As the rest of the world works together in flattening the curve due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, several cities and countries have imposed precautionary measures to ensure public safety. These new guidelines will define what the new normal will be for the time being — and it includes wearing masks in public.
Wearing masks is now increasingly becoming a global Mask Movement where everyone is called to act. Companies, known personalities, and governments all over the world are enjoining everyone to be responsible for wearing masks in public. Online campaigns rallying for people to wear masks have gone viral. What covers up most people’s faces is now an act of solidarity — for friends, families, and neighbors, essential workers, and frontliners.
The Philippines, which currently holds the highest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia, has also followed suit when the government recently imposed wearing of masks in public.
Recent studies have shown that while masks may not totally prevent transmission of the virus, it aids in reducing it especially after asymptomatic cases have been confirmed in different parts of the world. Coupled with other acts like social distancing, frequent handwashing, and staying at home, wearing masks can help save lives.
People and organizations are doing it not just for themselves, but for others too.
Local conglomerates, like LBC Group of Companies for example, are helping advocate for wearing reusable masks in public. With most of its employees acting as frontliners by delivering essential goods to households, wearing masks is not just a mandatory — but also a welcome act of being one with the Filipinos in flattening the curve. Its employees nationwide join the new normal and wear masks. In just a sheer number of days, the company was able to mobilize its 13,000-strong workforce to help save not just themselves but also, other people.
Creativity is also in action. While personal protective equipment and surgical masks are reserved for medical frontliners, people found a way to create their own: from bra masks to homemade masks made from old fabrics. Online businesses, like swimwear shop Pearlypop Swimwear, have also found ways to be creative by reinventing its product line and starting to sell reusable masks for shipping. Celebrities are on the frontlines of the movement too using their influence to educate the public about the importance of wearing masks. Filipino personalities like Iza Calzado, Tweetie de Leon, and Tim Yap have challenged friends and families to support the movement while Hollywood actress Sophia Bush hit close to home by sharing who she’s masking for. These are just some of the examples of how wearing masks have now become more than just a call for safety, but a call for solidarity too.