Regarding the March 20 letter to the editor “School closures are a cruel blow to children,” school closures will not turn out to be so bad if we can offer online lessons. Using technology in an efficient way is always a wonderful thing. With companies releasing 5G services at such a time, it would be ironic if we do not develop the infrastructure to deal with such times by providing, for instance, online lessons.
We do not need rocket science to deliver online lessons. Japan already has high-speed internet. The government should ask companies like Skype, Line, etc. to pool their resources in order to help provide services that students and teachers can use. The technology is already readily available.
Our world is changing rapidly. Now is the opportunity to make a turn for the better. We have massive problems facing us in the near future, including issues like global warming. The decisions we make today are going to decide our future. Rather than think negatively and be bombarded with only news of casualties, we should also talk about how many people recovered and all that is being done in different countries to tackle this monumental problem. The success stories will certainly make a massive difference.
As others have mentioned in their comments, now is the time to promote teleworking, online lessons and as Gwynne Dyer mentioned in his column, Universal Basic Income (UBI).
In the book “The Body Economic: Why Austerity Kills,” David Stuckler and Sanjay Basu have clearly explained why the economics of austerity is not a viable option. Mark Schreiber mentioned in a recent article how millennials are shunning alcohol. That is probably good for their health, but that is not the point. Governments need to provide a steady basic income to stimulate the economy and keep things running in times of difficulty. The coronavirus is not going to vanish overnight. There is a possibility of it returning again next winter with further mutated variations. Even if it goes away, there could be something else in the future. To treat this situation as an isolated issue does not seem to be the most prudent thing to do.
And, we should not discount storms, earthquakes, floods, etc. If we have the infrastructure and processes in place, we can deal with any eventuality in a much better way. Let’s make things better for ourselves!
The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.