People offer prayers on the first day of the New Year at Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo early Friday morning. Photo: REUTERS/Issei Kato
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Japan greets new year with crowds despite pleas from leaders to stay home

99 Comments

Much of Japan welcomed 2021 quietly at home, alarmed after Tokyo reported a record high 1,337 coronavirus infections among the 4,519 daily number nationwide.

Although many people opted not to return to their ancestral homes for the holidays, hoping to lessen health risks for extended families, crowds were seen at some big shrines that remained open, such as Kanda Myojin shrine. Tokyo’s biggest shrine, Meiji, was closed for the night.

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Police direct visitors at Shibuya crossing on Thursday night. The giant screens were turned off at 11 p.m. Photo: AP/Kiichiro Sato

Thousands of people gathered at the popular scramble crossing in Tokyo’s Shibuya district, but not nearly as many as in previous years. A heavy police presence tried to keep people moving.

Shibuya Ward had decided to cancel its annual countdown event at the scramble crossing and a "countdown vision" screen was turned off at 11 p.m. By midnight, most people had dispersed as train services, that usually operate all night on Dec 31, were suspended this New Year as part of anti-coronavirus measures.

On Thursday afternoon, Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike said at a news conference: “The coronavirus knows no year-end or New Year’s holidays.

"Please spend a quiet New Year’s with your family and stay home,” she said, switching to English for “stay home.”

She expressed concern that shopping in crowded stories and at markets was leading to a surge in infections.

There has been no lockdown in Japan, just requests for social distancing and mask wearing, as the government juggles encouraging business activity with containing health risks.

After a meeting with cabinet ministers, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said: "I would like to ask people to avoid nonessential outings in Tokyo and other areas where infections are surging.”

Asked if his government is considering declaring a prefectural or nationwide state of emergency, Suga only said, "We will make utmost efforts in preventing a further spread of infections while preserving the current health care capacity" through the holidays.

© Japan Today/AP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

99 Comments
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The word for 2020-2021.... urge.

21 ( +26 / -5 )

It’s impossible to help people that won’t help themselves. Let’s wait until next week when 1300 new cases becomes 3000.

31 ( +36 / -5 )

Young people can't stay at home.. you will see in a few days the number of cases will explode... Some people will never learn until become sick... Stooopids..

18 ( +27 / -9 )

I hope the commenters on here will respect people’s religious freedom and stop getting swept away with fear.

-68 ( +9 / -77 )

Penfold

If you are not following Koike's recommendations, it's not my problem.

The cases in Japan are increasing again and even that, people don't contribute to social distance!

People can go to the shrine another day.

Life is more important than anything else.

YOU DON'T have someone of of your family who got COVID-19. I had. So, please respect the Government's recommendation.

40 ( +45 / -5 )

facepalm.... well they'll certainly know in 14 days the results of this behaviour. Doesn't say a lot about their trust in politicians though.

Also why the request wasn't entirely in Japanese is also a head scratcher. Or has Japanese devolved into a pigeon Engrish?

17 ( +19 / -2 )

I hope the commenters on here will respect people’s religious freedom and stop getting swept away with fear.

In many countries, Places of Worship have been closed. It is tough but people worship at home, and on-line.

I don't think that it is a question of fear, but practicality. Life just cannot be normal until this pandemic is under control.

33 ( +36 / -3 )

At the shrine this morning to welcome in the 2021. I was filled with hope and happiness that we can all work together and beat this horrible virus!

-25 ( +6 / -31 )

PenfoldToday  07:09 am JST

I hope the commenters on here will respect people’s religious freedom and stop getting swept away with fear.

Not "fear", it's reality. Apparently, you haven't been impacted by it ........... yet.

26 ( +27 / -1 )

"Please spend a quiet New Year’s with your family and stay home,” she said, switching to English for “stay home.

What if enough people going to the temple to pray gets the virus under control?

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

State of emergency is coming. Lockdown will follow. Get ready for what the west has been experiencing for the last 9 months

12 ( +19 / -7 )

If Koike was really serious about her "urging," then why didn't she close all those shrines? Moments like these were need leaders with the balls to implement measures, like Moon. When people have too much freedom and then abuse of that precious freedom, then they need to be forcibly put limitations so they stay in line. But nor Koike or Suga have the b... courage to do this. Hence all the "urging."

19 ( +23 / -4 )

Are they not allowed to close anything down? Even dispatch police to disperse the crowds? Was any attempt at all made to stop this or is it all just window dressing? Their reluctance to take the pandemic seriously continues to baffle

17 ( +19 / -2 )

f Koike was really serious about her "urging," then why didn't she close all those shrines?

Before the "she has no authority" crowd chimes yes. While it's true she has no authority to close the doors of the shrine, she has authority to dispatch the police and close off the street. We know they can do that because it's done all the time when a VIP drives by.

25 ( +26 / -1 )

Another picture illustrating the ridiculousness of the approach to the virus in Japan. That’s 3 days in a row showing places that everyone could have guessed 100% would be jam packed with people. A bit of foresight and common sense could have been used to implement some kind of social distancing protocol in these areas.

Karaoke bars and Izakayas must close by 10pm, but hundreds if not thousands can wait shoulder to shoulder to have a quick word with God (and give money to the shrine).

I hope God comes through for them all or they luckily aren’t stood in the vicinity of a positive case - but the numbers will be pushing 3,000 in Tokyo before we know it.

Happy New Year all. It’s about to get grim.

28 ( +30 / -2 )

Yeah 2000+ soon. Weak leadership.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Happy new year everybody!

2 ( +6 / -4 )

you will see in a few days the number of cases will explode

...hmmm, are you implying the authorities will increase testing numbers?

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

> It’s impossible to help people that won’t help themselves. Let’s wait until next week when 1300 new cases becomes 3000.

And then 5,000 then 7,000 etc.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

On Thursday afternoon, Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike said at a news conference: “The coronavirus knows no year-end or New Year’s holidays.

The coronavirus also knows no limits on hours of operation of a business, whether travel is subsidized or for commuting to work, or whether you are an ordinary citizen stressed out by surviving in this economic climate or a privledged politican settling in for a steak dinner with your celebrity friends.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

Pray at home, simple as that. That goes for all "religions" at this time. Unfortunately, people tend to think this deadly virus wont happen to them, despite packing into trains, markets and lines nose-to-tail with thousands.

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Let the Japanese pray as they want. That’s their country and their culture.

Lockdowns and all social measures have shown their inefficiency in Europe, the States and many countries due to the behavior of many

-28 ( +6 / -34 )

Unless testing is commiserate with the scale and stops being so few the public will never know what's going on. This cannot compare to Europe or other nations in any way.

Skipping the exam doesn't mean you passed.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

As for the comment why did Koike switch into pigeon English, it is quite clear, because many still think it is being spread by foreigners, so we must tell them to stay home! Not your regular Taro or Junko, they are ok.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Those crowds are well packed together with no distancing at all.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

After a meeting with cabinet ministers, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said: "I would like to ask people to avoid nonessential outings in Tokyo and other areas where infections are surging.”

While you jump in your limo and rush off to a party with 30 or 40 of your closest cronies! Another politicial hypocrite.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The word for 2020-2021.... urge.

Oh come on, the word "urge" has been a mainstay since Abe 2.0 (2012-2020)

Oh by the way, it's probably the commonly used English word here on JT, they just need to find another adjective!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Stay the course, Japan. Don't listen to hyperventilating foreigners who are braying for the same disastrous lockdowns that are proven not to work.

-31 ( +6 / -37 )

Large outdoor gathering is relatively safe as long as proper mask is worn. By proper I mean N95/KF94 respirators, not surgical or Uniqlo Airism masks.

It is the indoor gathering that must absolutely be avoided due to the lack of air circulation.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

What do you expect when there’s not only no punishment, but the leaders themselves ignore their own pleas and go out for steak?

the time for thinking and forming panels is done. Time to make laws to enforce a REAL lockdown.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Look! Everyone has a mask on (well, one girl has her nose out) and with that, all is good. Ha, ha... Those people who went out were probably thinking, "Got my mask on. Everyone else will have their mask on. It's going to be all right. Kami-sama will protect me."

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Geez,

This lack of restraint will come back and bite Japan on the bum!

I am looking forward to my kids rugby, my surfing and other stuff, but at the rate people are moving around I can see things getting shut down if that continues.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Samit Basu

N95 masks are unavailable. It is also difficult to breathe. I could buy it early last year but N95 today is only available to medical workers. How did you get them?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

PenfoldToday  07:09 am JST

I hope the commenters on here will respect people’s religious freedom and stop getting swept away with fear.

Religious freedom and going to packed shrines to pray are not the same thing. You can pray anywhere anytime. The prayer is the important part not the location. You don't need to be tied at the hip to your traditions or cultural norms.

11 ( +13 / -2 )

It doesn’t help that the government keeps feeding people mixed messages. Saying that we want people to 「Go To」but then turn around and say “social distance, please don’t go out!”

So what are people supposed to think? “Well I guess if it’s safe enough to have campaign, it’s safe enough to do things as I normally do.”

10 ( +10 / -0 )

People offer prayers on the first day of the New Year at Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo early Friday morning …….

The new variant could be amongst you, peering over your shoulder, to return home with you and ultimately spread amongst your senior family members.    

New coronavirus variant: What do we know?  

https://www.bbc.com/news/health-55388846

Don’t  let this coronavirus variant, make the choice as who or which family members perish.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@vanityofvanities

How did you get them?

I bought 30 3M N95 masks from Home Depot(the last two boxes on the shelf, one had 10 and second one 20) back in early February, then kept buying KF94 masks when they first became available in the US from July.

KF94 masks are now readily available in the US and even in Japan. You can buy them here.

https://search.rakuten.co.jp/search/mall/kf94+%E3%83%9E%E3%82%B9%E3%82%AF/

If you are living in the US, then watch this and decide which KF94 mask you want to buy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gu0GkjOpOj0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z93BoeCuIE4

https://news.yahoo.com/one-man-is-on-a-mission-to-figure-out-the-best-covidprotection-mask-here-is-what-he-found-174756926.html

“Every KF94 mask I’ve tested that has come out of South Korea has been legit, which is amazing to me,” Collins told Yahoo News. “And they’re not skirting by at 95 percent. I mean, these masks I’m checking are all at 99 percent-plus filtration efficiency.”

Anyhow, don't use Airism when KF94 masks are available in Japan.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

After a meeting with cabinet ministers, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said: "I would like to ask people to avoid nonessential outings in Tokyo and other areas where infections are surging.”

Now excuse me as I need to make way to my favorite Ginza hostess club to have a work related meeting to discuss corona response with representatives of the people and experts. We take the situation very seriously. Where is Reiko chan?

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Samit Basu

Thank you very much for your information. I live in Akita, Japan.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They should’ve just turned the lights off and big advertisements in Shibuya and 8:30.

It’s time to be proactive!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Masks are designed to prevent the spread of bacteria rather than virus's. New type of mask is becoming available which will prevent the spread of virus too.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Before everyone here is falling into a deep depression...

Let us all pray that this new year will be much better than the past year.

Let us pray that Covid will dissapear, all sick people will completely recover and that our lives will come back to normal.

And start to think positive!

Nonstop negative thinking will not help anyone.

Happy new year to all of you!

-5 ( +9 / -14 )

Hopefully this symbols the beginning of the end.

Am off miyajima now to pray for am uneventful 2021.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

@carpslidy

Miyajima? Hiroshima?

I love Hiroshima! I have been there a few times.

If you live in Hiroshima, I really envie you!

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

I imagine they prayed for a great 2020 last January 1st.

Give it a miss.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Thanks Monty,

Yes, I live here in Hiroshima. Wouldn't want to live anywhere else.

Hope you are having a good new year wherever you are in Japan.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

And this too shall pass! Take a deep breath and be thankful for what you have. Happy new year to all !

2 ( +3 / -1 )

No different to riding the train, really, crowd-density-wise...

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I normally don't care but I might have to seek out some commentary about this, to see what other (Japanese) people think about people ignoring the instructions to stay home. I expected it, but still find it very disappointing. So much for "kokuminsei".

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

I’m not sure if people are being selfish or are just lemmings...?

Trying to be positive, but the lack of common sense really dampens that. I feel really bad for the health care workers in the next month.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

They are literally helping to spread the virus! Selfishness!!!

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Kanda Myojin and other popular shrines could have simply shut down this New Year. But they love their money more than the lives of strangers. Totally irresponsible.

Other large events have been canceled, with the hosts taking a hit. You'd think a religious institution would have more sense of public service.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Happy New Years! The Japanese do not fear the CCP virus and majority because they think a mask is all you need and they are immune to CCP virus and will never listen to jgovt advices and instead go out and enjoy special events. That’s reality here

-11 ( +2 / -13 )

I hope the commenters on here will respect people’s religious freedom and stop getting swept away with fear.

Most Japanese don't follow a single religion, but even if it was important to them they could go at a random time during the holiday. The people in the pic went at midnight because they think it's cool.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

People have to get to work every morning on packed trains, they are encouraged to "go to eat" and "go to travel" in their free time, so I guess people feel it is fine to go to the shrine as usually do, when the rest of your life is carrying on as normal.

I'm not in favour of a lockdown, but if we are to avoid one, then people's daily behaviour must change. Proper social distancing, fines for not wearing a mask, radically staggered work hours, etc. But I doubt Japan's "leaders" can overcome their confusion and lethargy enough to achieve that.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

I’ll be going in a few days and my local shrine will be empty....

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Most Japanese don't follow a single religion, but even if it was important to them they could go at a random time during the holiday. The people in the pic went at midnight because they think it's cool.

Not only that but everyone has plenty of local shrines near their house where they can social distance adequately since many seem to go to the larger shrines.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Went for a late night walk past the local shrine, police were restricting entry to enforce social distancing. However, keeping a massive queue bunched up by the entrance. By massive I mean at least 3-400 people, no social distancing whatsoever ever, all ages, all levels of drunkenness, all levels of mask wearing....from full face, only mouth or a nice warm chin!

Why were they all going to the shrine.

Japan... “Tradition before common sense”

11 ( +13 / -2 )

None of our business, to be honest. If people wish to celebrate in a crowded environment, it's their risk and decision as informed adults. I'm so glad, Native Japanese people don't read JT or the comment section, they wouldn't be so happy about all the criticism coming from guest in their country. Would someone like it if a guest you invited over to your place, started moaning about how you run your household? I don't think so.

This is not the west and people behave differently but, that's something really difficult to grasp for most people.

-15 ( +6 / -21 )

At the shrine this morning to welcome in the 2021. I was filled with hope and happiness that we can all work together and beat this horrible virus!

maybe you should have prayed for logic and common sense as well.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Well, at least I see a lot of masks..

Happy new year everybody..

God bless Japan !!

More fun and less drama in your 2021 comments..

LOOOOOOOOOOL !!!..

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I'm so glad, Native Japanese people don't read JT or the comment section, they wouldn't be so happy about all the criticism coming from guest in their country. 

You do realize the Japanese governement actually asked people to stay home and refrain from "celebrating in a crowded environment"? This has nothing to do with some sort of cultural exceptionalism. Respecting culture does not equate refraining from criticizing stupid behavior.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

None of our business, to be honest. If people wish to celebrate in a crowded environment, it's their risk and decision as informed adults. I'm so glad, Native Japanese people don't read JT or the comment section, they wouldn't be so happy about all the criticism coming from guest in their country. Would someone like it if a guest you invited over to your place, started moaning about how you run your household? I don't think so.

people just dont get it , when those thousands of people get sick and spread it to their families, then the hospitals become overloaded with covid19, normal people that need other life saving surgeries have to wait because of hospital cant operate on patients while theyre full of covid19 patients. My mother in law needed gall stone operation at the beginning 2020 but was told that it would be postponed because of covid19. it wasnt until September when the pain was excruciating that she had to be admitted as an emergency as it had got so bad her life was in danger. now 2021 is going to see a record number of infections. hospitals are going to overflow and the cycle will repeat itself all because some selfish people are just thinking about themselves and not the country as a whole

8 ( +14 / -6 )

Whether for good or bad, Japan gets what it has coming to it.

I just hope my business isn't affected much. We adapted for a while last April/May. But if anything long-term were to be put in place I don't know how much longer we could hold up.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

None of our business, to be honest. If people wish to celebrate in a crowded environment, it's their risk and decision as informed adults.

If they were only putting themselves at risk, I’d be fine with it. I know this sounds cruel, but part of me says if they want to help raise the average IQ of the country, go right ahead. As you said, their choice. I do have a libertarian streak when it comes to personal choice.

Unfortunately, the problem with this idea is Tokyo hospitals are not well equipped for higher numbers of COVID patients coming in and we have to treat people regardless of their IQ. Also, at least some of these people will come into contact with the vulnerable. My wonderful younger sister is taking care of my elderly mum and fears catching this virus and passing it onto my mum after coming into contact with the types who don’t use common sense. My mum has had the first jab which is reassuring in part, but nobody here in a ageing society has had it yet.

Just use a bit of common sense. Stay out of large crowds when you can.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/dec/31/doctors-despair-over-britons-breaking-coronavirus-rules

One for the Covid deniers, or who believe it isn’t a problem, or it’s just a problem for the old or fat (as some believe these people don’t count). Those who do not follow the rules are killing others.

Nope. NHS Data confirms that hospitals in England are STILL quieter than last December - with seven times fewer wards close to being full

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9043583/NHS-data-suggests-hospitals-England-December.html

-12 ( +3 / -15 )

I know some small companies in Tokyo are scrapping remote work from January 4th. A Japanese mate in Tokyo told me last night. His company said that having staff trying to continually work from home was "mendokusai"

5 ( +5 / -0 )

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9043583/NHS-data-suggests-hospitals-England-December.html

A link to a trash right tabloid to welcome in 2021. Looks like the tone’s been set early.

Welcome to the New Year everyone.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

A link to a trash right tabloid to welcome in 2021. Looks like the tone’s been set early. 

Welcome to the New Year everyone.

Uh-Oh. Now the NHS is "trash".

Welcome to the New Year, everyone.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

Happy New Year 2021 to all of us, all of you.

Good riddance to 2020, Donald Terror Trump, and hopefully the CoVid-19 virus. Cheers!

P.S. It might not be a good idea to kiss anybody tonight.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Japanese going to shrines for most is more culture than religion.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Accept religious freedoms but personally dismiss them all. .

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Accept religious freedoms but personally dismiss them all. .

You can’t even put the first person singular subject in your sentence. It’s like not looking us in the eye when you tell us you’re tolerant.

-10 ( +3 / -13 )

I went to the local shrine this morning, wearing a mask and observing physical spacing. Out in the countryside, so saw maybe around 50 people max. I think many were praying that if the government cannot get it right, perhaps it is time for some divine intervention. Most were probably doing it out of traditional respect, and although outside, everyone was wearing a mask.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japanese going to shrines for most is more culture than religion.

Sure, maybe from a distanced, occidental anthropological point of view.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

I went to the local shrine this morning, wearing a mask and observing physical spacing. Out in the countryside, so saw maybe around 50 people max. I think many were praying that if the government cannot get it right, perhaps it is time for some divine intervention. Most were probably doing it out of traditional respect, and although outside, everyone was wearing a mask.

Either that or they are exercising their personal freedoms and making personal risk decisions based on a virus w a 99.9%+ recovery rate.

-11 ( +7 / -18 )

So critical of Japan when the rest of the world is behaving in the same way. Sure criticize, but be fair. Japan and Mr and Mrs world should heed what their gov is telling them

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

I went to my local shrines (not famous) at 5:00 a.m. this morning. Just myself and the inari. Pleasantly eerie.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

If those people look so serious without social distancing, why didn't they do this at home? Does it have to be at outside just because of the occasion? Young people are too proud of their education.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Have better luck praying at the shrine than with the Japanese government. haha

Happy New Year!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It’ll be as government had expected, as the prime minister Suga also was so relaxed about the risk of infection that he went for dinner with confined space. Many Japanese follows the policy of the government well.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Cases are increasing as it’s winter. Don’t worry only 388 people with no underlying illnesses have died in hospitals in England.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Cases are increasing as it’s winter. Don’t worry only 388 people with no underlying illnesses have died in hospitals in England.

Fact check; TRUE.

-12 ( +1 / -13 )

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/13584329/377-covid-deaths-under-60-underlying-health-conditions/

Elderly are dying at the same rate as any other year, but everything is called a Covid death to keep the masses in hysterics.

-8 ( +4 / -12 )

There has been no lockdown in Japan

That is because the government cannot demand a lockdown. It is against the American written Japanese constitution. Absolute government powers were removed because of the atrocities during the war and pre-war.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The worst is coming ...

government is useless

We have to think by ourself

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Name a country, city, or area where a lockdown has eliminated or even slowed down the infection rate*? New York, or Los Angeles? No. Both are getting worse. Anywhere in the EU? No. 

Lockdowns only prolong the problem, increase the suicide rate cause a surge in domestic violence rates, , and spike other violent crimes as well .

So who got it right? 

A place with the fewest new cases as a percentage of the population, the lowest number of deaths, no lockdowns, no hospital overflows, and to top it off, a BUDGET SURPLUS, an increase in housing starts, and a net increase of citizens in the state. Just a REQUEST for masks and social distancing as best as possible from the governor. 

South Dakota (with Florida and Disney World coming second best as a free state).

(*China does not count as the number of urns delivered to hospitals exceeded the number of deaths by 10X, and no reliable numbers are available. To be fair, American hospitals can get up to $70,000 extra in fees if COVID is the primary cause of death, so the number of COVID deaths is more than likely inflated. Colorado has opened an official investigation after the cause of a murder victim with three point-blank bullet holes in his head was classified as a COVID death).

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Please lock down.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

As the photo shows, they are all masked up. So if the miracle masks work, there is no problem. If they dont work, why demand their enforcement?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Based on the media reports of the virus, Tokyo seems one of the most perfect places in the world for the virus to spread...

Large population

High density

Elderly population

And you can see with your very own eyes that the apocalypse hasn't come...

'The science' shows it's on par with the flu and people don't believe the exaggerated fear-mongering anymore. Who are the real 'sheep', as so many commenters on here like to say?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Chiming in from the most popular hostess club in kabukicho. No worries here. Masks and alcohol hand sanitizer.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

As the photo shows, they are all masked up. So if the miracle masks work, there is no problem. If they dont work, why demand their enforcement?

Strawman fallacy, nobody has ever said that mask, or any other social distancing or higienic measure protects perfectly by itself alone. They work when used together, and the most you use the more effective they are, so masked in a crowd is better than nothing, but the best is to be masked AND not in a crowd.

'The science' shows it's on par with the flu and people don't believe the exaggerated fear-mongering anymore. Who are the real 'sheep', as so many commenters on here like to say?

No, that is not what the science says, you just need to see the numbers for the flu this year to see a valid comparison.

And also no, if the health service and scientific professionals are the ones that say that much more care is necessary because the dangers of the pandemic are real and significative, that means that not following that advice based on invalid excuses is the real problem. Which health care professional association says that COVID-29 is "like a flu" and no special measure should be in place?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

No, that is not what the science says, you just need to see the numbers for the flu this year to see a valid comparison.

Yes. That is what the science says. The IFR and CFR are very similar to influenza.

if the health service and scientific professionals are the ones that say that much more care is necessary because the dangers of the pandemic are real and significative, that means that not following that advice based on invalid excuses is the real problem.

Doctors and nurses, especially politically motivated ones, will always give you the same answer no matter what. Just like military generals will always advocate for war over a more peaceful solution, the actual leaders in the room have to take it all w a grain of salt.

"invalid excuses" = nice opinionated silliness from the pretend expert

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Let the Japanese pray as they want. That’s their country and their culture.

Nobody seems to be stopping anybody from praying as they want in Japan.

The Japanese government and Tokyo Governor has issued advice regarding social distancing which (by looking at the above ptoto) seems to be being ignored by some.

The best advice I would give is : if somebody is giving you good advice, take it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Yes. That is what the science says. The IFR and CFR are very similar to influenza.

No, they are very different, as evidenced by the huge differences in numbers from influenza and COVID this year, something you would know if you did what I told you. If your argument depends completely on ignoring the evidence that is a failed argument.

Doctors and nurses, especially politically motivated ones, will always give you the same answer no matter what. Just like military generals will always advocate for war over a more peaceful solution, the actual leaders in the room have to take it all w a grain of salt.

So every single organization of professionals of health services is wrong just because they say what you refuse to believe? even if they have the evidence of their side? yeah sure, that is believable, the whole world is wrong and you are right just because you say it.

Invalid excuses demonstrated as such, everybody is lying, and sacrificing the livehoods of their friends and family just because, since they will not even get more money out of it, right? That is still just an excuse based on fantasies, without any proof of being real and not supported by science (as easy to prove as you failed to provide any evidence, and can only attempt to ignore evidence of the contrary).

Again, is every single health professional organization in the world politically motivated? obviously not, so if they contradict you, that obviously have much different priorities than the public health, they are a much more trust worthy source.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

No, they are very different, as evidenced by the huge differences in numbers from influenza and COVID this year, something you would know if you did what I told you. If your argument depends completely on ignoring the evidence that is a failed argument.

Oh! just this year where influenza has dropped off the face of the earth? Nope. You still refuse to acknowledge the bare facts. As usual.

So every single organization of professionals of health services is wrong just because they say what you refuse to believe? 

Misconstruing my point again. As usual.

Health workers and especially those in positions of policy will always err on the side of an overabundance of caution. Its what they do.

Political leaders, as with the military, take their recommendations with at least a dozen other metrics to consider. Because good leaders understand the concept of unintended consequences.

Something the armchair experts like you never have to deal with. You never have to answer for your own horrible, unsolicited and unprofessional advice.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

Oh! just this year where influenza has dropped off the face of the earth? Nope. You still refuse to acknowledge the bare facts. As usual.

Duh! why do you think influenza numbers have dropped? that is the whole point. The fact is that current measures against respiratory diseases work not only for COVID-19, they also work for influenza and it "disappearing" is precisely because COVID-19 is a much more serious disease much more easily transmitted, so measures capable of almost eradicating the flu are not enough to control COVID-19.

Misconstruing my point again. As usual.

Health workers and especially those in positions of policy will always err on the side of an overabundance of caution. Its what they do.

Prove that their calls are exaggerated then, again it is the whole world experts opinion and their data on one side and your own personal opinion based mostly on ignorance on the other.

You want to believe they are all wrong because they are too cautious, but if you want to say that is actually the case and not just your belief you need data to prove they are all wrong.

You don't have that data, only your personal opinion that has no value except for yourself.

Something the armchair experts like you never have to deal with. You never have to answer for your own horrible, unsolicited and unprofessional advice.

Sure, now quote exactly where did I base anything on my own personal opinion like you do. I make perfectly clear that the opinion, the advice come from the experts, and that they completely contradict you.

Sorry if you don't like it, I don't like for people to repeat false, misleading information and trying to pass their own opinion as facts if it can easily be proven as false. Especially when they end up without arguments and just trying personal attacks because they never learned to discuss properly.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

All readers back on topic please. This story is not about the flu.

PenfoldToday  07:09 am JST

I hope the commenters on here will respect people’s religious freedom and stop getting swept away with fear.

That Shrines and Temples, which have a dedicated interest to some fundamental understanding, did not close their doors on New Year, certainly exhibits that fools inhabit those very orders.

Freedom of religion. That is quaint.

Photographs of Times Square, in New York City, illustrate an empty space, one that is typically filled with over one million people - in a country that often defies a sensible response to the contagion, that the US outshines Japan by such a response does not speak well of Japan. That, in Tokyo or any other Japanese cities there is an inability to comprehend the sheer idiocy of gathering in crowds to celebrate during a pandemic, does not speak well for certain elements of the culture. Nor does visiting a shrine or temple en masse have anything to do with religious freedom, that is a borrowed concept from The West, spouted in ignorance by a foreign devil.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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