Have you noticed the big change that has taken place on TV news shows since the last Monday of March? People appearing in the programs are now distancing themselves from each other. It is one of the signs that Japan is belatedly adopting social distancing — keeping a distance of at least 1.8 meters — to avoid being infected or infecting others with the new coronavirus.

TV footage on overseas news often show people in lines at supermarkets keeping that far apart from each other. That is social distancing.

Japanese TV news anchors call on people to avoid the “three closenesses”— closed space, crowded places and conversations in close proximity — to prevent COVID-19 infections. But a broadcasting studio is indeed a place featuring all of these types of closeness.