"When's the fourth?"
This will never end. It hasn't sunk in for many people yet
A point that far too few are unwilling to or else unable to accept. The world governments and global media have done such a fine job trying to scare everyone about the dangers of COVID that they have created an endlessly perpetuating situation. The virus will likely become as watered down and common as influenza viruses, but the narrative about following orders and getting endless boosters will likely persist.
I legitimately worry about this situation given that COVID has around a 3% fatality rate (and that was the original strain) and all this panic and pandemonium. What of something with a real risk like Ebola? Will people even take something like it seriously given the unprecedented actions that have been taken with COVID?
Furthermore I worry that people will begin to trust science less and trust medicine less as a result. Making vaccine passports and mandates for an endless series of booster shots has the potential to trigger a massive backlash. And who exactly needs these booster shots? All the "guidance" about those who have gone 6+ months since their inoculation was complete with the assumption their antibody levels have fallen. Have they? Wouldn't it be prudent to check before getting yet another shot? Why is asking this question such a controversial issue for that matter?
I know several people that had significant side effects from their second Pfizer or Moderna shots. Two of them, as well as numerous people on these forms, have mentioned they do not intend to get a booster as a result. So what happens? Will they soon be considered "unvaccinated" and subject to exclusion or discrimination from mandates and passports? How is that fair?
And in the US in particular with the idea that people who have recovered from COVID and have natural immunity need to get the vaccines just to comply is equally insane: the point of the vaccines is to simulate the post-infection protection phase; why in the world would anyone with superior resistance need to then get artificial, inferior immunity? Why is that also a controversial question when it's common sense/basic science?
It really bothers me that all the right-wing conspiracy/antigovernmental types who have been making all kinds of absurd claims for the duration of this pandemic have started to sound plausible given what has been going on. The world governments have deemed it fit to radically abuse their power during this time period.
4 ( +7 / -3 )
When will open the borders ?
Unfortunately they can't because the government has no clue what the actual infection spread/situation is. It refuses to test large numbers of people, so instead it's just a guessing game and hoping that hospitals don't start to fill up again.
Opening the borders would mean that Lamda or Mu could emerge in large numbers and that would be a huge optics "problem" right before the national election. Just image if there were a dozen cases of either identified just days before people go to vote.
Instead the plan is to try and use obscene amounts of tax revenue to try and provide the economic stimulation the government's policies are preventing. Reopening the borders would be an immediate stimulation for all of the industries so badly damaged by the SoEs.
And if a domestic-based sixth wave starts to emerge now that people are openly ignoring common-sense preventative measures again? Let's just say another SoE lies ready and waiting.
-2 ( +11 / -13 )
"Fix" Japan? There isn't an LDP politician on the planet that's willing to do or is likely even aware of what must be done to "fix" Japan. Dealing with the national debt, ending the protections that keep useless incompetent people employed, totally overhauling the education system, making gender equality a top-priority issue, ending discrimination of foreign residents for housing, etc.
The whole reason Japan is so stable is because nothing ever changes. That's the whole "point" and any claim of fixing anything is just lip service for election purposes.
12 ( +17 / -5 )
Amazing how this country wastes taxpayer money and thinks absolutely nothing of it. The reason the economy is "bad" is specifically due to the SOEs the government set up. Not a lockdown, no, but a bullying campaign to subjugate restaurants and bars while allowing trains and subways and offices to run as per normal. Tourism discouraged, foreign tourism prohibited, etc.
Why is the solution to spend tax money to stimulate the economy? How about stopping with the idiotic restrictions and let the economy recover naturally?
The LDP will do anything and everything to ensure its the permanent one-party "solution" for the next 80 years as well, and people just buy into it hook, line, and sinker. How about a plan to deal with the national debt? The pension and medical system teetering on insolvency? The insane bill from the Olympics? How about not tearing up public roads and sidewalks every few years to artificially create "work" and line the pockets of all those involved?
And why is it OK to spend money now, yet there was no follow-up support money for those who were impacted by the SOEs?
6 ( +8 / -2 )
How about NOT restarting it? How about the simple fact that most people had no major financial loss during all of this because they work in "good" industries and have salaries that can afford not taking tax-payer funding to subsidize their travel? How about the fact that if things are back to normal, people WANT to travel and WANT to eat out and WANT to have a normal life and WANT to make up for lost time?
Why is this country so insanely obsessed with trying to abuse its citizens as much as possible? How much socialism is too much socialism? The debt here is absolutely criminal yet NO ONE CARES. The healthcare and pension system are edging closer to insolvency yet NO ONE CARES. The LDP continues to do this decade after decade yet NO ONE CARES.
How about instead of the government WASTING money it starts to act responsibly? How is it even morally sound to subsidize the travel and eating expenses of rich people who can AFFORD to travel when POOR people who were impacted by the SOEs got shafted by the one-time payout last year all because the LDP was worried if it gave the poor more and the rich none, it would be decimated in the next election.
I just don't understand this country and the idiocy with its finances. Consumption tax increasing? Offer subsidization/cash back. WHY raise the tax to begin with then? Tons of financing for "bridges to nowhere". TONS of financing to tear up roads and sidewalks for the 10th time this millennium while the elevated expressways in Tokyo are just one or two earthquakes away from collapsing.
Seriously does anyone actually care about how this country spends tax money? Does anyone actually care about what is going to happen in 5-10 years? 15-20?
7 ( +8 / -1 )
Watch as an inevitable 6th wave hits the country while the relevant official parties twiddle their thumbs and scratch their heads on how best to proceed.
Of course. You'd think now would be a critical time to do things like large-scale random testing and scheduling appointments with the elderly vaccinated in April and May to examine their current antibody levels. Now is when Japan needs to know what's going on to avoid a sixth wave and another SOE, yet these LDP politicians just want to ensure permanent one-party control over the country so it's best things look good.
Regardless, my family will be completely vaccinated by the end of October so we
The fact that you're still waiting for products that were released almost a year ago now speaks to the incompetence here. Even taking into account the delayed launch in Japan, there is still no excuse you've had to wait so long. And I know several people in the exact same situation, all living in the outskirts of Tokyo. They have to commute every day to work yet are less of a priority than random countryside people who have all the space necessary to avoid the virus.
I think the real reason for the drop in infections is fear ?
In August, we learnt that if you catch covid in Japan it is very likely you won't get an adequate hosptial treatment and you might die actually
Yes. Unless someone is undeniably sick, why would they want to get tested? Why would they want to risk contributing to the SOE situation when they're "basically fine"? The trouble is they can infect others, and those people can infect others, etc. Public health only works when personal responsibility is involved.
And as you mentioned, if someone is sick, why even go to the hospital unless they're dying? Tokyo would just send them home and say "get well soon".
But there were not so many people drinking like I expected.
I thought it would be an overrun to the Izakayas, but it didn't look like.
Yesterday wasn't the best weather though. And while the scene in Tokyo wasn't necessarily an explosion of people, nonetheless I noticed far more "night life" than I'd seen in a long time. As days pass and more people go out, the masses will likely deem it safe to emulate the behavior and crowds will be seen getting larger.
Although it's also worth pointing out that if people don't go back to normal, it means a majority of the country (or at least Tokyo) is still quite scared of the virus and therefore accept the fact the government isn't testing adequately and doesn't know how many cases there are.
5 ( +9 / -4 )
It never ceases to amaze how Japan gets off the hook every single time the issue of refugees comes up. Other developed countries take tens of thousands, yet this one can't be asked to handle even two dozen. Why is it OK to avoid any kind of global responsibility when Japan claims to be a global leader and has the third largest economy? Why isn't the foreign media pointing this out and shaming it? Why aren't the citizens demanding their country should help, too?
-3 ( +0 / -3 )
When the class went on a field trip to the zoo, the teacher encouraged them to hold hands next to each other, but the white girl next to Mr. Kishida looked at him disapprovingly. She would not shake the hand I held out to her. It was the first time I experienced racism. When I understood the situation, I made up my mind. I want to end this absurdity.
So because some girl wouldn't hold his hand, that constitutes "racism". It's funny how people just accept the story at face value. We know absolutely nothing about the larger context, including his behavior and his demeanor. Maybe he was picking his nose, maybe he had teased her before, maybe he was trying to slap her hand, maybe she had been harassed or molested or teased by males and didn't feel comfortable. Who knows? This reeks of a contrived "sob story" from someone who instantly blamed the situation on race.
It's also quite amusing to take in given how racist Japanese people are, even if it's unintentional. The comments you hear from about Koreans or Chinese are often disgustingly offensive, as as those made about Blacks. And worse, discrimination is still perfectly legal. If Kishida really cares so much about racism and understands how horrible it makes people feel, perhaps he needs to work towards ending it here.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
It's hard to understand how the SOE is lifted when eating establishments are being asked to close at 8PM or if they behave, 9PM. The way in which Japan has specifically destroyed certain economic sectors while ignoring others with these "emergencies" is disgusting. So a restaurant that opens at 5PM and normally closes at 1AM still only has about 3-4 hours to do business, as if most people even leave their office at 5 to begin with.
The only reason a "scaled back" month is needed is because the government has no clue how many infections are circulating in Tokyo due to abominable testing numbers. Likewise it has no clue how the antibody levels are for elderly who received the vaccines around April and May. Do nothing and hope for the best.
To look at how many stores have closed in the past 16+ months and how many buildings have been demolished, it really gives one a sense of how these SOEs have just wrecked people's lives and livelihoods. Meanwhile the elites in Tocho and Kasumigaseki have not suffered one bit.
People constantly argue that Japan has fared "better" than Australia. I disagree. Australia has a lockdown that basically entails everyone in the areas involved, and when it's over everyone can go back to normal. This country on the other hand, has spent almost 16 months destroying the hospitality industry, the service industry, the restaurant industry, the travel industry, and others while everyone who has "real" jobs at Japan Inc has been working from home in luxury or else going to their office as per normal.
Why there isn't a giant collective protest from these damaged industries is truly beyond comprehension.
-2 ( +1 / -3 )
Salaries have been stagnating for years, long before COVID hit. Back when the Consumption Tax was first hiked to 8% people were complaining as companies and services raised their prices yet employee earnings didn't. Then it went to 10% and the "Cash Back" campaign was instituted by the government using (if not mistaken) taxpayer money to subsidize the very increase it had forcibly imposed. All of this done under the name of Fukushima recovery and "Education". This during a pre-COVID time when economists were already saying Japan would need a hike to at least 18% just to zero the annual growth in National Debt.
Oh but the Olympics, the great and powerful Olympics. All you could hear was how the Olympics were going to save Japan and the cash influx from the Olympics and the cash expenditure on the Olympics and how it's all great for the economy, etc. And instead of Japan having a spine and delaying the Olympics to 2022 when it could generate actual economic activity, it bowed to the IOC and kissed the ring of its tyrant not once, but on two separate trips.
And now look at where we are. Tens of thousands (if not millions) of people around the country have lost their jobs or their businesses or the savings or income due to the braindead, discriminatory SOEs. Does the government care? Nope. Countless SOEs yet only the first saw a cash handout, and even that was to everyone as opposed to only those who deserved it. Somehow the government had to be all about "fairness" when it came to giving taxpayer money to rich people, yet had no problem being unfair to every single person who say, owns a bar or izakaya.
And now price hikes across the board some from this month, others from next year. As a foreign person I have the luxury of leaving this place. Unfortunately for the almost 126,000,000 people who live here though, they have nowhere to go. And yet watch - just watch - as they re-elect the LDP next month and keep this endless perpetuation of incompetence and endless debt in power.
-2 ( +4 / -6 )
To reiterate a point I made last month, it would be so refreshing if the LDP announced it was going to take a hiatus from running the country and let another party have a try for a few years. I really don't understand the point of having elections when one Party keeps winning for almost 80+ years straight.
Are Japanese people so monolithic in their thinking that no one is willing to try something new or bold or dynamic? I constantly hear people complain about the government, yet it never changes. I constantly heard people complain about Abe yet he always seemed to have high support.
-2 ( +3 / -5 )
@foreigner I hate to break it to you but many bars and restaurants have been functioning as is hroughout this entire so called SOE.
I'm aware, as is the government. The issue is that by and large most people have been acting responsibly. If 5M are "breaking the rules" and 9M are mostly following them, is that not still beneficial?
My question is what happens when the other 9M decides that it's fine to pack stores and restaurants and museums and hotels and other venues in full force. It's hardly a controversial point to raise; even the government is clearly worried hence the "gradual" return to normal it hopes for.
Sadly the bars and izakayas have been unfairly targeted by government to convey a "no-fun" mindset. Commuter trains have been packed from basically the end of the 1st SOE onwards, and there's a heck of a lot more people in those than even a block's worth of bars. Somehow it's not at all risky to go to work with thousands of people crammed together, but drinking in a small shop after 8PM is most certainly fatal.
for the love of humanity quit repeating and comparing japan to a handful of countries that have experienced spikes. You cherry pick data to fit your narrative constantly. What about the successful countries? Why not compare japan to them? My goodness you're a broken record.
Which countries might those be? New Zealand and Taiwan? Both nations that have gone for extended periods of time without a case of COVID-19? Japan has not gone a single day since this pandemic began. And you can be assured that if there are 30 cases found there are an estimated 10X that have been created as a result.
Also it's curious you seek to discredit my use of "select" countries as examples of what can happen. Ever consider say, energy? Notice how Chernobyl, Three-mile Island and now even Fukushima come up when people worry about nuclear power. That's also "cherry picking" when critics and watchdogs could be looking at all the places that haven't suffered catastrophic failures.
Seriously you types need to study risk management or the basic tenants of it. This is exactly why experts are used for crisis management and threat assessment in business and healthcare and war. And guess what? The GOAL is to be "wrong". The whole point is to avoid the problem entirely but be prepared if the worse comes to pass. I WANT to be wrong in my commentary and hope there is NO 6th wave.
-6 ( +8 / -14 )
I'm curious what will happen with the vaccinated once SOEs end. As mentioned yesterday, my prediction is people will see October 1st as "get out of jail" day and abandon all "pandemic behavior". If everyone goes back to normal and foot traffic is increased 1,000X, for example, it could likely trigger a 6th wave.
My hope is that come October 1st, people will continue to wear masks and socially distance and think responsibly, both for themselves (breakthrough cases), and for the unvaccinated (especially those still waiting for their appointments).
Japan is at risk of slipping into the same dangerous place America, Israel, and Singapore are in terms of people abandoning responsible behavior and seeing an unprecedented spike.
-8 ( +11 / -19 )
The IOC should be compelled to pay the lion's share of lost ticket sales. This corrupt organization is largely responsible for the "need" to hold both events this year instead of delaying them to next. Rather than consider the circumstances and be seen as a "practical" body that acknowledged the virus and the massive financial impact the Games would have on the host country in the absence of spectators, it relentlessly pushed ahead. As if that wasn't enough, the tyrant in charge made not one, but two trips to Japan ensuring he was the prime beneficiary of the greed and corruption on display.
Although I do also place a lot of blame on the Japanese people. Had it collectively protested and organized to shame the IOC into accepting a delay, it's likely the athletes and sponsors would have sided with Japan less they be seen as insensitive and incredibly selfish. But nope, despite everything, about half the country was thrilled with the games even at the start and that number only increased as the event went on. It's just incredible that the very people that will be saddled with this debt for generations could be so ignorant as to the real costs.
-1 ( +1 / -2 )
The 3-day average including today is 5,609 which means around 1800 tests were completed. That is less than the 2000 + tests a few days ago. Lower the number of tests, and you lower the number of infections as Japan gets closer to the planned ending of the SOE, so they can have elections at the beginning of next month.
Given the short attention span people have these days, the LDP will most assuredly win big in the election. One month of "back to normal" is likely enough to make the angry cool off, and those who would vote for the opposition in protest to just skip it entirely. Personally I have little hope any of these incompetent people will refer ever be held accountable for any of the disgusting negligence that has been on display here, from vaccine disasters to the hundreds dying at home in Tokyo.
how is predicting that Japan's sixth wave will be worse than the others common sense?
Because none of what I said requires an imagination or complex statistical calculations. I'm not arguing something based on calculations or algorithms or things like that. When you go from 50% foot traffic to 100% in the span of a day/week/short period of time the chances of disaster increase. It's the same reason you don't have open heart surgery and run a marathon the next week, and the same reason you don't eat spicy food after spending the morning sick as heck from food poisoning. The government is right to try and make this return to normal a gradual process, but too many won't heed the warnings or follow the guidance.
trying to sound superior and yet at the same time worried about the common man
If that's how you characterize my posts, it sounds like the issue is insecurity on your part. Making logical, supported arguments and points isn't "trying to sound superior". Perhaps you should ask why so few others don't do the same as well? Since when must comments all be in the form of two-sentence string-of-thought consciousness? And I am worried, which is part of the reason I make such long comments: if someone reads what I write and considers something they hadn't previously, that's a positive outcome in my book.
0 ( +6 / -6 )
people are tired from all this opression already.
Yes I've made similar points. Some people here and around the world keep asserting that Japan is somehow "winning" without lockdowns and martial law. They ignore the fact that it's legally impossible to do, but that the government would love to be able to, but what has been done is arguably worse than any lockdown.
These SOEs have been a disaster that have persisted endlessly. Their function is only to prevent shameless, selfish people from hurting others and instead directly punishing tens of thousands of innocent ones instead and indirectly the rest of the country. So many industries and jobs and businesses have been destroyed: tourism, restaurants, hospitality, etc, all because a segment of the population would otherwise be out all night drinking or would be out in full force at shopping malls and other places without any regard to the pandemic.
When you look at the infection numbers here, it's almost a double edged sword. On one hand there is a sense the SOEs achieved their effect due to low infections when compared with other populous countries. But on the other hand you look at the low numbers and feel sad and angry that so many have suffered (financially or even mentally) without any real justification: it's not like there were real explosions of cases at any point.
I have never looked at the SOEs positively. They ignored the reality of millions of people commuting to and from work each day in Tokyo, while claiming a small restaurant that serves 20 open at 8:30PM is the real danger.
My honest guess? Even without the SOEs in place, as the cases rose, foot traffic would have decreased, similar to what was seen after the Olympics. Unfortunately everyone had to be punished just because a few are selfish.
-2 ( +6 / -8 )
Omg foreigner how do u sleep at night worrying about all this stuff?
Actually I sleep fine. Some people can think critically without it "damaging" them or their health. Perhaps you're unaware that Risk Management is an actual profession and that the bureaucrats and medical establishments are aware of the very points I'm making?
The issue here isn't about staying up at night worrying. If that was the case I would have would have been shut in since January 2020. Instead, I've been out as per normal every single day, albeit with a mask and avoiding stores or restaurants that have been crowded. What I'm talking about is the need for people to be responsible and to think, rather than just view October 1st as "get out of jail" day.
Each of the 5 waves so far have occurred when people go back to normal life and stop using good judgement. Large crowds, no social distancing, things like that. Japan has not gone a single day without a new infection this since this pandemic began, and the idea that absent of such an achievement for a period of weeks (or months) caution can be thrown to the wind is just dangerous, sorry.
-2 ( +9 / -11 )
The current measures are way beyond the principle of precaution, especially since in the meantime within the country none of this is applied.
Sorry to say but Japan always views threats as an imported problem rather than a domestic one, earthquakes perhaps being the one exception. This is nothing new. Look at the fact that 30,000 tests were performed each day in the Olympic Village, yet not once has the country itself ever performed that many domestically. I think the record was something like 26,700 or so during the peak of the 5th wave, with most of those being in Tokyo.
The assumption is that foreigners - not returning nationals of course - are likely to be contaminated. And it's not necessarily a wrong assumption either. Look at the case numbers in other countries. Look at where the mutated variants are coming from.
At the end of the day, Japan is beholden to absolutely no one but Japan. Complaining about rules and regulations and comparing them to those in other countries is fine, but ultimately the people here allow it to happen and elect leaders who put the policies in place. At the end of the day you (we) are all glorified visitors not citizens. If you don't like the laws, you're free to leave.
-1 ( +3 / -4 )
To paraphrase the lengthy comment I made in the other top story about SOEs ending: I'm legitimately worried that what is about to happen will set Japan up for a 6th wave that ends up being the worst yet. It's not "doom and gloom" unfortunately, just common sense:
Since around February 2020, foot traffic has been reduced around the country, especially in cities like Tokyo. The SOEs were extremely helpful in achieving this, but even absent of those periods most people were still being careful and virtually everyone was wearing masks.
What is likely to happen from October 1st is that millions and millions who were previously avoiding crowds or being more selective about their actions are likely to become lax or stop entirely. The high vaccination rate coupled with the artificially low number of new cases is sending a clear message to Japan: go back to normal.
This is the exact time when mass, randomized testing is needed. A responsible government would want daily proof to the tune of millions that people are not infected. Instead what's happening is a few thousand people - all of whom likely have the virus or think they do - are being tested. If the virus really has disappeared to the extent current data suggests, that's great. If the virus hasn't, that's a recipe for disaster.
Also regarding a comment I saw yesterday about several European nations classifying COVID-19 as no different than the "common" flu. Note their total populations compared to that of just Tokyo. Central areas of Japan don't have the luxury of space and distance to avoid the disease. Everything is dangerously crowded to the point where Tokyo is going to be ravaged when the overdue major earthquake finally hits. Diseases can't spread as efficiently when there are less hosts and less opportunities to infect them, and even something as "mundane" as the "common flu" can be dangerous when it's more contagious.
-3 ( +10 / -13 )
So in another few days, the SOEs are set to expire. That, coupled with the vaccination rates, means people will likely be out in full force, last witnessed around January 2020. Masks will become less visible. Crowding will resume plaguing cities. Drunks will be everywhere at night once again as bars and izakayas gradually reopen. Hundreds of thousands of tourists from all around the world will start to enter Japan. Back to normal.
A frightening number of individuals don't see how a sixth wave is not only inevitable, but that the coming months have potential to be worse than any prior.
Until now, the vast majority of people have been acting responsibly or at least cautiously. Even when not under a SOE, there were still masks everywhere and general avoiding of crowded places, despite many days when there were only about 30 new cases for the entire country.
The idea that vaccinated people can throw caution to the wind has the potential to cause disaster. There will be breakthrough cases. There will be less people seeking vaccination. There will be unvaccinated people getting sick. Look at what's going on in the USA or Singapore right now.
If Tokyo foot traffic was at even 50% of normal prior to the start of the 5th wave, imagine how everything is exponentially going to get worse when it's 100%. We're not talking about increases in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, we're talking about millions.
And what happens when a new variant comes in from foreign tourists? What happens if and when there is a more contagious variant than Delta with far more resilience to vaccines?
People need to avoid crowded areas for the foreseeable future, continue wearing masks, and remain contentious and careful. The more that act like October 1st is "get out of jail day" the worse the next wave is likely to be. And the extent of this "freedom" traffic in Tokyo is likely to be even more explosive than it would have been otherwise, as so many are tired of feeling restricted, especially since this current SOE has gone on for about 5 months.
Sadly I don't think most people will be responsible and thus it's only a matter of weeks or months until another SOE is ordered and case numbers are on-par with or worse than August.
-9 ( +11 / -20 )
Japan feels like the most comfortable place to be during this pandemic.
I dare you to say that to anyone whose business has gone under or who lost their job or career or future because of the SOEs. It "feels" like that for you because you've apparently been unaffected. Just because some here only confronted the "horror" of a suspension of alcoholism after work and other such "crimes" doesn't mean others have fared as well. Try walking around Tokyo and avoiding the astronomical number of empty buildings or demolished properties and other glaring examples of suffering.
Nom the most "comfortable" place to be during this pandemic is Taiwan or New Zealand, two countries that actually handled the situation properly.
No Olympic explosion of cases, as predicted
Are we living in the same country? Have you actually looked at the trends and graphs for the 5 waves? Anyone who ignores the "normalcy" that was suggested to the general public as the Olympics got closer needs to take a good look at the 5th wave and compare the numbers to the other 4. So what exactly, because there weren't millions of dead bodies in morgues that somehow is defined as "no explosion" of cases? Even the GOVERNMENT doesn't know how many infected there were - or are - because it only tests a few thousand people a day.
Seriously, reading some of these comments with their callous disregard and outright disrespect shown to those who HAVE suffered from this pandemic is just disgusting. Sorry to say it, but Japan is more than just you and your personal situation.
-2 ( +10 / -12 )
It's hard to understand comments from people about how Japan "won" without "draconian lockdowns". As if the government somehow wasn't Constitutionally prohibited from imposing them. Anyone that paid attention knows full well it would have lockeddown like crazy had it not required a Constitutional Ammendment.
And what does it even matter? To ignore what these pathetic "voluntary" SOEs have done is to deny the suffering and discrimination of tens of thousands of people whose livelihood depends on the tourist industry, hospitality industry, services industry, resturant industry, and others, not to mention the owners of said restaurants and bars and hotels and stores and businesses.
Maybe it's time to look at the larger picture in determining if the pandemic has been "well handled" rather than a simplistic comparing Japan to Australia or China. At the end of the day, a one-month lockdown does far less damage than what has now been almost 16 months of a neverending nightmare for the types of people described above. At least the lockdowns elsewhere have been imposed on virtually all citizens equally, as opposed to the selective SOEs here.
-6 ( +11 / -17 )
Is there any reason no information is available as to the number of sick people in Tokyo who are suffering at home? Why is this group constantly and consistently ignored day in and day out? People in hospital have an entire team of Healthcare Professionals scurrying about monitoring their condition. Meanwhile those left to languish at home are just...what exactly?
It amazes me that no one seems outraged by all of this. You'd think a government that was so inept as to facilitate a situation whereby hospitals are full and people are dying at home would garner mass condemnation and calls for resignation. Yet here we are weeks and weeks later and still crickets.
I've said this before and I'll say it again: The real victims throughout this whole COVID-19 pandemic have been select minorities of Japanese people. Specifically: anyone who works at a bar, bar owners, izakaya owners, restaurant owners, people working in tourism, people whose businesses depend on tourism, and the people who have gotten sick and been tossed aside to rot at home. The winners? Japan Inc. for its infallible "miracle" handling of the virus of course. But also the incompetent politicians and the tens of thousands of useless bureaucrats, all of whom have been in their cushy offices with full salaries and benefits this whole time, all patting each other on the back and saying how they're so important and doing such a good job.
4 ( +14 / -10 )
You are continually calling all these vaccines experimental. I can hardly be accused of pitting words in your mouth! Surely every vaccine started out as experimental? Surely every vaccine IS (and certainly started out life as) experimental by default? In the US, the Pfizer Cominarty Vaccine is fully approved for the those aged 16 years and older - Moderna will be soon also, and thus renamed Spikevax. if you don't like the mRna vaccine, why don't you pop along to Shinjuku for a shot of AZ vaccine? Do you define that as experimental also?
Pharmaceutical products must go through multiple rounds of clinical trials. It can take 4 years, 5 years, sometimes longer. Government regulatory agencies meticulously scrutinize every piece of data. Often the initial patent filings for the drugs themselves are nearing expiration before they are finally approved and on the market.
Unless I am mistaken, the standard vaccines given today went through all the standard clinical trial and approval procedures. They were basically established as safe upon release because testing was so extensive. Sure there are some unknown reactions that may occur 10+ years later, and sure there might be some side effects that weren't necessarily observed with the test groups from the trials. But the key is that the products had been tested for years.
With COVID-19 vaccines, they haven't even existed in a lab setting for 24 months. Just because a government can suspend its pharmaceutical regulatory protocols doesn't mean the products are harmless. It just means the government has an unprecedented need to use the medicine now, not in 6 years. These protocols and investigative requirements are in place for safety, because it's dangerous to release products that haven't been properly tested.
Notice how other drugs aren't being fast tracked. Just those for COVID-19. People with rare diseases and cancer and all kinds of other significant health afflictions would love to have immediate access to therapeutics that might help them, but governments demand protocol be followed.
Are the COVID-19 vaccines important? Yes. Should at-risk people get them? Absolutely. But it is scientific negligence to just assume that they are safe because nothing major has occurred 8-9 months after release. Heck, consider how long it often takes before defective car or IT hardware is identified and then recalled; it can take many years before a defective battery or tire issue is found.
1 ( +5 / -4 )
What difference does it make how many tests are being done?I f you live in Tokyo, just look around you. Everybody seems fine.
The difference is that conducting 2000 tests and getting 400 positives looks a LOT different than conducting 200,000 tests and finding 40,000 positives. Look at what happened to foot traffic when the case number went to just around 5,600 at the "peak" of the wave. Things were quiet again, some places in Tokyo almost to the point of the first SOE.
You're right. The numbers don't really matter, only the hospitalizations and deaths. But the numbers DO serve as a visible and undeniable deterrent against irresponsible behavior. 400 new cases? People don't even bother checking. 400,000 cases? People start wondering if someone they've come into contact that day might have been infected. All of this has been about "scaring" people, and small numbers aren't scary. They're ignorable.
Also people can "seem fine" with a lot of things. HIV/AIDS. Hypertension. Cancer. That's why preventative medicine isn't about how you feel, it's about how you are. Ask yourself this: If 100 people are infected with the virus and "feel fine", and one of them manages to spread their infection to a vulnerable individual who then dies, what is the takeaway? That the death is inconsequential because it's just a single person? Yet that person matters. To their family, to their friends, to their co-workers, to their country.
A lot of the dismissal of the virus and the risk it poses seems to border on a callous disregard of human life, and the idea that if it's not deaths in the millions then there is nothing to worry about.
-6 ( +7 / -13 )
There is something profoundly concerning about products that haven't even been on the market for an entire year now being pushed into kids. The amount of fear and hysteria this virus has brought (no thanks to the media) is just incredible. You'd think COVID is the second coming of Ebola, yet the Delta variant itself is less severe/lethal than the original strain.
The vaccines served two purposes: to protect the vulnerable and to help economic recovery. Pushing them onto children serves what purpose exactly? How many Japanese school kids have died of COVID-19? How many were hospitalized? Of those, how many were perfectly healthy/had no pre-existing conditions?
I mean for crying out loud. Look at infection rates for HPV and EBV. Especially with EBV, something like 90% of the world contracted it yet how many people develop mononucleosis? Why aren't people going nuts and demanding a vaccine for that, especially when it can kill you later in life when/if you're immunocompromised?
Look at Singapore. 81% of the population vaccinated yet is having a huge spike in infections right now. As if somehow even a 100% vaccination rate would mitigate the risks.
I could understand pushing these therapeutics onto kids if they were living with UNVACCINATED elderly people, but even vaccinated elderly could just as well get sick from the kid's parents or the food store.
Does anyone seriously want to gamble with the future of children? To HOPE there are no long-term side effects to these vaccines? Absolutely no one knows, least of all the companies developing them or the governments pushing them.
1 ( +10 / -9 )
Why do you CTs always push the testing narrative? Has it actually helped any country prevent the spread of covid? Or has it actually just delayed the spread?
If you're calling me a conspiracy theorist, you don't even understand the argument being made. I'm literally analyzing and extrapolating data. There is no allegation of deliberately hiding something: the data isn't there to hide period.
The question is why Japan has taken this approach. Does it not have the capacity to do mass testing? Does it not think mass testing is important? Does it not care about finding a more accurate sample of cases? Does it worry about the ramifications large numbers would have on the country's international credibility?
It's quite telling that an immediate labeling of "conspiracy theory" is made the second anyone raises valid points. Does it bother you that I question what the government does? Does it anger you that I'm advocating for accountability or justification?
What a dangerous world it is when the very need to question - the entire point of science - is being derided as pushing a conspiracy.
-1 ( +9 / -10 )
I'm not sure massive amounts of testing would be of great benefit at this point. Given that the focus is now on getting people vaccinated and preventing hospitalizations and death.
The problem is that with these absurdly low numbers, it just provides unlimited evidence for ignorant people to resume life as per normal. Especially the under 40 crowd who drove up the whole Delta Wave and many of whom are still not vaccinated. It also decreases the "need" to seek out vaccination for that that haven't been.
Some seem to think that deaths in the dozens of hundreds are somehow "ok" because they're not in the millions. As if the value of human life depends on the magnitude of suffering. If higher positive findings will discourage careless risky behavior then I'd say it's worth the cost. Especially since one alternative is using tax money to subsidize the travel and food of the well-to-do people who have had a full salary this whole time and can afford to do both without any "support".
Also with respect to the elderly, every day I go outside in Tokyo as I have from the beginning of the pandemic, yet since earlier this year in particular, I see virtually no elderly people. It's sad that an entire segment of the population has been more of less compelled to stay home because of the selfish nature of those who value their own entertainment over the wellness of the population.
Anyway I'm just very disappointed with how everything has played out. People forced to die at home because the country didn't prepare enough hospital space. Testing done en mass for the "dirty foreigners" at the Olympic Village yet no need for the local population. Covering up Lambda and Mu infections for months. Things like that. I very much dislike how Japan has adopted a "Trump" approach to so much of this and had faced basically no backlash or outrage at all.
0 ( +12 / -12 )
You seem to think the official numbers are somehow an accurate representation of the infection. The issue isn't concealing positives and hiding them from the public, it's not finding positives period. What happens when you don't do mass-scale, largely randomized testing? You only wind up with people who are required to get tested or who think they are infected. That's like saying the only people who need to have their blood pressure checked are elderly people with headaches.
I'm not sure if this is too hard for people to understand, because there is always a lot of resistance or ignoring the facts whenever it's pointed out. The government is not doing a sufficient job keeping on top of the infection, and defending it and making excuses for it just prove accountability is not needed in Japan. This idea that somehow asymptomatic people can't infect others is wrong.
Ask yourself: If 1,000,000 tests were conducted tomorrow at random and 15,000 positives came back, what exactly would that change? Everything. It would imply the government has been failing to identify the actual scope of 5th wave infection. It would imply there are far more infected people than believed. It would mean people should keep trying to get vaccinated. It would mean people shouldn't go back to early-July behavior.
Now consider if the same 1,000,000 random tests produced similar results to today's numbers. That would mean infection numbers are less cause for concern.
Two different scenarios and yet people don't seem to understand why it's necessary to determine which is reality.
-3 ( +11 / -14 )
Let's stick to facts not rhetoric.
Except that's what this has always been about. Japan Inc and it's desire to push a narrative on how the country looks to be doing rather than how it actually is. Why isn't there mass testing for example? Why don't we have specifics on how many infected people in Tokyo are left to fend for themselves at home? Everything is done to perpetuate a specific narrative, and either of the two points I just mentioned would be counter to that result.
Look at the comments here alone. People who see the numbers going down and think the virus is gone, as if there is actual legitimacy to testing when it's so abysmal. Ask a group of cardiologists about people who 'don't feel" they have heart disease or HIV patients who don't' feel" they have the infection. That's why data is important, and if you refuse to test properly then you have insufficient data.
Sadly no amount of pointing out elementary principals of science or statistics seems to work on those deliberately intent on defending and spreading the government's PR narrative.
4 ( +17 / -13 )