'Covidiot' influencers slammed for turning medical masks into skimpy bikinis in bizarre social media trend

Thousands of health workers on the frontline fighting the coronavirus are feeling the shortage of essential protective equipment like medical masks

                            'Covidiot' influencers slammed for turning medical masks into skimpy bikinis in bizarre social media trend
Yulia Ushakova (@yulia_ushakova, Instagram)

Multiple influencers on Instagram are facing severe backlash for amid a shocking new trend where they use face masks as bikinis, calling them, "quarankinis" amid the coronavirus pandemic. With multiple regions across the world under lockdown or self-isolation guidelines, thousands have stocked up on face masks to save themselves from the deadly virus, leaving many health workers on the frontline of the virus battle without essential protective equipment.

At a time when multiple healthcare workers are begging for people to leave medical masks for those who are in need of it the most, a group of influencers on social media, branded as "covidiot", have been carelessly using the protective gear to make "must-have" selfie accessory. The "quarankini" trend has seen multiple Instagram influencers posting pictures of themselves wearing the faces masks as bikinis, according to the Daily Mail

The trend surfaces shortly after the World Health Organization asked healthy people to not wear face masks because there is not much evidence suggesting that they help. The United Nations organization, instead, said that these masks are better utilized by health workers and patients of coronavirus. However, according to a former infectious disease director at the WHO, the agency is believed to be reconsidering its advice amid studies that virus can linger on in the air. 

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, on Wednesday, April 2, had told the city's four million residents to wear masks at all times when stepping out to curb the spread of the virus in the region. 

Russian influencer Yulia Ushakova was among the people misusing the scarce protective masks as she posted a picture of herself wearing two masks with filters as a bikini top. She also fashioned a more traditional string mask — often used by doctors — to make a bikini bottom. Although the picture received more than 10,000 likes, multiple social media users also slammed her for the wasteful use of precious equipment.

Russian influencer Yulia Ushakova (Instagram)

One person commented on her picture, writing: "There aren’t enough masks in the country, but here it is..." While another wrote: "Yulia. This is blasphemy! It’s better to give masks to your grandmothers." Elderly and people with underlying health conditions are more vulnerable to COVID-19.

"The nursing team does not have masks and people like you take it as a joke, what a shame... a little respect please..'" one person chimed in.  Another commenter wrote, pointing out that "There is a global lack of masks. This is the worst joke I have seen during these horrible days."

"In a moment when those masks can save a life, this is not the best kind of joke you can do," a user said. 

Other Instagram influencers who followed in the infamous "quarankini" trend included model Yana Koshinka from Russia, whose goes with the username @yana_koshkina_official, model Katja, with the username @katjakrasavice, and  Australian model Jade Marie @jadee__marie. Marie, however, has appeared to have deleted her picture, likely because of the intense backlash. 

The deadly coronavirus infection has affected 1,123,024 people across the world, as of Saturday, April 4, with nearly 60,000 confirmed deaths. 

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