Shutting the virus out when your school won’t shut down

With Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declaring a state of emergency for Japan, you’d be forgiven for thinking tumbleweeds are now rolling slowly through deserted streets as schools and stores close their doors to students and customers.

That’s not what’s really happening, though, as streets, parks and shopping districts remain full of life, with the sound of traffic and children running up and down neighbourhood streets making it seem as if there’s no pandemic here at all, despite the fact that coronavirus cases are steadily on the rise.

In a lot of prefectures outside the big cities, where coronavirus cases remain relatively low, schools are also running as usual, with the government advising that classroom windows remain open for ventilation and everyone entering school grounds have their temperature taken.

That’s not enough to make some people feel safe, though, as evidenced by one student who decided to take measures into his own hands by investing in some protective clothing.

“My brother preparing to go back to school tomorrow after a long time.”

In March, Prime Minister Abe asked schools around the nation to close early for spring break, but a lot of schools, including the one that this particular student attends, started the new school year as normal at the beginning of April.

“I thought it was a joke, but my little brother really went to school in the protective gear.”

While it’s unclear whether or not this student was allowed to wear the protective clothing all day or if the photos were taken during break time at school, people around the country didn’t think it was a bad idea to suit up like this.

“Complete protection against the virus, and other things like asbestos too!”
“Great idea – but you wouldn’t want to wear it during a P.E. lesson!”
“Could this be future couture for Japan?”
“If only I could wear this at work…”
“Ummm…won’t all this protection be useless the moment he eats or goes to drink that drink next to him?” 

While it’s true that the suit isn’t exactly foolproof, nor practical when it comes to a whole day at school, it certainly does make an impression. According to the student’s older brother, who shared these photos with his followers on his Twitter account, the complete outfit cost about 8,000 yen (US$74.34), with everything purchased at a branch of the popular Japanese home centre chain Kohnan.

As facial masks are still hard to come by in Japan, people are having to think on their feet and come up with creative ways to protect themselves during the current health crisis. So this may not be the last time we see a student decked out in head-to-toe protective gear, especially when they’re doing everything they can to keep from going to school right now.

Source, featured image: Twitter/Soichiro_r 
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