South Korea Raises Eyebrows With Their Announcement Of A Nose-Specific Mask Called “Kosk”

It’s being marketed for a specific use.

As COVID-19 continues to strike with new variants popping up left and right, many nations have been doing their best trying to tackle the virus. Whether it’s social distancing, mask mandates, curfews, or venue closures—countries have been attempting to decrease the surge of COVID-19 cases.

South Korea is one of the countries that have been giving their all to lessen the virus’s presence within their nation, but their most recent preventative measure has some scratching their heads.

South Korean citizens wearing masks in public to prevent COVID-19 spread | Yonhap News

On February 4, 2022, numerous Korean news sites began reporting about a new mask available within the country called kosk. Derived from the Korean word for nose, ‘ko’ and the English word ‘mask,’ this new facial covering is exactly what the name means—a nose mask.

Nose mask, “kosk” | Naver News

This nose-specific mask is being marketed specifically for restaurant use, so that diners can cover their noses and eat in peace while they sit with other restaurant goers. Kosk users can either wear it under their normal face masks…

“Kosk” being used by a woman eating in a restaurant | Naver News

…while some kosk brands have come out with their very own version with a simple mouth attachment that is easily removable.

Interchangeable layers for easy removal | Naver News

While Korean netizens have expressed their confusion upon seeing the nose-only mask, the international response has been accepting of the kosk so far. Catherine Bennett, an Australian professor of epidemiology (branch of medicine that deals with diseases), shared that while people may think “it’s weird because it only covers the nose, it’s better than nothing.” 

British news site The Guardian revealed their similar thoughts on the nose-mask. They shared that while it may not be the most effective, “wearing a nose mask may not be as ridiculous” as people may think since studies have previously shown that the nose is the easiest way for the virus to enter.

| Naver News

With South Korea’s recent surge of COVID-19 cases—with their record breaking 22,907 this past week—it seems that the nation is doing whatever they can to decrease the number.

Source: Naver News and The Guardian