Google Doodle Urges People to 'Wear a Mask, Save Lives'

The Google Doodle is today asking people around the world to wear a mask and save lives. The Doodle sees the letters of the word Google grow legs, put on face masks, and safely distance itself from sibling characters.

The message on the Google Doodle reads: "Wear a mask. Save lives.​ As COVID-19 continues to impact communities around the world, help stop the spread by following these steps."

When clicking on the Google Doodle, users are taken to a COVID-19 prevention page with advice and guidance from officials as well as the latest statistics based on their location. The Google Doodle can be seen in countries in North, Central, and South America, and in some countries across Europe, Asia, and Africa.

Google Doodle Face Mask
Google Doodle encourages everyone to wear a mask and save lives in this animated gif showing the letters wearing masks and social distancing. Google Doodle

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has called on all Americans to wear face masks, with CDC Director Dr. Robert R. Redfield saying in a statement: "We are not defenseless against COVID-19. Cloth face coverings are one of the most powerful weapons we have to slow and stop the spread of the virus—particularly when used universally within a community setting. All Americans have a responsibility to protect themselves, their families, and their communities."

In June, the World Health Organization (WHO) updated its advice and recommended that the general public wear face masks and said: "WHO has updated its guidance to advise that to prevent COVID-19 transmission effectively in areas of community transmission, governments should encourage the general public to wear masks in specific situations and settings as part of a comprehensive approach to suppress SARS-CoV-2 transmission."

States across the U.S. are mandating masks, with some enforcing the policy through fines. The rules surrounding face masks vary by city and state as in some areas masks have to be worn only indoors while other areas encourage their residents to wear masks when anywhere in public.

Individual businesses, like some grocery store chains, are enforcing a face mask policy, while others simply encourage their customers to wear a face covering. Some workers have been harassed and assaulted for enforcing a company's face mask policy, as some people are reluctant to wear a mask or covering, sometimes citing health reasons or their personal rights.

Doctors have proven that face masks do not decrease oxygen levels and people should be able to wear them comfortably for long periods. While some people, due to age or health conditions, are discouraged from wearing a mask, they should work with their health care provider to find a suitable alternative.

In April, Google launched a Doodle series thanking the essential workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic. The series thanked public health workers, teachers and childcare workers, food service workers, packaging, shipping, and delivery workers, transportation workers, grocery workers, custodial and sanitation workers, doctors, nurses and medical workers, and public health workers and researchers.