So, the inevitable has come to pass. We’re not going to Tokyo this week. Despite everything that Tokyo has going for it, it just seems like the wrong time to be so far away from home right now.
There’s nowhere I’d rather be than Tokyo, and I’m positive that I’d stand a better chance of avoiding Coronavirus there, but I’m more worried about getting back into the UK on the return journey.
Despite countries all over Europe going into lockdown to try to contain the virus, the UK government seems to be relying on crossing its fingers and thinking happy thoughts.
Schools and colleges remain open, many events and concerts are going ahead and aside from the inevitable stupid and greedy panic-buying in the shops (which, let’s face it, kicks off when there’s half an inch of snow here each year), life goes on as normal.
However, I’m worried that this is about to change, and change very quickly. This government seems to be led by headlines and public opinion, and people are beginning to question why more isn’t being done. I don’t want to get stuck on the wrong side of a quarantine, even if it is somewhere as beautiful as Japan.
So, for the moment, we’re staying put. All future travel for 2020 is also under review. I’ve already had a client in Barcelona switch our work over to a webinar and Irish clients are all working from home. So no Barcelona or Dublin trips in the near future.
I also need to put all of this in perspective. While we’re both incredibly disappointed not to be traveling this week, as we were looking forward to our first ever Sakura visit and catching up with good friends, we have to remember that all over the world, this virus is killing people – and it only looks set to get worse.
There will be more trips in the future. For now, it’s about staying safe. However frustrating that might feel in the short term.