At the present time, lots of people wear masks. A mask isn’t just for Christmas (or Halloween.) It’s for pandemics as well.
The Lone Ranger wore one, of course. He was the sole survivor of an ambush in which his brother and 4 other Texas Rangers were killed, and with his Comanche companion Tonto (‘moron’ in Spanish) he searches for truth and justice. Good luck with that.
As a trubute act, the Ranger fashions a domino mask ‘using cloth from his late brother’s vest’ — something I don’t think doctors recommend nowadays. Even as a child, I was aware of the Ranger’s perfect grammar and precise diction; clearly Texans were a refined and well-spoken lot. I wasn’t so sure about the Ranger’s trademark silver bullets. Did he intend to shoot many werewolves?
Zorro (the Spanish for ‘fox’) is another masked man, a dashing vigilante who defends Californians against corrupt and tyrannical officials, usually by carving the letter ‘Z’ on their faces with his rapier, which must hurt considerably. (Could he be trying to encourage his victims to wear a mask?) Zorro hides his fighting abilities by pretending to be a coward and a fop, a stratagem I’ve often found useful.
Batman’s cowl wouldn’t help him ward off coronavirus (let’s hope Bruce Wayne wears a mask) but it still makes our own pandemic mufflers look a bit tame as fashion statements. You can’t help suspecting Robin feels equally miffed by his own lack of cowl, words I thought I’d never write. Is he ever permitted to drive the Batmobile? (Is he even old enough for a Reliant Robin three-wheeler?)
Highwayman Dick Turpin sported a racy mask when robbing stagecoaches. Green Lantern masks are predictably coloured. Superman flies maskless — he would be impervious to coronavirus, kryptonite is his weakness, and anyway, who would recognise Clark Kent behind the large S-on-the-chest?
Spider-Man wears a complete body mask, so to speak, which he sewed himself, whereas the Joker employs makeup to enhance his appearance, just as some women do, I’m told. Iron Man, Catwoman, the Phantom of the Opera — would we know any of them if they walked past us in the street in broad daylight? (Rather unlikely in the case of the Phantom, admittedly.)
I’m guessing superhero creators buried their heads in their hands once the whole population started hiding their faces behind masks. Who knows who walks the streets these days? Even the Lone Ranger might be submerged in a surrounding sea of masks. Although he would probably be the only one wearing his dead brother’s vest on his face.