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S Korea to drop most COVID restrictions, except mask mandate, as cases fall

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Korea’s gain of face = Japan’s continued loss of

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Well done Korea. Now just drop the silly masks and you are home free.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

SK's cases peaked and started for fall down after about a month, consistent with Omicron wave across the world.

Only Japan is different - stuck on a plateau for almost 5 months now.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

In 2022, masks do what exactly to prevent transmission of COVID?

thought we had already learned that they do next to nothing for this.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

In 2022, masks do what exactly to prevent transmission of COVID? Thought we had already learned that they do next to nothing for this.

So you admit that they do something, and also imply that prior to 2022 they did considerably more.

Baby steps.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Korea’s gain of face = Japan’s continued loss of

exactly.

SK's cases peaked and started for fall down after about a month, consistent with Omicron wave across the world.

Only Japan is different - stuck on a plateau for almost 5 months now.

and still going..

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Yes they make some others “feel” safe while providing no actual safety from transmission. Nothing has changed, still good for the feels.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Yes they make some others “feel” safe while providing no actual safety from transmission.

Aww, and you were doing so well. Within minutes masks have gone from doing 'next to nothing' to doing actually nothing.

You should inform the scientific community of the drastic change in mask utility at about 4.30 pm on a Friday, they need to know!

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Blacklabel:

Masks may not be a perfect barrier against Omicron infection, but they are a barrier. I could summon up a dozen links to authoritative health advice on that (I just checked), but you wouldn’t read or believe them. Masks work, and responsible adults will wear them without constantly complaining about it.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

If masks do nothing, then why did Japan have such low covid rates during a pandemic of a respiratory infection?

3 ( +9 / -6 )

The ridiculous hanging on to masks makes little sense.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

The indoors/outdoors mask use and vaccinated/unvaccinated differences make no logical sense re: spread, because vaccinated people catch and spread Covid, which is enough of itself. The vaccines only reduce serious health issues.

Vaccinating lowers the impact on health services, but this impact has reduced with weaker strains. Infection controls and staff shortages are much more of a problem.

There is little point in attempting to stop the spread of an endemic disease with universal mandates. Individual responses should be based on the health status of individuals.

Reducing Covid spread simply slows it down and spins it out. It has hopped every border block, so there is no point in them either.

And there is no point in tourist bans either. Most nations have none, others retain them, presumably for political reasons.

Governments are making an incoherent mess of this. When a nation repeatedly does things differently for political reasons, and tries to justify it for medical reasons, they just wipe out their own credibility and any trust citizens have in them.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

Forget Covid, for colds and flu it should be a must. Travelling on a long train journey, 2 people had bad chesty coughs which they couldn't stop (3 hours) I wished they'd worn a mask (I've been wearing mine in closed spaces - UK)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Blacklabel

Yes they make some others “feel” safe while providing no actual safety from transmission. Nothing has changed, still good for the feels.

I suggest you inform surgeons performing operations, that their masks are completely useless and that they can discard them because all they are doing is making them feel that they are keeping the patient safe.

Do you see how silly that sounds?

Masks work incredibly well for reducing transmission. But they don't work well if they are worn around your chin or don't cover your nose. (Luckily in Japan and most of Asia, they wear masks properly.)

So the mask mandates make a lot of sense.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

GBR48

The indoors/outdoors mask use and vaccinated/unvaccinated differences make no logical sense re: spread, because vaccinated people catch and spread Covid, which is enough of itself. The vaccines only reduce serious health issues.

Wrong. Vaccines reduce the transmission of Covid. Admittedly with new strains, less so. Masks are incredibly effective, but they have to be worn correctly and consistently.

Vaccinating lowers the impact on health services, but this impact has reduced with weaker strains.

Not true. In fact, Omicron has been deadly for unvaccinated, much more than Delta.

There is little point in attempting to stop the spread of an endemic disease with universal mandates.

Unfortunately, Covid is not yet endemic. Universal mask mandates for indoor settings is effective and sensible.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

South Korea will lift almost all social distancing measures, the government said Friday, citing a dramatic fall in reported cases of COVID-19 after an Omicron-fueled surge, but the mask mandate will remain.

South Korea should revert to a zero covid policy to really ensure its numbers get as low as possible. This strategy has been used successfully by Australia, New Zealand, and China.

As soon as Australia and New Zealand relaxed their restrictions the number of covid infections and related deaths skyrocketed. In other words, those countries had the lowest number of infections and deaths from covid when they were under strict lockdowns.

Simply put, if you want the lowest numbers as possible, the country has to have the strictest restrictions. This is what statistics show.

-8 ( +0 / -8 )

Korea’s gain of face = Japan’s continued loss of

Korea’s loss/gain of face = Japan doesn't care really

3 ( +5 / -2 )

South Korea should revert to a zero covid policy to really ensure its numbers get as low as possible. This strategy has been used successfully by Australia, New Zealand, and China.

That would be the opposite, the success of Autralia and New Zealand depended completely on abandoning the policy once the variants made it clear it was not sustainable and increased the risk of collapse of the system. China on the other hand have persisted, with the expected disasters happening in Hong Kong, Shanghai and now spreading around the country.

As soon as Australia and New Zealand relaxed their restrictions the number of covid infections and related deaths skyrocketed. 

That is false, New Zealand increase of cases because of delta began before they threw away the failed policy, which let them control better the problem, and the "skyrocketing" happened obviously because of Omicron, and that happened half a year after following scientific recommendations to stop the zero covid policy, so definetely not "as soon as", this is just your personal misrepresentation of the situation.

Hong Kong and Shanghai (and by now several other places in China) have seen a "skyrocketing" of cases even when persisting in the zero COVID policy, that is what actually demonstrate that the reason is the Omicron variant and that the chinese approach has been completely unable to stop this disaster from happening.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

virusrexApr. 16  09:06 am JST

That would be the opposite, the success of Autralia and New Zealand depended completely on abandoning the policy once the variants made it clear it was not sustainable and increased the risk of collapse of the system. China on the other hand have persisted, with the expected disasters happening in Hong Kong, Shanghai and now spreading around the country.

What is your definition of success? I am providing facts, not opinions, when I state that covid infections and related deaths in Australia and New Zealand increased after the lockdowns ended. Just pure statistics provided by those governments--unless you want to say that is a conspiracy too!

That is false, New Zealand increase of cases because of delta began before they threw away the failed policy, which let them control better the problem, and the "skyrocketing" happened obviously because of Omicron, and that happened half a year after following scientific recommendations to stop the zero covid policy, so definetely not "as soon as", this is just your personal misrepresentation of the situation.

You are wrong, and denying facts and statistics put out by the NZ and Australian governments. Of course, you have no sources for your fake information.

Hong Kong and Shanghai (and by now several other places in China) have seen a "skyrocketing" of cases even when persisting in the zero COVID policy, that is what actually demonstrate that the reason is the Omicron variant and that the chinese approach has been completely unable to stop this disaster from happening.

"skyrocketing" compared to where? Japan? Korea? Not even close. Again, you are providing mistaken and false information.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

What is your definition of success? 

Doing better than Hong Kong, which clearly failed completely while in the zero covid policy.

when I state that covid infections and related deaths in Australia and New Zealand increased after the lockdowns ended

The problem is when you present this as if it was a consequence of ending the lockdowns, which is clearly not the case, not a fact but an opinion easy to disprove becaue many other countries had the same explosive growth of cases without a change of polity, this happened all around the world with the introduction of the Omicron variant and includes South Korea (the topic of the article) and China, that never abandoned lockdowns.

You are wrong, and denying facts and statistics put out by the NZ and Australian governments

The governments of both countries have never said the increase was a consequence of the increase of cases, this is what I am denying.

skyrocketing" compared to where? Japan? Korea? Not even close

Skyrocketing compared with the countries that avoided this consequence by abandoning the zero covid policy.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

First, Japan had low rates compared to some countries, higher rates compared to others.

Why the lack of specifics? What were Japan's numbers, and what were these other country's numbers, and how did those numbers compare to the rest of the world?

Because Japan had an extremely low death rate from covid in comparison to the rest of the world. But yes, maybe it was not number one. You seem to be discrediting the extremely low death rate in Japan due to it not having been the best in the world. Very low nuance.

Second, the Japanese basically imposed as close as possible a zero covid policy, and locked down themselves.

There were no lockdowns in Japan.

If you're talking about the people themselves taking measures to not spread the virus, you seem to be ignoring the fact that the trains were still packed, daily, with people breathing, during a pandemic of a virus that attacks the airways. We're right back to exactly making my point - Japanese people did what they needed to to not spread the virus - they wore masks. They were socially responsible. This is why America was such a failure - a dearth of social responsibility in America. Every only cares about whether you can make them wear a mask.

Anyone who thinks that masks didn't work pre-omicron is a complete and total Dunning Kruger.

Third, Koreans also wear masks at similar rates as Japanese, but as we saw in March, rates still zoomed upward there.

Why? You listed this as a third reason, but you just stated some parallel fact. It's not a reason.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Which trains were you on? Percentage of passengers dropped, due to remote work and so forth.

Sure, they dropped down. But they were still thousands of people packed into them daily. Breathing the same air. During a pandemic of an airborn virus. No compare this to other countries where people didn't pack onto trains in the thousands all over the country, and yet had much, much higher death numbers than Japan. Again, your lack of nuance has decided that because ridership dropped somewhat, the whole metric can be cast aside as meaningless altogether. Very binary. Entire lack of nuance.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Where is your source for this?

Um, living in Japan, and seeing everyone wearing masks. Now being in Canada, and seeing so many people not. When I told people here that people wear masks outside in Japan, they were surprised. And this is in a country that ranked low in its covid deaths within the world numbers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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