Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Colds, Japanese-style

Due to a sore throat, I went native the last two days, donning the infamous surgical-style face mask people in Asia are famous for wearing at the drop of a hat. Have a cold? Mask. Someone else has a cold? Mask. Bird flu? Mask. Morning commute? Mask. Don't want to participate in school? Mask. (I'm looking at you, middle schoolers...)

Epidemiologically speaking, I am given to understand although the mask can help with spread by trapping coughs, sneezes, and regular old germy breath, it won't prevent you from catching most stuff, since your eye membranes are still exposed, but feel free to correct me, medicine-y people. What I found over the last two days is that it does something really awesome for a sore throat: traps warm/moist air around your face. It's like walking around with your own humidifier. Of course, the breakout around my nose is going to be epic. It really sucks to be teaching high schoolers and realize they all have better skin than me.

In addition to the mask, I've done the Mystery Gargle from my coworker Aki (I swear she just dripped minty-flavored blue ink into a glass) and stolen the hot water heater from the school kitchen so I can have a pot of decaf tea on my desk at all times.

The ultimate reason for all of this? Faculty karaoke is on Friday, and I. WILL. BE. READY. Come rain, come snow, come zits, come ink, come forty trips to the bathroom a day. Because let's face it, people, The Final Countdown ain't gonna count itself.

Wish me luck!


  1. Amazing. Good luck with your health, yes! Coincidentally, I just *went to* karaoke last night for the first time ever. Was hoping to go all the way and sing stuff, but my supposed big group of friends never showed up and the 1 friend and I decided we needed a larger cheering section if we were going to perform. Another time though! At least I've been now.

    get well!

  2. The purpose of the mask is to stop germs from coming out of you, rather than into you. So it only needs to cover your sneeze and cough apparatuses.

    The mask also provides the added bonus of causing you to faint about 2x as fast while you are watching oral surgery.

    I want a picture of you in your mask very muchly!


  3. Hi Nana! What you said is true about the mask and the middle schoolers...I should know! I miss you guys so much. I hope you are having fun!

    ~(Your cusion) Stephanie

  4. JJJ - two people is totally a karaoke quorum. Justin and I used to go all the time in Korea, and in fact, you even see people going solo here.

    Jackie - I'll have a picture up in the karaoke post, I think. I took the mask and wrapped it around the microphone (yes, clean side down) to protect fellow vocalists. We'll see if it works.

    Stephanie - Welcome to the blog! It's funny - our students put on masks sometimes so they can act like they can't answer questions, but then you hear them in the hallways and you know the truth. I'm sorry I couldn't send you the rocks in time last fall. I tried to get stuff from the beach but then I found out that our beach was imported from Australia. Yes, they actually brought sand up here because we didn't have any. Can you believe it?

  5. I just read this now.


    Hope you're feeling better. Do you not have the fabulous creation which is the neti pot there in Japan? Most unpleasant experience ever, but surprisingly effective. I imagine it is a close cousin of waterboarding with the added medicinal payoff of saline.

    And I hope the karaoke went well! :)