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COVID-19 State Of Emergency Leaves Tokyo Streets, Sidewalks Empty

A COVID-19 state of emergency in Tokyo has left streets, crosswalks, and sidewalks empty. (KSL TV)

TOKYO – With the Tokyo Olympics set to start on Friday, the city looks nothing like other major cities these days because of the COVID-19 state of emergency in place for the games.

In a metropolitan area of roughly 37 million people, there are some parts of Tokyo that feel eerily empty.  

Crosswalk signals are giving permission to no one. Traffic was nowhere near what Tokyo residents saw just days ago. Sidewalks, where it’s common to see pedestrians shoulder-to-shoulder, now have more room. 

COVID-19 has changed normal routines in Tokyo and although almost every country in the world has been affected, nowhere else is planning for an Olympics. 

The games have led to protests because many people felt the Japanese government wasn’t doing enough to keep people safe from the virus when it allowed the Olympics to move forward.

Polls showed a majority of the people were concerned money became more important than health. 

 Still, there is a sense of pride that the Olympic Committee chose Tokyo to host the Games. 

It’s just that COVID-19 has proven to be a competitor that is tough to keep away. 

The KSL team covering the games in Tokyo was quarantined in hotel rooms that now also serve as a workspace. 

They are allowed to go to a nearby store for water and snacks but only for 15 minutes at a time. 

COVID-19 or not, Opening Ceremonies can be seen Friday morning on KSL. 

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