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Star Trek Red Shirt Meme Highlights The Importance of COVID-19 Face Masks

A funny Star Trekred shirt meme shows the importance of wearing face masks amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The spread of coronavirus has completely shaken up the course of 2020, from closing business to delaying movies. Virtually no aspect of society has remained untouched by the pandemic, and that includes the entertainment industry. March saw a wave of closures and shutdowns, from movie theaters to theme parks to ongoing productions. Now, at the start of July, there have been signs of reopening from select theaters, such as Cinemark, and from theme parks, such as Universal Studios. At the same time, though, there's still a great deal of concern about reopening too early.

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At the center of the reopening debate are face masks. Experts say wearing face masks in public significantly lowers the risk of COVID-19 transmission. One of the biggest questions surrounding the reopening of movie theaters is whether customers will be required to wear masks. AMC Theatres initially said they would not be, but the chain quickly reversed its decision following backlash. Regal will also require facial coverings.

While the majority of people agree that face masks are important and should be worn during the pandemic, there are still some who refuse to put them on. This has spurred several pro-mask responses, some of which even arrive in the form of memes. This Star Trek one, shared by John Scalzi (though he didn't make it), has Kirk (William Shatner), Spock (Leonard Nimoy), and McCoy (DeForest Kelley) all wearing masks. In fact, the only person not wearing a mask is the red shirt of the group. In Star Trek, red shirts are known for dying unceremoniously in episodes.

The message is clear: Wearing a mask will keep you safe, while not wearing one puts you at risk. Many have used pop culture as a way to convey the importance of face masks, like a recent edit that used Christopher Nolan's films to do so. Some have even taken to wearing masks that represent beloved films and television shows; in fact, Bane's mask from Nolan's own The Dark Knight Risessold out online back in May. Sadly, however, they were not medically approved.

For the time being, face masks will remain a part of every day life. It might feel strange while wearing them inside movie theaters when they finally do reopen, but it's something patrons will have to get used to if they want to return to those theaters. To make things easier, maybe people can imagine they're in a Star Trekepisode. It might make things more fun.

Source: John Scalzi/Twitter