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Dear Readers: Have you ever walked in a room and completely forgotten why you went in there in the first place? This is common, and it even has a name: an event boundary.

This psychological phenomenon is caused not by having a bad memory, but by our brains "resetting." Once we walk into a new space, our brains "reboot" to prepare to take in the new information in the new area.

Solution? Carry a pad and pencil with you and write down what you need from the den, kitchen or living room. This will help you remember. And, again, don't worry; this is a normal phenomenon. — Heloise

Organization Nation

Dear Heloise: I heard that boxes coming from overseas may have insect eggs in them. Is this true? — Robin N. in Kentucky

Robin, it could be. Insects spend their lives looking for food, water and places to lay their eggs. Cardboard boxes, not only from overseas, but from the States too, can provide all of those elements. It's a good idea to NOT store items in cardboard boxes. Either reuse the box by shipping something else in it or break it down and put it in your recycling bin. — Heloise

Later, Gaiter

Dear Heloise: I've heard mixed reviews about neck gaiters in the battle against the COVID-19 virus. Can you clarify the info that's out there? — Nick T. in Nevada

Nick, of course. Let's take a look. A neck gaiter is an alternative to a traditional ear-loop mask. A gaiter is a kind of cowl-neck cloth tube you slip on over your head and then pull up the front to cover your nose and mouth.

Experts have found that gaiters made from non-natural fibers (spandex, polyester, etc.) can allow respiratory droplets to escape. These fibers are thinner and lighter in weight than natural fibers like cotton. Masks and gaiters made from a higher thread count, and made of a blend of cotton and poly, can provide better blockage of respiratory droplets.

The fit is vital too. If you choose a gaiter, ensure it doesn't gap between your nose and cheek, and that it fits comfortably over your nose and mouth, so you're not fidgeting with it all day long.

Masks can be uncomfortable if they pull on your ears or feel tight across your face. A gaiter is looser, with no pull on the ears. Both a mask and a gaiter provide a level of prevention of transmission of COVID-19, but experts seemingly like the mask better. Check with your doctor or pharmacist for their recommendations. — Heloise

Tarnish, Darn It

Dear Readers: We probably each have some sterling silver jewelry, flatware or silver coins. Have you noticed that these pieces can tarnish? It's going to happen if the silver is exposed to the air.

When sulfur, common in the air, and silver come in contact with each other, the silver will react by turning black. Store silver jewelry in a jewelry box, and if you do have tarnish, commercial grade cloths and cleaners work well. Use gently, and test a hidden patch first. — Heloise

Send a money-saving or timesaving hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795001, San Antonio, TX 78279-5001, or you can fax it to 1-210-HELOISE or email it to HeloiseHeloise.com. I can't answer your letter personally but will use the best hints received in my column.

King Features Syndicate

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