Symbol of the new normal: Pandemic has statues around the world wearing face masks, too

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As people around the world adjust to wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus, a tell-tale symbol of the new normal has also emerged. Statues are always exposed to the elements, no matter the season. They endure rain, snow and blistering heat.

Some statues aren’t strangers to being dressed up for inclement weather. They have been clad in clothes and hats, usually so the homeless can take them to keep warm during winter, but many never wear weather-appropriate attire. However, as the coronavirus pandemic has reshaped 21st-century life, face masks are a new accessory that has spread to statues across the world.

Statues, many of them famous, are also “wearing” masks these days. Those donning the protective face wear include the Fearless Girl statue outside of the New York Stock Exchange, the Charging Bull statue across from which she stands in the Financial District, the legendary statue of Rocky Balboa in Philadelphia and the iconic “Hachiko” dog statue in Tokyo, among many others.

Statues wearing masks have also been popping up on social media lately.

Duck statues in Boston, called “Make Way for Ducklings,” typically sport outerwear such as sunglasses, scarves, hats, jackets and Christmas attire, but now all nine ducklings are wearing customized masks over their beaks.

Some of the coverings have been homemade, for instance, the masks that shield the faces of the statues at the University of Southern California with the school’s logo. The university posted a tweet with the protected statues urging people to cover their faces but to save the N95 masks for professionals in the health field.

“Have to leave the house for an essential task? Be sure to cover your face and help save lives! Bandanas, scarves or homemade masks are great, but the mayor of L.A. wants to remind you to please keep N95 and other medical-grade masks reserved for emergency responders!” the university tweeted.

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