Thursday, July 9, 2009

Traffic by Alma R. H. Reyes

Unmasking The Masks of Japan

Do you remember the hilarious comical movie, "Mask," where Jim Carrey transforms himself into a wild frenzy and naughty character each time he puts on the mysterious mask? He loses himself beyond logic and reason, like a spell has possessed him completely. Can masks really have such magical powers over humans? Ano kaya?

1 comment:

  1. I lived in Toronto when the SARS epidemic hit and the reaction was the same there: when people have something to fear, they will overreact. Despite only a few hundred being infected (who were all quarantined, less than 1% of the Toronto population) and only less than 10% infected died (all elderly), people stopped going out, tourism dropped significantly, masks were bought, the media overreacted as well.

    Why is this time different in Japan? Yes, Japanese are more accustom to wearing surgical mask, that's a given (though I remember seeing the majority of people here not wearing them), but at that time, the true nature of the swine flu was still unknown, there was fear it might turn out to another Spanish influenza epidemic. And considering had the fourth largest infections and the amount of people in Japan that use public transportation, the masks were a necessary precaution rather than a insecure overreaction of not fitting in. It has cooled down and the masks are gone.