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Experts urge gov't to take gradual approach to COVID downgrade

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What is best for the doctors? That is how you will know what the health ministry expert panel will recommend.

-7 ( +10 / -17 )

COVID-19 is way worse than influenza. Gradual is correct.

-5 ( +16 / -21 )

Gradual ...hahahah slow and useless you mean.

-12 ( +16 / -28 )

No mention of long covid.

-4 ( +15 / -19 )

When are these experts going to talk about the mental health issues of children and young adult due to this pandemic?

18 ( +28 / -10 )

But if they downgrade covid it will be forgotten and it will disappear.

In other countries they no longer think about it so it stopped infecting people

7 ( +19 / -12 )

The impact of all the draconian activity

Wake up

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

I am 3 times vaccinated and will always wear a mask in Japan as that is still the norm right now. But after visiting the U.S. over the holidays, I found it refreshing to see everyone enjoying their lives without masks. So I guess my feelings towards Covid changed a bit. It can be terrible for some who catch it, but it seems to me that whatever preventions we take, Covid manages to find a way to spread around. It is unfortunately something we will just have to continue living with.

3 ( +17 / -14 )

Such as which countries? Since when does the US require a negative test for the seasonal flu from visitors?

Since when can I even get a test for the flu? Hold on, couldn't the PCR test be adjusted to test for the flu, just like how it was repurposed to "test" for Covid?

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

I am 3 times vaccinated and will always wear a mask in Japan as that is still the norm right now. But after visiting the U.S. over the holidays, I found it refreshing to see everyone enjoying their lives without masks. 

Masks off there, masks on here. I find it fascinating at how simple peer pressure can cause intelligent adults to modify their behavior.

15 ( +31 / -16 )

Masks off there, masks on here. I find it fascinating at how simple peer pressure can cause intelligent adults to modify their behavior.

Should be simple for intelligent adults yes.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Masks off there, masks on here. I find it fascinating at how simple peer pressure can cause intelligent adults to modify their behavior.

I find it fascinating how simple peer pressure can cause otherwise intelligent adults to throw commonsense to the wind and keep wearing the damn things - and forcing kids to wear them as well - when the downsides far outweigh the benefits.

8 ( +25 / -17 )

NewgirlintownToday  07:24 am JST

No mention of long covid.

Of course as there is no such thing, the studies about it were proven to use falsified/wrong data. It’s not any different to people for whom it takes several months to get rid of the influenza/flu.

The ”experts” in the panel are all 65+, most likely over 70 right?

5 ( +12 / -7 )

when the downsides far outweigh the benefits.

Most adults probably don't imagine same downsides as you do

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Of course as there is no such thing, the studies about it were proven to use falsified/wrong data. 

I have no idea one way or the other but if you say proven then there is proof, care to show it?

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Most adults probably don't imagine same downsides as you do

I guess they just don't think about it very deeply, and just follow the crowd. Outsource their thinking, basically.

0 ( +15 / -15 )

I guess they just don't think about it very deeply, and just follow the crowd. Outsource their thinking, basically.

Yep, I guess so as well.

-5 ( +6 / -11 )

Try not to think yourself too deeply into a hole

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Masks off there, masks on here. I find it fascinating at how simple peer pressure can cause intelligent adults to modify their behavior.

It's not so much peer pressure, but experiencing something different and having a new perspective. Before visiting the U.S. over the holidays, I was a very strict "every one should wear a mask" enforcer. But my only perspective was that of living in Japan where it was also my duty to make sure students wore masks, too. Having two experiences and perspectives enables me to be more intelligent than only seeing one side, no?

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Try not to think yourself too deeply into a hole

I'm not the one who was fooled into it.

7 ( +11 / -4 )

But my only perspective was that of living in Japan where it was also my duty to make sure students wore masks, too. 

This is quite an interesting point. While it was an imposed duty to make sure the students wear their masks, did you think about the risks and benefits of their wearing them? I'm not having a go at you, as it was probably part of your job. It's just that with being able to see what's happening in other countries via the internet, wouldn't it be possible to gain another perspective in that way and not just be limited to what you see here in Japan?

8 ( +16 / -8 )

I'm not the one who was fooled into it.

Did anyone try to fool you?

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

did you think about the risks and benefits of their wearing them?

Isn't it about time you're educating people here about the risks and benefits?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

it was also my duty to make sure students wore masks, too. 

A larger question might be, “Are the masks beneficial to our immune systems over the long run?”

The surge in RSV oddly appears to be a direct result of COVID-19 masking and social distancing. When asked why this increase is occurring, Sarah Combs, an emergency medical physician at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., replied, “We think it’s in large part that during COVID, we had lockdowns, we had masking, we had social distancing — and our immune systems, they didn’t get the workout they were used to getting.” (CBS Evening News, 26 October)

9 ( +12 / -3 )

And that is science ladies and gentlemen

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

I honestly think Japan will never go back to wearing no masks. Come this March we will have our first batch of Junior High School and High School students who spent their entire three years masked. There are students who have never seen their classmate's faces or been to a whole school ceremony. They have spent three years being praised for hiding, staying home, keeping a quiet voice and avoiding their peers. Not too long ago any kid acting like this would be sent to a psychologist. I predict an even greater wave of isolated, lonely, eternally single and childless adults in the future.

-6 ( +22 / -28 )

That's not a bad idea, going to a shrink

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

This is quite an interesting point. While it was an imposed duty to make sure the students wear their masks, did you think about the risks and benefits of their wearing them? I'm not having a go at you, as it was probably part of your job. It's just that with being able to see what's happening in other countries via the internet, wouldn't it be possible to gain another perspective in that way and not just be limited to what you see here in Japan?

I'm not exactly what risks and benefits you are referring to. I still see value in wearing masks. They can help prevent the spread of colds and viruses much better than not wearing them at all. But it seems no matter what precautions we take, Covid manages to find a way to spread regardless. A mask-wearing father may catch it at work or on the train and bring it home unknowingly, and once he takes off his mask at home, it spreads to everyone else in the family. Then daughter and son go to school with masks on, but during P.E. or sports practice, manages to pass it on to their friends.

As for gaining a perspective from the internet, yes, you can be better informed. But first-hand experience is so much better overall. I also don't wish to criticize others opinions. Most make their opinions based on their knowledge and experience. But I just have a different feeling about it all after seeing how much everyone was enjoying their daily life in the U.S. rather than worrying about catching Covid constantly.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

It's not so much peer pressure,

If he's saying he's doing what he does because of peer pressure we can't really disagree I think

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The crux of the masked issue in Japan is the definition of a close contact.

I thought the reason was to minimize exhaled particles in the air, which is why they were wearing it even before covid

0 ( +4 / -4 )

I'm not exactly what risks and benefits you are referring to. I still see value in wearing masks. They can help prevent the spread of colds and viruses much better than not wearing them at all. But it seems no matter what precautions we take, Covid manages to find a way to spread regardless. A mask-wearing father may catch it at work or on the train and bring it home unknowingly, and once he takes off his mask at home, it spreads to everyone else in the family. Then daughter and son go to school with masks on, but during P.E. or sports practice, manages to pass it on to their friends.

Thanks for your reply.

Asiaman7's and Vreth's posts above highlighted some of the medical and psychological risks of mask-wearing. And given that that nature of this virus means that it has almost no effect on children unless they are already very ill with other problems, and most adults only to the extent of a flu, is it really fair and reasonable to burden all children with masks to ostensibly protect just a few, when those few can take other measures to protect themselves (other their parents do it for them, as the case may be)? Also, since masks have a marginal effect at best at stopping this virus, there is no net benefit for wearing them. It would essentially take cocooning people in hazmat suits to really put the brakes on.

As for gaining a perspective from the internet, yes, you can be better informed. But first-hand experience is so much better overall. I also don't wish to criticize others opinions. Most make their opinions based on their knowledge and experience. But I just have a different feeling about it all after seeing how much everyone was enjoying their daily life in the U.S. rather than worrying about catching Covid constantly.

I think it's important to challenge people opinions, because nobody is always right (with the possible exception of my wife), and we can learn from the experience without it devolving into a confrontation. I think it's a good sign that your view shifted after going to the US and seeing people living their daily lives there. Apparently some still wear masks there out of choice, and if that's what they want to do, fine. But imposing mask wearing on people as it's done in Japan either by peer pressure on adults and rules on schoolkids, is a bridge way too far given the risks and benefits involved.

3 ( +9 / -6 )

I honestly think Japan will never go back to wearing no masks.

I agree. Even before Covid-19, I had students that wore a mask to school everyday. It was considered a mental problem at the time and during parent/student/teacher interviews, I strongly recommended that the student go mask-free. It was typically girls and self-esteem related. Thats going back all the way to 2007 when I first came to Japan.

I honestly see this as a serious long-term problem in Japanese society.

-9 ( +9 / -18 )

As far as I can see....people and governments are calming down and the 'penny is beginning to drop'. They are now realizing that due to induced Fear !!!!! they over reacted. Many commenters on this forum have said that even after all the vaccinations and precautions, Covid is still spreading and we will have to learn to live with it......HELLO !!!!!! Finally some sanity.....Millions of people have lived through the whole thing with just their nature given Immune system.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Millions of people have lived through the whole thing with just their nature given Immune system.

Millions have died as well.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

Careful what you wish for lol

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Japan should follow the German model - ensure masks are worn on public transport (I’m personally not in favour of this but realise the need for pragmatism here) and encourage them to be dropped elsewhere, especially for children. There is zero benefit - only harm - in having kids masked up.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

If you disagree you're a anti-vaxxer racist climate-denying conspiracy theorist

Take the ‘racist’ out of that. Red herring.

Haven’t you noticed the pattern? Stolen elections. Scamdemics. Climate change is a hoax.

It’s almost as if many of these ‘free thinkers’ are reciting from a hymn sheet which is political in nature.

As ‘free thinkers’ I’d expect unpredictable opinions but they are astonishingly uniform in their ideas.

Must be the media they consume.

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

There should be an investigation as to why the Covid-attributed deaths in 2022 are like 10 times higher than they were in 2020.

The reason (Omicron) is terribly obvious for anybody that can accept reality without pretending not to know the situation, comparing the number of cases gives much more than 10 times the numbers of 2020, making the case fatality ration much lower now. Something that clearly ontradicts your claim and that is given to you every time you make it.

I find it fascinating how simple peer pressure can cause otherwise intelligent adults to throw commonsense to the wind and keep wearing the damn things

Much more indicative of lack of common sense is to arbitrarily reject the scientific consensus of the efficacy of the correct use of a measure just because the person feels he is more likely to be correct thant the experts of the field.

I guess they just don't think about it very deeply, and just follow the crowd

The experts have the experience and data on their side, the "lack of thinking" argument is obviously invalid to disagree with them.

-10 ( +6 / -16 )

At Class 5, no legal controls exist to isolate infected individuals or close contacts, nor are there measures for hospitalizing primarily older or high-risk individuals. State of emergency declarations would no longer apply to the coronavirus, and the government would dissolve its countermeasures headquarters.

Well I certainly like the sound of this.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

. They can help prevent the spread of colds and viruses much better than not wearing them at all. But it seems no matter what precautions we take, Covid manages to find a way to spread regardlesss.

Not at all. If you can breath through that mask then the virus will also find a way in (or out if you carry it).

The virsus is airborne. It is NOT spread through droplets. These paper masks will do NOTHING to stop the spread. Hence in Japan, like elsewhere, Covid is everywhere.

You are welcome to wear a mask out of conformity, social pressure, or whatever. But don't complain when in a few years you suffer from weak a cardiovascular system and cavities and other issues (chemicals in the masks, etc) from having to constantly breath though these things.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Such hyperbole over wearing a paper filter over your face .

1 ( +6 / -5 )

These paper masks will do NOTHING to stop the spread. Hence in Japan, like elsewhere, Covid is everywhere.

Which scientific or medical institution support this claim of yours? masks have demonstrated both experimentally and epidemiologically to reduce the spreading of the infection, obviously better masks work with more efficacy, but even 3ply mask that are commonly used in Japan have this evidence supporting their use.

But don't complain when in a few years you suffer from weak a cardiovascular system and cavities and other issues (chemicals in the masks, etc) from having to constantly breath though these things.

Any evidence these supposed risks are an unavoidable consequence of using masks? because this makes as much sense as saying washing your hands will make people have more allergies, autoimmune diseases, eczema or increased skin infections, etc. from "chemicals" in the soap or tap water.

Wearing a paper mask is similar to wearing dirty underwear, except dirty face masks are proudly shown off. Both contain bacteria.

"Clean" underwear also contains bacteria, and both can easily be used hygienically whithout any problem.

-10 ( +7 / -17 )

I think its time for some people to make some changes in their approach. Japan in general will wear continue to wear masks and the message will continue to be wishy washy. Hard to teach an old dog new tricks.

At this point, one can always move to China. The policy there seems very loose now, and ready to forget about covid. In China, the food is different, but also similar. If you know your kanji, you only need to study about 18,000 more to be literate. Wages are increasing for sure. And Tesla just started to discount their cars.

Japan does not care if you don't like their masks, hand sanitizer, plastic partitions, no shoes in the house rules, etc. Complaining about it on a news site, won't change much. moving to China on the other hand would be great.

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

Not at all. If you can breath through that mask then the virus will also find a way in (or out if you carry it).

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

So only way it can work is if you can't breathe through the mask?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Take the ‘racist’ out of that. Red herring.

COVID disproportionately affects people of color, didnt you know this?

Like it knows what color you are when it comes to get you.

Which is odd in countries where 99% of people are "of color" and dont mask and dont vaccinate either but they are mostly fine.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

a Japanese friend asked me just yesterday "is Japan just going to wear masks even outside forever?"

I patted her on the head and said yes of course, you are Japanese. you know this!

such sadness I saw in her eyes (cant see her face) that I immediately felt bad for being truthful and took her to Burger King.

-8 ( +6 / -14 )

yep I also got all the personal benefits of the vaccine (basically none to me) and avoided all the personal risks (several to me) by not taking it.

Meanwhile vaccinated people can still get and even transmit COVID to others. even after 4 sets of vaccinations.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

My decision has been 100% effective against hospitalisation, 100% effective against death and 100% safe against side effects.

I cost the health care system nothing and made 5 vaccinations available for those that wanted them.

And if, God forbid, you get seriously ill and require lengthy hospitalization and invasive procedures to save your life such as echmo, then in that case you WILL NOT be using public insurance to pay the bill right?

I mean it was your choice to disregard public health advice so you will be paying the bill 100% out of your own pocket, RIGHT? (Not holding my breath on that one.)

Free-riders in action.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

The vaccines are safe and effective. They work IF YOU TAKE THEM.

For me, not taking the vaccines has been safe and effective.

Same here. No jabs, no covid, not even a case of the sniffles since early 2020 (probably caught the original variant and my immune system has done its job since). I actually thought for certain I'd get covid from my recent trip to Thailand. Not many wearing masks on planes or in public. But no, still covid free going on 3 years and no jabs.

Congratulations, you are what Economists call a "free rider."

Free rider? No, I think my natural immunity has been more effective than a leaky vaccine that would probably cause havoc on my natural immunity.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Masks are unpleasant but work to keep others safer. 

Maybe during the original Wuhan strain but not anymore. Japan has had the most severe waves of any developed country in the past 6-8 months even though they’re the most masked up. At this moment they’re worse than useless.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

No, I think my natural immunity has been more effective than a leaky vaccine that would probably cause havoc on my natural immunity.

Leaky vaccines protect the vaccinated but because it's leaky may put the unvaccinated at greater risk

Be careful.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

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