In December of 2019, when the Coronavirus first appeared in China, many failed to grasp its impact. While some did not think it would make it’s way around the world, others believed it all to be just a Hoax. Yet worldwide it has been reported that there have been over 114 million cases and over 2.5 million deaths. 

As Japan entered it’s third wave of COVID cases, the government decided, to help stop the spread and in an attempt to gain control of the situation, that they would issue a state of emergency. This declaration saw many essential businesses closing down at 7pm every day, while other stores, hiking trails and beaches closed down completely. The government also pushed the requirement to wear masks, practice good hygiene through washing and sanitizing hands, as well as the advisement to practice social distancing. Lastly, a heavily enforced travel ban was set into place, requiring those traveling to separate islands from mainland Japan to complete a double quarantine. For military affiliated individuals living on Island, the restrictions tightened even more. Many facilities aboard the installation completely discontinued services, off base shopping was limited to essential services only, and, unless military service was ending, leaving the Island was not a possibility. 

At the start of the new year, word was passed that the vaccine would arrive on Island, providing those stationed here a form of hope. Cases on Island were decreasing and little by little restrictions began to loosen. On and off of the installation, various locations began to reopen or offer take out services, while others took their business mobile to provide in-home services. With the increased number of those vaccinated, the military installation has begun to offer those stationed on-Island liberties that they had not seen since March of 2020, providing the feeling that things will one day return to normal. 

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