Many people around the world now wear masks, covers for their nose and mouth, when they go out in public. You see masks on people walking their dogs, buying food, riding bicycles and working at their jobs.
In many places the masks are required by law as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. But commercial masks are in short supply. Most people agree that those rare objects should go to health care professionals and others on the so-called front lines of the fight against coronavirus.
So, mask-making has gotten more personal for the rest of us and more creative in design, as a result. It seems masks are becoming the fashion statement of 2020.
The online news media site Insider recently published photos of 17 of the most creative masks it found around the world. Many of the mask makers are artists, but not all. The photos include a knitted piece of pink and red from Icelandic-based cloth artist, Ýrúrarí. It is a large mask made to look like a big mouth with a long pink tongue hanging out.
The report also shows a smart design from leather worker Anissa Mekrabech of France. She created a mask with see-through material over the mouth. It permits people who read lips, because they can not hear, to continue to communicate during the pandemic.
Some of the masks among the photos are beautiful. Some artists made masks covered in shiny, colorful jewels or mirror-like material. Another uses paint to create bright pictures on paper masks. A few of the masks are made of plastic and other waste material found on the street. One clothing designer even made a special mask to go with wedding clothes.