A rare peek behind the scenes for one SoraNews24 reporter.

With the world at a standstill due to COVID-19 and the Tokyo Olympics postponed, social distancing has become both a buzzword and an important way to flatten the curve.

Though many companies in Japan are still balking at the logistics and the novelty of teleworking, thankfully our Japanese staff at SoraNews24 have quickly shifted to telecommuting, though admittedly, it has taken a bit of time to get used to. Especially for our dedicated reporter P.K. Sanjun who has to take care of his 3-year-old daughter while on the job.

▼ Like father, like daughter.

Repeat readers may remember him as the Disney-disillusioned father who brought his daughter to the most magical place on Earth as well as to the SoraNews24 office for a day of work. But for this special article, P.K. Sanjun now has to juggle a new schedule while taking care of Rei. What does his average day look like now? Can P.K. find a balance between work and his daughter’s needs? Will P.K. get through this intact and in one piece?

Enjoy this closer look at a day in the life of a Japanese father in the midst of COVID-19!

9:00 a.m. — Rise and shine! P.K. straps Rei into a stroller and takes her to a nearby kindergarten. While some kindergartens have closed completely, for now, P.K. figured he’d let Rei enjoy the last few days of the local one.

10:00 a.m. — P.K. returns home and gets straight to work.

11:00 a.m. — While working, P.K. suddenly remembers the laundry he left in the washing machine before taking Rei to kindergarten. He rushes to hang the damp clothes, hoping there aren’t too many wrinkles. And back to work he goes!

12:00 p.m. — P.K. clocks in for a meeting with fellow SoraNews24 writers, and even though the format is a little unfamiliar, it’s reassuring to see everyone else’s smiling faces.

1:00 p.m. — After submitting one article, it’s time for lunch! While P.K. typically settles for a cup of instant ramen, today he decides to chow down on Peyoung’s Sticky Rice MAX Yakisoba for sustenance.

1:30 p.m. — P.K. cracks his knuckles and hunkers down. It’s time to work on two more articles at the same time. If you’re remote working as well, be sure to give yourself frequent breaks and drink plenty of water to hydrate!

5:00 p.m. — After P.K. drafts, edits, and submits his two articles, he’s done for the day. It’s now time to clean the house. P.K.’s first task at this grueling endeavor is vacuuming the floor.

5:10 p.m. — Next comes the tub. When P.K. finishes rinsing and soaping it down, he gathers and folds the now-dried laundry.

5:15 p.m. — Once P.K. is done with the laundry, it’s time to move onto the kitchen. P.K. hustles and takes a moment to prep for dinner in order to save time. What’s on the menu today? You’ll have to keep reading to find out!

5:30 p.m. — P.K. prepares the rice, measuring it and filling the rice cooker with the exact amount of water, then leaves the house to pick up Rei from kindergarten. This part is especially important, because there’s nothing more hellish than returning home to a rice cooker with no fresh rice.

6:00 p.m. — Rei is ready to head home! Time speeds by fast when father and daughter are together.

6:45 p.m. — As soon as they arrive home, both P.K. and Rei wash their hands and gargle thoroughly. When washing your hands, be sure to wash them for twenty seconds in soapy water!

6:50 p.m. — Rei helps with the cooking. By involving her, P.K. believes that Rei will be more eager to finish her dinner. Depending on the day, sometimes the cooking is accompanied by watching TV.

7:15 p.m. — Tonight’s special dinner: omurice! P.K. is feeling a little lazy so he just has chicken rice, but he summons the energy to make the egg layer for Rei. She adds her artistic touch with a ketchup portrait of Pikachu. There’s also a generous helping of side dishes for a balanced meal.

7:40 p.m. — After dinner, P.K. gets straight to preparing the bath and cleaning the kitchen while Rei watches TV. He must ignore the encouraging coos of his daughter: “Watch TV with me, Dad!” It pains his heart to ignore her, but alas, there is just not enough time in one day for any parent.

8:00 p.m. — Bath time! P.K. notes that Rei’s most recent obsession is wearing goggles and diving into the water. Because she’s pleased doing this for an uncountable number of times, bath time is extended for as long as possible.

8:45 p.m. — When everyone is dried off from a relaxing bath, P.K. spends some quality time playing with Rei, building elaborate forest fortresses with blocks. In a blink of an eye, the entire room is scattered with colorful building blocks and Rei’s miscellany of toys.

9:45 p.m. — After an hour of unadulterated playtime, it’s time to brush Rei’s teeth! It’s extremely difficult as Rei squirms while P.K. gets to brushing. Teeth brushing is never Rei’s favorite activity, so for her sake, they take breaks from the restroom and go back to her room to clean up the toys from their play session.

10:00 p.m. — It’s time to tuck-in! P.K. reads two picture books to Rei, and as she falls asleep, drowsiness forces P.K. to nod off. Before he knows it, the dark comfort of sleep overtakes him and he falls asleep next to his daughter.

P.K. reflects that even though fortunately nothing unexpected happened and the day passed by smoothly, he felt totally drained. Especially after reading two picture books, he couldn’t even keep his eyes open even if he had to push himself to do so. Despite not doing extra chores requiring him to abandon his online post, such as groceries, P.K. felt like he went through a battlefield in one day.

With an increase of reports of Japanese housewives frustrated and moored with listless husbands due to teleworking, P.K. hopes that by documenting his experiences, he can encourage more dads to be active in the house and to bond with their kids. While every family has their own specific situation, and paternity leave itself is a hotbed topic in Japan, P.K.’s final message is that caring for one’s children is ultimately — and simply — an act of love.

Photos: ©SoraNews24
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[ Read in Japanese ]