After the flu panic that swept Japan in May, most are now a bit calmer as winter approaches - and with it the real flu season.
In addition to impending vaccinations and ubiquitous hand washing liquid dispensers, masks are the most commonly seen measure.
On public transportation, in particular, about 20-30% of the passengers are now wearing masks.
This is normally a polite gesture on the part of those suffering from a cold; however, this time it appears to be the other way around: to protect one from those nearby.
Commuter trains in Japan are packed and windows are sealed shut: making them rolling germ factories.
The man above is riding a train out of Tsuruhashi, in Osaka, and has on his hat, his sunglasses, and a thick old-style mask.
Below left are the more technologically advanced - and thinner - masks worn by passengers at Kyobashi Station, also in Osaka.
Below right is a "How to Cough" poster at a national university in Osaka.
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Wednesday, December 02, 2009