South Korea's new nose-only ‘kosk’ mask for Covid-safe dining raises eyebrows

South Korea's new nose-only ‘kosk’ mask for Covid-safe dining raises eyebrows By A Robin - February 06, 2022
kosk mask

kosk mask

A new face mask that only covers the nose and can be worn while eating or drinking is now on sale in South Korea.

The 'kosk' - a combination of 'ko', which means nose in Korean, and mask - is being manufactured by a South Korean company named Atman. A box of 10 kosks costs 9,800 won ($8.16) on online retailer Coupang.

Meanwhile, reusable 'Copper Antivirus Nose Masks', which only cover the nose at all times and are available in different colours, retail for 2,000 won ($1.65) on the Spar Clone Fabric website.

These unusual masks come in sets of two pieces each, where one piece is a common anti-virus mask, while the other is a nose-specific mask to be worn inside the first piece.

The company claims that removing the outer mask, and keeping the kosk on while eating can protect people, as the nasal passage is considered to be the main route for entry of viruses, such as Covid-19.

However, the kosks have mostly drawn criticism from the online community.

"Wow, the most unhelpful idea and a waste of resources... If the virus is air-bourne, it will still enter via your open mouth when eating," one Twitter user said.

Another one said: “No different to the people who wear their masks below their nose.”

According to a report by The Guardian, Professor Catherine Bennett, chair in epidemiology within Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation in Australia, told Nine News that masks that only cover the nose were a 'strange idea’, but would be "better than nothing." The difference it makes, however, is likely "marginal," she said.

The concept of the nose-only face mask is not new and was designed by Mexican researchers in March 2021, albeit with limited success.

By A Robin - February 06, 2022

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