Media reports about face masks tread a fine line of racism due to their ignorance.
When people go to the store to buy those masks, they aren't labeled surgical in translation. They're not thought of as a misappropriated product. They're designed for sickness comfort.
Recent pictures have often shown people wearing the low-grade face masks (that are also packaged as 'surgical' when delivered to hospitals). But there are more than those available on the market for comfort during sickness. There are masks that are more fitted to the face than the ones we see in pictures. They're really popular, so there's evidently selective journalism and propaganda at work. There are masks with a pouch inside for a moisture insert, which is nice on a cold winter day. There are masks that are menthol and eucalyptus (so good when congested).
Masks are generally rather pleasant when the air is cold and you're not worried about sickness. When you are sick, they're bliss to wear. They give you a barrier between you and the world. Hay fever days, the mask is your best friend.
Sort it out, Western imperialists.