Whether it’s the price, lacking the required sewing skills or just a general shortage of supply, not everyone can get their hands on a face mask.
Demand for them has arguably never been higher after the World Health Organization recently changed its advice, now recommending people wear them to guard against COVID-19.
But what if you can’t get your hands on one?
Well, one young woman from Lyon, France, thinks she’s got the answer. Célia has hidden homemade face masks around the city for those who might not have access to their own.
She put the 12 pink packages on benches and in parks. Each has a small personal message. She posted photos to Twitter giving hints about where they were “hidden”.
Célia would like to see more people wearing protection over their mouths and noses, especially to protect the weaker people with pre-existing conditions from infection with the coronavirus.
“I am a diabetic myself and am shocked to see how few people wear masks and gloves in public at the moment,” she told Euronews.
In Lyon, masks are obligatory on public transport and some shops require clients to wear them.
The young woman was also inspired by her mother, who is a nurse and has made about 500 masks herself.
Célia sat down at her sewing machine, made her own fabric masks and tried to sell them, but without much success.
So, instead, she came up with an idea to do a treasure hunt. She has not yet received any feedback from those who have found the packages even though she put her contact details in the envelope.
But on social media, she has heard from others who are encouraging the initiative.
One person, Diane, wrote: “I love your concept! A little tour on the hills of the 5th arrondissement? I would like to join the mask hunt. Thank you for this beautiful solidarity initiative”.
In the coming days or weeks, Célia plans on hiding more masks in book boxes or collection points around the city.
In addition to the masks being reusable, she hopes that those who don’t have access to facial coverings will be able to find them.