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A Message from the VP - Covid-19 Masks

Friday, April 24, 2020 - Chris Delano - Vice President of IPD USA

Changing Minds Behind The Mask

In my life I only saw people wearing face masks who worked in a medical environment, usually a group of people diagnosing my broken body after a motocross accident or drilling my teeth!  The first time I was exposed to a significant amount of people wearing masks in public was back in January of 2013 when I traveled to Tokyo Japan.  I remember walking through Narita airport and seeing people wearing some form of protective mask.  To be honest, I felt out of place because there were more people wearing masks than not.   In an effort to maintain transparency while writing this, I will say, I felt completely awkward in this situation.   Was something going on I wasn’t privy to, did something happen during my flight that forced everyone to cover their face?

This was a business trip for IPD and I was meeting Volvo enthusiasts across Japan while attending the Tokyo Auto Salon.   My first meeting was with an IPD distributor in Chiba Japan.   A gentleman I had known for over 15 years, but had never met face to face.  When he picked me up from my hotel, he too was wearing a mask.  He shook my hand and greeted me with what I assumed was a huge smile behind a cotton cover.   Normally, in a foreign country you do your best to focus and read facial expressions to help get past language barriers.  We both did our best to get through our initial pleasantries.  

I was now in Japan long enough to see people riding bikes, walking, driving cars, working in restaurants and stores who mainly were all wearing face protection.  After meeting up with associates and partners in the industry I finally felt comfortable enough to breach the subject.   Why are there so many people wearing masks?   A good friend of mine said, “It’s cold and flu season here in Japan.”  He went on to tell me that when they feel a tickle in their throat, cough, or have symptoms of a cold or flu, it’s a sign of being respectful.  They wear the mask to protect others, not necessarily to protect themselves.   Back then I vividly remember thinking that makes sense in a heavily populated area like Tokyo.  As I made my way across the country, that respect was shown in the most rural areas as well. 

This was a big shift for me, not just that they weren’t hiding their faces, but basically advertising that they may be ill. My personal experience was to always hide the fact I was sick, mainly for fear of people distancing themselves from me.   Throughout that particular trip, I wondered how something like this would ever be adopted or fit into western culture. 

Now fast forwarding all these years, the CDC is asking people to wear these masks in public to help prevent the spread of disease.   Some states are requiring you to wear masks while grocery shopping, putting gas in your car, or anytime you’re out in public.  I’ll be the first to admit how uncomfortable I was wearing a mask the first time I went grocery shopping for my family.   It completely feels abnormal walking around hiding your face.   For anyone who knows me, I’m an extrovert who engages all strangers within range!   My shopping has become more intentional these days and I remind myself I’m wearing this mask to be respectful and protect others.  I’m doing my best to support all recommendations and guidelines requested by our local health authorities.   As the weeks go by it is incredible to see so many people displaying the same respect and concern.  I look at it as if I’m doing everyone else a favor by not having to look at my ugly mug! 

IPD has many relationships with hospitals and nursing organizations.  IPD partners with Nursingale, a home health care organization catering to medically fragile children.   We have been doing everything we can to support these organizations during this time.  We’ve donated thousands of gloves to those in need.  We’re fortunate to offer our customers masks who have been trying to source them.  The unfortunate part is cotton masks are not medical grade.  Simple cotton masks are strictly used for social distancing protocols while venturing out and interacting in public.  While these may work extremely well for you, they’re not medical grade for people in riskier environments. 

IPD will be sharing a portion of the proceeds from the sales of these cotton masks to our friends at Nursingale.   With this, we can help our customers with their safety in public while helping our friends at Nursingale in their more critical work, everyone’s a winner. 

It’s amazing how thoughts and experience can stick with you throughout time.   My internal shifts and thoughts while visiting Japan have now come around and are being applied to my daily life and culture.   This is a very difficult time for everyone.   I appreciate everyone taking the time to read something I happened to be reflecting on that sparked a change in my personal viewpoint.  I’m extremely happy to see more and more people doing their best to protect themselves and others while being in public.   I hope everyone is safe and healthy.  I believe we will get through this unfortunate time together.  I am curious how we will move forward as a connected community looking out for one another.  It will be interesting to see how we look back at this time in the future. 

Thank you for all your support.   I’ve been blessed to be a part of the best automotive community in the world!

 

Best wishes,

Chris Delano

IPD USA Vice President 


Here is a link to the masks we have been able to create for our amazing customers:

https://www.ipdusa.com/catalog.asp?numRecordPosition=0&searchwords=mask

 

If you're looking to venture out and still receive a friendly smile while avoiding becoming a social outcast, get yourself a practical mask!  These cotton masks are simple, effective, and cover your nose and mouth appropriately while maintaining effortless breathing.  The high quality cotton is soft and comfortable for your face. 

These masks are perfect for both men and women.  They can be worn while cycling, running, excercising, shopping, and working on your vehicle.  If you're planning on traveling, this face mask will ensure a comfy fit for long durations of use.  

If you're looking to protect yourself from dust, small particles on air, pollen and much more, these face masks are affordable and high qualtiy.  Each kit comes as a 5 pack.  You get five washable and reusable masks. 

  • Dust Protection
  • Spray Protection
  • Germ Protection
  • Not hospital or surgical grade.
  • Unisex
  • Color Black
  • Quantity 5

Community Comments

Thursday, April 30, 2020 - JAKE HALL

Very cool Chris! Great work IPD team! Jake Hall

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