Face masks are a common accessory in Asia. People in Taiwan wear it to shield themselves from dust, pollens and viruses, and to keep their own sicknesses from spreading to others. Hong Kong, Japan, and likely other surrounding countries, share the common etiquette in their cultures – something I slowly forgot after moving to the United States.
This morning, for the very first time in the US, I saw somebody wear a face mask in public.
And the second time. And the third.
The swine flu has hit the US at a threatening level, and NYC has been hit the hardest. The first couple of cases were discovered right here in Queens, which is also a crowded neighborhood for any virus’s convenience. Morning commute on the Subway is filled with endless surprises even without a pademic warning out there, so no wonder people started taking action to protect themselves. Hmm. Maybe I should be worried too?