Badges Helping People Cough without Fear Catching On

Society Lifestyle

Kawasaki, Kanagawa Pref., March 10 (Jiji Press)--Badges indicating that the holders have asthma or hay fever are proving popular in Japan as more and more such people feel uncomfortable when coughing on a train or in other places amid the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Handmade badges and key rings with messages such as "I have hay fever," "I have asthma" and "This cough isn't contagious," along with cute illustrations of animals, are on the shelves of variety store Epilyri in the city of Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo.

"Even when I'm wearing a face mask, I'm worried about what other people are thinking and I feel sorry," said Miwa Makino, owner of the store. Makino herself has asthma and knows what it is like to be unable to stop coughing.

The store has been flooded with orders since an incident in late February in which a person aboard a subway train in the southwestern Japan city of Fukuoka pressed an emergency button after seeing another passenger coughing. At the store, 30 to 40 such badges and key rings are sold a day.

Makino has asked her family and friends to help her make the products, but it is difficult to meet the surging demand, according to her. "For impatient customers who come to my shop, I make one for them immediately," she said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press