…Is not so different from usual Tokyo. I had to take the train to a doctor’s visit today and was surprised to find it more crowded than usual for off-peak. We weren’t completely sardines, but we were standing closer than we should be during a pandemic. It might be my imagination but the atmosphere however, did feel a bit different. Usually, everyone is zoning out, staring at their phones, or sleeping. My fellow passengers wore masks, hands at their sides – avoiding even touching the hanging straps, and eyes facing forward. As if even eye contact is contagious.
My local shopping street is popular amongst locals, Japanese visitors, and foreign travelers, and it remains so even now. It’s hard to avoid crowds, even if just going to the supermarket. I don’t fault people from going about their day but it does make me angry to see the streets remain busy even at night, with people hanging out at the Izakaya and restaurants. We all love Ramen, but maybe, chill out for now!
Back in New York my parents are both at home with Covid-19 and I am miles away. That hurts. Not only the worry and helplessness but the guilt of not being able to support those that have always supported me. My father has sleep apnea and I am anxious all day, hoping that I don’t get that phone call that he never woke up.
Signs of Change
Finally the popular parks (such as Yoyogi and Ueno) have been closed to the public, and people advised to stay home on the weekends. This resulted in the second wave of panic buying, which here in Japan was: rice, potatoes, and bread. The first wave was of course, toilet paper and masks.
A legendary Japanese comedian, Shimura Ken, passed away from the virus today. I was really sad to hear it but hopefully it will make the Japanese Government take this more seriously.
Take care, everyone! This won’t last forever, and then we can enjoy our time spent outside, with others, even more.
Let me know if you have any questions about the situation in Tokyo!