Japanese Doctors and Nurses Face “Corona-Bullying”

As if they don’t have it hard enough fighting on the front line against COVID-19, Japanese doctors and nurses have to contend with harassment and bullying from some members of the public who fear they may be spreading the virus.

A February report from Japanese newspaper The Asahi Shimbum noted,

The association said despite the DMAT [Disasters Medical Assistance Team] members risking their lives to contain the disease, they have been treated like germs upon returning to their workplaces.

Their children were asked to refrain from attending nursery schools and kindergartens by school officials.

The Japan Times/Bloomberg reported that children of medical professionals were being excluded from daycare centers.

The children of Japanese medical professionals are being shut out from day care centers, or being asked for proof they aren’t infected with the coronavirus, adding to the burdens of an already stretched work force on the front lines of the pandemic.

. . .

“There’s growing prejudice and discrimination against people in the medical field,” said Shigeru Omi, the deputy head of the government’s advisory panel on the virus. “It’s even extending to their families.”

Finally, a CBS News report highlighted incidents of nurses and doctors being harassed in public.

“Why are you nurses walking around outside? It’s absurd.” The nurse found herself accosted by an agitated man as she returned to her car. “It’s your fault the virus is spreading!”

“You work at the hospital, right?” a group of mothers interrogated another nurse in a Tokyo park. “We’d appreciate it if you stayed away.” Shocked, the nurse immediately went back home with her kids, she told the TBS network. “It’s as if they equate nurses with coronavirus.”

A staff member with Kita-Harima Medical Center was unable to move because the moving company refused to pick up his furniture. In Tokyo’s Taito Ward, a nurse employed at Eiju General Hospital was asked to stop bringing her preschooler to daycare.

Personally, it sounds like a pretty dumb idea to harass the people you may need to call upon someday for life-saving medical treatment.

The Bombing of Tokyo, March 10, 1945

Seventy-five years ago, the United States Army Air Forces launched the single deadliest air raid of World War II when 279 B-29s dropped 1,510 tons of bombs on Tokyo over a period of almost three hours.

According to Wikipedia,

Estimates of the number of people killed in the bombing of Tokyo on March 10 differ. After the raid, 79,466 bodies were recovered and recorded. Many other bodies were not recovered, and the city’s director of health estimated that 83,600 people were killed and another 40,918 wounded. The Tokyo fire department put the casualties at 97,000 killed and 125,000 wounded, and the Tokyo Metropolitan Police Department believed that 124,711 people had been killed or wounded. After the war, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey estimated the casualties as 87,793 killed and 40,918 injured. The survey also stated that the majority of the casualties were women, children and elderly people. Frank wrote in 1999 that historians generally believe that there were between 90,000 and 100,000 fatalities, but some argue that the number was much higher. For instance, Edwin P. Hoyt stated in 1987 that 200,000 people had been killed and in 2009 Mark Selden wrote that the number of deaths may have been several times the estimate of 100,000 used by the Japanese and United States Governments The large population movements out of and into Tokyo in the period before the raid, deaths of entire communities and destruction of records mean that it is not possible to know exactly how many died.

Mochi

Mochi
Mochi

According to Wikipedia, mochi is a

Japanese rice cake made of mochigome, a short-grain japonica glutinous rice. The rice is pounded into paste and molded into the desired shape. In Japan it is traditionally made in a ceremony called mochitsuki. While also eaten year-round, mochi is a traditional food for the Japanese New Year and is commonly sold and eaten during that time.

Mochi is apparently also occasionally deadly. According to an International Business Times report, during the 2015 New Year celebration, 9 people died in Japan from suffocating on the snack, and 18 people were hospitalized in Tokyo alone.

The sticky, glutinous dish can get stuck in the throats of those eating it–especially those who are very young or very old–causing people to suffocate.

U.S. Army’s “How To Spot A Jap” Pamphlet

This “How To Spot A Jap” comic was included in the U.S. Army’s 1942 “Pocket Guide to China,” which it distributed to soldiers who were being sent to fight in China. Milton Caniff, creator of the Terry and the Pirates comic strip, did the illustrations.

Instructing people on how to distinguish Chinese from Japanese people was apparently a common theme of World War II-era propaganda. For example, the December 22, 1941 edition of Life magazine ran a feature titled How To Tell Japs from the Chinese.