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Jake Barnes comments

Posted in: After the coronavirus is contained and international borders are open, what factors will you take into consideration before taking a flight overseas? See in context

Airfare, the availability of travel insurance that covers Covid-19 or trip cancellation, and what the situation will be like in the US, where my elderly parents live. I don't see this as being safely contained for some time to come, despite the magical thinking about vaccines.

I was lucky to visit my parents in February. Wasn't planning another trip this year and now I'm thinking summer of 2021.

And as cracaphat, the general hassle factor is also key. When you're dropping thousands, it should feel like a vacation. That said, when you reach a certain age, each visit leaves you wondering if it'll be the last time you see your folks or they get to see their grandkids.

Meanwhile, I'm wondering if I can travel the neighboring prefecture in July without having my car vandalized.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Posted in: What Japan's 'hikikomori' can teach us about self-isolation See in context

What Japan's 'hikikomori' can teach us about self-isolation

That it sucks, for us, for them. There, and as the Rock sang in Moana, you're welcome.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe criticized over lounging-at-home Twitter video See in context

Tone deaf and out of touch with your average worker, who coincidentally I see commuting to their offices this morning on trains that are still too crowded. Of course Abe can stay home and still get paid, not to mention all the inherited wealth and privilege. Most cannot, and guess why--b/c this government is too stingy to support companies in desperate straits. Criticism richly deserved and good god could they find more incompetent PR lackeys?

24 ( +30 / -6 )

Posted in: New coronavirus cases double to 99 in mainland China as imported infections jump to record See in context

No offense to Chinese people, who I quite like, but the CCP should have to work a lot harder in finding useful idiots reporting such garbage. A billion people and the virus has miraculously disappeared? Spare me. Reuters et al should know better. A 100 point asterisk should accompany any numbers they report. They went from 0 to 80,000 cases and some 3,000 deaths at an absolutely insane pace and ever since it's been this ridiculous stream of lies.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Posted in: 20,000: U.S. death toll overtakes Italy's as Midwest braces See in context

kwatt, Gearoid Reidy with Bloomberg posted some charts tracking the early days of the outbreaks in NYC and Tokyo. Note, these are cumulative numbers, total cases, tests and deaths. I hope the TB vaccine is as beneficial as some have said but this is a real cause for concern, especially given how few tests Japan is giving:


3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan extends calls to avoid nightclubs, bars to all prefectures See in context

Rain yen down on businesses, from your local snack to the white collar company in Umeda. If you're not supporting people's livelihoods, you can't much expect them to shut down. The foolish patrons of nighttime establishments seem to be a smokescreen for government incompetence (letting the econ. minister run the show was a real red flag).

15 ( +16 / -1 )

Posted in: 60% in Japan feel gov't handled early stages of virus poorly: poll See in context

Some 52 percent of respondents in Japan feared they or someone in their family could become infected with the virus, lower than 90 percent in Italy, 87 percent in South Korea and 78 percent in Britain.

Yeah, b/c commuter trains continue to be packed in those nations, just like in Tokyo or Osaka, right? And supermarket lines have people bumping you from behind in London or Rome. Or oh yeah, I'm sure the number of tests in those countries is as ridiculously low as they are here.

But I can't entirely blame the people for this profoundly ignorant notion. The government itself was walking about without masks and sitting elbow to elbow in endless committee meetings until a week ago. And telling us how the Olympics were going to the best evah until the end of March.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Posted in: Coronavirus fears give rise to stigma in local communities See in context

Yes, that's mean, but why are they still going to the campus in the first place?

Exactly my reaction.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe cautious about declaring emergency despite spike in virus cases See in context

130 new cases so far today in Tokyo, NHK just reported. Meaning a 1000 plus in the city. But by all means, let's see millions return to work and school this week. This place is a train wreck.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe cautious about declaring emergency despite spike in virus cases See in context

You have been doing nothing but spread disinformation about this disease since it started. Just yesterday you were still trying to sell the “Its just a flu” lie. People like you are literally getting people killed right now.

Just stop already.

Amen. Our resident Bolsonaro. At least Twitter removes his deadly disinformation.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe cautious about declaring emergency despite spike in virus cases See in context

"If necessary, I won't hesitate to declare a state of emergency," Abe said in a parliamentary session on Friday.

Strange words from a government almost uniquely paralyzed by this moment. And today already looks very different from Friday, given the continued spike in numbers across Japan, not merely in Tokyo. Abe may want to take a look at what's happening in Sweden, another country that took a business as usual approach over the past month.

I surely hope he declares a state of emergency today before it's back to work tomorrow. The opposition is for it. Yoshimura and Koike are for it. His own expert panel is, god, even Mikitani and Son and other corporate leaders are for it, not to mention the many prominent companies shutting down factories and stores.

Strange that for such a top down hierarchical state that there's such a vacuum of leadership from the very top.

17 ( +23 / -6 )

Posted in: Essential services to run in Tokyo even in state of emergency: Koike See in context

Asahi reporting 120 new cases in Tokyo today. Elsewhere an unnamed senior LDP official claims a state of emergency is imminent, though by Japanese standards that could mean a few more days.

If they want to avert catastrophe, it better come before Monday morning rush hour.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Posted in: Trump's son-in-law Kushner takes surprise top role in coronavirus fight See in context

I thought he was busy bringing peace to the Middle East? Wait, are you saying he's also got serious epidemiological kung fu!? This guy just rocks. It's like something on TV. No wait, actually it's only on TV b/c god knows he and his authoritarian FIL aren't capable of anything more than spin and bs.

Only a profoundly ignorant and insecure bloke like Trump would appoint a completely unqualified family member for such an important role. After all where could you find a more brown nosing yes man. God knows we know what happens when you speak even a modicum of truth to Orange Narcissus. See Capt. Crozier.

Venal grifters gotta do what they do, though. Put Jared's smug face and Trump's endless blathering nonsense on a loop, have Bloomberg fund massive ad buys across the country.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. Embassy sounds alarm on coronavirus in Japan See in context

The US Embassy is right about Tokyo's own misguided approach to a global pandemic.

Would I go back there now, of course not. I don't want to be treated in a Japanese hospital either, which will soon enough be overrun, but at least any of us that fall ill won't wind up bankrupt as a result of illness.

And ultimately this is the job of any nation's embassy. Germany did the same thing recently, casting doubt on Japan's opaque and exceptionalist approach. Their job is to alert their citizens of risks and reality, especially in nations where you cannot trust your leaders.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

Posted in: What is the safest way to get some exercise without exposing yourself to the danger of being infected with the coronavirus or infecting others, in case you unknowingly have it? See in context

Walk, hikes, runs, while keeping 2m from others. Takes some fast moves in urban areas, but it can easily be done. What a weird question at this point though when the streets are still busy enough.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Virus infections not rampant nationwide but Japan on brink: Abe See in context

Already up to 97 new cases today in Tokyo.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Virus infections not rampant nationwide but Japan on brink: Abe See in context

On Wednesday, a government panel of experts said the health care system in urban areas, including Tokyo, is under increased strain, and steps need to be taken

What kind of steps might those be? Oh, wait, here they are on NHK from Monday:

Experts want PM to declare a state of emergency


Abe and his economics minister are the ones who are resisting this. Not experts.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Posted in: Girl under one year old in serious condition after virus infection See in context

But hey, unlicensed (and licensed) nursery schools are still open and thriving, with kids side by side, drooling, leaking here and there, and only one or two tired and overworked people looking after them.

This is also on the government, as I'm sure you'd agree. Declare a state of emergency, lock everything down, and then the parents of these kids would be home to care for them. Plus Abe and co. could arrange for a proper bailout, more than 12,000 yen and pork coupons or whatever nonsense they were spouting a few weeks back.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Posted in: Experts warn of health care collapse in Japan if virus keeps spreading See in context

The lack of leadership from the Government is the cause of all this. People are trying to do the right thing, but are just floundering without strong leadership to guide them.

This. Federalism has its strengths. When there's a void at the top, governors and other local officials still have enough power to act. In Japan, cities can choose what to do with their schools and that's about it. Anything else is a request (and asking politely doesn't flatten curves).

And the contradictory messaging is just beyond absurd. Avoid Kabukicho, karaoke or hanami but by all means board that train with thousands of people tomorrow morning, taking your asymptomatic self on a road trip.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: Experts warn of health care collapse in Japan if virus keeps spreading See in context

Japan Anon, now is surely not a time to put in your notice, but at the earliest opportunity I'd be looking to change jobs. And quote that guy in your notice.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Experts warn of health care collapse in Japan if virus keeps spreading See in context

Whether it was their intent or not, we're headed towards Boris Johnson's herd immunity.

If I have to read comments from the economy minister about the proper steps to combating a global pandemic one more time. The government's panel of experts, the opposition, Tokyo and Osaka's own conservative governors all agree that we should shut down. But Japan's oligarchs are whispering in Abe's ear, so we can't have that.

Abe and Aso should be dragged out of the diet and put on crowded trains at rush hour for a week. Pampered swine.

15 ( +18 / -3 )

Posted in: Ex-nurse acquitted of 2003 murder after 12 years in prison See in context

Hostage justice at its finest.

26 ( +27 / -1 )

Posted in: Koike calls for fewer outings; says state of emergency up to PM See in context

"If we wait until an explosive increase in infections before declaring an emergency, it will be too late," Satoshi Kamayachi, an executive board member of the Japan Medical Association, told a news conference, in comments carried by broadcaster Nippon Television.

NHK' s reporting is clearer yet, claiming that a majority of the government's own panel of experts are in favor of declaring a state of emergency


But of course let's continue to dither.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Posted in: Abe, Aso to avoid same meetings as precaution against virus infection See in context

If Abe is incapacitated, Aso is next in line to step in as the country's leader.

God help us, the human gaffe machine is on deck.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Crowds disappear from Tokyo streets amid virus, snow See in context

Just read an article in the NYT about whether or not people should even take walks, as in stepping foot out of their homes. Here we have politicians and journalists packed together at press conferences, a regular commuter week on tap, and major tourist attractions are taking dramatic steps like "reducing hours." Way to bend that curve... upward.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Jobs and businesses have vanished because of the coronavirus. It seems that many individuals live from paycheck to paycheck. Why do you think so many workers have no nest egg? See in context

It seems that many individuals live from paycheck to paycheck. Why do you think so many workers have no nest egg?

Wrong frame. Why do 40% of Japanese people have irregular employment? B/C companies--thanks Koizumi--are allowed to exploit workers. The correct question question would be why are employers so stingy, resulting in nearly half the country being unable to save.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. agency includes gun sellers as critical infrastructure during coronavirus emergency See in context

On one hand this just screams failed state.

OTOH, when the POTUS is an obvious sociopath and has a committed lunatic cadre armed to the teeth, do earnest liberals really think they can be combatted by Gandhi-whispering?

America is quite literally having its Weimar moment. One prays it doesn't take bloodshed to put these nutters back under their rocks, but let's not be naive about the threat they pose. If you want your country back, come to terms with the idea that you may have to fight for it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Posted in: IOC to start 4 weeks of discussions on Tokyo Olympics See in context

Even Abe & co. know it's inevitable at this point, so one would hope a) they'll douse that flame to avoid anymore crowds from forming and b) redouble their efforts to take a global pandemic seriously. Won't hold my breath, but a fella can dream.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Posted in: U.S. Senate races to agree on massive coronavirus relief package See in context

Chip Star there may be money for Americans, but that could pale in comparison to the massive socialist bailout being worked out on behalf of corporations:


1 ( +2 / -1 )

Posted in: Abe says schools to reopen after spring break; remains cautious about big events See in context

Regarding autopsies and cases of pneumonia not being tested for Covid 19, here is Akira Nagatsuma, former health minster in the Kan cabinet:


"There are 70K patients in Japan w/ pneumonia. This year, over 90K will die from it. Are those who die w/o a clear cause all being given the coronavirus PCR test? That's critical to trace the route & origin of infection. The gap between our testing ability and the number of tests being administered is too large. I worry about our testing structure."


In other words, it's not a fringe conspiracy theory.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

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