Pandemic Patrol Vigilante Goes Too Far

On May 25, 2020, Japan lifted the government’s emergency declaration for the last 4 prefectures in the Kanto and Hokkaido, due to the continued low number of reported COVID-19 infections.

Many would probably agree this is great news. All kinds of businesses have been forced to close or reduce their hours over the last months and certainly would like to make up for the huge economic losses suffered from Japan’s “Stay Home” requests.

Most of us have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to some degree. But you may know people who have not strictly followed the “Stay Home” request. Convenience store staff, among other workers, were still required to work as usual and had no choice but to continue their daily lives.

On the other hand, there are also those who think they’re healthy and don’t worry about catching the virus and have continued meeting friends and even take advantage of their extra free time with trips around Japan (I have a friend like this).

But some have been dealt an extra blow at the hand of the so-called 自粛警察 jishuku keisatsu, or the “Self-Appointed Pandemic Patrol.” And if you were not aware of this group’s existence, well…it’s because they don’t exist officially. But there is at least one individual who has taken it upon him or herself to ensure people stay home, whether they like it or not.

Message from a Pandemic Patrol Vigilante

One Twitter user, who wishes to remain anonymous, received a disturbing warning from the “Pandemic Patrol.”

As you can see from the above images, a pair of scissors were thrust into the back tire of a motorcycle, holding the following warning message in place.

Now is the time for self-restraint!
We are in the middle of a State of Emergency!
Now is not the time to go out and wander around all day!
Observe social distancing!
Can you not endure until COVID-19 completely goes away?!
The State of Emergency has not been lifted in Kanagawa Prefecture!
You must absolutely stop going out! Stay home!

Just reading the message, you might agree the author has a point. But stabbing a pair of scissors into someone’s bike tires is just too far.

And not only did the perpetrator stab the back tire, but also the front tire, the break line, and slashed the seat of a scooter parked nearby.

Rather than the so-called vigilante caring about keeping public peace and order, he or she destroyed people’s private property.

User Comments

This Twitter post has garnered much attention and comments in the days since it was shared:

  • Isn’t this property damage rather than harassment?
  • This kind of “Pandemic Patrol” is simply an excuse for harassment. It can’t be forgiven.
  • I’m angry to see such malicious acts. They need to crack down on “Pandemic Patrols” that go too far.

It’s inconceivable that whoever did this actually thought they were doing good by slashing tires. Perhaps like one user commented, it was simply a malicious act under the guise of public good.

Whatever the case, the Emergency Declaration in Japan has ended. Hopefully, the number of infections continues to remain low so we don’t see a resurgence in “Pandemic Patrol” as well.

(Note from the editors: All images are reproduced here with permission from the Twitter user, who has agreed to share them on condition of anonymity.)

By - Mujo.