Trainee’s Diary 2: A change of pace
Hello again! This time a few things about the beginnings of all this.
For the longest time life in Tokyo remained relatively normal and it felt like the pandemic did not really affect Japan. It was only with the postponement of the Olympics and subsequent declaration of the state of emergency, that really made it concrete. There was panic buying of masks and toilet paper but altogether I have not seen anything too crazy compared to pictures from other places. Actually, I have not seen much of anything recently!
All of this really is in stark contrast to weekend before the first restrictions, which coinciding with the best Hanami or cherry-blossom viewing season saw the parks around Tokyo fill with hundreds of thousands of people. There was probably considerable reluctance from the government to take action as that would also mean not being able to have the Olympics as planned. I was of course glad, being able to go out during this season was one of my planned highlights for my time in Japan.
A friend from Finland was visiting me just prior the cut-off of all flights to Finland on 26th of March. A few days before departing back to Finland she had received an email with the purpose of instructing Finnish citizens in crisis-struck regions. We were laughing (in bad taste yes) about which region exactly is the crisis-struck one here, since Japan was really business as usual when compared to the full-on lockdown in Finland at that time. Since then of course it has been the same thing in most places around the world.
This is now my sixth week of telecommuting. I started work at the Institute in February, which means that I was just about to get used to rhythm here when I switched to working from home. Still, as most of my work has been SNS related, there has not been that big a switch in the contents of the work, regardless of where I do it. Of course, not meeting people does take a toll on you.
It would be nice to explore the city a bit more, but obviously taking the metro just for giggles everyday would be irresponsible so walking the neighborhood will have to suffice for now.
If anything, it is nice to get a bit more sleep instead of commuting in the mornings!
Next time a bit more about the telecommuting routine!