PROVIDENCE, RI – Due to mask shortages reported across the country, hospital staff at prominent New England hospitals have been asked to conserve normally disposable masks by wearing them for two days. Fortunately, emergency medicine resident physicians in Providence claim to have made a breakthrough re-discovery that could change the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We didn’t need to reinvent the wheel here,” said EM resident Dr. Tainish. “As it turns out, we had all been sharing Facebook articles about the 1918 influenza pandemic for nothing. Sometimes, modern medicine doesn’t hold the answers.”

“Most people don’t realize how forward-thinking doctors of the Black Death were. It was silly of us to forget that they had already solved the PPE problem for us centuries ago,” he remarked though his beaked mask.

As of this week, the residency program has officially partnered with their local Steampunk community to produce additional Black Death masks as soon as this week. They encourage other EM residency programs to do the same, as there are a lot of Steampunk enthusiasts sitting at home in social isolation, for once.

“We believe this is a sustainable solution for our residents,” shared one of the chief EM residents. “Yesterday, I saw an intern use the tip of his mask’s beak to apply cricoid pressure while he was intubating a suspected COVID-19 patient—this is much safer for our attendings.”

Dr. Nit Fish, EM attending physician, agrees: “The trick is to clean the masks between patients using the ultrasound machine wipes—the purple wipes can leave a funky residue.” Otherwise, he said he found them to be quite stylish and likely to be something he would wear around the house with his top hat and cape.

Dr. Tainish said he agonized for weeks over the impending mask shortage. “I just wish I had looked at the Gomerblog logo sooner,” he said.