For the people living in major south-eastern cities in Asia, especially in China, wearing masks on daily routine is not a new phenomena. The reason that masks are important, there has been mostly associated with high air pollution in urban environments. In the face of challenges we see against COVID-19, wearing masks has been a controversial topic. Different and contradictory discussions has been promoting or denouncing the effectiveness of this safety measures. Some scientific camps have voted against it arguing that having these textiles on the long term, if exposed to virus and given the humid conditions of the respirator would increase the risks of contracting the disease .

Social distancing and wearing masks in not only a culture but as of the onset of pandemic a rule in many parts of the world. Photo by 烧不酥在上海 老的 on Unsplash

Having trouble providing these protective equipment for the masses initially caused some major European countries and The United States highest officials deny the efficiency of this measurement but later this decision has been due to some pivoting by claiming that it can be profitable in case of limiting the spread of droplets in case of sneezing of a sick person in public areas.

Given these difficulties in an unprecedented era, where highest social figures such as prime ministers or internationally well known celebrities are not anywhere safer than average citizens, we have seen political figures, conducting emergency meeting wearing surgical masks and even this gesture has raised eyebrows given that in social medias, there were on the same time videos about how healthcare workers are desperate in their effects to provide themselves with clean face masks coming to use UV lights to disinfect and washing their used masks, during the peak of shortage in these preventive equipment in Hong Kong.

Chief Executive of Hong Kong wearing surgical mask in her address.

One of the major discussions of course eventually has been with respect to the fact that available masks are not custom made for all ages and social groups, having concerned parents about potentially exposing their children and although the studies are suggesting that not many children are vulnerable to Corona Virus but this does not guarantee the fact that they can become means for transmitting the disease to others and in effect there has not been much visible progress in order to improve these equipment for different age groups.

A woman holds a child wearing a facemask as they queue at the West Kowloon rail station in Hong Kong on January 23, 2020. – The international finance hub has been on high alert for the mystery SARS-like virus ever since it first emerged within the Chinese city of Wuhan. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP)

Given the fact that many major countries and their respective cities have gone through quarantine for more than a month as of this date. There is speculation on how the societies are willing to consider reopening their lock-downs and starting “normalization” process due to the psychological and economical concerns where there are security and humanitarian risks involved in case of prolonging this state of emergency. According to UNESCO there are estimates that 1.5 billion children are being deprived of their right to go to school [i] and millions in the United States and Europe have filed for unemployment insurance. This comes vis-a-vis the current process which the scientific community is facing in terms of developing a vaccine ,where several tests are already undergoing assessment but there can be literally months before there can be either a cure or any candidate vaccines. This brings us to accept the fact that we may be facing a situation where people must coexist with this deadly virus. Knowing that we can get exposed but there are possibly no alternatives rather than following the minimum safety measures such as washing hands as often as possible and also wearing mask.

This can be interpreted into the fact that we may see societies introducing masks and respirators as obligatory accessories where people must wear them in all conditions, which as we have seen may influence many parties of the industry including fashion and beauty. Where these impacts transforms the need for how people and how namely women used to wear lipsticks and now would be more interested in buying fashionable masks. This is a challenge that only depends on the risk taking and the vision of these industries. Of course most of the small businesses who have been producing products that are vulnerable to these new conditions would be hurt but it would also encourage many new aspects of entrepreneurship.

Billie Eilish wearing a Gucci mask at the Grammy Awards

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