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Tokyo gov't urges people to refrain from cherry blossom parties in parks

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By Kazuhiro NOGI

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which has at least infected 284 people in Japan.

The count hasn't changed in weeks.

Either:

A: The virus is not spreading at all or extremely slowly

B: There's a huge "conspiracy" and the government is hiding a massive infection.

Since the number of deaths is still in the single digits and the WHO claims that the fatality rate is about 1% to 2% then we can assume that actually A is true.

The virus is not spreading, it's been floating around Japan for over a month (in winter) and people aren't catching it.

-10 ( +19 / -29 )

They said walking to enjoy sakura, or cherry blossom, is fine, but advised people to wear masks if they are coughing.

Masks don't do jack in stopping the spread of this virus. Stop telling people to wear them so that people who actually need them (people who suffer from chronic hay fever) can actually buy them.

22 ( +33 / -11 )

Open spaces with constant air flows are rather safe. Indoor activities for aged population should be first restricted.

Full blossoms usually come around the Tokyo areas in later March. By the time I assume the infection numbers will have levelled off or declined.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

What about Abe, will he have his annual viewing-party?

16 ( +18 / -2 )

An announcement to cancel that was made last year.

This virus slows over-consumption, with benefits to our natural environment, such as cleaner air and, in the case of fewer hanami gatherings, less enduring plastic garbage, which symbolizes or reflects Japan's active rejection of fragility and impermanance, or perhaps its embrace of Shumpeter's idea of creative destruction rather than wabi-sabi.

6 ( +18 / -12 )

I’ll be out in the sun enjoying myself!

26 ( +26 / -0 )

Japan's cherry blossom season is feverishly anticipated by locals and visitors alike

Nice use of the adverb.

28 ( +30 / -2 )

Methinks this advice will go unheeded by any.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

Maybe the Government should order the cherry trees not to blossom until September after the Olympics are over.

22 ( +24 / -2 )

Sitting under the cherry trees in groups, drinking and eating and talking in loud voices is not a pretty sight. It’s time for us to quietly appreciate the beauty of cherry blossoms.

-6 ( +9 / -15 )

I imagine that in Osaka large groups of people will get together for BBQs regardless!

I don’t think its either we are safeor a huge conspiracy like Burning Bush says.

Theres also the fact that few people are being tested. Being tested is the only way to have a positive corona virus infection announced. Otherwise its an invisible and unknown thing.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

@ burning bush I just read the R0 is at 3.4.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/coronavirus-deaths-china-cases-slow-live-updates-200303003539680.html

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Good luck with that. Posters who believe the virus will be waning in a couple of weeks are very naive or disingenuous. This virus will be around for months, even longer.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

I wonder if the Osaka Mint Bureau will open its garden for cherry blossom viewing this year. It always attracts crowds but at least there aren't so many noisy drunks rolling around.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

which has at least infected 284 people in Japan.

Small consolation isn't it? However, It's probably many many many more.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@BurningBush

What are you talking about mate?

The WHO are saying a 3.4% death rate.

Confirmed cases in Japan have jumped a lot bro.

Test them, and thou shalt find.

Don't post information without checking the latest info first, eh?

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Japan's testing capacity for the virus is 3,800 per day. Between Feb 18-23 there were only 5,700 tests done.

17 ( +19 / -2 )

Tokyo gov't urges people to refrain from cherry blossom parties in parks

And yet the olympics are still going to be held...

18 ( +20 / -2 )

@zichi

That was true until the day before yesterday.

Testing jumped to over 6000. Cases jumped to 40.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And yet the olympics are still going to be held..

because money is more important than life.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

@Aly Rustom

Sakura viewing parties are held outside, anyway.

Best sort out the trains, crowded stations, malls, karaoke boxes, restaurants, live houses, and other places in which people are in close contact first, I reckon.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The WHO are saying a 3.4% death rate.

Ok, let's try some math.

Confirmed deaths due to Corona Virus in Japan: 6

6 divided by 0.034 = 176.5 extrapolated infections.

Japan's population is 127 million, therefore infection rate is extrapolated to 1 per 721,590. Or 1 person per major city.

I simply took your data and applied elementary level math.

The virus has been "spreading" in Japan for over a month, how come there's no empirical evidence of a mass infection yet?

If for example 10,000 people were infected we'd see 34 deaths by now.

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

No! The liver is evil and must be punished!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@grunge

ilashai :0)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Good luck preventing people from those prime spots in Ueno Park unless they rope off the entire area (which is probable).

7 ( +8 / -1 )

@grunge

I have the t-shirt! Seriously.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Burning Bush......your math also requires that you include data on who was infected (age and presence of pre-existing conditions). A bunch of younger females with intact immune systems will skew the survivability data upwards rather than if an old age home was used in the data.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

So when marshal law kicks in......

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Although suitable places are abundant and almost everywhere around Tokyo for blossom sightseeing or hanami parties, gatherings may take form concentrating into only several popular spots. My practical advice for Tokyo officials is to try to dissipate big crowds by promoting relatively unknown places, which would be much better than a full ban on party-going. Implementation of such prohibition may also be costly.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@Burning

Emmm no.

The WHO are saying 3.4 and you said they are saying 1-2. 

Anyway that number is out of those who are confirmed as infected. You need to look at closed cases for a start, bro. 

You talking about the entire population of Japan (around 125,000,000) makes zero sense. 

Apples and oranges, mate.

7 ( +10 / -3 )

I have a hope that Tokyo govt will set up monitoring sites and measure visitors' temperatures using hitech.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

because money is more important than life.

true.

Sakura viewing parties are held outside, anyway.

> Best sort out the trains, crowded stations, malls, karaoke boxes, restaurants, live houses, and other places in which people are in close contact first, I reckon.

I agree.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

The virus is not spreading, it's been floating around Japan for over a month (in winter) and people aren't catching it.

How dare you use stats to ward off negativity? Someone on here a few days ago said I was going to regret taking my children to a park out in the countryside this past weekend. I was supposed to deadbolt my house and force them to play board games lol

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

 force them to play board games lol

Dadude is it? You only have to look at China's overreaction to see that it's not something to 'lol' about.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

DaDude,

The reason for the warnings and the endless spew of fear, gloom, and doom from governments is to actually reduce the spread of the virus by decreasing the amount of contact people have with others. Fewer people on the trains and the cancelling of public events slows the spread of the virus. Sure, it looks like a sitzkrieg now, but by cancelling events and promoting telework and general jishuku, they are keeping the number of people exposed to Covid-19 down. Sure, China did it in a more heavy-handed way, but this is according to the playbook regarding how to slow the spread.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

which has at least infected 284 people in Japan.

The count hasn't changed in weeks.

BS! Those are not up to date data, the number of infections is now at 329 out of only 6519 people tested. And by the way JapanToday should maybe start to provide correct information.

Confirmed deaths due to Corona Virus in Japan: 6

6 divided by 0.034 = 176.5 extrapolated infections.

What does extrapolated infections mean? The number of infections is again right now at 329 (not counting the passengers of the cruise), which is probably under estimating the reality since Japan has only tested so far 6519 people (not counting the passengers of the cruise).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@BurningBush

Better put away the calculator... you're confusing yourself and others. The total population of Japan is irrelevant to the calculations you are trying to make. The fatality rate is not a measure of how many people in a population die, it's a measure of many of the infected population die.

As for why the infection numbers are so low, as many have stated, it's lack of testing. If you don't look, you don't find. That could also be an explanation for the low number of deaths attributed to covid. Unless they are testing everyone who dies of pneumonia or sepsis, there could be unreported deaths. Also, let's not forget the time lag from infection to death can be several weeks.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Why is this item in yesterday's JT being lost in the COVID-19 conversations?

https://japantoday.com/category/national/Japan-eyes-emergency-coronavirus-legislation-as-infections-rise  

Proposing that sort of legislation in a "democracy" is more frightening than any flu and the panic buying we're seeing globally so far. That's quite the step up from the nanny state telling you when to Cool Biz and take off a blazer or when to put on a sweater.

Time to get woke, sheeple.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

it's a measure of many of the infected population die.

Agreed.

6 confirmed deaths in Japan.

WHO states a fatality rate of 3.4%

Extrapolation of those two figures equates to about 176.47 people having been infected.

Either the number of deaths is understated or the WHO figure is overstated

I'm sorry but my math is not wrong. It's perfect, precise and infallible. Math has a tendency to be like that.

Or let's assume the current figure of 1023 infected cases is accurate.

Then 1023 * 0.034 = 34.782.

We haven't seen 34 deaths in Japan yet have we? Why not? Either the number of cases is overstated or the fatality rate is overstated.

My math is correct, or show me the correct way of calculating it.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

but advised people to wear masks if they are coughing.

How about staying home if you are coughing, sick?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

zichiToday 08:54 am JST

So when marshal law kicks in......

That's why Japan has so many police, despite the minimal crime rate. Shinzo's after changing the law to permit it. Sneaky authoritarians love a crisis as it allows them to slide in unacceptable laws while no-one is looking.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Are all events cancelled or just urged attend at your own risk? Are the Olympics still on, conflicting information being reported all over the place and makes news confusing.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@what parameters are based in your calculations, i.e. healthy aged group, males vs females, kids vs adults, those who have had or have prior or current medical conditions etc? Please elaborate.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Or let's assume the current figure of 1023 infected cases is accurate.

Then 1023 * 0.034 = 34.782.

It's amazing that someone speaks about math but seen to completely misunderstand what it is about. I don't think that the 3.4% mortality rate is correct since one must look at it not globally but by regions. As of February 20, the mortality rate in China was 3.8% nationwide, 5.8% in Wuhan, 0.7% other areas. So for the same country three radically different mortality rate.

Similarly for most countries right now the mortality rate is low, besides Italy (3.5%) or Iran (3.1%) which have also high ones. South Korea has a low one (0.6%) but 5766 infected!, France 1.4%, etc... So your theory of the number of infected people in Japan being overestimated is non sense.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

My math is correct, or show me the correct way of calculating it.

Your math may be correct, but the logic is wrong.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Burning Bush...the current numbers you cite are not indicative of the actual population of potential patients. Old people (and others who are more susceptible) will be under represented in the data at the initial stages of the infection, as they are not out among the general population as much as the people who are younger (ie., generally healthier). If the virus does spread deeper into the population, you'd expect to see more and more susceptible people coming down with the disease and unfortunately dying.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@what parameters are based in your calculations, i.e. healthy aged group, males vs females, kids vs adults, those who have had or have prior or current medical conditions etc? Please elaborate.

I presume the WHO 3.4% fatality rate means that 3.4% of humans who contract corona virus will die.

Can someone who finds fault in my calculations at least post some math of their own.

daito hak,

I agree, the WHO figure may not apply to Japan, statistically it certainly doesn't. As Japan seems to have a fatality rate inline with South Korea (1023 infected and 6 deaths (0.6%).

Some people are claiming that the actual number of infected in Japan is way higher, like 10,000.

If 10,000 people were infected, we'd see 60 fatalities by now (10,000 * 0.006).

The low number of fatalities in Japan implies that the actual number of infected is about 1,000. Or 1 in 127,000, which is very very small.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

you'd expect to see more and more susceptible people coming down with the disease and unfortunately dying.

Interesting supposition.

Key words are "you'd expect"

The current data doesn't support your hypothesis, once it does, I may start to "panic".

But so far, you're just theorizing.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

@BurningBush

I'll give you some different maths to think about. The R0 of 2-3.5 indicates this is highly infectious and spreads easily. Experts predict that if not controlled COVID will infect between 40-70% of the global population over the next 12 months. The average Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is currently estimated to be around 2% (higher in the sick and elderly, lower in the young and health, but on average, 2%). To keep the numbers easier to calculate, let's just think of Japan. 127mil x 0.4 x 0.02 = 1 million deaths. 127mil x 0.7 x 0.2 = 17.8 million deaths.

Now, the CFR may end up being much lower. The current 2% average most likely doesn't account for many people that have been infected but never diagnosed with covid.

On the other hand, CFR can go up drastically if everyone gets sick at the same time. Because then the hospitals get overwhelmed, and patients are not able to get appropriate treatment. That's why slowing this thing is so critically important. If we slow it, then it will likely end up being no worse than the seasonal flu (which is still a lot of deaths). If we put our head in the sand and pretend it's nothing to worry about, it could be far worse than the seasonal flue, by many multiples.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Some people are claiming that the actual number of infected in Japan is way higher, like 10,000.

If 10,000 people were infected, we'd see 60 fatalities by now (10,000 * 0.006).

No! Your calculation makes no sense since the mortality rate needs to be calculated from observations (infected and death among infected people). Using the given mortality rate computed from given observations to compute what would be the fatalities with an imaginary number of infections makes zero sense since you can have a sharp increase of infections without an increase of fatalities. This is even more true because a lot of people are infected but have no symptoms.

The low number of fatalities in Japan implies that the actual number of infected is about 1,000

No! You don't understand epidemiology, again you can have a large number of infections with a low number of fatalities. I don't understand why you would question that.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Sorry, typo and wrong calculation in second calculation, should be 127 x 0.7 x 0.02 = 1.78 mil

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The count hasn't changed in weeks.

Of course it hasn't. Do you really think the way the Japanese Government handles a crisis situation there is 100 percent transparency? There are probably so many people infected that the government just doesn't want to "worry" anyone.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

@Warispeace  07:27 am JST, exactly that. If I could, I’d + that comment a 1000 times.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Burning bush...you are not using a real population to make your calculations, so they are premised on junk from the get go.....don't try to think you are smarter than the epidemiologists and demographers.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

I should imagine that if you consume enough shochu at one of these parties, you'd create in your own body a hostile environment for the Coronavirus to set up shop.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Thats all cool and all, but who's gonna stop me in my backyard from viewing my cherry blossoms and having a picnic with my friends and family?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The fatality rate of this will depend on the age demographic and the state of the health system/response in each country. It will not be equal across the world. It would also be hyper selfish for a rich country with an advanced health system to not bother with countermeasures just because no-one is likely to die there, only in poor countries.

When the Health Minister said people vaguely muttered something about avoiding gatherings two? three? weeks ago, I mentioned hanami as a specific example of what it could mean. I didn't expect school closures and lots of cancelled events in the meantime. The economic and lifestyle hit from this is clearly going to be huge.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Will be a great blow to Himeji with it's famous castle and relies on the visitors for the local economy and the highest numbers are during the cherry blossom season.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@noriahojanen that was a very good point about the airflow for the cherry blossom parties. And I would even argue that you can go to those big parties, just don’t have any food and drink that would be shared with others. Simple as that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thats all cool and all, but who's gonna stop me in my backyard from viewing my cherry blossoms and having a picnic with my friends and family?

You have a backyard?? WITH a cherry blossom tree in it?? Oh I hate you....

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Now, they confirming the two strains I talked above (and got down votes for).

L 70%

This is the highly infectious and more deadly mutation that seems to to be more prevalent in Wuhan, Northern, Italy, Iran, Degu.

S 30%

The original virus. Less agressive and not as deadly.

Hopefully we only have variant S in Japan

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@burning bush and his math: Can someone who finds fault in my calculations at least post some math of their own.

Without parameters and criteria I..e target, you can post all kinds of numbers. What specifically are you after. The figures provided by the WHO are incorrect and hence just wide margin estimates based on targeted population of all ages. To get a grasp the COVID is affecting and resulting in deaths of a population aged over 50 the most percentage wise. However anamolies still exist because they are not taken into consideration the targeted current health situation i.e. immune system, current medical check was healthy with those not having respiratory pre-existing conditions etc...all that needs to be based in consideration else the data is incorrect and faulty at best hence estimates not narrowed down to 100%percent correct.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Thanks government, great advice.

I will remember that when I'm walking with my son in the park with fresh air, enjoying life............As opposed to staying cramped indoors, scared of a virus for the indefinite future.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

good luck with that ......

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yet the J-govt ain't gonna increase the number of tests they do daily. Makes u wonder why

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The figures provided by the WHO are incorrect

I think they are.

Because a mortality rate of 3.4% implies that 3.4% of all humans who contract the virus, (regardless of whether they show symptoms or are confirmed to have the infection) will die. That clearly doesn't seem to be happening in Japan as we only (only is a relative term here) have 6 confirmed deaths, and a total of 12 if you include the Cruise ship.

Either the mortality rate is far lower than the WHO claims (as posted by rgcivilian) or the number of infections actually is pretty low.

You can't have it both ways, meaning claiming a high fatality rate and a high infection rate, because one month into it, in Japan, and we simply haven't seen the fatalities to back up that claim.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

"maybe true or maybe not".....I am confused..I don't know who and what to believe anymore...schools quarantined for 2 weeks but what will be changed in two weeks? As I see stories and panic is growing more day by day. I am just tired of believing that this is happening in real life. Kids cant go out (they are literally scared) and now this cherry blossom story has begun. I truly hope and pray that this virus will go away as fast as it has came to us. 

*
-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Masks don't do jack in stopping the spread of this virus. Stop telling people to wear them so that people who actually need them (people who suffer from chronic hay fever) can actually buy them.

for healthy people, this is true. a mask won't prevent you from catching covid-19. but for sick people, this will definitely prevent them from spreading the virus more. so that's actually what the gov't is requesting.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Because a mortality rate of 3.4% implies that 3.4% of all humans who contract the virus, (regardless of whether they show symptoms or are confirmed to have the infection) will die.

What the hell are you talking about? Do you even realize that the sentence above makes zero sense? All people contracting the virus that end up dying means a mortality rate of 100%, not 3.5%.

Either the mortality rate is far lower than the WHO claims (as posted by rgcivilian) or the number of infections actually is pretty low.

No! They are not necessarily associative (we would be in trouble otherwise), you can have a high infection rate with low mortality rate. And you keep speaking about WHO although WHO does not claim that the mortality rate is the same everywhere.

You can't have it both ways, meaning claiming a high fatality rate and a high infection rate, because one month into it, in Japan, and we simply haven't seen the fatalities to back up that claim.

Again what does that even mean? Infection does not mean death so a high infection rate is absolutely possible even with a low mortality rate. And by the way we don't know about Japan yet since for example if the country starts to get more elderly people infected, you would probably observe an increase in the mortality rate since it's given that the mortality rate is higher within the aged population.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The count hasn't changed in weeks.

Please, rely on data (cruise people excluded) : https://covid19japan.com/

There is a graph under the map : as the 1st of February there was 12 cases by the 1rst of March there was 257 cases. As of yesterday there is 329 cases. That is around 27 times more cases. So for the hasn't changed in week ...

let's assume the current figure of 1023 infected cases is accurate.Then 1023 * 0.034 = 34.782.

We haven't seen 34 deaths in Japan yet have we? Why not? Either the number of cases is overstated or the fatality rate is overstated.

So early in the game, it is not easy to have definitive rate since there is other factor (as health system) to take in account. But, nothing in your math prove the current estimate are not reliable. You are not taking in account prognosis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Covid-19#Prognosis

The current estimate are : 5% with critical disease ; 3,4% are fatal (switched for the Aljazeerah one). = thus 8,4%

Out of 329 cases, Japan have 6 deaths and 24 critical.

So, as of now : 9,11% for Japan.

For the cruise, data about the cases which left Japan is needed.

[...] = calculation linked with backtracking

Your calculation should include time frame for infection and prognosis : "the median time from initial symptoms to death was 14 days (range 6–41 days)."

The people contracting the illness are not to drop dead as soon as they got it or never. And people are not suppose to all catch the virus as soon as a case is detected or never.

For example, taking in account prognosis :

If someone claimed that as of January 24th, that there was 10.000 infected in Japan, and as of today (41 days after, considering the number are accurate), the number of deaths was not of 340 (with an error margin) - you can claim ones faulty assumption.

For the spread of the virus, that will be the same. The same way that you have to take population specific in account to evaluate death rate, you will have to take in account stuff as natural or (self-forced) behavior pattern of every case (as quarantine, isolation, hikkikomori, ...).

I may start to "panic".

Why using koma ? Why not just not using the word panic, which have nothing to do there to begin with. Are you part of the team "lets dismiss every people that do not agree with me as in panic mode" ? I hope not (thought if you are, reliable data about your so called panic will be welcome).

NB : since information could have been messy for some, thanks to the nonexistant editing option :

https://www.livescience.com/new-coronavirus-compare-with-flu.html

R0 is not death rate but "an estimate of the average number of people who catch the virus from a single infected person"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Let's look at this another way, because the numbers are clearly confusing people. Instead of looking at numbers, let's look at the actions that are being taken by governments (and private corporations) around the world. Ask yourself why they are taking such drastic actions such as putting entire cities into lockdown, closing schools, mandating telework. All of these things come with significant economic ramifications. Why would they do that voluntarily? Because they understand that the costs of not doing it will be far higher.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

this will definitely prevent them from spreading the virus more. so that's actually what the gov't is requesting.

If they are, that's even more stupid. If people are infected with the virus, they should be advised to stay home not to wear mask outside.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@BurningBush

I'm starting to think you are trolling us.

If you aren't and you really believe everything you are saying, at what point would you consider covid to be something to take seriously? Your only yardstick appears to be confirmed deaths in Japan. How many deaths do you need to see before you take it seriously? Do you want to wait until Japan stats are closer to Iran's? Or do you want to wait until it's closer to China? Or is that not even enough for you?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan's viewpoint resolution of the illness is only as good as the number of tests done. 331 infected 43 recovered and 6 deaths so far. +38 new cases in a day. Given next to zero testing however the real figure could be ten times these.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No need to tell me twice. Ahhh, the good old days of zero kafuncho. Just reading about hanami gives me flashbacks of last year's season.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

People have to ask themselves what they are living for. Are they living to avoid death? I can guarantee that won't work, except to make life miserable and death, by comparison, more welcome.

Drunken hanami parties are not my thing, but people really do ned to enjoy life more and worry about death less. We all die - but not enough of us live.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

They said walking to enjoy sakura, or cherry blossom, is fine, but advised people to wear masks if they are coughing.

Masks don't do jack in stopping the spread of this virus. Stop telling people to wear them so that people who actually need them (people who suffer from chronic hay fever) can actually buy them.

But that advice is right, it's an appropriate situation to wear a mask

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is a massive conspiracy to hide the real numbers in Japan so that the Olympics can go on. Now Tokyo gov is asking people to refrain from cherry blossom viewing parties but not the Olympics torch relay. They are not even testing people for new cases of this corona virus. If you go to a hospital for test, you are turned away and asked to go get a doctors written request which most doctors have been advised not to give. There are a lot of cases lurking in the dark and not caught yet. I thought public health and safety are more important than some financial investment made for the Tokyo2020.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Rather than trying to project numbers, it would be a good idea to look at the factors likely to affect the severity of the epidemic in Japan.

So in its favour, Japan is an advanced economy with good infrastructure, an effective health system and a large, well resourced professional army. It also has a traditionally docile, law-abiding population. All of these things put Japan in a much stronger position to handle a disease outbreak than many countries.

On the other hand, considering that over a quarter of Japans population is over 65, and a lot of the over 80s are in care homes, they are going to be very vulnerable. As was seen on the Diamond Princess, a concentrated elderly population with underlying health issues, such as in care homes and hospitals, will be even more impacted by care/health staff being off sick at the peak of an epidemic.

The other discouraging sign is the government response. It said Japan didnt have the facilities to quarantine the Diamond Princess passengers on land. If they cant cope with a couple of thousand, how will they cope with millions if needed at the peak of an epidemic? Add to this the fact that there seems to be a reluctance to test and get a clear picture of the real numbers of infections. There also seems to be a lack of transparency about preparations, and thinking through how peoples lives may be impacted (just like back in 2011 with the triple meltdowns). To me that looks like trying to talk down the epidemic. Japan also has low food self sufficiency, and relies on imported energy. All these things make the country more vulnerable.

I would have more faith in a government that is talking about a worst case scenario of millions infected during the peak period of the epidemic, as Australia, population 25.5m-ish, is doing. Talking about it suggests that a government is thinking realistically about the implications of that, and is trying to prepare to keep that society going through the worst of an epidemic. It also takes into account that a country whose health system gets overwhelmed by numbers of people infected at one time is going to see the mortality rate sky rocket. Which is why we should all be doing everything we can to try and stay healthy.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Another pressure on the health system is the large numbers of patients with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer, all of whom are going to be at very high risk of pneumonia from coronavirus.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@as_the_crow_flies

Well said. Glad to see there are others on here who get it.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Your only yardstick appears to be confirmed deaths in Japan.

If you have a more reliable empirical yardstick, I'm all ears.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Tokyo gov. can do all the urging they want but as I go around town today (my day off) I noticed shopping malls, parks, fast food and family restaurants filled with kids. It’s like spring break out there. And I’m sure parks will be fill with Cherry Blossom partiers.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20200304/k10012313341000.html

A part time worker at McDonalds in Kyoto has tested positive according to NHK. She got it at a nightclub in Osaka.

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Do you have, or don't you.. is that cough you've got the usual thing you get this time of year or not, a slight temperature is symptomatic of the virus or not... what to do ? A Hypochondriac's nightmare is upon us which will stretch the medical system to breaking point - as everyone now wants to know how many are infected, are they infected, etc what to do ? etc, etc, Panic !

Japan, unlike other Nations has a reasonable good empathy upon Good Manners towards fellow Citizens. Nowadays most people wear face masks (I wish they could tell me where they bought them from.... but I suspect it's because, in Japan, most already had them - as it's the norm to wear a face mask when you have a cold - unlike in other Countries!).

So these days, since I can't find a mask to buy, I'm sort of feeling a bit awkward/out-of-place when I'm out and about - so I keep my distance - I don't intentionally cough without the usual covering hand over mouth - (remember we sometimes if saliva we swallow sometimes gets stuck in the wrong place) - all of this is common daily practice for sensible/polite people anyway, and I likewise I wash my hands after being in contact with "public" things - but that's normal activities anyway ... right ? Even in non-virus times, I don't know who's had their finger up their nose before grabbing a hand rail on the train, etc.

Keeping ones level of fitness up, supposedly gives you a fighting chance against this latest virus, though as Marathon runners and younger folks have died of late - it's not a guarantee... but is it safe to go to a local gym ? I have never thought of such a question until recently .... especially after news about people sharing the virus in a gym.

Again, are we heading into the Hypochondriac's area, or are we seriously facing a situation that necessitates action similar to the total isolation imposed by the Chinese Government in their own areas of infection - and in which case, the panic buying of goods would now be justified (without an official backing - but then, which Government in their right mind would say go out and buy what you need now as you wont be allowed out later....).

Scary times are ahead of us.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

not even 12 hours later, now 361, another +30

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Aly RustomMar. 5  12:53 pm JST

Thats all cool and all, but who's gonna stop me in my backyard from viewing my cherry blossoms and having a picnic with my friends and family?

You have a backyard?? WITH a cherry blossom tree in it?? Oh I hate you....

Yes. Its a big old tree too. But I hate the clean up. Its a very nice area in the countryside. Far from all this virus rubbish. Many people carry on with their normal life and shun the mass hysteria.

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I’m out tomorrow eating and drinking according to the government that is the wrong behavior.

I’m tired of being ‘governed’...

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No virus can live in the quantities of alcohol consumed at cherry blossom parties. Maybe the Health Ministry could kick in on a few cases of beer?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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