Many people ponder the life they pursue as they live. Among them, I think the thing that comes to mind first is how to live—and how to live well, in good health.
No one knows how long the global COVID-19 will continue in Korea and in the world.
During such a period of difficulty, the Korea Mask Industry Association came in when the Korean people were curious about the status of masks, the most basic and important personal quarantine item against the fast-spreading contagious disease almost in all parts of the world.
The Korea Post media recently interviewed Chairman Suk Ho-gil of the Korea Mask Industry Association, who took a particular interest in the preservation and health of the Korean people and all the peoples around the world.
Excerpts from the interview follow:
From an association of small businesses to an association of mask-makers:
Seeing a lot of things are happening since the COVID virus, which started in December 2019, I thought that in the future, humanity will suffer from various harmful bacteria and viruses. Nevertheless, Republic of Korea (south) had been wearing some masks long before the coronavirus outbreak.
Due to heavy metal fine dust and yellow dust, the daily life in Korea has had the need of using masks or air purifiers. Now use of them has become essential rather than optional.
The irony is that Korea has been wearing masks due to heavy metal fine dust for a long time, and the government has also established and produced KF94·80/KF-AD masks (for splash blocking). Korea also produced dental masks that block up to micrometers for mask standardization. Under this situation, the Korean government has given as many permits as possible to the mast producers.
In the early stage of spread of COVID-19 in Korea, masks had been scarce and very low in the rate of supply and therefore the central government adjusted the price and supply, and limited the number of individual setting of the dates of supply. Nowadays, many types of masks and hand sanitizers are coming out of factories, and so it is impossible to know what products to buy and use on the basis of the product quality or brand name.
I am glad to see the Korea Mask Industry Association established as a sweet rain coming after a long spell of dry season.
We established to support making a model country out of Korea for quarantine in the country. Our group's main business is to take the lead in supplying the pandemic-control masks to domestic and overseas markets in partnership with factories that produced good masks.
Currently, the Korea Mask Industry Association is ready to play its role properly to protect the rights and interests of more than 350 member companies.
Broadly, we plan to expand the supply of quarantine supplies by establishing branches in Asia, Latin America, Western Europe, and various other parts of the world, and plan to supply large quantities of masks free of charge to poor and needy countries and peoples around the world as well as in Korea.
We plan to become a comprehensive association that researches not only masks but also syringes and vaccines specializing in controlling COVID-19 woes. Russia's Kamarian Vaccine Research Institute is also seeking cooperation in the study of ‘Sputnik’ products.
We see the second semiconductor industry as a filter industry in the future. We will strive to promote our status as a quarantine manufacturing country.
The core mission is to see the world smoothly using standardized masks around the world:
Many of the Korean masks are comparable in quality to the highest product standard of quality in the world. Therefore, it is our mission to export our high-quality products to the entire world. We plan to set up a two-track local plant system and deliver the products to the local market after a certain period of time after Korean companies make as much profit as possible. Only then will we become a developed country for brand patents that will receive the incentives and royalties.
We will make daring efforts to improve the function of the masks:
The masks have become a daily life, and it seems that it will go for a long time in the future. This is because pandemic is always lurking.
In this daily life, the executives of the “Korea Mask Industry Association” view that masks are also fashion-oriented and they are also thinking of inserting Taegeuk sings in the products, which represent Korea with view to promoting the national prestige of Korea.
In addition to functionality, nanofibers, titanium masks, and masks with ionic ingredients are also being produced and planned to be distributed. In Europe, they began designing works of famous painters on masks. We also need to incorporate great designs into the mask.
I also need a design, but I think the mask recycling issue is the most important. We are also considering how to recycle the mask. We are also working on making gasoline and diesel by combining discarded masks.
China's KN95 mask is encroaching on Korean masks:
I think that even though we have the original technology, it should not lead to the result of other countries enjoying the reflective benefits. For example, there is a perception that China's KN95 mask is one of the top ranks better than Korea's KF94 masks. Accordingly, the association's position is that Korea should also respond more closely to government standards.
We want to export masks and related products not affected by external restrictions:
In Korea, as the country of export is expressed, many companies are affiliated with large companies using their brand names. I am well aware of these blind spots. With our association's mission, which is not affiliated with any large corporations or anywhere, our goal is to become an association that manages quarantine supplies, including quality masks, corona syringes, and vaccines.
Finally, I have a dream. It is to become a shipowner who owns a shipment full of quarantine supplies and exporting the best goods in the world to the outside world.
The World Health Organization advice on the use of masks against COVID-19:
Masks should be used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to suppress transmission and save lives; the use of a mask alone is not sufficient to provide an adequate level of protection against COVID-19.
If COVID-19 is spreading in your community, stay safe by taking some simple precautions, such as physical distancing, wearing a mask, keeping rooms well ventilated, avoiding crowds, cleaning your hands, and coughing into a bent elbow or tissue. Check local advice where you live and work. Do it all!
Make wearing a mask a normal part of being around other people. The appropriate use, storage and cleaning or disposal of masks are essential to make them as effective as possible.
Here are the basics of how to wear a mask:
Clean your hands before you put your mask on, as well as before and after you take it off, and after you touch it at any time.
Make sure it covers both your nose, mouth and chin.
When you take off a mask, store it in a clean plastic bag, and every day either wash it if it’s a fabric mask, or dispose of a medical mask in a trash bin.
Don’t use masks with valves.
For specifics on what type of mask to wear and when, see our Q&A and watch our videos. There is also a Q&A focused on masks and children.
Take a 1-hour WHO course that tells you when, where and how to wear a mask in community settings.
Find out more about the science of how COVID-19 infects people, and our bodies react, by watching or reading this interview.