Wednesday, 18 March 2020

Still here...

Corona Virus still here.
We are still here.
Okaasan still her care home, where no family visits are allowed.

Dear Son called the other day, the staff said all is good.
Okaasan came to the phone for a brief chat. Well, I expect DS chatted and she listened. She knew who he was, so that's good.

Times like this - ARE there "times like this"? - dementia is a bonus. She doesn't know whether we have been to visit, or not. Her world is the right now - the TV, the drink on the table in front of her, the smiling face of a staff member.

Yesterday in Hokkaido there were no new cases a 24 hours time frame. But, of course it's still out a few more people will feel bad and go to a big hospital and have a test...then the numbers will be back on the evening news.

The practice here is that if you are a low risk person, then stay home and self-quarantine. The beds and the tests should be for the elderly and sick.
Some schools are letting kids back on a rota system...certain grades for a few hours on certain days. Just gives the parents a break and lets the kids see friends.

But, going around in public you feel some areas are very quiet...and then into a supermarket...and life as normal.
We've walked a lot, shopped and eaten locally.
Our most risky trip was to Costco yesterday, suitably masked-up and using the sanitizer sprays everywhere. Lots of handwashing after that, before and after unpacking the shopping.

Europe and America are entering the CV zone now. My Facebook feed is full of it.

Funny how a month changes things. I sent my step-aunt in the UK an e mail this morning.
My last e mail to her was FEb. 15th...reassuring her that we were ok despite what she was hearing from Japan.
Now a month later, it is me sending HER a mail to check that she and the family are ok.

Stay safe and healthy, wherever you are. Handwash, handwash again.

Monday, 9 March 2020

Living in a State of Emergency

No....not my life with Okaaasan in the same house...which often FELT like a State of Emergency...

The real one. As ordered by the Hokkaido Governor 10 days ago.
Not compulsory, the authorities in Japan haven't gone the way of China...or Italy. 

But we were all asked to stay home as much as possible. Refrain from unnecessary travel. Stay away from crowded places..unless we were foolishly doing the toilet paper craziness...schools closed, people working from home, grandparents suddenly working every day for childcare, baseball played in an empty stadium, pop concerts cancelled.

How is it for you, in your part of the world?

The Hokkaido case numbers have crept up over 100, still the highest infection rate in Japan. Hopefully this voluntary restraint period will change that...

Our life has become quieter...but not so different.
I work from home anyway. Dear Son is continuing his TV game show monitoring job. Interspersed with the beer tasting job. Then some shopping and cooking.

We have stayed away from Okaasan.  Apart from falling out of bed one night, she has been fine. The staff said she had no injury and was on the floor laughing when they went in.

Actually our MAIN concern has been one of the cats. A  fight injury (they scrap in the evening when they can't get out and burn off energy) turned bad and we have been to the vets 3 times, with a variety of problems. I'm on lack of sleep mode because of two cats, a barrier at the bedroom door...night time demands.

For me work is about half, or less. Kind of a peaceful time...but if this goes on for longer my finances will look bad. At the moment ok.
Some students coming.
Some students doing SKYPE class.
Some students cancelled because of infection concerns, or busy with grandkids.
No tours at the moment, anyway.

Luckily a large editing job for local government and a tourism leaflet. Very thankful to get that now.

And so...onwards into spring. Usually a hopeful month, spring coming etc.
Although this week is also full of memorial programs on TV about the 9 years ago north-east Japan tsunami/nuclear meltdown crises - another time when all Japan was battling through a disaster.

Oh. And yup, it'll be my birthday.
My birthday month in Japan....not always so good, really.

Stay safe and healthy everyone!