In addition to those donating masks to health care and essential workers, several designers are now making them for consumers as the CDC reviews its guidelines for public mask use.
Masks have become one of the most ubiquitous and confusing topics amid all the coronavirus talk. You’re probably hearing a lot about N95 and shortages and companies pivoting to manufacturing them and conflicting statements regarding whether or not regular people without symptoms should use them.
Here’s what we know: While the CDC has previously advised against wearing masks unless you’re coughing or sick, this week, it’s begun reviewing those guidelines based on new data showing the extent to which asymptomatic people are unwittingly transmitting the virus. While many experts say more people should wear masks, others worry such a recommendation could lead to hoarding that prevents healthcare workers from getting the masks they so desperately need. So far, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has told its citizens to mask up. The White House is expected to do the same.
While workers should obviously take priority when it comes to medical-grade masks, non-medical masks are becoming more and more available via fashion brands big and small. Some are donating them to essential workers in addition to selling them to consumers; others are donating proceeds to charities; others may just have some free time or want to give their sewers a job; and still others were making them before all this happened. So if you feel having your own mask would help protect you or others, and you don’t feel crafty enough to make your own, shop them in the gallery below. (Unsurprisingly, some companies are sold out. As of Friday April 3, I’ve included links to those below the gallery; many have email updates you can sign up for to learn when they’re back in stock.)