A smile costs nothing and can brighten up someone’s day. Especially during the challenges that each of us are currently facing, in circumstances that we would never have even considered a few months ago.
As retail stores, entertainment facilities and all other non-businesses reopen, we are seeing the rise of a new era. Everything is familiar, yet so different from what we once knew. Excited shoppers are returning to their favourite stores, but their enthusiasm is somewhat dampened by the additional procedures and one-way systems in place.
The ‘Mask Age’ has begun, and for very good reasons. No one wants to lay themselves open to Covid19, but we’re all desperate to enjoy some social life as well. Masks have made commuting, shopping and socialising all possible again but without losing the all important protection against the spread of disease.
It will take some time for us to adjust to this new look. For the majority of us, we have grown up having conversations where it is possible to see the other’s expression – and cheerful smile! And now this is concealed behind a blue paper mask, that’s not only unappealing and uncomfortable but also brings the connotations of hospitals and operating theatres to mind.
The ideal fix would be a mask that has a transparent section which reveals your smile, and spreads your happiness. It would also make it possible for deaf people to lip-read when you speak, reassure young children that you are a friendly human being (and not an alien) and also gives trust to those you are communicating with.
The challenge however, is that it just isn’t worth the manufacturing complexity for a mask that is only going to be used once and then thrown away.
The perfect solution is a reusable face mask, which maintains its’ anti-bacterial coating for several washes. A mask with a window with which you can keep clean and hygienic by regularly popping it in the washing machine.
It’s a vast step forward from the disposable masks, which are costly and uncomfortable – and, most importantly, unsustainable. The resources used to produce these are being depleted, and then there is the growing problem of disposing of them safely, without creating vast amounts of extra waste. Lots of consumers try to save costs by wearing them numerous times and they then become a germ hazard. Especially when they fall out of pockets, bags and are left lying on the floor, waiting for a daring person to pick them up and throw them away.
Those with the transparent insert can be wiped or sprayed with anti-bacterial spray or washing up liquid as often as you wish, so don’t necessarily need to go in the washing machine so often. And when you do need to wash them, there’s no filters to remove, no hand washing or dry cleaning required, simply pop it in with your other clothes on a gentle wash.
There are different sizes, so that you can find a mask that is comfortable for your face. Just remember to have a clean, washable mask with you at all times, ready to put on and keep you safe, so that you can enjoy some of the social activities that we have been missing over the last few months. And when you get home, pop them in the washing machine and collect some clean ones for next time.
But, remember that any mask you wear, and then touch with your hand, could potentially be contaminated. It’s all about being careful and responsible at all times!