It looks like Japan hasn’t been hit greatly by the coronavirus pandemic compared to other countries. We have had just 1675 deaths up until yesterday. I am talking about the total number of COVID 19 related death since the beginning of the pandemic, not this month’s number or during the second wave. We are a nation of about 120 million people. We haven’t even had lockdowns. We have had a state of emergency and many people voluntarily stayed home, but not mandatory lockdowns like in many other countries.
I don’t personally know anyone who has died or developed severe conditions or even been infected from the virus. Therefore, to me, it feels very strange to watch the news about what is happening at the moment in Europe or the U.S. Well, I live in the countryside and many of my friends are Shizenha people whom I think are the healthiest people in Japan.
I don’t know why we have lower cases, and I am not going to get into the reasons today since there could be so many overlapping causes and it is difficult for a layman like me to evaluate it.
Nevertheless, I feel our diet and lifestyle have some effects on this since our overall mortality rate is lower than in other countries, and we have very little obesity, too. The fact that we are more obedient plays some roles in it, too. Most people wear a mask and keep social distances when we are told to do so.
I said that there were two approaches to dealing with the Coronavirus in my post Seven Keys to Boosting Your Immune System During the Coronavirus Pandemic
1, Not getting infected( wearing a mask, social distance, washing hands, avoiding crowded places, etc)
2. Keeping your condition mild, even if you are infected( diet, exercises, mentality, and lifestyle)
This obedient attitude can help the first measure. And our healthier diet can help the second measure.
If you want to know why the Japanese diet is healthier in general, please read the section Why Washoku is Healthy? in the book The Ikigai Diet: the Japanese Secret to Health and Longevity.
Today, I would like to talk about how Shizenha, the Japanese naturalist deal with the pandemic since they hardly take the first measure. They don’t wear a mask and none of them I know have been infected.
Again, it could be to do with other people wearing masks and it doesn’t mean you don’t need to wear a mask. If the majority of the population takes the first measure carefully, the virus won’t spread as much and the risk of being exposed to it will be lower.
The reason why many Shizenha people don’t wear a mask is that they don’t think COVID 19 is so different from regular flu or cold. Mind you, they do wear a mask when they feel it is necessary such as when they go to crowded places or are around elderlies, but not all the time. They don’t wear a mask when they go jogging or walking or mostly when they are outside. They don’t wear a mask when they see a few people inside the house. They feel that wearing a mask all the time can weaken your immune system and actually can increase the risk of infection or spreading. It isn’t only about the mask. They feel sanitizing their hands too often can destroy indigenous bacteria on the skin, and makes you more vulnerable to the virus.
And they take the second measure carefully, eat well, exercise, think well, and live well. They feel it is their responsibility to do them in order to protect others, too. If they have a strong immune system, the chances of them getting infected with the virus will be lower and hence the chances of spreading the virus will be lower.
They question the media which doesn’t stress the importance of the second measure so much and keeps repeating the first measure over and over. They feel it is because we won’t need the vaccine when the majority of the population takes the second measure to boost their immune system. On the other hand, if we continue taking only the first measure, we won’t strengthen our immune system and will be dependent on the vaccine. We will be tired of staying home, wearing a mask all the time, and keeping the social distances, so that we will be happy to take the vaccine in exchange for all the hustle. They feel the media, backed by the medical industry trying to sell the vaccines, is exaggerating the threat of the virus.
Having said that, they are not so paranoid about it either. Some of them believe in the conspiracy theory, but many of them don’t necessarily think it is a conspiracy but by the misunderstanding of the medical industry which tends to form just one view. The naturalists are more scientific in a way that they consult the second opinion on the measures. Are the PCR tests accurate? How effective masks are? What are the side effects of the vaccines? They listen to the views of different experts including the views from the medical establishment and try to form a holistic understanding of the virus. It isn’t only about COVID 19, it is the case for other diseases, as well, such as cancer.
Therefore, they don’t just reject the conventional measures saying they are fake, they look at the facts and apply the measures if they are effective whether they are conventional or not.
They don’t go out on the street and protest either. Generally, they don’t try to impose their views on others. They choose their methods but they also respect others who choose other means. They don’t go out on the street and have a big party without wearing a mask when there are clearly other people who are offended by that.
They just practice what they feel is right in their lives.
So, what do they do? What do I mean by they eat well, exercise, think well, and live well?
That is something I’ll discuss in the next post.
The Ikigai Diet: The Secret Japanese Diet to Health and Longevity