as_the_crow_flies comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports 405 coronavirus cases; 719 in Osaka See in context

Amazing. People need to be told what to do instead of thinking for themselves and using common sense

Trouble with common sense is that it's not that common. That's why public health measures are needed, to help educate people what is needed. Plus many people act selfishly and not for the greater good, and in the process cause harm to many others.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Fukushima surfer, shop owner fears 'contaminated sea' See in context

Suzuki said he knows the government insists the treated water will be safe, but he is concerned others may not think so.

So what did he actually say? Does he believe what the government says? If he uses a beach further north, does he actually think the sea is contaminated? Or is what bothers him the perception, that may damage kill his business, or does he want the contamination to stop?

As with so many of these articles on Fukushima, the focus is all on the perception, the look, not the reality, but with the mish mash editing, or rubbish translation from Japanese, it's hard to know if this is what people actually argued, or whether they care about or trust the government's reporting. Also disappointing is the lack of any back up reporting referring to actual data about readings.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 759 coronavirus cases; 1,161 in Osaka See in context

No bokuda. You must have bad info. To even get considered to stay in a hospital you must be subject to a pcr test.

One problem is getting admitted to hospital with Covid. Some die while 'recovering' at home ie diagnosed with Covid, sick, but refused admission to hospital. The criteria for getting a pcr test are also rigid, don't correspond to the massive variation in symptoms, and designed to disqualify you for a test. e.g. You must have a high fever for 4 days, even though many people do not get this, or do not get it at the start. In the same way, you are supposed to prove you have had contact with an infected person, even though we all know there has been community spread for at least a year, probably nearer 15 months, so chances are it was passed to you by an asymptomatic person, who by definition you cannot know you caught it from. The main means of transmission has been shown to be airborne, whether by droplets or aerosolised, and aerosols can stay airborne and active for hours in a space. Because of J-Gov's refusal to acknowledge these realities, many people are not getting a test, many asymptomatic people are out and about passing it on, or doing it within their workplace or household, and people who are feeling very unwell are being fobbed off and unable to get admission to hospital.

The danger is, as the number of ICU beds and staff is limited, that a spike will lead to rationing of ICU treatment, and very sick people, whether from Covid or other health problems will die as a result. Also, many have reported feeling okay, but suddenly worsening, or their oxygen saturation drops dangerously low but they don:t realise, and lack of immediate ICU admission for these people can be fatal. Countries with near-overrun health systems are living this, e.g. Philippines, Brazil. The government needs to do everything to avoid getting to this situation.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan has entered 4th wave of COVID-19 infections, says gov't panel chief See in context

4th wave? Looking at statistics it’s been one long wave with small fluctuations since December 2019.

Is this what the propaganda wants us to believe.

That we’re in a fourth wave.

With their fabricated numbers due to low tests.

But truth is that we’re still in one big wave which is toned down by them.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think the Tokyo Olympics, if they are held, will be a coronavirus super-spreader event? See in context

There will be no overseas visitors. Athletes and support staff will be screened on entry and every few days. They stay in the "Olympic village". When their event is finished, they return home. These are published facts, not my opinion. The risk from athletes is minimal to none.

Didn't an article on here last week put the combined number of athletes ancillary staff at anything from 30,000 to 80,000? What's the size of all the media crews? When will they start arriving? When will the last one leave? Are they all restricted to the Olympic village? Didn't a poster yesterday say he ran into a member of the Spanish media team on the beach yesterday, and this person stated that only from his country the numbers of media staff would number in the thousands? So how about some accurate figures from the government about how many are projected to come, clear info about where all the non-athlete people who are coming to work at the Olympics will be staying, if they will require to be vaccinated (athletes won't) before entering Japan, and how much their movement will be restricted while they are in the country.

As the whole point for the government of holding the Games is publicity and dosh and TV rights, I can't see them trying to seriously stop the media working as they would in non-Covid times. Which means getting about a lot, and inevitably if infected, super-spreading it around.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: 300 hotel rooms planned for Olympic athletes with minor or no COVID symptoms See in context

So coy - "a few kilometres from the athletes village" - that could be anywhere from Ota Ku to Koto Ku. Pray do tell where this Corona Hotel is, so we can all make a point of avoiding going near it until a month after the last occupant has left.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan trails world in COVID vaccine rollout 2 months after its start See in context

Some health experts have tried to add a positive twist to Japan trailing behind other countries, saying it would allow Tokyo to assess the situation regarding side effects overseas.

Funny, I always got the impression Japan likes to believe Japanese are unique and that scientific study results from elsewhere have no value here. In fact, isn't that why it insists on going through its own approval process for new medications, even if they have already been tested and approved widely around the world. I'm sure many medical experts here also throw up their hands in despair at this, but the institutions and government still stick to this very limiting way of doing things.

Meanwhile, mutants will mutate, infections will ebb and surge around different parts of the country,we'll go through the clownshow of alternate quasi emergencies and loosening ups, suppressed testing, numbers yoyoing, but the baseline level of infections never being brought down to safe levels for many many more months. And I dread to think the health price we in Japan will pay for the Olympics.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Torch relay in Nara See in context

Everything about this photo screams tedium - talk about boring - stupidity - everyone packed together - and control - cones, tape, marshals, buses and police herding the masses. The non-stop megaphone yelling fairly jumps out of the screen.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: COVID, Philip's no-fuss attitude mean simpler funeral plan See in context

will be laid to rest with all the honors due a prince of the United Kingdom and a consort to Queen Elizabeth II.

FFS, it's 2021, give it a break. I cringe when they wheel out this sort of guff for royal events. Embarrassing.

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Posted in: Gov't to release Fukushima nuclear plant water into sea despite fishermen's objection See in context

Typo - I have avoided fish landed in Japan

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Gov't to release Fukushima nuclear plant water into sea despite fishermen's objection See in context

Releasing it is not a Japanese problem, it is a global problem. You can draw an imaginary line in the sea and say these are 'Japanese waters', but in reality contaminating the sea impacts some faster, some slower, some more, some less, but everyone eventually. And - flash news - fish can swim, so they also don't 'respect' borders. East coast fishers will be most impacted, but really all of us will face not knowing if our food is contaminated. Personally, I have added any fish or seafood labelled with a Japanese landing point since the accident, as it is a clear risk. There's no such thing as perfectly safe food any more, but this action of the Japanese government is obviously going to make Japanese catches that much more contaminated, and for a long time to come. I will be eating as little as possible (cook at home, eat imported fish/seafood) for the forseeable.

I know nothing about this, but isn't there a way to evaporate the water and store the residues? I'm guessing not, or they probably would have already done that. @zichi, any idea?

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Posted in: Osaka declares COVID medical emergency with 878 new cases See in context

How many of you actually live in Osaka or even know any people here? I do and everyone I know thinks it's it's overblown. They can see barely anybody is dying from it so none of the universities or schools are going to close.

Anecdotal evidence, people's ignorance, state of denial, or mood - never a good thing for governments to base decisions on. In order to from keep us healthy and alive, governments need to act swiftly to avoid the medical system being overrun. The label sounds dumb, but for once, calling it a medical emergency is right. By the time you start knowing people impacted by it, it will be out of control. Exponential growth.

In places where medical systems are tightly stretched, that is the reality. My husband's family in a Latin American country which doesn't have the luxury of a well-resourced health system are living it. His nephew is an Uber driver, and his reality is life and death decisions about transporting desperate people from hospital to hospital, where they are turned away, or deciding whether to help an old lady lift her sick husband into the cab, people begging him to carry a relative, and they drive from place to place trying to buy an oxygen tank. It is traumatic and gut wrenching, to deal with so many stories of people you love, people you grew up with, taken, and being unable to do anything.

That is the situation medical experts fear and want to avoid, in any country. Once infections pass a certain point, the capacity of any medical system, no matter how 'advanced', can be overrun. And Japan's is not well prepared for this, which the medical experts (and the government) know. So let's not be in denial about what is at stake.

Stop panicking, most people are testing positive with the snuffles. You don't have to go out if you don't want to

Ah yes, the sniffles, that's what that Jair Bolsonaro said in Brazil. And Brazil now has a world-beating death toll of over 4,000 a day and rising. Perhaps you'd feel okay living in that situation, but most sane people want to try to avoid it.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Quasi-emergency COVID-19 measures begin in Osaka, Hyogo, Miyagi prefectures See in context

Attendance at large events such as concerts and sports games are capped at 5,000

Yes, and to reassure you, this has now been officially designated as a quasi super-spreader event.

... install acrylic sheets to prevent droplet transmission ...

Better than nothing, but almost certainly, the greater risk is from aerosol transmission - it's the aerosolised virus circulating all round a poorly ventilated space that is most likely to get you. A great article from el Pais explains this clearly:

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Posted in: Some medical experts unconvinced about holding Tokyo Olympics See in context

Japanese news agency Kyodo has reported, citing unidentified sources, that 90,000 people are expected to enter Japan from abroad. About 30,000 of those are Olympic and Paralympic athletes, coaches, staff and officials.

That leaves 60,000, and Kyodo said the plan is to cut that to about 30,000, many of whom would be news media.

So 30,000 news media are going to come all the way here and then sit out the whole event in their hotel rooms? Even supposing the 'optimistic' figure of 60,000 inbound is enforced (how's that going to work with the 2000-a-day entry quota? Will some have to come weeks and weeks early in order to get in?) And then you have ?hundreds? of thousands of (local) spectators, travelling, criss-crossing the country, massing together and sharing it around.

I wonder, what could possibly go wrong here?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 420 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 1,917 See in context

They told us that the train is immaculate and totally scrubbed down and disinfected.

Yes, well ... a quick run through twentieth century history would tell you it's not always a good idea to put your faith into what they tell you before you board the train - as millions found out to their cost.

Bon voyage!

And by the way, stay there, so you don't spread anything back to Kanagawa.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

Posted in: Homare Sawa, runner in first leg of Olympics torch relay, drops out See in context

Health reasons indeed. Smart move, Sawa-san. Nadeshiko's victory in the World Cup after the triple disaster was a great way to support your community, and this time, you have again chosen the way to lead through a crisis. You continue to be a shining example and the Japanese public is smart enough to read your public health message . Let's hope that many others follow your example. Clean up sport!

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Posted in: Olympic organizers to meet Saturday to decide on overseas spectators See in context

 they have been struggling with tepid public support

Read strong public oppositon. Viruses don't distinguish between residents and non-residents, Japanese and non-Japanese, athletes and spectators, for or against, what your politics are. Objectively, having 15,000 athletes and thousands of support staff and media coming in from all over the world to the same spaces is a superspreader event that puts all of us, and all of them at unneccessary risk, and multiplies the chances of generating new variants. There is no exit strategy for the SoE, they are only controlling testing and reporting, not the spread of the virus. That is what the public think, and why the overwhelming majority are against this corrupt porkfest going ahead.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Posted in: Chiba gov't workers punished for leaving work two minutes early See in context


5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Fans to be barred from Tokyo Olympic torch relay start See in context

Both runners and staff will have to keep detailed health records in the two weeks before their participation, and avoid risky activities -- including eating out or going to crowded places.

Well that's interesting - eating out and Going To have now been officially designated high risk activities that should be avoided to stay healthy. I guess that's why they were paying people to do them only a few weeks back, even as infection rates shot up.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: How dangerous is the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant today? See in context

What about the radioactive water?

The PR machine can answer that one: Fukushima fish are delicious.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Man arrested for robbing convenience store says he did it because he was hungry See in context

Can understand ‘panhandling’ or, in desperation, ‘shoplifting’ but, he threatened her with a knife. It’s ‘armed robbery’.

I know what you mean, but probably he added the knife to make sure he would get some time for a period, take the pressure off, get fed and sheltered every day for a while. This is the modern Japanese prison system, more and more an elderly care home for those who have dropped through the cracks. And you know how desperate they must be if they aspire to doing time in Japan.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympics chief invokes power of sport on anniversary of disaster See in context

"Daddy, Daddy, what does 'shill' mean?"

"Um, just Google Seiko Hashimoto, son."

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo Olympics chief invokes power of sport on anniversary of disaster See in context

saying it provided hope for survivors and in facing the coronavirus.

Um, no.

 the role of sports within society has become ever more relevant

No, less relevant.

 hosting a safe and secure Tokyo 2020 Games,

Um, no.

Tokyo's Olympic bid did not initially have the full support of the Japanese people, but they gradually came around when they saw how the Games could contribute to the recovery of the disaster areas.

Um, think it is the opposite way round.

Most Japanese oppose holding the Olympics this summer due to worries visitors from abroad will spark a resurgence in coronavirus infections, surveys have shown.

... as this next statement explains

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Posted in: Man arrested for robbing convenience store says he did it because he was hungry See in context

He's almost certainly one of the thousands of ageing single men ekeing a living on the fringes of Japanese society in a flophouse in Kotobukicho. If he is staying in 'a cheap housing facility in Yokohama', this is almost certainly where he has washed up. As the average age of the residents has risen, and the day labour they used to live on has dried up, they find themselves on the margins of society. Japanese society is not forgiving of people who drop through the cracks, and at his age, getting a job in this country for people who are tainted, like him, is not easy. If you give your address as Kotobukicho, that in itself will mark you. Short video:

24 ( +24 / -0 )

Posted in: 345 people in Japan infected with coronavirus variants See in context

What is more important in this kind of story is the lack of coherence, making it easy for readers to go off on one particular trail, without the bigger picture. Which is, these all have probably been making their way in for many weeks, (probably during the time when foreign residents couldn't return, while Japanese travellers had relatively few restrictions, and international flight crew fewer still). By the time cases were detected, there was almost certainly community spread of all of the variants. The higher the caseload, the greater the chance of further variants arising, including our very own homegrown one, which of course this article hardly mentions. Are they testing for that, too?

Then again, the high transmissability of the new variants is the most problematic aspect, more than the higher lethality, as this will risk a fresh surge as the SoE is ended. This is also more likely to be the major cause of a higher death rate, rather than the greater lethality of the UK variant:

A surge in caseload means a greater risk of health systems being overwhelmed.

They are ramping up the ability to test for variants, which is important. But given the way they are restricting access to testing, this will be of limited help in limiting spread, by isolating infected people in time. So no exit strategy, except hang in there for many many months until effective vaccination programmes are widely carried out. And that is assuming that vaccine development can keep on top of mutations in the virus, which aren't going to stop.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Queen vows to address Harry and Meghan racism claims See in context

Easy, just ignore these two.

Right, so you mean ...? Where are we then? So now we know it wasn't Her Maj, and it wasn't that infamous old bigot she's married to, so who said it? ?? I'll put my money on Colonel Mustard in the conservatory with the chamber pot.

Of course half of them are racists, not ready to look the twenty-first century in the face. It's the monarchy, stupid! What did you expect, progress? They've got form, just look back over the last hundred years of royal scandals, and you'll see how the institution responds to the winds of change - it turns its back.

Meanwhile, here in the real world, what are we being distracted from by this non-story?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Posted in: Nearly 400 infected with new coronavirus variant found in Japan See in context

Naturally the idea of this new strain being the “japanese” strain is off the table, after all Japan is immune to the virus and “all bad things come from foreign countries”.

Aargh, but we can't acknowledge that the virus mutates in Japan too. They already have their UK strain, their South African strain, their Brazilian strain. OMG, the world is going to want to call this one the Japanese strain! But the Olympics! Panic stations, damage control, get Dentsu on the line!

"Help! This is the worst possible time. We're trying to get out from under our SoE, start the torch relay (lock your doors, everyone), welcome forrin guests of corporate sponsors, while excluding every other Johnny foreigner, don't Go To Get Test, but Go To Eat again, Go To Travel again, announce the next meeting about the plan for the next vaccination drill. And then this! Whaddawe do? The world's eyes are on us!"

"Don't worry, I don't think most of the world is even looking your way; think they're trying to deal with a pandemic. You know, vaccinate their populations, test everyone, salvage their economies, stuff like that ... Come to think of it, you could just make a mascot for the damn thing, call it Omotenashi-kun. Give it huge eyes on the end of every spike, dress it up in a sailor suit, perhaps ..."

"... What's that? The virus strain?.... No, of course they won't call it the Japanese strain... What?... Already in media stories around the world ...? ... Mmkay, so let's think of another name and we can put that out ... Something ... positive, heartwarming, globish sounding ... I HAVE IT! We can call it the Olympic strain!"

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Posted in: More than 75% of Japanese don't want overseas fans at Olympics: poll See in context

A couple of things about your couple of things.

First, if you're afraid of the virus, don't go to the Olympics.

Right, so the infections at superspreader events just stay inside the stadium, and not back home with all the attendees? Tens of thousands of visitors mean massively increased risk for everyone on these islands. And the virus doesn't care if the host is afraid or unafraid. It just does its thing.

Second, how do we know Hashimoto is worried about foreigner to Japanese virus transmission? If it were transmitted at the Games, it would likely be from a Japanese citizen to a foreigner.

Erm, I don't think coronavirus checks whether the blood is Yamato or not. Nationality is irrelevant to this. If Hashimoto has any sense, she will understand that there are multiple paths of transmission, meaning athletes, support staff, media, volunteers, health workers, spectators can all take the virus wherever with them, both within and out of Japan. Bad for all parties.

Biden has indicated the vaccine will be available to all U.S. adults by the end of May. Herd immunity could occur before then.

And your point is? Herd immunity here in Japan is the relevant issue, and that is not on the horizon any time soon. And even with herd immunity, vaccinated people can still infect and pass on the infection, so others can still get sick. The potential for new combinations to create new variants, specially in a country like Japan with such a pitiful pace of vaccination and therefore a large potential host pool, is very real and very high. The risk to all of us as a result of the Games is huge, which is what most people in the country understand and therefore oppose it.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 116 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 600 See in context

Tokyo has requested the SOE extension by claiming that its bed capacity is near full with only about 50 or fewer covid patients. Unbelievable. The half smaller city Osaka, ahead off the SOE, has to date 73 serious patients. The real problem has more to do with bureaucratic red-tapes and lack of exit strategy.

... Or maybe because its definition of 'serious', like its criteria for 'earning' a test, are so restrictive that in fact a number of 'mild' cases are also sick enough to need a hospital bed.

And the lack of exit strategy, too true - this includes a strong test, trace and isolate strategy and widespread free testing ... the way they have bungled it so far, all they can do is like turning a tap off and on, over and over. SoE - numbers drop, end SoE, numbers rise back up.

Anyway, just another symptom of selective facts and numbers that don't make sense.

But hey, there will be enough vaccine for everyone by June. Also, everyone should be vaccinated by the end of the year. Yeah, that adds up. Not.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Japan's children of the tsunami shaped by tragedy See in context

A very brief trip to Tohoku in the summer of 2011, to do very minor volunteering to help the people of Ishinomaki clear up and start to pick up the pieces after the tsunami had a huge impact on me. First, it was like an awakening for Japan, with massive, spontaneous solidarity and community activism, a desire to just reach out and help fellow humans. Second, I was impacted by the massive pain and trauma when a whole community suffers so much, and although they have lost loved ones, they have no chance to mour, even though they have also lost livelihoods and homes and need to just get on and start trying to put their lives back together.

In moments with me, a complete stranger, some continued to bottle up and hold back their emotions. Others, the chance to unburden themselves to a stranger was like a dam bursting, and it all came flooding out. Horrific stories and searing memories that they hadn't been able to talk about because everyone in the community had their own horrors, so collectively they had to just hold it in. It was a humbling experience, to feel I was doing so little, but at the same time realise that it was of use for many.

We all celebrated a Bon matsuri in the neighbourhood. The first chance to enjoy do normal Japanese summer stuff, put on a yukata, wander round food stalls. Everyone piled onto a makeshift karoake stage on the back of a truck, and sang Ue o Muite Arukou together, and it felt unlike any other festival I have been to in Japan.

I feel for all the survivors who never got the support and counselling they needed, the displaced people forced to start somewhere else, those living in temporary housing for years, the families forced to split up, the discrimination against the children who moved to other areas and were treated as contaminated in their new schools. The efforts of the young people in this story to help others who went through all this are an inspiration, and remind us, as the messages and signs all over Tohoku said, 'please remember us'.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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