From “The Abundance of Less Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan by Andy Couturier

From “The Abundance of Less Lessons in Simple Living from Rural Japan" by Andy Couturier

Pages 264-265



“Sooo..” I begin to ask him, a bit apprehensive, not wanting to be insulting, “Gufu-san, why write all this stuff down?”


Unperturbed, he replies simply, “To make a record. If you don’t record things, you start to lose your sense of the place. It’s also interesting when you talk to other people, or when I want to look up something later. But it’s mostly just to make a record, even if I don’t use the information.”

“Yes, but how do you decide which things to write down?”

“Whatever is possible to write down, I write. How much the bus cost. How much the movie was, or how much the hotel was.”

“But why?” I ask.

“I didn’t have any purpose in doing it.”

No purpose? Perhaps I’ve been too attached to all my own actions being done for a reason. Utilitarianism is so deep in my culture I don’t even notice it. Listening to Gufu it occurs to me that it may not be so good to be always reaching ahead in time. Sitting here with my friend in a farmhouse in the mountains of Japan, I find my way of seeing the world start to deepen and change. All these little, unlooked-at details create the fabric of memory. By writing them down, we are refusing to let the experiences of our lives get subsumed in the tsunami of time, the onrush of the next, and the next, and the next. I think of so many travelers (myself included) zipping from one location to the next, taking photos of scenery or a building. Have I been missing the beautiful in the obvious?

Gufu is showing me--not that he’s trying to show me anything--that the whole world can come alive with these tiny details, ephemera, you might call them. But not just a generalized “world,” but a specific world, an India of a particular time, and, as it happens, an India that is disappearing every day.


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Julie Ali @JulieYAli · 13s Why are we third world in the first world with reference to testing? And if testing is the cure, what does this lack of testing mean for ending a pandemic? What also are the implications when we don't test folks with mild symptoms who don't self isolate? Would testing end this?

It was a bit confusing to figure it out since the criteria for testing keeps changing. Apparently now we have the community spread they are concentrating limited resources on specific populations. These populations appear to be the following:
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So if they are only testing a limited slice of the population and sending the rest home to recover in isolation then the total reported cases is an artificially low value and therefore we have actually got much higher numbers in AB and Canada.
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Actual number of cases are really much higher. We don't know the actual number of cases since we're only testing specific populations. Is this a correct thing to do? Well I would say not. It would be best to get the actual number of cases.
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If this is the case, that the total reported cases is an under-representation of the true total, which is comprised of total tested cases plus untested home/community cases, then the report doesn't tell us how well the pandemic is being controlled.
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So the situation in AB and Canada maybe far worse than the total reported cases imply. Community spread is present and we must assume that everyone has the virus. Some of us get very ill and some don't. Assume everyone is a carrier.
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So overall, I don't feel the numbers of Coronavirus cases being reported are accurate in Canada. The criteria keeps changing in AB. It's difficult to understand why they aren't testing more--other than the paucity of test swabs and the lack of enough equipment/reagents.
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If South Korea is able to test so well and so much why can't we? Why do we lack nasopharyngeal swabs and why can't we have the sort of testing of a small nation far far away? Why can't we scale up testing so as to get the actual number of cases?
1
Why are we third world in the first world with reference to testing? And if testing is the cure, what does this lack of testing mean for ending a pandemic? What also are the implications when we don't test folks with mild symptoms who don't self isolate? Would testing end this?
1

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