Researchers in Mexico have sniffed out a new COVID-19 mask designed for people to wear only over their schnozes while they eat, according to a report Wednesday.
The nose masks — worn under a full mask with similar behind-the-ears straps — were unveiled in a demonstration video where a man and woman sit down for lunch, according to Reuters.
In the video, the pair takes off their normal masks to reveal their nose-only gear before chowing down at an outdoor table.
Some observers cheered the idea on Twitter, saying it would “reduce transmission” while others poked fun of its goofy look.
“Hardly a new invention, clowns have been wearing them for years,” one user posted, along with a photo of a bright red clown nose.
Human cells that give people a sense of smell are a key entry point for coronavirus, making nose coverings important, according to Johns Hopkins University.
But the World Health Organization recommends that people wear masks covering their nose, mouth and chin to best protect from the virus.
And Centers for Disease Control and Prevention studies have shown that more mask material is generally better than less. Last month, a CDC study showed that double-masking can significantly decrease the spread of the coronavirus.
In the US, roughly 30 million people have contracted the virus, and 544,000 people have died from it, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The report didn’t note the name of the Mexican researchers, their company or when the nose masks could become available to the public.