The coronavirus hasn’t gone anywhere, folks, so much so that face masks will be compulsory in English shops as of Friday, July 24 (face coverings are already mandatory on public transport and have been in shops in Scotland since July 10).
Wearing a face covering helps slow the spread of the coronavirus, so there’s no point grumbling about wearing one if it means you can keep crate-digging in your local vinyl shop. And if you don’t wear a face mask in shops in England as of July 24, you could be fined £100 – and it's a £60 fine if you're in Scotland.
Coronavirus is serious as hell. So not wearing a face mask when told to is like AC/DC trying to pass off Fly On The Wall as one of their best albums. Just… hell no. Wear the damn mask.
Where to buy face masks online:
- Buy rock n roll face masks at EMP
- Buy Star Wars and Marvel face masks at Disney
- Buy fabric face masks at Amazon
- Buy disposable face masks at Amazon
- Buy face masks at Vistaprint
- Buy face masks at Boots
- Buy face masks at Etsy
- Buy face masks at Not On The High Street
Look, what we don’t know about music you could write on the back of a stamp. But when it comes to the coronavirus, we’re just as in the dark as you. That’s why we’re following all official UK government coronavirus advice, and have spoken to the Health Editor of one of our sister websites to give us the low-down on face masks.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that COVID-19 mainly spreads from person-to-person through respiratory droplets when a person coughs, sneezes or talks,” says Claire Davies, Health Editor of Top Ten Reviews.
“As a doctor recently explained, face masks ‘are worn for the benefit of others, in that they catch our coughs and sneezes and stop the viral-laden droplets within them being passed onto surfaces or other people.’ That’s because some of us might be asymptomatic – we’re infected with COVID-19 but don’t display symptoms – or pre-symptomatic, so wearing a mask helps protect those around us, especially the vulnerable.”
The most rock'n'roll face masks online right now
Vampire Fangs Face Mask With Filter Pocket | £12.44 at Etsy
This reusable fabric face mask with ear loops has that all-important filter pocket, into which you can place a disposable filter material of your own or a pre-made filter – you can buy face mask filters at Amazon and Vistaprint, among other retailers. You can throw this mask in with your normal laundry on a hot wash setting. View Deal
Pink Floyd Face Mask | £12.99 at Amazon
This mask won’t feel as soft as the cotton job above, but surely it’s a must for Floyd fans? It also boasts a dedicated filter pocket, and has adjustable ear loops to achieve a better fit. Even better, it has a nose clip for a secure fit. It'll need washing regularly, so best draft in a couple to have on rotation.View Deal
Black Sabbath Face Mask | £9.12 at Etsy
Available in adults and kids face mask sizes, and crafted from two layers of breathable cotton fabric. You’ll need to add your own filter material with this face mask. Take note of the shipping time on this one – a couple of weeks, so you may want to grab an alternative face mask in the meantime.View Deal
Lightning Bolt Kids Face Mask | £13 at Vistaprint
Some of us at Louder are already wearing the adult face masks sold at Vistaprint and can confirm they’re breathable and comfy as hell. Yes, we said that about a face mask. This lightning bolt print is for the kids only (goddamn it), but there plenty of other cool adult face masks on offer. They have a moldable nose bridge, filter pocket and adjustable ear loops. And yeah, they’re super-soft.View Deal
Gojira Face Mask | £9.99 at EMP
We can’t tell if this face mask has a dedicated filter pocket or not, so if you buy it, you may have to layer a filter inside of the mask and position it against your skin. Other than that, it’s made of soft cotton with elasticated straps, and is safe for washing. Don’t fancy the skull? We also like this twin-pack of plain black fabric face masks, made with two layers of high-thread count cotton. View Deal
Leopard Print Face Mask | £18 at Not On The High Street
Washable face masks needn’t be boring, as this rockabilly cotton face mask proves. The face covering is fitted around the nose and chin, with an expandable pleat design for a more comfy fit. Suitable for machine washing, and ideally you'll let it dry in direct sunlight.View Deal
What to look for in a face mask
Not all face masks are created equal. In fact, some offer about as much protection as that 20-year-old condom languishing in the bottom of your dad’s wallet.
“According to the CDC, face masks should use multiple layers of breathable fabric,” says Davies. “In a recent face mask materials study at Northeastern University, Loretta Fernandez, an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, explained that, ‘Any sort of filtering that people can use in their masks could be highly protective. The idea is to create an efficient series of layers with bends within the fabric that make it harder for the virus to have a straight shot at a person’s nose.’”
And no, we’re not talking cigarette filters. “You can buy ready-made PM2.5 face mask filters,” explains Davies, “though in that same study, researchers found that toilet paper and coffee filters were effective, as long as the material is safe to breathe.
“If you’re using fabric face masks with a filter pocket, dispose of the filter after each use before washing your mask. And remember, it’s safe to wash fabric masks with your regular laundry as long as you use a hot wash setting.”
When shopping for face masks online, look for ones that:
- Fit snugly against the face without impeding breathing
- Have moldable nose bridges to achieve a better fit
- Use multiple layers of breathable fabric
- Can be washed without losing their shape
- With fabric face masks, choose ones with a filter pocket
If you or someone in your household is displaying symptoms indicative of the coronavirus, follow the latest NHS coronavirus advice for self-care and to understand when medical assistance might be needed.