In Japan, when people get even a little bit sick they wear a mask. If you ride the train everyday, you’re likely to see at least one person wearing a mask everyday.
If there’s a bug going around, some people will wear masks in an attempt to avoid getting sick.
If there’s a fear of some sort of epidemic, people will go to the drug stores and buy up all the masks.

Recently, Japan has been making a lot of noise about the swine flu. People are getting checked for flu symptoms at the airport. People are being quarantined. Schools are closing across Japan!!! And drug stores are running out of masks.
I happen to live in Hyogo, which is where the schools are closing. We must be out of masks, because I got this hilarious handout on my desk at work today