Update: March 19

I’ve been hearing some absolutely silly stories coming from US news sources, like people are wearing surgical masks because of radiation. Not true. It’s pollen season–people do that every year. I’ve got the snotties myself today. And we’re not “refugees” for pete’s sake. Our house is fine. Everything is working normally and we have plenty of food.

We’re hearing that the reactor problem is nothing like TMI or Chernobyl. The reactors are contained, they just don’t have enough water in them, and people who know what they’re doing are dealing with it. International aid workers have been impressed with how calm, even stoic, the real refugees are. Japan can pull its act together when it needs to.

The US Embassy is providing flights but in a typically unfriendly way–we have to pay and they won’t tell us where we’re going, no help with accommodation or onward travel. I almost feel safer here than I would in a group of disoriented Americans dumped in an airport in Seoul or Taipei.

People have started going back to work, so I’m getting calls again, tiny, frightened voices apologizing for bothering me at a time like this. Please bother me! It gives me something else to think about.

Here’s a nice thing: Several Japanese friends have made a point of saying how much they appreciate the aid and support offered to Japan by the international community, so if you have anything to do with that, give yourself a hug. Come to think of it, give yourself a hug anyway.

I won’t tell you not to worry. We’re all scared stiff. Just know that it’s not as bad as it sounds.

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