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The Disappearance of Masks

(by Colin)

We have all heard that the Japanese government had decided to lift most COVID restrictions as of this spring. In Okey Dokey, we have decided to align to the rules which are applied in public schools.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, we have learnt that not being able to see the English teacher’s mouth was in no way an impediment to the development of listening or speaking skills. If anything, it surprisingly had a positive effect on Eiken listening scores!

After more than three years under strict safety measures, it will probably be difficult for many of us to adjust to a new lifestyle. As some will rightfully worry about the obvious health risks, there are also clear merits to going back to a pre-COVID situation. I worry about the toll long-term mask wearing might take on children. There is a possibility that mask-wearing children may be deprived of the opportunity to learn how to read facial expressions and understand social cues. These skills are vital to a healthy social life. There is also concern that keeping the lower part of the face hidden for extended periods of time could create physical complexes in children and adolescents.

Personally, I think it will be hard to uncover my face in the classroom at once, so I will try to get used to it little by little. Hopefully my immune system still works a little...

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