This is not the normal Glimpse of Japan blog post but instead a quick round up of my thoughts about the pandemic and how Japan is handling it (from the views of someone who is not there but watching from afar).
While the United States seems to be turning a corner on the pandemic, Japan continues to be a few pages behind on its handling of the situation and with the Olympics fast approaching, it just seems to get worse every day.
From afar I see Japan is way behind on rolling out the vaccines to its population, starting with the elderly. I understand that Japan relies on outside resources for its vaccines but to be this behind compared to the rest of the world is a little shocking. I would have thought a nation as powerful and modern as Japan would have been rolling out a massive vaccination plan by now, but that is not the case. Instead, just a small percentage have been vaccinated as state of emergency orders have been extended around the country. Its as if they are moving in quicksand and are slow to respond at every level.
From what I gather, the government has been slow to move and now with variants spreading faster throughout Asia, Japan is seeing new spikes in cases and this is just awful to see. This pandemic is just awful and anything it extends it is not good, at all. A return to normal won’t come at this pace for some time which is bad to see.
Then of course are the Olympics that are still scheduled to take place despite citizens and athletes beginning to voice their disapproval. I get that the Japanese government is in big time debt because of the games and has a struggling economy on top of it all, but pushing forward with the games is just reckless. Japan depends a lot on tourism and they had banked on these games bringing in a lot of money but this is just not the time for this to happen. Inviting thousands of people into the country, asking medical personnel to volunteer (when those resources should be used for the population) just to get the games done is not worth the risk it can cause (or make things worse at this point).
I hope and wish the best for Japan. It feels strange to see a country and place I love so much struggle like it is due to bad decisions that seem so simple to correct. I hope in the coming months that they are able to get the vaccines rolling out and the states of emergency can end so the people of that incredible country can return to some kind of normal.