The date is April 5, 1990
I was 15 and visiting my best friend from Jr. High who had moved three years prior. We are on a train from Roppongi District, Tokyo to Disneyland (Which was new-ish in Tokyo at that time). I see this guy dressed for work, wearing what appears to be a surgical mask. So I ask my friend what the deal is.
“He’s sick” my friend says. “Everyone does that here so that they don’t get anyone else sick.”
“What a great idea. I wonder why we don’t do that in the US.”
Thirty years later, I’m still left wondering.