as_the_crow_flies comments

Posted in: Confirmed new coronavirus infections in Japan now 1,528, including cruise ship cases See in context

We need people with symptoms to isolate themselves. The test cures no one.

The science-driven answer to that is

Amesh A. Adalja, MD, Professor and Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security whose work is focused on emerging infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, and biosecurity. “Testing capacity has us largely flying blind, not knowing where cases are and hampering response efforts.”

Testing will help understand the virus and possibly stop its spread.

Yes, exactly. Basically we need testing to give real-time accurate information to epidemiogists, who can recommend policy, governments act immediately to slow down the outbreak and give the public clear and timely instructions what to do/not to do, then we all need to follow this and help each other to get through this with the least damage we can.

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Posted in: Japan eyes scaling back crown prince's April ascension rituals See in context

Um, does anyone even care, given everything else that's happening?

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Posted in: Some schools in Japan resume classes after virus-prompted closures See in context

Wow, Japan acts as if it recovered from the pandemic, or as if it never happened.

Exactly. Denial and cover-up is the way it goes here. News reports in the past tense, so everyone faces backwards, and doesn't look at what's up ahead. Very little scientific, evidence-driven information backing policy, allowing all sorts of loons to assert, based on hunches, how Japan is different. Nihonjinron, and all those who let themselves be suckered by it, are really going to get bitten in the bum by reality. Just as it did Donald Trump yesterday.

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Posted in: Doubts growing in Japan over Tokyo Olympics See in context

Tokyo Gov Yuriko Koike has said it is "unthinkable" to cancel the Olympics...

So start thinking, Tokyo Governor. Thats what we taxpayers are paying you to do, and keep us safe. If not, just do us all a favour and say nothing.

Logically enough, Tokyo Met is now most likely the epicentre of the Japan outbreak, though Im sure Hokkaido, Osaka and Nagoya are now jockeying for the honour. It would be nice to know, if the Japanese government let up on its lockdown of testing, and followed the recommendation of health experts.

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Posted in: Doubts growing in Japan over Tokyo Olympics See in context

Japan has the capability to build a network of surveillance, using hitech. Anyone from China and South Korea will be tested automatically for temperatures, and history of connection with virus carriers.

@Akie, you are weeks out of touch. This is now a pandemic, meaning the main spread is now community. International travel restrictions are now just one very small part of infection control measures, and they apply to ALL international travel, not from any particular country.

Listen to experts and epidemiologists. What is needed are drastic domestic actions to slow down community spread, and drastic action to strengthen the response of the health services and other essential services like food delivery, cleaning, garbage collection, policing, firefighting, social care, public transport. The Olympics are a ridiculous distraction, fiddling while Rome burns. They need to be cancelled, so we can all focus on reality. Not next month, not next week, not tomorrow. Immediately. Tens of thousands of lives could depend on it.

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Posted in: Japan finds 15 clusters of coronavirus-infected people See in context

The corona virus panic has ... Stopped my parents being able visiting their grandkids ... Caused a unbelievably itchy stress rash ... Not infected one single person I am even remotly linked to. ... Killed no one in my prefecture ... Killed no child or young person in my country ... Killed less people globaly than the flu ... Infected less people than the flu ... Welcome to panic in the 21st century ...

All I can say is, lets just hope you are correct that "its all in the mind", and check back in a couple of weeks when Japan is further along the curve. Exponential growth is a funny thing, as an epidemiologist could tell you. Unfortunately, unlike radiation exposure which can reap its rewards years or decades later, ignorance of a highly infectious and deadly virus is likely to come back to roost in the days or weeks ahead.

And I hope your stress rash is better by now, carpslidy.

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Posted in: Japan to advise its citizens to avoid travel to much of Europe See in context

Too late to worry about importing the virus, Abe. And its time to move from should to must. You need to introduce a lockdown to limit community spread.

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Posted in: G7 leaders try to ease tension; vow to coordinate on virus See in context

"..and we see the health professionals (who I think are having the time of their lives) talking about millions of infected and hundreds of thousands of deaths ..."

We may actually be looking at millions of deaths worldwide. Spanish flu had an estimated 50 million.

And no, health professionals are not "having the time of their lives". They're putting them on the line for other people. We are all going to depend on these heroes and heroines to help us get through this, along with all the cleaners, shop workers, delivery people, firefighters, care workers, volunteers, family members and others who will try and keep our societies together.

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Posted in: Japan considers postponing emperor's state visit to Britain See in context

And why is this even news? We have important things to think about now.

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Posted in: Scramble for hospital beds in Nagoya shows coronavirus challenge for aging Japan See in context

The idea above of moving serious Covid 19 cases to other districts will only hold up for a short time. What will really happen is that nationwide, the system will be overwhelmed, as is happening in Italy, and doctors will have to decide who gets intensive care, and who is left to die. Not to mention the high death rate of health workers, who are going to be heavily exposed to the virus. This is what is happening in Iran, Italy, Spain right now, and it is days or weeks up the road for many many other countries who dont take aggressive action to slow down the outbreak. Including, as the WHO says "test, test, test". This is the best way to identify, isolate, protect, allocate resources. Ask an epidemiologist.

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Posted in: Scramble for hospital beds in Nagoya shows coronavirus challenge for aging Japan See in context

Italy, which has Europe's oldest population, is facing growing concerns about the ability of its strained health system to cope with a relentless increase in new cases.

This is not about concerns, its about reality. We had this bullsh"t in 2011 with radiation fears, rather than radiation levels. And its not about some nebulous unattributed feelings. What we need now are clear, scientific, evidence driven opinions from experts.

Also, why are they talking about Koreas experience in the past tense, as if its a done deal? The situation worldwide is fast changing and unknowable.

And as someone with the symptoms of viral infections, and two failed attempts to get tested in the last 4 days, I can confirm that you will be blown off if you try to get tested for coronavirus, and doctors will not tell you to self isolate. And my doctor is actually really thorough and conscientious. He gave me a physical exam, X ray, ultrasound, blood, urine test, and says he thinks I probably have a viral infection, but probably not a coronavirus infection. The doctors surgery has an information sheet about how to apply for coronavirus testing, but I only know that because I happened to see it. The doctor didnt even mention it.

If you go to the doctor and ask about coronavirus, you will just give you fluffy advice. The only lockdown in Japan is a governmental one on the health service, so they can make their numbers look good. If you cant see it, its not happening.

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Posted in: Japan eyes emergency coronavirus legislation as infections rise See in context

the new coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, a pneumonia-like respiratory disease,

I think the writer of this article has got their information a bit mangled. AFAIK, Covid-19 is the strain of virus, not an illness. So saying there are over 90,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 means that number tested positive for the virus. This includes many who are asymptomatic or only have very mild symptoms. They could however be contagious.

If someone has severe symptoms of Covid-19 infection, they will have viral pneumonia, not "a pneumonia-like disease". If its critical, this will progress to ARDS. I think us lay people would just say they are critically ill with pneumonia and having trouble breathing, though.

It helps to have clear and accurate information. Confusion can add to fear and panic.

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Posted in: Tokyo gov't urges people to refrain from cherry blossom parties in parks See in context

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.

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Posted in: Tokyo gov't urges people to refrain from cherry blossom parties in parks See in context

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.

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Posted in: Stunning blow for Johnson as court strikes down parliament suspension See in context

This shot of the clown from 2012 really sums it up

https://www.ecosia.org/images/?q=boris%20stuck%20on%20zipwire%20image#id=CD5E432217652C84578FEEAB6198297DE6857FA1

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Posted in: Stunning blow for Johnson as court strikes down parliament suspension See in context

Heres hoping Alex "Boris" Johnson sets a record for shortest serving UK Prime Minister, shuffles off and lets the grown ups try and sort out the mess he and his buddy Dom Cumming have made in the sandpit. Hopefully the grownups can get an extension, so they can sit down and discuss the terms of the Brexit they want in detail, giving an orderly process that will allow everyone to properly prepare for this. If there has to be an act of self harm, at least do it responsibly.

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Posted in: 'Forgive me,' ex-Peru leader Fujimori says after pardon protests See in context

Well, he was an asesino, presiding over a government that committed mass extra-judicial murder.  In 2003, Peru's Truth and Reconciliation Commission estimated that 69,280 people were killed in those two decades. Although some dispute this figure, it is huge compared to the numbers killed in Argentina's 'dirty war' and under Pinochet's dictatorship in Chile.

This is why the protests are so huge. Add to that the corruption, with the $600m plundered from state coffers is also no small matter.

But whatever the back story on his release now, I agree that it is better to release him now and let him fade away on the outside, rather than risk him becoming a martyr to the Fujimori dynasty 'cause'. Maybe it'll drive a wedge between his children Keiko and Kenji, and that can only be good for Peru. Word is that actually Keiko would prefer Dad inside, because that would suit her political ambitions, while Kenji cut the deal with the President to spring Dad. The prospect of Keiko getting into power is appalling, and threatens to undo all the progress made since Dad legged it with suitcases stuffed with cash and Vladivideos to blackmail his enemies with, before faxing in his resignation from Brunei. Unfortunate for President PKK that the timing is so bad.

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Posted in: Which do you think is Japan's most attractive city? See in context

Agree with GW, 'attractive' doesn't naturally spring to mind when I think of Japanese cities. Though I live in Yokohama and think it does better than many. If any are attractive, it's usually down to the location, and despite what the city has managed to do to ravage the landscape. There are attractive pockets all over the place, but overall, none really float my boat much.

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Posted in: Fukushima mothers measure radiation levels in food, water and soil See in context

I'd be interested to see some comparative readings from the government and this group. That would be very informative. If they are similar great, and if they are different, good, too, because at least there is a scientific basis for action.

the “invisible enemy” of radiation has continued to worry the mothers. All we knew was that it is frightening,” said Suzuki. This is an important process and is especially reassuring to the parents of young children. This idea that it’s safe and that we shouldn’t be anxious doesn’t really add up. “My parents think I’m a bit paranoid."

The language of articles like this always frame the issue as if the problem is worry, rather than radiation levels. It's a way of framing the discussion to insinuate that anyone who states there is a health risk is emoting. Really annoying. So all power to the mothers and those who supported them to get this lab up and running to reframe the debate in terms of getting reliable scientific data about radiation levels. Knowledge is power. And much more analysis should be going on about why there is so much scepticism of the reliability of government data. For example, as stated above, by comparing.

Oh, and hello Zichi, if you're out there! Good to see a post from you. You've been missed!

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Posted in: Trump still sees himself as leading an insurgency See in context

"We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard"

Issuing decrees on day 1, eh? Is that the royal "We" or the dictatorial "we", Don? America First is it? So you're saying you'll be disinvesting in every offshore venture you're in, as of today, right? American jobs for American, right? And this People's Movement, that's the billionaire people's movement, I take it?

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Posted in: Health diets from overseas flooding Japan, but are they right for Japanese bodies? See in context

What is "Japanese Body" ??

For that matter, and what is "European body"?

Kuchi gomi indeed.

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Posted in: Trump, spokesman slam U.S. media over inauguration crowd coverage See in context

This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period!” Kim Jong Yun's spokesman said, his loud and abrasive tone catching nearly everyone in the room off guard.

“These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm of the inauguration are shameful and wrong".

...And expect shortly to have your doors kicked down at 4am as you are rendered to a re-education camp for reprogramming.

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Posted in: Seeking power conservation measures while battling summer heat See in context

This is only an option in your own place, but it makes a huge difference. We had windows with thermal glass installed on the inside of our old, leaky, heat trap aluminium windows. Then we had reflective film installed on those aluminium windows. We could as a further step shade the windows with sudare or vinyl screens. Inside the house is a comfortable temperature so far with just a fan to ensure air circulation. I haven't checked actual temperatures, but it's probably about 27 on a hot day. The windows didn't come cheap, but they have transformed a west facing heat trap into something very livable.

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Posted in: English counseling for disability pensions and worker’s accident compensation available See in context

This sounds like a valuable and much needed service, particularly for all the people who suffer workplace accidents while working in nursing care or other places where the chances of injury are high.

Dealing with a workplace issue at the moment, I really know how useful it would be to have someone help me draft everything in Japanese.

It should make clear though if this is basically an advert for a private service, or if this a low cost or free service. One of the biggest issues facing foreign workers who have this type of problem is whether the organisation is legit and really working in their interests.

Although it does sound above board, a proper article (rather than an ad) should be independent and make this absolutely clear.

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Posted in: Suga confident Tokyo 2020 Olympic bid was clean See in context

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that he was unaware of the newspaper report.

He hasn't read the newspaper report, therefore the accusations of bribery are clearly totally unfounded. Obviously.

“I am confident that our bid was conducted in a clean manner,” Suga said, adding that should Tokyo be approached by French authorities on the matter, it would cooperate.

If deflection was an Olympic sport, Suga would be a dead cert for a gold.

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Posted in: Power-generating glass windows installed at facility in Yokohama See in context

Conventional thinking is to design houses so that windows are shaded from direct sunlight most of the year to prevent overheating.

I'm actually still shocked by the number of windows you see on Japanese buildings without any shading provided. No wonder so many buildings are like greenhouses in summer. I'd also like to know if this technology is on the market yet for people to retrofit home windows with.

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Posted in: We cannot feel safe without data on soil contamination because children play with earth, wipe their mouths with their dirty hands and inhale dirt blown up by wind, exposing themselves to possible inte See in context

.....and our results show?? What?

Erm ... a scientific, evidenced based response. If they show consistently low levels, that's good news, as it means that the threat to human health is limited.

And if they turn up some high readings, there will be scientific evidence that will enable the community to take the appropriate action to protect human health, whether that is making a specific area out of bounds, calling on the local government to decontaminate this specific area, or carry out health checks on those who have been in that area, for example.

A wilful refusal to carry out consistent scientific testing and to make the results gathered easily accessible is criminal negligence. On the other hand, funding an advertising agency to get a bunch of talento to put on fluffy rabbit suits and dance in front of a camera with fruit and vegetables from the area and say "Delicious! Eat!", on the other hand, is not scientific.

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Posted in: Japan to announce action plan to curb tax evasion at G-7 summit See in context

anti-corruption summit hosted by British Prime Minister David Cameron, said the sources, who have direct knowledge of the matter.

Change that "have" to "has" and you have the nub of this. Most of those at this meeting should be under the spotlight themselves. They have plenty of "direct knowledge".

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Posted in: Obama tells Trump: 'This is not a reality show' See in context

"she’s going to be so bad on jobs that wages are going to go down for workers,”

"I would borrow knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal. And if the economy was good it was good, so therefore, you can’t lose."

Just when you think the level of debate and the proud stupidity can't go any further, he outdoes himself. Truly disturbing. How much lower can it go by the time the election comes?

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Posted in: Regulator declares nuclear reactors safe after quake See in context

Fluke is exactly the word to describe the near miss at Onagawa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yu81n4QuxB0

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