I got an email from friend up in Osaka. He has a bar up there. I’m hoping he’ll be able to throw some insights my way, but he doesn’t seem to know much more than me at the moment. This is his email:
Hey bro, I’m good.
Things are getting a bit hectic around here. Bar was busy early last night but it got really quiet after last train.
The news was saying the ban would be lifted sometime this week at first but now they’re just showing the same clips. No dates.
Tonight it’s already really busy, so I’ll send you a message later if I get any news.
I thought it was interesting that his bar is still pretty busy. Some of the news seems to pushing the idea that we’re in a state of emergency at the moment. Seems like there are still a lot of people getting on with their lives and it’s not all doom and gloom. Japan’s rural and urban divide is so big, it’s really hard to get an an idea of things up there.
Having said all that, I don’t think I’d be going to go out on a limb to say that the recent news has got to be related to whatever is happening in this country. I’m not sure how much you’re following the newspapers, but I saw a report that said that in the last week there have  been over ten thousand deaths with heart attack type symptoms. These were all really sudden, and at the moment there hasn’t been much in the way of explanation. The people were all aged around 60 or over, but no one is really quite sure if it’s related to the travel ban or if it’s just a coincidence. I haven’t looked at the figures for how many heart attacks are normal in a one week period, but that seems like a lot to me!
Classes today were somewhat tense. There were a lot of students absent and the students seemed to be on edge a little. It could have been worse though. We played a quiz game called Typhoon that I picked up from the Take it Easy Teaching book, which went down pretty well. Went to the supermarket on the way home, which was more crowded than usual and there was a slight sense of frustration, but there aren’t enough people in this town for a riot or anything like that. For the most part, people just seem to lose their manners a little.
I know they aren’t necessarily essentials, but the photo at the top is from today’s supermarket trip. I know it’s mostly alcohol, but I figure it’s good to stock up on what you can, and to be honest there really isn’t much left at the supermarket anyway. I’m a bit addicted to the news at the moment, so I’ll stay plastered to that for the rest of the evening.

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