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Face Masks as a Fashion Accessory? Why We Should Encourage This Trend
2020-07-20

Face Masks as a Fashion Accessory? Why We Should Encourage This Trend
 
Celebrities and influencers are joining the #MaskingForAFriend campaign to encourage wearing masks to protect others.
Other countries have been embracing face masks in public for several years.

Just like sunglasses and hats evolved from sun protection to fashion accessories, masks may do the same.


It started with Eve donning a black mask against a backdrop of wisteria flowers, hashtagging her efforts #MaskingForAFriend. Sophia Bush, Matt McGorry, and Mayim Bialik soon followed, with others quickly joining the cause launched by the Pandemic Action Network.
The goal? To spread accurate information about the benefits of masking, particularly for those around us. Because masking isn’t about protecting ourselves; it’s about protecting our loved ones and the loved ones of others.
Of course, the campaign has had the added bonus of celebrities normalizing the act of wearing a face mask and proving that doing so can even be trendy.
But could it become something more here in the United States?
In many Asian countries, wearing a face mask in public has been a cultural norm long before COVID-19.
Industrial and organizational psychologist Lana Ivanitskaya, a professor at Central Michigan University, says the embracing of face masks in those areas came about for several reasons.
“First, there was rapid industrialization that led to bad air quality,” she explained. “Then, of course, there were recent diseases that disproportionately impacted those areas of the world. I’m thinking of SARS specifically.”
Ivanitskaya, who has been working hard to normalize mask wearing, and who has enlisted the help of Amish and Mennonite communities in making masks to distribute across the country, says these experiences shifted the cultural mindset toward respiratory protection.

She added, “I’m confident that cultural factors, such as collectivism and understanding of other people’s needs, has also played a role.”


How do masks protect people from COVID-19?
There’s been a lot of confusion surrounding the benefits of using masks in the battle against COVID-19, and even the U.S. government has sent conflicting messages.
But now, thanks to evolving science and a better understanding of exactly whom masks protect, most health officials seem to finally be on the same page.
“CDCTrusted Source recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting,” said Dr. Mike BellTrusted Source, 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.”
Bell has been working to provide the necessary medical perspective for the #MaskingForAFriend campaign, explaining that masking for others is what scientists and medical experts refer to as source control.

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


What else might masks protect against?
Dr. Kierstin Kennedy, chief of hospital medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said, “Masks can protect against any infectious illness that may be spread by droplets. For example, the flu, pertussis (whooping cough), or pneumonia.”
Bell agrees, adding that wearing a cloth mask has benefits beyond slowing the spread of COVID-19, and that source control can reduce the transmission of many other easily spread respiratory infections — the kind that typically render people infectious even before they display symptoms, like influenza.
“Some international reports have noted a lower impact of flu related to the uptake of measures to prevent COVID-19,” Bell said.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean masks are for everyone.

“Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children younger than 2 years of age, anyone who has trouble breathing, or anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the cover without assistance,” Bell explained.


Could face masks become an ongoing trend?
The experts we spoke with agree that until the threat of this pandemic has been neutralized, people should embrace the protection masks allow them to provide to those around them.
After all, it’s not necessarily about you — it’s about everyone you come in contact with.
It’s not at all uncommon to be an asymptomatic carrier of the new coronavirus — which means that even if you have no symptoms at all, you could potentially transmit the virus to someone who could then become gravely ill or even die.
A mask, alongside frequent handwashing and physical distancing measures, like staying at least 6 feet (2 meters) apart, reduces that risk.
But could this be a trend that continues even after COVID-19? And perhaps the more important question: Should it?
“As we start to navigate life beyond the stay-at-home orders, we likely will need to continue to use face masks if we want to prevent continued transmission,” Kennedy said.
But she’s unsure of what the future may hold beyond that.

“Once the threat of COVID-19 is gone, I don’t think that ongoing use of face masks in public has to continue, though it remains to be seen whether we will adopt ongoing face mask use just as we have seen in Asian countries,” Kennedy said.

Functional — and fashionable
But it’s not just improving comfort that face mask designers are now focusing on. Many are also trying to create masks people actually want to wear — masks others might find as an aesthetically pleasing and fun way to accessorize.
If you think that sounds crazy, just remember: Sunglasses and hats once started out as items meant to simply protect the wearer from the sun.
They’ve now evolved into fashion accessories providing countless options to choose from.
“Many businesses, small and large, have taken the opportunity to make and sell cloth face covers. A wide variety of styles and designs are already available,” Bell said. “We’re already seeing a lot of people not only wearing cloth face coverings, but making a design or fashion statement with their choice of cover.”

Whether it’s the design you choose or the way you fasten your mask to your face (with a popular debate now ensuing over whether ear loops or clasps behind the head are better), you have an opportunity to make a statement with the mask you wear — and protect others in style.

The above article is from. www.healthline.com.


We recommend that all of our customers start selling masks, because as long as one person wears it for your reasons to avoid getting sick, you do a good thing for the world.


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2020-07-20




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