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While some places do require us to wear face masks or coverings while out and about that is something not everyone is okay with. Lots of people in different areas are trying to find ways around putting their mask on and well, this is the ‘answer’ some of those people have found.

These face masks are so thin you can see through them and some are referring to them as ‘invisible masks’ They appear mesh and aren’t really going to protect anyone though it seems some people are actually opting to wear them over normal cloth face coverings. Photos of women wearing this mask and others like it have been shared all over Reddit and the users of Reddit have basically dubbed it the Karen mask. This in reference to those who throw fits over having to wear them in the first place. 

The Verge wrote as follows on these ‘see-through’ masks:

Sellers have been marketing masks made out of mesh, lace, and other materials with visible holes in them. The masks are often marketed for their fashion (some have butterflies or rhinestones on them) and advertised as being “breathable.” Reviewers sometimes cite them as a more comfortable way to comply with mask mandates.

They’re also unlikely to be very effective at protecting against the spread of COVID-19. If holes in a fabric are big enough that you can see them, “then obviously virus particles can get through, so it provides very little protection,” said Amy Price, a senior research scientist at Stanford’s Anesthesia Informatics and Media Lab who has been studying mask materials and contributed to the World Health Organization’s advice on the use of masks to protect against COVID-19.

The Verge saw at least a dozen sellers offering mesh or lace masks with holes in them on the first page of Etsy listings for “mesh mask.” Many of those sellers have multiple listings.

Etsy is “not responsible” for determining the efficacy of masks listed on its platform, and sellers are not allowed to make medical or health claims, an Etsy spokesperson told The Verge. “We are committed to keeping our community safe and work to actively review and remove items that violate our policies,” the spokesperson said. At least one mesh mask listing that made medical and legal claims, highlighted in a viral tweet, has been pulled.

While it’s not clear that mesh mask sales are particularly widespread on Etsy, mask sales on Etsy have been huge. More than 12 million face masks were sold on Etsy in April alone, totaling around $133 million in sales. Etsy has continued to promote face mask sales in the months since. When you pull up the site for the first time, a face mask category is one of the first things recommended. At least one thinner “breathable” mask appears on the first page of listings.

One buyer wrote a review saying a mesh mask was “PERFECT” for someone who hates wearing a mask. “I love it because no one can say SH%T to me now, for I have my mask on. LOL.” Another wrote, “Absolutely love this mask I wear it where there’s mask mandates and am totally able to breathe and haven’t been stopped or questioned!”

We’ve also been seeing people online get creative with crocheting and other things of the sort. This leading to masks with lots of holes in them or masks that overall just don’t cover much if anything. Now, since news of these mesh masks has become seemingly viral so have memes made in reference. People have even compared the use of these mesh masks to wearing ‘shutter shades’ as if they were safety goggles.

What do you think about all of this?