The novel coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll around the globe, and Japan in particular has been dealing with a sickness mask shortage that has resulted in mask hoarding, theft from hospitals, and a number of DIY makeshift mask tutorials (and even a model turning her bra into a mask). The Japanese government recently announced it would be shipping 50 million reusable cloth face masks to those in need by next week (2 per household).

Companies in the company are stepping up to the plate as well, the most recent being home good scompany A.Y. Judie. They've announced a simple but practical release that can help out those with no masks of their own--an elastic strap that can be used to convert any fabric into a mask.

Each elastic strap is fitted with a clip to securely clasp onto any type of cloth or fabric to be used as a makeshift mask. A.Y. Judie suggests using it as a chance to wear a mask with your favorite character or customize a look beyond your typical white sickness mask. It uses a flattened but rounded all-resin cord (that comes in white, black, pink and blue) so as to not hurt one's ears, and is available in smaller sizes for children. It's fittingly called the "anything mask" .

The maker notes that makeshift cloth masks are not a perfect substitution for many of the sickness masks out of stock as they do not necessarily protect you from infection or allergies, but they can keep you from touching your face, unnecessary contact, and spittle splash damage. If you have some type of gauze or protective fabric at home, all the better.

The masks will go on sale for 800 yen (two per box) starting April 7th from A.Y. Judie.

By - grape Japan editorial staff.