MSN / Bloomberg:
After the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officially recommended widespread use of face masks to help slow the spread of the Covid-19 coronavirus, the minimalist medical mask quickly got reimagined as a fashion accessory. Then model Naomi Campbell—a famous germaphobe—and musician Erykah Badu stepped it up a notch, sporting custom hazmat suits for stylish social distancing. Now, with the novel coronavirus pandemic showing no sign of slowing, travelers are taking note.
Yezin Al-Qaysi says haute hazmats are just the thing to make flying feel safe again. In mid-April the co-founder of VYZR Technologies, a Toronto-based company specializing in personal protective gear, launched a new product called the BioVYZR via crowdfunding site Indiegogo. The $250, futuristic-looking outer layer resembles the top half of an astronaut’s uniform, with anti-fogging “windows” and a built-in hospital-grade air-purifying device. Paranoid flyers were quick to scoop it up, pre-ordering about 50,000 suits and raising $400,000 for the nascent company. The first batch is set to be delivered by the end of July.
Nobody, not even Al-Qaysi, knows how TSA officials or airline staff will react to the suit, but that hasn’t dissuaded such early adopters as Ginny Maxwell, a talent manager based in Nashville. The mother of two children aged 10 and four had been on the fence about returning this fall to her childhood home of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands to see her parents. “I was especially concerned about our 4-year-old not being able to keep a mask on for a flight,” she says.