Mask on, Mask off. The Future of Face Covers, Conventions & Covid-19

Gundam Face Cover Mask – JTOKUCOSTUMEBy Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)

Interest in fashionable nerdy face masks is now the norm. While they are easier to find in Asia than America, all anyone has to do is look at Soranews for the latest trends or even Etsy to get a customized face wear. Even Kotaku has an article on how these face masks are sparking creativity amongst those who know how. Whether that’s with a solid piece of plastic with a 3D printer or something sewn, are they really needed?

When Disney, Chaosium Games and Inked Gaming is also getting on board, buyers really have to remember these customized face wear products are not medically certified. There’s still a chance of catching covid-19 if these fabric masks are not properly washed. The good is that part of the money made is going into a charity, the bad, they aren’t anything special to make the wearer feel protected.

Any image ranging from Guy Fawkes to Micky Mouse can be silk screened. Unless they are made so filters can be slide into  the product, it will simply not offer a lot of protection. I’d rather wear Darth Vader’s full on helmet and respirator when I have to go out shopping.

Using an 'Alien' Facehugger As a Protective Face Mask

Some of the early designs I rather liked include:

Japanese Gundam Builder Fights Off COVID-19 With His Anime-Inspired Face Masks

Fan Creates ALIEN-Inspired Facehugger Face Mask

3D Printed Darth Vader N95 Mask You Can Print At Home

However, these customs are not without some caveats. Stars and Stripes reports on what masks really work or not in this tongue-in-cheek article.

Should this pandemic last well into next year, a lot of people are going to consider having full on protection when heading to the next convention. We will most likely see more people 100% suited up to protect themselves from foreign air particles. It’s not easy to walk around in an astronaut suit and it will get hot. Most heavy suits have built in fans–a must all cosplayers will reveal–and people in those self-inflating dinosaur suits may well be the norm. Jurassic Park look out!

Out of the huge list of what can be made (a meme popped up recruiting the populace to join the Empire), my favourite choices for protection include:

DIY Iron Man Costume | LoveToKnowThe Rocketeer
Boba Fett
Doctor Doom
Iron Man

The difference between what masks work and what doesn’t is whether the costume includes its own respirator. As we are in the second month of self-isolating, cosplayers have plenty of time to work on and customize their next costume. Regular attendees will have to weigh in on whether attending a nearby convention is a good idea or not. Even if an individual does not catch the virus, they can potentially still become a carrier!. As for the world–until there’s a vaccine, all we can do is wait for a miracle.

Author: Ed Sum

I'm a freelance videographer and entertainment journalist (Absolute Underground Magazine, Two Hungry Blokes, and Otaku no Culture) with a wide range of interests. From archaeology to popular culture to paranormal studies, there's no stone unturned. Digging for the past and embracing "The Future" is my mantra.

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