A health directive has taken an odd turn, with independent designers adding some recognisable faces to facewear.
Face masks are mandatory in Melbourne and the Mitchell Shire and will become compulsory for the rest of Victoria from 11.59pm on Sunday.
Popular online art store Redbubble stock a range of cloth face coverings designed by independent artists to help residents stay in style when they can’t stay inside.
The masks are mostly very creative, but some are borderline creepy.
Customers can adorn their faces with anyone from Victoria’s chief health officer to the Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, number one #covidcrush for many Victorians, Prof. Brett Sutton,” states the description of one mask by designer Ashley Ellis.
Although the CHO may or may not be pleased to discover that he has been unofficially named the “number one #covidcrush”, we have to wonder if he would enjoy helping residents stay safe in this fashion.
There is one catch though, a warning states that “masks sold on Redbubble are for general public use only and are not intended for use in medical settings”.
While the features section on this Sutton style says, “Non-medical face masks help you express yourself even when you can’t show your face.”
So, are these masks suitable for protecting us from COVID-19?
Research says that three-ply surgical face masks are the most effective, but even a single-layer cloth face covering is better than nothing when out in public.
So, it’s fine to wear the face to Bunnings or Kmart, but not to a COVID ward or while conducting surgery.
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And if Professor Sutton is your “number one #covidcrush”, you can always grab his face on a throw pillow.