coffee and corona

I love coffee, and cannot live without it. One thing I do find vexing and baffling though to say the least, is this ultra-familiar scene here in Japan : people studiously walking along the streets in masks – almost one hundred per cent of the population wear them, even outside ( not legally bound but through mutual social pressure ), only to pile into cafes and coffee shops where they gamely attempt to keep on their facial prophylactics as much as possible, except when eating, drinking, smoking, talking…

Every day I walk past these hot beds of infection that have no doors or windows open, no social distancing : at Starbucks, people who would never ordinarily sit this close even to their own next of kin at home are packed in cheek by jowl right adjacent to or opposite each other, sometimes with paltry little plastic screens semi -separating them that don’t do anything. – and I just look on from the outside in dismay.

Why would you even bother ? It’s not even aesthetically / atmospherically pleasing — just commercialised brainwashing.recycled’ insanity

Can the virus not get its way round these little ‘booths’?

I just can’t understand it.

I know that people crave normality, and that coffee is delicious and essential and that people want to socialize, but this is a pandemic FFS.

look at this bullshit !

Very sparse compared to what you often see; this was just me today – still not entirely well – doing replacement lessons and randomly snapping past windows on my way… yet look how close people actually are to each other: in the back left hand corner all crammed in together …….god knows what it is like in the heart of Tokyo…

Why does coffee make people live their rationality at the door?

It may be true that Japan has had a relatively easy time of it compared to the US, which has three times the population but about fifty times the number of dead. The UK and Brazil’s figures are equally disgraceful and traumatizing. But in Asia, last time I checked, Japan had more coronavirus deaths than Taiwan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, and possibly several other countries COMBINED. Taiwan, also an island, has a population of 26,000,000 and 10 deaths. Japan has five times the number of people but 900 times more dead, and it’s going up…

Safety is so lax. We are not due a vaccine for several months as the wimp of a government is pussyfooting around dillying and dallying. We are only – one year into the crisis – just getting air purifiers for each of our classrooms ( I am writing this in my room with no windows). Life is essentially ‘normal’ – restaurants just closing earlier – otherwise nothing has changed except for the generalised maskhood but today, when I darted into the Doutor chain to get my favourite take-out tuna melt and caffe latte I was so overwhelmed by the sheer stale STUFFINESS of the air inside and epidemiological stupidity and complete lack of common sense I baled within seconds.

In the present circumstances, wouldn’t it be a lot better just to have your coffee at home ?


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19 responses to “coffee and corona

  1. I just sum it up to humans being mostly stupid, with an “it could never happen to me” mentality. I have never truly believed in people doing the smart thing, even if it was obvious, or life-saving.
    As far as cafes and Starbucks are concerned, I am fine without them at the moment. We have espresso every morning in the kitchen, and as much as I used to enjoy going to a cafe for espresso, I am more than fine forgoing it until things become better. I am not sure when, but not anytime soon.

    • This is because you have a brain.

      Others associate ‘leisure’ with sitting in a cramped space trying to pretend they can’t sense the person right next to them all in the guise of some ‘lifestyle.

      I quite like cates too – though I can take them or leave them on the whole if they make me feel self- conscious with people posing and evincing an air of ignoring people when they obviously are not – but I am talking pre-pandemic mode.

      Right now is a precarious time for the disease and people are just stupidly following their regular routines without thinking.

      I know the government doesn’t want to impose economic hardship etc and I ploughing a typically ambiguous line as it did with the fucking Diamond Princess … yes the numbers are relatively good in a G7 ratio but not compared to our neighbours in Asia

      Christ knows what will happen when the Olympics happen..

      Coffee is great – divine – but people should rennet it is just a drink you can MAKE AT HOME, MORON

  2. I had my first vaccine shot several weeks ago, but have to wait until April 7th to have the second one. I had every reaction to the first shot that anyone could have and they lasted for a full week, so I am sure that I will have even more reactions with the second one. Even so, I am looking forward to finally being fully vaccinated.

    • It doesn’t sound very pleasant.

      I still envy you though. And I think you like cafes and clubs and music venues more than I do so you will be back in your element again – and I am pleased for you.x

  3. Thank you. I use Illy coffee and make and like my own but I have really missed live music venues.

  4. Jools

    YES. Really really stupid – why though? I don’t realy understand what’s to be gained from this extremely risky approach??. Just had my first Jab today.

    • Glad to hear it!

      You tell me.

      I think it is some ingrained habit ; coffee outside. = leisure time NO MATTER WHAT.

      But it really is like leaving your brain at the door. The air must be lethal !

    • School has been like this too – being in a place wher two teachers had had it but were still not opening windows – the reason I was pushed to the brink of insanity and for my now horrible labyrinthine world.


  5. Robin

    In this sparsely populated little snippet of coastal BC with lots of space between everything we drive a lot, so if we want coffee-shop coffee (not everyone has an espresso maker) and want to stay safe we use drive-throughs. Those photos of yours and those descriptions (the STUFFINESS comment actually made me want to gag: I could smell it, feel it) are the things that give me actual COVID nightmares: being somewhere crowded surrounded by maskless idiots. I’ve had five or six such bad dreams, seriously.

    Sometimes the news vis-a-vis COVID dismays me. The masses in Miami Beach, cheek-by-jowl maskless street parties. In the USA??!!! Where over 550,000 have lost their lives, 1680 people per million dead?? (Canada has 599, largely in Quebec and Ontario. Japan has 71. New Zealand, 5.) The numbnuts selfishness and arrogance burns my bacon. It feels sociopathic to me. Zero empathy, reckless disregard for other lives.

    I am wearing Le Lion to maintain my courage and strength.

    • The partying is deranged ; the coffee shops here a strange refusal to give up on the failure routine : a certain Japanese ‘stoicism’.

      The country has of course done quite well overall : not had to shut down and with far less of the economic damage but still – the death toll could have been far less without such daily scenarios. You take your mask off OUTSIDE to sit mainly maskless INSIDE. To my mind there simply is no logic.just looking at it makes me feel asphyxiated.

  6. Robin

    Oh, and Ric has had his first shot. No symptoms other than an sore upper arm. The relief was so sweet, knowing he’s got some protection and this is really happening, some kind of help is actually appearing. Thank you, Canada.

  7. Mask wearing here in Nepal is probably around 90%, it is so dusty here in Nepal in the winters that masking is usually necessary anyway. BUT … social distancing indoors and out has not caught on at all. There has never been much concern about infringing on anyone’s personal space in Nepali culture, and that has not changed during the pandemic. Went downtown to the supermarket and the place was masked yet packed like sardines. Buses are jammed tightly too. Even walking down a largely empty street I have to ask other walkers to stay 2 meters away or just impose a wide berth by walking wayyyy around them.

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