‘Please understand’: Japanese town distributes student-made labels to people who cannot wear masks


TAKAYAMA, Gifu – Wooden tags asking for understanding for people who have difficulty wearing masks due to hypersensitivity, skin or respiratory diseases or other conditions are distributed by this city ​​in central Japan.

Twelve members of the architecture and interior technology club at Takayama Prefectural Technical High School made the beacons to help people who cannot wear masks, which can lead to misunderstandings in the era of the coronavirus pandemic .

The heart-shaped labels, measuring 9.5 centimeters high and 11 cm wide, are made of wood as Takayama is known for its woodwork. The shapes are laser cut and the message “I cannot wear a mask, please understand” is engraved inside an illustration of a mask on the front of the label.

Students learned from reports of cases where people felt uncomfortable when warned by others not to use masks, and elementary school children who cannot wear masks are returned home in tears after being scolded. Hoping to improve this situation, they decided to make the tags and offered to donate them to the city.

The city then asked the club to start producing the labels after it had received complaints from citizens that “people who cannot wear masks are reprimanded and feel uncomfortable.”

Kohaku Tomita, 18, a third-year student and club manager, said: “We hope citizens will understand and those who wear it can live a comfortable daily life without any inconvenience.”

The distribution of badges to individuals began in October in the health promotion section of the public health center in the city’s Hanaokamachi district. A tag is provided for each individual.

(Japanese original from Tadayuki Otake, Local Takayama Office)


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