How Japan Fighting Covid-19 and my Experience living in Japan during Corona Virus Pandemic


It was the first week of December 2019 when we migrated here in Japan from the Philippines. From that moment we were able to have a one-month travel vacation to other Asian countries such as India, Thailand, Myanmar, and Sri-Lanka before we finally settle down here in Japan. Then by December 31, 2019, after our trip, we return here in Japan to start our lives and had our first new year. From that on we were busy fixing the school for our two kids and finally enrolled them from one of the kindergartens near our place. By the end of March, our kids ended their school for spring vacation. By that time the horrific stories about Covid-19 are rapidly known in Japan, all the events in the school were slowly canceled and requiring all the kids to wear masks whenever they went to school. Parents must wear masks too when entering the school premises.

The schedule of school opening in Japan was supposedly on April 8 of this year but on the very first day of the school day, the local government in our town suddenly sent in the information that they are canceling and moving the opening of classes to June because one person is found positive carrier of Corona Virus just within our town. Also, it advises the community to be careful when going out, must wear masks, or avoid unimportant excursions during the Pandemic. That time there are very few cars driving the road, the playgrounds are all closed, libraries are closed as well. Then the announcement of Prime Minister Abe placing whole Prefectures of Japan under the State of Emergency came. By that time the malls are closed, and some selected restaurants are closed too. Masks are quickly flying out the market and nowhere to be found. Luckily before it happened we had a few boxes of masks stock in our house. At the Supermarket and restaurants, there are alcohol bottles everywhere and all are free to sanitize their hands. Disinfectants such as alcohol are also always out of stock from the store.

Because of the Pandemic, Japan issued financial help to all the residents of Japan amounting to 100,000 yen per head and the procedure is pretty really fast and easy. Just after one week of application, we got the financial supports on our hands.

As a new resident staying in Japan I observed that the Japanese are well-disciplined people in terms of dealing with this Pandemic. No total lockdown was imposed but the residence is very rare to go out. They only go out for groceries. During the Stay at home order, no immediate relatives visit our house which I think good to prevent the coronavirus from infecting anyone. The home policy that lasted almost one-two months ended by May 25, 2020, the state of emergency is lifted on all Japan prefectures. Based on the statistics. Tokyo and Hokkaido are the two provinces with the most patient of the coronavirus. But just before the state of emergency lifted the record of Tokyo patients drops to a single digit. Students now slowly returned to school by the end of May 2020 after lifting the Statement of Emergency.

Now that the State of Emergency was lifted, the social distancing is being imposed and proper hygiene is being advised to everyone. Wearing mask being the requirement to enter anywhere. Masks can be found now on selected stores and alcohol is on stock again with high demand and increased on its price. Volunteers are also distributing for a free mask to all the students in our town for free. Working at home is still on-going even after the state of emergency lifted which I think the new normal now to prevent the second wave infections of COVID-19.

Kindergarten mask free distribution.
The masks received by our kids from the volunteer in our local community.

Children are still wearing masks whenever they go to school as well as adults when going to public places. Most of the restaurants changed the sitting arrangement of the chairs to observed the social distancing. Now an online hotline for any concern about coronavirus is available in our area.

Despite everything that the world is going through under this Pandemic. It is not easy but I feel relieved that I was able to experience this in a very organized country like Japan. The assistance that they are giving is so diverse. With good leaders and good followers are I think the two factors needed to achieve success in battling the coronavirus Pandemic. It is still very early to say that Japan succeeds in battling this Pandemic but I believed they are doing just the right way and Japanese residents are patiently cooperating to the order of the government. How about you, hows your country doing in battling this pandemic? What are your thoughts about it?