Peopleâ€™s attitudes towards wearing face masks made in the USA have transformed from them feeling seriously inconvenienced to embracing them as crucial items in the fight against coronavirus and the latest fashion items.
Face masks are no longer just clinical disposable blue or white paper with white elastic straps. They are available in every color and design you could possibly imagine. Struggling but savvy manufacturers around the world are turning to this product where sales are booming â€“ even if it is nothing to do with their traditional business.
A US laundry cart manufacturer is now making masks instead of cutting production and furloughing staff. Cottage industries are popping up all over the world where anyone who has a sewing machine and the skill to use it are whipping up face masks to sell from their front doors or local markets.
Now half of US states are enforcing the wearing of masks in public and most major retailers and stores are making them mandatory, the face mask manufacturing industry is booming and getting very creative. Even US President Donald Trump is now wearing masks in public admitting they have an impact on protecting against the virus.
Even outdoor and sports clothing manufacturers are using this new necessity to attract a brand new market. They are turning their hand to using state of the art material and design to create lightweight, high performance, well-fitting, and comfortable masks. As well as well known American sports brands like Kitsbow, Skida, and Outdoor Research, Italian company La Sportiva and famous Spanish brand Buff have also turned to mask production.
But which are the best face masks made in the USA out there?
Medical experts say that the best mask is one that covers the entire mouth and nose tightly with no gaps to the side or the top or bottom of the mask. The point of a mask is to stop the tiny droplets that escape from our noses and mouths from reaching other people just in case we are pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic with the virus.
â€¢ Multi-layer masks are said to be the most effective as they filter out particles.
â€¢ Surgical and disposable masks are still some of the most popular, particularly for people going into more high-risk environments like the subway, hospitals, or highly populated areas.
â€¢ Fabric masks are good if you are having to wear the mask for longer periods of time and where you are not directly facing other people. Airplanes regularly filter the air in the cabin, so it is a less risky place than many people believe. A fabric mask might be an option in this environment as you are wearing it constantly for a long period of time, everyone else is wearing a mask and you are not directly in contact with others.
â€¢ In the office â€“ good fitting fabric masks are again a good option for people who are wearing them for long periods of time if there is a good circulation of air in the office, consistent mask-wearing across the whole workforce, and social distancing in place.
â€¢ Face shields are a good option for people like teachers who need to be heard, seen, and be comfortable for a long period of time in a mask. The clear shields mean that teachers can communicate with children well, their faces are not covered up and they are still protected.
Masks are such a fashion item now that even Vogue is writing features about them and who is producing the most aesthetically pleasing.
Apparently, over three days in April, there were more than two million searches for masks on the boutique selling site Etsy.
British fashion brand Burberry has become the first major fashion house to release a face mask and they have opted for their famous Nova Check pattern in the signature beige or a pale blue.
Many designer labels have been avoiding creating their own masks as they did not want to be seen to be profiting from the virus pandemic.
The Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Robert Redfield told Forbes online that the virus could be brought under control very quickly if everyone committed to wearing masks straight away. He said it was the most effective thing that everyone could do in their individual fight against the pandemic.
The UK has introduced mask-wearing in shops and on public transport. Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Jamaica, Argentina, Israel, and numerous other countries have made it mandatory to wear masks in all public places.
Mask wearing has been in force in Hong Kong and several other Asian countries since the very beginning of the pandemic. Though mask-wearing in many of these countries has been common since the SARS outbreak in 2003.
The World Health Organization says that wearing masks is only effective when combined with frequent hand washing.