Living in Japan, things move differently. It was only last week that Japan lifted mask restrictions. I know, I know. The rest of the world was maskless for more than a year. But this is how things work over here. The pace is different, and people are more cautious.

The official date was March 13, last Monday. I left the house with a prediction, that 90% of the people on the streets would still be wearing masks. I was wrong; it was higher. Of course, it’s a small sample size, but I saw maybe one person in 25 that was maskless. So maybe 96% still wearing masks. And that one person not wearing the mask still had his mask in his shirt pocket.

And that’s how I’ve coped with it. Peer pressure has always been strong over here. Many places still ask you to mask, even with the restrictions lifted. I’m sure it’s because of social distance. You want to get a haircut? Wear a mask. So always carry one, even if you don’t always wear it.

I hear from young people, who’ve spent the last 3 years always masking, that they don’t want to take off the mask. It’s become habit. You have anonymity. You have distance. Maybe it’s like a teenager who always has earphones on. You can shut off the rest of the world.

My prediction: a year from now, 90% of people in Japan will still be masking.


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