'Don't Buy Masks' Movement Spreads Online | Be Korea-savvy

‘Don’t Buy Masks’ Movement Spreads Online

People queue in front of a supermarket in southern Seoul to purchase masks on March 4, 2020. (Yonhap)

People queue in front of a supermarket in southern Seoul to purchase masks on March 4, 2020. (Yonhap)

SEOUL, March 10 (Korea Bizwire)With the implementation of a mask rationing system to stabilize the supply of masks starting Monday, the ‘Don’t buy masks’ movement has been gaining traction online.

Under the measure that took effect on Monday, citizens can only buy up to two protective masks per week from pharmacies, on designated days of the week, depending on the final digit of their year of birth.

The move is aimed at giving up the opportunity to purchase masks so that vulnerable people who need more masks are able to find them in stock, as the phenomenon of mask shortages has continued since the initial outbreak of the novel coronavirus infection.

It is also aimed to neutralize the act of profiting through corner sales by suspending the purchase of masks immediately.

“Mom cafés,” or online communities of moms, have also joined the move. On Monday morning, a post titled “Would you join the ‘Don’t buy masks’ Movement?” appeared on one mom café in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province.

About 50 members of the café left comments expressing their support.

One member posted a picture of a mask that was made using cotton and non-woven cloths, expressing her intention to join the “Don’t buy masks” movement.

Those who expressed their willingness to join said they would reduce their use of masks by opting for “social-distancing” methods instead, such as refraining from going out.

A similar message was posted a few days ago at a mom café in Uijeongbu.

The post titled “Don’t buy masks”, which was posted on March 3, received positive responses such as “I hope elderly people, who have difficulty purchasing online can buy masks comfortably at pharmacies,” and “I know that they are lining up in anxiety, but this is also a hoard.”

Social media such as Facebook and Twitter are also continuing to show hashtags such as ‘#Don’t buy masks’ and “#Yielding mask.”

Attention is being paid to whether the online ‘Don’t buy masks’ movement will have a practical effect on the problem of lack of supply of masks.

D. M. Park (dmpark@koreabizwire.com)

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