Bruce Chatwin comments

Posted in: Anti-mask group in Tokyo slammed for 'cluster festival' See in context

Standard flat surgical masks don’t give full coverage

Standard flat surgical masks do however give far more coverage than no mask at all, which would appear to be the whole idea...

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Posted in: Anti-mask group in Tokyo slammed for 'cluster festival' See in context

If a person’s hand has come in contact with the virus, and they touch their mask to adjust it in the vicinity of their eyes, nose and mouth, it can transmit the disease.

Masks get saturated with moisture from the mouth and nose after about 20 minutes. Once they’re wet, they no longer form a barrier against viruses trying to come through or exit.

Here's the rest of that old (March 18) quote:

When are they (masks) useful?

Studies done during the SARS epidemic of 2003 found that for medical professionals, wearing any type of mask compared with none can reduce chances of getting sick by about 80 per cent.

The N95 mask, which gives better facial coverage and guards against smaller droplets, appears to be somewhat more effective than standard surgical masks. But medical professionals follow strict guidelines in taking masks on and off, discard them after each use, and use additional safeguards like eye protection and gowns to shield themselves.

They can help to prevent sick individuals from transmitting the virus by blocking droplets. But again, they are only useful until they get saturated.

https://theprovince.com/news/local-news/coronavirus-why-masks-dont-work/wcm/f0fbbf0b-de0b-4f4b-a8fa-8d79e1fb1eaa

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

Posted in: Anti-mask group in Tokyo slammed for 'cluster festival' See in context

Alfie NoakesToday 08:57 am JST

Yet 3,661,371 were happy to vote for historical-revisionist Yuriko Koike.

True. Tokyo seems to like their governors on the far right. Ishihara immediately comes to mind.

And Osaka is saddled with the revisionist Ishin no Kai.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 197 new virus infections; nationwide total tops 50,000 See in context

this CPP virus mongering ... china viris

Really? What a first-class berk.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Anti-mask group in Tokyo slammed for 'cluster festival' See in context

0.15%. Only 0.15% of voters in the 2020 Tokyo Gubernatorial Election cast their ballot for Masayuki Hiratsuka. That's less than 9,000 votes out of over 6 million votes cast. To describe this lunatic as fringe would be an act of charity.

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Posted in: Tokyo logs 331 coronavirus cases; Okinawa reports record 159 See in context

Finally trending down!

7-day average daily confirmed cases:

July 18: 477

July 25: 701

August 1: 1156

August 8: 1364

Notice a pattern?

https://covid19japan.com/

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: Panel discusses virus response guidelines for local gov'ts See in context

According to another media outlet today:

Health ministry statistics show that 7.33 new cases per 100,000 people were confirmed over the week through Aug. 5. That is 1.5 times higher than the figure for the previous week.

The ratio of cases whose infection routes were untraceable was 52 percent over the week until July 31, almost the same as the previous week.

The rate of positive test results has increased for seven consecutive weeks and reached 6.7 percent in the most recent week. That indicates that testing has not kept up with the pace of new infections.

But by all means, let's all "Go to travel"!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Do you think herd immunity in a country can curb the coronavirus? See in context

Can herd immunity curb the coronavirus?

Probably yes, but at what cost?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe says no need for another state of emergency over coronavirus See in context

@Tobias

do you have a link for the excess mortality data for Japan for this year?

J govt stats excess mortality rates Jan - April 2020:

https://www.niid.go.jp/niid/ja/from-idsc/493-guidelines/9748-excess-mortality-20jul.html

In the media and only reporting on Tokyo:

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-06-11/tokyo-mortality-increased-in-april-at-height-of-virus-pandemic

On a related note, apparently the stats published by MHLW on pneumonia related deaths are released only every 3 years. They were last released in 2019 for the years 2016 through 2018. So that makes the next release due in 2022...

https://www.mhlw.go.jp/toukei/saikin/hw/jinkou/geppo/nengai18/dl/gaikyou30.pdf

And on top of that, in 2014, Professor Ikegaya of the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine wrote in the respected journal Nature: "Autopsies in Japan are performed on only 1.6% of all deaths, the lowest rate among developed countries. Cause of death is almost always determined by simple visual inspection, as it was 100 years ago."

https://www.nature.com/articles/507306e

Finally, I believe that MHLW considers "old age" to be a cause of death.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Panel discusses virus response guidelines for local gov'ts See in context

No mention in the article of the composition of this elite panel. Other than Nishimura Yasutoshi who has bizarrely been given the COVID response portfolio even while he is the Minister of State for Economic and Fiscal Policy. the Minister in charge Economic Revitalization, and the Minister in charge of Social Security Reform. I am sure they are all as eminently qualified as Nishimura who has never worked outside government or politics...

A bit of background on Nishimura, the guy in charge of the COVID response:

Nishimura is affiliated to the openly revisionist lobby Nippon Kaigi. He advocates its main causes, which are: the revision of the constitution, the right for collective self-defense (revision of Article 9), state visits to the controversial Yasukuni Shrine.

Nishimura is also a member of:

the Nippon Kaigi Diet discussion group (日本会議国会議員懇談会)

the Conference of parliamentarians on the Shinto Association of Spiritual Leadership (神道政治連盟国会議員懇談会) SAS is a.k.a. Sinseiren, Shinto Political League

the Committee for promoting the reform of the Fundamental Education Law (教育基本法改正促進委員会)

the Conference of young parliamentarians supporting the idea that the Yasukuni Shrine is a true national interest and desire for peace (平和を願い真の国益を考え靖国神社参拝を支持する若手国会議員の会)

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says no need for another state of emergency over coronavirus See in context

@nakanoguy

unfortunately, too many people, and the media, just focus on the infection rate, which merely reflects one data point. the more important data points are hospitalization rates, icu rates and number of deaths.

According to MHLW,

Okinawa has 227 beds suitable for Covid-19 patients. Okinawa has 477 active cases. Okinawa has an estimated bed occupancy rate of 210%

Fukuoka has 945 beds suitable for Covid-19 patients. Fukuoka has 1,073 active cases. Fukuoka has an estimated bed occupancy rate of 113%

Aichi has 1,800 beds suitable for Covid-19 patients. Aichi has 1,560 active cases. Aichi has an estimated bed occupancy rate of 86%

Tokyo has 3,970 beds suitable for Covid-19 patients. Tokyo has 3,265 active cases. Tokyo has an estimated bed occupancy rate of 82%

Osaka has 1,969 beds suitable for Covid-19 patients. Osaka has 1,509 active cases. Osaka has an estimated bed occupancy rate of 76%

if these remail low, then who cares if 1,000 people a day, most of whom are young people, get infected.

Who cares? Really? It must be liberating to have such a cavalier attitude.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Posted in: Yasukuni Shrine a symbol of haunting wartime legacy See in context

So it should. That will never happen, though - it would have to be debated in the Diet and the right-wing nationalist crowd would easily kill the motion.

Yes, you're right. Nippon Kaigi, aka the LDP, would kill the motion.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Yasukuni Shrine a symbol of haunting wartime legacy See in context

The names of 21,181 Koreans, conscripted and forced to participate in the war, have been engraved on stones at Yaukuni since 1959, according to Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. There was no attempt by Yasukuni to accommodate the wishes of the Koreans' families before "enshrining" them in Yasukuni. Tokyo District Court, after deliberating (delaying) for over five years, ruled in 2018 against 27 families requesting the removal of the names of their family members from Yasukuni.

Yasukuni is toxic; it should be replaced with a secular alternative.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Gargling solution flies off shelves after Osaka governor touts anti-virus effect See in context

Just what the world needs, another right-wing populist snake oil salesman. Yoshimura is a charlatan.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't will not ask people to forgo summer travel due to virus, Suga says See in context

@ Monty,

You are calling for Japan to close its borders to the rest of the world.

Do you agree then that the rest of the world should close its borders to Japan?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Gov't will not ask people to forgo summer travel due to virus, Suga says See in context

Japan must keep its borders close for travelers and business men from overseas.

And should the rest of the world close its borders to Japan?

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Posted in: Do you think there will be many democracies around the world in, say, 20 years from now? See in context

As long as the Republicans continue to undermine democracy, kill dissent and undermine the will of the people, there will be no democracy in the US.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan's daily coronavirus cases top 1,000 for 1st time; Iwate reports first cases See in context

Professor Kamikubo of Kyoto University said on TV today, there will be no 2nd wave coming. 90% of Japanese have immunity. Testing does not have meaning. Many will be found positive but they do not become serious. He said the virus infected most of the Japanese in the early stages of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Jan. to March or April. He said there is no problem people pass normal a life.

Professor Kamikubo? The oncologist?

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Posted in: Virus surges worldwide as public loses faith in authorities See in context

Taking vitamin D supplements does not kill people, COVID does.

Please point out where I (or Dr. Fassnacht) stated or implied that taking Vitamin D supplements killed people. What is in question is whether or not vitamin D "has been proven to help protect against Covid19".

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Virus surges worldwide as public loses faith in authorities See in context

Pretty good data set out of Europe and New York that vitamin D deficiency results in higher case loads and much higher death rates.

Many studies vitamin D are association or observational studies. By definition, these studies cannot prove the causal relationship, but only point to mere correlations. Imagine two groups of 80-year-olds. One group is spry, active and does sports. If you compare them with another group living in nursing homes, the difference in vitamin D levels will be dramatic. Life expectancy would also be extremely different. But to try to explain the difference in fitness by vitamin D status alone is far too simplistic. "Vitamin D levels are a good measure of how sick someone is. But not more," said Martin Fassnacht, head of endocrinology at the University Hospital of Würzburg.

There have also been a number of studies showing a correlation between low vitD levels and dying from C19.

A research study carried out at the University of Hohenheim has now established a link between vitamin D deficiency, certain previous diseases, and severe cases of COVID-19.

According to the study, "there is a lot of evidence that several non-communicable diseases (high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome) are associated with low vitamin D plasma levels. These comorbidities, together with the often accompanying vitamin D deficiency, increase the risk of severe COVID-19 events."

"This statement is completely correct," said Martin Fassnacht, head of endocrinology at the University Hospital of Würzburg. However, he qualifies that it is a pure association, "i.e. a mere observation that these events occur together.

Dr. Fassnacht is very critical of the hype surrounding vitamin D, but not because he denies the vitamin serves important functions. However, studies on humans have not been able to show that vitamin D has the healing powers many often propagate.

"If you take a closer look, the hopes that the administration of vitamin D has a healing effect have not been confirmed so far," said Fassnacht.

According to Fassnacht, none of the intervention studies carried out to date -- that specifically examined the effect of vitamin D on various diseases -- has been able to confirm the previous association and laboratory studies or the presumed positive effect of vitamin D.

https://www.dw.com/en/vitamin-d-against-covid-19-more-help-or-hype/a-54089415

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Virus surges worldwide as public loses faith in authorities See in context

Deaths per million caused by the CCP Virus as of July 23 2020

CCP virus? Really? What a berk.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Posted in: Virus surges worldwide as public loses faith in authorities See in context

It is the fault of the idiots who ignore the initiatives, not the governments.

Some governments have been much better at formulating and communicating initiatives than others. In general, they understandably receive higher ratings from their constituents.

Charlie Foxtrot countries include most notably the US and the UK, the leaders of which appear to be incapable of organizing a birthday party, let alone a response to a pandemic.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Virus surges worldwide as public loses faith in authorities See in context

Kekst CNC survey methodology and full results:

Respondents from nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults in Great Britain, 1,000 adults in Sweden, 1,000 adults in Germany, 1,000 adults in United States, 1,000 adults in Japan and 1,000 adults in France. were asked how well or badly they thought any of the below countries (France, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, USA, Austria, HK, UAE, Switzerland, UK, Mainland China, Russia, Italy, Spain, S Korea, Germany) around the world had handled the coronavirus crisis overall.

Fieldwork took place on 1st June _ 5th June 2020.

Quotas and weights on gender, age, and region in each country.

Margins of error of +/- 3.3% for all countries.

Respondents from outside of the United States, see that nation to have handled the COVID-19 pandemic worse than any of the other 16 countries included in the survey. Only in the United States itself is there a view that others (Italy and Mainland China) have done a worse job.

The United States is seen to have handled COVID-19 badly by a net 73% by citizens of the UK and Germany, and net badly by 61%, 50% and 49% from France, Japan and Sweden respectively. Citizens of the United States rate their own country at net 15% badly. The UK, Mainland China, Russia, Italy and Spain are all rated negatively overall. The UK was the most critical of its own nation’s response, rating the response a net 26% badly.

Although there is generally positive feedback on the performance of public services and essential retailers through the pandemic, the performance of political leaders is not universally praised by their own citizens. The Japanese Prime Minister scores a net -33% in Japan, and The United States President a net -20% in the United States. There is also strong domestic criticism of the French president (net -17%) and UK Prime Minister (net -7%). These ratings are in complete contrast to that of the German Chancellor who scores +48% on the same metrics.

Government priorities

Looking over time, the survey found in all markets apart from Sweden, the gap between prioritising lives (even if that risks a major recession) and avoiding economic damage (even if that risks a major loss of life) is narrowing. In the United States, the gap has gone from 30 points last month to 22 now, from 16 points to 13 in Germany, from 44 to 30 points in Japan and from 59 points to 41 in the UK. Sweden, where lockdown measures have been less stringent has seen the gap widening over the past month, rising from 15 to 20 points.

The UK remains the country where the public is most adamant about the importance of saving lives (63%), regardless of economic damage.

https://www.kekstcnc.com/insights/germany-most-praised-united-states-most-criticised-for-global-covid-19-response

"Fieldwork took place on 1st June _ 5th June 2020"

I wonder how confident in their governments people are feeling now.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese government's digital ambitions still stuck in piles of paper See in context

@divinda Today 07:03 am JST

How to get Coronavirus New Case Numbers:

http://www.asahi.com/ajw/articles/13562212

Thanks for passing on the link. Fascinating story.

Why not just use an Excel spreadsheet...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Experts meet on how to prevent Go To campaign from spreading coronavirus See in context

There appears not to be an infectious disease expert on the government's so-called expert advisory panel supposedly advising the government.

Kenji Shibuya, director of the Institute of Population Health at King's College, London: "this is not a scientific panel but simply another government committee managed by bureaucrats"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: ACCJ urges Japan to end 'double standard' re-entry rules See in context

any Canadian that has dealt with immigration Canada knows far to well what is said or on the website and how things are actually done are two very different things.

I'm Canadian and that is not my experience.

I'd say more, but as it is probably better to be polite and end it here.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Posted in: ACCJ urges Japan to end 'double standard' re-entry rules See in context

@Antiquesaving Today 02:54 pm JST

Canada has a case by case system it is not automatic that PR or spouses can enter or return to Canada.

Govt of Canada website:

"Will I be allowed to re-enter Canada if I’m a permanent resident?"

"Yes. If you’re a landed permanent resident and have no symptoms of COVID-19, you’re allowed to travel to Canada. If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, you will not be allowed to enter Canada by air. You can still enter at a land border."

https://www.canada.ca/en/immigration-refugees-citizenship/services/coronavirus-covid19/permanent-residents.html

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese hospitals cut staff bonuses as coronavirus drives them into the red See in context

Private hospitals receive govt subsidies.

Pay the "bonuses" or lose the subsidies.

Better yet, nationalise the private hospitals.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Japanese hospitals cut staff bonuses as coronavirus drives them into the red See in context

According to The Commonwealth Fund, 85% of hospitals in Japan are private: "As of 2016, 15 percent of hospitals are owned by national or local governments or closely related agencies. The rest are private and nonprofit, some of which receive subsidies because they’ve been designated public interest medical institutions."

https://www.commonwealthfund.org/international-health-policy-center/countries/japan

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 119 new coronavirus cases; 1st time below 200 in 5 days See in context

Not sure, but it seems likely that the figure of 119 reported today is actually for Sunday July 12th.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

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