Hokkaido: Coronavirus

Wow, so crazy things have been going on for the last few weeks.

I guess I’m going to jump on the bandwagon because it’s inevitable. This post is about coronavirus. You’ve been warned.

I’m not really panicking, but I’m taking precautions not to get sick with any virus, either the cold, the flu, or novel corona.

Last year’s Snow Festival

I skipped the Snow Festival this year even though I was looking forward to it a lot. That turned out to be a good thing because most of the cases of coronavirus infections in Hokkaido seemed to be from that singularity.

As I write this, up in Hokkaido, we’re struck with the most number of cases nationwide.

Like everyone else, I just want this to be over. But we’re still in it for a couple of months. Experts are claiming the peak will be in April–which means we still have a few more weeks of hysteria hitting the airwaves.

It’s been nonstop. More people are getting infected. Experts have found out the ways that people have been inadvertently spreading the viurs to others around them. Schools have been shut down, including mine. The governor of Hokkaido encouraged his citizens to stay home over the past weekend. We were all asked to not spread or become infected by the virus by avoiding places where people gathered.The news coverage was so sad–not so many people were out and about the city. Seeing a very empty Ekimaedori in front of Sapporo station made me feel really depressed. 

Then for some stupid reason, fake news on the internet said that materials to make toilet paper were the same as those used in masks. Somehow, misinformation spread that this might cause us to run out of toilet paper–which triggered a panic and so everyone, including me, bought toilet paper. Some people are stocking up on other stuff, too. Of course we’re out of masks, but canned goods and other emergency food have been flying off the shelves.

Empty shelves with no toilet paper stock. Signs say don’t panic and that only one pack per family.

It’s crazy. I’m trying not to get involved in the panic buying because I think it’s really stupid–and I don’t want to be dumb and ignorant. I want to be impervious to this kind of behavior, but it’s difficult when there’s a fog of anxiety over the whole country.

The anxiety also manifests itself in different ways. Frustration builds and boils over and we’re attacking people psychologically for no good reason. People are suspicious of each other when you hear a cough in the train. You just don’t know if people are sick and you might be the next one infected. It’s provoked arguments nationwide. I’ve also heard that Asian people have been attacked overseas.

We all need to calm down and not lose our marbles. I’m surprised this is happening in Japan, considering people were well behaved during the typhoon last year and the devastating tsunami that happened on March 11, 2011 (the anniversary of which is coming up next week).

Keep Calm

This virus is getting blown out of proportion. If you’re older or have diseases that might cause complications, I can understand the concern, but for the rest of us, there’s really no need to panic.

Recently, I’ve turned off the news. I don’t want to hear about coronavirus every freaking day. There’s just no point. Maybe during the weekends when I’m not so busy, I’ll turn it on just to get an update. 

I don’t want to waste any more of my precious time and energy worrying about something I can’t control. Things will get worse or things will get better. I’m just going to sit back, ride it out, and watch with interest.

Anyways, hope everyone stays healthy and calm.

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