If you guessed all three, you’d actually be right! (I’ve seen more than a few of the “bird beak” masks on people this fine 2020 year).
What was the reasoning behind this garb that dates back to the 1600’s? The first time I saw this outfit, I imagined it would have been so frightening to people who encountered a person wearing this get up. Creepy, isn’t it?
People work with what they have available to them… then and now.
These "uniforms" were worn for centuries by medical professionals. In the 1630’s this garb was first designed by the chief physician to several French kings as a way to keep health workers safe from disease.
It consisted of:
👉a heavy black oilcloth overcoat. Oilcloth is used because it does not absorb moisture (or in this case, body fluids).
👉Leather gloves (no latex gloves back in the day!)
👉Circular glass or crystals to seal the eyes behind the mask
👉A wand or long stick - to inspect the (perhaps unconscious) patient from a distance.
👉 A mask with a “beak”. The conical beak, stuffed with dried herbs, was dual purpose. It kept the physician from smelling the worst of the worst smells, and there was circumstantial evidence that the herbs actually may have aided in immune support and therefore provided protection to the physician. (Back then, they knew next to nothing about the immune system, but they did study 'cause and effect' quite closely).
Fable and anecdotal history has it that glove makers, perfumers, and those living in port cities with a high volume of spice trade were among the healthier population during plague years. Is it true? I don’t know for sure. What I can say tho, is that there are thousands upon thousands of 21st century studies (pubmed.gov) that give real credence to what herbs and pure essential oils can do to support the immune system and create inhospitable environments for all kinds of miasmas. The research is solid. #pubmedismyBFF
Interestingly, we are quick to make light of this birdman costume …. How could anyone imagine it would protect a person?
And yet, despite the very clear “WARNING” on our 2020 common disposable “ear loop” mask box, people continue to rely on a simple mask for protection against the unknown without looking at actual science (or even the evidence) that 70% of those who have tested positive for the ‘rona are consummate mask wearers.
Hey there....thanks for stopping by! This is me (Liz James)... an eclectic mixture of holistic (and organic) farmgirl meets pharmacist. It's a synergy that works well as I speak truths and dissect fact from fiction. If you're looking for healthier living options, you've come to the right place!