Monday, May 25, 2009

Pig Flu

Japan has gone crazy over swine flu. I thought I was a hypochondriac but I don't even compare to the Japanese. My sister sat on the plane in Narita for almost an hour while health officials came through, kitted up in full body suits and masks, and took everyone's temperature. A red dot meant you had to stay for further testing. No dot meant you could leave the plane. Thankfully, she didn't end up in quarantine and our trip went smoothly.

But now that there are confirmed cases of the swine influenza in Japan there is a mask shortage. Schools are being shut down. Nathan's friends are here visiting and he had planned on bringing them to school two days this week so they could experience the craziness that is a Japanese junior high school. Already at two of our schools they have asked us about swine flu and if there are any cases in Kentucky. We assured them that they were healthy. They were still worried but maybe it's okay if they visit school. We should have known with the maybe. Maybe in Japanese is a pretty strong NO.

Nathan was already using nyenkyuu to spend time with his friends, but then the superintendent called as we were heading out to dinner to tell him that he could have those two days he had planned on working as "special" days off school to spend with his friends. In other words, keep your dirty flu-infected gaijin friends away from our students. Of course, I still have to go to school so now I have a whole week of being by myself. I've considered telling them I made out with one of them just to see if I get sent home too.

Although to be fair, one teacher did say today, "I don't know why they are so worried. It's not that bad." I knew there was a reason she was my favorite English teacher.

Special mask I made for my sister when she visited, back when you could still find masks.

In other news we had a small tremor tonight. I really really hate earthquakes.


  1. HAHAHA, that's awesome! I glad it wasn't like that when I was there, hehe.

  2. Hi there! My name's Thesanica and I wandered over here from LJ (first at OurBedroom community and then started to surf your blog links). I liked reading your most recent experiences so I am following your blogspot. :) I hope this is not a bad thing. I myself am thinking about going for programs that teach English in other countries, and it's good to read about someone's experiences in a country that I've been looking to in terms of the programs.

    With that, I hope your time in Japan amidst the swine flu scares get a bit better. In NYC, where I live, the scares seem very bad because we have had a couple of deaths documented but in all honesty, I, too, think it's not that bad.

  3. Erin - I keep waiting for a case to show up in Aichi and then we'll ALL have a week off school. Fingers crossed.

    Thesanica - Welcome! If you ever have any questions, feel free to ask.