Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak Update in Japan
Not only in Japan but anywhere in the world, coronavirus has been the hot topic.
Why are people afraid?
Because they don’t know what it is and they cannot see it.
It not only makes people sick but also affects economy and society.
In this post I will summerize the information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and what we need to do.
Please keep it in mind that I’m not a medical/health professional.
My intention is to provide the readers the informative and useful information.
- 1 What is a Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- 2 What are the Symptoms of a Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- 3 Is a Coronavirus (COVID-19) Different from Flu? How does it Spread?
- 4 How to Prevent Getting a Coronavirus (COVID-19)?
- 5 Situations in Japan
- 6 Why do People Panic Shopping?
- 7 What is Going to Happen Next?
- 8 Summary
A coronavirus is a large family of virus.
Both humans and animals may get sick from this virus.
Several coronaviruses cause respiratory infection including Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS).
MERS was first reported in Saudi Arabia in September 2012, while SARS was first reported in February 2003 in China.
The ourbreak of COVID-19 began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are like flu.
The most common symptoms are fever, dry cough and tiredness.
Some may experience aches, pains, runny nose, diarrhea, or sore throat.
Many just experience mild symptoms but those with medical problems like diabetes or high blood pressure may be affected severely.
Just like COVID-19, patients with influenza may experience fever, cough, sore throat, headache, runny nose or fatigue.
Although the symptoms of coronavirus and flu are similar, they are different types of viruses.
According to the World Health Organization, about 3-5 million people develop severe illness and about 250,000 to 500,000 people die annually due to influenza.
The coronavirus spreads from person to person.
If someone is infected, the virus would be spread when she/he coughs or exhals.
Just like cold and flu, it is possible to prevent getting a coronavirus.
Good hygiene practice could save your life.
Wash Your Hands
Always Always wash your hands! And if you cannot, use alcohol sanitizer or wipes.
You can prevent spreading not only coronavirus but also other viruses with good handwashing practice.
I’m surprised some people don’t wash their hands even after using washrooms!
I hope they change their practice by now 😕
Sneeze or Cough with Your Flexed/Bent Elbows
Don’t use your hand when coughing or sneezing (or spread the virus without covering!)
Cover your nose and mouth with bent elbow or tissue when sneezing or coughing.
This doesn’t spread virus to others even if you are infected.
This is the practice should be done whenever coughing or sneezing even if there is no pandemic.
Some people don’t cover their nose or mouth 🙁
Don’t Touch Your Face
Do you know how many times people touch their faces everyday?
I’ve never counted but apparetly a lot.
Researchers in Australia found that students touched their faces 23 times per hour!
Without consciouness, we tend to touch pretty frequently.
Avoid touching your face especially you eyes, nose and mouth.
Practice Social Distancing
Now you know how the COVID-19 spreads so it is reasonable to practice social distancing, right?
Social distancing is the key to prevent mass infection.
Avoid gathering in group, going to closed-crowded places (such as concerts, night club etc).
It is recommended to keep 1 metre or 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is sick.
Therefore, it is fine to run or walk, for instance, as long as you maintain the distance.
Clean the Office/Room
In your office, it is recommended to clean your desk because the virus might be on it.
Also it is better if you could clean doornobs, keyboards on computers and light switches.
Make sure to clean whatever you and others touch.
Since you cannot clean everything, the combination of cleaning and handwashing is ideal.
Situations in Japan
What is happening in Japan right now?
Here is the summary of numbers and situations in Japan.
Confirmed Cases and Death Toll
Outbreak in Japan started in February 2020 and the number of patients have been increasing gradually.
Although most of the prefectures have patients, some areas including Tokyo (171 cases confirmed), Hokkaido (163), Aichi (148), Osaka (142), Hyogo (118) have more patients. Those areas are crowded and more people have been infected by the virus.
Here is the summary of numbers in Japan as of March 25, 2020.
Case confirmed: 1212 (plus 712 from Diamond Princess criuse ship)
Death Toll: 43 (plus 10 from Diamond Princess cruise ship)
Work and School
Although depending on areas and schools, many students have a spring break right now.
In Yokohama, for instance, students had no classes between March 3 and March 24.
They have a regular spring break between March 26 and April 5.
In April, schools hold enrollment ceremony to welcome new students.
City of Yokohama has scheduled enrollment ceremony for new students in high schools but their parents are not to attend.
In elementary schools, only one parent is allowed to attend the ceremony.
Some companies have requested the employees work from home but it doesn’t apply to all companies.
Others avoid unnecessary travelling such as business travel or sales activities to prevent from spreading the virus.
Why do People Panic Shopping?
Many people cannot stop panic buying.
Why they tend to do panic shopping when pandemic happens?
Psychological Defence (Survival Instinct)
When something like pandemic happens, many people feel anxicous and concerned about what is going to happen next.
The first thing they might think is that ‘we may not have enough food.’
Then ‘let’s stock food and necessities.’
‘I better buy as much as possible.’
They see others buying a lot of stuff and feel anxicious when seeing empty shelves.
People keep panic buying as long as the crisis continues.
They buy like crazy because they are upset, horrified and anxicious.
They want to stock as much as possible to survive because they never know when there would be enough supplies. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next month.
It is better to buy only necessary amount of items and share with others but some people cannot stop buying.
Media is so powerful that some people don’t think thoroughly and just beleive whatever it says.
If someone tweets ‘there will be no toilet paper/ toilet tissue in drugstores!’
they run buy many of them.
In Japan, for instance, a shortage of toilet paper and tissue occured in February due to media.
Someone tweeted that there was no paper items in a drugstore and made people panic.
Although there were enough supplies, paper items disppeared from drugstores temporarily because many people rushed to buy all.
Now panic ends and there is enough toilet paper and tissue in Japan.
What is Going to Happen Next?
It will take time to recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
The virus has already affected economy and society and people feel insecure.
It is important to know what COVID-19 is and prevent from spreading.
The elderly is more vulnerable but yonger people also need to be careful.
New vaccine is under development and started to test its effectiveness in Japan.
Hope the vaccine will be available as soon as possible to stop this pandemic.
The coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading around the world and affecting everyday life.
It is normal to feel anxicious, concerned and upset.
I think what we need to do is to get accurate information and try not to spread the virus.
Some people think this is not a big deal and don’t act seriously.
Those people may spread the virus.
I do hope that this pandemic would end soon and the government support nation appropriately during this crisis.
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