Japan Rolling Back COVID Hysteria with One Move


The unprecedented and often unjust measures taken to combat COVID-19 were justified on the basis that COVID was a novel disease that presented a special kind of threat to public health and well-being.

As long as COVID was considered by the “experts” to be more than just a common cold, flu or a seasonal illness, the left could justify the insane policies that they implemented to stop its spread.

However, one country has now thrown out the whole foundation of that narrative with one simple move.

According to CTV News, on Friday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced that the legal status of COVID-19 would be downgraded to that of seasonal flu, meaning that the nation could continue to relax restrictions.

“In order to return to our ordinary daily life in Japan while pursuing measures to adapt to living with the coronavirus, we will study concrete measures to gradually move on to a next step,” Kishida said in a statement.

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CTV News reported that this downgrade of COVID to a Class 5 disease means that local authorities no longer have the power to implement emergency measures and restrictions to combat the disease, including laws regarding mask-wearing and self-isolation.

Japan, like many other countries in the Far East, had some of the most restrictive and strict COVID policies in the world. According to CTV, the nation only stopped testing for fully-vaccinated foreign arrivals last fall, after having kept the borders virtually completely shut to foreign visitors for two years.

These restrictions cast a shadow over the delayed summer Olympics, which Tokyo hosted in the summer of 2021, as athletes were forced to navigate the stringent COVID protocols, often taking away from the experience of the games.

But now Japan, like many of its Asian neighbors, seems to be backtracking on its restrictions, declaring that the disease is no longer the threat it once was and downgrading it in an attempt to return to normal.

Should other countries reclassify COVID-19?

We in the United States, and in the West more broadly, should take notice of this because many of the “experts” here still seem to believe that COVID is some special emergency that requires special attention.

Obviously, it would be reckless to claim that COVID poses absolutely no danger whatsoever. It has killed plenty of people around the world, and there are groups of people, such as the elderly and the immunocompromised, who should still be very careful.

But it is wrong to say that COVID is still some novel danger to the world. It has been almost three years since the initial outbreak in March 2020 that sent the world into panic and saw the first restrictions put into place.

Back then, people justified these measures by saying that the disease was spreading like wildfire, and we knew nothing about it. We had to take measures to keep COVID under control

But that was three years ago. The situation has changed dramatically since then. We now know that COVID is not as deadly as first reported, and we now have a vaccine that is claimed to be “safe and effective.”

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This should help us realize, like Japan, that COVID does not represent some unprecedented or especially deadly threat to human life; it has merely become just another illness among many.

Once we recognize that, then the COVID cult no longer has a leg to stand on, and any further justification for any restrictions is removed.

It really is time for us to move on from this madness. We now what COVID is, and we know just how dangerous it actually is. It is time for us to put this depressing chapter in history behind us and move on.

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Peter Partoll is a commentary writer for the Western Journal and a Research Assistant for the Catholic Herald. He earned his bachelor's degree at Hillsdale College and recently finished up his masters degree at Royal Holloway University of London. You can follow him on Twitter at @p_partoll.