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Warnings fail to stop Japanese crowds from viewing cherry blossoms

94 Comments
By Shingo Ito

The crowds might be thinner and parties smaller, but warnings from officials over the coronavirus have done little to stop Japanese celebrating as the country's famed cherry trees explode into bloom.

Over a warm long weekend in Tokyo, people packed into traditional blossom hotspots, many not even wearing face masks, to admire the fluffy white and pink flowers hanging from delicate stems.

"I come here every year. I feel bad if I miss it," Etsuo Fujisawa, a 57-year-old dental technician told AFP as he walked through the city's Ueno Park where 800 cherry trees are in full bloom.

The sides of the main street were roped off, with signs saying "no party zones" posted to discourage picnickers.

"There are more people than I thought," Fujisawa added.

At another popular spot, the Chidorigafuchi Park and walking path, a sign warned that while "awesome cherry blossoms will cause thousands of people to gather here... please refrain from enjoying eating and drinking."

Nearby, a group of women sat picnicking, none of them wearing masks.

Loudspeakers in Ueno Park blared messages warning against gatherings, and there was little sign of the massive company parties that are popular during the season.

But there were plenty of small groups and couples sitting close to each other on mats drinking and eating under the cherry trees.

Yuichiro Tanaka, a vegetable wholesaler, was picnicking with friends despite the warnings.

"We are told to exercise self-restraint but I wanted to have one party at least," Tanaka said, describing hanami -- flower viewing -- as "the real joy of spring".

But he said he had taken some heed of the official advice.

"Usually we have hanami parties every weekend during the flower season, but this year we do this only once, only today."

The cherry blossom season is one of Japan's most important national events, with weather forecasters competing every year to offer the most accurate predictions on the first blossoms in major cities.

It is also usually big business, with tourists planning holidays to catch the fleeting season and restaurants offering delicacies inspired by the flowers.

But the virus has changed that, with more than 1,000 known infections and 41 deaths so far. Many schools are closed and offices have asked staff to work from home.

Researchers at Kansai University expect the outbreak to slash business earnings during the blossom season by nearly 40 percent.

The government is moving to lift some restrictions, including allowing schools in parts of the country to reopen in April.

Kanon Sagara, a 17-year-old high school student who has been stuck at home during the closures, said taking in the blossoms at Ueno was a chance to finally get some fresh air.

"It feels good to be outside. It feels nice."

© 2020 AFP

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.


94 Comments
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Close the parks and stop these idiots from spreading the virus.

21 ( +34 / -13 )

Utter madness. No one is taking this virus seriously, probably because the government isn't. Look at Europe, look at the USA and elsewhere and learn from their mistakes, do not emulate them.

30 ( +38 / -8 )

Idiots. Just wait for the coronavirus cases to shoot up in the next 2 weeks or so.

17 ( +26 / -9 )

Irresponsible, if the government really wants to stop people going they should bar all entry. Right now they're doing as much as asking people to not walk on the escalator

18 ( +23 / -5 )

While thousands die around the world, these people are happily and very selfishly celebrating the arrival of spring. Really disappointing to see how disconnected so many people in this country have become from the rest of the world. It's a lack of empathy for others and virtually no foresight of the potential dangers of such reckless behaviour.

3 ( +18 / -15 )

I heard there were tons of people at Shinjuku Gyoen last weekend because it was free. I think the normal price is 500 yen.

People are not taking it serious because neither is the government. The J-government are still trying to push the Olympics, and they need the support of the public.

27 ( +32 / -5 )

It is the japanese attitude that as long as it is not happening to me personally, who cares ???.

31 ( +36 / -5 )

If the government was serious about the "urge", they would be deploying police and military out to ensure the "urge" is followed. It is clear that people are not intelligent enough to understand the seriousness of the Coronavirus. Japan needs to stop living the out of sight, out of mind mentality for this pandemic.

10 ( +19 / -9 )

All we can do is protect ouselves and hope when we do get the virus we are lucky. I am gong to be ultra careful when I take a train this week. If I could get out of the trip I would.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

Really disappointing to see how disconnected so many people in this country have become from the rest of the world.

I see it as a good thing that many have not "connected" with the media fear mongering.

-10 ( +14 / -24 )

That was like here in the UK yesterday - Mothering Sunday, a bright sunny day and people flocked to the countryside and coastal resorts as if nothing was happening. Bloody idiots.

Stay at home, Japan... don't spread the virus because you want to see pretty blossom.

12 ( +21 / -9 )

This is Japan's version of those spring break idiots on Florida beaches in the US. They'll have to close parks if this keeps up.

14 ( +21 / -7 )

While still not very smart, at least the crowds were significantly smaller from what I understand.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

I call it insane. The public parks should be shut down for the duration of the cherry blossom.

8 ( +18 / -10 )

As long as people are still expected to ride trains and go to work how can anyone seriously expect them to not have a bit of nice time in the sun?

17 ( +28 / -11 )

kniknaknokkaer,

Though I agree with all the other posts I agree with yours as well.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Government should step in and close the parks, like the Aussie gov't did with certain beaches, since they are full of kids ignoring warnings and now families and others doing it with hanami. A co-worker of mine was asking that we close down since the beginning of March "just in case" and "because it's the responsible thing to do", and is very paranoid about things like this, also demanding we all wear masks at work (which I refuse to do). When I said we could close for the latter part of March as most of us can work from home, she said she was relieved and would isolate herself at home. I asked what she was going to do at home during that period, and she said she would clean, study for an exam she wants to take, watch some TV and -- oh! She would also attend her family and neighborhood's yearly hanami party, which is held in a densely packed area. She said, "It's okay, because it's outside!", and I said, "But how are you going to eat through the mask? and will you sit two meters apart when the next blue tarp is but a few inches away and full from another family?" She was not happy about the questions because it pointed out the sheer hypocrisy of what she had been ranting until now, and what she planned to practice. I know she is going to be out there this weekend no matter what, same as these fools in the story who suddenly think Corona will co-operate with tradition because it would be regrettable otherwise.

""We are told to exercise self-restraint but I wanted to have one party at least," Tanaka said, describing hanami -- flower viewing -- as "the real joy of spring".

Well, Tanaka, hope you remember this if you catch the virus. They don't tend to make exceptions.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

Okay, it might be important for Japanese people (Hanami), but it seems they don't care if they catch coronavirus or not! Also, they don't follow the restraining. That's why some people deserve to become sick and learn to follow the rules!

Japanese Government should close the parks to avoid this kind of situation.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

As long as people are still expected to ride trains and go to work how can anyone seriously expect them to not have a bit of nice time in the sun?

well would you prefer to see more people spending time in the shade, a coffin thats is! seriously the logic of people at times is just beyond moronic

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

Lets get this into people's heads, for every 1000 more people that get infected , means about 10 more people will die. yes it could be one of your family, the most effective way to avoid infection , is to "ISOLATED YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY!!"

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Nearby, a group of women sat picnicking, none of them wearing masks.

So what?  Are masks a proven spread stopper?

Also how are they supposed to eat and drink wearing a mask?

Seems to me sitting outside is at the fairly benign end of socializing.

7 ( +15 / -8 )

Idiots. Like all the people in Australia on the beach, even with huge signs saying the beaches are closed.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Ironic that the government won't tell people what to do, when it's always telling them what not to do... Invalid CSRF

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Something everyone needs to know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg7RnPPKN48

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

All people coming into the nation please quarantine yourself for two weeks -- unless you have a hanami party, and then it's okay not to. The virus will understand and cooperate. And we expect the virus to ignore packed stadiums and contact sports for the Olympics, too. High school baseball? That is a threat. People sitting and touching each other under flowers, getting drunk, sharing food, shooting out saliva as they laugh and talk? Sorry... that's Japanese culture. That takes priority over a virus. Again, the government should be closing the parks, but I think we all know at some point the government officials will be there, too.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Is there anything we could do, as citizens?

Online petitions in Japanese for the government to enhance their measures and for the people, to plea them to stay home and avoid crowds? I find there's so much ignorance going on among Japanese people, and just lack of knowledge, how dangerous this can be, and how you can spread the virus even without symptoms.

Shouting about this in the comment sections of English language media won't help changing the attitudes, I fear.. and I want to be able to do something.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

There is evidence that viruses degrade under UV light.Being in the open air would be a less infectious place than the inside of a cramped train carriage.

Also, sunlight creates vitamin D which aids the immune system.

When rush trains are cancelled then I will give up my right to sit and do what I wish in the open air...

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

Have some police power and shut it down

3 ( +9 / -6 )

Alright, so if this is really such a huge risk these people are taking it should mean that within a few days to 1-2 weeks we should see a huge uptick in new virus cases right?

And if not, will you all pledge to sign your apologies in another article at that time?

My money is on no big spike in new cases. The nice thing is that this is not a debatable opinion - either it happens or it doesn’t. So let’s all put in our chips!

And if you don’t want to, please don’t be an armchair epidemiologist ok? Keep your sensationalist paranoiac overreactions to yourselves. :)

Everyone is prognosticating an apocalypse in Japan, because the government and people are supposedly careless (despite heavy use of masks which, if you didn’t know, does help tremendously to stop the spread of virus - western countries should adopt this rather than disrupt their societies to an absurd degree with “social distancing”). Germany is banning gatherings greater than two people yet in Japan the trains are packed as usual. Where are all the coronavirus cases? You can’t hide all of them, the hospitals would eventually be bursting at the seams. Yet all is well in Japan.

Is everyone living in their own bizarro world? Mark my words, this coronavirus scare will go down in history as the biggest mass delusion in human history.

Sorry went on a tangent. So place your bets people, if you believe in truth and reason! Either the new virus cases soars in Japan or it doesn’t. And if you’re wrong, then please lay off the virus scaremongering.

-8 ( +10 / -18 )

Unbelievable levels of ignorance and stupidity.

As someone else said previously, it's a massive case of 'it doesn't exist until it affects me personally'.

"We are told to exercise self-restraint but I wanted to have one party at least,"

"Usually we have hanami parties every weekend during the flower season, but this year we do this only once, only today."

By doing it 'only once' you are still putting dozens of people's health at risk over the next 14 days.

Nearby, a group of women sat picnicking, none of them wearing masks.

Idiotic, selfish, ignorant.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

The way the people see it is: I have to go to work every day and still get crammed into the same overcrowded train; moreover, since the government and companies don't seem to take it seriously, I guess we, the people, also don't have to take it seriously.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

All that hard work undone. Dear oh dear. Want to ignore the basics? Disregard common sense? This is where we’ll end up:

https://youtu.be/INmEciVm-6Q

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I myself go out like them because I am not in a parano or psychotic mental state regarding the covid

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

I NOTICED that most people have face masks where are these people gettig them from ???.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

@vilus

Is everyone living in their own bizarro world? Mark my words, this coronavirus scare will go down in history as the biggest mass delusion in human history.

Good to hear, I am not the only one not drinking the panic koolaid.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

Blossom viewing should be handled by reducing the number of people admitted into the park at one time. As long as people keep a bit of distance, it should be allowed. Drinking parties probably would be too difficult to continue safely.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Velius

please don’t be an armchair epidemiologist ok?

You could try taking your own advice and not saying things like

Mark my words, this coronavirus scare will go down in history as the biggest mass delusion in human history.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Like collective suicide for the sake of looking at blossoms which will come again next year.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

@didou

I myself go out like them because I am not in a parano or psychotic mental state regarding the covid

You are clearly mistaken because it seems that you are unable to see any risk at all.

People who understand the huge risk this virus is presenting and the methods required to slow down its transmission are certainly not paranoid or psychotic.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Well the people, I hope you enjoyed it. And I also hope that it won’t be your last hanami as a consequence.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

People here don't even know what social distancing is.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

@since1981

"If you want to go out in crowds, catch this uncontrollable virus, pass it on to your family members and kill them, well that is your prerogative. "

And if you want to grossly over exaggerated that is your prerogative.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

@carpslidy; "grossly over exaggerated" Seriously. I much be watch the wrong international news. Or you must be watching only Japanese news. Or you just woke up a few minutes ago? "grossly over exaggerated"? Really?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Velius

So care to explain why Japanese people are unique in having controlled and conquered the virus.

And don’t even think about mentioning the masks. I see many wearing dust masks, they don’t use them properly for a start. Better hygiene? I don’t think so! can you prove it?

A lack of testing? Ah, now we’re onto something....

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Wow, is all I can say.

This is exactly what our Government is telling us not to do. As of 12 o’clock today all pubs, cafes, restaurants have closed in Australia and only takeaway service is available. That as well as entry ban to foreigners and state border closures would be the most extreme action this country has ever taken.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

People should look at the bright side of all of this. Toilet paper is now readily available in stores!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Velius, will we see a marked increase of infections in 1-2 weeks? Without testing, no increase. Easy to fudge the numbers.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is selfish and short-sighted. It is increasing the risk of mass infection. Whether it actually happens or not is irrelevant. Based on current knowledge, it creates unnecessary risk and that's all that matters. Someone who bets their family home at poker and then wins is still an idiot. The downside risk here (Italy version) is the army being called in to carry away the dead.

I'd close the parks while the trees are blooming, then reopen them. If the disease does spread, there could be a complete lockdown, police patrolling the streets and no going out at all. People commuting for their livelihoods might be unavoidable, but cherry blossom viewing and K-1 events are not. The government should know people can't be trusted to be responsible.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Darwinian selection in action? I won't be risking it this year.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@vellius

Alright, so if this is really such a huge risk these people are taking it should mean that within a few days to 1-2 weeks we should see a huge uptick in new virus cases right?

No, in line with the definition of the word risk, it means that widespread infection is possible as a result of crowds coming together at this time.

And if not, will you all pledge to sign your apologies in another article at that time?

No.

Back to the actual issue: if there is a sudden increase in cases, hospitals and the healthcare system will be burdened to the point of collapse. This is the reason for the closedowns in countries across the world. It has finally been brought home to the leaders that they are weeks or days away from disaster. In some countries it's already happened; in others it's going to happen despite current measures; but they are at least finally responding.

What's going on here seems to be based not in the knowledge that the worst is over or has been avoided altogether, but in choosing not to know what's happening at all. That's a gamble, and if Japan is lucky, it will get away with it. Equally possible, as people seem to have decided that it's all over, is that infection is spreading and a disaster is developing while people's attention is elsewhere.

If large numbers of us in Japan do need medical assistance in the near future, and by that time it simply isn't available, we can't pretend we had no idea it could go that way. It's what's already happening in London, Spain, and New York, and set to happen in many other places besides.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/21/nhs-junior-doctor-stay-at-home-coronavirus

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Pass it on to your family members and kill them, well that is your prerogative. "

There 1250,000 active cases in the world , lets say they were all invited to tokyo for the day you would have a (0.899%)chance of standing next to that person under a cherry tree , even at 50/50 you have 0.45% of being infected, again 50/50 so 0.225% of infecting your grandmother and at an overstated 20% death rate for over 80's a 0.0045% chance of killing your grandmother

So yes you are over exaggerating

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

These people are dummies, lets not mince words. Listen to authorities. They have zero concept of social distancing in the midst of the worst pandemic in 100 years. Do they think they are immune?

Enjoy sakura in non-crowded areas, you dummies.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Alright, so if this is really such a huge risk these people are taking it should mean that within a few days to 1-2 weeks we should see a huge uptick in new virus cases right?

And if not, will you all pledge to sign your apologies in another article at that time?

Mark my words, this coronavirus scare will go down in history as the biggest mass delusion in human history.

Sorry went on a tangent. So place your bets people, if you believe in truth and reason! Either the new virus cases soars in Japan or it doesn’t. And if you’re wrong, then please lay off the virus scaremongering.

Clearly if you are not art of the solution you are part of the problem.

A risk is something that might happen. If I have ten glasses of water and one is poisoned, if I drink a glass, there is a risk that I will die. As a result, I will not drink any of the glasses.

So, maybe we can go ahead as if the whole world is fine and dandy, and perhaps nothing bad will happen - and that would be great. On the other hand, we could get a huge uptick in the number of deaths. We don't know, and it is currently not worth the risk.

The death toll in Europe shows that this is far from a "delusion". 5,500 deaths in Italy alone so far in a very short space of time.

If the number of cases in Japan does not begin to rise, then the risk did not crystallize. That is how reason works.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

There 1250,000 active cases in the world , lets say they were all invited to tokyo for the day you would have a (0.899%)chance of standing next to that person under a cherry tree , even at 50/50 you have 0.45% of being infected, again 50/50 so 0.225% of infecting your grandmother and at an overstated 20% death rate for over 80's a 0.0045% chance of killing your grandmother

How to be wrong with statistics!

At the current rate of spread based on R0, 1 person can ultimately result in somehting like 400+ being infected in a month.

How many other people did that person stand next to? At the rate you give, of 0.5, we should assume that they infect multiple others. Who in turn will infect others, and ultimately, one of those may infect your grandmother.

BTW, current data from Italy - 59,000 infections, 5500 deaths. Total recovered, 7000.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Defiance is now seen almost everywhere, not solely unique to Japan. The collective bias of thinking "it's over" can emerge once a strong measure is lifted. Again, it's not merely about Japan; a stricter response like a full lockdown may have a side effect or backlash when it is removed.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We can’t go out then?

No money comes in right?

We stay at home and die of starvation then?

Take sensible precautions which we are all aware of by now and all will be well.

In a few weeks the virus will have peaked and the weather change will reduce transmissions greatly.

I’d wager most posters here won’t have been troubled in the slightest...

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

How to be wrong with statistics!

At the current rate of spread based on R0, 1 person can ultimately result in somehting like 400+ being infected in a month.

Key word is could

At your calculation 1person could infect 400 in a month

You would expect to see over a 100% increase day by day which isnt happening.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

People dying from influenza dropped significantly this winter in Japan probably because of precaution they take for the new coronavirus.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Idiots. Just wait for the coronavirus cases to shoot up in the next 2 weeks or so

God forbid if that happens, I assure Japan will not be able to contain the hysteria that will follow if the numbers rise.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

These people are quite literally insane. When they inevitably fall ill with coronavirus, they will be the very first to cry to the government for their health care. Close the damn parks now!!

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Funny thing Japanese media isn't reporting. Canada and Australia pull out of Olympics

https://www.france24.com/en/20200323-canada-pulls-out-of-olympics-as-pressure-mounts-on-tokyo-to-postpone-2020-games

Wonder why?!

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Life is fleeting. I say this is great. One must wake up to see the next day and if they do not, at least they had one good day before it.

In Japan when they intubate you or put any tubes in you they do not allow you to have one last piece of tempura or any of your favorite foods or even a sip of beer. I think that is frightening.

Health care here is great. Relax, enjoy your family and friends and wash your hands.

By the way, trying to eat with a mask of is insanely difficult, so the ose sentences should be erased from the article.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Have you thought another option: that Japanese government is deliberately going for herd immunity tactics? The same that UK gov. was still going for one week ago, until after public cry and the Imperial College report they were forced to change their tactics.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

i bet efforts to fight the coronavirus step up once the Olympics are postponed...

This the country that sends whole classes of kids home if some of them have the flu, it's completely at odds with what normally happens!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This the country that sends whole classes of kids home if some of them have the flu, it's completely at odds with what normally happens!

Really!? Not in the part of Japan I stay. If a kid grad sick, that particular kid goes home, but the rest will continue onward.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

At your calculation 1person could infect 400 in a month

You would expect to see over a 100% increase day by day which isnt happening.

No, you would not see this. If the numbers increased 100% every day, 1 person infected would infect the whole of Japan in 29 days.

To go from 1 person to 400 in a month, you simply need every person that is infected to infect 0.25 people every day. The numbers rise very slowly at the start, but then suddenly accelerate. At this rate, on day-10, 6 people are infected, day-20 47, day-30, 400.

Very simple compounding, but one we have seen play out in Europe at this speed.

Currently the numbers in the USA are increasing by about 30% per day - you can work his one out.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@ah so

My apologies, I misunderstood your post.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@bodge2020 you basically share my sentiments. All I would add is the fact that you should wash your hands every time you come back from the inside, as well as go outside. Now in terms of these people “being idiots”, the real idiots here, are the people doing picnics without masks and stuff.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

And with the cherry blossoms being so important to Japan’s cultural heritage, as well as no technical government ban place, can you really blame a whole lot of people want to go out, at least to get some fresh air as Bodge2020 suggested? I mean, staying inside, breathing the same air in a closed loop system, isn’t exactly all that healthy either.

just, like I said before, wash your hands when you go out, as well as you go back in. And also wear a mask if you have one, at least if you’re going to be in crowds like that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Why is everyone so all grouchy? Japan has very low infection rate so your chance of getting infected is very small. Besides, Japan's healthcare system is well equipped to deal with any possible outbreak. The only people who are complaining seem to be Japan bashers who would complain for anything and everything.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

There are two approaches that can be taken with respect to the virus. One is to let things go on as normal. Many people will suffer illness. A significant number of people will die. The virus will pass more quickly, due to herd exposure and, hopefully, most will develop at least some immunity.

The other viable approach is isolation to the greatest degree possible. This lockdown approach will cause much economic pain, personal finance damages, social isolation but will greatly reduce the number of people exposed. The hope is with far fewer hosts, the virus dies out.

Japan's approach of "voluntary restraint" is neither. And for this reason, it is ineffective. It may delay the ultimate damage, but does absolutely nothing to solve the problem. The Japanese government is doing nothing more than kicking the can down the road.

This half-a$$ policy will extend the problem and result in multiple waves of exposure and infection. It is a do-nothing policy.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

And still we have this stupid emphasis on wearing masks. There is NO scientific evidence that the masks readily available to the public will protect you from the coronavirus.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

There are two approaches that can be taken with respect to the virus. One is to let things go on as normal. Many people will suffer illness. A significant number of people will die. The virus will pass more quickly, due to herd exposure and, hopefully, most will develop at least some immunity.The other viable approach is isolation to the greatest degree possible. This lock-down approach will cause much economic pain, personal finance damages, social isolation but will greatly reduce the number of people exposed. The hope is with far fewer hosts, the virus dies out. 

Japan's approach of "voluntary restraint" is neither. And for this reason, it is ineffective. It may delay the ultimate damage, but does absolutely nothing to solve the problem. The Japanese government is doing nothing more than kicking the can down the road. This half-way policy will extend the problem and result in multiple waves of exposure and infection. It actually is a do-nothing policy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why is everyone so all grouchy? Japan has very low infection rate so your chance of getting infected is very small. Besides, Japan's healthcare system is well equipped to deal with any possible outbreak.

No disrespect, but that kind of stuff is bordering magical thinking. Let's see first if the rate is as low ONLY after the pace of the testing process has been increased to levels we see elsewhere. Otherwise, dismissing the seriousness of the virus is the worst thing that can happen now; you won't help the population without transparent facts.

The Japan Times wrote an article last year that reminds all of us that lessons from the 1918 influenza pandemic still need to be applied. For the record, Japan was also hit hard by that disease at the time. If anything, both individuals and the Japanese government need to revisit those lessons. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/05/08/national/century-later-spanish-flu-pandemic-still-holds-valuable-lessons-japanese-global-health-experts/#.Xnj_2ohKhPY

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My apologies, I misunderstood your post.

No problem, carpslidy, it gave me a chance to play with numbers rather than do something more practical.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No disrespect, but that kind of stuff is bordering magical thinking. Let's see first if the rate is as low ONLY after the pace of the testing process has been increased to levels we see elsewhere. Otherwise, dismissing the seriousness of the virus is the worst thing that can happen now; you won't help the population without transparent facts.

The Japan Times wrote an article last year that reminds all of us that lessons from the 1918 influenza pandemic still need to be applied. For the record, Japan was also hit hard by that disease at the time. If anything, both individuals and the Japanese government need to revisit those lessons. https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/05/08/national/century-later-spanish-flu-pandemic-still-holds-valuable-lessons-japanese-global-health-experts/#.Xnj_2ohKhPY

No magical thinking here. Just a rational and calm thinking. Based on the current statistics from our very capable govt, Japan boasts the lowest infection rate among the countries that matter (take what you will by that). This is in no small part to the preventive measures that the govt has taken such as banning the entry from China and South Korea. You base your action on the most current data, not what's scaring you the most. And 1918 was a long time ago. Should we learn and mimic White Man's Burden circa 1899?

I guess what I'm saying is this; Do not panic. Support your govt cuz they are the one working the hardest. And NO FEAR MONGERING!!!!!!

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The problem is also the Japanese thinking of the mask as a talisman, that protects you like a religious object. If you have some kind of thing in front of your mouth nothing can happen, seems to be the common thinking. Even public information is always wear a mask and gargle. No one talks about proper 30 second hand wash with plenty of soap.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

many Japanese believes in Unmei or Destitny. if you get infected youll get infected so enjoy. nothing to worry about.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Risking your health and the health of others to look at a bunch if flowers....keep it classy Japan!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I live in Japan and I felt safe up to when the Cherry blossoms started blooming.  Why? Japanese were taking it quite seriously the train ridership was down, you hardly saw people outside, But, Jeez it appears that all that seriousness went with the Spring Winds.   I no longer feel safe, yesterday, clearly there were a whole lot more people on the trains and many without masks and not a care in the world.  That attitude is going to cause a full-blown virus and with schools expected to go back I am truly worried.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There is definition an ‘it’s over’ vibe from many train passengers-really glad to use my car today...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

A beautiful high wall all around the spacious large home did the trick. It was nice to enjoy a long journey in seeing the trees bloom in the comfort of home and backyard. With our private covered canopy, grilled some steaks and enjoyed the nice outdoor weather enjoying the cherry blossoms. Hard work, planning paid off.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Could they not be patient just for this time...?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The low number of infections here (due to lack of testing) has reinforced the Japanese mindset that they are special. This is a result of that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Now UK shut down everything, and Boris Johnson said on TV that it is only work, shopping food and necessities, medical needs, and one walk, jog and cycling a day that you are allowed to do.

Is Japan's gov. even following what other countries are doing?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Is Japan's gov. even following what other countries are doing?

They don't do that anymore.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Besides, Japan's healthcare system is well equipped to deal with any possible outbreak.

I wouldn't recommend that your bet your life on that. Every country put to the test so far has struggled. What makes you think Japan would be different?

Countries are shutting down normal life now in a desperate attempt not to go through that. For some of them, it will prove to have been too late. As to what "that" is, and what Japan may soon also experience:

Hospitals rapidly running out of protective clothing and equipment.

Doctors, nurses, and healthcare staff worked to exhaustion and far beyond.

Doctors, nurses, and healthcare staff becoming infected.

Hospitals being overwhelmed by sheer numbers.

ICUs running at full capacity, unable to take in new patients.

The last point should particularly concern you. If you happen to need it, and they can't provide it, the chances are you're going to die, and not pleasantly. It's easy to deceive yourself into believing you won't need it. That's a delusion; you might. So might people you actually care about.

Here's where Britain is at, in the view of one doctor.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/23/icu-doctors-tough-decisions-coronavirus-uk

It's completely possible that Japan will find itself in a similar position within days or weeks. As we have seen, the system collapses fast. But the public in this country have allowed themselves to be lulled into boredom, weariness, and complacency, so if it does happen, there are going to be some very surprised people getting turned away from hospitals.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

cherry blossoms : signs of hope, blah, blah, blah....

hope for increased cases. geez....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why doesn't the Government just close the parks for a few weeks that would send a strong message.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why doesn't the Government just close the parks for a few weeks that would send a strong message.

(Japanese) human rights?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Tokyo=New York=Milan.

Wake up.

The time to smell the flowers is over.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Here in the USA they are displaying scenes and giving free live streams of concerts (in empty houses). Surely they can show the cherry blossoms online for Japanese stay-at-home pleasure. You gotta play it safe and use your noodles, folks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Jpanese think in a different way and are firm believer of their way of life. It is difficult to persuade them and Govt and media response has been too soft as Japan was trying to proceed with Olympics irresponsibly wait and watch if Japan becomes as bad as Italy or USA

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For the safety of everyone, just temporary trim down the cherry trees. People can enjoy them on the next season. I am positive that the government will get the support from the majority xx

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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