Face Masks - Now The World’s Most Desirable Commodity?
At the beginning of this year, had you ever worn a facemask? Or even considered wearing one?
While fashions and fads come and go throughout the years, it’s hard to imagine that the world has ever seen faster growth in demand for any item of clothing than the humble facemask.
The coronavirus has indeed changed all of our lives since it began spreading across the globe. Not so long ago, face masks were a relatively cheap commodity, used mainly by health care specialist teams, or factory workers, construction workers, and miners.
Just a few months on, there must be few people on the planet who have not heard of or considered using a face mask. The pandemic causes such a risk to life that people are desperate for any tools that might protect them against it.
Let’s explore the background to the virus, and why face masks are so important at this time.
The coronavirus is spread both through the air and on surfaces, from someone infected by the virus. Whilst we know this, we still have not been able to contain the rapid spread of the disease either locally, nationally, or globally.
This is because, in common with most viruses, coronavirus has an incubation period, which is the period of time between somebody being exposed to and contracting the disease, and then showing first symptoms.
Spreading the Virus
Coronavirus incubation appears to range anywhere from 2 to 14 days, or even more, so an infected person may be spreading the disease for weeks without knowing they have it.
Therefore, people with no symptoms or very mild symptoms can spread coronavirus widely, to anyone and any place that they come into contact with. This is one of the driving reasons behind the global pandemic and the cause of the pace of the spread.
Enter Face Masks
As the world woke up to the threat of the virus, populations across the globe began searching for ways to avoid contracting the disease. Along with gloves, face masks become the centre of this search.
Between January and May 2020, online searches using the words ‘face’ and ‘mask’ rocketed by 10s of 1000s of percent.
Huge numbers of companies and organisations pivoted their manufacturing processes or used any available tools to start production of face masks. From Fiat Chrysler to Gucci, to schools and colleges, to individual adults and children, efforts were turned to support the fight against the virus.
In our next blog, we’ll look at how masks can protect against coronavirus.