We’ve reported that some nervous fliers are wearing surgical masks at airports and on planes in response to the worldwide ebola scare and the two infected patients in the U.S. (one of whom has died).
Sure, the likes of the World Health Organization would say this defies medical logic – Ebola isn't airborne plus the odds of coming into direct contact with the blood, feces, and vomit of a person showing Ebola symptoms in the U.S. are microscopic, and at that point, do you really think a lousy mask will help you when it’s infecting fully covered nurses? But hey, people are scared, and scared people will do whatever they can to feel safe.
Still, why sacrifice personal style for security? This makes me think of the line attributed to Major Jean Villeneuve in the Mel Gibson movie “The Patriot” on his way to battle: “If I die, I will die well dressed.”
So I did a little online shopping and found that there’s an impressive array of designer face masks out there for people who want to look good even when they’re hiding a part of themselves. So whether you want to look Hello Kitty-cute or downright sexy, here are some facewear options:
(Photo: Japan Trend Shop)
Yes, the Japanese site itself uses the word “ninja” to describe these, promising they will “ensure you are fully armed against the perils of the winter while also achieving that unique street fashion look you always wanted.” Fashion does come at a price: it’s $43 plus shipping for a pack of six one-use masks, but you can wear these with the confidence that black goes with everything.
No one else I found puts the amount of detail and craftsmanship into their face masks like thefacemaskstore on Etsy – they have scores of pleated designs you can choose from. But you can’t get more blatant about your fashion sense than wearing a bunch of heels over your mouth, so we have to give these cotton beauties a shout-out. Cost: $10.99
(Photo: Ali Express.com)
If cute could kill, this design would eradicate all contagion from the Earth. The perfect venue would be wearing a Hello Kitty surgical mask on EVA Air’s Hello Kitty jet, although this would risk a saccharine overdose. Cost: $2.81 for a pack of three.
This is another hit design from thefacemaskstore, and we can’t help falling in love with it. Perfect for protecting yourself while touring Graceland. Cost: 10.99
I can’t imagine beads are an effective defense against viruses, but who else at the airport will be wearing one of these? This is a clear style victory, even if it doesn’t come cheap. Cost: $34.99
Taking the kids trick-or-treating while you travel and don’t want to risk an extra helping of Ebola with that candy? Or maybe you just want to dress like a hypochondriac for your costume? You’ll be covered with this. Cost: $10.
Is that flight attendant unable to understand your drink order when your mask muffles your voice? With this, all you have to do is unzip while keeping the rest of your face protected. And with such Burning Man-ready features as sequins, rhinestones, and gold straps, you’ll be all set for the desert next year. Cost: $35.
I’m no woman, but I could easily see someone matching this with a similar-looking handbag – and who’s pulling that off so far? This is made of cotton and is washable. Cost: $11.75.
For the lumberjack germophobe in all of us, these are available on eBay from China. And at 99 cents each, the price is right.