When the pandemic first swept across the country, we were told we didn’t need masks. That because of a lack of supplies, all medical-grade personal protective equipment should be reserved for front-line workers who were meeting the virus head-on. But at the beginning of April, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first recommended that we all cover our faces, people scrambled to get their hands on face masks of their own, which continued to be in short supply.
Suddenly, Instagram feeds were filled with ads for fashionable and clever face masks from custom clothing companies like Threadless and Zazzle. Apparel shops like Old Navy began selling masks, too. Those who couldn’t find masks in stock, or who didn’t want to wait for them to arrive (estimates often showed that masks would take weeks to be shipped out), began making their own. The internet abounded with face mask-related tips: how to make them more comfortable on the ears; how to avoid foggy glasses; how to make a mask without ever picking up a sewing needle.
Etsy noticed a rise in searches for face masks on their site. They encouraged Etsy sellers to pivot in order to fill this growing need.
And thank god for that, because there’s nothing that says “thank you for being a friend and wearing a face mask” like a mask emblazoned with cartoon images of the Golden Girls, surrounding the words, “Thank you for staying home!”
You can get this Golden Girls mask from Etsy seller CoolBedding for $19.68:
And we love this super cute blue ombre mask from Etsy seller SewCr8iveBoutique ($16). “Stay Golden” it says, with adorable illustrations of Rose, Dorothy, Blanche and Sophia on poly with a cotton backing:
The same seller also has this sunset-hued ombre mask, also for $16, with a picture of Dorothy wearing a face mask (how meta!). “Bea safe & stay golden,” it says. Teehee.
And there are plenty more where those came from.
Of course, it should be made clear that the masks people can purchase from Etsy and most other sellers are not medical-grade masks. But while wearing a cloth mask won’t necessarily prevent you from contracting the coronavirus, it can keep you from spreading the virus to others. It does this by reducing the number of respiratory droplets you expel into the air. Which means that using masks like these can be key in slowing down the spread of the virus, especially when so many people are asymptomatic.
And as long as we’re donning masks, why not wear one that makes the people around us smile?
The more we can embrace the wearing of face masks, normalizing their use, the safer we’ll be.
Which “Golden Girls” face mask is your fave?
This story originally appeared on Simplemost. Checkout Simplemost for other great tips and ideas to make the most out of life.