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Covidstyle: How to choose the right mask for the right occasion

The countdown to bumwipe rationing starts here. Corona’s back baby, and it’s pissed off.

Most people with the ability to read recognise that the UK Government’s response has been shocking from the get-go. Words like inept, bumbling, even idiotic, don’t begin capture the sheer scale of the horrorshow.

We’ve had: ‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’. Then: ‘Stay alert, control the virus, save lives’. Then: ‘Hands, face, space.’ And, because Boris assumes most of the population can’t count past three, come Monday we’ll have a new ‘Three Tier system’.

Let’s be frank. By this point everyone’s confused. Some stay locked in. Some occasionally nip to the corner shop. And then there’s everyone else.

You can get a good sense of ‘everyone else’ from the vox pops on your local news. “There are too many people out shopping”, moans the woman out shopping. No sense of irony, completely stoney faced; it’s remarkable. Our nation of complainers have finally turned on themselves. Then you’ve got your textbook angry Englander. Brainwashed by decades of tabloid abuse, this ruddy-faced genius stares the camera down and barks about how we should, “forget the whole thing and just bloody get on with it.” Even as these respiratory droplets of bullshit hang in the air, he’s already thinking where his next can of Skol Super’s coming from. We’re not talking Mensa members here.

Within the fecal matter of our societal prolapse there remains the humble mask. A simple cotton symbol of right-thinking decency. A badge of honour for anyone with a conscience. Of course we’re bored of them, but they’re essential and they’re not going anywhere. So it’s only right and proper that the more sartorially minded might give some thought to the mask. In particular which style is right for which occasion? You wouldn’t wear a tuxedo to a brunch. So it follows, a man of menswear might want access to a range of masks to reflect both circumstance and mood.

The au natural

Perfect for a socially distanced trip to the garden centre. Navy spotted backdrop, embroidered daisies: it’s a look that says I’ve had my (chloro)fill of the virus so stay back and keep your succulents to yourself. This mask is from the international house of HandmadeByShajia via Etsy and accessorised with a farmer-style Needles hat for a touch of agricultural credibility.



Lord of the fun pub

No positive-sense single-stranded RNA virus should get between a dude and his pint. Unless it does and you die. But that’d massively inconvenient as there are always sleeves of lager to swill, fags to smoke and ladies to pretend you’re not looking at. This nightlife number by Studio Nicholson is ideal for an evening under the malfunctioning heat lamps. The subtle logo says you’re a bro in the know, even if, like me, you’ve accidentally worn it upside down.



The artisanal

Any clothesman within spitting distance of a Singer has a duty to try to make a mask. I made this mask myself. Which is why it doesn’t fit properly and ripples like a squashed beer belly. Nevertheless, there is an appealing symmetry when wearing it to perform some home DIY. Whether your finished paintwork has hairs in it, or your floating shelves take the plaster board off, you’re doing it all in a mask you made yourself. Which may seem meaningless to you. But that’s only because it is.


Dr Buzzzzz

If coronavirus has taught us anything, it’s that we’re all heroes. Not proper Avenger league superheroes. More like the weird, z-list heroes from the pages of dusty forgotten comics. But make no mistake, you are a hero. Whether working on the frontline, helping a neighbour with their shopping, or, like me, hiding indoors watching Escape to the Country while trying to suck Apricot Fromage Frais through a straw.

My chosen superhero alter ego is Dr Buzzzzz. I don’t so much have the powers of a bee, more the temperament. I can’t fly and I can’t sting, but I do lazily bob about making a sustained moaning noise while generally getting fatter and hairier. My costume is from another Etsy atelier, this time OlaScraps. I should also say, I do like honey, especially on a crumpet.


Strictly Business

We’ve all got to work for a living so you’re going to need a business mask. Simple navy cotton, no frills, just business. It could be anything from a Zoom call with a coffee and a Jammy Dodger, to a Zoom call with a tea and a saucer of Party Rings, business must be done. And it will be. So Amazon-yourself a plain mask immediately and begin businessing. Haven’t got a job? That’s no excuse. Old and infirm? Stop whining and do some fucking business. Boris demands a future of growth and prosperity, so get out there and make it happen you lazy twat.


The ‘we’re all fucked’

It may be your duty to wear a bit of cotton over your schnoz, but you have to wonder if it’s going to be enough? We’ve got the plague, the climate, the economy, China on the rise, Putin’s subterfuge, a liar for a PM, a lunatic in the White House and I suspect I’m being stalked by Zoltan Hound of Dracula. Surely Strictly won’t work without a proper studio audience? How hot can hot sauce actually get? How small can they make a Mars before it’s actually a Mars Mini? It’s all too much. But don’t worry, I’m wearing a mask with ‘Global Citizen’ on it. That’ll make it all better.


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