dk9000 comments

Posted in: No. of daily new coronavirus cases in Tokyo passes 20,000 for first time See in context

I wish there was more recognition of the fact that proper ventilation is by far the best measure against preventing infection.

Today I went to a new gym where I had to record my temperature at the entrance (

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Posted in: New law in France bars unvaccinated from restaurants, sports arenas and other venues See in context

I had a bad reaction to the first shot and have ongoing symptoms as a result. I will not be getting my second shot, but no doctor is taking me seriously either. I suspect there's thousands if not more people like this who are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Rather than focussing on making life more difficult for 'unvaccinated' people, how about we focus on, oh I don't know, developing better vaccines and making antivirals more widely available?

With sufficient resources, for example, we could have vaccines that provide sterilizing immunity, work in the nasal passages, and are effective against all or a large subset of coronavirus families and variants. There is so much more we could do instead of just focussing on scapegoating unvaxxed, single vaxxed, double vaxxed and so on until the nth booster.

I understand the need to protect the vulnerable and health care capacity etc. etc., but the extremely narrow vision of Macron and other leaders on rolling out booster after booster and going after the folks not updated with the latest shot makes me sad.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Posted in: Netherlands going into lockdown; restrictions tighten across Europe to curb Omicron See in context

The Imperial College study was a modeling exercise with lots of uncertainty. Real-world data re: Omicron and severity so far looks promising, though we'll know much more in two weeks from now.

As for Japan, we will certainly get an Omicron wave here too early next year. It just spreads too easily, masked or not. Booster shots 7 months after the second shot is pretty late if you look at the waning efficacy after 4~5 months. Still, 2 shots should provide sufficient protection to avoid hospitalization for the vast majority, hopefully.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Burger King releases 100% plant-based Version 2 Whopper in Japan See in context

While ignoring the other issues that come from these fake meats. 

The environmental impacts of plant-based meat vs. conventional beef have been thoroughly analyzed and it's clear that plant-based has a reduced impact across a large variety of impact metrics ranging from GHG emissions to water use. Google for related LCAs.

As for health, I agree that a lot of the plant-based meat options likely are not ideal with their processed oil contents. Personally, I'd stick to a stuff from the local farmer's market and the occasional grass-fed steak. Still, it's nice to have as an option if you find yourself at a Burger King-like place with your friends, imo.

The endgame here is to create imitation meat that is completely indistinguishable from the real deal and nutritionally sound, so we no longer need to create needless suffering for large amounts of animals. Even if the current options aren't perfect, the progress we're making is promising and these plant-based whoppers are a step in the right direction.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Burger King releases 100% plant-based Version 2 Whopper in Japan See in context

Cows are sentient beings. Growing them in the conditions where they end up in a whopper for Burger King creates incomprehensible suffering on a planetary scale. By choosing this plant-based burger, you're choosing not to.contribute to that suffering. Tastes pretty good too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Hashimoto takes gold in gymnastics See in context

These gymnastics finals have been phenomenal to watch, nail biters all the way through!

“I didn't feel any pressure or nervousness.”

The mind of this kid, unreal. Hashimoto's reign has started.

Pro tip: get a VPN set up and watch on the BBC website.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Czech Vondrousova beats Osaka in third round of Olympic tennis See in context

32 unforced errors in one hour, impressive!

16 ( +21 / -5 )

Posted in: England lifts COVID restrictions as scientists warn of surge in cases See in context

At least the UK and Johnson are honest about the realities that faces the world; covid is here to stay, all of us will come in contact with it at some point, for most of those who are vaccinated it will likely be like a common cold at most, while for those who are not vaccinated it will be like a common cold or worse, and government intervention is only meaningful if it looks like health care systems might collapse or you have to suppress numbers when hosting the Olympics.

That said, if ICU rates and deaths start rising big time in the UK, that would be very bad news for the rest of us. Interesting situation to keep an eye on!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Health experts warn of Olympic COVID-19 threat; prefer no spectators See in context

Hi all, I find this all fairly confusing given the following details:

The olympics: about 70k mostly vaccinated people coming into Japan under strict protocols with daily testing + a couple thousand masked and socially distanced spectators in well-ventilated venues per event

Daily number of people commuting to and from Tokyo in crowded trains: at least several million (some resources state 10 million daily for the entire greater Tokyo area). That's over 100 times the total number of Olympic-affiliated people, per day.

So why are people so upset about the olympics, which is a relatively small event, but not about the fact that millions of people travel around Tokyo every single day? I appreciate all your kind and considerate replies to help me understand this odd choice of priorities.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

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

Are people aware that the entire Olympic entourage coming into Japan is 1) mostly vaccinated and 2) about a 1/10th the number of people passing through Ikebukuro station every single day? Perspective, folks.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Posted in: JOC executive says Tokyo Games should be held without spectators See in context

Meanwhile literally more than 10 million people ride the trains to Tokyo to and from work every single day, but somehow 70k mostly vaccinated olympic folks following super strict protocols won't be able to come safely to Japan while there's a couple hundred masked and socially distanced spectators in the stadium to provide at least a hint of enjoyment? What's the logic here?

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Posted in: A year after first confirmed death in China, coronavirus source still a puzzle See in context

Anything Daszak says should be met with skepticism. His team funded the Wuhan virology lab for years, supporting research on emerging bat-to-human viruses by literally creating such viruses. Him leading the WHO origins team is a conflict of interest of the highest degree. The fact that Daszak came out in february guns blazing to indite anyone who would even consider a lab leak hypothesis as a lunatic conspiracy theorist is damning and support this notion.

The fact is that a laboratory origin is not a conspiracy theory - it's a theory. One that should be taken seriously given the coincidence of the outbreak occurring right next to China's only lab that does Gain of Function research on coronaviruses. It's too bad we'll likely never know the truth, given that the CCP has had a full year to wipe every trace of whatever might have happened (and still finds it necessary to stall the WHO team for god knows what).

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: 4 dead after Trump supporters storm U.S. Capitol, forcing Senate to evacuate See in context

Trumpism and the radical right is a cult that leads to destruction. Woke-ism and the radical left is a cult that leads to the same. Can America find a center that features some shared notion of values and common ground? The question of this decade.

-6 ( +5 / -11 )

Posted in: Actor Iseya gets suspended sentence for cannabis possession See in context

Japan followed the US in needlessly criminalising cannabis after WW2. They should follow the US again in de-criminalising it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan considers setting up panel on imperial succession See in context

Wow, that is fantastic news. A few months ago they were still considering on whether to take things into consideration, but now they've already progressed to a more definite considering. Could it be that Japan is finally entering the age of exponential consideration we've all been waiting for?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports record high 602 new coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 2,969 See in context

16 deaths a day.. My condolences to everyone related, but get some perspective folks. Japan is still one of the finest places to be these days. Looking forward to the Olympics.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Posted in: Pearl Harbor dead remembered in ceremony curtailed by pandemic See in context

The reasons for starting the war were complex and can't be boiled down 'imperialism' or 'those darned militarists' or even 'but we needed oil!'

Japan was a complex dynamic system at the time - still is - with a series of financial crises, resource scarcity, Western powers colonizing neighboring Asian countries, competing military factions, nationalism, resentment at America's gunboat diplomacy, political assassinations left and right, a complacent emperor, and the imperial navy's gamble to sneak up on a certain harbor in Hawaii all coming together in a maelstrom that led to that 'date which will live in infamy'.

Did most normal people in Japan want war with the States? Hell no.

Anyways, look what became of Japan now; shooting rockets into space rather than at enemy ships, coming back with asteroid dust and amazing the world. Plenty of (huge) challenges ahead, but things overall have been net positive. Let's keep it up.

Btw, Dan Carlin and his Hardcore History podcast currently has a fantastic series on Japan and the Pacific war in WW2, highly recommended.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

Posted in: Pearl Harbor dead remembered in ceremony curtailed by pandemic See in context

At what point do we stop commemorating this? Or WW1 or other wars? Wouldn't it be better to move on?

Probably not for another century, at least. The extent to which the modern world was shaped by WW1 and WW2 cannot be overstated. Millions of people gave their lives such that we, here in Japan and many other modern democracies, can enjoy the freedoms we enjoy today.

Personally, I hope we never forget, stop commemorating, or 'move on.' The freedoms we enjoy today were not free. They came at the greatest cost imaginable. We'd do well to honor that, now and for generations to come.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Posted in: Pearl Harbor dead remembered in ceremony curtailed by pandemic See in context

That today Japan remains so dependent on imported oil suggests Japanese leadership have not learned much since then.

Wishful thinking. Every nation in the world depends on oil, and will continue to do so for decades as we continue to fly planes, drive non-electric cars, pour cement, and wrap all our bananas in virgin plastic. Besides, it's not like Japan can just wish some oil into existence beneath its soil. Best we can do is import and invest in next generation nuclear tech and improved batteries to capitalize on the rapidly decreasing costs of renewables.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

Posted in: Bird flu outbreak spreads to Fukuoka Prefecture See in context

Fun fact: some versions of bird flu that occasionally make the jump to humans have a kill rate of 60% (e.g. H5N1 avian influenza). So far they fortunately didn't spread too well, but one can imagine we may not always be that lucky. Makes the current coronavirus look like a walk in the park.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: No. of coronavirus infections in Japan passes 1,000 See in context

People here are saying 'Japan dodged a bullet' as if this is already over. It's not. One case at the wrong place at the wrong moment (e.g. any train in tokyo, anytime). and you go from containment mode to flatten the curve mode. You can only outrun a bullet for so long.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Posted in: Mask diplomacy: China tries to rewrite virus narrative See in context

Live animal markets need to be banned full-stop, forever. They represent an existential threat to human life. When this over, the USA, EU, Japan, Australia - all need to band together and put economic pressure on China (and whatever other country thinks it's still a good idea to sell wild live animals) to make this happen.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: IOC reviewing Games scenarios; cancellation not among them: Bach See in context

No way the olympics are happening. The athletes themselves will boycot it. Many are locked in isolation mode for what will likely be weeks at a time, creating an uneven playing field between countries getting hit hard and those that are not. For the sake of the sports and the safety of the athletes and everyone they directly and indirectly come in contact with as they literally risk their lives to train outside, postpone this already.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Trump says U.S. watching Japan closely for possible travel restriction See in context

Let's not bash country leaders trying their best to stop this virus from spreading

What if those country leaders have repeatedly demonstrated incompetence in handling this situation? No one should be immune to criticism, least of all politicians. This single-minded kotonakare shugi thinking is the reason Abe is still in office after the countless scandals he's been involved in.

Do not forget:

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Posted in: Transportation, tourism sectors hit hard by virus outbreak See in context

When Ebola hit in Africa in 1995 and presented an immediate danger to the whole world, we were not ready. This was 19 years after the virus was discovered. When it hit again in 2014, another 19 years later, we were still not ready.

SARS hit in 2002. Even though it was 40 years after human coronaviruses had been discovered, we were not ready. Now Covid-2019 is here 17 years later and we are still not ready.

Yes, we need to deal with the immediate threat. Yes, tour bus operators are going to have a tough time for a while. After this though, we must look at the bigger picture and figure out how to prepare ourselves better for outbreaks like this. Because they will come again and they will be worse.

Abe wants to violate the constitution and spend billions and billions on a Japanese army? Spend some of the money on virology and vaccine R&D, rapid vaccine development facilities, and anti-pandemic efforts instead. This is where the real threat lies, as we are clearly seeing now.

New viruses will continue to emerge. Pandemics will continue to happen - we've known this for more than a 100 years and yet we are never, ever ready. We need to be ready.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says gov't will create ¥270 bil fund to fight virus spread; asks for public support See in context

In contract to South Korea, the Japanese government is managing the propaganda around Covid-19 by simply not testing suspected cases. Do not fall for this and assume the cases are still negligibly low. If you live in Japan - city or countryside - assume you are at risk. Wash your hands, replace in-person meetings with video, and avoid mosh pits at heavy metal concerts.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Posted in: Makers distance themselves from Abe's 600-million mask pledge See in context

Here's a fun little experiment you can do at home:

Go outside in the morning when it's cold enough so that you can see the steam when you breathe. Put on your standard mask, then breathe. You will notice that when you breathe, most of the air is actually escaping through the edges of the mask and around the nose.

Good luck with those 600 million masks.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Posted in: Woman confirmed as coronavirus case for 2nd time, weeks after initial recovery See in context

This is a concerning observation. Two general possible scenarios:

She never truly recovered and the virus lay dormant or follows a biphasic clinical course.

She recovered the first time, then got reinfected.

Critical questions to answer relate to how common this is amongst other patients, what the severity will be moving forward, whether this patient will be able to overcome the virus fully the second time around, and why there is an apparent lack of immunity in case of reinfection.

Until the doctors share their observations with the medical community through publication though, all claims regarding the above should be considered nothing but speculation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe urges 2-week curb on big events to stem coronavirus spread See in context

I'm not familiar with those online forums so maybe I'm missing out, but my impression living here is that the majority of Japanese people live in a rather confined Japanese-language media bubble and wouldn't be able to read the New York Times even if they cared to do so.

This article was written by Koichi Nakano though, a professor of political science at Sophia University in Tokyo. I wonder if he has much of a voice within the Japanese media - he really should.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe urges 2-week curb on big events to stem coronavirus spread See in context

Japan’s leaders are so out of touch with the lives of ordinary people that they seem genuinely uninterested in their plight. That, in turn, allows an entire bureaucracy to wallow in denial, even over a crisis like the coronavirus outbreak and just a few months away from the Olympics.

I wish everyone in Japan could read the article posted in the New York Times today. It's the ultimate breakdown of Abe's & co.'s incompetence. I suspect that if this were South Korea, Hong Kong, or any nation where the media speaks freely and where the value of confrontation-avoidance was not ingrained as much as it is here, people would be protesting in the streets by now.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

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