The dreaded flu mask

27 10 2009

Today, I come in to find out that about a third of my third-year students are out sick with the “new influenza” (H1N1, Swine Flu, etc.). So I’m told I have to wear a flu mask. Ok. No problem. I did this the other day and lived. I hate things covering my face, so I was definitely annoyed with it.

We walked into the classroom and found that every student had a flu mask. All but two had them covering their faces. One had it in his hand, and the other had slid his mask down around his chin. The student with it in his had seemed to wait until the bell rang for class to start, to wear his. Even when he was wearing it, it was below his nose.

This is the sort of thing I've had to wear . . . yuck.

As class went on, I noticed students uncovering their faces to talk with one another, lifting them to itch (can you blame them?) and other things. Are they blocking you from catching germs or others from yours if they lift them or don’t have their mouth or nose completely covered?

On top of that, apparently having something covering my face makes me yawn a lot. So I’m yawning and the mask is either trying to come off of my nose or come up from my chin.

Makes me wonder what mask etiquette is. We also don’t wear them in the staff room. Are there less flu germs in here? Or at lunch time, wouldn’t that be the easiest time to catch it? Yet, how would you eat if you wore it?

Basically, I haven’t seen the incredible powers of face masks and just think they are silly. Maybe as I “become” more Japanese I’ll get it. Maybe not.

Links about the flu mask:

As with all things in Japan, they had to find a way to make them “cute”

Someone’s research on them (complete with photo).

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