The Dutch semi-tabloid De Telgraaf reports today on special preparations that the Japanese Olympic team is taking for the games in Beijing: Mouth-Covering for Japan’s Athletes. Yes, the Japanese Olympic Federation will make available to all national athletes the sort of wearable mouth-and-nose covering normally worn by construction crews.
It is perhaps not so surprising to see this coming from the Japanese, since people from that part of the world (i.e. including Korea, Taiwan) seem to be readier than most to go around in public looking like some sort of surgeon’s assistant, often not due to any fears of polluted air but rather things like catching someone else’s air-borne virus. But it’s an idea that could well spread to Japan’s Olympic competitors, since air quality at the games continues to be a concern despite the drastic measures Chinese officials have taken to clean it up.