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Panic buying continues in Tokyo as residents asked to stay home for weekend

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By Ju-min Park

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I do want to know what you think of the potential cost to human rights in enacting martial law. And how many do you think will die from the ensuing economic crash and loss of freedoms?

I don't know and I don't know. But I've got two elderly parents and elderly inlaws. and I'm ok with economic maladies if it keeps them alive. Sorry, but I'll take the devil I know over the devil I don't. Quarantine is ok with me.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hey @Patrica Yarrow - yes! there's plenty of home workout video's around, including Arnie's (total respect to that man - he's done very well for himself!) - though everyone has differences... :-)

I go to a gym, to "work-out"... in the traditional sense, not to simply idly walk on a running machine whilst watching YouTube Videos, etc... as sadly I see so many doing.

As I mainly need to use the "heavy" weights (with many reps),  home workouts are sadly a ticking over thing for me. I may eventually have to make a huge sacrifice and make some space available at home to bring in some home-gym stuff but that'd mean I'd no longer need to go to a Gym and therefore loose out of the "Social" aspect of Gym life... I really love the new Gym tight fitting stuff Women wear - its hard to know whether they're being Seductive or simply Exhibitionist - though they really mess up my heart rate monitoring during workouts... So I have to really focus upon exercise routine and ignore them - so my apologies to those who think I'm ignoring them - I am trying to do so purposely! (Talk to me when I'm finished and outside of the Gym please).

Anyway, I went to my local Gym again today - fewer people (observed 5 max over my medium 2 hour workout period) - some paid a lot more attention to carefully wiping down surfaces, though some of the younger ones didn't seem to care much. Atmosphere was more subdued though. 

If the Government goes ahead with a tougher shutdown, then I hope that the employees of Gyms such as the ones I go to, are supported.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@commanteer & @Strangerland - yes, Shops are selling out of things that have a long shelf life - get the stuff before someone else does - mentality.

No one really cares at present about whether they're good for you or not - the alternative (Covid-19) certainly doesn't appear to be.

Hopefully is just a short term matter (up to a year or less), if it becomes longer, then dietary issues will become the next big thing to worry about. But in the short term, we may all need to change our diet a bit.

Growing basic vegetables indoors may be a small help for some ... but is it sustainable ?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Strangerland I won't quibble with your claims or ask for references to back them up. But I do want to know what you think of the potential cost to human rights in enacting martial law. And how many do you think will die from the ensuing economic crash and loss of freedoms? I am talking about long term damage that will be here long after this virus has come and gone and been forgotten.

Meanwhile, I notice my local supermarket is selling out of instant ramen. It looks more likely that people will suffer from malnutrition and excess oils, sodium and additives than from lack of food.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stock up while the world still functions, people!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People need to look at the numbers in context. Compare the infection rate and death rate with many other viruses currently killing people without anyone much caring. Why was this one singled out for the most extreme measures in modern history?

Because unlike viruses like SARS and MERS, this one can be highly contagious in carriers without symptoms. There are no known cures nor vaccines, with a CFR twenty times the seasonal flu. Therefore it propagates further than other viruses, and more people are more likely to catch it.

Look at how many doctors taking care of infectious patients have died. That doesn't happen with the seasonal flu.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

People the world over are following, and respect the almost unanimous global decision to enact this form of "martial law". This is in order to save lives from a global pandemic. Your own opinion, in this matter, is absolutely that of the minority.

Wrong. It's far from unanimous, though it is clearly popular among some governments and other leaders with aspirations to enact yet more controls over their populace. Many infectious disease specialists have spoken against overreacting. You say Japan should emulate South Korea, yet they turned their situation around with no lockdown.

People need to look at the numbers in context. Compare the infection rate and death rate with many other viruses currently killing people without anyone much caring. Why was this one singled out for the most extreme measures in modern history?

Also, it's meaningless to look at possible lives saved from Covid-19 without considering the possible lives that will be lost due to the countermeasures. As someone who is familiar with both poverty and pneumonia, I can tell you that dying from pneumonia is much less horrible that dying from poverty. And deaths from poverty will exceed deaths from Covid-19 by many multiples.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Waddo

South Korea also instigated rapid, widespread and thorough testing procedures, and have used full "hazmat" style protection for medical workers caring for those infected in (quarantined/sealed-off areas of) hospitals.

Other countries have utilised more testing and/or social distancing.

Japan hasn't done either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@commanteer

Incorrect. People the world over are following, and respect the almost unanimous global decision to enact this form of "martial law". This is in order to save lives from a global pandemic.

Your own opinion, in this matter, is absolutely that of the minority.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On Friday, the 27th of March (2020), I walked past a park in an affluent area near Takanawanadai station. It is home to rich Japanese and ex-pats. There was a local park, FULL of kids, mothers (all sitting tight next to each other and chatting) and several elderly people (sitting together).

If it wasn't for the pandemic, it would look like suburban heaven. Unfortunately, it just made me feel like I've gone back in time or a third-world country.

So many selfish diots, risking themselves and others.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

*casual

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No significant panic here in Canada. There was the silly toilet paper phase first (that's over with now), along with hand sanitizer (and face masks, which are not really a thing here normally and therefore not much stock to begin with). Then the pasta and sauce was bought (not all, but about 80%). Then the flour and yeast. And now, acetaminophen is harder to find. Otherwise, causal shopping. Lots of meat, fruit, and veggies are available - everyone is relatively calm.

Much self-isolating and working from home (no problem with that). And fuel prices are down to about 60 cents per litre (about half of 'normal' price) - good time to go for some long drives in the country.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Gym Dude....search on Twitter for Arnold Schwarzenegger's recent tweets. He put together a nifty workout for those stuck at home, including links to videos. He is such a guy! The best. Hope this helps. My own gym is open. Studio classes resume next Tuesday, so far.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Was watching this on the news the other day and I was like, "Overshoot what? Overshooting the estimates? What are they talking about?" Alas, it was simply more katakana English injected into the Japanese language.

It is all rather a bad series of rationalizations but I believe the term started in Hokkaido with a lifting of parts of the emergency order (and what happened with that ??....). In other words, don't throw caution to the wind too soon. We closed down the schools, isn't that strict enough !, we can't give the impression of getting too lenient now or cases may just skyrocket more than 40 a day.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Kudos to governor Koike. She's the only one gutsy enough to tell it as it is. Wouldn't doubt if a third of Tokyo infected already and just don't know it, probably thinking it's just a regular cold/flu or even seasonal allergy. Only way the grim situation would be confirmed is by the number of deaths reported but who knows, even that number might be rigged. If Japan thinks somehow it's immune to Covid-19, you're making a big mistake. Good luck and take cue from other countries going through the same thing.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

These jokers have so much food and when they can't finish it later it will all become garbage. Morons!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

You're right Akie, and now I read there is a worldwide shortage of condoms. Better watch out for that spike, as you say.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No need for panic, just be careful when work from home, there might be a spike of pregnancy.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is turning into a bad comedy sketch. “Should I stay or should I go ...”

2 ( +2 / -0 )

even Arnie, isn't as he was back in the good ole days.

Yeah - in the old days he was alive. But I get your point. Time is the worst foe of them all.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hey Gym dude....

"I will have to resort to the old fashioned hardcore home/barracks/prison-cell workouts... maybe I could do a youtube on that one..."

...do THAT one.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As this recommendation is not enforced, I'm off to the Gym this weekend. Should hopefully be quieter - they have even confirmed that they will be open as usual, so as I am paying for the thing monthly... not using it, is like throwing money down the drain!

I may even have the opportunity to try some of the other gyms in my area and review them for what's on offer along with pictures, without people being around ... now that, should be an interesting opportunity.

I have also thought about buying Home Gym equipment, but space is an issue - and there's also (apparently) a long waiting(/weighting!) list for Home Gym equipment  Worst case, if really confined to home quarters, I will have to resort to the old fashioned hardcore home/barracks/prison-cell workouts... maybe I could do a youtube on that one... but, seeing an old timer workout... is I'd imagine a turnoff... even Arnie, isn't as he was back in the good ole days.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The panic buying is for far more than just a weekend's worth of food... if you haven't read the rumours then basically ... next week there's going to be an "announcement" regarding the plans for dealing with the Virus... so you put 2 & 2 together and decide whether the people buying are in the know, or we're just sitting around saying nah... nothing will happen... Good luck.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

guess the indigenous people had something going with no rent, no utility bills, forget the cell phones, electronic games, web surfing, ready to eat meals, oh and gas, water etc. Sounds awfully tempting and of course no need for money either, just trade and use up the resources one needed, but not sure what they actually did for toilet paper, but I can bet there was no rush toward a tent either.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why the food panic, ask the UN: The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization warned of global food shortages caused by measures to stem the spread of the novel coronavirus.

With these type of warnings, yet there globally abundant stock talk about out of touch. Folks there is no food shortage but the potential flow is what may be slowed down due to tariffs, free trade agreements in place, but no people at the job sites. However AI is on the ball just not sure if anyone's jobs will be replaced, but you can bet the bean counters are really going to be looking at any substantial savings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Your government has failed you, they were more concerned with the Olympic economy than general health, please reflect this in the next election!!! Onaigaishimasu!

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The government needs to take control of this. This idiotic ad hoc “Everybody just stay home this weekend” pronouncement is the worst. A weekend with fewer people out and about isn’t going to do anything. If we need to lock things down, the just be straight about it and lock them down! 

Please move to North Korea if you want this. Some of us still value human rights, and don't offer to give them all up because of a virus that has killed fewer people than the flu. Not to be dismissive, but these lock downs and the effect on the economy will kill many times more than Covid-19. People can't pay their rent, small businesses will go bankrupt never to return, millions will lose their jobs... think about it.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Everything was fine last week,

Then decision for the Olympics, suddenly cases a day for a city like Tokyo going from 15 a day to 45. for a city of 12 000 000, it is SUCH a high number , and people have to stay at home. What is that ?

Why don’t you listen anymore to the panel of experts. It is just politics. And all prefectures are doing the same.

So, I have to take risks and go to work but cannot enjoy my days off.

Sorry, I do not buy the story and will do my things as usual.

Just enjoy your weekend !

If nobody goes out, it will be enjoyable

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

And let me guess, the infection counter will stop this weekend again. Because we all know that this a very polite virus. It doesn't infect anyone on weekends out of courtesy.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have enough beer for two weeks. Thank you.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

South Korea did not lock down. Not sure why every country doesn't copy their methodology.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I bought a lot of things early this week and the next day after pathetic Koike gave her presentation. Had to got several different stores. I only bought items that were non perishable or could be frozen for up to 3 months or longer. And lots of bottles water! I also have a lot of Soylent powder stored up.

The stores last to be scavenged will be those less convenient. The stores that are along major routes leading their residents from their home station will almost always be hit first. Second will be the closes conbini that also may be on that same route. Places like Roppongi, Shibuya and Shinjuku with larger stores will not be sold out so quickly because the majority of the people are visiting or working in those areas. They don't want to carry a lot of groceries with an hour or longer commute home.

Ginza isn't really big and have a lot residential areas where a lot of old people live. They have the time and money to clear out the medium size stores around.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

"residents asked to stay home for weekend" Japan has not realised what the full consequences and implications are yet, a weekend, what a joke, the whole of Japan needs to close down for the next 4 weeks, Russia have closed down for x weeks, Mr V Putin will put people in jail for 5 years if they go out. the UK is virtually closed only vital food shops are allowed to be open, France you are allowed 1 hour a day to go and fetch food or exercise and you have to have a pass to be out side. Spain and Italy have a very high number of deaths, and they are on lock down your not allowed out side. Japans government needs to wake up very quickly, and start to act quickly, you don't know what about to hit you.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That Yuri idiot needs her head examined. She’s just tried to pass off the blame for her idiocy on her parents. Idiots like her are to blame for all this panic buying

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The panic buying seems very localized and of course that where the media likes to focus its attention. Almost like guerilla rain. However panic is very infectious just like the virus.

Ive just gone out to stretch my legs and of the 4 supermarkets and countless convenience stores in my area it looks like no major problems with supply.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Surely Japanese households already have 3 weeks emergency supplies already? There are things like earthquakes and typhoons right? Why panic buy?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@bass. Don’t agree with you always but your post is spot on.

The lack of leadership I’ve seen by the leadership in Japan is borderline criminal.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

We're all used to the 7panic buying' in Tokyo.

But the government isn't helping. by not conducting aggressive testing, cancelling school then opening them, just as a panel announces spread of covid may be 'rampant'. Asking everyone to stay home on the weekend.

So now we have a Government we can't trust, and expectation of a full lock-down next week.

Of course people are going to stock up.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just for the weekend? So the virus is on a two day victim search spree and then will leave after that. Omg people, wake up!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Zichi

BRITS have more than £1billion worth of food stockpiled in their homes after panic buying over the coronavirus, enough for three weeks.

That is actually quite logical. The UK gov said if anyone in a house has symptoms, then no-one should go out for 14 days. Home deliveries are now impossible to arrange - I know someone who got the first available slot - it's in August!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Hopefully this means people are taking it a little more seriously. The responses from some of the idiots they interviewed on tv yesterday were infuriating, "I thought i should probably stay at home, but i always go to X bar on a wednesday night. Im glad I did come out though. It helped me to relax being surrounded by other similarly minded ignoramuses".

4 ( +4 / -0 )

“no need to panic buying!"

-- says every panic buyer

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Hoarding? No, it's called prepping.

Wrong, prepping is before a crisis event on selected survival need items. Hoarding is panic buying during the crisis.

Panic is just freaking out and grabbing whatever the eyes sees even though one doesn't have a need for the item but buys it anyway.

The thing though is no real reason for folks to panic buy in Tokyo, there is plenty of food to go around etc. Now because it is allergy season in full bloom, masks is a different story as stores are empty/bare for the last 2 months with no end in forseeable future. The 8 or 9 packs are sold out at 1 each for the first 9 people in line and that is as locations lucky enough to get those in stock. Where are the promised masks made in Japan that was announced? Does it have specialized paper imported or the ties that go around the ears are imported but specialty made? Where are the masks.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Well,personally I will be going cycling along the Edogawa river in the rain tomorrow where I won't come within 2 meters of everyone especially how slow I go and the lack of people due to Koike and the inclement weather.

If anyone says anything.......I will simply say to them that my wife,who is a nurse,had to go to work this morning on a probably packed train......and she has a way more higher possibility of bringing Corona into my house.

Thank goodness my daughter is still at UCLA.....though Los Angeles is crowded at least it is spread out and the trains are sparse.......over here in the capital it is Corona Central.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If convenience stores and supermarkets will stay open, people should stay calm. The government should emphasize that point more strongly,

She says that but she is buying two weeks worth of food. I mean how bizarre is this.

And does she really need to allay concerns from her parents? She is 31 years old, for God sake, not a child.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

"While not many for a city of nearly 14 million, experts have warned of a high risk of an "overshoot" - or explosive rise - given that more than half of the newest cases could not be traced."

Was watching this on the news the other day and I was like, "Overshoot what? Overshooting the estimates? What are they talking about?" Alas, it was simply more katakana English injected into the Japanese language.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

People just lined up and bought some they thought they may need.

From an article in The Japantimes:

Long lines snaked around in the already cramped aisles of the store. There was even a scuffle when a man yelled at another shopper for apparently cutting in line.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2020/03/26/business/economy-business/shoppers-rush-tokyo-coronavirus/#.Xn2_Gi89ihA

I witnessed myself several people usually old dudes having arguments, with one pretending that he wanted to take a knife from his pocket. That’s the reality, not the Walt Disney world you think Japan is.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Please don't hoard . . . it's not fair to others.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I wanted to cook a dish with eggplants and tomato today, so I went to Gyomu supermarket near Togoshi Ginza station to buy some canned tomatos. It was hell. I think there were not many cans of ANY food left on the shelves. People lining up inside the supermarket like I have never seen before. Thank you, you panic buyers. The only thing that is getting more on my nerves than the virus itself is the stupidity of people. Good grief, there is NO need to buy food for the next 250 years, even during a lockdown we can all go to the supermarkets every day and buy any food we like. Or we could, if it wasn't for the stupid panic buyers.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Stay home all weekend then when Monday comes jump on crowed trains go back to work...i get it........

10 ( +11 / -1 )

The government says - Don't go out to do any nonessential or public gatherings this weekend - and Japanese people thinks everything is closed, no one will go out because apparently grocery shopping for food and daily necessities are "nonessential"...

I'm glad I predicted this was going to happen so I bought some food for just a few days since Wednesday's announcement.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Where has the Japanese kindness and patience gone?

Was there anything in the story about fights? People just lined up and bought some they thought they may need.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

And on monday everybody go back to their normal lives and the trains and subways will be packed during rush hour.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

I just got back from an Itoyokado on the corner of Yon-go-sen and and Kannana and they had plenty of stuff. I was able to just go right up to the register. We have more food in our refrigerator than normal but not upon seeing the situation in-person, I am more relieved.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Where has the Japanese kindness and patience gone?

This isn't the end of the world yet.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Be thankful Japan is a capitalist country. When the shelves are bare they are quickly restocked.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Don’t panic in a pandemic!!!

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Jim, this was the problem in the UK. No limit on large trolley shopping. People were queuing from 6 in the morning.

Then surprise, surprise the supermarkets have so much business they are the only industry creating new employment. These are the people feeding the panic buying and stockpiling.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Wait for yet another surge in cases from all those panic shoppers who lined up at opening time. You can bet there was no social distancing or any other precautions taken in the lines. Move over Italy and the US. Japan is coming to share the top with you. I also doubt people will stay home over the weekend. They’ll be making the most of the slightly uncrowded department stores and parks.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

BRITS have more than £1billion worth of food stockpiled in their homes after panic buying over the coronavirus, enough for three weeks.

Crazyhorse!

12 ( +14 / -2 )

The rule should be simple - supermarkets and combinis should only permit one small basket per sale. They are the greedy businesses creating this panic stockpiling.

Yep.

I’d just add some irresponsible people on social media aren’t helping either. I read one post here saying we should be stockpiling for two to three months.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Yuri Inoue, a 31-year-old graphic designer in Tokyo, said she was one of the "panic buyers", hoarding food for the next two weeks to allay concerns from her parents living outside Tokyo.

"If convenience stores and supermarkets will stay open, people should stay calm. The government should emphasize that point more strongly," she told Reuters.

The fact supermarkets and convenience stores will stay open has been emphasized , yet hoarders like Yuri here panic buy sh..tloads, get a grip and calm down. Supermarkets should impose limit of 1 or 2 of each item across the board, like they did overseas .

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Inoue Yuri is a typical example. says people should stay calm then buys food for 2 weeks?! Who needs 2 weeks of food??

The rule should be simple - supermarkets and combinis should only permit one small basket per sale. They are the greedy businesses creating this panic stockpiling.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

The government needs to take control of this. This idiotic ad hoc “Everybody just stay home this weekend” pronouncement is the worst. A weekend with fewer people out and about isn’t going to do anything. If we need to lock things down, the just be straight about it and lock them down! This just feeds into the very strong impression everyone has right now that the government is not in control of this but for some reason still thinks they can get away with half pretending that it is.

20 ( +21 / -1 )

so, in order not to crowd the supermarkets on the weekend, we should crowd the supermarkets on Friday. Cause the virus becomes more active during weekends, of course

30 ( +32 / -2 )

A truck driver delivering toilet paper and tissues to drug stores said he'd been working 12 to 13-hour shifts every day for the past month - compared with five-day weeks of 9-10 hours before the hoarding began.

Hoarding? No, it's called prepping.

"It's been tough," he told Reuters, declining to give his name. "This job involves a lot of lifting, so I don't know how long my body can last at this pace.

Thank you, unsung heroes. They make sure we get our basic necessities. I think energy drink companies should sponsor these folks who work so hard.

-22 ( +12 / -34 )

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