Hi Matt; hello friends.
The cherry blossoms in the Kanto region have come and gone and we can now enjoy the fresh spring green; it’s a wonderful time of the year. We can be especially happy this year because we are far ①_____ ____ than we were just a year ago, and ②_______ better than we were two years ago. The majority of people in this country are vaccinated and doing the right things. In that sense, I would like to follow up on last month’s theme and offer a couple more reasons why I believe Japan’s “Happiness Ranking” should have been higher.
Last week, the US lifted its mask ③_________ on domestic flights. That was still true at the time of writing, but the decision may be reversed in the near future. Regardless, the scene of flight attendants walking through the plane pre-flight with trash bags and encouraging people to remove their masks was ④__________. If the court decides that masks are unconstitutional or legal ⑤__________, so be it. However, science has shown us that masks reduce the spread of viral infections and are effective in keeping us safer; therefore, people should be encouraged to keep their masks on.
In Japan, the government did not issue a mask mandate. Why? It was not necessary. Japanese citizens and residents have enough common sense to know that wearing a mask is the right thing to do because it keeps other people safe. Wearing a mask is less about the person who wears it and more about showing that we care about the people around us.
The Japanese government has done a reasonably good job managing the pandemic. Sure, there were some ⑥_________, but I’ve not heard of any country that got everything right. The difference in Japan was the people. A lockdown was unnecessary because most people exercised common sense and restraint.
As we enter into the Golden Week holiday season, be happy knowing that we are in a better place than we have been for the past two years. And, we should recognize that we were able to get to this level of safety because the citizens and residents of Japan followed the rules of common sense rather than having mandates.
Enjoy the spring weather, the Golden Week break, and please continue to stay safe. Wishing you health and happiness always.
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