As my students and I have walked around Kyoto and Tokyo, we’ve seen many people wearing surgical masks. I asked our guide today why people wore those and he told me it had nothing to do with pollution. It was because people have allergies or they are getting sick. He also mentioned that in times of a health issue spreading through the region, people will wear one to protect themselves.
This may sound like overkill for those in CO but there is a lot more people here. 13 million in Tokyo and mass transit is the way to get from point A to point B. It would be very easy for something viral to spread quickly.
All hail the mask!