This will be a short post because I have a lot to do this morning. My life is continuing as usual, see?
I would just like to remind everyone of the rough geography of the current situation in Japan:
The yellow dot shows approximately where Fukushima Prefecture is. This is where the nuclear power plants are that everyone is so worried about. The pink dot marks Tokyo, and the dot that says “A” shows Ali (me).
I urge you all to be very careful about the media sources you choose to read right now. There is a lot of scaremongering going on and I can see it is getting to people. I won’t post links here to those reports – you don’t need to read them. Please just remember these few things:
- You will see many pictures of Japanese wearing masks and the captions will tell you it is because of the “risk of nuclear fallout”. Right now it is hayfever season in Japan and a really large number of people are wearing masks for that reason. Also, the Japanese generally wear masks at the first sign that they have a cold, that someone else has a cold, or just for general “protection”. During the bird flu and swine flu scares people wore masks more than ever. This is no different.
- Yes, many people have been evacuated from the Fukushima area. This is a precaution. As far as I am aware at the time of writing this, NO ONE has been evacuated from Tokyo. Some people have chosen to leave Tokyo for one reason or another. I would guess that the main reason for this is power conservation and scheduled rolling blackouts, which means it is difficult for business to carry on as usual.
- Some foreign offices have urged their country’s people to leave Tokyo/Japan. This is also just a precaution and, I suspect, a largely unnecessary one.
Finally, please remember that Japan is far far more than just Tokyo! I won’t deny that things in Tokyo are not exactly normal right now, but it’s far from the crisis zone that some media will have you believe – I have this from the mouths of people living there right now.
So, please, think when you are reading/watching the news. And think before reposting things on Twitter or Facebook.