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"Smile education": After COVID-19, Japanese need to relearn how to smile - voila! news

2023-06-08T06:52:17.085Z

Highlights: Even after the requirement to wear masks was abolished in Japan, most of the population continues to use them. The widespread use of masks, which was widespread even before the pandemic, has caused many in the country to forget how to go without them. "I didn't use my facial muscles much during COVID," said <>-year-old Himaori Yoshida. Now, to regain the ability to walk around with a straight face, she hired a "smile instructor"


Even after the requirement to wear masks was abolished in Japan, most of the population continues to use them. The widespread use of masks, which was widespread even before the pandemic, has caused many in the country to forget how to go without them. 3 years into the outbreak of the pandemic, Japanese take courses with a smile: "I did not use my facial muscles much during the corona"


Video: WHO chief executive says we are already seeing the end of the coronavirus pandemic (Photo: Reuters)

While the post-COVID-20 world is slowly weaning itself off masks, in Japan, masks were widespread long before the pandemic and many used them to fight seasonal diseases. However, their use surged as it became official government guidance to combat the pandemic. Three years after the outbreak of the virus, many in Japan still did not go out in public without a mask, even after the government lifted its recommendations last March.

Himaori Yoshida was one of many in Japan who forgot how to go about things without masks. "I didn't use my facial muscles much during COVID," said <>-year-old Yoshida. Now, to regain the ability to walk around with a straight face, she hired a "smile instructor," saying it was "good training" to help her prepare for entering the workforce.

Yoshida and her classmates, mostly young people, are taught by their teacher Keiko Kavanaugh how to smile. In one exercise in class, she asks them to hold mirrors in front of their faces and stretch the sides of their mouths with their fingers.

Armored people with masks on the streets of Osaka, Japan, Corona, March 14, 2020(Photo: Reuters)

Demand for Kavanaugh's course, called Education for a Smile, has quadrupled, including the demand for private lessons, which cost 7,700 yen, or about 200 shekels. "I think people just have a growing need to smile," she said. "Culturally, a smile signifies that I don't hold a gun and don't threaten you," she explained.

A poll conducted by Japan's public broadcaster last month showed that 55% of Japanese still wear masks as often as they would when government guidelines required it. Only 8% stopped completely.

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  • coronavirus

Source: walla

All news articles on 2023-06-08

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