A journey of a mother who is determined to rally America to mask up against COVID-19.

This collage is a visual documentation of some of the posts I shared with #masktogetheramerica on social media. A few were donated by friends and family. My self-portraits were taken by my nephew, my son and husband. Majority of the masked portraits were taken by me. I photographed people wherever I went to promote mask-wearing. The locations included different neighborhoods in New York, as well as Chicago, IL, Boston and Cambridge, MA, and New Haven, CT.

MaskTogetherAmerica is a grassroots, social media, mask awareness campaign. Created for mask advocates, artists and the mask fashion community to offer each other support as we rally America to mask up.

People in all parts of the country are stepping up with one goal in mind — uniting the whole of America in an effort to mask up. The campaign seeks to create community and to share and promote each other’s work on the ground.

No matter where you are in the U.S., we…


Homemade Love is Love Mask for the First Lady of the World. She is not just wearing any mask, but mine, one that I sewed just for her. This is one of many pictures I posted on social media to promote mask-wearing against the spread of COVID-19.

Wearing a mask has been criticized as a sign of weakness, paranoia, lack of faith, infringement of civil rights, un-American, and most ridiculously, as something that can suffocate a wearer by lowering oxygen intake. If that’s true, then doctors and nurses who wear masks all day ought to be superhuman to survive.

Millions of Americans have been devastated by COVID-19. The U.S. death toll has surpassed the death toll of US soldiers in WWI. Americans are barred from entering even our allied countries in Europe, Canada and the Caribbean. Despite how disheveled our economy is today, the anti-mask clan has…


The pots clanging followed by a distant hello

Since late March, the residents of our Upper Westside neighborhood started banging pots and pans, joining the rest of the city to cheer for the first responders and medical workers. Initially, whether I was cooking or between bites, I would grab my wok and wooden spatula. While my son covered his ears, I would send the loudest “gong” through the skinny crack my apartment’s windows can open to. Not like my neighbors across from us, who can step out and cheer on the balconies.


My response to New York Times articleA Tragedy Is Unfolding’: Inside New York’s Virus Epicenter by Annie Correal and Andrew Jacobs

New York on Pause asks New Yorkers to flatten the curve by staying home. What about in-person workers of essential businesses? People who manage the parking garage. The pharmacists at CVS. MBTA workers. Fresh Direct and Amazon delivery crews. Cashiers. Bus drivers. Police. Firefighters. Reporters. Security guards. Doormen. Janitors. Volunteers at homeless shelters. Garbage truck crews. Airport and airline workers. They are all frontline people who need protection our country will not offer.

We need to have…


“Today is March 20, 2020!” I said to myself, amazed to be able to recognize the unusual numerical pattern in the date, as I set out to share another anecdote about Wuhan, the central hub of China that is now infamous for starting the pandemic.

If you believe the numbers on the official real-time report, there have been 0 new cases and just one death since March 17, after the city shut down for nearly two months. New cases have seemingly dramatically tapered after China’s president visited Wuhan. His recent presence since the city hosted the World Military Games last…


Dear New Yorkers,

As I write to you, 22 New Yorkers have been infected with coronavirus, 2,733 are currently in home isolation.

A healthcare worker who had recently returned from Iran marked the first case in New York. She and her husband have been isolated in their home in Manhattan.

An attorney in his 50s is the second patient to test positive. He is in critical condition at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

The infected community of family members and neighbors have spent time in close proximity to the attorney, who lives in Westchester and travels to Midtown Manhattan…

Julie Lam

Founder of Mask with Us Facebook Group. Creator of MaskTogetherAmerica, a social media mask awareness campaign. Writer for New York Voice. Photographer.

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