It’s going to be difficult to describe 2020 to anyone too little to remember or someone who wasn’t alive to live experience it at all. It won’t be easy to describe how fast toilet paper or flour flew off the shelves.
We found the practical pandemic products that might make these strange times a little easier on you.
A face mask dispenser
Ever step out of the house only to realize that you forgot your mask? It’s probably one of the worst feelings in these weird times. Fortunately, there’s a face mask dispenser for that. Fill it up with either reusable or disposable face masks that’ll stay clean in there. Find it for $22 at Yamazaki.
A touch tool so you don’t have to touch anything
In the age of social distancing and staying 6 feet apart, touching things probably isn’t something you want to do much of. You don’t have to with this clean key for pressing buttons and pulling levers. It also comes with an optional nano stylus for touchscreens. Stay safe out there. Find it starting at $25 at Food52.
A sexy face shield
A bidet, because of that toilet paper shortage
A portable toilet for when you’re on the go and got to, uh, go
While we’re on the topic of toilets, we have to give an honorable mention to this portable toilet, which was recommended by Wirecutter back in July. Raise your hand if you had “portable toilet” on your 2020 bingo board? Oh, no? Well, here’s where we’re at. You can take the Tinkle Belle (yup) all around and won’t even need toilet paper. It basically allows women to go the bathroom standing up. It’ll also be useful when we eventually go back to festival season post-pandemic. Find it for $28 at Amazon.
Face mask chains
A banner to celebrate one more turn around the sun
ThePartyAvenue / Etsy
Yeah, you’ve probably been to a (virtual) birthday party or two in recent months. Another trip around the sun is always a reason to celebrate, and birthdays are a bright spot in this strange year. While no one can really claim this was a banner year, this banner is one to remember. Find it starting at $25 on Etsy.
Hand sanitizers that feel much fancier than they used to
A UV sanitizer for your smartphone
By now, you’ve probably gotten used to making sure things are clean before laying a finger on them. And it’ll come as no surprise that our devices can become pretty dirty. That’s why many of us have turned to UV sanitizers. The science is still out on how they fight against the coronavirus, though an expert we talked said they can help get rid of some germs. One of our own editors tried out this PhoneSoap sanitizer on her phone. It is rechargeable and comes with its own carrying case. Find it for $100 at PhoneSoap. There are wands and pouches that sanitize, too.
An elastic extension to keep your face mask in place
EYMbellishDesigns / Etsy
Sometimes your mask doesn’t fit just right. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention, and lots of folks have found ways to make masks more comfortable. These extensions can help if you always have red marks behind your ears after wearing a mask. Find it for $5 on Etsy.
A refreshing spray to freshen up your face mask
An adult toy that can go the distance (literally)
The matching atheisure set that’s become a quarantine staple
The only essentials you’ll need for your bread baking
So many were baking bread at some point during quarantine that there was an actual yeast shortage. Of course, we couldn’t not think back to that time when writing this list, especially since cottagecore has risen as the top trend during all this. If you’re hoping to bake the perfect baguette, this kit comes with all the essentials you’ll need including a Danish dough whisk and proofing basket. Find it for $35 at Amazon.
A metal rack to keep essentials for socially distant outings
You might be keeping your masks away from everything else around the house, and this metal rack is the perfect place to hold them. It even comes with storage slots for filters. Find it for $50 at Uncommon Goods.
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