In cultures like Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, wearing surgical masks is a common practice not just to avoid getting sick, but as a courtesy to others to avoid getting ill. As such, it’s not surprising that in these times people are getting creative with making their own masks due to shortages of medical supplies.
One common thing I’ve seen in Japanese social media and news is to make your own mask using a simple tenugui cloth. I’ve written about tenugui before, and luckily have a few at home, but in theory the same mask can be made with any thin, lightweight cotton fabric of similar dimensions. This is not a medical grade solution, but with a simple home made mask you can still help do your part to limit the spread of this obnoxious virus.
My wife made something similar for me, but rather than tearing some fabric from the tenugui, she happened to have some soft, elastic fabric for wrapping behind my head:
This tenugui is celebrates the 50th year anniversary of the national broadcasting channel, NHK, in Japan, showing the iconic Domokun in different outfits for historical dramas from each year. Needless to say, when I wore this to pick up gyros at the nearby restaurant, I got some confused stares from the restaurant staff. Next time, I’ll use a more subdued pattern.