Gold Face Masks: cost, appropriateness, effectiveness and capacity to protect!!!

Face masks for coronavirus are for protection. Adding a little fashion and humor to these mundane essential items is tolerable but some people especially from India have gone a bit too far. They are making gold face masks for daily use. Health professionals recommend surgical and cloth face masks. But are these gold face masks useful and safe? Besides, why invest such a large amount of money when it is a matter of life and death for many in the world.

Gold Face Masks in India

Almost all countries in the world have mandated use of face masks in public places. Surgical masks, special respirators, and cloth masks are commonly used to protect against the deadly coronavirus. Some have added a bit of fashion and humor here and there to make this mundane essential accessory a little enjoyable to wear.

But there are some in countries like India who have gone a bit too far on the material used to make the face mask. They have got special face masks made of gold and are flaunting it with pride in public.

Shankar Kurade from Pune has made this personal protective equipment of gold weighing 60 grams and worth INR 2.9 lakhs. He said:

“It’s a thin mask with minute holes so that there is no difficulty in breathing. I am not sure whether this mask will be effective,”

Others with similar face masks made of gold

Of course, people are not amused with these gold face masks. Also, a goldsmith in Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, India is making face masks with gold and silver threads. He adds several layers of cloth underneath which can be changed if it tears. One can wash the mask but bending it is a no-no. ANI tweeted about this:

The jeweler states:

“I’m aware that a common man cannot afford to wear these masks, but rich people can use them for royal weddings,”

One face mask of 18-carat gold costs INR 2.75 lakhs.  An Israeli jewelry company named Yvel in Motza near Jerusalem is making a face mask which is gold and diamond-encrusted for a Chinese businessman who is based in the USA. And the price tag is $ 1.5 million. The designer Isaac Levy said:

“The 18-karat white gold mask will be decorated with 3,600 white and black diamonds and fitted with top-rated N99 filters at the request of the buyer.”

Any benefit of these gold masks? And safety?

The weight of the Israeli mask is 270 gms and hence it would seem a bit impractical to wear it always. And with the holes in the gold face mask, it might not really be protective. Also, there are no studies on gold face masks and the protection they offer. But experts do say that coronavirus stays on the metal surfaces for over 5 days. Hence, is it worth putting luxury and status above safety during such a crucial time?

Also, read Face masks: COVID-19 protection, fun, fashion, useful modifications, and more!

Parts and a model of a mask is displayed in the Israeli jewelry company Yvel in Motza near Jerusalem [Source: Newsflick]