Source: Sonny Liew

Award-winning graphic novelist Sonny Liew, made a short comic titled “Baffled Bunny & Curious Cat in Masks” to inform the public on the proper use of surgical masks. 

Mr Liew, who is the first Singaporean to win an Eisner Award in 2017, posted the comic to his Facebook page on 5 February.

He shared that the comic was made in consultation with Dr Hsu Li Yang, who specializes in infectious disease, and supported by the Singapore Population Health Improvement Centre (SPHERiC).

“Wearing or not wearing masks – when you’re not ill – is not quite as straightforward a matter as some of the earlier messaging suggested,” Mr Liew said in the caption.

 “At some level it’s a personal choice; at the same time, it seems to also involve questions about rational decision making, as well as individual wants vs social responsibility,” he added.

The short comic features a ‘Doctor Duck’ giving instructions to the animals on how to wear a surgical mask and remind them to not panic and to refrain from hoarding masks.

“Do note that, at present, the situation here means that the chance of contracting the Wuhan coronavirus is still very low,” the Doctor Duck said to the animals in the comic.  

The graphic novelist also wrote that wearing a mask should be the norm if the person is sick (sneezing, coughing) and out and about, even in the absence of new viruses. 

The message conveyed in the comic, however, seems to be in line with the Government’s call for people to use face masks responsibly.

On 30 January, the Government announced that all 1.37 million Singapore households will receive four surgical face masks each, amid concerns over the Wuhan coronavirus outbreaks and retailers running out of stock of masks across the country.

The distribution was made progressively at 89 Community Centres (CCs) and 654 Residents’ Committee (RC) centres, starting from 1 February to 9 February.

National Development Minister Lawrence Wong said there are sufficient supply of masks in the country if everyone uses them responsibly, The Straits Times reported on 31 January. 

“You only wear a mask if you are not well and you have to go out to see a doctor. Those who are well do not need to wear a mask,” Mr Wong said.

“Baffled Bunny & Curious Cat in Masks” is also available on Instagram for people to view on their mobile devices.

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