Many have already said that there are things they fear more than COVID-19, and that is people. Specifically, it is those who succumb to chaos and start hoarding, or those who think that the pandemic is a lie. These types of people subsequently add to the problem and make things worse while everyone else is trying to fix it. Alas, this is a story about why we can’t have nice things because of these people.
The Japanese city of Sakura hosts an annual festival called the Sakura Tulip Festa. It is a festival dedicated to the blooming of tulips. Every year, dozens upon dozens of people gather at the Sakura Furusato Square and feast their eyes on the marvelous, colorful sea of tulips surrounding an authentic Dutch windmill that was built to commemorate the 400-year-long friendship between Japan and the Netherlands.
People couldn’t stop gathering at the Sakura Furusato Square despite COVID-19 lockdown restrictions
Image credits: JW
The coronavirus hasn’t stopped the flowers from blooming—for them, the festival went on—but it did stop the city of Sakura from celebrating the festival.
However, despite the cancellation of the festival and the closing of the square, some decided that it was a good idea to still attend the blooming of the tulips and to make a festival for themselves.
According to Sakura city officials, roughly 400 people were seen in Furusato Square on April 11th admiring the blooming and risking getting infected and thus spreading the virus. This was the first weekend after PM Shinzo Abe declared a state of emergency in Chiba prefecture (where Sakura is located).
Despite the Sakura Tulip Festa being cancelled, people were still planning to come see the blooming of the tulips
Image credits: TripAdvisor
In response to this, the local authorities mowed down the main attraction to prevent people from gathering
Image credits: YokohamaNoHito
Unfortunately, it was not possible to physically close off the area and this way ward off any people who would try to take a close and personal sneak peek at the blooming tulips.
So, a few days later, the authorities decided it was time for plan B—to mow down the entire square before they bloomed. This meant that approximately 800,000 tulips of around 100 different varieties were destroyed.
Officials explained that it wasn’t an easy decision, but it was one that had to be made for the greater good. Keeping them there would have been dangerous as there would always be the risk of people gathering and thus perpetuating the coronavirus.
It was reported that around 800,000 tulips of 100 varieties were destroyed
Image credits: YokohamaNoHito
The difficult decision was made because there were no other practical ways to close off the square
Image credits: can2arakawa
A Facebook user shared this photo of what the square looks like at the moment, after the tulips were removed
Image credits: 篠原秋也
Some came to criticize this decision, saying that the government could have, at the very least, donated the flowers to people and institutions. However, most are of the opinion that it was the most effective thing to do as there was no other practical way to ensure the closure of the square.
Besides, people can always return once the lockdown is over and the flowers will certainly grow back. After all, this was done to save people’s lives, and it’s a cause worth the temporary sacrifice.
Watch a video of the cancelled Sakura Tulip Festival showing what these days it would have looked like if not for COVID-19
Image credits: さくら動画配信（佐倉市公式チャンネル)
What are your thoughts on this? Would you have done it differently? Let us know in the comments below.