Well, as I sit here, I fear the worst. Japan has done next to nothing to address the Corona situation. Here in Sapporo they closed schools for about 2 weeks at the start of March… and that’s about it. Almost a laughable (little) amount of testing has occurred, just check the stats. The government, both national and prefectural, seems to be incapable of of enacting anything other than strong verbal encouragements to “go out less on the weekends”. Aside from a handful of multinational tech companies, almost all jobs lack remote working capabilities. Schools are in the same retrograde conundrum. Having spied on the operation of Japanese junior high schools for a decade, trust me, they aren’t even capable of emailing assignments. Check out a Japanese public school’s website, it’s like jumping in a time machine to 1997.
Cases are spiking, despite the paltry amount of testing. My own company reported that an ALT in another area south of Hokkaido caught it. They then sent out an email telling us to basically shelter in place. But I also know that for the last week my company has been rushing to change international and domestic flights of new branch workers, trying to get them to their job postings before travel bans/quarantines went into place on March 28th. The mixed messaging is absurd. Just this past week my company was asking people if they wanted to substitute at schools(i.e. fly to other locations around Japan) in the next couple of weeks. Fuck that. Of course they still plan on opening schools in about 2 weeks. People need to get a clue.
So what can I control? Not the policies of the nation. Not the utter disregard and flippant attitude of the general public of the world health crisis. I can control just my immediate environment, the present. Presently I am alive. Presently I am listening to The Practical Stoic Podcast. I watched a random film from The Sight & Sound Greatest Films of All Time 2012. Funny how I chose The Seventh Seal, a Bergman film centered around the Black Death (plague).
And of course there is my other projects, including this intense “Happy Camper” model from Robotime/Rolife. This paper/cardboard model kit was extremely laborious, frustrating, and time consuming. It took well over a month maybe longer. But it really brings my micro-man cave together.