One of the weird things I noticed when I first got here was the number of people wearing SARS masks. I call them SARS masks because that’s really the first time I ever saw people wearing surgical masks when not performing surgery. I doubt that the masks are very effective a protecting against SARS, but panicked people will do strange things.
I don’t think that SARS is really the reason that they wear the masks. I’ve asked every Japanese person I’ve met to explain the masks, and basically it comes down to each person doing it for a different reason, or perhaps any of the following reasons:
* Cold dry air can give you a dry throught.
* You could catch a cold.
* You could give your cold to someone else.
* It might help remove dust or an alergin from the air.
I’ve had mixed feelings about taking a picture of someone with a mask on, and really, it would be a better photo if there were a bunch of them. The reality is that it’s about one person in thirty, significant, but not a really high percentage.
Instead, I have an ad for a mask wich is espically designed to prevent your glasses from being fogged up while wearing the mask.