02 June, 2016

Wearing a face mask

I don't like this look. I don't like wearing a mask and I rarely do. Except that I'm currently coughing and spluttering all over with a cold complicated by asthma. 

I wore the mask because it was the right thing to do. If I am at home, or at school, or out grocery shopping I wouldn't. But I spent 45 minutes with a masseur and I knew that it was just better if I did this (though I asked if I could take it off while I was lying facedown).

The worst thing about a mask is that after you cough or sneeze, you then have all those goobers against your face for the rest of the the time you're wearing it. Yuck! Hang on a second . . .
I just went to wash my face after that paragraph. Ewww.

After a while the paper gets soggy and if you're having trouble breathing to start with, this can feel claustrophobic.

But sometimes it is the right thing to do, especially if you are in close contact with the same Japanese people for a length of time. I attended a Christmas eve service like this a couple of years ago. It meant I could cough and splutter my way through the service without feeling like I was a biohazard. Though the jury is still out as to whether such mask-wearing prevents germs from being transmitted into the air. 

A couple of years ago Alice Gordenker at The Japan Times wrote a column about face masks in Japan that might help you understand, it might also surprise you (colds and flu aren't the only reason people wear masks in Japan).

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