Here's beautiful Osaka Castle, which was just a few blocks from my hotel room. The tower was closed but there were still regularly people outside strolling or bicycling, most of them wearing masks. But I can tell the strain is wearing on people even as crowds are starting to get thinner. I've been surprised to notice more security guards and construction workers not wearing masks and the divide between blue collar and white collar seems to clearly reflect who buys into the Corona virus and who doesn't. None of the three guys who came to install my rental appliances yesterday were wearing masks.
I said "buy in" like maybe I don't believe in the pandemic. Well, I certainly believe it's real though many media outlets are clearly aiming to manipulate people's emotions and make them more afraid than necessary. A retired U.K. National Health Service consultant pathologist has written some very clear and concise articles on how statistics related to the Corona virus have been misrepresented. It's not actually clear if the virus has been much deadlier than normal seasonal flu. Even so, I have been wearing my mask whenever I've had to go out, which is been relatively often since I have a new apartment I need to stock and furnish and I've had to transport everything by train since I don't have a car.
It sure is nice having an apartment again. It's about twice the size of my two room apartment in San Diego with about ten times the closet space. The rent is around a third of what my last place's was. There's no widespread homeless crisis here, everything's cleaner, there are beautiful temples and sakura blossoms everywhere. Everyone takes their jobs seriously. Maybe that's the best thing of all--everyone at the train stations and the shops, everyone seems to believe in the importance of and honour in doing their jobs properly. I don't get the feeling that everyone believes they're secretly rock stars or movie stars who are only temporarily enduring this purgatory.
Do I miss the U.S.? I kind of miss the U.S. in 2005 or, even better, 1999. That's kind of what Japan feels like. For a few years now, I've been overcome with this feeling of the impending death of the U.S. I felt a kind of urgency, like I needed to leave or I wouldn't be able to before it got too bad. Now that the whole country is basically quarantined, I feel uncomfortable about how prophetic those feelings seem to have been. The virus crisis will probably get worse in Japan. Just to-day I see a state of emergency has been called in Tokyo and Osaka. But it can't really get as bad here because there isn't a massive homeless crisis and the healthcare system is better. That's two things I used to be able to say about the U.S., you know. I guess this situation really is showing the widening faultlines.
Twitter Sonnet #1342
Created eyes observe from haunted caves.
The clover lives for rice and whisky meals.
The numbered deck began and ended knaves.
Electric Ken in candor slowly deals.
Supportive beams elect the plate to dine.
A sunny look submerged beneath the drink.
The eaten fish array in squiggly line.
The bluish space decides to order pink.
The dueling trains forget the rails and ways.
Traversing fields the crows behold the waste.
The blades of grass will grow for passing days.
Confections wrought anew for novel taste.
The flatter floor amassed the wooden will.
In quicker creeks the water jumps the mill.