Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the crow mask, AKA, the ‘plague doctor mask’ is once again a popular Halloween costume. During the bubonic plague, the weird beak mask was basically the equivalent of the N95 mask for COVID frontline workers in 2020.
There’s a lot of speculation that the ‘black crow mask’ didn’t actually help plague doctors. You’d think that the long nose-design could keep droplets away, but they weren’t exactly plague-proof.
What is the Plague Doctor Mask?
According to National Geographic, these masks were designed to purify poisonous air. The outfit and mask were designed by Charles de Lorme, a 17th-century physician. The coats were covered in scented wax, and the bird mask had a 6-inch beak filled with perfume.
The perfume was actually herbs. Unfortunately, the beak shape didn’t always keep droplets from reaching doctors’ nostrils. The eye holes were also quite spooky. Doctors wore spectacles, making the mask look very similar to a bird.
Besides the long black coat, plague doctors also carried canes. It’s been said that the rod was to help doctors keep victims away.
(Okay, imagine poking people with a cane.) I’m surprised people aren’t doing this at Costco yet! Maybe these bird beak masks weren’t high-quality, but they did what they could to avoid the Black Death. Heck, some of us are wearing reusable face masks that aren’t technically medical-grade as well.
This crow costume is equipped with a leather cloak and robe. The costume mask and hat aren’t included, so be sure to buy those separately. Amazon has unisex sizes and options for kids. They even have feather masks!
There truly isn’t a better time than now to be a plague doctor for Halloween.