Some young men from Japan came up with a creative solution as the demand for surgical face masks grows due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. They proudly wore panties on their faces in a video shared on Twitch.
First, keep in mind; medical experts have urged people to stop buying masks in general as the demand for those who are sick or working in healthcare grows.
Twitch streamer Cjaysan recently shared his experience of Japanese nightlife in Osaka and began interviewing passing shoppers when two guys approached wearing the panties. The men proudly showed him their “coronavirus masks” in yellow and purple. One of the men then proceeded to take a smoke, pushing the panties aside.
“Where did you get that?” asked Cjay. “Is that from your girlfriend?”
“No. No girlfriend,” the man replied.
“Is that your mask?” asked Cjay.
Then they explained they purchased the panties to protect against coronavirus. Cjay replied, “I need to get one too.” However, in a more recent video, he appears wearing a white surgical face mask rather than panties.
So, can a fabric mask help?
Scientists from the University of Cambridge suggest the help from a fabric mask would be minimal at best. In the case of coronavirus, the fabric can’t filter out particles as small as a virus. The researchers suggest that as a last resort, it may be better than nothing. However, cloth masks can also increase your risk of infection since they trap moisture and contaminants.
Denise McPherson, a Nurse Practitioner at Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care, had this to say about fabric masks:
“Handkerchiefs, bandannas, and other articles of clothing do not have the barriers needed to protect someone from spreading illness or from contracting illness.”
What about surgical masks?
The World Health Organization says wearing surgical face masks may be a good idea in a couple of cases: If you take care of someone who is sick or if you are sick to help prevent spreading the disease. Similarly, the CDC recommended anyone exhibiting symptoms should wear a mask and call their doctor before visiting their office or hospital.
The WHO also states:
- Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
- If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.
Authorities in Wuhan, China, where the virus started, made it mandatory for the public and officials to wear face masks in public places. People who don’t wear masks could face punishment.
Meanwhile, the CDC was prompted to loosen recommendations for masks in the U.S. due to shortages of N95 filter masks. As a solution, they suggest surgical face masks can make an “acceptable alternative.” However, as we’ve seen the demand is causing shortages that affect healthcare workers, putting them at even higher risk.
Instead of buying masks, see some effective ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services below:
— HHS.gov (@HHSGov) March 5, 2020
See more information on the WHO’s website and in the video below:
Featured image: Screenshot via Twitch