Face masks become an everyday accessory


Junior Derica Mercer poses in her favorite mask, an all black mask from the medical apparel brand Jaanuu.

Ann Pomeroy, Newtonian Editor-in-Chief

Over the past seven months since COVID-19 first erupted in the United States, Americans have been forced to change their everyday wardrobe to feature a previously unimaginable item of clothing. When entering grocery stores, school buildings, offices and restaurants citizens are asked to wear a facial mask to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. However, a common dilemma that many are faced with is what mask they should wear. 

There are many factors that play a role in deciding what masks are beneficial for one’s health, are fashionable, breathable and overall preventative of the virus. Some prefer the basic surgical mask or CDC approved N95 mask. Others opt for homemade masks or masks given to them or masks sold by specific brands. Freshman Violet Bartley says that her favorite mask comes from the brand Old Navy. 

“My favorite mask to wear to school is just an all black Old Navy mask,” Bartley said. “My mom bought some at the mall and I really like that they are adjustable.”

Before classes resumed in person for the 2020-2021 school year, all USD 373 students were given two all black masks provided and distributed by the school district. This ensured that all students had at least one mask to wear into school since masks are mandated to be worn at all times while in USD 373 buildings. Although the all black masks provided by the school district were the favorite mask of approximately 35% of NHS students surveyed, Bartley voices that she does not prefer the school provided masks.

“The school-provided black masks are funky and they don’t fit my face right,” Bartley said. “[The masks] are really big.”

Approximately 40% of NHS students surveyed say that they prefer to wear surgical masks to school. 

According to Mayo Clinic, surgical masks can be defined as loose fitting disposable masks that protect the wearer’s nose and mouth from contact with droplets, splashes and sprays that may contain germs, although not specifically approved for protection against COVID-19. 

Bartley says that she does not prefer surgical masks because they break easily and are not as comfortable compared to her other options. Junior Derica Mercer agrees with Bartley that the school provided black masks and surgical masks are also not her preferred protection against COVID-19.

“Surgical masks are pretty good at the stop of COVID but they are super wasteful,” Mercer said. “I personally don’t like [the school provided black masks because] they are not thick enough and would stop few particles from passing through.”

Mercer prefers masks from the brand Jaanuu, her favorite being their all black mask. Jaanuu is an antimicrobial-finished medical apparel brand that claims its fabric lasts longer and resists discoloration by bacteria. Depending on the design, their masks are approximately five dollars each and are sold in packs of anywhere from five masks to 10,000 masks.

“My favorite mask is my black Jaanuu mask,” Mercer said. “Someone at my mom’s work had them, they are light and breathable and are safe to wear during COVID. I do not have anything else because it is a hospital apparel brand.”