It looks like we’re going to be living with Covid 19 &/or other virus mutations for the foreseeable so in this special ‘D’ List – New Things in the World of Disability, we thought we’d look at current and future Personal Protection ideas , starting with masks, now that everyone has had a taste of ‘disability’!

There’s a lot of advice on masks and asking your pharmacist or GP is a good place to start. The government also has guidance and instructions on how to make a mask in this link. However you may want to buy your own and which mask to use is confusing as the government doesn’t want us to buy medical grade masks yet they seem to be the the only versions available. This useful article from the Guardian, as of 8th May, also gives current guidance and shows how to make your own.

1ST Mask Do’s & Don’ts

  • Wash your hands before putting the mask on
  • Wear it tight! Make sure the mask fits tightly, with no gaps between your face and the mask.
  • Assume that the front of the mask is contaminated with the virus. If you accidentally touch the mask while it is on, wash your hands thoroughly afterwards –
  • Remove Using fixings. When you take the mask off, wash your hands first and remove it from the back. Do not touch the front of the mask. keep eyes closed while removing the mask, and re-wash hands.
  • Change your mask when damp. Breathing humidifies the air and will make the mask progressively wetter. Once it is very wet, it will no longer work effectively. Discard in bin or place in washing machine immediately.
  • Don’t put masks on children under the age of two or people suffering from breathing problems
  • Avoid lipstick 
  • Keep it clean: Keep in a carry case or pouch.
  • Pair with small-framed sunglasses: Good face masks tend to sit quite high on the bridge of your nose, making larger sunglasses uncomfortable to wear.
  • Smile with your eyes: Learning to communicate warmth. This is something that’s overlooked is people who lipread and need to see facial expressions (9m with hearing loss in England) and  designers are now looking to create transparent masks. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a source of supply so if anyone knows where you can buy please contact us .

 

2ND Where to Buy

Your local pharmacy should have disposable masks and Amazon has plenty to choose from, if in doubt we’d always recommend not buying cheap! Here’s a selection from Amazon…

If you want high quality, technical masks they are sold out and  available on pre-order such as , Airinum (Swedish Re-Useable, Urban Air Masks £80 ea) and Cambridge Mask. However less expensive is the masks for men at Boohoo Man (£4.20ea) and others like The Chanel mask below, are not made by Chanel but do make a fashion statement. Most of the fashion houses, Burberry, Chanel, Louis Vuitton etc., are making masks for front line staff in their respective countries. Fashion masks may not be PC, especially when there’s a shortage of PPE, but they are becoming more common. People want to express their own style on what will become a necessary accessory. If it adds some levity to the situation it can’t be wrong???

One Italian designer, Elexia Beachwear, has made masks for the beach. A Bikini is now a Trikini!!

 

Japan are ahead of the game when it comes to fashion masks (see the Bra mask from Astumi fashion below) but every site we visited the masks were out of stock. The Lumen mask can be purchased for $95 and allows you to put your own message using internal electronics but this is not a medically approved mask. The Shakunone solid mask is made to order and is made of 100% polyester is water-absorbent, quick-drying, UV-protective.

 

3RD The Future of Masks

As always the ‘D’ List likes to look to the future and here’s what you may expect if these designs get funding.

Designed by Belgian studio WeWantMore, the mask below is not intended to replace clinical face masks — although they do provide some protection. The designers re-use trainers, as ‘more than any other type of shoe, sneakers play a significant role in expressing people’s identity,’ says Ruud Belmans, co-founder at WeWantMore, ‘by dissecting the sneaker into its elemental parts and recreating it as a face mask, we changed its functional role, but the emotional one remains the same. it’s still a way to show the world who you are.’

The Re-Used Sneaker Mask Expresses Who You are
The Re-Used Sneaker Mask Expresses Who You are

Plastique fantastique from Germany, have created the ‘i-sphere’, a transparent spherical mask that protects the whole face. The iconic design is influenced by the ‘science fiction comics of the 50s and the creations of the utopian movements of the 60s’. They even give instructions on how to make.

‘this virus is very democratic: it spreads over the borders, has no preference for gender, social, cultural, or economic status.‘ Say plastique fantastique and this is an open-source project that anyone can ‘produce, develop and improve, in order to protect oneself against the coronavirus’.

Personal air purifying face shield from Toronto-based VYZR technologies, was created by a passionate team of designers and entrepreneurs, in response to ‘the absence of innovative and effective protective personal equipment (PPE) available to the public.’ They’ve understood that it’s not just COVID-19, but all airborne pathogens and environmental hazards, we need protection from. They have created BioVYZR — a consumer-grade, powered air purifying respirator (PAPR) that filters air and shields the user’s personal space.

It gives 360 degrees of protection and once they get funded through an Indiegogo crowdfunding, they will be on sale, you can pre=-order now.

X-hood is a lightweight, comfortable, and disposable face shield from Singapore-based creative agency, stuck design. Made from two flat sheets, it acts as a barrier, offering greater protection than typical surgical face masks. X-hood is designed for a major hospital in singapore as part of the team’s COVID-19 efforts, with the aim of helping contain infectious droplets when patients are being transferred.

 

Another great Covid contribution comes from artist Banksy and his latest mural at Southampton University Hospital says it all and if you know of other great designs let us know here…….

Covid Mural From Banksy
Covid Mural From Banksy

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