NEWS RELEASE October 2020
CATE Masks are the Future
Comfortable-attractive-tight fitting - efficient (CATE) masks are the future not only for the wealthy but for all the citizens of the world. Tight fitting-Efficient (TE) which are not comfortable or attractive are worn by healthcare personnel. And yet they walk through hospital waiting rooms and offices which are anything but antiseptic. The local hospital now has a player piano and floor to ceiling drapes in the lobby. If hospitals see the need for investments in attractiveness why subject patients to skimpy surgical gowns and hospital personnel to garments which are just as unattractive.
It will be harder to make the argument for comfort and attractiveness in hospital apparel than it will be for the average citizen just trying to protect himself from COVID. Northern winters can be deadly. The choice of ski hat is potentially a life or death decision. However, the purchase decisions not only take health into account but also attractiveness and comfort.
Most available masks are not TE. Those that are TE are generally not CA. Previous Alerts by McIlvaine have documented the need for TE masks. But unless you add the CA, people will not wear them as much as they should.
Efficiency and a tight fit are critical at high viral risk. Comfort is important at all loads but at high viral risk which is load times hours it is more important than at lower risk levels. Attractiveness is independent of virus risk.
Most people will spend nearly all their time in lower risk environments where the value assigned to attractiveness and comfort is equal to that of the tight fit and efficiency. McIlvaine is forecasting a mask market of hundreds of billions of dollars per year with most of it in the low risk category where attractiveness will be a major influence in the selection.
This assertion can be supported by the common metric which measures all harm and good called Quality Enhanced Life Days (QELD). It is not an artificial mathematical formula it is simply the measurement of individual desires. the average individual would rather live to 80, socialize and eat ice cream than live to 100 in solitary confinement. McIlvaine introduced the concept nine years ago to evaluate the choice of single use vs reusable surgical gowns.
The selection of an attractive mask is equivalent to eating ice cream, wearing $200 gym shoes or a hoodie. It adds QELD with no additional health benefit. On the other hand if the individual wears the mask more frequently because it is attractive there is a health benefit.
The CATE segment of the market will be far larger than the TE market pre-COVID. When considerations of air pollution, allergies, and wild fires are added to the analysis it is likely that the market will not spike and retreat to previous lows but instead continue to be very substantial.
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