Japan's 1st Omicron variant case rekindles anxiety among businesses


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Most businesses highlighted here are large corporations and little-to-no mention of small businesses & the self-employed still struggling.

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"If they become even stricter, technical trainees from Vietnam won't be able to enter Japan again," he said.

Oh no!The trainees we were going to train in the subtle art of picking crops for the least possible pay will not be able to arrive!

Meanwhile there are millions still in precarious employment situations across the country.

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Thousands of unemployees desperate in Japan to get the job. Most of them have also loosen their demand to get back on track from scratch. So, no need outsiders.

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South Africa. Only 25% of the population is fully immunized. It will take 19 months, which is June 2023, before 70% of S.A.'s citizens are vaccinated. By any definition: that is a problem. A problem due to a lack of vaccine and a dysfunctional healthcare system, in a country on the other side of the planet.

Think about that: the Omicron variant originated on the other side of the planet.

And how did the Omicron variant arrive in Japan? Easy to answer: air travel.

Variants originate in the unvaccinated and cross over into any and all. Easy to surmise WHY the Omicron variant arose in South Africa.

The Omicron variant. Scientists and physicians, well acquainted with the path of Omicron, by virtue of almost two years experience with SARSCoV-2 and having treated actual cases of the variant, acting on informed opinion, surmise it is highly contagious, but less virulent. Though an opinion, it is based on experience and a knowledge of science and medicine. They are not bloggers or or talking heads or ideologues or politicians with an agenda. They know what they see. The facts of the variant will be determined within weeks.

At a minimum: 40% of the world's population are unvaccinated. That is approximately 3 billion individuals. So-called experts, put it closer to 4 billion.

Japan and other countries could have closed their borders in February 2020. It is a pandemic. That would have reduced it to essentially an epidemic in Japan. SARSCoV-2 arrived in Japan, January 2020, it was transmitted by a tour group from Wuhan, China. The route of transmission was tourism and air travel.

None-the-less, tourism and air travel were allowed under circumscribed conditions to continue unabated, well into the pandemic. This was a sop to the travel industry, which is an important and large factor in myriad economies wedded to globalization and an industrial model for tourism.

Vaccination is key. So is curbing routes of transmission. The key to the spread of the virus and its variants is international air travel and tourism. Stated simply: stay home - actually doing so is more complicated. Wait a year.

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The probability is very high, but I wouldn’t say it so absolutely, that Omicron is from and only from there. There are so many areas or countries with no sufficient vaccination and immunity levels or near herd immunity , that it can also easily develop randomly into something very similar or equal to omicron fully independently. In my birthplace they’ve just found a 39 year old guy with omicron, completely without of any travel or acquaintance connections to Southern Africa. Compare those famous pyramids in Peru and Egypt for an impression of what I mean.

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Point being. Omicron originated outside Japan. That rates of vaccination are problematic due to lack of vaccine and dysfunctional healthcare systems in numerous countries worldwide is simply existent. This is not to assess blame, but simply to state the obvious. Japan is fast approaching a rate of 80% vaccinated. Which will hopefully ramp up to 90% plus - all to the good. But, the introduction of variants, by foreign visitors cannot be ignored and worldwide, the number of unvaccinated is between 3-4 billion individuals. A large pool of individuals to become infected with and transmit variants.

Certainly, Omicron is not limited to South Africa. However, there are documented cases of the variant in that region. One can collect numbers and crunch data with intent to locate the origin, but that is moot at this juncture, it exists and requires a response. An immediate means is to shutdown international travel and close borders. Further need is to supply countries in need with vaccine.

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I keep hearing people here call Japan's healthcare system all kinds of bad things, yet every study I have read comparing healthcare systems across the world rates Japan's as among the very best in terms of outcomes (longevity, low infant mortality rates, universal access) and low per capita cost.

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