The Perils of American Air

Posted by at 3:27PM

IMG_0168.jpg IMG_0170.jpg Students eating at Stern Dining received a mild shock this afternoon when several members of a large Japanese school group arrived for lunch in face masks. The group of about 50 students, visiting from Osaka, had been advised to wear the masks as a precaution against H1N1 influenza.
The swine flu epidemic has already hit Japan hard, causing at least 100 deaths (as of December 2009). Stanford, meanwhile, has experienced a number of reported cases but thankfully no fatalities; Vaden Health Center now has vaccines for people who need them. These circumstances seem to call into question why face masks would be necessary or desirable.
Perhaps the students couldn’t handle the fresh California air and sunshine after two weeks of rain….

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One Response to “The Perils of American Air”

  1. Charlie says:

    Those masks are huge in Japan. I was there last spring, when H1N1 first made it to Japan. The entire country actually ran out of masks, and packs of 5 were being sold online for hundreds of dollars. I got tons of dirty looks on the trains because I was the only one not wearing a mask.


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