The REAL Pandemic

Last week I’ve written about Japan and how they’re healthy and slim (and it’s no secret that I love the country).

But here’s something that isn’t so pleasant: The number of suicides in Japan in October alone was higher than total deaths caused by Corona in the whole of 2020. Sure, that’s in part because Japan wasn’t hit as hard by the virus – but it’s still alarming. The increase in suicides is especially high in women, who seem to suffer more from domestic violence and losing jobs in the service industry as well as taking care of children (but men are still more than two times more likely to commit suicide, which unfortunately the article sweeps under the carpet – do mental health issues only matter if women are impacted?)

The obvious reasons cited for the surge in suicides are “long working hours, school pressure, social isolation and a cultural stigma around mental health issues”.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not true that Japan is the Mekka of suicide. Suicides have actually gone down in the last years, the numbers are now similar to the US or Germany (countries like Lithuania or Russia are much worse).

Here’s my point, though: You could say the real pandemic of our time is not Covid: it’s a combination of depression, loneliness and a young generation with shitty career prospects who struggles to make ends meet while faced with exploding costs everywhere. It almost seems like a diabolical plot that this virus comes along and now we’ve been locked at home for close to a year, milllions struggle financially, and politicians are currently debating whether it’s ok to see your family on Christmas Great, and now we’re stuck in our small overpriced apartments and our already shitty social life gets crushed even more (or is that just me? And by the way I’m not saying we should open up everything and I’m fine with masks and all that…)

Sorry if this comes off as a bit pessimistic, but I just couldn’t get myself to write a nonsensical “3 secret ways to boost your happiness” article which contains the same cliches. I’ll be honest here: The last weeks have been gray and foggy all the time here, I’m not really working out anymore, I overeat regularly, I have a super hard time focusing at work, and I catch myself craving alcohol more and more. It’s tough.

Let’s just hope we’ll get through this, and let’s try to help each other out.
This bit in the CNN article was pretty wholesome, actually: It was a 21-year-old university student in Japan who started a 24-hour mental health hotline which now gets over 200 calls a day (which makes you wonder why there’s no public service like this).

And what they say about Japan’s culture probably is true everywhere in the world: “We need to create the culture where it’s OK to show your weakness and misery.”

😴 What might help you find calm

Intentional ASMR Picks:

Unintentional ASMR Picks: