While many people feel they are missing out amid COVID-19 restrictions imposed on group dining, with it regarded as a factor that leads to the spread of infections, there are some who feel relieved by the current situation.

Nishinippon Shimbun’s team of reporters on its “Journalism On Demand” beat received a note from a 61-year-old man living in the Kyushu region who suffers from "deipnophobia" — anxiety around eating in public.

In many cases, deipnophobia is triggered by past traumatic events related to eating. Some people even have to give up employment or other public activities because they are unable to dine with others.