If there is a symbol of the current confusion and fear, the misinformation and anxiety, generated by the spread of the new coronavirus, it is the surgical face mask. When history looks back on the pandemic of 2020, those white or baby blue rectangles that hide the mouth and nose, turning everyone into a muzzled pelican, will be what we see.
The masks began appearing almost immediately after the infection was identified, first in Asia, where masks were already common, and then in Europe. These days they are everywhere. (And nowhere — there is a serious face mask shortage).