Coronavirus, a disease first manifested in Wuhan, China, has severely afflicted many nations. Transmitted between animals and people, COVID is notorious for causing extreme respiratory symptoms and even death. According to CNN health, “Covid-19 has killed at least 534,888 people and infected about 29.4 million in the United States since last January” (Hernandez, March 15).
These days, as COVID is spreading out to all parts of the country, causing massive catastrophes, nations are alarmed to protect themselves. For instance, national governments have barred all students from attending school. Furthermore, all restaurants and shopping malls are required by law to conduct regular temperature checkings and place hand sanitizers. However, not only public institutions but individuals have also taken protective measures themselves by wearing face masks.
While wearing face masks is imperative these days, not many people seem to realize which face mask to wear. Not recognizing each mask’s relative benefits, they buy random types of face masks that fit them. To inform people about the kinds of masks and their comparative effectiveness, the author went to the ‘Dogok Tower Pharmacy’ and asked for an interview.
However, before interviewing, the author noticed that the pharmacy had hardly any mask. The pharmacist, Nohyuk Park, explained that “people became increasingly vigilant for their safety, panic buying every single face mask these days.” As the author started interviewing, the pharmacist brought over the remaining masks. Interestingly, he demonstrated that those masks are equally effective against COVID regardless of their respective pros and cons. The pharmacist pointed out, “There are five types of masks: simple cloth mask, the surgical mask, KF 80, KF 94, and KF 99. No matter the type, every mask comparably limits contact with COVID. Different names are just indications of the period of use. For example, you have to switch the simple cloth mask and the medical mask on a daily basis. But for KF 80 and KF 94, you can use it for up to two days. And lastly, for KF 99, I don’t recommend this mask because it will be hard for you to breathe.”
That being said, what kind of masks do people wear?
It seems that younger generations properly distinguish each mask’s effectiveness as they receive prompt information from various platforms. “I get many warnings about COVID from Facebook and Youtube, and they recommend me to wear KF 94,” said Nayoung Lee, a 19-year-old high school student.
On the other hand, older generations struggle with types of face masks; further, some even fail to recognize the deadly potential of COVID. They believe that COVID is a temporary event, clearly not perceiving their vulnerability against the pandemic. “I don’t wear that often, but if I do have to wear, I wear whatever I get from the store. COVID is a simple disease that erroneously terrifies people,” said Haesun Kim, a 76-year-old woman.
Whatever their opinions are, it is indisputable that the face masks will serve as extra shield for themselves and the others. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly learn about face masks to mitigate the further expanse of COVID.