Covid-19

Job Loss and the Urgent Need for Support for Aftereffects in Japan

Main image to the post Job Loss and the Urgent Need for Support for Aftereffects in Japan

Aftereffects Force Many Out of Work

One year after Japan downgraded COVID-19 to the same level as seasonal influenza, many individuals are still grappling with the lingering aftereffects of the pandemic, facing job loss and a lack of understanding from their workplaces.

Hirahata Clinic in Tokyo, specializing in treating COVID-19 aftereffects, has seen a significant number of patients struggling to maintain their employment. Over 10% of patients with jobs have either been fired, closed their businesses, or left their positions due to the debilitating effects of the virus.

These aftereffects, including fatigue, depression, and cognitive difficulties, often lead to misunderstandings at work. Patients are accused of laziness and pressured to catch up on missed work, further exacerbating their symptoms.

Dr. Koichi Hirahata, the clinic's director, emphasizes the importance of rest and understanding during the initial two months following infection. He also highlights the need for greater awareness and research on COVID-19 aftereffects, both within companies and medical institutions.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare estimates that millions of individuals in Japan have experienced aftereffects, with a significant portion facing job-related challenges. Hirahata Clinic reports that 68.3% of their patients with jobs have been impacted in some way, including taking leave, losing their jobs, or experiencing increased absenteeism.

The story of Ryoji Umayahara, owner of the popular curry shop "Kusamakura," exemplifies the devastating impact of aftereffects. Umayahara lost his sense of smell, rendering him unable to distinguish spices and maintain the quality of his dishes. This ultimately led to the closure of his 17-year-old restaurant.

Umayahara's experience highlights the need for greater awareness and support for individuals suffering from COVID-19 aftereffects. As Dr. Hirahata states, "More people will find themselves unable to work" unless proactive measures are taken to understand and address this growing issue.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09