Opinion: Coronavirus made me change my plans

Mar 11, 2020, 4:08 PM | Updated: Mar 12, 2020, 8:59 am
Picture credit: Amanda Dickson

This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

It was just a trip.

Not a life, or an illness, or someone’s life savings.

But a year ago next month, my husband and I started dreaming about going to Tokyo to see our daughter Ashley and her husband Landon. They’ve lived there for several years now, and they absolutely love it. They love how clean everything is, how polite the people are, how artistic even vending machines can be. They love restaurants where the food comes around on conveyor belts to your table.

Aaron, my husband, has been there before with our older son, Cameron, but I have never been, not to see Ashley and Landon or for any purpose, so it was a big deal when we finally decided we could spend the money to go. You see, our going involves more than just our going – it involves flying our two younger sons to Florida to stay with my brother and sister-in-law AND our going. (We don’t have any family in Utah who can stay with the boys for a whole week.) So the thought of a trip to Tokyo is quite an enterprise.

I had planned everything. We would stay in a hotel near Tokyo Station. Ashley said that was the most central location and close to their small apartment. I found one that looked beautiful and was a good price, and I mapped out all the amazing things we could walk to from there.  It was called the Hotel Metropolitan Tokyo Marunouchi. Just the name was beautiful to me. I dreamed of driving to Mount Fuji and spending a night near there. I started listening to people speaking Japanese on YouTube to see if I could pick up the basics. “Thank you.” “Where is the bathroom?” “Do you speak English?” That kind of thing.

My daughter has the most fascinating job in Japan. She sells Pokemon cards on the social media platform called Twitch. Her company is Pokemon BariBari Japan. From the time she was a little girl, she loved Pokemon. She loved all things Japanese really – Pokemon, Digimon, some other anime. I saw how the art and the playfulness of the characters and their big eyes drew her in, but I never felt the spark until last year when I started watching her stream online. Something about the sparkle of the rainbow secret rare cards caught my eye, and I was hooked.

Now I am a collector, and I was so excited at the thought of going to the Pokemon Center. I had planned to take an empty suitcase (or two) to fill with Pokemon plushies and cards and whatever else I could afford to bring home. I wanted to go to the Pokemon Cafe and eat Eevee burgers and drink Pikachu shakes. I wanted Snorlax salads and the Bulbasaur buffet!

Alas. We will have to wait. Aaron and I were never really worried about catching the coronavirus if we went to Japan. We probably have more chance of getting it here. We’re more concerned about getting stuck away from our young boys, quarantined, unable to get back to them. That possibility, once unthinkable, seems just possible enough to keep us at home, at least for now.


Today’s Top Stories


Rabies in bats....
Waverly Golden

Utah health officials confirm three cases of rabies in bats

Three cases of rabies in bats have been confirmed in Utah. In each case, pets or humans were exposed and received treatment.
3 days ago
A Rite Aid logo is displayed on its store...

Amazon, Rite Aid cap purchase of emergency contraceptives

Retailers limiting purchases is standard practice that helps retailers prevent stockpiling and reselling at higher prices.
3 days ago
CDC reports monkeypox cases....
Waverly Golden

CDC confirms five monkeypox cases in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY — The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, confirmed a total of five monkeypox cases in Utah Wednesday morning. According to the Utah Department of Health, four of the cases are located in Salt Lake County and one in Utah County. On Tuesday, the total number of cases statewide was […]
4 days ago
A crowd gathers in front of the Utah State Capitol on Friday, June 24, 2022, to protest the U.S. Su...
Becky Bruce

Different abortion law now in effect in Utah

A different abortion law is now in effect in Utah, and it bans abortions after 18 weeks of pregnancy. However, there are several exceptions to this law.
5 days ago
Rising temperatures across the country are putting the homeless at risk of heat-related death. Many...
Waverly Golden, Aimee Cobabe

Heat waves bring concerns for heat-related illnesses and the homeless population

Record-breaking heat waves have caused an abundance of heat-related deaths among the homeless.
5 days ago
IV bags hang in a room. Intermountain healthcare conducted a study on IV fluid....
Samantha Herrera

Intermountain Healthcare study finds “better” IV fluid treatment

Researchers with Intermountain Healthcare conducted a 15-month-long study to learn the effects of using an alternative IV fluid for patients.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Opinion: Coronavirus made me change my plans