Monday 21 September, 2020

PHOTOS: Jamaicans get creative with coronavirus face masks

A man shows off his 'peace sign' face masks in Kingston. The face coverings have become a fashion statement amid the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

A man shows off his 'peace sign' face masks in Kingston. The face coverings have become a fashion statement amid the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo: Marlon Reid)

Once the refuge of the criminal-minded seeking to hide their identity, face masks are now being adopted to reduce the spread of COVID-19, and are quickly becoming an everyday fashion accessory in Jamaica.

The mask is now squarely in the domain of the fashionably aware, and Jamaicans, ever the impresarios of style, are taking 'mask couture'  to a new level of individualistic panache. Whoever said that masks should be rooted in utility has never met your typical, brash, cocksure Jamaican, especially males, who are eager to make that unforgettable first impression.

There are a dizzying array of masks: camouflage, Batman, Spiderman, 'weed masks', skull masks, peace-sign masks, money masks, and as sure as the sun sets in the east, there will be a veritable tsunami of orange and green masks as the political temperature of a General Election heats up.  Some are homemade, repurposed from left-over materials to showcase the island's legendary creativity. 

One wonders to what degree these masks will fully protect you from the virus as most of them don't appear to be medical-grade. The prevailing opinion is that a mask is better than no mask as the experts theorise that they help reduce the spread of the virus by those who are asymptomatic and offer incremental protection against liquid particles.

Given the spreading global COVID-19 crisis, masks will be a wardrobe staple for the foreseeable future. 

So you can look forward to seeing some 'interesting' fashion choices - from the sublime to the ridiculous - 'cause right now, as Jamaicans, "ah mask we ah mask, we ah mask out". See more photos from Loop News photographers Marlon Reid and Shawn Barnes in the slider below.

-- Claude Mills 

COVID Masks

 

 

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