Mon. May 16th, 2022

It’s 2020, and we’re facing a pandemic. If you live in Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf has recently suggested people wear face masks when going out in public. While N-95 masks are strongly encouraged to be left for health professionals, people have taken to making their own with some interesting creative ideas, ranging from pretty, simple designs to full-on Walking Dead-style apocalypse fashion. 

So, what do some of these face masks look like?

A friend of a family gave WCU alumnus Kelly Baker masks with pretty patterns like this one. The pattern is simple enough; it rocks the zig-zags and pretty stripe colors and gets the job done for fashionable face protection. The idea of having a name sewn into the mask is both fashionable and prevents people from sharing germs.

Personally, I have zero ideas as to who had the idea to make a face mask like the one featured below. But, labeled as a COVID-19 facemask, someone was clearly not too busy on a Saturday morning. I’m getting strong “plague doctor” vibes, personally. Maybe it’s just the creepy mannequin head it’s being modeled on.


Being the nerd that I am, I actually made this face mask for a convention I was planning to go to before it got canceled back in March. The irony is certainly dawning on me, now. When Negan and the Saviors come to town, I’ll at least be ready to join in on the apocalypse parade with the Amazon-ordered plastic spikes I hot-glued onto a black ski mask.

No matter how you choose to don your apocalypse face-mask fashion, keep yourself safe when you’re out in public. Please remember that N95 respirator masks are not recommended to be used by the general public and should be saved for health professionals who are constantly exposed to the virus treating patients with COVID-19. Yes, homemade masks do not offer the same level of protection – but buying N95 masks means that you are denying them to those who need them the most. Mask or no mask, washing your hands frequently and practicing social distancing are the best ways to protect yourself from the virus during these difficult times.

A homemade mask can help you not spread germs if you’re sneezing or coughing. There are a ton of tutorials – like this one – that you can look up online to make your own. While you’re stuck at home, don’t be afraid to add a little personal touch of creativity to your mask — or, be like me, and get ready to bow down to Negan after a healthy bout of apocalyptic warfare.

Sam Walsh is a fourth-year student majoring in special education and English.

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