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10 products that became popular during the pandemic

By Johanna Añes-de la Cruz Published Jan 02, 2021 8:44 am

2020 is indeed the year of COVID-19, whether we like it or not. And with the way things are going, especially in our country, it seems as if the virus won’t be going away any time soon.

As the standards for sanitation have leveled up in response to the virus, there are many innovations and existing products which have enhanced their functions to meet the needs of the times. These items provide us not just enhanced protection, but a sense of security and the tiniest whiff of normalcy. 

Many of these products which have skyrocketed in popularity this year are available online or in shopping malls and are relatively cost-efficient, so you may also consider buying them in case you haven’t yet. There’s no harm in being too careful after all!

1. Button pressers and door openers

Now that many of us are reporting physically to work again, either regularly or on a staggered basis, coming into contact with surfaces like elevator buttons and doorknobs is inevitable. Thank heavens some people thought of devices that act as a barrier between these high-touch surfaces and our skin – lo and behold the button pressers and door openers.

 Just when we thought that these are only for germaphobes, these items have become quite a necessity in this time of COVID-19. They are so handy, you can attach them to your car or house keys or wear them as a pendant so you won’t lose them. There are brands whose latest versions now work on touchscreens and some even double as bottle openers! 

2. Mask accessories

If there is one item that has become indispensable to our daily COVID-19 existence, it’s the ever-reliable face mask. The necessity of having to wear masks has given rise to many mask-related accessories like cases, lanyards/ chains, and ear savers that help make the wearing of it more comfortable and convenient. 

Mask cases serve two primary purposes: first, it keeps your mask from getting dirty when you remove it; and second, it keeps your face mask separated from other items in your bag or purse to avoid cross-contamination. Mask lanyards/ chains on the other hand keep you from forgetting your mask either at home or on a surface when you remove it, let’s say to eat. Face mask ear protectors/ savers prevent discomforts arising from the wearing of face masks for prolonged periods. These prevent those loops from tugging on and irritating your ears and make your face mask more comfortable to wear.

3. UV boxes for phones

Photo: Lazada

Our smartphones are perhaps our dirtiest accessory and we can’t seem to keep our hands off them. To help keep harmful organisms away from these devices, UV boxes have come in handy. It uses UV radiation to kill those pesky germs in as little as three minutes. Some of these UV boxes can also disinfect other items such as face masks, glasses, and makeup brushes.

4. Air purifier necklaces

Photo: airtamer.com

With the approval of the Department of Health (DOH), air purifier necklaces have become quite ubiquitous as of late that even Pres. Rodrigo Duterte has been seen with one dangling around his neck. 

These agimat-like contraptions claim to purify the air and kill bacteria and viruses around one’s personal bubble, hence, helping keep COVID-19 at bay. The DOH acknowledges that these devices pose no harm, but emphasizes that people wearing this should still observe health protocols.

5. Fashionable PPEs, masks, and face shields

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Personal protective equipment (PPE), face masks, and face shields need not look too clinical! Thanks to many local brands, fashionable protective wear that offer the same level of protection are now available and can seamlessly blend in with our OOTDs. 

Popular clothing companies like Kamiseta, Bayo, and Plains and Prints sell trendy PPEs that come in jackets, coats, and even dresses. Even designers like Vania Romoff and Mark Bumgarner have jumped into the stylish PPE trade. 

Stylish face masks and shields are also aplenty with many designers and companies using sustainable and local materials. 

6. Mask-proof makeup

Wearing a face mask in public is an absolute must. However, it makes wearing makeup pretty challenging. Hello, smudged lipstick and smeared foundation! 

Good thing there are a lot of “transfer-proof” makeup, many of which have already been around pre-pandemic, but have seen a surge in popularity in the past months. Now you can wear your face mask without worrying about smudging and smearing!

7. Ring light

Photo: Shopee

The shift to a work-from-home (WFH) setup for many of us also meant doing all our regular office activities, particularly meetings, online. That’s why ring lights have been flying off the shelves since the onset of the quarantine.

It makes one look better through balanced and soft lighting that, at the same time, minimizes shadows. It certainly adds more confidence even if you’ve secretly paired that fierce corporate top with your Peppa Pig pajama bottoms. 

8. Noise-canceling mic adapter

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Another device that has become quite essential given the WFH setup is noise-canceling mic adapter. It minimizes or completely diminishes the cacophony of dogs barking, roosters crowing, or your housemates talking while you’re at a meeting. 

Aside from that, it also enhances your voice clarity and is compatible with many gadgets, including your favorite Nintendo Switch. 

9. Webcam privacy cover

Photo: Lazada

The webcam privacy cover is one item that we should have had even before the COVID-19 pandemic forced us to sit for hours in front of our laptops. 

Cyberthreats have long targeted webcams to steal information from your devices and more so embed software that can record whatever your webcam sees. So it’s always wise to block those culprits off using this tiny yet highly functional piece.

10. Contactless alcohol pump dispenser 

Photo: Lazada

One item that has truly become omnipresent in public spaces, which is either mounted on a stand with a foot pedal or equipped with a hand sensor. 

As COVID-19 can be easily transmitted from person to person through droplets, contact, and fomites, having contactless alcohol dispensers placed in high foot traffic areas can definitely help in putting a stop to the spread of the virus.