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The novel coronavirus pandemic has understandably sparked plenty of anxiety in people around the world. Even in Japan, an apparent outlier in cases of COVID-19, it’s tough not to shake the unease while glowering at the folks enjoying themselves under the cherry blossoms.

On Wednesday, Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike requested that Tokyoites stay indoors this weekend. As of noon on Thursday, Saitama and Kanagawa prefectures followed suit. Such announcements aren’t going to help calm nerves, as was seen in parts of Tokyo on Thursday morning as residents swarmed their local supermarkets for last-minute panic-buying.

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