Though the Japan along with many other countries were some of the first countries to get in contact with COVID-19, otherwise known as the corona virus, it is only now that the people are starting to treat this pandemic much more seriously. Due to the crisis, businesses are temporarily closed, and some are being left with no other option but to close permanently. Though half of the nation may not be affected financially, this virus is causing a massive impact on others.
Prior to the present situation, it is undeniable that precautionary measures taken place and with the media highlighting the virus. But perhaps it may have been too “light”. The opinions in Japan were still split on whether if this was something to be taken seriously. On one hand, there were many frantic hoarders who bought all the toilet paper and facemasks, leaving other shoppers with nothing to purchase. On the other hand, there were people who didn’t believe that the virus would ever personally affect themselves, and continued to go out. It was spring, which meant it was spring break for many college students. A handful of young people continued to travel around, whether that be within the country or abroad. People also went out to enjoy the view of the cherry blossoms, despite the situation. This clash of different mindsets, could be said is what lead us to Japan’s current state.
As of March 31st, there are currently over 2,000 total confirmed cases, with Tokyo being the most infected out of all prefectures. Though this number could be considered nothing compared to the conditions of other countries, it is fairly alarming due to the number of cases each day added to the count each day. In recent news Tokyo declared a state of emergency, calling for all people to refrain from going out. Many other state officials are calling out to the citizens to refrain from going out to public places, practice basic health practices (such as washing hands) and try to stay at home, away from large crowds of people. Due to this, izakayas and restaurants are temporarily closing, but allowing for take-outs. In regards of office jobs, for the first time, a handful of companies are allowing work to be done from home and have started online based job interviews. Even if they do not have online interviews, it should be in your rights as a person who cares about their health to demand for it to be done online. Though this commotion may be slowing down the process for people who are currently job hunting, it has not completely come to a halt.
Like other countries, the Japanese government has also been trying to take measures to support the economy through relief aids. However, whether if these actions will be effective or be as supportive is still in the air.
Though it is evident that a majority of the public now is currently changing their minds about the severity of the situation, the virus is still not understood by many. There are people who still believe that as long as they do not take their elderly relatives to places, they will be okay, that if they are hanging out with only a couple of friends, that it’s fine. In fact, nobody can guarantee what will happen. But if you do have the option to make a risk, or stay inside, do it for the team, and cancel your plans. To some people it may be stressful to stay at home quarantined, remember that your actions is not only for yourself but for the wellbeing of others. Don’t hoard, don’t recklessly go out. Be giving to others who do not have the same privileges or supplies as you do. If you want to support your favorite local restaurant, order from there than a franchise—trust me they need you more than a McDonalds, with plentiful of money to spare. But most importantly, be kind to people who have to work on the frontlines, whether that be at the hospital, public transportation services, supermarkets, or even your UberEats deliveryman. What you do, affects others—so why not make that something positive to spread. May you and your loved ones stay safe.