The new Kosk mask, designed and released by South Korean company Atman, has stirred up a frenzy after many were left baffled by the new mask’s strange design and lack of efficacy.
The name of the mask, Kosk, comes from the combination of the Korean word for nose, “ko,” and mask.
Designed as a convenient way for people to eat and drink while remaining partially protected by a mask, Kosk is made of two parts; one piece can be removed to expose the mouth, leaving the nose covered by the other piece.
The mask is currently sold by Korean online retailer Coupang for 9,800 won (around 8.18 USD) per box of 10.
The strange new mask has quickly garnered attention after social media users expressed their confusion over its effectiveness and design. According to Firstpost, many believe that there is no point in the new mask since COVID-19 can still enter through an exposed mouth, due to it being an airborne virus.
One Twitter user posted that “your silhouette would look like that of a bird” while wearing the mask. Another user joked about whether it was for eating “or kissing.”
While many netizens mock the new mask’s look, some are praising its creative and innovative design. Studies reveal that COVID-19 generally enters through the nose, potentially making the Kosk mask a good idea, reported First Post.
Professor Catherine Bennet, the chair in epidemiology at Australia’s Deakin Institute for Health Transformation, told Nine News that the Kosk mask is a “strange idea” but one that is still “better than nothing” since it covers the nose. She also explains that it can help reduce the risk of COVID-19 for those who mainly breathe through their nose, but it would only make “a marginal difference,” she said.
The Kosk mask is not the only one designed to make eating and drinking more convenient during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to The Guardian, Coupang also sells masks made by Spar Clone Fabric called “Copper Antivirus Nose Masks,” which only cover the nose like the Kosk masks.