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March 16, 2011

Radiation Run

I have to admit something.

I bought myself a mask yesterday at the nearest convenience store after work.

Shortly after my mask purchase waiting for my home-bound train
As I was leaving a colleague advised me to take this precaution in light of the alarming media statement that the ventilation system of a reactor had been damaged and that the cooling systems had been ineffective.

My love/hate relationship with Facebook re-surfaced. Dangerous in times of doubt or national disaster. Families fearing for their safety were leaving Japan. Expats were being bought tickets to return to their homelands by their companies. Others were AT LEAST heading further south in Japan. The atmosphere was unsettling for an expectant mother with little information due to a day working and not having had access to the circulating media for the day.

Also that there was so much conflicting news being aired between local and foreign media had me on the phone to doctors and consulting the opinions of the experts I admire or at the very least believe! The risk to an unborn foetus is dependent on the level of radiation and the length of exposure, both of which are avoidable if the levels should so rise and be sustained. I have also learnt that to flee for a short period of time, if the figures do rise, would be ineffective in preventing foetal radiation risks and in such a case a longer hiatus would be most beneficial for a baby. The clear-cut figures of what exact levels and length of exposure might be dangerous to a foetus is such murky territory, which made me decide to reassess the situation the next morning.

So, as of today, I have made the informed decision to remain here in Japan. Unconfirmed information  has been called out in the media and the present radiation levels and expected recurrent earth tremors are not worrying to me as my area is over 260km awy from the Fukushima-Daiichi explosion site. Continuing to work and enjoy my life in a stress-free manner in the fabulous city of Tokyo is important to me. So far as I can do this, I will not be evacuating.

Sure there were a few more rumbles under our feet today and I had to eat a hot-cake instead of a sandwhich due to stocking issues, but after Friday's experience these are sneezes in comparrison.

For the record, I left my mask on the breakfast table as I left for work this morning. I even skipped the news and watch some America's Next Top Model. How's that for defiance.
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