One could be forgiven for thinking in terms of a "long war" with the current pandemic. While there have been longer pandemics and more lethal ones, this one has undoubtedly been one of the most public in recent memory. One aspect of this has been the shortage of personal protective equipment, such as masks. Several companies have radically realigned their production capabilities to help out, but for those who can't manufacture directly, they can help out in other ways.

Microsoft is one of those taking a somewhat indirect approach in helping get the gear people that need to work under pandemic conditions. They've partnered up with Meta Threads to offer a Halo-themed face mask.  The masks are $19.95 each, and the profits from the sale of each mask will be used to manufacture two more masks (probably not themed), which will be donated to MasksForDocs, a non-profit working to supply hospitals and other front line workers with the gear they need. Bearing the Halo logo, the mask is 3-ply polyester with a removable aluminum nose insert and is hand washable.

This is not the first partnering between Microsoft and Meta Threads during the pandemic. Previously, Microsoft had an Xbox-themed mask (which is still available) and a Halo-themed shirt (no longer available).  The results of previous efforts have, by Meta Thread's count, led to almost 55,000 masks being donated. Meta Threads is shooting for 60,000 masks to be donated, so they are getting close to their goals. And if Halo is not to your particular taste, there are other design options available from basic black to Kingdom Hearts and PUBG.

Food For Thought

It's been six-plus months, and this is a good deal, particularly for doctors who may be in areas where COVID-19 is spiking. Help out, hospital workers. Buy (and wear) the damned mask.