May 22, 2020 City life is dense. Stations, trains, streets, restaurants, shopping malls, offices. It can even be said that it is a city because it creates a denseness in a sense. However, the world will change a lot in the future. From now on, everyone will want to eliminate such a dense state from their lives as much as possible. Reaction to quarantine life for some months may bring back the same "nostalgic" denseness here and there throughout the city this summer. However, if our daily life becomes confused again by the second wave of corona, which may come from next autumn, the social consensus that we want to get rid of our dense life should be strengthened.
No more rush to commute to work. No more dinner with a large number of people. No more disgusting bargain sale. No more work in a large room together with many people. Since events, workshops, and concerts are shunned when they are full, organizers are forced to create an environment that is not dense. If you upload an article on the net putting the title like "a concert venue with no room for standing", it will be immediately flamed. If that is the case, you will have to compromise small number of customers far below the capacity, or you will have to hold the event at some separate places in some way. If you say that it is a city that makes denseness, a city will not be a city. The city will collapse, from now on.
The way you work will also change. For example, in the case of white-collar workers, the style of working two days a week and working remotely for the rest of the days may be more popular. People who do not have space at home will try to find an alternative place for offices in the neighborhood, so we can renovate Karaoke boxes and unpopular restaurants installing Wi-Fi, to working space for hour rental. There may be a business that borrows a surplus room in a private house and rents it to others as a temporary office (or it may be already available).
Concerts and lectures will have to be held in an empty state, with a limit of participants coming to the venue and a 2meter distance between the people. However, since the organizer's profits will continue to decline, it will become a standard practice to broadcast live performances on the website so that they can be viewed even at home. Of course, there is a charge for live distribution, but it will be a much cheaper price than participating at the venue. If such a style becomes popular, it may be possible to increase the participation fee income more than before. If the real venue capacity is 3000 seats and the ticket price is 5000 yen, the total income will be 15 million yen when fully occupied. If the number of people attending the venue is reduced to 1000 with the same price and the rest is attended by web, if 5000 people can sit behind the PC screen of their own house with the price of 2000 yen, the total income will be 15 million yen, which is the same as before. If the REAL live can be recognized as “premium” seats, the ticket price should be higher, so there is a possibility that the total income will increase further. If 3D distribution technology on web gets into full swing, it will be possible to raise ticket prices even higher for web attenders.
Schools will respond in the same way. Reduce the number of classes to a maximum of 10 people so that they will not be crowded in the classroom. However, in that case, more classrooms and more teachers will be required, as the number of classes increases. If that becomes difficult, we will change the current style that all students come to school every day from Monday to Friday, decide the days to go to school and another days not to go by class and then reduce the number of students going to REAL school in a day. The rest of students will listen to the class at home through the web screen. As with office work, students who do not have space at home will set up an individual WEB booth with the help of a nearby private supplementary school and take classes there.
This kind of change to a new lifestyle aimed at avoidance of denseness may be more or less inconvenient, but at the same time it can be very positive for the local economy.
From now on, the number of people who want to spend time on holidays without going out to the city will definitely increase. A quiet park where you can be relaxed with nature, a museum without crowds, an agricultural experience, a manufacturing experience, a tour of historic sites, a shop where you can eat local specialties, etc. Places of anti-denseness is the future trend. Together with the change of people’s flow which was concentrated in the city previously, more and more products and services will gradually begin to turn around within the community. It would be even more interesting if a "regional virtual currency" valid only in that region was issued. That will create further demand in the region and can be a catalyst for a positive cycle of regional revitalization. In order to make the area where I live a more attractive "place", we ca revive the local shopping street, make a map of walking around the historic sites, rediscover many things unique to the local area, and send the information online to all through the community. From the outside, we can expect that urban dwellers and even foreigners may also be interested in visiting there. The regional virtual currency plays an important role for them as well. The time has come. We should not miss the opportunity, which may bring so great future to any local area.
One thing I have to tell you. The word of "from now on" I am using repeatedly does not mean eternal future, but it means that "it will be about three years from now".
Infectious diseases have existed at all times from ancient times to the present. Whether it's the plague of medieval Europe, the modern Spanish flu, or the tuberculosis that prevailed in Japan until the early Showa era, an unprecedented number of infected and dead people was recorded, compared to the corona. Each time, humans must have hated denseness just as they do now. At least for some time after the infection has settled.
However, like the taste of honey that cannot be forgotten, human beings missed their former dense life and city life again after the storm blows over. This time, after having traumatized for about 3 years, it will eventually return to the same old 密(Mitsu, which means honey in Japanese), which is the same pronunciation as 蜜(Mitsu, which means denseness in Japanese). Social distancing will not last 100 years. On the contrary, tourists will be sitting on the Spanish Steps in Rome three years later, and lovers will be hugging and dancing at the bar in New York. There must be a large number of drunk people in Kabukicho in Shinjuku.
In other words, these three years will be very important. You have to change what you should change during this period. Even so, humans are tough. We will not learn a lesson but immortal animals.