Researchers develop nose-only mask for eating

Researchers in Mexico have designed a new mask to allow people to eat while wearing one, according to a Wednesday report. The caveat: it’s nose-only mask.

These nose masks are worn underneath a full face mask and feature similar strings that loop behind the ears. The new mask design was revealed in a demonstration video where a man and woman sit down for lunch, according to Reuters.

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The video, which features no talking, shows the duo removing their regular face masks to unveil their nose coverings before dining at an outdoor table. The new mask is designed to allow people to eat, drink, and talk—all while covering their noses.

Cells that give humans their sense of smell are a major entry point for coronavirus, making nose coverings important, according to Johns Hopkins University, as The New York Post pointed out. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests that individuals wear masks that fully cover their nose, mouth, and chin in order to best safeguard themselves and others from COVID-19.

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Furthermore, research from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown that more mask material and more mask layers are usually better than less. In February, the CDC updated its guidance to recommend double-masking as an additional protection measure, saying it can significantly lower the spread of COVID-19.

In the United States, just over 30 million people have contracted the virus, and 545,000 people have died from it, according to COVID-19 data from Johns Hopkins University as of Thursday.

The nose-mask video, it should be noted, did not mention the names of the Mexican researchers, their company or organization, or when the nose masks could become publicly available.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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