Random Thoughts 90

Internment Camps[1]

These are a dark page in American history. Between 1942 and 1945 Japanese Americans were interred in isolated camps located in the interior of the US mainland, mostly in the west. Approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry were forced to relocate in them. 62% of them were US citizens. In 1988 President Ronald Reagan signed into law the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 which apologized for the internment on behalf of the US government and authorized a payment of $20,000 to each former internee who was still alive in 1988.

More recently the world has witnessed a similar situation in China where Uyghurs, an ethnic minority in western China, have been similarly interned in camps and numbering more than a million people. The main reason for their internment is their practice of Islam and other traditional cultures, all of which China wants to eliminate. This purpose is quite different from the internment of Japanese Americans which was done out of fear that they may have had some connection with Japan, America’s enemy in the Pacific.

Internment camps are a very harsh way of dealing with people, especially those viewed with suspicion or fear. Their freedoms are greatly curtailed and they are forced to remain interred until the government deems them safe to be allowed back into society.

Hard times call for hard measures and as such, when the health and economy is being endangered by a rapidly spreading pandemic, perhaps it is time for the government to enact harsher measures. If individuals cannot observe civil requests to avoid the 3 Cs, and through selfish actions contribute to the increase in the number of Covid-19 infections, then these individuals should be dealt with more harshly.

One way to do that would be to create internment camps for those who do not observe government guidelines. Forced internment in a facility would be one way to prevent them from spreading the virus. This is not something new to Japan because it did exactly that with citizens suffering from Hansen’s Disease, which is also known as leprosy.

According to most health experts throughout the world the best way to combat the spread of the virus is through self-isolation. Countries that have strictly followed that policy have shown sharp declines in the spread of the disease.

Currently many laboratories throughout the world are working on making a vaccine and some might even succeed in developing one before the end of the year. But one can be proven to be effective and produced in large quantity, everyone is still at risk of contracting the virus. That being the case, I would like to see those who fail to observe the 3 Cs and other prevention guidelines to be interned until the pandemic is eradicated.

[1] 強制収容所


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駒澤大学名誉教授 モエ・リチャード先生  英会話と英語発音の指導歴45年以上の経験を持つプロフェッショナル


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