Mask brackets are a thing, but they're something most of us hadn't heard of until Madden made a now-viral Facebook video explaining the interesting pandemic accessory.
The video begins with Madden laughing with her husband (who is behind the camera) before explaining, "To all my teacher friends, I ordered the coolest thing on Amazon...It's called a face bracket and you stick it on your face and you put your mask on...and you wear it and it keeps your mask off your face."
In the clip, which has now been shared hundreds of thousands of times, she shows off the silicone bracket that's placed under the mask to keep the fabric from sticking right to your face (or messing up your lipstick).
It also helps you be heard more clearly through the fabric, something Madden appreciates as an educator.
There have not been any official statements by the CDC regarding mask brackets, but it is important that the brackets must not impact the snugness of the mask. If a bracket impacts the fit of your mask, you should not wear the two together.
“Because some people have expressed strong opinions that wearing a mask is difficult because it is uncomfortable, all sorts of different ideas are being brought forward to increase mask usage by making them more comfortable. While that is good in theory, any contraption or device that actually weakens the ability of the mask to work is actually not good," infectious disease specialist Dr. Aaron Glatt, an Epidemiologist from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, told Fox News
Dr. Donald Dumford, Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Cleveland Clinic Akron General, told the Akron Beacon Journal that if it doesn't impact the fit of the mask it likely won't hurt.
"I don't have any scientific data to support an evidence-based medical opinion on the face mask bracket. There is no scientific literature to my knowledge that assesses the efficacy of face masks with and without a bracket," he explains. "With that being said, in my personal opinion [without any evidence to back it up] when looking at the device, I think it would still allow a cloth mask to do its job of reducing exhalation of virus into the air from asymptomatic or presymptomatic people, and if it helps more people adhere to the statewide mask mandate, I am in favor of it. The more people we have following the statewide mandate, the better we will do with the virus."