In a world where only 80 percent of Americans are regularly wearing masks to help slow the spread of coronavirus, we can thank American Girl dolls for setting the right example. That’s what I’m telling myself to curb the nightmares I’ll surely have tonight after seeing these face masks on Etsy. First noticed by L.A. Times reporter Julia Wick, face masks for dolls, often sold in tandem with matching face masks for children, appear to be a hot commodity on the platform. A number of the listings have earned Etsy’s “Bestseller” sticker, and this one was recently in 20 people’s carts. 

Etsy sellers have risen to the task of outfitting humans during the pandemic. Some, like Kayla from foxandrosedesign and Julie from LeaveMeB, seem to have pivoted from their normal grind of making jewelry and bath products to instead sew masks. Becky of KnottyNanaNorthwest usually sells knitwear and pillowcases, but she writes in her description that she’s been “working night and day on face masks.” 

“I didn't want to profit from a pandemic, but decided to put out a listing and I got slammed with so many orders, it's amazing that I could keep up!” Becky says over Etsy direct message. 

But, as Wick points out, the introduction of doll masks adds another layer to the dystopian vibe in this already eerie time. 

“My daughter was happy to see her doll had a mask to wear too!” one reviewer raved, while another lamented that “the item doesn’t stay on the doll’s ears.” Instead, that commenter can only use the mask on their “regular baby.” 

“The doll masks are very popular—I haven't kept good records but I know I do around three sets per day at least, probably five or so on average,” Becky says. “I even had a request for seven sets for a birthday party which was a wild success.”

Children, for some reason or another, are mostly exempt from the more serious symptoms of COVID-19, but their role in spreading the disease is just as deadly. This will become more pertinent in September, when President Trump has declared that all schools should open as normal. While American Girl dolls pose no threat in spreading the coronavirus (although the research on this is presumably very limited), the toy masks set an example for children. 

“My granddaughters were thrilled and both the doll and girls wore their masks on the plane,” a reviewer cheered. 

“My granddaughter loves to match her AG dolls,” another wrote, with pictorial evidence that I won’t share, because this child will also one day have internet access. But then again, if the scariest thing I see this pandemic is a line of American Girl dolls, dead-eyed, wearing masks, then I’ll consider myself lucky