If Kannon was ever going to catch the coronavirus, she sure won’t now. Japanese workers scaled a giant statue of the Buddhist goddess to keep her and her devotees safe. Watch this drone video of a giant mask installation.

Placing the mask on Kannon is meant to be a prayer for the end of the coronavirus pandemic. Hopefully, someone prayed for the workers since they took on the three-hour operation at serious personal risk. The statue at the Houkokuji Aizu Betsuin temple in Fukushima Prefecture is 187 feet high.

And the mask they installed weighs 77 pounds.

Drone video of a giant mask installation

The statue is hollow and people are welcome to climb the goddess by an interior spiral staircase. However, that isn’t much help to the workers since the stairs only reach the goddess’s shoulder. Kannon holds a baby and worshippers visit to pray for the safe delivery of children and to ask for blessings for newborns.

As we’ve reported before, drones do provide an unprecedented way to view and appreciate giant statues.

The temple manager, Takaomi Horigane, told Reuters the workers came up with the idea of the mask. The plan came up during discussions on the restoration of the Goddess of Mercy statue after it was damaged in an earthquake in February.

Kannon will wear the mask until the COVID-19 situation is under control. Japan has suffered 778,269 infections and 14,217 coronavirus-related deaths.

Installing face masks on Buddhist statues is a thing apparently.

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