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Today’s Sound Off is about wearing a face mask:

DEAR HELOISE : As a registered nurse, I’m appalled by the way people wear a face mask that covers only their mouth but not their nose. When we sneeze, cough or speak, we release thousands of water droplets that we may not see but are still present in the air. If your nose is not covered, you breathe in those water droplets. The potential of inhaling the COVID-19 virus rises dramatically.

According to the CDC, your mask must fit snugly, covering both nose and mouth. There should be no gaps and should either be laundered or, if it’s a single-use mask, disposed of after each use. Always remove the mask from behind. Don’t touch the front of the mask.

It may take some getting used to, but it’s better than catching this terrible disease or passing it on to others.

— Judith in New York DEAR READERS: New uses for old wooden chairs:

Cut a circular hole in the seat to place a dog’s food bowl for tall dogs.

Cut a circular hole in the seat and place a potted plant in it for your garden.

Make it into a swing by cutting the legs off. Drill a hole in each arm of the chair, then run a rope securely through the hole, knot the rope under the chair arm and hang over the branch of a tree.

DEAR HELOISE : I’ve never seen it printed any place before, but one must wash or use a sanitizer on a cane handle each time you use it.

— Bonnie E.,

Newport, Wash.

DEAR READER : Thanks for the reminder. And it’s always a good idea to sanitize frequently used door handles, toilet handles and faucets. Also remember to sanitize car door handles, steering wheels, gear shifts, radio buttons and anything else you touch frequently in your vehicle.

DEAR HELOISE : I recently took a casserole out of the freezer for dinner, but after serving my family, I had a good amount left. Is it OK to refreeze leftovers? Will it ruin the taste?

— Dan in California

DEAR READER : It’s not a good idea to refreeze food that has thawed out. Why? When you freeze foods the cell walls break down, which is why frozen foods don’t taste as good as when they were fresh. So refreezing thawed out foods only makes it even less flavorful and gives bacteria a chance to grow.

Send a money- or time-saving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, Texas 78279-5000; fax to (210) 435-6473; or email

[email protected]

Print Headline: HELPFUL HINTS

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