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Workers, parents feel strain as state of emergency extended

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Let's hope this will be the last time this SOE is extended and that the coronavirus cases begin to decline. Another month of a situation like this isn't really something that you look forward to.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Another month of no job means less food and no money for rent and utilities...

9 ( +16 / -7 )

While the extension was announced in Tokyo, the local prefectures are responsible for details. The extended measures will hopefully be further revised and implemented (or relaxed) serving well for public in accordance with local situations and outlook.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I feel for them.

Time to end the lockdown and let nature run its course. The damage has been already done and we don't need more to destroy the world economy.

-5 ( +15 / -20 )

Places like Iwate have few or zero cases.

Do they really need to observe lockdowns and social distancing in every single small town supermarket and pub?

This is getting a little ridiculous.

It's impossible to avoid all infectious diseases, we are living creatures, we catch viruses, that's life.

-4 ( +15 / -19 )

I really don't know what the answer is, but reading other sites, you see places that re-open and the number of infected people rise suddenly. Then you see many medical professionals and specialists saying we are 18 months to 2 years away from a vaccine. What are we to do? You cannot keep people under lock down for that long a period. But you also cannot just let a large number of your population die off, as that too will have consequences down the line.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Was it really necessary to explain what Okinawa was?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The Japanese unenforced lockdown and American administrations rush to "reopen for business" have similar purposes. In both cases worker relief is tardy and workers will be squeezed into privation or returning or finding work in dangerous conditions at their own risk as further meager assistance is indefinitely delayed.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

this is 100% fault of PM Abe, this guy had so many chances to control this virus

it's easy for him to say, stay home, close your businesses, close schools,

He didn't do his job by increasing testing capabilities in Japan, setting up testing outside of clinics and hospitals,

This guy is so inadequate for the job, he will be one of the worst PM in history of Japan.

21 ( +25 / -4 )

Is Japan the only country that is now encouraging, demanding, that people wash their hands and faces many times? Also, shower as soon as you return home and make sure to wash your clothes. I have not heard these orders anywhere else.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

An extension until May 31st will draw many small business into bancrupt. Many people will loose jobs and dont know how their future will go on.

My friends in Germany, a country with one of the highest numbers of infections in the world, are already going back to work.

And Japan, with very low numbers of infections are going to shut down businesses.

The world starts to re-open, but Japan starts to close.

I dont understand that and I am really getting tired of this!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

This guy is so inadequate for the job, he will be one of the worst PM in history of Japan.

Meanwhile Japan has some of the lowest infection rates in the industrialized world as well as some of the lowest death rates, on par with the likes of famed New Zealand.

And this was achieved with a balanced approach that didn't require turning the country into some Gestapo zone with cops questioning citizens on the street and ordering them to go inside.

We would you rather be? Here or Belgium or New York etc?

-14 ( +11 / -25 )

long a period. But you also cannot just let a large number of your population die off, as that too will have consequences down the line

A large number of population does not die, the panic is caused by the misguided information from WHO and the notoriously flawed study from UK. Even in the US, the due to the polluted air, obesity, if the estimated 130,000 die that is still 130000/330000000 0.04%.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

The goverment has failed the people and still failing if they were in the private sector they be sacked for incompetence long ago.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Preaching and not doing don’t work together so well. Many train lines have posters up about corona, how to make a mask, showing how to wash hands etc., yet when I use their toilets, you have to touch the button to make water come out over and over again and there is no soap. Wrong

11 ( +13 / -2 )

i am talking about Japan,

you are comparing to New York, how about South Korea?

when you test many as possible, and separate the infected vs non-infected,

and trace all the other possible infection, Korea results happens,

it's not Gestapo tactics, there is no name or other vital information open to the public,

If Japan is suppose to be the leader in Asia, act like one, instead trying to make excuses,

you and Abe are the same, always making excuses,

15 ( +20 / -5 )

Several comments providing 'statistics'about the number of deaths vs. the general population, and how the numbers are so small as to be insignificant.

I wonder how insignificant it would be to these statisticians if it was their family members lying in a hospital bed gasping for their last breath...

6 ( +13 / -7 )

We completely self isolated in Wakayama prefecture 4 weeks ago In a tiny little sea side town. The amount of different number plates we have been seeing this golden week is just amazing.

NHK ran this yesterday.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20200503_08/

9 ( +10 / -1 )

There is no surefire answer but the main has to be controlling the spread of Covid-19. The consequences are more dire for the world (economy included) if we don't. Not trying to make things seem easy but you more than likely can get a new job or loans to help you out when this thing subsides but you can't do that from a pine box.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The numbers they are putting out you could probably multiply by 20 and maybe then you have the real numbers,,,But remember anyone that dies is not being tested...Abe loves a good ol cover up...

3 ( +9 / -6 )

@Burning Bush

And this was achieved with a balanced approach that didn't require turning the country into some Gestapo zone with cops questioning citizens on the street and ordering them to go inside.

Are you honestly trying to compare a policy designed to counter a world wide pandemic with Nazi methods? Please don't embarass yourself with ahistorical claims.

@oldman_13

Time to end the lockdown and let nature run its course. The damage has been already done and we don't need more to destroy the world economy.

@Burning Bush

It's impossible to avoid all infectious diseases, we are living creatures, we catch viruses, that's life.

Doing absolutely nothing at all, pretending like nothing happened and put others at risk is an asinine plan. I know it's hard to forget, but every number in the death toll stands for one human life and their families dealing with their loss. Inactivity mixed with social Darwinism is irresponsible and dangerous.

Btw, as far as the "hey, it's just nature" part is concerned, the human body cannot develop immunity against every virus. I think it's still unclear whether Covid 19 falls into that category, but if you want to avoid catching a nasty virus, you can rely on medical, social and political actions, instead of risking your health because it's "nature".

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Disappointing lack of testing compared to other countries. Slow to deal with the pandemic unlike South Korean which reacted very quickly and had prepared itself after the SARS pandemic.

The State of Emergency does not need to cover the entire country. There are about 20 prefectures with zero deaths or just 1-3 deaths. The factories and businesses can be reopened in those.

Still haven't received those Abe masks?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Btw, as far as the "hey, it's just nature" part is concerned, the human body cannot develop immunity against every virus. 

Yet, you have well over 99% chance if surviving this virus anyway. You may have even had it already and not even known.

People who have lost their livelihoods know, though. They are wondering how far their savings will go.

Stop the fear and madness.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

oldman_13Today  07:00 am JST

Time to end the lockdown and let nature run its course. The damage has been already done and we don't need more to destroy the world economy.

Reports are that the Japanese hospitals are unable to accommodate more COVID-19 patients at this time. That means it is NOT time to end the lockdown. Only a small percentage of the population has been infected so far. Even here in NYC, it’s estimated that less than 20% have been infected so far. Nearly everyone will get infected eventually. The purpose of the shut down is to spread that out so that everyone who does become critically ill can get the medical care they need and have a better chance of surviving.

It may be time, however, for the government and financial elites to start providing sufficient support to all the small businesses and workers effected by the shutdown so they can get through it without going bankrupt.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

My basic feeling on this is that the restrictions should remain in the cities but be removed everywhere else.

This is entirely possible, since power resides with the prefectures, and looks like it will happen to an extent. The problem is this "state of emergency" expression which sounds very dramatic but doesn't actually mean very much.

If it just means statements about washing your hands and the odd dirty look if you go to the supermarket without a mask, my prefecture Nagano can remain in a state of emergency for all eternity for all I care. I would like to see steps back toward normal though because I see the coronavirus risk here as very low. I understand that some people are more at risk than others, but the most important thing for them is self-isolation. Shutting schools to indirectly protect old people who are still going shopping strikes me as meaningless and misguided.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Reports are that the Japanese hospitals are unable to accommodate more COVID-19 patients at this time. 

Link?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Perhaps the numbers of deaths are very small for the population. However, without adequate distancing and increased testing those statistics are destined to change and the epidemic could go on for months and months.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

oldman_13

I feel for them.

Time to end the lockdown and let nature run its course. The damage has been already done and we don't need more to destroy the world economy.

A heap of infections/deaths will be worse for the economy/businesses than the current lock down.

MarkX

Is Japan the only country that is now encouraging, demanding, that people wash their hands and faces many times? Also, shower as soon as you return home and make sure to wash your clothes. I have not heard these orders anywhere else.

Definitely happening in Australia, the US, and Europe... so hazarding a guess: it's global. Not sure about "what you're hearing". I haven't heard the "shower as soon as you return home" bit - tho' if you're using public transport, it's not a bad idea.

US's Dr Fauci:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhdPvdENu98

AgentX

Yet, you have well over 99% chance if surviving this virus anyway. You may have even had it already and not even known.

Reputable link please to back up your 99% claim. Cheers.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

this is a country that cant get 2 masks sent to people and 100,000 yen put in their bank account within 2 months.

By time they get 1% of the population tested at once, those people will need to be tested again due to the test being outdated.

We cant just stay home months and months more. time to get back out and back to work.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And this was achieved with a balanced approach that didn't require turning the country into some Gestapo zone with cops questioning citizens on the street and ordering them to go inside.

Wrong era. Dubious comparison.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

You didn't seem to mind when it was from influenza...

I may be getting on in years, but I'm not that old. I do hope that this pandemic does not reach the levels seen back then.

But you never know, there's a lot of dangerous people out there, downplaying this disaster.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The state of emergency is simply words. Nothing will change in terms of the virus when the state is lifted. In fact, you can still go about your business now. Restaurant owners don't have to close -- it has only been suggested. The virus isn't going to disappear when the government suddenly lifts the state of emergency, especially if it is just to restart the economy. People will just listen to words and change their behaviours in agreement. If the government, on the other hand, were to impose strict measures that prohibited, by law and punishable, many actions, then the virus would slowly be lessened, they could use the time to test and work on a vaccine, and then once they have better tracking methods could allow certain aspects of the country to open safely, and follow any second wave carefully. But nope. Nothing changed today that was not going on two days ago. Nothing. And nothing about the virus will change on the arbitrary date of June 1st if the SOE is lifted -- the virus will still be out there, and still spreading... it'll just be easier to spread.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

We cant just stay home months and months more. time to get back out and back to work.

Odd that the same voices were accusing others of whining when they voiced concerns about getting their financial aid.

What a difference a week makes.

I wonder how such folk would react if they were in a warzone, for months or even years?

This situation is bad, yes, and none of us want to lose our livelihoods and homes, but neither do we want to lose our lives.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Saturday we went for a walk to our beach area. Luxury hotels closed. Restaurants closed. Ryokans closed when all would normally have been very busy during Golden Week. Staff laid off without pay. One open air cafe was still open but not many people. Quite a few people on the beach some making BQ but the police turned up when we were leaving telling people to get out of the sea and get off the beach.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

An array of commentary. An individual from NY who claims to have a read on Japanese hospitals, that they are unable to accommodate more SARSCoV-2 patients. Which hospitals and where in Japan? Name ten hospitals in Japan off the top of your head. Places that re-open all of the sudden have a rise in cases - places where? On the moon? What does that possibly mean, it is beyond vague - it doesn't even reach the level of gossip. Testing, the great panacea, all you have to do is test. Really! And then what? Everyone will get the virus another fancy non-fact. Where does that 'information' come from? And a reference to South Korea. What is the population of South Korea? It is 51 million. Seoul has a population of approximately 10 million. Busan 3.5 million. Incheon 2.8 million. Daegu 2.4 million. Additionally there are five cities over one million. That's it. Japan has a population of 127 million. Geographically, Japan is almost four times larger in area that South Korea. Tokyo, the urban/metro area is 38 million. Osaka urban/metro area is around 20 million. There is no actual correspondence to South Korea.

The prefecture I live in, reports two deaths - which is 0.0001% of the population. The total cases of coronavirus since January 16th, is 87 or 0.006% of the population. Active cases are a total of 49, which is 0.003% of the population. 7 of which are asymptomatic. The prefecture is 1,500 square miles or 3691 square kilometres. With a population of 1.4 million. The largest city is 350,000. Explain, how does that fit with Tokyo?

Abe, the response is haphazard and ad hoc. Supposedly, it is the prefectures that decides policy and deference is to the prefecture governor. Our prefecture governor is daft, if not senile, basely incompetent and obtains his marching orders from Tokyo, in particular Abe and his cabal of wizards.

Public school education is becoming a farce, here it consists of assigned homework and an occasional video to watch. By June many students will have been out-of-school for almost four months. If Abe and Koike get their wish to start school in September that will be a fiasco. Koike has absolutely no experience in education or public health - Abe, seems to mirror that fact. Teachers have legal, binding contracts, most start in March 2020 and end in March or so 2021. I have such a contract. How is that going to work out? The law of contracts is tossed out?

And. One individual declares the human body cannot develop immunity against every virus. That's a sharp observation, though fairly witless. The human body has what is dubbed the human virome. Most viruses are neither consistently pathogenic nor always harmless, but rather can result in different outcomes depending on the health and immunological status of their hosts. Indeed, it is nature, extremely complex and with much unknown.

The response in Japan is mostly cultural and already in place with respected protocols, which has added to the low numbers. The low numbers are not some plot by Abe to save The Olympics, though that was his initial impetus and arises once again. Despite the ineffective response of that twit and his policy by whim, for the most the response was one of care and being careful by the citizens, with little need for directives from fools in Tokyo. What is needed is economic and financial aid directly to the population.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@AgentX

Yet, you have well over 99% chance if surviving this virus anyway. You may have even had it already and not even known.

I am not sure if your numbers are accurate, but it is the last sentence that troubles me. That is exactly the problem with Covid 19. In many cases symptoms of an infection do not show, making it impossible for you to realize your infection. As a result, you are infecting others whose immune system might not be capable of dealing with the virus. This is what distinguishes Covid from e.g. the flu, where symptoma usually appear after a few days, allowing you to get proper medical treatement or self-isolate immediately.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

so what will be different in Japan on May 31 compared to today?

What is the government going to do between now and then that they havent already done?

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

if you lose your livelihood and your home, isnt your "life" over? Im not talking about physically breathing, I am talking about having the life that we all built for ourselves and our loved ones.

All taken away because some people dont want to go back outside out of fear of something that isnt killing 99.99% of people.

Me being allowed to go out doesnt prevent you from staying home as long as you want. those are mutually exclusive.

This situation is bad, yes, and none of us want to lose our livelihoods and homes, but neither do we want to lose our lives.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

There is no actual correspondence to South Korea.

Its interesting how this talking point comes up often to explain away incompetent leadership. No one's talking about population sizes. Point of the fact is, South Korea, using it's past experience with SARS, stepped up to the plate in an incredible way that was emulated in other countries on the globe. This is what competent leadership does instead of making one excuse after another.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Point of the fact is, South Korea, using it's past experience with SARS, stepped up to the plate in an incredible way that was emulated in other countries on the globe. This is what competent leadership does instead of making one excuse after another.

Yeah, various internet posters keep making this silly claim that no one knew this would happen, and that everyone was caught with their pants down.

Actually, many people knew that this could happen, some countries prepared, and those countries weren't caught with their pants down. Or at least they were able to zip them up pretty quick.

People have a tendency to project though. When their own leader is incompetent, they tend to expect that other leaders are also incompetent. It's part of living in a bubble.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

"Unless (the government) offers sufficient compensation and legally enforces business closures, we are left in limbo."

He's right. Unfortunately a plan of action that would involve compensation is what this Government desperately seems to want to avoid, or delay, or forget about...at any cost to public health or small business.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

our kids back to school on Thursday and possibly normal scheduling will resume. Confirmation text message came through today. Iwate still ZERO baby!

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

That is exactly the problem with Covid 19. In many cases symptoms of an infection do not show, making it impossible for you to realize your infection. As a result, you are infecting others whose immune system might not be capable of dealing with the virus. This is what distinguishes Covid from e.g. the flu, 

Flu could be asymptomatic also

0 ( +1 / -1 )

as well as seniors in junior high school.

This is horrible writing. In English, “seniors” means Grade 12 students, not Grade 9 students. It doesn’t matter if Grade 9 is the terminal year of junior high school.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

smithinjapan

The state of emergency is simply words. 

Well, that's not accurate. There's definitely been a change. Perhaps not as stringently so as it could be, but there's definitely been a change.

Richard Gallagher

Teachers have legal, binding contracts, most start in March 2020 and end in March or so 2021. I have such a contract. How is that going to work out? 

Not sure about the accuracy of that, either. Sure, you might have a 1 year contract (tho' wouldn't it commence in April-through-to-March? Honest question), I don't think "most" is correct tho'.

Just seeking clarification. :)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder how insignificant it would be to these statisticians if it was their family members lying in a hospital bed gasping for their last breath...

pick your disease, there’s statistics for everything. You seem to be new to Japan or don’t understand Japanese, statistics are statistics and fear mongering self entitlement is another

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mountain guide here and all my clients are tourists in Japan. Thought about going back to being an ALT but doesn't look either as no one knows when the schools will start. Was working as a tourist guide last year in Hokkaido (own business) but again, no flights so... Don't see how I'm gonna make money.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@zichi - can the Police enforce that demand ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

mmwkdw

no! but people don't argue with the cops.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Richard GallagherMay 5  12:41 pm JST

An array of commentary. An individual from NY who claims to have a read on Japanese hospitals, that they are unable to accommodate more SARSCoV-2 patients. Which hospitals and where in Japan?

Richard, I appreciate your effort to request and discuss more details and nuances, but I didn’t make this up. Right here on Japan Today it was reported yesterday that ambulances are driving around for hours unable to find a hospital that will accept a suspected COVID-19 patient!

https://japantoday.com/category/national/cases-of-patients-turned-away-by-hospitals-up-fivefold-over-virus

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is horrible writing. In English, “seniors” means Grade 12 students, not Grade 9 students

most of the world doesn't use the US system. people easily understand that senior in JHS is the last year before high school. not horrible at all, just be a little more flexible and global in your thinking.:=)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

bottom line is that Japan was not prepared, is prepared and will not be prepared with current PM Abe group.

who knows what's coming next,

is Japan prepare for next virus ?

ask yourself, you commentators been here many years as I am, although I started the comments again in past February with the cruise ship mess.

simple question, look at the countries who has been somewhat successful against this virus, what are they doing that Japan is not,

handing out these cotton mask is not one of the bright ideas, I rather wear my scarf which cover more areas of my face.

PM Abe saw what happen to China and South Korea when they are #1,2 in infection numbers , he had a front row seat , what those countries were struggling with which is same thing Japan is struggling now. not enough masks, medical equipment, lack of ICU, Korea ramped up testing with zero barrier so any companies who made the kits went overdrive manufacturing the kits.

if you had a 4 month ahead start, you need to do things right, not make the same mistakes over and over again.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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