Curious to Read How Japan is Coping with the Virus? Read On!
It’s been a troubling couple of weeks as the COVID19 scare continues, and each country deals with the outbreak in their own way. I thought I’d write a post about some ways that Japan is coping with the virus, in case it’s interesting or helpful to whatever is happening in your country. As usual, I answer some questions from our Twitter followers.
Public Hygiene is Job One
As you can imagine, the Japanese are up to the task of maintaining proper hygiene, with 85% or so of people wearing masks when in public, washing their hands frequently and carrying spray bottles of disinfectant to spray on their hands at other times, perhaps the single best way of coping with the virus. I noticed that the Dyson-style hand dryers, the kind you insert your hand into to quickly blow them dry, were covered up out of concerns that these devices are actually bad for public health.
Japan is such a clean and hygienic place that it inspired AFLAC founder John Amos to enter the Japanese insurance market after he visited the 1970 Osaka Expo and saw all the health-conscious Japanese people wearing face masks in public. It was one of the best business decisions of the 20th century, yielding billions in profits over the past few decades.
Schools Have (Mostly) Closed
Around 99% of the 20,000 elementary, junior high and high schools in Japan have closed to help slow the spread of the virus, though some schools have opted to remain open despite Prime Minister Abe’s request that all schools close. A friend of mine has a daughter in kindergarten which has opted not to close, though the school is taking extra precautions with the children. “Happily,” this disease appears to not be a danger to children, targeting the elderly and those with compromised immune systems. In many cases, children have nowhere to go, so schools are allowing them to use the school classrooms, so the closure isn’t absolutely effective.
Public Events Have Been Cancelled
As in other countries, pretty much every major event, including several otaku and doujinshi events, have been canceled, which is understandably a bummer for fans. Another looming question is what will happen to the summer Comiket, which was moved from August to May to accommodate the Tokyo Olympics. It’s not decided yet, but it might be canceled or delayed somehow. We certainly hope the Olympics themselves won’t be negatively affected, though kicking the event forward a year seems like a decent idea to me.
Tourist Activities Have Been Curtailed
As in other countries, places popular with tourists are in many cases closed, with the Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo Sky Tree, Tokyo Disneyland, Universal Studios Japan, and the Ghibli Museum are all closed, either until the end of March or in some cases “until further notice.” Even the Nissin Cup Noodles Museum is closed. Oh, the humanity!
Restaurants And Similar Businesses are Getting Hit Hard
Sadly the restaurant industry is taking a hit from the crisis, with most customers staying away. This is a gut punch to the industry, after many restaurant owners underwent massive remodeling to prepare for the huge crowds that would be coming for the 2020 Olympics. Mrs. J-List and I have started eating out much more than we normally do, in order to support the restaurants we love as best we can, and ordering take-out if we don’t feel like getting dressed up to go out.
If you want to support restaurants near you during this time, one smart idea I saw floating around the Internet was buying gift certificates from them to use later. It sounds like a great idea!
Many Retail Shops Are Doing Well
With nothing to do and nowhere fun to go over the weekend, my wife and I decided to clean out our genkan, the recessed area where you leave your shoes when you enter a home. It hadn’t gotten a proper cleaning in many years, so we removed all the old junk, from golf clubs to old shoes, and gave the area a proper scrubbing. I needed to go buy some cleaning supplies and was happy to see the parking lot at the store full of people shopping, some of whom were no doubt doing what we were doing, taking advantage of Dad being home to get important work around the house done.
Our local Japanese Costco was also doing brisk business as people stocked up, but there was no panic buying. And also no free samples, as in the gif above, sadly. Will this hell never end?!?!
Supplies Are Holding Up
After an initial panic in which everyone rushed out to buy up all the toilet paper they could find, supplies have been pretty much available, with everything people need on store shelves. One exception is face masks, which have remained difficult to obtain, and are often being sold at greatly inflated prices on sites like Amazon and Mercari, which the government just made illegal. The same thing happened to Geiger counters in the aftermath of the 3/11/11 earthquake and Fukushima disaster: they shot up in price to $1000 or more as everyone suddenly wanted one.
According to the Internet, People Are Buying More Adult Toys
I’m sure the Internet never lies, but supposedly sales of sex toys are on the rise, as people find themselves cut off from others, which is a good way of coping with the virus outbreak, I guess. If you find yourself in this situation, naturally J-List is happy to help everyone out, and we’ve even got a $20 automatic coupon for you!
Got any more questions on the virus situation? Hit us up on Twitter!
A lot of people will be in isolation over the next couple of weeks, and that means some of us to need something to do to entertain ourselves. That’s why J-List is giving everyone $20 off all ero products for guys or girls for the next week. Just add $80 or more of ero toys or lotions to your cart, and the discount will be automatically applied!