NOW What episode 13: The politics, economy and fashion of face masks

In the latest edition of our self-isolation podcast, NOW writers and Toronto designer Jordan de Ruiter discuss the intersection of safety and style


The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted reality as we know it, with entire nations going into isolation in an attempt to flatten the curve of infection and reduce the impact on our health-care systems. It’s the right thing to do, but we’re all feeling a little cut off at from one another at the moment.

Here at NOW, we’re in the same situation – scattered around the city, working from home and still trying our best to make some connections with each other and our readers. And that’s where our new podcast comes in: NOW What, hosted by senior film writer Norm Wilner, is here to explore the ways in which Torontonians are coping with life in the time of coronavirus. 

We’ve been talking about face masks a lot. Since COVID-19 can be spread by asymptomatic people, we’re being encouraged to wear them whenever we go out… but the rules seem to change every few days, and no one seems to know where we’re supposed to actually get the masks we’re being advised to wear. There’s also the question of fashion: the world may be ending, but a lot of us still want to look good. 

In this episode, Norm is joined by NOW life editor Natalia Manzocco, staff writer Sadaf Ahsan and Toronto designer Jordan de Ruiter, who’s expanded her repertoire to include mask-making, to discuss this strange intersection of safety and style.

Read Sadaf’s article about face masks becoming the new normal, and check out Natallia’s list of Toronto brands and designers making masks now.

New episodes of NOW What will be released every Tuesday and Friday. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, listen on Spotify or just play it below. And remember, we’re all in this together.

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