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It’s yellow dust season now and the air is heavy in Korea, so we’re doing a video on Korean air masks. We’re starting to use them now. If you don’t know about Yellow Dust season, it’s one of our least favorite parts of the year. Supposedly, sand from deserts in China annually blow down to South Korea and make the air terrible to breath. Your eyes burn and your throat itches. And the stuff is everywhere. We left our clothes to dry overnight by the window, and our black shirts had lots of yellow dust all over them by the morning. Uggghh. It also supposedly clogs your engines, but we haven’t had that issue with our scooter. We’re just coughing and sneezing a lot more. Gross!

Anyhow, to combat the nastiness of the air, people in Korea often wear air masks. We were quite taken aback when we saw them at first, because we usually just associate them with doctors and surgery. We’re not used to seeing them worn out in public like this. Let’s face it: they’re not really the coolest things you can wear. They look kinda creepy. To combat the weirdness of air masks, you can make them look cute! Oh boy! You can wear the hamster that we displayed here (or what Martina likes to call the Gamster: hamster + gangster), or you can have a Hello Kitty one, or a Thomas the Tank Engine. Why Thomas the Tank Engine? We don’t know. Supposedly he’s quite popular here.

A more pressing question is this: are these things effective or not? Any doctors here? We imagine that surgeons wear these masks so they don’t spit on you by accident when you’re cut open on their table, but for day-to-day use, how effective are these in preventing you from either a) getting sick or b) breathing in pollution. Anyone? We’re quite curious about this. Yeah!

Also, don’t forget that we’re starting our new segment tomorrow: TL;DR Thursdays, where we answer your top rated questions in video format. You’ve got a few more hours to vote until we start recording. We’re surprised at how fun the questions are so far. Hooray!

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  1. hello skritty. hhahahaha

  2. I feel awkward commenting on old posts so I don’t and it makes me sad ;__;

  3. That mask is absolutely adorable! Whenever someone in my house gets sick, everyone gets sick within days. Hehe, so I really need one of those. Do you know where I can get a cute one like yours online or something? (: 

  4. hello. usually, If air mask become dirty, korean wash the fabric(get off plastic, white fabric)
    안녕하세요! 마스크가 더러워지면, 플라스틱을 떼어내서 하얀천만 씻어 말려서 다시쓰면 돼요! 너무 더러워져서 씻어도 더러우면, 다시 새로 사서써요. 

  5.  the piece of plastic is for pinching around your nose

  6. Simon you can’t count! 

  7. its so cute. sad we dont have cute masks over here in india.
     

  8. I want one! There adorable!  to bad your looked at really weird if you wear one in canada unless your like dieing or there is a major epidemic going on.

  9.  Did you realise that you missed both 6 and 16… what a coincidence. 

  10.  I finally broke down and bought another of those face mask thingies and used it this time! I was hacking up so much phlegm from my bout with the flu that it was more to protect other people than myself! Ha!

  11.  Martina- Your eyes were gorgeous in this video, what color of eyeshadow did you use?

    I found this one more informative though lol I never knew about yellow dust season. How long does the season last or is it year long?

  12. This one is funny!  I hate the heat inside those masks though.  LOL

  13. If you want a mask that really works, use a N95 mask.

    Its designed to either contain or prevent contraction of tuberculosis.

    This type of mask is primarily used in hospital settings. I’ve used them while taking care of active TB patients (the ones that spit out blood) all the time.

    You can purchase them in grocery stores or local 24hr pharmacies. I’m not sure if they have these in Korea for purchase by ordinary citizens though. They have them readily available in the US, however. :

  14. Bahahaha I automatically thought of pokemon too when Simon said you could collect them all. Geeks FTW! 

  15. Bahahaha I automatically thought of pokemon too when Simon said you could collect them all. Geeks FTW! 

  16. Omg thanks for this video. That mask is so cute!! I wish there was a way to get cute masks like that online because the ones they sell down here are so boring and ugly. : I actually have to wear masks everyday because I have a primary immune deficiency disease (I have CVID) so basically when I leave my home I put it on because if someone is sick around me I am sick in a matter of hours.  I usually wear thick layered ones because I noticed I was still getting really sick wearing thin masks. I think it all depends on the type of material used I did notice a difference with thickness and material used when it comes to recurrent infections. I am not a doctor but a life long patient and masks saved my life! I just wish they had cute ones over here. As far as breathing in pollution it also depends on material type I have severe allergies too so I have a different type of mask to block out allergens when I am sitting outside in my backyard and there are no people around.

  17.  the first time I saw these outside of Drs wearing them was last year.  The US went totally crazy about swine flu and masks popped up.  My Dr’s office still makes you wear one if you come in with certain symptoms.

  18. The clip at the top is supposed to be bent around your nose; one so that is stays in place and two so that the dust doesn’t come in through the holes there made by the bridge of your nose lifting the mask up.

    I use a boring white one when I sanding walls and such, and they are such a bugger because they leave marks all over your face~!

  19. Omg I was so hoping that this would be a give away. I’ve seen people where it in winter or when they are really sick. 

  20.  simon cant count!!!!!! …5 Mississippi, 7 Mississippi… 15 Mississippi, 17 Mississippi… he doesnt like the number 6?

  21.  Yeah these masks are so popular in Asia, I thought it was so weird when I first moved to Japan but as soon as H1N1 hit you couldn’t get one of those masks to save your life.  I think they prevent the spreading of germs more then keeping things out, like someone else said.

    My mom mailed me the kind you wear for painting when all of Japan ran out and those have a little filter built into the front of it.  It’s pretty much just a like a extra different kind of paper or cloth on the inside that filters fumes & dust from drywall and paint, so it probably would filter out yellow dust too.  Not cute at all though 

  22. I’ve worn this kind of things before.
    It’s kind of irritating after awhile because where it’s humid here in my country so when you breathe out all the water vapour will get caught in the mask and your whole mouth area get sweaty/wet =_=”
    I do not like it :(

  23.  Arw! I could totally need some of them. Sooo cute! *squeeel* Suffer from asthma and pollen-allergy and have to wear boring white masks almost the year around, especially in the summer season because of pollen, and the winter because of the cold here in Norway. Is there a place its possible to buy them online, or do I have to purchase some plane-tickets to South Korea? *giggles* 

  24. :o I would wear the Hello Kitty one everyday! *squeals with delight*

  25.  When I was in military service in winter in korea I used it to protect cold. It made me warmer. also air mask can prevent respiratory ailments. Especially patients recommended.

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