[imagesource: Twitter / @museun_happen]
Yes, it’s for real.
No, I don’t think I’ll be ordering any from South Korea, thanks.
Behold, the ‘kosk’ – a portmanteau of “mask” and the Korean word for nose, “ko”.
Designed by South Korean company Atman to ease the worries of those dining indoors, it’s gone viral mostly for being ridiculed.
Here are the basics via The Washington Post:
It can be used folded up when eating just to cover the nose, and unfolded to cover both the nose and mouth after eating. It is available on an online shopping website for about $8 for a box of 10…
Kosk is typically used to describe people who wear their masks over their mouth, with their nose revealed.
Then there’s “tuksk” (a combination of “mask” and the Korean word for chin, “tuk”), used to describe those who wear their masks on their chin, with their nose and mouth revealed.
Chin diapers is the description I would use.
I would genuinely be intrigued to know what South Koreans would call this woman, who had her 15 minutes of infamy last February when this video from inside a Pick n Pay went viral:
Caption this video! #Mask pic.twitter.com/M6i1daxqTO
— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) February 24, 2021
My suggestions aren’t fit for print.
Back to the kosk and that obvious glaring issue:
The reveal of the new kosk drew curiosity and criticism online. Some users mocked the company, noting that an uncovered mouth can still spread the coronavirus.
It is essentially the inverse of the original use of the term kosk, which only covers the mouth and not the nose.
Ag, whatever makes you happy, hey?
Professor Catherine Bennett, the chair in epidemiology with Deakin University’s Institute for Health Transformation in Australia, says that while kosks are a “strange idea” they are still “better than nothing.”
Personally, I just don’t think they offer enough anonymity. Aside from reducing the chance of infection, my favourite thing about wearing a mask is being able to avoid small talk with acquaintances while shopping.
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