Japan shuts down all public schools in response to corona virus.
So it turns out they were not over-reacting. I still stand by the sentiment that it was for face value and olympics and not for the good of the general public. If they actually thought of the general public.. then they'd at least be continuing with what they started.
[Original 2020-02-27 21:30]
Today is a typical Thursday. I went to work, I worked, had meetings, occasionally came up for a breath of corona virus filled air. Then I came home to find out that the government, with all its pompously over-paid and underworked glorious wisdom, decided to shut down all public schools (elementary, middle and high school levels) starting Monday. This shutdown will continue until the following school year (April) begins.
(for those that wish to see the japan time article: https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/02/27/national/hokkaido-coronavirus-school/ )
From what I've experienced Japan tends to do little to nothing to actually solve a problem. So this time they decided to do something - cause huge problems for families with almost no warning. This will leave families scrambling to figure out what to do with their children weeks before their scheduled spring vacation. In my case, my oldest will have a grand total of one more day with her classmates. One more day with her current teacher. There is no time for her to properly say bye to her friends. What about the children who will be leaving the school for the next level? They'll have tomorrow to say goodbye to their friends.
Now I know this is supposed to be a 'think of the children!' situation. A full month and a bit will be enough to (if everyone was quarantined) keep the spread down among the non-adult segment of the population. But now these kids will go from a structured environment, where they regularly wash their hands and are sent home when they have fevers.. to playing at the malls or other crowded locations (without the vigilance of teachers making them wash their hands).
This is the cynic in me speaking, but I think this is being done to try and keep the Olympics going this year. Not for the children. Not for the general populace. Japan could have done a lot more and sooner if they actually cared about the general public. They could have done heavier screenings at ports of entry. They could have set up isolated screenings for any entry to the country (being an island it is far easier to implement). They could have told the public that school closures and cancellation of events were being considered and for parents to make arrangements just in case.
No, that would be what a responsible government does. This is Japan. The top only cares about themselves and their friends. They only care about their image. They know that they live in a voting base that is either fanatic to the current government party, or apathetic -- effectively complacent, population.
Lets not forget that the top official of Osaka has also announced they will shut down all daycares as well, announced a few hours after Abe's government annoucement.
Of course.. not all facilities can be shut down. There is a particular type of daycare that can't be shut down. It's voluntary to attend.. so the parent can decide. Even though a school may be over 50% out with the flu...
So you know, Japan half-asses a non-solution.
Way to go Japan. You've outdone yourselves once again.