as_the_crow_flies comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports 565 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 3,401 See in context

We will be at zero in a month from now with no lockdowns.

Another light-at-the-end-of-the-tunneler, wishing into their crystal ball.

Deaths still at the Jan, March, May, June levels, or is that just collateral damage, and I'm alright so it's alright? What was a massive spike in deaths at the height of the first wave is now considered to be good news.

What is getting more attention internationally is the larger number of more serious cases among younger people, and the larger number of children ending up seriously ill. Rather than trumpeting something that looks better than before as if the situation is going to sort itself 'naturally' (hint - it's not), how about working proactively towards getting the baseline level of infections low enough that the next wave will be better controlled? This happy clappy reaction is not the way to get ahead of the disease and really aim for a meaningful reduction in its spread. Places like New Zealand are way more ambitious and have much more chance of getting closer to what people used to consider 'normal'.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's top COVID-19 adviser says peak of 5th wave over See in context

I don't even understand why they call them waves. It's been constant covid for the past almost 2 years.

Take a look at the graphs for new cases, active cases or deaths, and you'll see they bear a striking resemblance to waves. Incomplete as they may be because of limited testing, there's a clear trend there.

Notice the angst that this announcement triggers in the unwell. They are addicted to the fear and panic.

Notice that it's actually the other way round. The ones constantly talking about the fear and panic are the ones who really seem to have some kind of obsession with how others see them. Fear of seeming weak. The rest of us know what is needed to limit the spread: changes in behaviour. And that's going to be necessary for a good time yet before a really high percentage of the population has up to date vaccination. Japan really behind the curve here, as usual, as they are slow to acknowledge it needs to include young children. Otherwise they will just be a virus reservoir population to send infection rates surfing upwards as soon as we get a lid on it from the previous wave.

The other thing that jumps out at me, is that the government health spokesperson Omi isn't talking just about bringing numbers down. He seems to be saying that a vastly expanded medical system is needed, which I don't think any of us on here would disagree with, but also seems to be saying that a vastly increased number of hospitalisations is not a problem, as long as the healthcare system can absorb them. How about also aiming for bringing the number of infections right down, and avoid all the suffering, death and risk of permanent health damage?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,004 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 6,277 See in context

The world now has to learn to live its Covid (sic)

(... except for those who have learn to die with it, of course, but they were probably old and fat, and so shouldn't get in the way people who want to go out drinking. Right?)

If you look at the Japan figures:

the Loch Ness monster shaped curve that is our daily new case trend (any passing link between the fifth wave and any recent large international event is PURELY coincidental) is indeed falling. No data on tests on this page, so you just have to take it as a stand-alone.


Spoiler alert:

250 people with Covid died un-hospitalised in August, nearly twice the figure in January (any passing link to any international events in Japan is PURELY coincidental)

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,067 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 7,212 See in context

Good low numbers as we see them fall across the board. 

Yes, just don't look at the DEATH figures, right? And whatever you do, don't ask for figures of untreated people stranded at home because they have been unable to get hospital treatment.

Learn to live with it. Unless of course you die with it instead. But you know, collateral damage, fat, old and all that.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Posted in: Yokohama withdraws bid to host casino resort due to local concerns See in context

Thank you Yamanaka-san. That was a quick decision and promises well. Now look at ways to improve the management of the city. There are so many big companies moving their offices to Minato Mirai - hopefully that will be a good source of revenues, as well as if more people move to the new housing developments in the waterfront area. Not my cup of tea, but good for the city's coffers, I hope!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Opposition proposes cash handouts, vaccine priority for teachers See in context


So true. but not surprising, considering there is one very large country with a total dysfunctional health sector, where many believe that being bankrupted by calling an ambulance or buying a month's worth of insulin supplies means 'freedumb', and that a healthcare system funded by taxes is (drum roll, menacing music ...) SOCIALISM! They think that just invoking the word 'socialism' is enough to send the other person running for the hills. So imagine a party that actually has 'Communism' in the name - it just blows all the circuits in their brains. So to actually study a policy which a particular alliance are putting forward is way beyond them. They also assume everyone else will instinctively share their phobia.

And by the way, these are policies which would be considered completely normal and every day in social democratic governments all over Europe.

The fact the the alliance are putting forward these straightforward and sensible immediate measures to tackle the current chaos is down to the fact that the LDP has been virtually sitting on its hands for the last year and a half.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Takaichi joins race to be next PM; outlines 'Sanaenomics' policy See in context

"Sanaenomics" ...?

... and that, dear reader, is where I stopped reading.

As the least of a bad lot, Kono strikes me as having more potential, whatever faction he may be from. For years, he was calling for pragmatic immigration policies, which is a sign of an acceptance of reality. Definitely a start for Japanese politicians. It would be refreshing not to have a robot, or some idiot who spouts whatever garbage is fluttering through his empty head at that moment. Or imagine the kind of female politician who gets as far as the leadership race - the ultra right types who believe 'action' equates to holding up a clenched fist, or peeling slogans off a cardboard signboard, or wearing a city bureacrat's work jacket.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: IAEA team arrives in Japan to help prepare Fukushima water release See in context

So as long as it's piped out 1km from the shore, everything's fine and dandy, and transparent. Riiight...

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Athletes praise Paralympic experience but public mixed See in context

My experience speaking with an listening to Japanese people in the community, is that their feelings have be very UNmixed. Overwhelmingly they have felt that while they were originally pleased Japan got to host the games, to a person they wanted the Games to be postponed to a hopefully safer time, like in 3 years. Not in the least mixed. Unlike me who felt since the bid that a corrupt process, false promises about our mild and pleasant summer, lies about the extent of the nuclear disaster, and shameless exploitation of the people of Tohoku who were going to have a born again experience, turned me off it from the start. The pandemic was almost the icing on the cake

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: 1st Tokyo Paralympic Games athlete hospitalized due to COVID See in context

I wonder if many people around the world are aware that Japan residents suffering from Covid are basically locked out of their own healthcare system unless they are at death's door, while this international junket is organised and visitors to it who come here are whisked to the front of the queue, because elections. Nothing personal against the athlete, but how can this be?

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan's top COVID-19 adviser criticizes Bach's revisit to Tokyo See in context

Thank you, Omi sensei, for saying out loud what the entire country is thinking. Even lawmakers cheered him this time.

Bach has certainly managed to make himself a figure of loathing in Japan. I wonder if his performance over this Olympics will take the shine off his attempt at getting them to award him the Nobel Peace Prize for his services to humanity?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: Number of private lodgings in Japan falls with demand lost due to virus See in context

Very glad I didn't go the minpaku route. Definitely more worth taking your money to another country and investing it in somewhere that actually welcomes it, not that tries to strangle an initiative before it is even born, like they did here with minpaku. Of course it's also important to avoid places getting overrun with mass tourism and locals priced out of housing too, but Japan's response was just kneejerk paranoia that too many foreigners armed with suitcases (Shock! Horror!) would roll into their NIMBY neighbourhood.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Suga to seek reelection as party leader despite LDP setback in Yokohama See in context

There is no change in my view that it is natural I run in the election

And there, in a nutshell, you have business as usual politics in Japan. I am one of the chosen, I have never taken any notice of the plebs and don't intend to start doing so now.

Btw, love the way he is caught slinking furtively out of the limo.

I have sent my congratulations to Yamanaka, and hope he can bring real change locally, though we'll have to wait and see the impact on national politics.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 2,447 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 16,841 See in context

The number can't be too high since the Paralympics are starting tomorrow.

Yes, it's setting the bar lower...

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Opposition candidate wins Yokohama mayor election in blow to Suga See in context

Really hoping for a change in local politics. But not getting my hopes up too much.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan offers $410 mil in aid to support Turkey's hosting of refugees See in context

How about 410,000,000 vaccines for us in Japan?

How about Japan take some refugees?

As @dbsaiya says, they are paying to avoid anyone drawing attention to Japan's pitiful intake of refugees, whether Turkish, Kurdish or Syrian, despite supposedly being signatory to international agreements that put them in the 'international community' camp, where they like to think they have a place at the table. The only way to do that is to dump a wad of money on the table so the rest of the club look away from their refugee shutout policy. It works!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Georgian judoka ejected from Paralympics after assault arrest See in context

Good. He got what he deserved.

17 ( +21 / -4 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 5,074 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 25,492 See in context

Figures for people waiting for hospital beds? Figures for numbers of hospitalisations, not just severe cases? Figures for people on oxygen at home? Figures for people sick in hotels? Average time for Covid patients in ambulances to gain admission to a hospital? Numbers of deaths at home?

The age breakdowns are okay to keep giving, but you need to give more information please Japan Today.

Although deaths are slightly trending up in many prefectures, at least in Tokyo it could be that the increase in rates of infection is slowing down a little bit. Too early to say if the curve is being flattened, but let's see what happens to the 7 day averages of new cases over the next week.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Posted in: University students attending virtual classes struggle with isolation See in context

While I feel for this student, and the isolation she's feeling is obviously real, as others have said, this is something out of our control that has happened, as things do in life, and on a personal level, you need to learn how to deal with things you can't control.

Of course the other thing it shows up is the absolute paralysis of Japanese society, that it can't adapt, be creative and find ways around the challenges. I come across students who have been stuck in Zoom lectures with little chance for interaction. Of course they are isolated, bored, frustrated! It's a year and a half now, this is plenty long enough for university administrations to get up to speed, listen to the students, call on them to help, and figure out ways to socialise more online. If the oyajis are too clueless to think up new things, I'm sure the students could. Of course security online is an issue, but there could be much more online socialising, mental health support, practical counselling for students in financial difficulty, and as others have said, ways to develop some safe f2f meeting up for outdoor activities.

It's not all-or-nothing, black or white, in person or online. Bejasus, be a bit creative! Young people have a lot of energy, a lot of time on their hands, they should be reasonably tech savvy by now, rope them in to finding solutions. This is an opportunity!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Paralympic torch relay events begin in Tokyo as COVID concerns linger See in context

"concerns linger", "worries remain", "alarming" rise in Covid cases ...???

As @Mr Bogglesworth said above, they sure want to paint this as some kind of pyschological state, not something that causes pregnant mothers to be denied medical care, a newborn babiy to die in its home, thousands of people stranded at home, in hotels, in an ambulance as hospitals refuse to treat them, people to suffer unattended as the medical system is overrun, health workers to suffer burnout from the relentless, unending pace of severe cases, so-called 'oxygen stations' to be set up as hospital care is denied to sick people, the age of people getting seriously unwell keeps dropping. All of this more than any previous point in the pandemic. They call that 'lingering'? Are they mad? It's a bit like that other classic we've been treated to lately, 'they died while 'recovering'/'recuperating' at home'.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: First coronavirus case reported in Tokyo Paralympic athletes village See in context

In a nutshell, there are 15,000 athletes and 63,000 persons accompanying them staying in the village. To which the program added 200,000 additional staff to run the village (cleaning staff, caretakers, etc, etc). Long story short: approx. 300,000 people are working / staying in the village, ALL of which enter and exit the bubble on a daily basis!

Added to that:

How many police drafted in for the Olympics have been infected? The Mainichi did report one cluster, in police drafted in from Hyogo.

How many of those people working and mixing in the village have been vaccinated? How many were/are regularly tested?

Then you have those who were/are too good for the village. There were all sorts of teams staying at hotels around Tokyo. What were the infection figures for those places?

How many infections have there been at training camps and friendly matches pre-bubble? We can assume there are no figures being kept, or at least if they have been kept, they have not been released.

We saw from the Olympics that once the games end, then the rules went out the window for many in the village, as any possible threats no longer had any teeth, (if they even had before), so they felt able to go out and about, following the great example of Emperor Barfch.

Also, how many hospital beds in Tokyo did sick or injured Olympians, hangers-on, staff, etc. etc. take up in the end, at a time when locals have been told to stay home untreated?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Ballet dancer arrested over sex with 16-year-old girl at Tokyo hotel See in context

Probably 'she started it', or perhaps 'I was just trying to give her some advice.' POS. Throw the book at him.

-6 ( +11 / -17 )

Posted in: Delta variant confirmed in New Zealand; virus case total increases to 7 See in context

I feel sorry for the folks in NZ people in other countries are getting on with their lives.

I feel sorrier for the thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of people (figure depends on the country) getting on with their deaths, or condemned to an indefinite state of chronic illness after catching Covid.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Number of severe COVID patients in Japan hits record for 4th day in row See in context

Stop blaming the Olympics for everything, I was at the Olympics and things were very tightly controlled, and so many preventive measures were taken bordering on ridiculous.

Yes and no. If you were 'at' the Olympics in the supposed'bubble' , there was lots of busy work making it look super controlled. But even then, staff in the canteen commented how in reality, the measures were not observed. There was contact between serving staff and athletes, many didn't wear masks even when not eating, they didn't observe distancing, spoke loudly, didn't use sanitiser... and on and on.

And if you were some of the invisible support staff, the bubble didn't apply to you at all. Tens of thousands of drivers were hired, many billeted in crowded dorms with no chance of social distancing. All the police, likewise. Clusters broke out in their lodgings. Volunteers, cleaners, caterers, security guards, all travelled in and out from their homes and families. Were these cases logged separately? No - so there is no way to really know the numbers of infections caused directly or indirectly.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 4,295 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 17,832 See in context

Definite lack of critical thinking skills in some posters, who just want to hang onto the daily changes, no matter how many times it is pointed out the the important data is trends, not fluctuations over a weekend. Is it really so hard to understand, or is it reluctance to let go of a shred of comfort?

As for random testing, it's not about grabbing people off the street. If widespread testing is available, you get a big enough sample of symptomatic and asymptomatic tests. Some of the asymptomatic ones will be negative, some positive. For example, in some countries, people in high risk settings like schools (Yes! I know. Maybe Japanese schools are different.....???) have to take weekly tests (lateral flow). Even with a less accurate test, it helps gather enough data to get a picture of the extent of community spread, and a positive needs to be followed up with a PCR. But at least anyone who gets a 15 minute result from the lateral flow test can isolate as a precaution while they wait for the PCR. This slows down the rate of spread.

And as far as severe cases go, the biggest increase is in younger people, not young people. Some places have actually prioritised students over older working people, who are mostly not vaccinated. Result - people in their 40s and 50s are now the main seriously ill group. The result of an incompetent government which has not prepared and planned for a pandemic, and are now reacting, ridiculously incompetently slowly, to the latest trend, whilst still denying what happened during the Olympics, and forging ahead with the next Paralympic circus. They must be eugenicists.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese companies to be banned from locking cell phone SIM cards See in context

@Zichi,this sounds very interesting. I'm technically a dweeb, so I have a couple of questions which are probably dumb, but bear with me.

Is this an AU contract? Does it only work with iPhones? (Thinking of if I change to the one your refer to from my current UQ contract on an Android phone).

If you travel overseas, can you use it with a locally bought sim?

Also, if you don't need a contract, why do you need to pay to cancel it?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Olympics now ended, Suga pinning his hopes on vaccinations See in context

The cases of COVID related to the Olympics were only a few hundred, nothing to be alarmed,

Japan has continued the vaccination at the same time with the Olympics and is in 5th place as the country with the highest vaccination rate, below China, US, India and Brazil.

The increase in infections It is not the fault of the government but of the stupid people who still do not follow the science and the prevention measures of contagions..

Little by little things will improve, everyone to get vaccinated.

Japan has world-beating capacity in fudging figures. If you don't collect the data, there is no evidence of your incompetence. They defined Olympic related infections in terms of a mythical bubble, which didn't exist. In reality, the Olympics involved the mixing of hundreds of thousands of people - policy, security, drivers, volunteers, cleaners, caterers, marshalls and other Olympic staff, as well as domestic and foreign media, domestic and foreign athletes, domestic and foreign health workers, curious bystanders outside Olympic venues... The bubble only applied to the incoming athletes and their entourages. Infections in all the other groups, where they have been picked up because of symptomatic infection, were absorbed into local figures - all over the country for the training camps, in Tokyo/Kanagawa/Chiba/Saitama for those staying outside the bubble. So we will never know the true figures, only notice that strangely, infections tripled during the course of the Olympics.

You missed a zero off the vaccination rate - Japan is currently 50th. Singapore is 5th.

The government has given mixed messaging and poor leadership, allowing the rich and mighty to do what they want, in front of the cameras, while telling the rest of us bars bad, trains good. Little wonder people become cynical and rebellious.

So things got worse in leaps and bounds, but they will improve little by little? That crystal ball of yours sure is impressive - can I have a shufty?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Man arrested for killing 82-year-old mother after laundry argument See in context

I don't want to let the son off the hook for what he did, but the lack of government support for caregivers, specially anyone trying to care for a dementia sufferer at home, can tip some people over the edge. Caregiving is not easy at the best of times, but if the person has dementia, you can be stuck in a loop where you repeat the same conversation, sometimes only minutes after you last had it. This can tip people who are already mentally fragile over the edge. We don't know enough to say what was the situation with this son - there are so many possible scenarios - but if we want to avoid more situations like this, we need to step up support for relatives caring for someone at home. Can you imagine not knowing how long you are stuck in an oppressive situation, maybe with noone to talk to, stressed out, and having crazy-making conversations with someone who may not even remember you are their son?

On the other hand, he could have been a self-centred ''()=&%$! who was used to being waited on and couldn't take the change in roles, but didn't want to see his future inheritance spent on a care home for his mother. I know a few cases like that around my neighbourhood, too.

All we can do is try and make our society a more supportive and compassionate one so that old people can live out their last years, specially when they become frail and vulnerable, in safety and dignity.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Suga's medical adviser urges tougher anti-virus measures See in context

Everywhere is facing a Delta surge. Japan vaccinated the most vulnerable just in time. This has minimized serious illness and deaths. Hopefully cases peak soon.

Not everywhere is facing a surge, and the seriousness of the surge tends to reflect that government's response to it. Effective responses usually limit the surge, ineffective ones tend to let it run rip.

Japan promised to vaccinate people with underlying conditions, but then failed to honour the promise. Therefore the vulnerable under-65's, and there are millions of them, have sometimes found themselves in the queue behind high-school students, because sports days, university entrance applications, job-hunting and other such rituals of Japanese society. It's a lottery, depending on whether your local government decided to prioritise the vulnerable under-65's or not. Mine didn't, so my immunosuppressed partner had to wait his age group's turn to join the queue to get an appointment.

It has not 'minimised' serious illnesses and deaths. This is why medical advisers are saying the country is reaching a situation where if you get sick, you're on your own.

Hoping is all this government seems to be capable of. Hope away!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 2,612 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 10,574 See in context

Government is not hiding bodies!

Here goes again: if you delay testing long enough and someone dies before they are tested, cause of death is officially not Covid. Something like a fifth of deaths in Japan are generally ascribed to pneumonia. Logical, as it is opportunistic and gets people with weakened immune systems. Considering the high rates of diabetes in Japan, cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, liver and kidney disease ... lots of wiggle room there, if people haven't jumped through the right hoops before dying, for some causes of death to be ascribed to pneumonia, or one of their comorbidities. Specially if your hospital is worried about 'reputational damage' from being a Covid hotspot, let's say, if it is not officially designated as having a Covid ward. Someone dying of Covid there could have serious financial repercussions for the institution.

Then there is the issue of corpses conveniently getting 'fast-track' cremation:

And requests in Japan to test corpses for coronavirus are often rejected:  

So as the articles explain, while there is a public health interest to have accurate reporting, there are various interests within the industry in fudging it.

And then there is the knotty problem of people with Covid dying unhospitalised:

And the collateral damage of people dying alone and undiscovered

13 ( +16 / -3 )

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