The face masks were actually manufactured prior to the current pandemic, and were conceived by the band’s late manager, Lauren Valencia, who passed away from cancer last year. The original intention was to protect fans from dust during a desert show that never happened.
A description at My Chemical Romance’s online store, where the masks are being sold, reads as follows:
“We are living in strange times, alienating times, scary times. These masks were the brainchild of our beloved Lauren Valencia, who died before this madness, not of the COVID-19 pandemic, but the older evil that is cancer. We had these masks made to keep you dust-free in the desert, a show that never happened, never will, a protection that then seemed timeworn. And here we are, with these masks, as though Lauren was prescient or we were unknowingly waiting for the right time……
MCR will donate all proceeds from the sale of this mask to the MusiCares Covid-19 Relief Fund.”
On Instagram, MCR guitarist Frank Iero added, “We hope [the masks] can provide a fraction of the good [Lauren Valencia] shared with the world.”
The masks sell for $14.99 each, and are available at MCR’s online store. A disclaimer warns, “These are fabric face masks. They are not N95 nor anti-microbial. Please use them responsibly.”
My Chemical Romance made big headlines late last year when they announced that they would be reuniting after breaking up in 2013. They performed a one-off show in Los Angeles in late December, with plans for extensive touring in 2020.
Thus far, MCR have had to cancel shows that were planned for March in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, and it seems unlikely that their UK and European tour scheduled for June and July will go on as scheduled. Their North American tour kicks off in September, but even that outing is up in the air, as recent reports suggest that full-fledged concerts won’t return until 2021.