Wednesday, April 14, 2021

An Olympic Game of Chicken

100 days to go. In 100 days there will be a subdued opening ceremony, no international fans (no discussion about International corporate attendance I've seen to date). Long term residents isolated overseas will watch as some 11,000 athletes (without counting Para-Olympic competitors), coaches, trainers, support staff and (as yet unconfirmed) families of competitors, are waived through the airports of Tokyo. And they won't be too happy to put it mildly.

The country will also watch these visitors from overseas and we're down to 24% support for the entire event as of today. Although the mask culture has been long established and shaking hands the exception, on the ground it is generally seen as a super-spreader event. The one big difference from last year being vaccinations. Except the government has been caught somewhat, flat-footed. Where as Bhutan has managed to inoculate nearly the entire mountain Kingdom, UK is well into it's own program with millions already having had the jab and America, the stumbling giant, has finally woken up and is now running an impressive rearguard action, Japan remains below 100,000 arms with jab wounds. Total, not daily.

The government is now discussing how commensurately complex the logistics are to inoculate a population of 127m. It isn't like they've had over a year to plan for this. One good step forward, yesterday the laws requiring new drugs to be tested on Japanese subjects prior to release (the Pill took over two decades (funnily enough, Viagra required mere months) for approval) were finally suspended. What's good enough for 200 million and counting, can now be applied here too. But the IOC and JOC are playing a tactical game of chicken. It's difficult to know whom will blink first and call it all off. Or maybe it'll be the competing countries who pull the proverbial plug first. The irony being that that would be following the lead of North Korea which pulled out recently due to COVID concerns.

For now however, "Let the Games Begin!". At least until the fat chicken sings...




Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Welcome back...

So, a little over a year ago I decided to "park" TenguLife after six years of rambling, though with the plan to be revived at a later date. What had been fun (and interesting for me) to write, was becoming more of an obligation than a hobby. And then we had a pandemic. Japan's constitution doesn't provide for an "actual" lockdown, but the government asked, and the people cooperated. Masks are not obligatory, but everyone wears them. You can sit on a bench, but you're going to be lonely. And my hands have had more alcohol than my mouth in the last year.

Anyway, back to the point. I've enjoyed my year off. Six hundred articles seemed a fairly good place to put the wheel clamps on but now, a year (or so) later, it's time to take the dust covers off, change the oil, and check if the engine still turns over. And, of course, take the wheel clamps off, goes without saying...  Let's get vaccinated and have a hanami party where we can sit and be close enough to walk, talk and laugh again. Welcome back. I've missed you. Hello 2021! A little late, but happy to meet you.