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We are still finding ways to smile

Less than three months ago, a person dawning facial covering was deemed a threat, and was to be treated with an abundance of distrust and caution. Today, the very same treatment could be meted out to someone who is not wearing one! It seems that the world in which we now live is upside down.

In the #COVID19-obsessed world - and rightly so - that we currently live in, no matter which side of the fence that you may sit on regarding the level of economic activity and social distancing that is adequate at this time; many can agree that utilizing facial coverings is an effective strategy to minimize community spread of the virus on occasions when people gather to facilitate one need or another. ThisThat being the case, there has been an unanticipated surge in the demand for surgical and non-surgical masks throughout the world.

Mask production is a budding cottage industry

Enter the cottage industry of mask production. Over the last 90 days there has been a surge in the interest in mask production for personal and commercial use of this once (not unnecessary...heath prof used it)unsung, and even vilified piece of apparel. There have been mask ‘How-Tos’ trending on Instagram and Facebook, and tutorials on YouTube and television, showing us how to make a mask out of everything from old t-shirts to sanitary napkins, all in an effort to provide us with the information to protect ourselves. But after the initial wave of need-purchase frenzy, the requirement to wear a mask in public has taken a refreshing turn from being an affront to fashion to being a canvas bringing artistic expression, and personality to the fore.

You can still see a smile

In an era when the smiles on our faces have been masked, not for want of a better term, by protective covering, our mood, attitude and personalities are beginning to be communicated through our choice of mask design and style. They range from bright colours to somber and muted ones, those that coordinate with our outfits to those that are in stark contrast that just scream “Look at me!’, those that show our African heritage, and those that say, that we are looking forward to a brighter day.

What story is your mask telling?

They have become a new talking point, to connect with strangers, family and friends, to change the subject about how uncertain the times are, and to connect on a frivolous level about the mask itself, instead of the story behind it - that wearing this simple piece of garment can make the difference between life and death in the era of the #Coronavirus pandemic.

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