Stay At Home


Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Situation by World Health Organization *As of March 25, 2020


Daniel Penso
My Eyes Tokyo Columnist/Proofreader/Translator

Those words are music to the ears for teenagers and other kids, including my daughter. She prefers home because, obviously, she is free to do whatever she wants. In school, students need to follow a schedule arranged for their education.

With COVID-19, as you know, schools have been closed down temporarily and kids have been told to stay home. California Governor Gavin Newsom issued a Stay-at-home order recently and many adults have also been told to stay home. While there has not been a national quarantine placed on the entire United States, many states have issued “stay at home” orders, in addition to California. Such an order limits the activities of citizens to shopping at grocery stores, hardware stores or going to the post office. Parks have been cordoned off to prevent the spread of germs and the virus.

All these measures make sense since this virus may present a grave danger to the lives of human beings. However, the flu has been around mankind since time immemorial and none of the extreme measures being taken for the corona virus has ever been put in place to such a wide extent and all around the world simultaneously. U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said that Covid-19 was three times more deadly than the flu so, understandably, more preventive measures need to be taken. But, these same measures were not taken for H1N1, the swine flu, SARS, Ebola or any number of other past epidemics. Why now?

There is a myriad of answers for that. Either way, the status-quo is what they call shindoi in Japanese. It means exasperating, annoying, cumbersome, arduous and other negative adjectives. While parents enjoy being with their kids, there is a limit to how much edutainment you can provide.

This is a shindoi time for many of us but we will just have to persevere and get through it.



Daniel Penso

Lived in Tokyo from 1999 – 2009 and calls it his second home. Currently he resides in California and is a Japanese-English translator. He enjoys traveling, learning languages and cuisine. When visiting Japan, he enjoys watching rakugo shows.
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