New York, April 4 (AFP/APP): From masks and scarves to bandanas and snoods, New Yorkers at the epicenter of America’s coronavirus crisis are increasingly covering their faces — setting the tone as the US government urges the rest of its citizens to do the same.
Donald Trump’s administration has recommended people wear masks as research showed the virus could be spread by normal breathing, though the president made a point of saying the guideline was “voluntary” and that he for one chose not to do so.
Most Big Apple residents, however, are heeding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call — made a day earlier than Trump’s — for them to shield their mouths when outside and near others.
“At first, people thought I was strange, but now everyone has come to my side,” said 50-year-old Kristan Kish, who has been wearing a surgical cloth mask since the epidemic exploded in the city in early March.
She believes it “makes sense” to wear one in an urban jungle.
“By default, you don’t know who’s walking by you and the sidewalks in New York are narrow,” Kish told AFP outside a Manhattan subway station.
After Gwyneth Paltrow posted a photo on Instagram of herself wearing a mask with a breathing valve, 60-year-old photographer Jade Albert rushed to order the same one online.
“As soon as I saw it, I wanted it!” she said while walking her dog on the Upper West Side, adding she believes it is socially responsible to wear one.
“We have to all do as much as we can,” Albert told AFP.