Back in the good old days of early March 2020, I bumped into a fellow parent on the school run, I’d recently helped his partner Gloria out with a logo design for her crochet business and after chatting for a bit he gave me a couple of hand-made face masks that she’d recently started making. They looked really stylish with pleats and little buttons sewed on for decoration. At the time I wasn’t entirely convinced how a loose fitting cotton mask was going to be much use against a microbe. Government advise at the time was to sing happy birthday while washing your hands vigorously and then make preparation to become infected in order to add to the communal ‘herd immunity’.
Fast forward a couple of weeks and with things changing rapidly and looking bleaker by the day, I came across one of those videos doing the rounds on social media https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZtEX2-n2Hc explaining how the Czech Republic has approached the pandemic by making it compulsory to wear masks outside the home which seemed to be slowing the spread. It was then that the penny dropped. Wearing a home-made mask isn’t going to protect you so much from the virus but everyone else – in case you’ve picked it up and are going about your business blissfully unaware spluttering out the pox. It might also go some way to explaining the footage in China at the beginning of the outbreak showing police coming down hard on members of the public out and about not wearing a mask. They weren’t concerned for the well being of the individual but the collective population as a whole. At time of writing the government still seems content to be pushing its bluff and bluster policy of promising to ramp-up testing, getting someone to stand in front of a lectern flanked by a couple of boffins, avoid awkward questions and look a bit solemn every day. With current daily mortality rates spiralling upwards though, the government might be quickly forced to change its half-arsed approach and enforce mandatory mask wearing in public in lieu of having ‘forgotten’ to acquire any PPE, test kits or ventilators. We’ve pretty much accepted lockdowns as a necessary means to an end, so the wearing of a mask isn’t going to be any more of an interruption or infringement on liberty.
The problem then arises of supply. Where can you get hold of a mask when even frontline healthcare workers can’t lay there hands on any? Well, thankfully containing germs from your own mouth doesn’t require expensive kit and a quick search on google brings up lots of DIY solutions but if you’re too lazy for that and want to help out a small business make ends meet in these uncertain times, then get in touch with Gloria e: firstname.lastname@example.org https://www.instagram.com/thehappycrochetdesignuk/ you’d be doing her any the rest of the population a favour.