Indian Man Scraps Medical Face Mask for Attention-Drawing Solid Gold Mask

A Pune man has been getting a lot of attention on Indian social media after photos of him wearing a solid gold face mask as protection against the coronavirus started doing the rounds online.

Shankar Kurade, a resident of Pimpri-Chinchwad, on the outskirts of Pune City, has been fond of gold for as long as he can remember. He never leaves the house without gold chains on his neck and large rings on most of his fingers, so when people started wearing medical face masks to prevent getting infected with the novel coronavirus, Shankar knew he had to find a way to make himself stand out. Then he saw a news report about a man who had commissioned a silver face mask, and realized that he could do the same, only he would get a mask out of his favorite precious metal.

“I saw a video on social media of a man in Kolhapur wearing a silver mask and then an idea struck me to have a mask of gold,” Shankar Kurade told Livemint. “I talked to a goldsmith and he gave me this gold mask in a week.”

Protective masks usually have filters to prevent microscopic particles from passing through, but Shankar’s gold mask only has these very small punctures that allow air to pass through. He claims to have no trouble breathing when he is wearing it, but he also admits that he has no idea if the mask offers any kind of protection against Covid-19.

“It’s a thin mask with minute holes so that there is no difficulty in breathing,” Kurade said. “I am not sure whether this mask will be effective.”

“All my family members love gold, if they too demand it, then I will get it designed for them too,” the gold man of Pune added. “I do not know if I will be infected with coronavirus wearing a gold mask or not, but following all the rules of the government can prevent the spread of virus.”


In case you’re wondering what a bespoke yet (probably) useless gold face mask costs, Shankar Kurade claims he paid 2.89 lakh ($3,900) for his.

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