'It Goes Over Your Nose': COVID Mask Reminds Others How PPE Actually Work

Coronavirus has been present in the world for a year now, but some people still haven't properly learned how to wear a face covering. Well, one woman went viral on Twitter on Wednesday by trying to offer a helpful reminder. She shared a photo of her own very blunt face mask that lets every passerby know how to keep those around them safe.

In the tweet, @erinnblackk (real name Erin Black) featured a selfie with a black mask. In giant, unmistakable letters, it gives a warning to those walking by. "IT GOES OVER YOUR NOSE," the mask screams in text.

She also paired the photo with an explanation: "After months of muttering under my breath at people in the supermarket I've finally cracked."

The message on Black's mask is directed at those who makes a half-hearted attempt at wearing a mask. You've probably seen some people out in public who don't quite have their mask above their nose, which is really the whole point of wearing a mask, according to experts. It's supposed to cover your mouth and your nose, to keep all parties safe.

If your nasal airways are uncovered, then a sneeze won't be contained to the mask, putting those around you at risk. And the mask also won't be able to protect the wearer from other germs that might be out in the air. While this lax attitude toward masks is frowned upon even by the CDC, it seems remarkably common.

COVID mask
A girl wearing a mask waits at Spring Airlines's check-in counter to take a flight bound for Wuhan at Haneda airport on January 31, 2020, in Tokyo, Japan. Getty/Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images

In a subsequent tweet, Black described a moment when her mask got through to someone nearby. "Just went to the shop and a grown man discreetly pulled his mask over his nose when he saw me headed towards him," she wrote. "Have high hopes it was the large-type passive aggressive writing across my face and not because I smell or anything."

While most Twitter users applauded Black's mask and found it funny, others weren't thrilled. A handful of comments called her a "Karen," a phrase that points to women as aggressively demanding or unable to compromise.

In a thread of her tweets, Black also linked to the Etsy shop where she purchased her mask from. It's designed by PumpedUpPrints, a U.K.-based online store and each mask retails for $12.50 in U.S. dollars. This mask, in particular, comes in two sizes and is currently in stock.

Black pointed out that it's important to be cautious of where the mask is shipping from, so as to not incur giant shipping and handling fees. Since this mask is from a U.K. seller, American shoppers may want to look elsewhere. There are plenty of similar options from small businesses on Etsy, like this shop, which ships from Omaha, Nebraska.

No matter where you are in the world, chances are you can find a great mask with the same sort of message—which suggests that people all over are spotting folks with exposed noses.