Way back in the late days of the Before Times, my mother came to visit me in late February, bringing with her a supply of face masks for me in case that virus everyone was talking about became something to worry about. I called her ridiculous and stuck them under my bathroom sink. 

And then, after Houston shut down, I found myself pulling those masks back out, and my mom began her now vast collection of patterned masks for all holidays and occasions. Once again, I called her ridiculous, and went about my business covering the city's Covid-19 press conferences.

But as the weeks and months passed, the public officials I was watching began to expand their own collections of colorful face masks. Mayor Sylvester Turner even joked on multiple occasions for folks to "get you one that matches your outfit," as he coordinated his masks with his suits. It became somewhat of a quarantine obsession for me to see what masks people would be wearing next.

And I'm still obsessed with fun masks. It makes my days spent covering city meetings all the brighter to see a carefully coordinated suit matching a carefully coordinated face mask. Especially because although there are vaccines in Houston, we're going to still be masked up for the foreseeable future. So, without further ado, here're some of the best masks I've seen, in no particular order. 

Even people on Turner's masks have masks. Mask-ception!

Head of the Houston Health Department Dr. David Persse consistently wears patterned masks more than anyone else.   

I know I'm basic, but I love avocados. Here, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo sports the fruit on August 6, 2020. 

We stan this level of mask-suit coordination.  

On June 2, 2020, the mayor and many others donned this mask while marching for George Floyd, the Houstonian who was killed by police in Minnesota. It was a sobering reminder that Covid-19 isn't the only issue Americans face.

Image: Jeff Fitlow

We're still proud of how the Houston Dash held it down last July.

In case you didn't know Turner's name and title.

Image: Daniel Kramer

Mayor Sylvester Turner and Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins look like they belong on an album cover (while wearing their face coverings!) at an Acres Homes voting event on Election Day last November. 

Hey, we like dogs too! 

Did I take screenshots documenting just about every mask I enjoyed throughout 2020? You betcha. Will I be keeping it up in 2021? Well, let's just say, the signs are favorable, and I do love a good mask. 

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