The absence of corporate social responsibilities and lack of crisis awareness among citizens may have led to the recent surge in the number of coronavirus infections throughout Japan.

For instance, at one of the schools I work for, most of the teachers do not wear masks before and after school hours. They wear masks only when they are in front of students who are told to wear mask on campus because its a rule. And the students have to buy masks from the school if they forget to bring one. Wearing masks is not something we do for just formality. It’s for protecting ourselves and those around us. Anyone can be a carrier of the virus and transmit to others. Furthermore, they are pushing to hold an open school in the upcoming weekend while most schools in the region have canceled such events.

At a local shopping mall, thermal cameras at the entrances are not facing toward visitors who come into the building. The cameras, which seem to be facing the wrong direction, are actually for people who wish to check their body temperatures voluntarily. The mall staff does nothing when they see groups of visitors not wearing masks speaking loudly. Shoppers in a long line at a coffee shop do not practice social distancing and the shop staff does nothing about it. They seem to pretend not to see it.

We need to face the reality that we will not be able to return to the old normal in the foreseeable future. If we don’t change our views and attitude toward the clear and present danger, the situation will only get worse. It’s about time we changed our lives, which have been based on mass consumption and short-term profit-seeking.

Josh Nakayama
Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture

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.

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