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And yet, just three years ago, TTC workers were forbidden from wearing masks to protect themselves against air pollution in the subway system.

The TTC also instructed its workers not to wear masks during the 2003 SARS epidemic in Toronto.

Clearly, our discomfort about wearing masks in the midst of a pandemic has deep roots.

In a country that takes etiquette very seriously, wearing masks in Japan has become a form of politeness.

After the Communists came to power in 1949, there was intense fear of germ warfare, leading many to wear masks.

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