Coronavirus – Should I cancel my flight to Japan this month?

My flight is scheduled for the 26th of February 2020, and I am planning to stay in Japan with my family for three weeks. I was aware of the outbreak of the coronavirus (2019-nCoV) in Japan, still, I hadn’t thought about cancelling my flight until my mum called me.

It was in early February that my mother first called me about the coronavirus. She asked if my flight to Japan this time was via China or not, because I had often flown with Air China to Japan or somewhere in Asia via Beijing.

She meant that she didn’t want me to come back to Japan if my flight had been via China. She sounded relieved a bit when I told her that my flight was via the United States.

My mum also complained that there were not enough masks in Japan, and she blamed the Japanese government for this outbreak because they didn’t stop Chinese tourists from entering Japan at an earlier stage.

One week later, she called me again. She said, “I just want to make sure that you haven’t cancelled your flight.”
“Cancelling my flight? I haven’t thought about it at all,” I said.

She talked about the cruise ship in a Japanese harbour where thousands of passengers were stuck because there was an infected person. This happened after the ship had stopped in Hong Kong and the coronavirus seemed to be spreading inside the ship.

My mother was worried that a similar thing could happen to me when I enter Japan after a long flight, for example, being stuck at immigration. You might feel that her reaction is a little exaggerated, but she also has another concern about my father.

My dad is in his 70s now and he has emphysema of the lungs. My mum said that their family doctor told her that just getting a cold could be dangerous for him, to say nothing of coronavirus.

Now that the virus is spreading worldwide, being trapped with strangers in a small room like an airplane for more than 10 hours doesn’t sound good when you never know what kind of people you would be with. Apart from that, it could be risky to walk around the airport in Japan and to travel on a small bus from the airport to my hometown. There was a report that a tour bus driver got infected by the coronavirus, although he left the hospital by the time I am writing this story.

Furthermore, I am slightly concerned about the reaction of the Canadian and the United States immigration when I come back to Japan after a three-week stay. I hope that they won’t give any trouble to the people who travel from Japan, but who knows?

Anyway, my major concern is about my dad. I don’t want to deliver the virus to my father and my family. I could probably survive even if I got infected, but it would be much more difficult for my dad.

I am going to make a decision at the last minute since my flight is not refundable, but I really don’t know what to do.

I thought about the different possibilities after my mum called me. I could cancel the flight because there is no urgent reason that I have to go back to Japan this time, but if my dad is found infected by any chance just before my scheduled flight, I will definitely go back to Japan. However, what if I cancelled this flight, and then, my dad was found infected? Wouldn’t I regret having cancelled my flight in that case?  What would you do, if you were me?