Thursday are putting their unused merchandise items to good use right now in an effort to help out front line workers in the fight to put an end to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The band are going to use any appropriate merch items and turn them into face masks while places all across the world are reporting shortages.

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The virus is creating a shortage for face masks which are essential to protecting people while working with those who are positive for COVID-19.

According to NPR, China makes 200 million face masks a day right now but that's still not enough to meet local or global demands. In their report, they note that factories who previously manufactured items like iPhones, shoes and cars are pivoting to making masks.

The masks should be primarily reserved for medical professionals who are working on the front lines and people who actually have COVID-19 but information about who should or shouldn't wear masks is conflicting depending on your source of information.

White House officials and the CDC are both recommending people not wear N95 facemasks unless they fit in the two categories mentioned above. Canada's Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam similarly agrees.

"What we worry about is actually the potential negative aspects of wearing a mask, where people are not protecting their eyes or other aspects of where the virus could enter your body, and that gives you a false sense of confidence," Tam says.

"But also, it increases the touching of your face. If you think about it, if you've got a mask around your face sometimes you can't help it."

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But, others disagree. Infectious disease specialist Dr. Abdu Sharkawy told CTV News he wears a mask whenever he goes outside now.

“The simple answer is if you are going to be anywhere near contact with someone else—especially not within your nuclear household—it’s a good idea to wear a mask,” he said.

He highlights that if you're going for a walk it’s “not a bad idea” to wear a mask but that still misses a crucial point. “You shouldn’t be going for walks with anyone except the people within your own nuclear household,” he said.

While homemade masks are being made all over the world, including some places where women are making masks out of their bras, they aren't very effective.

Homemade masks aren't capable of filtering virus particles in the same way as a medically regulated N95 mask. The one advantage to them for members of the public though is stopping people from touching their face.

According to the LA Times, the CDC recommended using something like a bandana or a scarf as a “last resort” as recently as March 21. It's noted in the article that the CDC says "caution should be exercised" as they are unsure of the effectiveness of makeshift masks.

Now, Thursday are doing their best to help out with places facing extreme shortages.

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The band tweeted out earlier today (March 30) their intentions to put their merch to good use.

"We have started the process of turning appropriate stock merchandise from our web store into fabric face masks for frontline medical workers and essential personnel. Further information how you can help will follow later in the week. Stay safe, stay connected and stay inside!"

While Thursday's initiative may not be used by all front line workers, it's admirable they're aiming to help anyone who wants it.

What do you think of Thursday making face masks with their unsold merchandise? Let us know in the comments below.

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