Foreigner In Tokyo comments

Posted in: Tokyo reports 253 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 1,767 See in context

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 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 253 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 1,767 See in context

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 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 253 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 1,767 See in context

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 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 253 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 1,767 See in context

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 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 302 coronavirus cases; lowest number since July 5 See in context

Here is my prediction for the next few weeks/months: As the numbers will go down, people will become more emboldened to return to the behavior seen prior to the height of this 5th wave. Less masks, more crowding, more people out, zero social distancing. Those seeking vaccinations will also decrease, as there is "no" danger anymore of getting COVID. After several weeks, cases will start to increase again and eventually a 6th wave will occur.

Then factor in what is likely to happen with Japan Inc deciding that it's time to have open borders again so anyone from anywhere can come in and no longer need to isolate if they arrive without an infection. This will mean people from around the world, especially countries with low vaccination rates and where Lambda and Mu are spreading, will be coming to visit. This too, will contribute to a 6th wave.

If ever there was a time to start mass testing, it's now. The authorities here should have their eyes glued to any and all data they possibly can to monitor what's going on and try and negate a 6th wave before it builds momentum. That's not going to happen with a few thousand tests per day.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

Posted in: Ruling party kicks off race to pick Suga's successor See in context

Just for the record, I want to point out that despite my frequent criticism of the LDP, it's not based on a personal vendetta against it. To an extent even much of the coronavirus blundering is largely universal, very few countries/governments got it "right". The main complaint is that I don't like one-party rule, and in a country with free and fair elections I feel like no single party should ever have the extraordinary tenure in power seen here.

I like new ideas and I like diversity. I don't feel either is possible with one-sided control. Part of finding out what works is through experimentation/trial-and-error, and Japan has a very very limited history "researching" other parties in power in the Post-WW2 era.

But I do recognize that people here like consistency and don't like change. I can not vote nor am I a citizen, and thus I ultimately accept the fact it's not my country to shape.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Posted in: Ruling party kicks off race to pick Suga's successor See in context

How convenient. 2 men and 2 women, 50% ratio.

Equality is always a positive sign, but ultimately it's the quality of the candidate that matters. Just take a look at elections in America that are often made exclusively about race or gender at the expense of vision or qualification. While I would very much like to see a female PM (or a modern female Emperor for that matter), I would hope that an unqualified person is not put into power just because they tick off a box.

Japan really needs a leader at this point. The Olympics are over, and the "boom" that existed in the build-up to them is not only gone, but the revenue that was supposed to be generated FROM said Olympics isn't even there. The country needs some clear vision for the future, both for the next few decades and the next few months.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 782 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 5,091 See in context

Trains have to be packed, the economy needs to keep on. Easy to find bars open anyway, there’s places down the road from me open until 4am, openly advertising the fact. I’ve carried on life almost as normal, whilst taking sensible precautions of course

Ah it seems a rare time where we agree. I'm just pointing out how the government seems to lack the ability to rationalize how contradictory the situation is. Commuting = OK but alcohol after 8 = ダメ.

From my personal observation, the real cause for the decrease in COVID cases is that (at least) Tokyo depopulated after the infections ramped up shortly after the Olympics. Rewind back to August and I would see crowding everywhere. At times it was almost pre-pandemic level. Then the spike started building and you could literally notice, day by day, how fewer and fewer people were out and about. It never decreased to the emptiness seen in May 2020, but it was clearly noticeable.

The reason I keep harping about testing is because I don't want to see a return to August cases the second people decide it's "all clear" to go back to August crowds. If there legitimately are 1000-odd cases per day, then it's good, but like I keep saying if testing was 100,000 per day and there were 10,000 positives, that would be a major cause for concern, and all the more if there is still the 10,000 but no testing to show it.

People need to be sensible about how they go back to normal, and while a lot of adults (and especially the elderly) have been all along, the delta wave was largely driven by the young. True many of them were unvaccinated, but these were also the people who you could see everywhere, often maskless and/or shouting and drinking and totally oblivious to the virus. I see no reason these same groups won't go back to the same behavior, and even being vaccinated they can still get infected, spread to the virus, and perpetuate an endless cycle. If the reports from Israel are consistent about Pfizer vaccines becoming less effective after 6 months, the elderly who were injected back in April and May need to get boosters ASAP to prevent a potential wave there.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Posted in: Ruling party kicks off race to pick Suga's successor See in context

Just as an additional comment, something really irritates me about this story, or perhaps the whole issue entirely. It makes me really angry to think that the LDP has gotten so much wrong - especially with the coronavirus - yet doesn't seem to care at all, and is going about business as usual. In America for example, when one party has failed misrely, it's all but certain that the opposition side will take control. This win-lose/give-take scenario ensures that no one ideology can maintain control indefinitely, and that new ideas or policies will be introduced.

I find it stifling that, barring any extreme shock, the LDP is going to keep total control of Japan. Isn't it time for some fresh air in the room? Who cares if the replacement is just as bad, it likely couldn't be much worse, and at the very least it might force the LDP to introduce some modern thinking or new ideas into its endless rehashed rhetoric. Japan's position in the world has change for the worse in the past few decades, and as someone who wants to see it regain the glory of the 1980's, feel like that will never happen when nothing can change.

But maybe my blame is misplaced. Perhaps it's the people themselves who lack the capacity to appreciate the importance of win-lose/give-take dynamic and thus continue to vote the same way again and again expecting different results. Or maybe that's just it: they don't want different results, just an endless perpetuation of the eternal present.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Ruling party kicks off race to pick Suga's successor See in context

I know this is just absurdist thinking, but I wish the LDP would say the following:

"In the interest of Japan and the Japanese people, we are hereby going to abstain from seeking power in the next election. We have been in absolute control of this country - almost without interruption - for over 80 years. We recognize that one party controlling everything may not produce the kinds of progress and change needed for a better tomorrow. We recognize that when one basic ideology and set of priorities prevents diversity of opinion or opposition, everyone loses out. We may be a free country with free elections, but we can't allow the continuation of single-party rule like that seen in adversarial nations. We look forward to seeing what the opposition parties bring to Japan and how we can reinvent our own party to better serve it and the people we love."

It would take a George Washington-caliber level of humility and grace to do something like that unfortunately, and will never happen. But if only...

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 782 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 5,091 See in context

Do you have any evidence that the government is deliberately keeping numbers down to look good?

Well, yes. How many tests are being conducted each day? If you have 10,000 or so now in Tokyo - a city of 14,000,000 - is that really a good sample size? At the moment, the test results are returning around 800 - 1000 per day. Assuming that positivity rate would remain constant, if testing were to be increased tenfold, that would mean roughly 8,000-10,000 positives per day. You can see the problem; the wave has supposedly peaked, yet the infections would actually be paradoxically higher than at the height of said peak.

How does any of this benefit public health? It doesn't. When people see high numbers, they take things more seriously. When people see low numbers they lower their guard and resume normalcy. If the government is bold enough to declare the worst of wave 5 over, it should at least have scientifically valid data to support it. Testing a small group of individuals who suspect they are infected is basically a control group. We need a variable group, i.e. people selected from the population at random. So who then benefits from the above scenario? The government. The same government that has a very unfavorable approval rating and that is soon facing a national election.

Keep in mind I am not necessarily accusing the government of an evil conspiracy. I repeatedly use the word "negligence". Of course there may very well be some in power intentionally doing this, but I am far more likely to believe it's just Japan being Japan, and more specifically old people who think they know what's best and what's right because of their seniority, and won't listen to any reason or logic contrary to their own. Just imagine a 30-year old female epidemiologist trying to convince a 67-year old male politician or bureaucrat about why mass testing is important.

I would say the fact that deaths have been low compared to Western countries that implemented lockdowns mean their policies were rather successful. Most of us have carried on life as normal, hopefully the minority can start soon and small businesses can prosper.

I agree and have never been in favor of these pointless SOEs. Enough people here seem to be personally responsible enough to take preventative measures into their own hands (usually when the case numbers get high) that the SOEs just seek to punish. So it's OK that someone can take a packed train from Chichibu to Shonan for hours each day with thousands of people, but somehow going to a bar after work with maybe 20 people is not. These SOEs have basically tried to punish society and make people's lives devoid of any fun as an incentive to comply.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan's top COVID-19 adviser says peak of 5th wave over See in context

I agree with you, your comments always make sense. But it's a waste of time trying to talk to those who live in denial about the pandemic, vaccinations, etc.

Sad but true. To some extent I post here just to vent my frustration at what is going on rather than keep it pent up, but part of me also hopes that some might read what I say and actually think a little, or at least confront the fact that someone is making valid logical arguments about an "alternative" perspective. I was much more "calm" last year, but around December, as the incompetence continued to snowball, my patience began to erode.

Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE for this whole nightmare to be over. I would love to believe these numbers are genuine and Japan has managed to get through the worst wave yet without chaos ensuing. But unlike many of the people on here - and the population at large - who just want to assume the best and ignore the rest, I am a realist. I want testing in the hundreds of thousands or millions to provide evidence of a trend, not a few thousand people who literally suspect they are infected.

People make the argument that you should only "test the sick, not the healthy", but in the field of medicine you don't know where the line is. Someone the morbidly obese can paradoxically have low blood sugar and low blood pressure, just as someone sickly thin might have the exact opposite. Those who think they are fine may be sick, and all it takes is one person to reignite a new wave, all the more so if Lambda or Mu are potentially involved.

I honestly don't know why Japan isn't doing mass testing. The idealist in me wants to believe it has to do with privacy laws and the Constitution, but the realist in me feels it's because the government lacks the resources to do it. There are parts of this country that are woefully inept and horribly outdated (see banks and the use of an abacus) and I feel the testing situation reflects yet another example. The government just won't provide necessary funds to fix these kinds of problems when it has too many bridges and roads to nowhere to budget for via economic socialism/keeping unemployment down.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 782 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 5,091 See in context

Science may be viewed as the pursuit of knowledge to understand phenomenon. I feel the mistake everyone makes is any assumption that what the Japanese government is doing is scientific. In reality, this country is running a glorified PR campaign, much like how Trump was in America last year. It's not designed to find out who is infected or where the clusters are coming from, it's about making Japan - and those in power - look good any way possible.

The fact that Japan hasn't seen an explosion of hospitalizations or deaths on the magnitude of other major countries has worked in favor of this agenda, for it absolves those in charge from facing bad press or global criticism and condemnation. In no way was it a coincidence that Tokyo never "found" 6000 cases in a single day during this wave. It's not that it couldn't, or that the cases weren't there. By creating higher eligibility thresholds for free testing by which it could reject people on the grounds of not being "sick enough" and making others pay 30,000 Yen+ for private tests, victory was achieved.

So while the government can now go on a victory lap and say how wonderful it has done to stop the virus and look to the future with "dynamic new PM candidates", people have died, people continue to die, people are dying at home, countless businesses have been lost forever, people's lives have been ruined, stores are gone...misery for so many but none to be had by any in control. The only group that seems totally unaffected by any of this is the ruling class. All of this and yet still the government doesn't have the integrity to test like other developed countries for an accurate picture.

It's confusing to say the least. If hospitalizations are going down, the victory narrative wouldn't change even if there were 10X more cases discovered per day. In fact, finding more cases would actually help the government's so-called "priority" of making sure people continue to take the virus seriously. Only 700 new positives after going days and days with 5500? It's a drop in the bucket, who cares. But if there were still 5500 per day now, some might realize danger is still out there, and with that, seek vaccination for those who have yet to. Instead you have what is likely to be a major drop in vaccinations and a potential spike in infections as Autumn progresses, because no one cares anymore.

If you ask me, the real disease here is that of a sick, decaying political party system. One - the LDP - has unchecked, absolute control over this county, the others being so weak and feeble that none dare say anything to rock the boat in fear of losing even more relevancy. Imagine if there was a group demanding accountability for the low testing and the mistakes made with vaccine distribution. The LDP would crush it with rhetoric about how it "defended Japan against the worst" of the virus and "had a successful pandemic Olympic event". So no one speaks, least of all the Japanese people who seem sadly totally unwilling to hold their leaders accountable or actually speak out against them.

I must say as a foreigner looking at all of this from an "outside" perspective, it's really sad.

-4 ( +11 / -15 )

Posted in: Japan's top COVID-19 adviser says peak of 5th wave over See in context

So the peak of the 5th wave is supposedly over, yet there is no mass testing to back up such a claim. How are these people are allowed to be called "experts" or be in charge of anything? They're about as "informed" as any random person who just reads a news headline. I'd be interested to know how many doctors would make the same kind of conclusion about heart disease in the absence of mass testing: If you just don't check for high cholesterol is it still a major problem? I'm guessing Omi would say "Nope, people are healthier than ever!".

Here's a question: If 1 person can potentially infect 10 or more any given day, and there are still around 1000 "confirmed" cases per day, how exactly is that a sign of anything? As some have pointed out, this 5th wave decline basically equates to the height of where previous waves peaked. This is the same country that went nuts over 60 cases a day last year and had State of Emergencies.

Also as additional food for thought, as there has never once been legitimate testing volumes: Suppose at the peak of this 5th wave there were actually 10X more infections per day than were being recorded. So instead of say, 5000 in Tokyo, there were actually 50,000. It could thus very well be that the 1000-odd cases now are really 10,000, which would still be way higher than the "official" number at peak just weeks ago.

Am I the only one who finds this criminally irresponsible? NO ONE seems to care about this stuff and quite frankly the country deserves to know given how much all of us have had to suffer at the hands of this incompetent feckless government. There really is NO excuse why Japan can't do mass testing. The rest of the world sure is.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Japan's top COVID-19 adviser wary of easing restrictions See in context

Regarding comments about drinking: if the concern is one born of the well-being of small businesses, nothing is stopping any of you from donating to them. The owners and employees would be eternally grateful, I'm sure.

My honest guess though? All the griping comes from married men who can't drink at home because of their spouse's condescension and likewise can't stay out late "for work" because bars and such are closed. I mean if it's really just about alcohol what's stopping anyone from drinking on the street? This isn't prohibition.

Likewise those who complain about not being able to travel domestically, nothing stops you from doing it now, nor has it ever. If the issue is not having taxpayer money subsidize your costs (Go To Travel) then perhaps you're part of the problem.

I for one think exercising caution is necessary here. The SOEs are just for show yes, but returning to normal and assuming the virus is done with will only lead to more sickness and more infection down the line. Look no further than America or Israel or the fact that the virus was supposed to have disappeared by Summer 2020.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,052 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 6,806 See in context

Oh, the country is far from up and running properly. Not just bars effected, restaurants, small

What you speak of are pointless measures that the government has taken to mask its criminal incompetence. All of this, save perhaps for open borders, is the product of the pointless SOEs. The solution isn't to go back to normal, it's for the government to recognize that these SOEs have very little value beyond harming a specific segment of the population. And I'm willing to bet that the continuation of them doubles as a discouragement for people to get tested. Who wants to feel they are contributing to the 501+ numbers per day unless they're really sick or concerned?

Complaining and making rude comments to others does not solve any purpose, cooperation and being constructive is what the world needs now.

It's funny how "complaining" or "being negative" is the instant judgement made of those who make constructive comments. I dare you to read through my post history and not find constant and consistent constructive criticism. I offer suggestions and ideas, yet no one wants to hear them because they're at odds with the "positive" thinking that goes through the minds of the "sensitive". You clearly see what you want, but it's definitely not what I'm writing, that's for sure.

How much fun it must be to be as pessimistic and miserable as you.

Actually it makes me feel good to contribute insightful comments and thoughts on issues that most write five or six words on. But that's also why I don't waste my time hanging out with people who lack the ability to think critically.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,052 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 6,806 See in context

Good low numbers and numbers are starting to fall fast. Time to get the country back up and running. Many small businesses need to get customers now, it’s essential.

Yup. It's real good. A good indicator of absolutely nothing. I'm really at a loss how the collective in this country doesn't understand why mass testing is vital for responsible public health. Many claim to believe in science, yet only when it's simple and/or fits an agenda. Here's an experiment: Take a sample of 200 random people. Give half a physical examination and check for hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and glucose intolerance. See how many hits you come up with. Now ask - not test - the other half if they "feel" they have high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes/are pre diabetic. Which half do you think represents science, and which half ignorance/wishful thinking? No matter how many times this is pointed out, still the denial and still the "belief" that the worst is over and Japan is victorious. An opinion isn't science, sorry.

As for getting the country "up and running"? I'm not sure if you're aware but most of the Japan, especially blue collar employees, have been functioning this whole time. Convenience store employees, building security, food store staff, hospitals, logistics, public transportation...you're referring to BARS and Izakayas basically. The all important "need" to indulge the inner alcoholic to distract from the reality of life.

Last I checked there were lots of reports of the economy here rebounding, unemployment being down, and just recently the stock market surging. But please, by all means, tell us about how Japan isn't functioning now. I'm sure people in Sydney or Canberra would be VERY interested to hear.

1 ( +16 / -15 )

Posted in: Contaminants found in Pfizer vaccine in cities near Tokyo, Osaka See in context

Ah yes, cue the daily accusations. At this point the term "anti-vaxxer" is as synonymous with self-righteous virtue signalers on the left as "fake news" is to anti-democratic extremists on the right. Wake up people. There is a difference between an ignorant, paranoid individual who believes that medicine is an evil conspiracy and an intelligent science-believer who wants to make an informed decision. Consider for a second that pregnant women make up one of the largest groups of unvaccinated people are in the US. Strange how they follow science for the care of their health and that of their unborn child, yet are paradoxically being labeled "anti-science" for not getting jabbed.

Since all of those who religiously throw around the "anti-vaxxer" have time machines, now would be a great chance to put forth the proof you have that none of the COVID vaccines or boosters produce mid-term or long-term side effects. Many people, especially pregnant women, would love this data as it would allow them to get vaccinated and stop worrying. Since you all clearly know it all, please: tell us the facts. But of course no one knows, least of all any of the companies making these products.

Pfizer and ModernaTX churn out millions upon millions of prototype vaccines but are not held responsible for any problems their contaminated batches cause, government is happy to spend billions on the prototype vaccines but are not held responsible for any outcomes, doctors are protected under professional indemnity and are not held responsible for administering the jab, yet you are irresponsible for declining a potentially contaminated jab that no one takes any responsibility for.

One of the best points I've seen all year. The issue here isn't about if someone should get the vaccine, it's about the fact that no one is or will ever be held responsible should anything go wrong. And what's worse? The only people who care about this are seemingly those who want more information before getting the vaccines or boosters. Everyone else mindlessly complied and doesn't bother to think. Every government in the world will use the excuse of "we had to push vaccines for the safety of our citizens" as an instant out. Just look at how difficult it has been to get accountability for the HIV scandal here in the 1980's:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HIV-tainted_bloodscandal(Japan)

Also as I keep pointing out, all those who refuse to get a booster shot could very well be classified as "unvaccinated" should Japan go the way Israel has. What then? What happens when many of those constantly lobbing accusations of being an "anti-vaxxer" are then lumped into the same category?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 611 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 4,171 See in context

BUT, nearby Jordan observed an almost identical decrease in cases with an about 5x lower vaccination. And now, cases have flared up again in Israel, but not in Jordan.

So its not clear why cases have gone down in Israel, Jordan, and Japan. Vaccinations probably played some role, but there is much more to this. Perhaps just the natural cycle of the virus...

Well let's see: Jordan was less efficient at vaccinations which logically meant it took longer for people to get their immunity. Isreal was much faster, which meant a vast number of people had their immunity near-simultaneously and early at that. Months have now passed and the latter is finding the vaccines are less effective thus requiring a booster shot. As for why Jordan had a quick decline in cases before, might it not be due to mitigation efforts from the government or people being more careful with their activities?

People in Jordan have longer to go before their immunity starts to wane, thus no big spike now. It sounds like the masses in Israel have been going about life as per normal, unaware of the decline in resistance, and thus the spike in cases there. I'm sure experts are already researching this kind of hypothesis.

Personally I am very concerned with how Japan will manage. You look at the incompetence with the current vaccination supply and distribution, and there is zero indication the same problems will not occur again. Beyond that, what of people who refuse to get boosters either because they aren't convinced they need them or because they had terrible side effects from their initial injections? This group will all be more likely to get sick.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 611 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 4,171 See in context

Watch the NHK news and where doctors are making 40 house calls after working at their hospital jobs because there are not enough hospital beds. They show people deathly ill on oxygen tanks and the doctors changing them out, families begging for hospital beds for their loved ones and these loved ones all under the age of 40.

That requires acceptance of a narrative in direct contradiction to the willful ignorance that is rearing its head. Asking people to watch reports from actual GPs or NPs dealing with the pandemic would also force some to accept a very humanizing face of the disease, something they can wholly ignore by simply looking at numbers each day and declaring victory.

Unfortunately you have the health of these sick people and others who may be infected being counterbalanced with the "need" to get drunk at bars. Part of this is on the government because it has created these ridiculous, useless SOE criteria. Somehow commuting on a train with thousands for two hours is far less risky than going to a bar after work. Give me a break.

Also enough with the virtue signaling that goes on daily. Religiously posting that people should "get vaccinated" is really just a shallow way to substitute actual effort. Everyone with a brain already knows about the vaccines. The issue isn't nagging people to get them, it's getting the government to supply them. People compelled to do this should redirect their comments to the LDP.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Posted in: Japan to begin discussions on 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shots this week See in context

But the data was still rejected because, and get this, Japanese living abroad may eat different food than Japanese living in Japan.

Oh that doesn't surprise me at all unfortunately. If you've lived here long enough you meet enough types who make it abundantly clear that Japan collectively feels itself different from the rest of the world. In terms of weather, in terms of medicine, in terms of food, in terms of DNA, etc. Some of the questions that you may be asked or the comments you hear make it seem like foreigners might as well be a different species from a different planet.

Probably in the future there will be something better. Maybe once a year or even a booster after ten years, whos knows. Everyone is talking like what we have now is it, with no possibility of a bright outcome.

In an ideal world these companies would not consider the existing vaccines a finished product and would be working double time to make a better, longer-lasting vaccine. But as some have said, the medical world is often two steps behind. Indeed, the virus has already mutated to the point that Mu has created an explosion of infections in Columbia, yet these booster shots are being discussed with respect to Delta.

Also, anyone who thinks these booster shots are not in the best financial interests of the drug companies need to wake up. Get out of Japan and spend a week in America. LOOK at the reality of healthcare costs and hurdles in the country - and this being long after the ACA was passed - and it will be impossible to ignore the fact that the medical industry is a business, just like war and prison. The scientists who have developed these vaccines may be altruistic but their overlords are not. The fact that boosters - and frequent at that - are becoming a reality is just magic to the ears of Executives, Board Members, and Shareholders at companies like Pfizer.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japan to begin discussions on 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shots this week See in context

mRNAs have killed 1100 healthy people in Japan in 6 months.

Have any of the deaths been conclusively linked to the vaccines, or are they simply people who died that had been vaccinated? There is a very big difference. And I might point out that these kinds of statistics are absolutely meaningless other than for the most superficial objectivity. Due to things like privacy laws, no one has the ability to just randomly look up a deceased person and examine their medical profile unless the family were to make it public.

Even if someone "dies" from a vaccine you know absolutely nothing: Did they have some kind of allergy to one of the ingredients either active or not? Did they have some kind of underlying health condition that primed them for mortality before the vaccine was administered? Were they killed in a car accident? Unless you can cross-reference the names of the deceased, their cause of death, and their full medical profile, saying any vaccine is directly responsible for someone's death is irresponsible and doing nothing more than fearmongering. It is one thing to be skeptical of a product's safety and want more information, but it is another to make baseless accusations.

Let every person make their own informed decision without penalty or discrimination.

That is how it should be, but pretty soon the goal post will have been moved from "get vaccinated" to "get the first booster" to "get the second booster" and so on. There will never be an end to this unless the virus is eradicated. And like I said earlier in the comments, no one cares what someone's individual excuses are: either you are considered "vaccinated" or you aren't, and soon that will include boosters.

They are working, just not in the magical infallible way you imagine.

No, they are not working in the way they were sold, not at all. The governments, especially the Biden Administration, tried to sell these vaccines as the cure for the disease, and the panacea by which all life could return to normal. This message has been shoved down people's throats for over a year - even before the vaccines were developed - and many who were skeptical or who wanted to wait for more research to be done shut up and signed up because they were promised normalcy. You can not blame people for being angry that they were lied to.

Had governments been responsible and transparent, they would have been far more nuanced in the language used to push these vaccines along with a wait-and-see approach before making absurdly optimistic conclusions. What they have done now is cause many people to feel lied to, and many people to question medical guidance from the government as well as medical experts who have been pushing vaccines. This is not the way to keep trust in government or trust in the medical system.

In an almost ironic way, Japan's horribly botched handling of these vaccines has almost served to avoid the scenario I described above due to the fact that these SOEs have continued throughout the year and people are not seeing any kind of "attempted normal" by the government. Meanwhile you look at the US and you have a growing degree of defiance about wearing masks and being forced to go back to pandemic-level behavior due to the situation there.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Posted in: Japan to begin discussions on 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shots this week See in context

Considering how many vaccines were developed around the world in under a year, in theory there is no reason why more can't be discovered, specifically new inventions that provide longer-lasting immunity or, as I mentioned in my initial post, that circumvent the S-Protein factor entirely and go about a different method of action. Who knows, maybe a company will develop a "safe" version of an "active sample" product that would in fact trigger the same immune response as a full-blown infection.

What worries me however, is that companies may not be developing such products because the world governments have decided that Pfizer and Moderna already made the panaceas and thus there is very little ROI to be had from such an enormous expenditure. Furthermore governments may not be willing to fund/provide as much funding for additional ventures as who needs more when the current lot already "work"? Of course therein lies the "benefit" of booster shots, because they create an endless method to generate revenue and suddenly the business element of the "health" industry comes into play.

Last year there was talk of a Japanese vaccine that would likely be ready towards the end of 2021. And now another potential option for next year:

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20210804/p2a/00m/0sc/006000c

The key takeaway from the above story though, which speaks to my points, is:

Although Daiichi Sankyo wants to conduct tests to compare the number of neutralizing antibodies with overseas vaccines that have already been put to practical use, Masayuki Yabuta, managing executive officer and head of the company's biologics unit, pointed out that the firm "cannot secure them without the central government's support" because the government is buying up all the foreign inoculations. Furthermore, the company may also conduct some clinical trials overseas as it is not easy to gather several thousand test subjects domestically while there are effective vaccines available.

So right there a problem is already evident in that, even if the product is able to produce better results than the current ones, the logistics of testing and bringing it to market are impacted by the push that Pfizer and Moderna's offerings already "solved the problem". Just the end bit about potentially doing the clinical trials overseas would seemingly defy the "requirements" of Japan's regulatory body that saw Japan-specific clinical trials of the current products and thus a significantly delayed release compared to that in the UK and USA. If 90% of the clinical trial data were to be from overseas participants (i.e. not Japanese) would that "count" since Japanese are clearly so unique and special that they require their own specific, segregated trials in Japan?

It's somewhat ironic, but the speed at which the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, coupled with their catch-all usage is actually hurting the development of new products, something that is all the more relevant given the need for booster shots so soon after the second injection. And that's not even considering the Janssen (J&J) and AstraZeneca solutions already released.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan to begin discussions on 3rd COVID-19 vaccine shots this week See in context

It's fascinating to read all the comments here from vaccinated people who are opposed to or hesitant to get a third shot. People who so obediently got the first two under the assumption it was the be-all-end-all solution to the problem, only to now be told it's not. Do you think the government cares if you had side effects and are worried about more intense/dangerous reactions to a third injection? In Israel for example, the authorities there will no longer consider people vaccinated after 6 months from their second:

https://www.news.yahoo.com/amphtml/israels-vaccine-pass-expire-6-102521992.html

You have to wonder what Japan will do. And it's all the more relevant given how so many people on this site are pro-vaccine passports.

I totally understand why people who had terrible reactions to their second injection would be scared about a third. But at the end of the day, it will come down to either accepting the risk and getting another or else being lumped in with the unvaccinated/at greater risk of being infected and developing severe symptoms. Objectivity doesn't care about your unique situation, it only cares about if you have the third shot.

Beyond that, just how many people will be comfortable with getting a booster shot every six months? Especially for products with zero long-term study information. What happens after three years pass and someone has received potentially a total of 6 injections? Does anyone know? Of course not, but nonetheless the government and the drug companies will be pushing for it anyway.

I'm not opposed to vaccines nor am I opposed to these specific vaccines. I am however a realist. These vaccines have been marketed to the world as the solution to a very serious problem, and one that is turning out to be less perfect than they were initially believed to be. That's just after less than a year from the release of the Pfizer shot no less. What happens as more time passes? What happens as more robust virus variants emerge with the potential to circumvent vaccines partially or entirely?

The world needs to accept the fact that COVID isn't going anywhere and life for the foreseeable future will just have to be different. Lockdowns are not the answer, but mass gatherings without masks and without any social distancing aren't, either. Perhaps a company will develop a vaccine that doesn't target the S-Protein and instead goes about providing immunity in a different and more permanent way. Perhaps the virus itself will mutate to the point of being as "mild" as seasonal influenza. Either way, life for the time being is not going to be as whole as it was before 2020, but that's just how it goes. The key is making the most with what you are given, something that at least part of the world already knows just from being born less-privileged.

13 ( +20 / -7 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,273 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 8,807 See in context

The number of infected people hospitalized with severe symptoms in Tokyo was 233, down 10 from Friday, health officials said. 

What difference does it make how many Tokyo people are in hospital when there are thousands who aren't? Why aren't there daily reports about the numbers who are being forced to recover at home? Why aren't their daily updates about the tally of infected who are being turned away from hospitals?

How is any of this responsible governance or responsible reporting? It's like ignoring the majority of severe cases in Tokyo for optics and to push a narrative. Someone at home on a ventilator certainly needs to be counted as a severe patient.

How this country has been allowed to get away with the things it has without most of the developed world taking it to task is just insane.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Posted in: Governors concerned at impact of gov't plans for easing COVID restrictionss See in context

I'm not sure the people in charge have any idea what's going on. The virus is never going to disappear at this point, and it will continue to mutate and potentially evade vaccines. Both the lambda and mu variants have been detected here, and months ago at that.

It's stunning how the government continues to forgo mass testing, instead just assuming it knows anything based on the criminally low volume that currently takes place. For all anyone knows, there could be 1000X the number of active infections right now, albeit not serious enough to warrant hospitalization or even a visit to the doctor.

The point is, if there were to be 1,000,000 tests conducted nationally each day, there would be a somewhat more accurate view of what's going on. At least when compared to the 40,000 or less tests that are conducted now.

And you can be sure that the second international travel is back to normal and masks are gone, there will be another wave, potentially from a new variant. The government needs to come up with realistic solutions to the problem, not just more of the same. It's not working, it's hurting people's livelihoods and businesses and mental health and everything else.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Broadcasters urged to cancel plans to cover Beijing Olympics See in context

Every athlete who attends, TV network who covers it, or advertiser that is connected to to it, should be mercilessly boycotted and attacked online, as they all tacitly support genocide against Muslims.

If you think that the CCP's atrocities are in any way limited to the Muslim population of China, you're quite mistaken. Beyond that, trying to hold the athletes accountable is a waste of time. Most have absolutely nothing to offer the "world" save for their proficiency in one singular, trivial, event. We're not talking about cardiac surgeons who moonlight as professional swimmers or astrophysicists doing some pro skiing on the side. These people have, basically since birth, spent every waking moment existing to win at sport.

It's the same reason you didn't have athletes boycotting the Olympics and Paralympics this year. Of course they should have given the disgusting level of irresponsibility involved with a pandemic event and the fact they contributed to it. But it's unreasonable to expect them to: If one person refuses, another will be there to take their place. NO ONE is going to give up such an opportunity.

The Olympics are really about "fun" and it doesn't matter where they are held when the organizing body is a morally bankrupt establishment. Ask yourself why the IOC allows countries like China or Russia to host in the first place.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Broadcasters urged to cancel plans to cover Beijing Olympics See in context

Wow. Broadcasters threatening a lack of coverage of an event that, at least by US accounts, saw viewership plummet compared to prior Olympics. Yes, I'm sure China is absolutely cowering in fear. We're talking about a country that was able to generate $115 BILLION in a single day last year:

https://www.cnbc.com/amp/2020/11/12/singles-day-2020-alibaba-and-jd-rack-up-record-115-billion-of-sales.html

Can we be realistic for a second here? So long as megacorporations like Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, Sony (etc) do business with China, nothing will change. Heck, just look at anything in your home these days and thy and guess where it's from. Your Playstation 5? Just about all are made in China. Products sold at Daiso? Likely China. Heck take a look the next time you buy a pack of M&Ms candy and be amazed: It too is from CHINA.

The world ceded any moral leverage decades ago when it was decided that globalism and obscene levels of profit were more important. China can do whatever it wants because it knows it will never be held accountable.

If the world was legitimately serious about ending atrocities in China, it would be taking actual steps to do so.

19 ( +22 / -3 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,834 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 12,396 See in context

How can any tally of hospitalized patients in "severe" condition be reported when there is no standard? Tokyo has thousands and thousands of patients who would otherwise be classified as "severe" forced to recover at home. The people actually IN hospital are critically ill.

Wouldn't it be far more responsible to include this lot? Suddenly the number would jump from the low 2000's to likely well over 10,000+. That in turn might clue in the reality-deniers who are convinced there is a miraculous "recovery" going on.

Of course it's not even that simple as who knows exactly how many of the at-home Tokyo patients are on ventilators. The government has so badly failed this country and its people that I'm astounded no opposition Party has called for a criminal inquiry. (Or are have they already and I missed it?)

It's sad that all those who are forced to remain sick at home are being victimized by this atrocious situation and meanwhile no one wants to talk about it or confront it or even acknowledge what's going on. Anything and everything to further the myth of Japan Inc. being uniquely able to triumph over this plague.

8 ( +25 / -17 )

Posted in: Tokyo reports 1,629 coronavirus cases; nationwide tally 10,6033 See in context

Fewer and fewer people are symptomatic hence much less testing

Just curious how people like you process information: If a person has multiple symptoms of COVID-19 and requests an ambulance to the hospital, or even if they arrive of their own accord, how exactly do you think the patient will be processed? Do you think the hospital is going to take a COVID test and wait for results? Or do you think the hospital will either admit the patient immediately (depending on the symptoms) or else send them home to wait it out?

Another scenario: A person has two confirmed COVID-19 infections in their immediate circle, either in their house or someone they work with in close context. The individual then starts exhibiting signs of COVID-19. Do you think resource-constrained facilities are going to say "That's really an interesting coincidence. Let's test to see" or do you think they will act on the safe assumption that based on the profile, the patient is infected with COVID-19?

And what about if the patient is at a private hospital? Even if the hospital takes a test and is confirmed negative, the results aren't going to be reported to the government due to privacy laws, less I'm mistaken.

All of you idealists seem to base your "confirmation" of a major recovery on the simplistic idea that there are less confirmed positive cases and there aren't explosions of people in ICU wards dying. You don't seem to be able to think of any other scenario. Have any of you bothered to check how the fatality rate of the Delta variant compares to the original strain? Do any of you consider that Tokyo has tons of people being forced to recover outside of medical establishments?

This is EXACTLY why mass testing is essential to make an educated determination of what's going on. If 1,000,000 random at-risk people were tested and 0.3% of those tests came back negative, that would be a far better basis on which to make broad conclusions. On the other hand when you test a few thousand, that's not really an adequate sample size.

Do people like you understand why scientific experiments need a control group and a variable group? For the same reason. You can't work exclusively with a control group and then make generalizations. You've deliberately selected candidates on a limited set of parameters. In this case, people who think they're sick but not necessarily in need of an ICU. Might it also be good to test OTHER people as well? How about testing potentially anyone who takes a major train line each day? Anyone who has a 1.5 hour+ commute each way? What about just randomly testing 1:1000 people irrespective of their risk?

As one final example: think about conditions like high blood pressure or high cholesterol. Most people don't know they have either until severe symptoms have set in. Patients with advanced disease will get tested and in most cases a confirmation will be returned that indicates they have the condition. On the other hand, if you test random people, you're likely to find that many ALSO have one or both health problems and don't know it. That's why random testing and LARGE SCALE testing is essential. That's why a blood test is taken for EVERYONE at their annual physical, not just certain people.

Seriously did you people not learn this stuff in Junior High? This is like the most fundamental elements of testing a hypothesis or seeking to validate a theory.

0 ( +12 / -12 )

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