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The Thread: Face Masks Are Taking Over the Zeitgeist

Are face masks a health precaution or a fashion statement? Or, perhaps, both?

Coronavirus has spawned some bizarre social media behavior.

Face masks have taken over the zeitgeist, with influencers wearing the protective coverings as a health precaution — or fashion statement? Or, perhaps, both?

Goop founder Gwyneth Paltrow, model Bella Hadid, shoe designer Amina Muaddi and YouTuber Logan Paul have all shared Instagram posts of themselves in masks, though Paul’s was the most extreme. The controversial YouTuber seemed to be poking fun at COVID-19 — which has killed more than 3,300 people, according to the latest press reports — while wearing a gas mask, captioning his post, “f–k the corona virus [sic].”

Face masks are in demand due to the coronavirus outbreak, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that only those who show symptoms — and not those who are well — should wear face masks to prevent the virus from spreading, according to its web site. Masks, it seems, are not enough to keep one from contracting the virus. A better option: washing one’s hands.

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