Japan Today

Jake Barnes comments

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

I hope that all the masks, the lack of hugs or the great intake of miso soup has miraculously made Japan alone immune to a larger outbreak. But for right now, I'll listen to the world's scientific consensus and the WHO, who continues to say test test test. Japan alone is an outlier in this regard.

Here's Asahi with the same numbers I saw yesterday on a Jiji wire story:

“An explosive outbreak of infections could happen at any moment (in both prefectures),” Yoshimura told reporters in the evening at the prefectural government’s office in Osaka’s Chuo Ward.

He said the health ministry has informed the prefectural government about an estimate made by health experts concerning the virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

“In the worst-case scenario, the number of people with COVID-19 will be 3,374 and the number of severely compromised patients will be 227 in both prefectures by April 3,” according to the estimate.


I hope all the magical thinkers are proven right and I'm wrong. I live in Hyogo and the crowds at malls like Umie in Kobe have been crowded in recent days. And not everyone is wearing a mask probably b/c they're hard to find.

I'm not going to condemn people for going out. If the other shoe drops, it's Abe and co. who deserve our ridicule, for their opaque, contradictory and hard to find information. If the above is the worst case situation in my region, if it's a realistic possibility per the health ministry, why in the world aren't far more stringent measures and pleas being made?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

Posted in: Governors ask people to avoid Osaka-Hyogo trips during long weekend See in context

It is a bit arbitrary to just be discouraging crossing the prefectural boundary, which is meaningless. Kobe and Osaka are basically an indistinguishable urban area that has swallowed up everything between them.

Exactly. It's an invisible line. Both cities have their clusters and god knows how many undiagnosed or asymptomatic cases there are. How travel across this boundary is of more pressing concern than say going from Kobe to Itami or Umeda to Toyonaka (i.e. within a given pref).

Either urge stringent social distancing measures (which as of yesterday here in Kobe have virtually ceased) or not. And as the first post indicated, millions of residents of the 2 cities commute across that line every week. Why is the weekend any more dangerous?

Not to mention this seems to fly in the face of more sanguine pronouncements nationally. I remain fearful that we'll wind up like Lombardy.

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Posted in: Expert panel discourages large gatherings, recommends reopening some schools See in context

Magical thinking running amok here

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Posted in: Governors ask people to avoid Osaka-Hyogo trips during long weekend See in context

The Jiji press wire story put it in more scary terms:

"I've been briefed that an explosive wave of infection could happen anytime in Hyogo and Osaka," Hirofumi Yoshimura, governor of Osaka, told a press conference.

A panel of experts commissioned by the Japanese government called for a voluntary restraint on travel between the two prefectures, according to Osaka prefectural officials.

The panel also "presented an estimate that about 3,300 coronavirus cases will emerge in Osaka and Hyogo together by April 3," Yoshimura said.


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