Hoylman’s “Make-A-Mask” Competition Faces Reality, Creativity

Image courtesy of NY State Senator Brad Hoylman’s office

BY SCOTT STIFFLER | Hey, in times like these? You work with what you got.

In a world devoid of COVID-19, one might well imagine New York State Senator Brad Hoylman, when not busy championing pro-active, progressive passion projects, might be sponsoring a Cutest Dog Costume Contest. But his current competition speaks to our social distancing protocol, while encouraging creativity.

Hence, Hoylman’s “Make-A-Mask” competition.

Arts and crafts meets life-saving strategy, in this call to action that encourages New Yorkers to comply with current guidelines regarding face coverings.

Said Hoylman, of the fashion-savvy call to action, “New Yorkers have lived through decades of trends—but staying safe will never go out of style. That’s why I’m excited to invite all the kids (and kids at heart!) in the 27th Senate District to participate in my new ‘Make-A-Mask’ competition.”

To enter the “Make-A-Mask” competition, notes the project’s May 7 press release, “New Yorkers are invited to share photos of their fashionable and CDC-compliant face coverings with Senator Hoylman’s office, either by emailing Hoylman@NYSenate.gov or posting to social media with the hashtag #MakeAMaskNYC. Later this month, Senator Hoylman will convene an all-star panel of fashionable New Yorkers to pick the winning masks.”

A bit off-topic but wholly relevant to the bigger picture, the press release further notes, “New Yorkers who are immunocompromised or are senior citizens are also encouraged to reach out to Senator Hoylman’s office if they don’t have adequate face coverings.”

Look, we New York City residents—especially the singularly sensational and always-outspoken residents of the 27th District—revel in the not-so-shameful joy of verbally sparring with not-so-worthy adversaries, when calling folks out on everything from littering to not curbing your dog to ditching a cig butt in a lovingly curated tree bed. But the extra kick you get from that righteous anger reading in every curl of the lip is just not an option, until the day when the full glory of your wrath can be delivered loud and clear, via the unmistakable visual cue delivered in the form of a snarky snarl, sans fabulously fashionable face mask.

This being a competition for kids (or the young at heart, which is either wonderfully inclusive or a total cop-out, however you read it), here’s hoping the resulting entries will be a bit more empathetic than the somewhat cynical above paragraph. But being as though there are already Golden Girls-themed face masks on the market, consider the gauntlet thrown. Good luck to all. Wearing a mask? Social distancing? Sheltering in place? Newsflash: You’re already a winner!

Seriously, though, winners of the competition will be announced later this month, when we pledge to heap praise upon them (and a ton of runner-ups). Stay tuned…. We know you have the spare time these days. In the meantime? Crack open a good book. This reporter suggests In Watermelon Sugar. The parallels to our current COVID-19 crisis will inspire, amuse, or disturb, depending upon how you’re currently predisposed…


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