There will be no fear-mongering here. There will be no false spreading of information or intentions to cause alarm. I only intend to tell you all what I’ve heard from Boyfriend and other friends in the Tokyo area:
Everyone there is surprisingly calm. Bottled water, milk, rice, and non-perishable food stuffs is in short supply and beer, but most restaurants are still open. There are lines at the grocery stores and people are getting what they need in Tokyo and surrounding prefectures to the east and south. They are preserving electricity, using the stairs instead of elevators.
Foreigners and some citizens with children are going to the airports in a polite and calm manner, choosing to leave for now both because they worry about what is happening at the nuclear facility and whether food and water supplies will continue flowing. There are still aftershocks. I believe there were around 40 yesterday (Thursday), all measuring between 4.5 and 6.0, but nothing the solid Japanese infrastructure can’t handle.
Transit is working at most stations. Buses are running for stations that aren’t working. Most schools are still closed, but that would be the same for any natural disaster. People are worried about radiation from the north. Go to http://eq.wide.ad.jp/index_en.html for more information on some prefecture measurements over the last few days.
The Japanese government is still overseeing work at the Fukushima reactor and things look more under control today than they did yesterday. Go to http://shoottokyo.com/ for on the ground testimony from a recent blogging friend I met. He has some brilliant pictures.
Don’t worry about seeing people in surgical masks. It’s a common aspect of culture in Japanese urban areas.
Thank you to all of my friends who have wished Boyfriend well. He is choosing to leave for a few days – part of the reason is because of boredom and because it was suggested by the US Department of Travel and the American Embassy in Tokyo. I hope things don’t get worse up north. I hope things get better. Most of all, writing this down has allowed me to vent quite a bit of anxiety and worry about Boyfriend and other friends in Tokyo that I have had over the last few days.
American media sensationalism and fear-mongering is at an all time high. I fell prey to this, but am feeling much better now.
Please leave comments and any well wishes. I’ll make sure they get passed along.