As much as I enjoy the fine writing that shape many PAW articles, I was shocked by the absence of COVID-19 related content in the March 18 issue. A flashback in my mind was a recent Wall Street Journal article, “A Generational War Is Brewing Over Coronavirus,” which reported that an explosion in on-campus parties was observed, following the University’s March 19 decision to move classes online and send the students home. For the first time, I felt ashamed of my dear alma mater, still with compassion, but one that wasn’t free from a sense of detachment.

The recent COVID-19 outbreak is one which tests each of our communities’ sense of social responsibility. The test is whether those below the age of 60, for whom the virus is only rarely fatal, can behave with those above the age of 60 in mind, who suffer from an increasingly high rate of fatality on contraction of the virus. If we fail the test, the health care capacity will quickly become overwhelmed by 30-fold and everyone will suffer — such is the conclusion presented by UK research last week, which has become the backbone of the two countries’ response policies almost immediately. As a member of the less-suffering generation myself, I cannot help but wonder the varying degree of attention paid to the overall topic. We will grind through the 18 months until the arrival of a viable vaccine/cure, and I have no doubt we will end up in a better place down the road. In the meantime, I will be looking forward to opening the next issue of my favorite magazine.

Editor’s note: The March 18 issue went to press March 3.

Gakushi Nakamura ’98
Tokyo, Japan