As the quarantine restrictions were starting to lift, I went down Los Angeles Fashion District to see what the re-opening and the “new normal” was like.
I had many impressions of what I was seeing down there including observations of how difficult the long quarantine has made it on the small, and mainly minority owned, businesses in the Fashion District.
But the most obvious difference was in how the face mask dominated the scene. It didn’t matter what type of clothing the store sold (or if they even sold clothing at all), a face mask display was front and center at most all of the shops. There were also a large number of street vendors selling the venerable face mask too.
One men’s fashion store didn’t sell face masks, but they had dressed all of their store mannequins in face masks. It’s become as much of a required fashion accessory as the purse, scarf, hanky, belt or tie.
“Designer” face masks are showing up everywhere. And like the t-shirt, it ”s frequently being used to make political statements.
To many however, the face mask make another statement independent of any text the mask may bear. That is one of a symbol of oppression. It is a constant, and the only (outside of the media and ever present signs demanding we social distance) visual clue that the world is facing a pandemic.
Considerable debate surrounds this as well. Many medical studies have risen, and even the CDC and Dr. Fauci have stated the face mask is not effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19. Yet instead of relaxing the requirements on face masks, cities actually became more strict regarding wearing face masks any time you went outdoors.
Some believe this is simply an effort to keep us all in fear.
I’ll just leave it at that.
See photos after the break…