A picture of a child wearing a full face mask on an Air New Zealand flight has gone viral on the internet and sparked an online debate.
According to New Zealand HeraldThis photo was taken on 1 July on a domestic flight from Auckland to Wellington. It depicts the child wearing an adult-sized face mask over his entire face, with two small eye holes cut out.
Jander Opperman clicked the photo and shared it on social media. He told the outlet it was a “super-sweet interaction.” “The child was full of joy, jumping around and laughing. It made waiting to get off the plane a little more enjoyable,” Mr Opperman said.
Since being shared, the image has taken the internet by storm. Some users found the image hilarious and compared it to popular horror movie characters. Others said it was “incredibly tragic” and claimed it was an example of “child abuse”.
One user wrote, ‘If I see this in flight, I will remove the mask myself. “It was dangerous to cover their breathing holes like this,” said another. Some also questioned how effective a mask can be in protecting a child from Covid-19.
Other commenters joked that that child’s raised fist is just “to reassure you that the mask has enough holes and gaps to breathe properly.” “Training as a superhero worthy must be! The world hasn’t read for SuperBaby yet,” said another.
On the other hand, Mr Opperman said New Zealand Herald That the mask didn’t seem to secure tightly around the baby’s face. “I think it was a mix of laughing and doing my best to protect my child with the tools available to her,” he said.
separately, talking to materialSiouxsie Wills, a microbiologist and COVID communicator, explained that masks “could slightly reduce the amount of virus they contain”, but that “it was best to invest in a mask designed for young children”.
According to the New Zealand government, all air travelers over the age of 12 must wear a face mask on domestic flights. For young children, the government recommends that parents choose a well-fitted mask that covers their mouth, nose and chin without any gaps.