The latest Corona virus from China and its consequences have reached Japan, and 45 people have been infected in Japan to date. While the Japanese people are not prone to panic, you can see that something is wrong if you know where to look: More people than usual are wearing face masks in public. Even though production is at its limit, the masks are so much in demand that they are pretty much sold out. My very own Izumiya drug store has imposed a limit on the purchase of face masks: Only 2 packs per customer per purchase.
As I said above, it’s not that the Japanese are prone to panic, but in this case, many Chinese living in Japan buy those masks to send them to their relatives in China. And that’s on top of the donations from the Japanese government and even sister cities, and the official purchases directly at the producers.
Personally, I still don’t wear these masks and I don’t see myself donning one any time soon. But then again, I don’t use public transport much and avoid the inner city of Kyoto whenever I can. So much so, that I only heard through a friend about the news report showing the “empty” streets of Kyoto. Hmm… maybe it’s time to visit my favourite places again, now that they are not overflowing with (Chinese) tourists?