In 2020 and now 2021, owning and wearing a facemask became the norm for mostly everyone across the world. Each person has a different preference when it comes to the mask they prefer - some keep it plain and simple, and others are starting to use it as an accessory to show off their personal style. Others simply use a disposable mask. But what are the real costs, literally and figuratively, of owning a mask? Not only can we not see smiles, wearing and using particular masks have other impacts that we might not have considered before.
What are all the real costs of owning a mask?
Here are some of the things you might not have thought about when it comes to the real costs of owning a mask, from the amount that you’re spending to the impact on the environment.
Disposable masks and the environment
So, just how bad are disposable masks for the environment? In short, the answer is: they’re bad. It’s projected that about 75% of disposable masks used during the pandemic will either end up in landfills, or in the ocean. Obviously, this is going to cause environmental damage, but it’s also estimated that it will cost industries like fisheries and tourism about $40 billion. That’s not just masks, either - that’s other pandemic-related equipment.
Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, these problems were already a strain on our environment. But with the increased amount of plastic production and waste, the issue is being exacerbated. That’s why it’s recommended that we wear reusable masks that aren’t going to end up floating in our seas or sitting in a landfill, and if you must wear a disposable mask to dispose of it properly.
How much are you paying to wear a mask?
We already have enough monthly bills, but you might not have considered that wearing a face mask is actually adding to your list of them. In 2020, one poll recorded that users were not willing to pay more than $3 for a face mask, with $1 being the price that they would most prefer. This poll was taken in terms of reusable masks - others were ranging the price of masks that could be used again anywhere from $10 to $30.
If you continue to use reusable masks and pay $1 each time that you do, coupled with how much you wear a mask and go into public, you could be looking at spending anywhere from $10-$20 every month on masks alone. If you choose to go the route where you’re using a reusable mask, you’ll likely end up paying less, but still have probably purchased multiple masks, bumping that price point overall from about $30-60, depending on the mask that you choose.
Are you washing your face mask properly?
If you don’t wash your face mask properly, and often, you’re exposing yourself to unseen dangers. If you’re not using a disposable mask, and you’re wearing a mask that you wear often, it needs to be cleaned every day, or even after every use.
To wash your mask, you can simply throw it in the laundry and wash it like you’re washing the rest of your clothes. You might also decide to wash the mask by hand using hand soap or a safe bleach solution. John Hopkins recommends that the mask be scrubbed for at least twenty seconds to ensure that all the bacteria is removed.
As you might have experienced while wearing your face masks, wearing them can trap sweat and moisture inside. When you don’t wash your mask after using it, bacteria and germs build up inside the fabric, and can even clog pores and cause trouble for your skin. Soft masks hold bacteria and cause dryness, which is why thinking about getting an alternative mask, like a clear mask, is a good option.
Coronavirus is also able to live on surfaces, so not washing your mask can also ironically put you more at risk for the virus. Again, luckily it can be killed with a good wash.
All the other costs of owning a mask
There are many costs to owning a mask, including communication barriers, stunted growth in child development, and plain old discomfort. That’s why you need to invest in the best mask possible. If you’re experiencing discomfort or a high cost of owning a mask, it’s likely because you haven’t found the right one.
The Jelli mask is a transparent mask that you’re only going to need one of, because it serves every purpose for what you’re missing with disposable or uncomfortable masks. It also addresses a serious cost of owning a mask: a communication barrier with not only those who are hard of hearing, but with everyone who looks to your face to better understand the way that you are expressing emotion.
The Jelli mask is a clear mask that uses a food grade polycarbonate unibody, and has vents on the cheeks and below the chin. These vents allow for breathability, and reduce exposure to droplets. When the mask needs to be cleaned, it’s easy to sanitize the strategically constructed high transparency grade material. Bring down the real costs of owning a mask by choosing the right mask for you.