Post-COVID thoughts: How to have realistic hopes
When looking at the times, it is important to have a broad perspective.
In July of last year, I said I thought it would take 18 months for things to normalize.
I have known for some time that, regardless of how much we argue about whether or not to lock down, self-quarantine and self-restraint will continue in so long as COVID-19 exists as an issue.
Last year, many live performances were canceled, greatly damaging the entertainment industry.
However, with the new year, people relaxed their ways of thinking. They ignored the facts in favor of feeling, thinking that things would surely be better by the spring of 2021.
Those organizing live performances have no choice but to accept the government’s words of “you can bring in up to a quarter of the audience” or “you can bring in up to half.” Those who wish to survive have no choice. Yet, vaccinations are not widespread and the situation has not changed from last year. In fact, in terms of deaths, things are getting worse—there have been days this year with over 100 deaths.
So it is risky to plan a live performance for this year. We should scold ourselves for this. This risk comes not from a government failure but from a failure of our sensibilities.
Change is just a “feeling” that exists in our minds. Meanwhile, the COVID-19 virus is not waiting around to die. It plans for the prosperity of its future generations by creating new mutant variants.
If I were the prime minister, I think I would think in the following way. I would want to successfully hold the Olympics during my term, be recognized by the world, and survive through the autumn general election. To make this happen, I would want to reduce the number of infected by continuing to hold Japanese-style lockdowns until July 23. Dining in the city is in a terrible state, but stock prices are high and the macroeconomics are okay, so I would want citizens to rely on their savings instead of providing economic aid. There is nothing strange about this way of thinking.
Here is how I see things. Until vaccines become widespread, those involved with live entertainment should thoroughly consider the risks to their plans. Also, especially in the period before the Olympics, they should be prepared for more abrupt restrictions that interfere with business. They should think much, much more about going digital.
Also, if you think about entertainment from a macro perspective, in the post-COVID-19 era you will have both sources of income: one source from the digital foundations you build and another source from preexisting live performances.
Let us stay both hopeful and realistic!
Atsushi Fukuda official Blog: Post-Corona: On January 1st, 2022 Everything Will Be Normalized（July 14, 2020）
Nikkan Gendai: Suga administration loses the vaccination battle; Vaccination rate of 0.04% is worst in the G20
Number of deaths in Japan（NHK）