A common sight on subways every allergy season, face masks aren’t anything new in Japan, but just like the SARS virus and H1N1 influenza strain that create the global demand, the sale and styles of surgical masks continue to proliferate and diversify.
The latest version of the face protector (via Shibuya246) is the Viramask by Earth Pharmaceutical. This beak-like design adheres directly to the face, so there are no elastic straps to go around the head or ears. This also means no air leaking in from the sides for a more assured protection from any and all kinds of airborne cooties.
At over ¥900 yen a pop, this kind of protection doesn’t come cheap, but the cost is offset by the joy you will give your friends and coworkers as they devise new ways to tease your new duck-like appearance:
- Addressing you in Donald’s voice.
- Leaving breadcrumbs on your desk.
- Shouting “AFLAC!” every time you walk by.