UNITED STATES–In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the CDC’s recommendation to wear masks when going out in public, fans of DC characters have taken to exercising safety precautions in quite a creative way. Around the country, many DC fans are buying and wearing Batman masks to protect themselves and others from the spread of disease.
Michael West, a 22-year-old fan in California, commented on his choice to don a Batman mask. “I think it’s a great way to comply with the latest health guidelines and also express my nerdy side,” West explained while shopping at the grocery store. “It just seemed like a fun thing to do.”
“I wear it to scare people away,” added Ben Pattinson, 27, in Washington, D.C. “Batman is typically a dark and scary figure, and I think my mask will keep others from getting too close. Heck, I wouldn’t be surprised if even the virus itself is too scared to come near me now!”
Kevin Arnett, 31, from New York, had only this comment to add: “I AM VENGEANCE! I AM THE NIGHT! I AM BATMAN!” Arnett then darted stealthily into the shadows of his local Wal-Mart parking lot and disappeared from sight completely.
Despite its popularity, the Batman mask movement has received criticism from some who claim that these masks may not be as effective as surgical masks designed specifically for the purpose of preventing the spread of germs. At publishing time, many Batman fans resolved to address this issue by switching to Robin or Batgirl masks instead.