Nengah Budiasa, a parking attendant said he had modified the coconut shell into a mask, as he had to take off his face masks multiple times to blow the whistle at work.
Although face-masks have become part of the ‘new normal’, there is no dearth of creativity when it comes to bizarre alternatives. The latest innovation involves making a mask out of a coconut shell. Made by a parking attendant in Indonesia, it has garnered a lot of attention online, including the local authorities who were not impressed by his ingenuity.
Nengah Budiasa, 44. from Denpasar in Bali became the talk of the town as he showed off his handiwork, making a face mask, by recycling a coconut shell. Fitted with a whistle, an important tool to do his day-today-job, Budiasa went viral on social media while managing cars. It soon caught the attention of local police as well, who punished him for not meeting the safety standards against the coronavirus in the city.
Although Budiasa was not fined, he was told to do push-ups on the spot as a punishment, Bali Coconut reported. Officers from the Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) also provided him with the correct alternative, the report added.
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“He didn’t intend to violate the rules, but the mask he’s been using is improper because it’s not what the government recommends. So we have helped him out by giving him the [right] masks,” Satpol PP Denpasar Chief, Dewa Anom Sayoga told Kompas.
Earlier in an interview with the local media outlet, the man had explained why he opted for fruit shell as his protective gear. According to Bali Canal, the man had only modified the coconut shell so that he could blow the whistle continuously at work without taking his mask off every time.
Arguing that the usual masks get dirtier faster as he has to touch them continuously while using a whistle for traffic, he said that many customers protested about it as well. “It’s very comfortable to use. It’s also good to talk about,” Budiasa was quoted by VOI.
He told the media outlet that he wore the coconut mask only while working at the parking lot and washed the coconut shell mask soon after to be used the next day.
The Health Ministry recommends the use of surgical masks, as well as respirators such as N95 and KN95.