The director of the Wellcome Trust, Sir Jeremy Farrar, has said he believes a vaccine against coronavirus will be available in 2020 and 2021.
"In the last seven months since I have been involved, the progress is absolutely staggering and there are now first generation vaccines, there’s probably five or six of them from the US, from Europe, from China, from Russia that are becoming available," Sir Jeremy told the BBC, adding that there had been huge progress in vaccinology over the last 10 years.
But until we get the COVID-19 vaccine, face masks remain one of the main forms of protection against the coronavirus. So, to make the everyday battle against the pandemic a little more bearable, artists and businesses are introducing custom designs to the face coverings they're selling. And it turns out that a popular choice among them is -- drumroll, please -- cats. Finally, right? What better way to lower our collective stress level than
walking purring around with whiskers on our snouts.
One of the most popular cat face masks is sold on ETSY by Maskles. Craig, the owner of the shop, said their cat design was actually one of the first they did. "We loved the idea of looking like our favorite animal. We took a photo of our gorgeous ginger cat, Hunter, and created the design from there," he told Bored Panda.
Craig said these are pretty much the best fitting masks you can find, and he's not alone on that. The product has a 4.5/5 rating after 1,339 sales, with buyers praising it in their reviews. The mask also has 7 layers of protection and an activated carbon filter and is fully washable and reusable too.
"The cat face mask is our best seller by far, people just love it," Craig said.
What really stands out when you take a look at what the shop offers is their commitment to giving back. "When we started Maskles we didn't want to just do it for the money. It was always with a helping goal in mind, especially when so many people are struggling right now. We're happy to say that our group has donated over £12,500 ($16,425) to the United Kingdom National Health Service and to people who can't afford masks."
Another trendy option is the 'Outgeek Cat Mask', a real helmet in the face-covering market. It also costs about $12 and has been enjoying a 4.4/5 rating on Amazon.
"Works perfect for my side gig as a professional cat burglar," Old Mother Hubbard jokingly wrote after buying it. "I'm sure there are other uses as well but to me, this is the cat's meow."
"I'm having some fun with wearing ... masks, to add a little brightness during the pandemic," buyer AS added. "This one rates 5 stars for cuteness. It also helped me to make a new kitty friend, who had been skittish, but thought this human was less scary with a cat head."
Nancy, a quality analyst at an insurance software company who also sings in a jazz band and would like to be a pinup model, is one of the people who got a cat face mask. She even wore it in front of her own three cats, only they didn't seem to be interested in it as much as all of us. "[They] gave no reaction to the mask when I bought it off ETSY," Nancy told Bored Panda. "Children react mostly to it; they [usually] just stare."
Whichever one you choose, be careful when showing the purchase to your actual cat. They can be quite overdramatic, so god knows what their reaction might be.