In Asia, wearing a surgical face mask in public is socially acceptable. People do so for a lot of reasons, such as to protect their personal space, hide a pimple or skip their make-up routine. Historically, the mask culture appeared first as a common courtesy, to prevent your germs from spreading around when you’re sick. And for a while, doctors weren’t sure mass-produced masks for the public were that really efficient to prevent catching the latest virus going around.
Turns out, worn correctly, masks *do* help
Studies go as far as saying you’re 80% less likely to catch the flu if you properly wear your mask.
But as the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan China has spawned fears of a pandemic across Asia, people are showing revolutionary ways to max up their protection to 100%, as demonstrated here by @miimoti.
— うちでのこづち (@miimoti) January 23, 2020
= This morning, watching this image on TV, I thought ways of wearing masks are limitless.
(やな imitates the Kansai accent. In standard Japanese, it’d be だな).
Well, it’s at least guaranteed no one will dare come cough near him!
Of course, Twitter peeps were quick to add some variations of their own.
— 新名タカヤ (@takaya_niina) January 25, 2020
= Limitless indeed!
You can read on the screenshot:
= I’m not good at taking out a new mask from its wrapping so it always ends up like this.
— akem @NANA MIZUKI LIVE RUNNER 2020ナゴヤドーム参戦 (@bloodc4466) January 25, 2020
Japan’s unprecedented mask shortage
With Japanese evacuees from Wuhan taken to hospital, people’s fear went up a notch. From Sapporo to Hiroshima, people are now reporting a mask shortage at their local drugstores and supermarkets. In some places, store owners had to limit their clients from buying more than one box at a time.
Too little too late, as business savvy peeps sniffing a good opportunity, raided physical and online stores to resell their stocks… Three or four times the regular price.
Nothing like fear to make good money.
I saw it “on” TV
で isn’t one of Japanese’s most complex particles, but refreshing your memory never hurts.
First, remember で has two main jobs, that is 1) indicating the place where an action takes place and 2) how the action was performed.
Here are real-life examples from a regular day at a Japanese office:
ファクスで書類を送ってください。= Please send the documents by fax.
同僚と会いたくないので、トイレで昼食をとります。= I don’t want to see my colleagues, so I eat lunch in the toilets.
By now you have spotted at least a third usage of the particle で, which is indicating a cause or reason.
雪で電車が止まっている= The train is stopped because of the snow.
In Japanese grammar, で has actually several more meanings that are kind of variations of the method an action or something is “done”.
- Origins as in 木で机を作りました = this table is made of wood.”
- State or condition as in “裸で寝ます = I sleep (in the state of being) naked.”
|付け方||tsukekata||way to wear|
|取り出す||toridasu||take out, pull out|
|こうなる||kou naru||end up like this|
|その通りです||sono toori desu||Exactly, that’s it, as you said|
|書類を送る||shyorui o okuru||send document(s)|
||chyuushyoku o toru||take lunch|
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