Every month, a talk with Steve on various topics will be posted. Steve comes from Adelaide, Australia. He’s been in Japan for more than 10 years.
A topic of discussion for January 13, 2021: Because of Covid-19 how has life in Australia changed as far as what you hear from your family members and friends there?
Australia has been praised for taking strong measures like neighboring New Zealand, including lock-downs, to combat Covid-19 where and when necessary. On the other hand, Japan declared a national emergency across the whole country from April to May last year, but it was not as strict as other lock-downs at all: yes, schools were closed but restaurants and shops remained open for shorter business hours, working places were not closed but office worker were asked to work from home, public transportation remained open and so on.
Steve mentioned recent measures taken in Brisbane. Lock downs were lifted but “restrictions” remain. According to the website of the Queensland government, these restrictions mandate limiting max. capacity for visitors at any place and a must for wearing masks in public places, shops and so on. Also, Steve mentioned that “quarantining” hotels in Melbourne were not properly administered, so soldiers were placed instead to maintain strict procedures there.
Faced with a grave surge of Covid-19 cases Japan has recently but belatedly declared a state of emergency to major cities for the second time. But it has been criticized for its lax nature of targeting mainly restaurants and bars, which are “requested” to close by 8 pm. Then we discussed vaccines. Steve thought that Japan is acting too slowly to implement vaccines. We both agreed to receive shots when they become available.