In Bars & Clubs

Face coverings with holes are the new thing in COVID-era "fashion."

Designers make masks with holes for COVID-era cocktail consuming

It was only a matter of time before a thirsty genius brainstormed the idea to cut a hole in their mask so they could drink beverages while wearing a facemask, which is now required in many bars and restaurants across the country.

Savvy designers jumped on this DIY trend early, including Milwaukee's Danielle Moon, an artist and seamstress who has been making hundreds of masks since being furloughed from her job at Great Lakes Distillery.

Moon says she first saw a straw-hole mask on the internet and decided to try one. Her original prototypes with were made with a Velcro flap and a grommet hole, but she later switched to a less-intensive method using a silicone grommet that has an attached plug.

"The hole is a little over 1/4 inch, which is perfect for standard bar/restaurant straws and metal reusable straws," says Moon.

So far, the demand has been great with no sign of slowing down.

"People enjoy the straw hole masks. I've had even more requests for them now since masks became mandatory in Milwaukee," says Moon.

But are facemasks less effective when there's a hole cut into them?

Dr. Joyce Sanchez, an infectious disease specialist at the Froedert Medical College of Wisconsin, says because COVID droplets are so small, they could definitely escape though the hole. However, it's still a better option than wearing no covering at all.

Sanchez says people forgetting to close the hole is a concern as is face coverings that may have larger holes to accommodate cans or bottles.

"But my biggest concern is why people are going out drinking at all right now when cases are spiking in Wisconsin," says Sanchez.

Moon says some of her customers wear them to bars, but others have purchased them to wear on the job.

"Many people want them for the workplace, where many employers require staff to wear masks. This makes it easier for people to drink water or whatever without having to pull their masks off," says Moon.

Want one? To browse Moon's styles and order, go here. They are also for sale at Great Lakes Distillery, 616 W. Virginia St.

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