AS of May 11, the UK government officially recommended the use of face coverings in certain social situations in England.
But the UK recommendations were tentative, and caveated. The official advice says that face coverings do not need to be worn in the office or by retail workers, for example. And the government was quick to note that people should not order medical grade masks, as these should be reserved for frontline health and care workers.
And there’s even a psychological aspect, where masks help people to avoid social contact if they are so inclined, psychologist Jun Fujikake told JapanToday. In other instances, they are even seen as a fashion accessory.
This could be way of encouraging mask-wearing to become more mainstream in western cultures going forward. Spanish beauty firm Biovène has said it has seen a “huge demand” for masks, and is developing reusable face masks which have cartoon characters worked into their designs to make them more appealing to children.
Company CEO Erik Lambert told Express Online: “Of course, it is not natural to wear [a face mask], as it can be uncomfortable to breathe, or one sizing doesn’t seem to fit all faces.
“This is especially true of children, and it can be difficult to explain to a little one why they have to wear one outside now.
“Adults should also be encouraged to wear face masks but in other ways, such as offering colour patterns and options to make it more fashionable, or more sustainable reusable options for those who care for the environment.”
It should be noted that the UK government cautions against children under two – or anyone who cannot use a mask without assistance, or who has breathing difficulties while wearing a mask – from wearing them.
In any case, even if masks are implemented – and accepted – more widely, they do not cover a key area for infection – the eyes.