Hapless OAP Wears Expensive Virus Mask Wrong Way Round

Story By: John FengSub-EditorJoseph Golder, Agency: Asia Wire Report


This video shows a pensioner wearing a rare N95-grade surgical mask but using it completely the wrong way as Chinese officials admit a dire shortage of medical supplies and urgent need for masks and hazmat gear.

Footage from the city of Weihai in China’s eastern province of Shandong shows the hapless elderly resident putting the surgical mask over his nose and mouth and the elastic bands over both ears.


But the two elastic bands are meant to be worn around the neck and head instead, leaving the surgical mask sideways and exposing his nose and mouth on either side of his face.

Another resident who spots the pensioner’s bizarre attempts to protect himself from the Wuhan coronavirus tries to correct him, but the elderly man appears oblivious to what he is doing wrong.

Social media user ‘seaosky’ wrote: “It’s meant to be worn around his head, but he’s wearing it around his ears.”

‘Xiaojianshang de rainbow’ added: “At least he has a mask. I can’t get any.”

Higher grade N95 masks, which have become nearly impossible to buy due to a national shortage, are thought to be more effective at preventing infection and can be used for a longer period of time than traditional one-time use surgical masks.


According to China’s ministry of industry, the country’s factories are at full capacity but only able to produce about 20 million masks a day.

China’s foreign ministry has said it “urgently needs” medical supplies including surgical masks, decontamination clothing, and goggles.

The Wuhan coronavirus outbreak has so far claimed 492 victims, 490 of whom have been reported in China.


More than 24,500 people have been infected by the pneumonia-like disease worldwide.

Upmarket masks like the N95-grade ones can cost around 6 GBP in both China and Europe, while cheaper masks typically cost around 1 GBP for a pack of three.

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John Feng

I am a senior journalist and editor, and have worked for a number of different news agencies over the last decade. I am currently editor-in-chief of the Asia Wire Report news wire.