Thursday, 1 October 2020

Visiting again. For now...

 Our care home opened its doors again to family visits and we spent another 15 mins with Okaasan head nodding like bobbing-head toys, looking out the windows at a world she can't visit and doing our double act chat about the weather/the mountain/the tall building/the lunch menu/the Tv/my T shirt pattern/Okaasan's socks.

Luckily it's only 15 mins!

Oh I know, that makes me sound like a horrible person...but it IS a relief that we can only have short visits. Once a week.

I am a horrible person.

So, our care home dodged the Corona Virus case at a connected Day Service facility, it seems. But maybe another care home wasn't so lucky, or skilled. About 3 km south of Okaasan's home - there is a CV cluster at another home in the city. 24 staff and residents at the last count. No deaths.

It is SO near to our care home, and it is very likely that people from there go to the same day service facilities. Maybe that's how the infection spread? We are glad that we chose a place that has a basic day care room and services in the same building, and a hosspital. So Okaasan never needs to leave the building.

And this pandemic year - she hasn't.

She last went outside maybe almost a year ago? November 2019? We probably took her out in our car and wheeled her in the wheelchair downtown somewhere. Then winter came and it  got harder to move her wheelchair near the car and get her into the car. So we just visited and sat with her inside.

And then in February a Pandemic began and all chance to leave the building disappeared.

What's nuts is that SOME of the  elderly in her care home ARE leaving, to go by mini bus etc to day service places in the city for a few hours. But we are not allowed to take her out ourselves.

It's hard. But I do understand it. The less contact she, and anyone, has with the world beyond the care home doors - the better. But still, it is strange to think she has not been outside for almost a year.

Her mental and physical condition has gone down this year, although she seems basically content. Sitting in her chair and looking at the TV. Eating  what they bring her. Sleeping calmly.

October - in Japan several changes now, which may lead to an increase in CV cases. Foreign students and business people are allowed into the country now. Universities have started back, half in class/half online. Tokyo people will be allowed to use the government's discounted domestic travel campaign.

And the biggest worry in this part of Japan is the season change. Daytime it is above 20 C, and we can wear T shirts if it is sunny, but there were first snowfalls in the mountains and the nights are cool. We are starting to live behind closed windows and doors, so the air circulation in our daily lives in becoming worse.

But still Japan appears to have a better CV situation than so many countries.

Japan's daily new case average is 400-500. In the UK it is 5,000...

Even allowing for the low testing rates here, (you still have to be pretty sick to even get a test), those are staggeringly different numbers. Japan is a mask wearing, rule following, hand washing that all helps. Japanese people don't hug eachother and talk loudly in public places. That helps.

But it is still an amazing difference.

Stay safe wherever you are, and let's hope for a safe winter.


  1. Glad to know you can visit. Keeping my fingers crossed Okaasan stays healthy.
    My school just reported another COVID-19 positive case. This is the 3rd case. We've had approximately
    30 kids on quarantine. Wish us luck!

    1. Hi there ! Yes, it really seems that as soon as students go back to school - and there is ineviatbly more movement and meeting of people - there is a flare up. Friends in the Uk say students in Manchester and Glasgow are under dorm lockdown...I HOPE Japanese students will be more careful - because it is a more careful society...butwho knows?