as_the_crow_flies comments

Posted in: Tokyo Olympic organizers reverse plan to allow alcohol at venues See in context

Olympic minister Tamayo Marukawa said Tuesday in a news conference she expected the organizers to consider sufficient steps so that spectators will follow a request to show support only by clapping and refrain from shouting when making a decision on whether to allow alcohol at venues.

If I was forced to suffer attending one of these meetings, I would find it impossible to refrain from shouting, screaming and tearing my hair out.

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Posted in: Hashimoto defends decision to allow spectators amid public frustration See in context

 there's been a huge surge in new cases in Cornwall following the recent G7 pantomime.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/06/22/cornwall-coronavirus-cases-surge-g-7-summit/

... and G7 only brought 5,000 or so support/security staff into a small rural area, with only a small number from a limited number of foreign countries. I assume most of the entourages were fully vaccinated. So the main motor of spread was those thousands of support staff ie community transmission caused by the large number of people mixing, not specially 'importing' infected people.

Here we are talking about hundreds of thousands of people on the move over weeks and weeks. Plus the tens of thousands of people coming in, for weeks and weeks, from ?200 countries. And the Ugandan case has proved that not only can you easily test negative on departure, but actually be positive a few hours later, but the photos also showed that there is not complete isolation of contacts.

" ... there is evidence that there have been no clusters at other events and tournaments"

Yeah, right, if you are paid enough, and cherry pick carefully.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympic spectator cap set at 10,000 or 50% capacity per venue See in context

More fudged numbers - it doesn't include the Really Important People, apparently school students don't count into the cap limit. Does that mean students aren't considered people perhaps, mm?

Also, check this video about the Olympic village 'bubble':

https://www.bbc.com/sport/57550621

So all athletes in a twin room 'bubble' - really clever in a pandemic. Dining hall 'bubble' serving 45,000 meals a day. Gym 'bubble' with capacity for up to 500 athletes.

Hmm ... I wonder why medical experts say it can't be done safely?

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Posted in: More companies, universities begin on-site vaccinations See in context

This company doesn't trust anything the government says, not the number of cases not the testing not the safety measures.

It is now looking at paying out of pocket for it's tenants and employees if it has to.

We know this because today their was a major Video Conference and the giant real estate company made it clear it was ready to pay and take responsibility for not waiting for vouchers.

Good for them. Corporate social responsibility. Money well spent, and doing the right thing. The voucher thing is just WTF ery of the first degree. Anyone with half a brain could figure out that. It will pay off for the real estate company in infections and absenteeism avoided.

a) Japan has a lot of people who are vaccine hesitant. What is the govt scared of - people will sneakily get more than their share of doses?

b) Just get people to register at the time of first vaccination. Have they never collected data on citizens before? You know, my Number? Health insurance card? One of those would cover most people. The rest could be asked to present other ID, or a utility bill, or proof of address, and that could be used to enter details into the database. Tell people the date of their second jab at the same time. Mostly sorted. It would leave a small number of homeless people that they could then take a flexible approach with to register them somehow as vaccinated.

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Posted in: Number of officials from overseas at Tokyo Olympics could be cut by another 25,000 See in context

so-called Olympic family members, referring to officials of the International Olympic Committee, the World Anti-Doping Agency among others

I was wondering what the so-family were, that amount to so many thousands. Silly me, thinking it was athletes' family accompanying them. Well, all I can say is, they are NO relation to me. How many of these hangers on, normally get their nice perks at the host taxpayers' expense?

As it all slowly unravels, we are really getting to see the sleaze slither out in full public view. I always thought, well if other people enjoy it, whatever, even though the bloated and ever increasing costs have always seemed insane to me. But seeing this whole thing unfold is like watching that kids' movie where the baddie, after managing to disguise itself as a human through most of the film, finally reveals itself as a disgusting, quivering mass of ectoplasm with a hollow, mocking laugh. Someone please tell me the good guys are going to appear and rescue us at the last minute ...

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Posted in: Extra COVID vaccine may help protect transplant patients See in context

It's very real in every country where there are transplant patients and other immunocompromised people. The fact that the Japanese government has decided to remove priority for this group of people, while extending it to Uncle Tom Cobbley and all, specially Olympic staff, media, as well as high school students and uni students, because exams, because jobhunting, while making anyone 18-64 with a health condition just take their chances with healthy people, is just so wrong. There has been zero information for this group, they have just been left hanging. Never mind the fact that they might do better with 3 doses. I can just see Japan arranging that. Not.

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Posted in: Japan to begin COVID vaccinations for foreign embassy officials on Monday See in context

10 per embassy means most of the drones working there will still be out in the cold. I know my embassy did vaccines for its staff a month ago, depending on contract type, but I imagine poorer countries probably have much smaller staffs so maybe 10 will cover most of their staff. Anyway, it strikes me as unbelievably ketchi not to offer vaccine to either all or none. But of course this is only so Olympics, so they don't care about the drones.

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Posted in: Japan starts vaccinating people aged 18 or older at large-scale centers See in context

Yokohama yesterday said 'wait your turn to get a voucher' for under-65's with pre-existing condition (transplant patient on immunosuppressants), so they are but then again, they aren't prioritising this group. How then is it possible that some groups like high school and uni students are now defined as priority. Ah yes, because exams! Because jobhunting! And then naturally athletes, because Olympics. Of course, silly me!

My partner is going spare. I already got mine through my workplace in May, but watching this shambolic system brings tears to my eyes.

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Posted in: Japan to lift state of emergency one month before Olympics See in context

... what the world needs to take our minds away ...

From the stuff they churn out, seems like some people's minds were long taken away - to cloud cuckoo land.

But yes, the IOC-J-gov 'playbook' is the Big Lie playbook, from Goebbels - repeat it enough times, and you can at least convince yourself and some people that it is true, and that everything is just fine. Except of course, Okinawa shows what happens when you have a large number of people travelling and intermixing. But let's pretend this just once that Okinawa is not actually part of Japan and hope those pesky foreign media don't snoop around and report anything inconvenient.

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Posted in: Japan to provide greater COVID vaccine support to foreign residents See in context

Foreigners who have difficulties are mostly the one being here for not long. And the Japanese skills and understanding on how the things do work are also limited.

I think anyone who believes that is not in Japan, they must be in cloud cuckoo land. My partner today tried phoned the MoD to find about vaccination at the mass centre in Tokyo, speaking fluent Japanese )works at a medical interpretation service). All he got was tooth sucking, humming and ha-ing, and was eventually told to call his local council. Called the council information centre for foreign residents, in fluent Japanese, and was told basically, not yet, we will contact you at some point in the future by post. Judicial scriveners at the same medical interpreting service, who are experts, read the Japanese site and also could not understand the city system. If the original information is a mess and the service chaotic, no amount of support will sort it.

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 501 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 1,703 See in context

People seem to blame the low number of tests on the government, but that does not seem to be the case, at least where I am in Miyagi. The problem is with the GPs. You can't get a PCR without being referred by a GP. I and many acquaintances have been to the GPs with covid-like symptoms but the doctors refuse to recommend a PCR as, in their all-powerful wisdom, they tell you it's just a cold.

My guess is how it works is this. The health centres are the gatekeepers for the public PCR tests, and they make it very clear to any GP who rocks the boat and starts referring lots of suspected cases to them that they have not been applying the criteria for testing 'properly'. Remember that here you have to pass a 'test - test' to qualify, and the criteria will exclude many possible Covid cases. The doctors get blowback if they start referring more than others are, and so turn off the tap at source. In my case, the doctor insisted that I didn't have Covid as I didn't fit their criteria closely enough, but said I could have a TB test if I wanted. No conspiracy is needed. The health centres are chronically understaffed, so like any bureaucratic organisation, they put up filters to manage their workload. They virtually stopped testing and tracing too, because there are just not the staff.

It has been clearly recognised in other countries that Covid symptoms vary widely, and now it appears that the Delta variant presents more like the common cold. So if you have a lot of phlegm but don't lose your sense of taste and smell, you will be told to get on your bike.

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Posted in: Up to 80% of Tokyo Olympics media will be vaccinated, say organizers See in context

Yes, but it's not just about the incoming media people. It's about the huge increase in people intermixing because of the games, and most of them already live here. Even supposing there are no spectators, which I think there almost certainly will be some, all the transport, hospitality - food service and cleaning, venue administrators, volunteers staff, security, local officials, local media, Japanese teams, supporters, entourage, and people just milling about because Olympic event nearby are the other problem. Most of these unvaccinated. All the intermixing is where the risk of seeding a new variant comes. The Delta is already established here, it doesn't need to be imported. Focusing just on the incoming Olympic people diverts attention from the really big risk of superspread.

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 337 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 1,418 See in context

@Zarathustra

I don't believe these numbers are accurate but I also do not believe that they are being manipulated... I do question what the hell the GPs are doing. My wife is a kindergarten teacher. 12 of her kids are off sick this week with fevers and coughs. They all went to their GPs yet not one of them was recommended a PCR test.

Well, there's your answer. The manipulation is denying access to the test. Doctors are told they must fob off as many people presenting with symptoms as possible. You know, fever over X for at least X days, sore throat ... That is why none of the kindergarten kids 'passed' the fit-for-a-test test. Exactly the same happened to me. And this was with an activist doctor who has raised issues with the lack of medical care in detention centres. So your average Dr Suzuki in a local clinic is sure to put most of their energy into making sure the patient isn't referred for a PCR test.

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Posted in: Gov't considering quasi-state of emergency in Tokyo during Olympics See in context

The sounds of nobody caring anymore filled the air as this announcement was made.

... accompanied by the soft crackle of manila paper slipping through greased palms, to the swish and ebb of saliva flowing backwards through dentures, as the Japanese government considered deeply (but with double Abenomasks taped over each ear to drown out any intrusive expert opinions).

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Posted in: British medical journal calls for global conversation on Tokyo Olympics See in context

As I said before 100% attending the Olympics must be vaccinated. No vaccine no entry. It will spread around the world - not only Japan. 80% is not enough!!

Yes, but it's not just about the incoming people. It's about the huge increase in people intermixing because of the games. Even supposing there are no spectators, which I think there almost certainly will be some, all the transport, hospitality - food service and cleaning, venue administrators, volunteers staff, security, local officials, local media, Japanese teams, supporters, entourage, and people just milling about because Olympic event nearby are the other problem. Most of these unvaccinated. All the intermixing is where the risk of seeding a new variant comes. The Delta is already established here, it doesn't need to be imported. Focusing just on the incoming Olympic people diverts attention from the really big risk of superspread.

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Posted in: IOC Vice President Coates arrives in Tokyo to coordinate Olympic preparations See in context

Smirking all the way to the bank.

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Posted in: British medical journal calls for global conversation on Tokyo Olympics See in context

"All nations have an interest in the COVID-19 pandemic and the safety of the games, yet discussions have largely rested with the IOC and the Japanese government," the editorial said. "The risks of the games, and how they are being managed, need wide scrutiny and approval."

Yes, and that it is the elephant in the room. The Olympics are so important that Suga went to the UK to whine about it and nag the G6 to support him. But come the time to decide, and it's down to a bunch of money grubbing grifters in an unaccountable 'organisation'. Yes, organisation in the sense the Yakuza is an organisation.

So which is it?

Surprisingly enough, there are also signs of an uptick of Covid in the area of the G7, St Ives and Falmouth. Too early to say yet, but as a local politician and health expert has pointed out:

Andrew George, who speaks for the Liberal Democrats in Cornwall on health, said he was concerned about the cases.

He said he did not believe the leaders were “vectors” for Covid. “But other people associated with G7 – security staff, police, media have been intermixing.”

So while it is early days yet, as G7 is only just winding up, and the scale is waaay smaller than the Olympics, with a mere 6,000 or 7,000 media, support and security staff, it will be interesting to see if it has anything to tell us about superspreading.

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Posted in: Schools pull out of Tokyo Olympic spectator program over virus fears See in context

Fears? No. Why does the Japanese media always emote everything? Those responsible for making the decisions have decided the risk of infection is too high (or maybe the risk of them being held responsible if there's an outbreak among their students - also very possible, knowing how the typical Board of Education machinery grinds). This is simply common sense, just like they would cancel a school trip if a typhoon is due.

The Delta variant is spreading fast, with many clusters in schools in other countries. A school trip is an unnecessary risk, not just for the students, but definitely for all their family members, and all the adults in the schools they go to. Disappointing for the students, but they have had a year and a half to understand the impact of a pandemic.

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Posted in: City in Fukushima uses tsunami lessons for COVID-19 vaccinations See in context

Interesting that Kenji Shibuya, who is I think an epidemiologist based in the UK, for resigning his academic post and offering his services to a local government to help them organise. I'm guessing that his expertise was a huge help in the success of the programme. Respect to him for putting his money where his mouth is.

When I contrast the leadership of some Tohoku and Fukushima local governments in the wake of the nuclear disaster with the bumbling national Covid response, it makes me think 'Is this the place I want to be when the Big One hits?' It is scary, as unlike local governments, I don't believe the national government has learnt a thing about disaster response from 3/11.

It's interesting to hear about the MoD programme. @NCIS reruns, do you know if you need to have got a voucher in the post from your local government to book? Is it open to anyone yet?

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Posted in: Biden says he supports Suga's plan to hold safe Tokyo Olympics See in context

@Shogun, I likened Suga toa whiny kid being given sweets to keep quiet, but your Disneyland analogy nails it. Perfectly. I can almost hear Trudeau stood in the middle of a huddle of the G6 leaders over drinks at the evening reception, and everyone chuckling (even Joe can't help a grin) as Trudeau tells the story of how Yoshi trapped him as they lined up for the buffet. "... and the guy says to me, and I'm serious, 'Let's Olympiku togezza, okay? Very fun! Fighto!'

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Posted in: Johnson backs Tokyo Olympics; Japan wants more G7 support See in context

Oh please. It's like the grown ups are trying to have a serious discussion, and this whiny little kid comes up and starts tugging its Dad's sleeve, so the father gives it some sweets to go away, so they can get on with their serious talk. It's just embarrassing, that Suga would think that the Olympics belong on the agenda at a G7.

That said, BoJo the clown would probably give any random kid who came up and tugged his sleeve some sweets to go away, just in case it's his. And the British Olympic officials are just as self-serving and selfish as any other IOC characters, and probably are jockeying for a place at the IOC table in future, so Suga can rest assured none of them will upset his plan. Never mind that Japan is on the UK's orange list, and the UK is on Japan's red list, a little bit of exceptionalism always comes in handy at awkward moments, for both sides.

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Posted in: Tokyo Olympics: It's really about well-connected people burning up mountains of money See in context

Good article here on how the Japanese government and Tokyo metropolitan government are doing everything to ensure the people of Japan are fully shafted:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2021/jun/02/olympics-over-a-barrel-grim-games-afoot-with-iocs-tin-ear-for-torment-in-tokyo

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Posted in: Nationwide bookings eyed for mass vaccination sites in Tokyo, Osaka See in context

I have been seeing less and less fear mongers...

Do you mean anti-vaxxers? Not sure what your point is. People on this article page are discussing whether having 2 public vaccination centres for an island with a population of 127 odd million is a bright idea or not. What relation would talk about fear bring to the discussion, hmm?

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Posted in: Tokyo reports 440 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 2,242 See in context

Only 60% of the adult population want the vaccine so it won't take too much time to get the infected numbers down to a very manageable level.

Umm...

That's not how pandemics work.

You need 85% for herd immunity.

There virus gets exponentially stronger the more time you waste.

Exactly, and just to add to that, a low number of people who want the vaccine has no causal role in reducing infected numbers. A bit of logical thinking will tell you that a high rate of vaccine hesitancy that you cite here (don't know if those figures are accurate or where you got them from btw), ie low takeup of the vaccine will create a pool of virus vulnerable, and the higher the number of cases in this population, the greater the probability of stronger variants emerging. It doesn't respect snail's pace decision-making and can completely change the picture in mere weeks, as is happening for example in England:

 In early April, the Delta variant accounted for 0.2% of sequenced cases in England. Two weeks later, this had grown to more than 3%. By 15 May, a mere seven weeks after the variant was first identified in England, it accounted for 38% of sequenced Covid-19 cases.

So while one epidemic wave might be subsiding, a parallel wave could be on the rise. Given that there have been cases of the Delta variant identified in Japan, and it is estimated to be 50% more infectious, there is an urgent need for proper testing and honest reporting of testing. Without this, Japan is flying blind.

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Posted in: Japan leans toward holding Olympics with domestic spectators: report See in context

So no checks on movement of Japanese media? Do they somehow have special superpowers that stop them transmitting the virus, different from overseas media? The problem with the Olympics is the massive, unnecessary extra movement and mingling between all hundreds of thousands of parties. It's not rocket science.

I don't give a stuff which way they are leaning, how much air is being sucked between teeth, what they are considering, or urging, and what the atmospheric pressure is. What a dumb piece of non-news.

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Posted in: Half of Japanese people think Olympics will be held this summer: poll See in context

All athlets and probably many of their staff are vaccined and get regular tested.

So if they are negative, the japanese volunteer workers who are going in and out everyday by train, are at a not higher risk than during their daily life in Tokyo.

The problem is following the assumption that the risk is only from outside. The risk is from so many tens of thousands of people, who wouldn't do so if it weren't for the Olympics, meeting, mixing, moving around. Volunteers can infect drivers, cleaners can infect coaches, media people can take it around town bar hopping, wait staff can pass it around on the train and take infection home to their families. It is blinkered to assume the risk is nearly all from the athletes. Of course this is what the IOC with their playbook and their J-government and JOC shills want you to think about, but the risk is really every which way. Plus the risk of infected visitors taking it back to their 200 countries, including new variants, which should worry us all at least as much as the risk within Japan. Noone is completely safe until everyone is safe.

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Posted in: 'Belittling human lives'- how pandemic pushed Olympic volunteer to quit See in context

Having been a World Cup volunteer in 2002, I am sure that these are actual volunteers, as in you pay for your own transport and food for all the useless 'training' sessions you get. I remember they went on for a YEAR, for the World Cup. They were excruciatingly boring and useless. In the end I was stuck in a so-called media centre, that no media went to, because it was miles from the actual venue. I did not get to speak to a single journalist, or do anything, except stand around in my World Cup shirt. I do know others who had more fun helping fans needing information, but for me it was a huge letdown. It was very clear by the size of these trainings that it was like Robert Maes said- just a porkfest. If people want to do it, fine, but under the conditions this year, where they're being put in harm's way, with a pair of masks, a vial of sanitiser, and meaningless weasel words, while the IOC, Dentsu and the other are at the trough, it's just obscene. So glad I gave Olympics volunteering a wide berth.

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Posted in: Yokohama begins inoculations at mass vaccination center See in context

Toyota has managed to organise a mass vaccination centre where people are in and out in 5 minutes. Can't be that difficult to copy that..

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Posted in: Yokohama begins inoculations at mass vaccination center See in context

20cm or 2m is the same. These people just seat, with a mask, do not talk together. no risk.

In a sense, 20cm or 2m is the same because after a period of time, airborne virus concentration makes the whole space equally risky. If recirculated air is being pumped in, or if the capacity of the ventilation system is not enough, virus from someone 100m from you can also get you. But anyway, this is bonkers. Can't they do like other places and have people lining up from outside? You can put chairs out on the street. Or ask people to bring a folding stool - most have them, or you can get them in a 100 yen shop.

Impossible in Japan to have a mass center with a 2m distance between everyone.

Err - try an Olympic stadium? The Nissan stadium has a capacity of tens of thousands, and loads of open space under the stands. It would be perfect to have the queue snaking round to the vaccination space. There are sports centre, sports grounds and parks all over Yokohama. Swimming pools with a hall area. On dry days, easy to have people queuing outdoors till it gets too hot.

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Posted in: Japan considers sending coronavirus vaccines to Vietnam: report See in context

Taiwan is a very important trading neigbor while Vietnam has a large amount of Japanese companies and if the Covid become too sever, it will once again hit the supply chain and make Japan suffer more. Vaccine has to be send in order to minimize the damage.

That sounds par for the course. If the Japanese government has had a sudden attack of altruism, then do vaccine donation through the Covax programme. But as the poster above said, this is just self-interested vaccine politics, and lines up completely with its Olympics policy. It's all about the look from the outside, and stuff us peasants. And while they are at international relations, they could make a request to Vietnam and Taiwan to send medical staff, to help Japan improve its roll out here. Yes, Japan, you can learn from others.

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