Masked: L.A. Faces Pandemic With Personalized Protection (Slideshow)

(Vlada Strange) (Sarah Elizabeth Graves) (Kasia Szarek) (Maria Stevenson Laster) (Daryl King) (Jaki Nelson) (Duane Coldren) (Jess Hoff Lars) (Steffie Nelson) (Kevin Preston)(Stephanie Rowe) (Steve Little) (Lilly Moon) (Josi Kat Mann)(Y-Que Tarding Post)(Valeri Jinxy Abrego) (Lisa Boyle)(Jack Nice) (Georgette Mastikian) (Dan Heck) (Rebecca Jane)(Y-Que Trading Post)(Jeanine Lafond) (Deb Vartabedian) (Roy Jurgens) (Joshua Berry) (Phadra Norvick) (Skum Love) (Megan Bacon Duffy)(Y-Que Trading Post) (Jeremy Sandeen) (Lenora Claire)(Michelle Lamour) (Y-Que Trading Post)

To mask or not to mask? That is the question right now. The medical community and the CDC had been saying they were pointless to protect ourselves against catching the novel coronavirus for the last several weeks, but the past few days we’ve started to hear divergent opinions. As experts learn more about Covid-19 and how it spreads it seems that barriers might be best when we have to venture out into the world right now, even if they are just about making us all more conscious not to touch our faces.

Though the World Health Organization seems to be standing behind its recommendation to only to wear a mask if you are sick or caring for someone who is sick, a better safe than sorry approach is more than understandable for many at risk citizens, especially the elderly and immuno-compromised.

Yes, the medical industry needs masks and nobody should be hoarding bunches when they desperately need them.  Still, no one should be judged for how they choose to protect themselves- and others- right now. Also, it should be noted that some hospitals such as Kaiser do not accept donations from the public.

In an interview with NPR on Monday, CDC Director Robert Redfield said that the agency is taking another look at the data around mask use by the general public for protection. Meanwhile, the venerable Dr. Anthony Fauci said it was a topic of discussion for the White House Task Force today as well.

We all know the best way to avoid catching this deadly virus is sheltering at home but when we must leave the house, wearing masks -right now anyway- is a personal decision. For many it also reflects personal style; this is L.A. after all. From apocalyptic Burning Man-style head gear to bandito-ish bandanas to shades and hoodie combos to handmade cotton masks in colorful prints and even touting political affiliations, stylish PPE is a thing right now, and of course, we hope it’s a temporary one. In any case, these fun face coverings bring smiles at a time when they are few and far between.


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