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Medical worker blasts ill-mannered response to mask shortage and coronavirus at Japanese hospitals

15 Comments
By grape Japan

In Japan, surgical or sickness masks are worn for a variety of reasons (including fashion and a sense of anonymity and privacy), but largely as a common courtesy when one is feeling ill and as a measure against hay fever and spreading sickness. With rising concerns regarding the ongoing coronavirus has lead to an increase in mindfulness about wearing masks and using disinfectant alcohol spray routinely.

Unfortunately, some stores have been struggling to keep up with the demand for such products, leading to shortages and imposed purchasing limits for customers. In turn, the scarcity of masks has resulted in some looking to take advantage with resale of masks at inflated prices, Kyodo News reports.

Japanese medical worker @naa_pisimo recently took to Twitter to reveal some of the resulting behavior they've noticed at hospitals, and admonishing against it.

"This is a request from the hospital front-lines. Please don't come to the hospital just to ask doctors and nurses to sell you masks. No matter how pushy or pleading you are about it, we can't sell them to you. It's the same even if you come to the inpatient ward. Both patients and hospital staff are also lacking in their own supply of masks.

"Please do not take the spray alcohol we have installed here home with you. It is a terrible inconvenience. Please stop transferring our spray alcohol into your own personal spray bottle then taking it home. We ourselves do not have enough on hand. Many people are coming to the hospital to treat influenza, so please cooperate with influenza prevention measures."

Response to the tweet has largely been alarm at the idea of inconveniencing and stealing from hospitals, who despite their own lack of supplies, need all they can get to take care of patients and save lies. Here are a few responses from Twitter:

"This is too cruel. Hospitals need those supplies because they are hospitals."

"Alcohol disinfectant spray has been stolen at the hospital I work at."

"This should be considered theft. Where did their morals go?"

"Are there really people like this? Unbelievable. It's more appalling than it is angering."

Clearly, retail shortages of masks and spray at a time like this can be frustrating. Stealing from and bothering those in need, who are already impacted by the shortage, is not the solution, however.

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© grape Japan

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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The last sentence is such an understatement it deserves a singular omnipotent title. 'Such is Mankind' is as good as any other.

Any takers?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Please do not take the spray alcohol we have installed here home with you. It is a terrible inconvenience. Please stop transferring our spray alcohol into your own personal spray bottle then taking it home. We ourselves do not have enough on hand.

If this happens elsewhere I am not surprised but it is Japan then I am surprised.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

If this happens elsewhere I am not surprised but it is Japan then I am surprised.

Oh dear. Please show me the portal to this alternative reality you must live in, I fancy a holiday.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

@yoshisan - I've seen people in my home country do this all the time and it's looked down upon but nobody's stopping it because they would probably do the same. It's the same with cases of tissue theft in public restrooms in China where people get arrested for it. People just can't resist taking advantage of **free things **and if you add the threat of a dire need for it, expect the public to become more aggressive in taking advantage of it

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If this happens elsewhere I am not surprised but it is Japan then I am surprised.

Oh dear. Please show me the portal to this alternative reality you must live in, I fancy a holiday.

LOL! Exactly! The lesson to be learned here is that people are people and that the Japanese are no different to anyone else. Under the right circumstances, people's manners go out the window.

Japanese are no different.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

If this happens elsewhere I am not surprised but it is Japan then I am surprised

Well, let me be the first to welcome you to reality. You must have missed the post-quake manner-amnesia that struck here.

Having more societal rules does not make a place better mannered. It makes it “more mannered”.

Another point to consider, if a concept falls apart when you need it most was it ever actually there in the first place?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Wearing surgical masks does not prevent contraction of a virus or bacteria. Gargling does not protect against colds, etc. These are odd Japanese myths that Japanese people seem too intellectually lazy to question.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Just waiting for the usual suspects to come up with something like  " it must be all the foreigners coming to the hospital for the masks and disinfectant cause Japanese are so honest as everyone knows" , stuff.

Comes to show Japanese are like everyone else after all, shock, surprise...

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The nerve of some people! ;)

Regarding masks, I think they do a better job of keeping you from spreading your cold to others than they do at keeping you from getting someone else's cold. On the train, it is impossible not to touch the hand holds at some point. Most people will rub their eyes and noses when they are itchy, thus infecting themselves anyway. However, if you have nasty cold and then place your coughed or sneezed upon hands on the loops and bars, then you are spreading your germs for others to then touch.

I am all for the hands-free coughing and sneezing experience a mask provides. Plus it makes a nice humidifier to soothe a sore throat. If you currently have a cold, I hope you get well soon. Cheers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Masks are a Part of avoiding germs but not the only part. Other parts are, obviously, staying away from sick people, and washing your hands often and with disinfectant (alcohol). Masks used as humidifiers can be incubators for new and exotic diseases. Mask-maker recommendation: change them every 3 to 4 hours; don’t wash and reuse; toss them.

Mask are useless if - as I saw in the bank the other day - you touch anything other people have touched and then touch your eyes, mouth, or nose.The bank employee I watched counted bills that were touched by untold hundreds, then rubbed his eyes in a gesture meant to convey “Look how much I work even though I’m really, really tired.” Soon, he will be confined to bed with either a cold, the flu, or coronavirus.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Masks used as humidifiers can be incubators for new and exotic diseases

If you are referring to my comment, I certainly wasn't advocating using a mask for a long time. Yuk. I still stand by my humidifier comment. Keeps me from coughing as much at night and helps on a cold morning bike ride to the station when I have a sore throat. I trash mine soon. Kind of a waste, but oh well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

well, still, i will bet on Japanese people ( not Japanese government) to act properly compare to others,

I think paper is taking this too far and data is too small to be valid.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The people doing these despicable things.....are they actually Japanese? Esp with the number of non-Japanese at major cities.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Masks can not stop virus or bacteria as they are too small. However a mask can stop the larger moisture/water droplets which contain virus or bacteria that are projected in a sneeze or cough. If masks were completely ineffective medical personnel all over the world would not be using them.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Say it ain't so, Jo! Since the article didn't say the g-word, it must be the natives doing this. Some people , however, will never be convinced that those natives are flesh and blood humans like the rest of us mortals.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

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