With face masks becoming a daily necessity, manufacturers started looking for ways how to make them a bit more... visually appealing. One of the things they've come up with is custom design. Numerous sellers are now offering buyers to create the looks of their face coverings, whether it's a Batman logo or a picture of the Mona Lisa.
Trying to make use of the opportunity, Cameron Mattis from New York City wanted to print a photo of the lower portion of his face, making the mask sort of blend in. However, not everything went according to the plan.
"The good news is my custom facemask arrived," he wrote on Twitter, uploading a picture of himself trying on the purchase. "The bad news is that they printed my face 20% too large."
The tweet instantly went viral, generating over 560K likes and 2.1K comments, many of which are photos of people with face mask problems of their own. Who knew social distancing could be this fun.
Cameron, who works at a tech startup that helps people create and sell online courses on their own websites, said that things have been pretty crazy in NYC, but he thinks the situation is starting to get better.
"I've been wearing masks in public for a few months. I take it seriously and mostly just stay in my apartment," he told Bored Panda. "I'm able to easily work remotely and there are tons of grocery and food deliveries in NYC. Typically, I go for neighborhood walks in the evening or will go to the farmer's market on Sunday, and that's when the mask comes out."
"Personalized face masks, great idea!!! Not"
Most of the time, he used an N95 mask. Especially when everything was at its worst. But eventually, he switched to the light blue disposables, and then this one.
"I saw pictures of [a custom face mask] on Twitter and thought it looked pretty funny, so I [contacted] the person posting them and asked where he got it. He said I could order through him, and a few weeks and $25 later, the mask showed up at my door," Cameron explained. "It was pretty funny to look at when you compare it to the picture I sent originally."
However, the comic design didn't stop Cameron from actually using the mask. And it paid off. "I've been wearing it for the past two weeks, and have gotten some great reactions. One person walked up to me angrily -- I could tell from the look in her eyes that she was going to admonish me for not wearing a mask. Then, as she got within a few feet, she was able to figure out what was going on and her face went from angry to super confused. There are definitely lots of smiles and 'great mask!' callouts."
"I was trying to make a mask that looked like my face but this first one didn’t quite work"
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urges people to wear face masks and even has a comprehensive guide on making them at home if you can't get one.
Though the CDC initially said that healthy people shouldn’t wear face masks based on the data it had at the time, the organization has since recommended that everyone wear masks because asymptomatic carriers might otherwise spread the virus without even knowing that they have it.
"Decided to try and get one of those custom face-masks... it didn't turn out so good..."
"Well...that went slightly wrong"