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Tea Leaves

Japan learns to shimmy the pandemic blues away

Social media proves that when the going gets tough, the tough start dancing

Tokyo-based, 27-year-old Kotaro Ide wears a young salaryman’s suit in performance videos, the editing techniques of which he skillfully employs. (Photos courtesy of Kotaro Ide)

As the coronavirus pandemic drags on -- with new, ominous variants of its devastating contagion now emerging -- and the global COVID-19 death count continues to mount, much of the human family is experiencing a sense of collective cabin fever.

Endless lockdowns. Ambiguous "states of emergency." Strict don't-go-outside orders. For the cooped up and the home-corralled, the forced isolation long ago lost any gloss of novelty, prompting the American radio-program host Tanzina Vega to observe in a recent social-media post that a distinction between "pandemic fatigue" and "pandemic burnout" is now coming into focus.

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