The Big Coverup

Could non-medical face masks become a new accessory category?

Celebrities and influencers are joining the #MaskingForAFriend campaign to encourage wearing masks to protect others.

Of course, other countries have been embracing face masks in public for several years. Contrastingly, the search for disposable face masks only really began in western countries when it became apparent that coronavirus was no laughing matter.

In many Asian countries, donning a mask before going outside is as normal as putting on a pair of shoes, widely considered a civic duty to protect others. And as the coronavirus pandemic continues, the West is catching up to the custom.

It’s important to understand the benefits of masks, particularly for those around us. Because masks aren’t just about protecting ourselves; they are also about protecting others.

There’s been a lot of confusion surrounding the benefits of using masks in the battle against the virus, and even the U.S. government has sent conflicting messages, but thanks to evolving science and a better understanding of exactly whom masks protect, most health officials seem to finally be on the same page.

“We recommend that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in a community setting,” said Dr. Mike Bell, Deputy Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion. “This is to protect people around you if you are infected but do not have symptoms by blocking your respiratory droplets.”

“If everyone does this, the amount of infection being spread in our communities can be greatly reduced,” he said.

In many Asian countries, wearing a face mask in public has been a cultural norm for some time.

That came about for several reasons, including the rapid industrialization that led to bad air quality as well as recent diseases that disproportionately impacted those regions. SARS specifically.

But could face coverings really take off here in the United States? Burning Man attendees ae already ahead of the curve. They’ve been using face-coverings to beat the dust storms on the Playa for years!

The #MaskingForAFriend campaign has had the added bonus of celebrities normalizing the wearing of face masks and proving that doing so can even be trendy.

Billie Eilish recently donned Gucci’s decorative face covering at the Grammys, setting a trend among teenagers everywhere, who now share masked selfies and Lockdown performances on Snap Chat and Tik Tok, proving that just like sunglasses and hats evolved from sun protection to fashion accessories, masks may well do the same.

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