2020 "Virus" Halloween Masks: Hooray, Sorta?

I said I wouldn't talk much about terrible sad things, and I'm not going to, except to say that I wish there was a less miserable reason various foreign manufacturers are suddenly offering a surge of virus-themed Halloween masks. That's something I always would have wanted...but not out of a situation like this.

I'll set that aside, however, to appreciate these masks for what they are, because a virus is still an amazing part of our planet and just a fact of life...and it's not as if a virus chooses the sequence of foolhardy human decisions that can sometimes take it global.

I think this is a good one to start with. A nice, simple "germ with a face." It's interesting that a simple globose shape with little nodules all over it so easily registers as a virus and not just any generic, spiky monster, though perhaps that's just you and me?

What I especially like about this and many of the masks we're about to see is that they actually work BETTER as props or decorations on their own, without a humanoid body. This "mask" is already an entire microbe monster! Just a big blue germ with teeth!


So I thought I'd start with one of the ones I like rather than drive you all away by starting with the worst. Isn't this basically a Shrek with more ears? I don't like Shrek with more ears. I don't want that. Shrek has enough ears. Not that this is literally Shrek, mind you, but a caricature of the guy who somehow became a U.S. president, fired the country's entire pandemic response team and never hired a new one. I get the joke, but I still don't want to have to look at him covered in Shrek ears.


This next one is only a partial mask, which is too bad because I'm loving its details and color scheme. If this one were a complete sphere, it would be one of my favorites, and I feel like there's really no mistaking this one for either a Shrek or just a bumpy goblin. Anyone with any sense is going to look at this and know that it represents an infectious microorganism.


The same is quite true of this actual full-head example, with no made-up monster facial features added, though the holes cut for the wearer unavoidably give it that uncanny face quality, so I'd probably turn this one around to display at a "giant virus prop." I'm not sure about this one's color scheme, though. I wish it was painted more like that last one.


This is a more abstract one, attempting some sort of infected zombie or symbolic representation of how a virus torments a person. Cooler looking spike proteins than the previous one and another better paint job, in any case.


I would expect to like this one a little more than I do. I love its creepy smiley-face style and how long its spikes are, though I guess my issue might be that it looks more like an oddball rock creature breaking out in mushrooms. That would be a memorable monster in its own right, but it's not capturing a proper virus quite as well as other masks here.


Our next to last and my second favorite, this is as straightforward as the first mask we looked at but sells the theme a whole lot better, in my opinion. Even if you don't connect right away that this creature IS a virus, it unmistakably communicates something to do with disease. The way the spikes vary in length even resembles warts or sores at different development stages, and its sharky grin really ties the whole thing together!

But, before we continue to our last mask, take a second to absorb these typical "anatomy charts" of a viral capsid:






Got that? Good! Now you can properly appreciate what you're about to see!


...So is this not at least among the coolest artistic concepts for a Halloween mask AND for a personified virus that you've ever seen?

The LAYMAN might look at this and wonder why a rattlesnake demon is hatching from a rotten sea urchin, sure, but YOU know this mask is just a virus in "cross section," and the designer saw fit to put a monster face on the RNA itself, which is just the true virus anyway, right?! I could not possibly be more impressed by that decision, and I could not possibly be more charmed by the crudeness of the monster face in question, the simple fangs and misaligned little eyeballs evocative of so many low-budget B-movie monsters. This is EXACTLY the kind of bootleg-quality treasure I'm hoping to find when I scour websites like Aliexpress, which is in fact where you can currently find every one of these masks. That they exist at all is a tasteless cash-grab over a deadly disaster, but they're still modeled after a morally neutral, natural phenomenon with scientifically amazing function, and I'm not passing up my chance to nab a couple of these while they're new.


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