The History and Future of Face Masks

The History and Future of Face Masks

Even in our nightmares, most of us have not seen that a face shield can become a familiar wardrobe item. Nevertheless, today we are forced to leave the house in this “accessory.” To accept this and understand the importance of such measures, let’s go back several centuries. The circumstances that forced first doctors and then ordinary people to use personal protective equipment were terrible. But it was thanks to them that millions of human victims were avoided.

The first masks in history:

In the fourteenth century, a plague pandemic broke out. Millions of lives have been lost. In the seventeenth century, Charles Lorm realized that doctors play a massive role in spreading infections. They become infected from the sick, bring the disease to the streets, home. Therefore, it is necessary to protect them.

This is how the first protective suit was developed, which included a mask. It was not much like the modern one. It was the same “bird’s beak” that is shown in films today. The mask covered the entire face and had a substantial triangular pocket in front. It was filled with various aromatic herbs. The slits for the eyes were closed with glass.

The remedy turned out to be effective. The mortality rate among the “plague doctors” has dropped significantly.

Something similar to modern models appeared simultaneously in France and Poland. The reason for their creation is the infection of patients by surgeons during operations. With saliva during a sneeze or even a simple conversation, saliva got into the wounds, brought an infection there.

The product consisted of six layers of muslin, which were sewn to the apron with the lower edge, and the top was fixed with strings. Thus, not only the mouth was closed, but also the doctor’s beard. Surprisingly, opponents of using face masks during surgical interventions motivated their position because the saliva of a person of such a noble occupation cannot carry infection.

When in Europe, “Spanish flu” mowed hundreds of thousands of people, masks became almost the only means of protecting doctors. They also used these PPE in the First World War.

Masks in modern Japan: an unusual use of a medical device:

The habit of protecting the face in public places went to Asian countries from Japan. This country has a very high level of national consciousness. All patients with colds or flu covered their mouths so as not to infect others.

Then healthy workaholics began to do the same to not get sick in transport or on the street. But then the resourceful Japanese found several more advantages of using a gauze bandage:

  • Sun Protection – White skin in Japan is a sign of a high caste. Many residents of this country wear masks with goggles to avoid exposure to sunlight;
  • For warming – in the cold, so the face and lips are warmed;
  • From allergies – more than a fifth of the population in the country is allergic to pollen from the Sugi tree, which is very common in Japan;
  • To hide real feelings – especially at work. Some employees of large companies only wear face bands in the office. This helps them hide uncontrollable emotions that can betray their true feelings when communicating with colleagues or superiors;
  • Women’s laziness – you need to go to the store or the pharmacy, and in Japan, it is not customary to leave the house without makeup. No problem, put on a mask and go, no one will understand that the lady is not wearing makeup;
  • Fashion – young people, Entire companies are operating in the country that produces collections of designer products. Young people try to buy the newest, most stylish, and fashionable mask, no matter how much it costs.

We don’t live in Japan. But today’s circumstances with the coronavirus pandemic in the world dictate their own rules, and a UVmask is already becoming a necessity.