Behind The Mask: The Ultimate Corona Fashion Guide

As we know, the world has recently been subjected to a brand-new fashion craze. No, I’m not talking about some bizarre outfit you might have seen on TikTok. Right now, the hot item is something that you might even be wearing as you are reading this. That’s right — it’s your mask, you fashion-conscious person! Bet you never realized that you could be chic while simultaneously attempting to remain alive! 

There are numerous factors to take into account when choosing that perfect mask to express the real you. People ask me questions about this all of the time, such as: what mask do I choose? How should I wear it? Or – Tehilla, why do you think you are in any way qualified to answer these questions? 

Luckily for you, I have written a comprehensive guide to mask-wearing. You can trust my opinion for two reasons: 

1.) I wear a mask and am therefore an authority. 

2.) Without meaning to brag, I have read at least THREE articles about the coronavirus on Facebook and only one of them was a Buzzfeed article. 

So let us begin with the first step: selecting what type of mask to wear. There is an extensive variety, each with its pros and cons. 

At the most basic level is Ye Olde Disposable Blue Mask. Once seen only on dentists and Korean tourists, these classics have become the ultimate symbol of resistance to Covid19, because SuperPharm sells them in packs of 50. If you are a conformist, then this is the mask for you. The downside is that these masks have to be replaced fairly often. Women, a good indicator of when it’s time to switch things up is when your lipstick stains become a Rorschach blot on the inside of your mask. 

If you want to take it up a notch, you might want to try a brand name mask. Moments after the mask-wearing edict came out, stalls sprung up everywhere sporting Nike, Puma, and Adidas masks. Wearing a mask from a popular fitness brand is the perfect way to shamelessly pretend to be fit, despite having spent three months on the couch eating your way through the lockdown. I confess that I too was swept up in this excitement. Tired of my boring blue mask (see above), I bought a red Nike mask which turned out to be a sleep mask. It was held together by an utterly ineffective elastic string that promptly snapped off as soon as I tried it on. I could barely fit it across my nose and went back to my makeup-stained blue mask (again, see above). 

Then there are those people (and we all know at least one ) who wear masks that have been scrupulously selected to color-coordinate with their clothing. I have witnessed this with my own eyes. “We may be in Armageddon, but that’s no reason not to wear a mask that doesn’t match our shoes,” they seem to be saying. You just know that they keep potpourri in their Miklat (bomb shelter). These are the sort who would voluntarily wear deodorant in bidud. Such people should be snubbed at social events (in theory, if social events were allowed). In the meantime, it is acceptable to cough on these members of society (just kidding)! 

Then there is my favorite. The latest thing for couples getting engaged or married during this festive pandemic season is for the entire bridal party to wear masks with the bride and groom’s faces on them. This is something known as “shticky,” which is a Yiddish term for, ‘this will never be worn out of the house.’ As most people consider it odd to walk in public with a picture of a random couple on their face, these masks will likely accumulate in your house until you have no place left to sit down. Rather, do as I do: dispose of your monogrammed bridesmaid mask when nobody is looking. Just make sure that you wait until after the chuppah has finished. 

Now that you have chosen your mask, there are a variety of sophisticated methods to wear it. The following are all actual ways that I have seen people wear masks and they are all (warning warning warning, every single one of these ways has been strictly denounced by Misrad Habriyut as being completely ineffective-Editor) hilarious. 

The Greasers – What the leather jacket symbolized in our parents’ time, evolved into this style of mask today. Right now, in addition to baggy pants, misspelled English t-shirts, and cigarettes, the bad boys are wearing their masks at the back of their heads. I’m not making this up. It is as if they graciously concurred to hook their masks around their ears but decided that wearing them in front of their faces was way too old-school. When they finally do a remake of Grease, if we still have this pandemic, I have no doubt that John Travolta and the T-Birds will perform a dance number with masks at the back of their heads, 

The Kate Middleton – This one is very common with older Israeli men. They wear their masks perched daintily on their heads like a little hat, sort of like a middle-aged woman attending a bar mitzvah. While completely ineffective against the spread of corona, this modus operandi provides wonderful shade for one’s bald patch. 

The Nicotine Patch – As popularized by Makolet owners, this savvy technique involves strapping your mask to your arm and hoping that something that will fight the virus will flow through your veins. This is an excellent way to prevent Corona, purely because Corona will be too amused to do anything. 

The Plain Stupid – Back in May (we’re in August now, in case you lost track), a woman from Kentucky made national headlines when she cleverly cut a hole in her mask ‘to make it easier to breathe.’ Media outlets across the political spectrum briefly put aside their differences to marvel at the stupidity of the human race. 

The Art Student Goatee – Perhaps the most popular method: cleverly wearing your mask so that it barely covers your chin. This is the perfect way to tell judgmental people, ‘What do you want from me? I’m wearing the mask for gosh sakes.’ Just remember to quickly slide it back over your nose when the police drive by! 

Well, there you have it. With this handy guide, you will be the envy of all your friends on your next Zoom call. Of course, this guide is far from perfect and I welcome feedback. If you see a girl in the streets of Jerusalem wearing a red Nike eye mask that barely covers her face, I hope that you will say hello and that we can have a thoughtful, honest discussion about expressing individuality in a time of such uncertainty (obviously, this invitation does not extend to the potpourri Miklat people). You can even tell me that making fun of such a sensitive issue is inappropriate. Quite frankly, you can say whatever you wish — I probably won’t be able to hear you through your mask. 

Unless, of course, you made a hole in it. 

About the Author
Tehilla Katz made aliya from South Africa and is currently doing her year of national service. When she's not weightlifting or writing, she spends her time pretending she speaks more Hebrew than she does. (Fooling absolutely no-one.)
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