Masks are the new normal

It has been nine weeks since SARS-CoV-2 created sweeping changes to daily life throughout D.C., with a stay-home order that limited activity outside the home and recommendations to physically distance from people outside your quarantine pod. During that nine-week eternity, masks have been recommended, advised, required to enter a business establishment, or not required at all.

According to a large YouGov survey of states, D.C. ties for the second-highest percentage of residents who wear face masks (Hawaii is first with 58%, D.C. and New Jersey are second with 56%). Here’s some of what we’ve seen as D.C. residents adopt masks into their lives:

Eastern Market. ©Karen Ramsey
©Rob Klug
Newborn protectors @Karen Ramsey
Boarding VRE ©Karen Ramsey
©Rob Klug
Restaurant Workers’ Relief Line. ©Karen Ramsey
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
Pharmacy tech. @Rob Klug
©Karen Ramsey
Key Bridge. ©Karen Ramsey
Constitution Gardens ©Karen Ramsey
©Rob Klug
GWU Hospital. ©Karen Ramsey
©Rob Klug
©Rob Klug
Kingman Island ©Karen Ramsey
U.S. Capitol. ©Victoria Pickering
©Rob Klug

While face masks are becoming the norm for humans, they are also entering popular culture in our city.

We’ve written before about the glories of the famous Q Street Barbies, and note that they too have now adopted face masks.

©Victoria Pickering

Other statues and window displays featuring masks have drawn our camera lens as we document historical markers of the pandemic.

©Miki Jourdan
©Karen Ramsey
© Karen Ramsey
©Karen Ramsey

We continue to find opportunity through exercise and errands to document our city. We also love to see what other photographers are doing during this new normal and next week is time for Photographing while Social Distancing, part 4 – where we get to highlight images from photographers across the city. Whether from the safety of your home or from walks with masks donned to be safe, we welcome submissions to the round up post. Details on submission:

  • Take 1-3 photos of what you are able to create under social distancing
  • Submit your photos by Wednesday May 20th, 2020.
  • Photo resolution: a minimum of 2,000 pixels on the long side.
  • Subject matter: Anything indoors or outdoors in the DMV area
  • Send your photos to
  • Please include your name, Instagram handle or other portfolio link if you want, and a caption or paragraph about the photo or why you took it.
  • We will post the photos, with credit to you, on Friday May 22nd.

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