Here in Japan, it is normal for many people to wear a medical face mask if they have a cold, or especially hay fever. With the recent situation in the news right now, however, a lot more people than usual are wearing face masks. And although natural at times, they also prefer to sit away from each other.
Some people have started taking precautions a step further, and are now wearing plastic gloves, too! This gentleman is a recent example, seen standing on the train here in Tokyo. (Thanks K-san for the photos.)
How it affects work
As an English teacher in Japan, some students are happy to shake hands at the end of a lesson. More recently, however, everyone is being encouraged to avoid the risk of infection as much as possible. So, no shaking hands, of course (for most people), and we are now spraying desks and chairs with disinfectant, after every lesson.
Many places have closed
Many community centers have closed, and companies have introduced policies to stop inviting non-essential guests. So, many a teacher, sales professional, customer, etc., have had to cancel outside appointments until further notice. Schools have been closed too, so many working parents have to be at home to take care of their kids. At the same time, many places are encouraging their staff to work from home if possible.
It’s not all bad
Despite the encouraged panic and perception relayed by the media, hopefully, this working from home will help improve the environment and minimize the carbon footprint and damage that otherwise ceases to increase from a `normal’ way of life. We will have to wait and see, of course…
Are people only wearing masks and plastic gloves in Japan?
How about where you are? Share your thoughts in the comments.