Locked down in Tokyo

Tokyo. A city with tens of millions of people. And yet, nobody has the patience for strangers.

If you ask me though? It's a good thing. I certainly don't want hundreds of passersby each day trying to practice English with me. Besides, in Tokyo there are the accepted ways to meet new people; bars, events, work. Within the desert of human interaction, there are social oases.

But with COVID? Those oases have all dried up. Bars close at 8pm. Events don't open at all. Work happens in your shoebox apartment. Now you can never even leave your office.

I imagine a real desert would be kinder. At least out there, you wouldn't be confronted with the existence of others, so close but so far, each time you need to leave the house for food. Each time you decide to brave the pollen-smothered sun.

It's funny. Japan has the distinction that despite being in the middle of a raging pandemic, despite the rapidly aging population, it recorded a large drop in its mortality rate last year.

Yet, the suicide rate has gone up, especially amongst the youth. Which begs the question.

Is it really an achievement that less people are dying, if more people want to?