I'm falling behind on my Japan trip report, so I figured I'd better post this now given that it's already getting pretty obsolete:
I'd heard that Japan was being a little paranoid about the H1N1 swine flu virus (ironic, given that regular old non-swine flu seems to be their biggest problem), and sure enough, when we landed at Narita our airplane was quarantined before we were allowed off.
What this meant was that we all had to sit down and wait as a group of doctors in full protective bio-suits roamed up and down the plane looking for people who they thought might be sick. It was like something out of a Spielberg movie, and I really wanted to take photos of these people but I was afraid that'd be an excuse for them to pull me off the plane. I did at least get the souvenir "You were quarantined!!" notice pictured above.
The funny thing was there seemed to be no scientific methodology to whatever these doctors were doing. I suppose they were looking for anyone sweating, or coughing, or pale, or whatever. But surely this disease has an incubation period, or symptoms that can be hidden in the early stages - I mean, can you really control a virus by just looking at people to see if you think they're sick? It all seemed pointless.
Anyway, it didn't take long, and it gave me a little story to tell.