Research

#035

TRAVELLING THROUGH CONTAMINATED LANDS (1)

I’m currently in Iwaki (いわき市), prefecture of Fukushima. It is one of the closest big cities to the late nuclear plant. Before arriving here, I went to Hokkaido where I met with people who actually fled this city. They barely go home, saying it’s too contaminated, especially for their children. They always wear masks when going out and forbid their children from playing outside. But when I arrived, the people around me were just living as normal citizens. Children were walking around without masks, with their parents looking pretty carefree. I was a little surprised but then I realized that if you are to live worrying about everything, you’ll either end up with depression or will have to move out. I would be very curious to read some literature about the relationship between risks and the human mind. How do human cope with risks? How do they adapt to it? And if they don’t, what happens to them.

For the past 24 something hours, I’ve been worrying about weird things. To start with, I just realized that the water I was given in restaurants is certainly contaminated, at some point. Also, the beautiful “honey lemon hot lemonade” I just ordered is definitely made with tap water: contaminated. I’ve been wearing a mask while walking outside, but contamination does exist inside buildings. Also, I cannot know for sure where the food I’m eating is coming from, may it be in Iwaki, in Tokyo or Hokkaido, especially food sold in convenient stores. Therefore, I might have ben continuously contaminated for the 2 years I spent in Japan. Who knows what will happen to me.

At least, I’m lucky I wasn’t in Japan on March 11 2011, when the explosions took place. People who were exposed to the radioactive cloud, as they call it, are the most likely to develop diseases, comprising cancers. Among the people I met, a certain number of them are already sick. It might seem light and not very important, but they develop skin diseases and are definitely less resistant then before. For example, one of the participants got a cold, which transformed into pneumonia. That might happen with older people, but people around their 50s shouldn’t be this weak.

Coming to Iwaki makes me realize a lot of things. I guess I’ll be writing many articles for the next few days, regarding the situation in here, what people are sharing and what I think about it.

***

Listening to: Hyorin – 너 밖에 몰라

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