A Face Mask With A Straw Hole For Sipping Drinks Has Everyone Making The Same Joke

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As lockdown measures are eased, and we all start heading back into the wide world, there's a growing acceptance that we're going to have to do it while wearing face masks, to protect ourselves and others.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is already in short supply around the world, and it's important not to add to the problem. So people have been attempting to create their own at home (here's a tutorial on how to make a government-approved mask) and figuring out what's the most effective from the materials available.

There have been innovations in both directions. One student created a mask that helps the hearing-impaired and deaf community by allowing lips to be seen and read.

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In the other direction, there's this. It's fair to say not everybody has quite grasped what face masks are for, or how they prevent the spread.

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There have also been concept designs for protective face coverings that have been a little more "fashionable". One that's caught everyone's eye over the last few days is by a designer that created masks with a "drinking hole" to sip drinks with.

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Created by New Orleans-based artist Ellen Macomber, the face covering look undeniably more fashionable than a typical surgical mask. However, people think they've spotted something of a design flaw with this one, that has everyone making the same joke.

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Though the designer says they've sold well on her website, the masks have not been popular on social media, with many people expressing disdain at the "PPE", which look like they could have been made by the creators of the Death Star.

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Though they're right that any hole in a mask increases the risk of spread of infection, Macomber makes it clear on her website that they "DO NOT PROTECT YOU FROM COVID 19. Fabric face masks of any kind whether there is a drinking hole or not, only protect other people from your spray."

Macomber said the masks are designed to "minimize spray admitted [sic] when social distancing," though admits hospital-grade masks are more useful than her own. The current advice from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding face masks can be found here, and unsurprisingly does not include a recommendation for drinking holes.

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