LONDON — How to remain safe and stylish in the midst of the rapidly widening coronavirus epidemic? Fashion magazines and influencers say they have you covered.
Britain’s Tatler — a Condé Nast publication — posted a story with the startling headline: “How to style an epidemic.”
The piece acknowledged the coronavirus anxiety by noting, “The social set are now rushing to get their hands on surgical-grade face masks.”
The story also explained that style-lovers may wonder, “How do I stay chic in the event of an epidemic?”
In an examination of the utilitarian, post-apocalyptic look recently popularized on high fashion runways — as well as by global pop stars Billie Eilish and Ariana Grande — it notes that face masks are “preventative pieces available that won’t jeopardize your style.” It lists printed and luxury-fashion brand face mask options sold at British department stores.
The new coronavirus has killed more than 200 and constitutes a “public health emergency of international concern,” according to the World Health Organization. Netizens’ alarm has mounted, meanwhile, with the #coronavirus hashtag reaching about 189,000 posts on Instagram.
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In a story headlined, “5 Ways To Avoid Freaking Out About The Coronavirus,” British Vogue offered tips on how to stay comfortable and “keep calm and carry on.”
With health anxiety running high, the venerable fashion brand offered tips to stay healthy and de-stress, such as “honing your good hand hygiene,” while also suggesting luxury soap to “make the job more enjoyable.”
Other suggestions included “Get under a happy lamp,” “Reap the benefits of essential oils” and “Take a herbal hit.”
Condé Nast, which publishes both Vogue and Tatler, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
As the dystopian surgical-mask-as-fashion comes into vogue, combined with mounting anxiety over the virus, Instagram influencers have also been posting pictures of themselves wearing these and offering followers some stress-reducing tips.
At first glance, the influencer view might seem inappropriate given the severity of the health crisis, with hashtags such as #travelblogger, #travel, #coronavirus, #coronavirusoutbreak, and #vlogger crop top-clad poses and muscle-brandishing mask make-out photos.
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CORONA-VIRUS | Wir beten, dass es endlich gestoppt wird 🙏 Dieses Bild hat sich tatsächlich mehrmals so abgespielt. Auf öffentlichen Plätzen küssen @healthy_mandy und ich uns nur mit Mundschutz. Wir haben keine Angst vor dem Virus, aber wir tragen dennoch, wie ca. 90% der Menschen hier in Thailand die Masken, um uns nicht anzustecken. Unseren Urlaub genießen wir trotzdem und hoffen, dass dieses Elend bald gestoppt wird! Wir bekommen täglich sehr viele Fragen zum Virus: „Kann man überhaupt noch nach Asien reisen?“ „Sollte ich meinen Urlaub absagen?“ „Haben die Menschen vor Ort Angst?“ „Wie wird hier mit der Katastrophe umgegangen?“ Diese Fragen, und viele mehr, haben wir nun in einem YouTubevideo beantwortet, welches ich euch in meiner Story verlinkt habe. Was denkt ihr über das Virus? Habt ihr Angst? Tragen die Menschen in eurer Stadt auch Mundschutz? Denkt ihr die Situation wird jetzt in den Griff bekommen oder wird sich das Virus weiter ausbreiten? Schreibt eure Meinung in die Kommentare, sie würde mich sehr interessieren. (P.S.: Kein Photoshop) #corona #coronavirus #virus #kiss #kuss #asien #asienurlsub #thailand #phuket #palmen #palmtree #beach #strand
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But beyond that, many influencers — especially in regions currently most affected by the disease — are being highly health conscious and offering practical tips to their followers.
Jada Hai Phong Nguyen, an influencer from Vietnam with 88,900 followers on Instagram, posted a photo wearing a trendy outfit and a sturdy face mask, accompanied by her dog.
In an in-depth post on spreading awareness of the outbreak, she suggests wearing a mask, washing your hands often with soap, and drinking plenty of water, among many other things.
Nguyen told NBC News that she wears a mask every time she goes out, but has recently resorted to something beyond a “normal mask,” referring to the “Cambridge Mask N99 Pro” face mask she recommends in her post. She also wear glasses to protect her eyes and uses hand gel every few minutes.
Influencer “@jeii_pong” struck a pose in a surgical mask in the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia, reminding her 422,000 Instagram followers to “put on your mask to protect yourself.”
Instagram user “@Ruckshiii” — whose photo in a velvet jacket and a face mask had been seen across social media platforms as a critical example of people capitalizing on hash-tagging coronavirus — defended her recent coronavirus-related post.
“I didn’t dress up for fun or put the mask on for attention. I am extremely health conscious if you knew me you’d know,” she said on Twitter on Tuesday.
“I do understand where this is coming from,” she added. “But I’ve also seen people too eager to make controversy out of everything.”