#Logistics in the time of COVID

Tina Harris

Type of Mask: Uniqlo AIRism fabric face mask (black, size M, three pack, 90% nylon, 10% polyurethane) 

Type of Mask: Uniqlo AIRism fabric face mask (black, size M, three pack, 90% nylon, 10% polyurethane) 

I learned about this mask from: the Japanese news. In July of 2020, I read that Uniqlo were making washable masks using the same material as a very comfortable pair of underpants that I own. See here: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/06/19/business/corporate-business/uniqlo-washable-masks/ I had previously been using disposable surgical masks as well as homemade masks, but I wanted something that would be a bit more breathable and feel smooth on my face. 

I got this mask from: the Uniqlo EU website, along with a delivery of a sweater and more underpants made from the same material. From what I understand, the masks are produced in factories in China or Vietnam and shipped in Maersk containers to Europe. The masks took three days to arrive, and were delivered to my apartment door by PostNL, a Dutch postal company.

My favorite feature of this mask is: simply the way it feels against my face because it is smooth, cool, and lightweight.

I feel vulnerable without my mask.

My most memorable encounter with my mask is: the time I went to the supermarket and picked up a bottle of wine along with my regular shopping items. The cashier at the till asked me for my ID card, and I smiled and said “Of course! This is the best thing that has happened to me all week!” (Note: the drinking age in the Netherlands is 18, and I am 44 years old). The cashier glanced at my ID, looked absolutely mortified, and said, “I’m so sorry, it’s the mask.”

My mask enables me to: keep my lower part of my face warm when I am cycling in the cold rain.

When I think of #Logistics during this pandemic, these three words come to mind: shipping, labour, time.

Tina Harris, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Amsterdam