When Dr. Fauci appeared on 60 Minutes two Sundays ago, he warned that we are still very much in the first wave of the coronavirus and that a second may not be far behind. In fact, the number of positive cases is steadily increasing across the country, and in New York State, cases have spiked 80% compared to just four weeks ago. Over the weekend, the state also reported over 2,000 new daily cases, a significant uptick we haven’t seen since May.
In the same 60 Minutes interview, Fauci also insisted that wearing a mask in public does, in fact, help to slow or stop the spread of the virus. New Yorkers know this firsthand, as widespread adherence to state-mandated quarantines and mask-wearing led to a massive decrease in COVID-19 cases during the summer, just months after New York was considered the U.S. epicenter of the virus.
All to say, despite our collective frustrations around the virus’s non-existent expiry date and its impact on our daily lives, now isn’t the time to get lazy about your masks. That’s why today, Governor Cuomo and his daughter, Mariah Kennedy-Cuomo, have announced a new partnership with The RealReal that promotes the continuation of mask-wearing now and through the winter. Revealed during the Governor’s press briefing this morning, the “Mask Up” campaign, which will run through the end of November, involves a weekly drop of exclusive masks designed by a group of participating local designers, including Prabal Gurung, Collina Strada, Jonathan Cohen, Victor Glemaud, and more.
Each Monday, the masks will be available for purchase with a portion of proceeds benefiting organizations supporting community-based COVID-19 relief. Those involved are Feeding America, The New York Covid Relief Fund, and Nurse Heroes. Each mask “collection” will have a theme, beginning with today’s “I Wear a Mask for Democracy” capsule featuring masks from Public School, Tanya Taylor, Nili Lotan, 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Mara Hoffman. Dao-Yi Chao and Maxwell Osborne’s mask features the phrase “New York Tough.” As they tell Vogue, “We wanted to design something that represented the power of the people coming together to fight for a common cause.” The duo adds: “New Yorkers have always had each other’s back, and that hasn’t changed in this pandemic.”
The campaign also includes the #MaskUp challenge, which will encourage social media fans and followers to post a selfie wearing a mask and tag five friends to do the same. As Kennedy-Cuomo explains of the important timing around this campaign and challenge: “We know that there is real COVID-19 fatigue out there. By making unique masks that people are excited to wear, both because of the designers behind them and the fact that they support those impacted by COVID-19, we hope to encourage mask-wearing and to reinforce the much-needed mitigation strategy.” The messaging behind this campaign is simple, according to Kennedy-Cuomo. “Mask Up. Stop the spread. Save lives!”
She and her father are hopeful that their partnership with The RealReal will boost morale for their fellow New Yorkers and serve as a reminder of the strength and resilience that can come from being “New York tough.” Kennedy-Cuomo notes that throughout the entirety of this unprecedented time, “New Yorkers have come together to look out for one another in ways large and small, whether by wearing masks, supporting our first responders, or checking in on elderly neighbors. New Yorkers have shown compassion for one another and have strengthened our sense of community. We’ve shown through our actions that we will get through this together, and we’ll come out of it stronger, kinder, and more grateful for one another.” Plus, she adds: “We have a great governor, and he’s given me a personal promise that we’ll be okay!”