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.
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 ?