It will take hospitals months to work through the backlog

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IT IS NOW well established that face masks are an effective tool for slowing the spread of the coronavirus. But in Japan such face-coverings are being used for another, less urgent, purpose: concealing post-surgery swelling. Last week Kyodo News, a wire service, reported a surge in demand for cosmetic surgery in the country. The phenomenon appears to be driven more by convenience than necessity. “Some patients who could not go to work and had extra free time thought of having cosmetic surgery,” says Yoshimura Kotaro, a director at the Japanese Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (JSPRS).

This is the exception, not

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