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03rd Feb 2022

South Korea’s nose-only ‘kosk’ mask for eating attracts criticism

Kieran Galpin


‘Are they also selling teapots made from chocolate?’

A South Korean face mask intended for eating and drinking that only covers the nose has been met with criticism online.

The “Kosk” has been released by manufacturer Atman and sells for 9,800 won at the online retailer Coupang, which equates to around £5.99 for a box of 10. The mask itself is made of two pieces, one of which can be removed to eat or drink.

Similarly, three reusable “Copper Antivirus Nose Masks”, which only cover the nose, are available for 2,000 won (£1.22) from Spar Clone Fabric, also on Coupang. These masks, which also come in three different colours, are designed to be worn beneath a normal mask and then removed while eating or drinking.

The masks, which seemingly defeat the entire purpose of mask-wearing, have received a lot of attention online.

“Are they also selling teapots made from chocolate?” asked one bemused Twitter user, while another added, “Next level stupidity!”

Another rightly pointed out: “No different to the people who wear their masks below their nose.”

“That’s really a silly idea, you breathe in while eating. Covering just the nose will make no difference to catching anything, it’s just a money maker for someone, who assumes most people have no sense,” another replied.

However, Professor Catherine Bennett, chair in epidemiology within Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation in Australia, told Nine News that while nose-only masks are a “strange idea”, they are certainly “better than nothing.”

“It probably makes a marginal difference,” she added.

She also noted that the “Kosk” mask could stop people from putting their masks on in public spaces. However, she added that it would likely create an entirely new issue of people forgetting to fully mask up after they have finished eating.

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