Family Gatherings Across the Border

Live like a Traveler

December is here, and with it comes Christmas and New Year’s, an important time for families to get together for the first time in a long time, both in the U.S. and Japan.
However, due to an outbreak of the Omicron variant, there is a possibility that the long awaited family gatherings may not happen.

Our Family

I received the “urgent notice” from ANA, All Nippon Airways, on November 29. This is the fourth ANA urgent notice this month.
According to it, the entry of foreign nationals into Japan will be suspended for one month from November 30, 2021.

Just as I was thinking that things aren’t looking favorable for our third day in the U.S., today’s yahoo news reported that the first case of the Omicron variant has been confirmed in the US. And it’s in San Francisco😔

My husband’s son, Tomoki, who lives in Arizona, was supposed to visit us in San Francisco the week after next, but it may be difficult.
We are really disappointed as we were looking forward to seeing him again after two and a half years.
We will wait for a few more days and decide.

My Brother’s Family

My nephew Yuta, who went to Canada to study abroad in high school from April of this year, was planning to return to Japan during the holidays in December.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen him, so we were all looking forward to seeing him, but things are not looking good.
It seems that he has already got an air ticket, so even if he can return to Japan, there is a possibility that he might not be able to come back to Canada, and nobody can predict at this stage.

They will have to wait a day or two and make a tough decision.

Jeremy’s Family

Jeremy, who was homestaying at our home in Tokyo from January to April of this year, was planning to return to Seattle for the first time in a year.
However, depending on the situation of Omicron variant, the national isolationism of December may continue for January.
If that happens, like my nephew, he might not be able to come back to Japan and go to school.

We were also planning to go to Seattle to visit Jeremy while he was back home, but visitors from San Francisco are not supposed to be welcome, so we might as well give up this time.

For the last several years, I felt like the world was getting smaller and borders were disappearing, but when the pandemic happened, the high walls seemed to be back.
We live in an age where we are connected no matter where we are, but we still want to meet in person!