today did report on a CDC publication on May 24 that the COVID-19 death rate may be as low as .3%. However, when you look at the overall numbers you realize this percentage isn’t the important thing to look at! Where I live near LA the county health department said something helpful. (I personally really like sourcing my news close to home, more trustworthy than national sources sometimes!)

“This is not an overreaction to a virus that’s basically the flu. COVID-19 is killing far more Americans than the seasonal flu typically does, Ghaly explained. “During mid-April, the counted deaths for COVID-19 in the United States were 15,000 per week,” she said. “During a typical peak week of seasonal influenza, the count of deaths are more like 750.” Ghaly added that the long-term health effects of COVID-19 are not yet fully understood, but said health officials are learning “that the long-term health consequences on many who survive are significant.”” Here’s the full article clearing up other misconceptions:


If you’re going to reference the hairstylists who wore masks and came into contact with 140 people, then we should also talk about the study where someone who had tested positive came into direct contact with over 400 people, no one was wearing a mask, and not a single other person got sick. There have been tons of cases where mask wearers DID get sick. So let’s not cherry pick the one case that agrees with the rhetoric the news is spewing. Study after study is coming out that cloth masks don’t stop the spread of the disease. Surgical masks, which are a much higher quality and have standards that they must uphold to, only block the spread of bacteria, not viruses, so all of these random masks that have no quality control are definitely not helping us either. Masks are giving us a false sense of security. The best answer is still the original one: if you feel sick, stay home and get tested. Other than that, wash your hands and don’t touch your face.

Julie P

If anyone is interested here is a peer reviewed scientific journal article describing the ability of hand-made fabric masks to reduce viral transmission on a population wide level.


For the 50000000th time.. masks are NOT meant to keep the wearer from getting sick. They are meant to MINIMIZE virus spread BY YOU to keep OTHERS from getting sick and reduce the R naught.


I feel like there is a part of this blog that is sending out the wrong message. Mingling in public where there is a huge crowd and little to no social distance can be maintained is being encouraged. I am not sure if you are basing this on some statical data.

angela kanouse

I have to mention JoahLove masks. They are THE BEST! They come in multiple sizes, totally breathable and adjustable. It’s like having a Sundry shirt on your face. PLUS they donate a mask for every mask that you buy. Not to mention they are made in LA.

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