Almost Down to ZERO

Well, Inbound Tourism has been knocked down to the canvas. The corona virus has had catastrophic impact on the entire industry. Hotels, Japanese inns, restaurants, attractions, and even the Shikoku pilgrimage have been all ground to a screeching halt. Japan has essentially shut down all the borders. The airports are at a stand-still. Nothing is moving.

And graphs don’t lie:

holy moley

So, what are we to do now? Roll over and just die? Do we just give up the dream of what we’re supposed to do? I don’t know about what other people are doing, but I don’t feel so bad. I’ve been knocked backwards before. I’ve been knocked out cold before. A couple of decades on a karate dojo floor has taught me how to take a punch. We are going to come back from this, and there is something to be optimistic about. After all, it can’t get much worse after this. Our only direction from this point is UP.

This is the place from which we bounce up. So, I am going to keep hammering away at writing and promoting and connecting with people around the world and still get the word out about Shikoku, about this marvellous and important pilgrimage. I’m still waving this flag. I hope you see it. I hope you see it and are infected by a different kind of thing, not a virus, not something that makes you sick, something different, better. I hope you are infected with inspiration, and hope, and daydreams of your time coming to walk the path, and move between the temples all around Shikoku. I would love to hear your story when the corona cloud passes and you come here, to the end of the world, and write it yourself.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/05/19/national/reopening-borders-coronavirus/#.XsZm2C8r3PA

Corona Virus and the Shikoku Pilgrimage

It has been news for several days now but it needs repeating and reporting on this site.

The Shikoku 88 Buddhist Temple Pilgrimage is shut down for the time being due to the Corona Virus Pandemic. This is likely no surprise to most, and it is an unfortunate necessity for everyone to be safe and healthy as we all do our part to get through these trying and difficult months.

Oddly enough, I feel rather optimistic despite this unhappy news. We are going to find a way to get through this and come through the other side. A vaccine will be created and home cures like injecting oneself with household cleaners will not be needed. The world may heed the good advice of doctors to treat viruses carefully, and to be sensibly cautious. And hopefully anti-vaccine people will come through this pandemic healthy and whole as well, and then realize that their anti-science attitudes are dangerous and self-destructive.

It is unclear when a vaccine will be ready and accessible, but I would like to hazzard a guess that 18 months from now we can pretty much get back to normal. I would like to believe that a vaccine will be available, and although the corona virus may still infect and travel, people will be better equipped to deal with it.

There may also be need to keep a handy website accessible while you might come to Shikoku in 2022 and it is this one here: https://covid19japan.com

At the time of this posting, Shikoku is doing reasonably well, but the numbers of who might be sick or infected are difficult to truly know. More data on the matter, rather than less, might be a good idea.

In the meantime, I think I will keep doing what we all need to do and that is to stay safe and healthy, to do more reading and research on the pilgrimage in this “down time” and to start making plans for when life can get back to a semblance of “normal”.

Please stay safe and healthy. More to come in the days and weeks ahead!