The Third Wave

And in a disappointing, but not unexpected twist of events, the Go-To Travel campaign instituted by the Japanese government has come to a stop–at least in Sapporo anyway.

The governor of Hokkaido at a press conference

The campaign was meant to stimulate the economy in Japan after these hard few months of asking people to stay home and make sacrifices.

I get it.

It was hard not to travel during the summer months. It was particularly hard for the travel industry, and that’s not just in Japan. It’s pretty much for the entire world. The pandemic has been devastating to the entire travel and service industry. Airlines have lost money. Hotels have barely gotten their guests to come and stay. Bus companies are nearly bankrupt because they’ve barely been used.

In short, they needed a boost. Not to mention the places that thrive on having lots of people use their facilities: concert halls, musical theaters, movie theaters, amusement parks, and even more importantly, our good old restaurants.

To be honest, my husband and I have been eating out normally. We usually hit our local restaurants just to make sure that they have our business. They have been pretty good in making sure that they sanitize everything: wipe down the tables, have the air circulating, partitions set up to separate customers, alcohol for hands before and after entering the facilities, etc.

So we’ve been eating out locally since the lockdown was lifted a few months ago.

Early morning empty Sapporo Station during the Lockdown

However, I haven’t been eating out at the restaurants around Sapporo station, which is where I usually am because of work. Sapporo is just too crowded and there are too many people around so the likelihood of me being infected is quite high.

But the whole point of this is to write a post about how this will affect the economy when Sapporo is taken out of this campaign. Lots of people were coming into the city, spending money on hotels and souvenirs, so that’s good at least. The brief amount that the travelers came up to visit us and spend their money.

But it’s a difficult situation for all the world. This pandemic is precisely a pandemic because it’s spread is so wide. The whole world is struggling to promote and get the economy going. At the same time, governments have to save people’s lives by helping them not lose their livelihoods, their businesses. These past few months, so many businesses have closed down and gone bankrupt because customers couldn’t come. The government also needs to worry about them.

Pre-pandemic travel

At the same time, health is also important. Without health, there won’t be a chance to earn money. We need to worry about saving people from getting sick and contracting the virus. From what I hear, those who have gotten sick and who have “recovered” still feel the lingering effects weeks and months later after they’ve been released from the hospital. This will affect the way they earn a living in the future.

So everyone is pretty much at the same state. We’re all stuck between a rock and a hard place. We’re all in a tough situation, and the solutions will probably be just as tough.

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