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Somewhere over the virus

April 23, 2020 It is a sequel to the new Coronavirus, Covid-19. I would like to note what I am thinking about in Japan under the declaration of an emergency. Prime Minister Abe appealed to the people to reduce contact with people by at least 70% and 80% as much as possible. The purpose is to maintain the Japanese medical and nursing system. Rather than reducing the number of infected people, it means breaking down the number of infected people, that is, preventing many patients from rushing to the hospital at one time. Refrain from going out, suspending store sales, closing school, and avoiding “3Cs”, that is, Confined spaces, Crowded places, Close contact. Will this unusual situation end in a few weeks? Everyone wants it, but unfortunately it won't. Even if the momentum of the infection declines climatically in the summer, a second wave may come from the fall and winter. Even if a vaccine is developed early, it will take a considerable amount of time to reach it all over the world. For the time being we will be continuously racked by the virus, the old-fashioned solution scenario is that the epidemic ends the group immunity after all.

Collective immunity refers to a condition in which about 60% of the population can be immunized to many people, the infection does not spread, and eventually it ends naturally. However, 60% of the population would be 70 million in Japan in a simple calculation. According to the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's report as of April 22, the number of infected people in Japan is about 12,000. Although it is an arbitrary reason, if the number of infected people that is clearly shown by the presence or absence of the test is about one tenth of the actual number, the number of infected people in Japan is potentially 120,000 to 200,000. Even so, more than 300 times people have to be infected in order to acquire collective immunity. What a overwhelmed story.

Of the 70 million infected people, about 20% will be affected or about 14 million people, and 5% of them, which is 700,000 people, are those who have a full-day medical system as severely ill or seriously ill patients, that is, ICU. There must be. However, there are few ICUs in Japan, and the total is only 9,000 beds. It would be difficult if 700,000 severely ill patients appeared at once. In other words, it is medical collapse. That is why Japan chooses a method of slowing down the infection as much as possible and slowly increasing the number of severe/serious patients to appear.

However, assuming that the average ill-in-bed period for severely and seriously ill persons is one month, and the number of appearances each month is limited to the number of ICUs, it will take 78 months, six and a half years to calculate. In the meantime, facilities and beds that can accommodate hundreds of thousands of people with light and moderate illnesses must be secured in parallel. This may be the most pessimistic scenario, but it's not unreasonable. Even if the incidence rate drops to half, it will take at least three years to finish. This may still be optimistic.

If the only way to deal with humans encountering an unknown virus is to win collective immunity both now and the past, it takes at least 2-3 years for Covid-19 to end, though there may be some ups and downs depending on the season. It was the same when we had a Spanish cold long time ago. This is proven by history.

In the blog two times before, I predicted that the Tokyo Olympics would be postponed for one or two years, and then the IOC officially decided to postpone the one year. The postponement was expected, but if the period until termination of the virus is prolonged, was one year postponement really correct? I am asking to myself. There is no guarantee that it can be held safely next year.

By the way, what kind of future can we think is our future, when we encounter such hard times? Corona has highlighted potential problems. Thanks to Corona, it was re-recognized, the need was confirmed again. There is a new recognition of the possibility of future growth and progress. Inevitably Japan will change, and Japanese will also change. The world will change, the people of the world will also change.

During this simultaneous global disaster, Almost everyone on Earth, while planting the same trauma in his/her mind, should be trying to reach the new horizon. Strangely and suddenly, the world will become as one. While sharing the same thought, human life will inevitably change. I tried to write down the common sense and possible changes in the future.

<work, education, hobbies, entertainment, etc.> Establishment of online meetings (telework). Online medical care, online classes, online courses, online events, Penetration of online dining and drinking parties. Start of online government office procedures, online voting, and online Diet (and various administrative meetings). Expansion of online banking, online shopping, and online performance. And the abolition of Hanko(Japanese-styled stamp instead of signature).

<Meals> Expanding the market for home-cooking, take-out and delivery. Regularization of restaurants with open terraces and small groups.

<Social Distancing> Avoid 3Cs and secure space at event venues and amusement facilities. Avoid 3Cs and secure space in sports facilities such as gymnasium. Avoid 3Cs and secure spaces at supermarkets and various stores. <Localization and decentralization> The decline of mass media such as TV and the enhancement of information transmission power by individual people through SNS. Avoid over-concentration in Tokyo = Increasing tendency to avoid crowding of people = Dispersion of people, company bases and information. Local orientation, “return to Japan” tendency, sluggish overseas travel. <Improvement of global environment> Reconfirmed the need to improve air pollution and climate change. (The desire to keep a clean environment thanks to Covid-19)

So the key words, described by which will become mainstream, going forward are;

Virtual, Personal, Spacious, Local and Natural.

Conversely, the conventional world will be minimized by standing for the words mentioned below;

Real, General, Crowded, Global and Artificial. One last thing to worry about is,

the real human interaction, which is essential for humans.

Human needs a close contact. By all means. Team building is impossible only in a virtual environment. It is essential for both companies and informal organizations to have a conversation, listen to opinions, and discuss in a real environment. What about new encounters? Is it possible to deepen friendships with people known only in the virtual world? It is essential to meet life partners in the real world, to deepen love and to understand each other. How should humans handle such inevitable contact from now on?

More essentially, how can we live a life?

This is probably the biggest challenge for us.


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