Since the coronavirus broke out in Japan, Japanese daily news feels like a bad 朝ドラ (morning drama). One that we’d like to be canceled before it airs on primetime TV. Along with fear spreading, store shelves seem to be wiped out when it comes to supplies like masks, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper.
Out of stock
First to go were Japan’s beloved hygiene masks. The panic buying frenzy hit Japan like a bullet train and in the blink of an eye, every store was sold out. Things went pretty far when 6,000 hygiene masks were stolen from the Japanese Red Cross hospital in Kobe.
While masks’ efficiency to protect you from getting sick is debatable, they’re lifesavers when it comes to hay fever. With the weather warming, the allergy season has started and people are now desperately seeking out alternatives.
After the authorities encouraged people to use hand sanitizer frequently and wipe surfaces with alcohol wet wipes at restaurants, these too disappeared from shelves. Hygiene products have been thoroughly cleaned out with nothing left but dust and out of stock signs.
Despite experts trying to reassure people that 30 seconds of scrubbing your hands with good old soap and water is the best precaution to take against the coronavirus, the obsession with hand sanitizer hasn’t died down.
This offered a perfect window of opportunity for liquor stores.
What does hand sanitizer and liquor have in common?
The answer is a high concentration in purified ethanol. In @D_s54’s picture, you can see Spirytus, a famous Polish rectified spirit amongst the strongest in the world. In its undiluted form, Spirytus contains no less than 95% alcohol by volume.
— だいゆー (@D_s54) February 26, 2020
= Finally, the real alcohol sanitizer came out, lolol
Above the Spirytus bottles, sold for ¥1799 before tax, the store added a little note: “消毒液としてもご利用いただけます” = “You can use it as an antiseptic solution too.”
If you go down that road, don’t forget hand cream or soon, your skin will turn into sandpaper.
Finally, they made a decision
Yesterday, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abo called for elementary, junior high and high schools to close. While the decision triggered confusion, for some it felt like finally, the government was addressing parents’ concerns.
In Japanese, you’ll find many words for “at last” or “finally.” Let’s quickly review a few of them and their nuances.
- ついに emphasizes an outcome, good or bad, after you’ve worked toward accomplishing something (ex. finally, I solved this problem)
- いよいよ emphasizes that you’ve built up expectations about the outcome (ex. finally, we’re heading towards the finale)
- やっと (and more formal, ようやく) emphasizes a long gradual build-up, without expectations or particular effort toward the outcome (ex. finally, exams are over)
- とうとう rather than the process to reach a certain point, the focus is on the outcome (ex. finally, I quit smoking)
We cannot wait for the COVID-19 to finally be behind us.
Wait, toilet-paper is out of stock too?!
Earlier this week, rumors about a toilet paper shortage country-wide pushed people to panic buy, disrupting the supply chain. This turmoil was caused by nonsense news that Japan imports most of its toilet-paper from China and that the makers wouldn’t be able to meet the demand. The industry leaders have entirely denied the allegations and are asking people not to panic. Too late.
|朝ドラ||asadora||year-long morning Japanese TV drama|
|ついに||tsui ni||finally, at last|
|としても||toshitemo||as (as well as)|
|いよいよ||iyoiyo||finally, at last|
|やっと(ようやく)||yatto (youyaku)||finally, at last (more formal)|
|とうとう||toutou||finally, at last|
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