New Iconic Symbol Of Our Times: Surgical Masks Sign Of People Desperately Trying To Protect Themselves, Dreading Infection
Face masks, the kind that cover the nose and mouth, are synonymous with COVID-19. Manufacturers in China have ramped up efforts to make them, but suppliers say it won't be enough for the near future and that that effectives ones are difficult to produce.
The New York Times:
If there is a symbol of the current confusion and fear, the misinformation and anxiety, generated by the spread of the new coronavirus, it is the surgical face mask. When history looks back on the pandemic of 2020, those white or baby blue rectangles that hide the mouth and nose, turning everyone into a muzzled pelican, will be what we see. The masks began appearing almost immediately after the infection was identified, first in Asia, where masks were already common, and then in Europe. These days they are everywhere. (And nowhere — there is a serious face mask shortage). (Friedman, 3/17)
COVID-19 Has Caused A Shortage Of Face Masks. But They're Surprisingly Hard To Make
China now makes 200 million face masks a day — more than twenty times the amount it made at the start of February. The leap has been spurred by the outbreak of a new coronavirus. The masks include the lightweight ones that people like to wear in the hope of protection against coronavirus as well as the heavy-duty N95 masks used by health-care workers. But that's still not nearly enough to meet local demands as well as global orders. So a scramble is now underway in China. (Feng and Cheng, 3/16)