Many Japanese Wear Face Masks, Should You?

It's flu season. Lou doesn't want the flu - which got him thinking, should he be wearing a face mask?
Sources/Learn More:
Mitsutoshi Horii - http://chaucercollege.academia.edu/MitsutoshiHorii
The Use of Facemasks to Prevent Respiratory Infection - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4293989/
Clinical Trial of Mark Use in Households to Prevent Respiratory Virus Transmission - http://www.ijidonline.com/article/S1201-9712(08)01008-4/pdf
Why do Japanese Wear Masks? - http://www.japanesestudies.org.uk/ejcjs/vol14/iss2/horii.html
CDC Influenza Report - https://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/index.htm
CDC Everyday Preventative Actions - https://www.cdc.gov/nonpharmaceutical-interventions/personal/index.html
1918 Influenza - https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3291398/

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Hey it's lou and here's the thing this . is not regularly scheduled programming . this is sort of an announcement that we . are acknowledging the news that our two . co-founders matt hackett and casey . neistat are leaving the company but i'm . not leaving the company and the company . is not closing this big dude keep this . thing straight it's this the bottom . isn't flat it's like anyway i will be . remaining here at being the beeb youtube . channel will still be a thing so tune in. and watch our videos like this one on . japanese face mask . hey it's lou and here's the thing we've . had a pretty bad flu season in the u. s. so far 30 children have died and that . number will probably be higher by the . time we post this video because cases . have been on the rise in the last few . weeks jack and i were chit-chatting . about this the other day and he said why . don't more people in the united states . wear surgical mask to prevent the spread . of flu like they do in asian countries. interesting question right let's start . off with an obvious state asia is a big . place we actually had a debate in our. office about whether or not indians are . considered asian technically but not . really well maybe on a map but . culturally okay that's a whole different . piece anyway i wanted to avoid making . sweeping generalizations about a large . part of the world so i focused my. research on japan we're wearing face . masks is fairly common one survey found . that nearly 50% of the japanese . population wore masks as a protection . against the flu i spoke to an academic . who somehow wrote an entire book on this . topic professor meatsuit toshi hoary ii . and he sees this thing not necessarily . as an effective tool to fight disease . but really as a safety blanket and in a . weird way a status symbol bear with me . it's 1918 is a spanish influenza. pandemic a worldwide crisis that would . kill an estimated 50 million people . meaning that flu season was deadlier . than world war one . it's a curb this horrific outbreak many . governments encourage their citizens to . wear face masks most americans with . characteristic stubbornness said they. basically said don't tell me what to do . this did not catch on in the united. states although interestingly mass . wearing was temporarily adopted in san. francisco and there's actually some . evidence that it may have slowed the . spread of spanish influenza there but. all in all just did not catch on and . u. s. but it became a thing in japan a . professor cory ii had an interesting . explanation as to why decades prior this . is in the mid to late 1800s the use of . religious amulets and lucky charms to . treat illnesses with widespread in japan . the government was like this is no good . you can't use a talisman to treat an . illness so ritualistic treatments like . that were banned now in 1918 and 1919 . the japanese government started to . encourage and even distribute these face . masks and the population was like oh . cool putting this on feels like a ritual . it even feels like a lucky charm we like . those they're familiar this is great and . this feeds into the professor's main . thesis these masks give people a sense . of control like they're doing something . to protect themselves because a flu that . is killing tens of millions of people . can make you feel powerless but donning . this mask gives you some agency you're. fighting back even if it's in as weird . small way so every time there's been an . airborne illness scare in japan that's . hay fever sars avian flu h1n1 these . masks are signed. you're not just helplessly vulnerable. they're also a sign that you're a . considerate self-reliant citizen who. doesn't want to get other people sick a . survey found that most japanese people . thought wearing a mask is respectful . that's just basic personal . responsibility and politeness and being . polite is a major cultural priority in . japan and something emphasized by both. the government and the companies that . sell these masks there are posters in . japan that depict masks wearing as a . responsible habit this study from . singaporean academics asserts such. advertisements which portray the mask . wearing individual as the ideal employee . or family person may have helped to mold . the mindset of the japanese make sense . in the west the opposite perception . exists in an australian study . respondents said mask wearers are . perceived as dangerous and attract . unwanted attention think of bank robbers . and their bandanas or the unsavory . association we have with hoodies . westerners want to be able to get a good . look at a person okay so those are the . cultural reasons that the japanese are . receptive to masks wear but besides . culture how about the obvious question . do mass work well a different australian . study finds i quote mass had protective . efficacy in excess of 80 percent against . clinical influenza like illness that's . pretty compelling evidence and even the . center for disease control here in the . states endorses masks wearing a . spokesperson sent me a list of . recommendations to combat the flu and it. includes i quote covering your nose and . mouth with a mask or cloth if you are . sick and yadda-yadda-yadda . so yeah there is evidence that masks the . right mass when worn properly can . prevent the spread of the flu and . there's also evidence that certain mass . help combat the effects of pollution . that's why mass are popular in other . asian countries china comes to mind mass . have gotten pretty elaborate even . stylish there there's one thing that . k-pop idols will never forget that is . the basement and the editor of this show . the wonderful michelle wears a mask when . she goes to visit family in south korea . me show you wear a mask us there's a lot . of dust in the air and the mass prevents . you from getting a sore throat so see . mass work they work for michelle she . doesn't get a sore throat when she's. exposed to pollution they work for . people who don't want to get the flu a . lot of studies demonstrate that which . brings us back to jack's original . question so far i focus on why asians . wear masks but maybe the thing that . needs to change the better part of that . question is why don't westerners wear. math moscow decoster ooh . selectivities little girls so you amaze . you gotta cut off okay after all we've . got a crazy flu season we've got plenty. of pollution and we've got plenty of . people with respiratory issues but i . think the reason we don't wear masks is . about cultural perceptions let's be. honest if you wear a mask in the u. s. you're going to get a weird look a weird . reaction out of people and that got me . thinking that a lot of the behavior that . i've absorbed through the fact that i'm . an american millennial may make no sense . to folks from other cultures and vice . versa . like wearing shoes indoors or putting . ice in every drink even when it's cold . out our panels community came up with. some other examples thumbs up is like . giving someone the middle finger in . australia greece and the middle east . something we do here in mexico law is . changes like this now this is actually . what i think is cool about globalization . we're going to be exposed to behaviors . that we might initially find strange but . perhaps should consider adopting because . i don't want to get the flu at the same . time i don't want to be perceived as odd . how do i balance those two things and . this brings me to an anecdote professor . hoary he told me that i think is kind of . funny hoary ii grew up in japan but . teachers part of the year in england he . does not wear a mask in england and when . japanese students come to england to. study with him he lets them know that . wearing a mass in the uk may make them . stand out may make them seem bizarre and . that's a point of view a lot of his . students never even considered so it's a . give and take something that balances . cultural assimilation and perhaps an . effective way not to get sick but the . cool part about all this is maybe the . mass thing is catching on after all all . right i'm gonna go with my life . i do wanna rolly rolly rolly wooded a . branch i already got some news i should . like and subscribe. .
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