What is “Social Distancing”?


Hello everyone,

It’s getting warmer now and really feels like spring. The cherry blossom trees are beginning to bloom around Fuji. In other parts of Japan they are already blooming. When they do depends on the variety of cherry blossom tree and its location. In Fuji, it’s usually at the end of March or beginning of April. People usually have a picnic under the trees or “hanami”, but this year it isn’t encouraged. Just like in the rest of the world, people are discouraged from large meetings in public places to stop the spread of the corona virus. In many countries they have started a trend of  “social distancing”, where people keep at least 1 meter apart in public. In Ireland they are doing that now, so the supermarket lines are very long. Ireland has also made special times for senior citizens only in supermarkets. Older people, like my parents, are more at risk from the virus. Being able to use the supermarket separate from young people lowers the risk of infection. Ireland’s number of virus cases has risen quickly recently. At the time of writing this there are 1,125 cases in Ireland, which is almost exactly the same as Japan, with 1,128 cases. So now Ireland’s prime minister has called on a stop on all travel, apart from shopping. Work places and schools have shut down. People are advised to stay indoors. It seems very different to Japan, where most things are running as normal. The main change here is that schools are closed and most big events are being cancelled or postponed. The biggest, of course, is the Olympics, which now looks like it will be postponed until next year. Some countries have already pulled out of the Olympics, so Japan has no option at this point. It will take a lot of work to move it ahead one year, but it will make the event a much safer occasion.















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