Wearing a face mask to stop the spread of the coronavirus is so easy, even a statue can do it. During the health pandemic, iconic installations around the country from animals to pop culture figures and artistic representations have been photographed with face coverings.
Face masks help protect against the virus, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as nationwide confirmed cases reach 2,815,156. Now, many states, including Pennsylvania, California, Oregon and Texas, mandate the coverings while certain cities and counties carry fines for those who don’t observe the rules.
Last week, Patience and Fortitude, 109 year-old marble lions that guard the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, wore face masks measuring three feet wide and two feet tall. According to a press release sent to Yahoo Life by the library, the lions “are the perfect symbols for the strengths our city and our nation need now even more.”
The Fearless Girl, a 250-pound bronze statue by artist Kristen Visbal outside the New York Stock Exchange building that represents “the power of women in leadership” per the New York Times, was also documented wearing a face mask.
The iconic statues at Rockefeller Center in New York City — golden Prometheus and the Maiden 'Mankind' Figures — were photographed with masks, along with Atlas, a half-man, half-god from from Greek mythology.
Nancy Schön’s Make Way for Ducklings sculpture inspired by the classic children’s book, has led the way at Boston Public Garden in Massachusetts since 1987. In March, the feathered family was shot wearing masks over their bills. But health isn’t the only cause taken up by Mama Mallard and her eight ducklings — according to an article by Boston University’s BU Today, last year a university alumni placed wire cages around the ducks “to serve as a symbol of the ongoing crisis at the US southern border.”
“The Magic Carpet Ride” statue in Cardiff-By-The-Sea, California that depicts a surfer, has worn a face mask since March, thanks to an anonymous citizen. “We didn’t remove [the mask] because it seemed appropriate,” a city spokesperson tells Yahoo Life. Over its 13 years, the statue has hosted other installations: In June, Black Lives Matter supporters graced it with flowers, signs and photos of Black people who have died in police custody. And in 2011, locals awoke to an enormous dinosaur display surrounding the piece.
Even Maryland’s “Forever Marilyn” statue depicting the glamorous Marilyn Monroe covered up — in May, the National Harbor district, where the work is located, posted an Instagram photo of the blonde star writing, “Give a girl the right mask and she can conquer the world.”
Staff at the Peoria Riverfront Museum in Illinois were surprised to find the farmer in Seward Johnson’s sculpture of Grant Wood's “American Gothic" painting wearing a face mask in mid-March, the museum’s president John Morris wrote on Facebook. Calling it “a prank in a statement of our times,” Morris joked, “....At 25 feet tall, he is certainly maintaining the recommended six foot distance.”
Four years ago, singer Tony Bennett was hailed with an 8 foot-tall statue for his 90th birthday outside the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco, reported Variety, and in April, the singer asked fans to belt out his song "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" from their homes to celebrate local healthcare workers. Charlotte Shultz, chief of protocol for California and San Francisco told the San Francisco Chronicle that she had a mask placed on the statue “to remind people” to play it safe.
For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDC’s and WHO’s resource guides.
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