Presumably the hotel onsen, bar and restaurant are all no go areas too then? After all, these are public areas where masks aren't worn. The only difference being people spend fleeting moments in hotel lobbies, but extended periods, often in close contact with other guests, in the aforementioned areas of a hotel.
Otherwise it's just really silly. Completely unscientific. And embarrassing for all concerned.
Besides, no one likes to look like a fool, especially when they are paying to do so and are on holiday.
4 ( +5 / -1 )
So the cases fell of their own accord. As we knew would happen despite the usual fear mongers here. Tough times.
Mass vaccinations and widespread masking did absolutely nothing to prevent tens of millions getting covid here. Record numbers. Indeed global record numbers.
Underestimates. Millions of cases going unreported. Millions more unknown given the mildness of the virus for so many, including the recently departed 96yr old Queen. Thanks South Africa.
Our dear Emperor and honourable PM now galavanting around the world. Maskless no less. It's like it was all about face. Saving face. Or, rather, hiding face.
The realisation that you simply can't stop a tidal wave with a piece of cloth from Uniqlo and some hand sanitizer is now upon us. After nearly 3 years.
More are seeing the light in the land of the rising sun. 6.5/82 unmasked in the station this morning. (.5 = chin masked)
-2 ( +3 / -5 )
Just stop with the masks and sanitiser. They didn't work then. They don't work now. Huge case numbers showed that here, in Korea and Taiwan. Masked and sanitiser to max and covid central. End of.
And for those who think they do work - explain how they work when inside and eating together? Will this not happen at all? Ludicrous then to don masks outside (when the risk of transmission is effectively non existent) only to remove them when dining/attending meetings, banquets indoors, etc. And this will happen. Obv.
If you want no chance of transmission then ban all mass meetings of people. Close all restaurants and bars, ensure all families are masked at home at all times, and don't hold state funerals.
That said, getting a virus that is so mild many don't even know they have it, a virus that poses next to zero risk to most - not least the young and healthy, a virus even the late 96yr old queen managed to see off, not to mention the oldest person on the planet, is really not as scary as we once believed a few years ago.
Move on Japan. Looking silly is, like walking alone outside with a mask on, or sitting masked outside a packed, smokey unventilated restaurant waiting to get inside to eat, is not a good look.
11 ( +30 / -19 )
The pandemic has given rise to so many nonsensical things, but the ubiquitous mask wearing outside is up there with the most ridiculous. Especially given we are 3 years into this and it's been over elsewhere for half of that time.
It's nothing to do with "staying safe". The masking simply hasn't worked as we all know. It's 100pc social conformity. And it's harming so many in the process, not least tens of millions of children.
Embarrassing. We can surely do better.
-9 ( +3 / -12 )
And the fall continues despite no need for any measures whatsover (which do nothing anyway).
It's like it was entirely predictable. Thoughts with the fear mongers who were calling for long downs or suggesting healthcare had collapsed. Painful times I know.
Now let's lose the masks. Kids have suffered enough. Why on earth are they still forced to wear them when they are not at risk and neither are adults who are vaxxed to max?
Unless the vaccines are just not working against the milder variant? Seems so. Can't have it both ways.
At least those at risk can try their fifth vaccine now which is supposedly more effective against the milder variant. Though obv will not prevent catching the virus. Never did.
2 ( +6 / -4 )
It's a non story. Stop reporting it and get back to normal like the rest of the world. Lose the masks which clearly did nothing to stop the spread but kept the fear and harm, especially where children's learning and social development is concerned. Everyone wearing them outside in 30 plus heat for fear of looking different is embarrassing. Just stop it.
If there were daily suicide counts or deaths caused on the roads many would all be shocked and hysterical about that too. There aren't so no one is.
Is covid now less deadly than the flu? Given that the late queen survived covid a few months back, not to mention the oldest woman on the planet had the Delta variant but was unaware - I'd say yes. This is no more deadly than the flu - difference being for many it's much milder. Indeed many don't even know they had it. When you have the flu you know.
-1 ( +12 / -13 )
If they have graphs showing rates of crimes by nationality/ethnicity then as long as they are factual one may ask why not publish this information?
When (and IF) crimes are overwhelmingly committed by certain demographics then perhaps identifying that trend and asking why would better help address it? If you don't identify a problem then how do you go about trying to solve it?
The West, of course, fears revealing such figures. People live in denial and would rather be protected from what they might find. Yet if you do research you will find disproportionate trends in say violent crime in the UK or the USA along various lines (overwhelmingly male for example). Is it better to hide the truth less if gives rise to fear and prejudice against certain groups or communities? Or pretend it doesn't exist while most people know it does but just don't say it out loud? Genuine question.
4 ( +7 / -3 )
It's over. Stop the daily reports of miniscule numbers - numbers that were always going to fall despite waning vaccines with much lower efficacy, redundant masking and a loosening of restrictions. The fear and hysteria didn't materialize. I feel the pain of a few on here.
However, it's time to lose the masks and move back to normality like they have done elsewhere. There is no need to perpetuate the fear or harm given the damage already done.
3 ( +10 / -7 )
Balance what? What can possibly do anything to stop the spread of the virus?
Sanitiser? - debunked in 2020
Plastic screens in restaurants? - Actually means less air circulation and more likely to assist spread of an airborne virus
Masks? - Not worn in bars, restaurants, onsens, etc. Haven't prevented record case numbers. And cloth masks are ubiquitous anyway - uniqlo still selling them I see. So why keep them? They are not doing anything but harm.
Border controls? How has that any impact? Look at Thailand to compare notes before realizing it has no impact on numbers and just harmed the economy.
Social distancing? - There are in excess of 35million people in the Tokyo area alone. Good luck.
-7 ( +14 / -21 )
Definitely not to do with the vaccine. As has been pointed out before, the vaccination rate hasn't changed.
More people get it - more natural immunity - eventual fall. Not complicated.
Not true? Look to South Africa where this happened almost a year ago. Despite extremely low vaccination. Or look to the UK where cases went up and then fell despite now there being low vaccine uptake since the milder omicron emerged (esp in those who are not at risk). Look to countless other places to see the same.
Vaccine efficacy against the cron was already poor. It wanes quickly too. 3mths or so. Accept this.
So let's follow the science as they always say and appreciate the mutated virus has become much milder and despite poor vaccine efficacy, healthcare hasn't collapsed anywhere as a result and natural immunity levels have been boosted massively as the virus has done it's thing despite redundant masking.
Positive times. Even if the positivity case rate has fallen without mitigations or vaccines.
-2 ( +1 / -3 )
In the past year then more healthy toddlers have died in hot busses and cars here than from covid during the entire pandemic. Yet mask them up for their own safety.
RIP. What an awful tragedy.
0 ( +0 / -0 )
It would appear the fat lady is singing. She has been for some time but sadly the alarmists refused to listen. That these stories are still reported every day when most of the rest of the world has moved on - yes, even without the masks, is part of the problem.
2 ( +7 / -5 )
Again where is the breakdown of these "hundreds" (rather 2 hundred) dying each day from covid by age and health status?
Or is it merely with covid? There is an important distinction to make here. Given the milder variant, and the extremely high vaccination rate, esp in the groups who are most vulnerable at close to 100pc, we can only presume it's more likely with. This has been the case elsewhere, e.g. in the UK, for the past year. Not sure why it would be different here. The reporting then is not helpful and feeds fear and alarmism. Even when the numbers are relatively v small indeed.
Alternatively we would have to accept the vaccines have failed massively.
What is obvious is the masks haven't worked. The Japanese are not restricting their movements nationally or internationally. Bars and restaurants with no distancing or ventilation are still packed. Border controls are meaningless. Masking kids for 3yrs, and those who work with them, had been a cruel mistake. To continue it is unacceptable. Just think of the impact on their social, emotional and speech development. Yet alone fledgling immune system if the masks actually do anything.
It's time to move on. For the doom mongers who called for lockdowns or claimed death numbers would be off the scale, esp after the holiday period - I know this is hard to take. But it's time to accept that your alarmism was once again misguided. For too long that sentiment has controlled the narrative. The damage that has caused is incalculable. The sooner we try to work on rectifying that the better. Obviously.
2 ( +5 / -3 )
So with zero restrictions brought in despite the record high cases numbers of recent months (actually a loosening of some restrictions - though obv not going far enough) cases are now falling dramatically.
Given that the same happened elsewhere - and vaccination rates, border controls, mask wearing and sanitiser had absolutely nothing to do with it - maybe no one should be surprised that this was always going to happen and mitigations effectively have no bearing on the outcomes.
Those who called for greater restrictions, inc even more stringent border controls, more masking, further business restrictions and even lockdowns - must feel disappointed by the fall.
We feel your pain.
3 ( +7 / -4 )
Now as for spreading the virus when you have no symptoms. Please give numbers. I know this was considered extremely rare early on in the pandemic. I believe there is a common belief that asymptomatic spread is as likely as symptomatic spread when this is nonsense. This also feeds the fear of mask wearing...maybe I have it even if I feel fine...and maybe a piece of cloth will do something to stop spreading something I don't have. Which is obviously lunacy no matter how "well intentioned".
And do we go on living like this indefinitely when the rest of the world moved on a very long time ago?
0 ( +5 / -5 )
Please let go of the masks. They are not working.
For those claiming they are, explain high cases numbers here and elsewhere where mask wearing is widespread.
Explain how places such as Germany and Spain who mandated masks fared no better (indeed worse) than countries in Europe who didn't have mask mandates.
Explain why airlines were so quick to drop them half a year ago and there was no huge uptick in clusters on flights.
Explain why even Singapore has dropped the need to wear them indoors?
Explain why school age children should wear them when it impacts their social development and learning and has had no impact on cases.
0 ( +7 / -7 )
How can some comment here and talk about vaccine reducing spread when it doesn't and hasn't. Anywhere! Are you not looking at daily numbers in Japan? Posted every day. Or numbers in every other highly vaxxed country. It didn't reduce spread anywhere but let's keep on pretending it does.
Then what about it reduces chance of taking up a hospital bed. Laughable. How many elite sportsmen in 30s are ending up in hospital because of this? Percentage please.
And I think an elite multimillionaire athlete could afford to go private if the need ever arose.
But it wouldn't. Not only because given his health status and age the risk is non existent. Nor the fact omicron is the mildest variant we have had. But also remember he has had covid twice already. Indeed, he even won Wimbledon after despite not being vaxxed and presumably having a double dose of long covid. Impressive indeed.
-2 ( +4 / -6 )
Masks continuing to work then.
While Singapore drops the indoor mask mandate. Seems Japan is even slower to get the memo that they aren't doing anything but just causing pollution and seriously impacting effective learning for the young.
Surely after weeks and weeks of this it's nigh time to move on. Drop the masks. Let kids learn properly and see faces.
Close to 3 years now. The vaccines were rolled out. Those who got them did. Many many times. The virus mutated and is as mild as it has ever been. If folk are dying of covid now (likely with as opposed to of) then they were dying. Which happens. People die. We all will.
Yet for some reason we still get these daily reports that suggest the end is nigh. While widespread masking confirms that. To think there are kids aged 3-5 now who have known no different than a faceless society. Not sure how anyone can still try and justify any of that.
-3 ( +6 / -9 )
Masks still slipping.
Shockingly high case numbers. Though very small severe cases. Why is this still news and why are masks still worn given these realities?
Widespread masking isn't doing anything to stop spread. Clearly.
Severe cases are a miniscule percentage of total case numbers (and will predominantly be among the very elderly and immunocompromised).It's nigh time to stop reporting this and move on like the rest of the civilsed world.
-5 ( +6 / -11 )
Doesn't get much more high profile. The mask definitely has slipped (again).
0 ( +0 / -0 )
As others have mentioned, there is very little that can be done to stop the tide of infections as we have seen everywhere - masked to the max Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea and Japan are no exceptions. So this talk of fearing long covid doesn't help anything.
The mitigations in place are not stopping the spread of the virus at all. Positively. so to speak - this in turn is ensuring much of the population builds natural immunity, which is only good. Especially as it is the summer so better it runs through the population in the warmer months than in the winter.
Long covid? As with any virus, the symptoms may linger in a small percentage. Is is important to look at other countries where much of the population has had covid (e.g. the UK are about 90pc) and see that life is back to normal there for the most part - so given all the supposed longterm complications caused by being infected - they can't affect that many. 1/5 is certainly not right - if they were all seriously impacted then healthcare and society at large would've collapsed a long time ago. Obviously.Also re. long covid. How many of those cases are in the vaccinated? This is crucial to know as the lingering symptoms/complications could just as likely be because of the vaccine. If a breakdown can be provided then please provide it.
Anecdotally - of over 100 covid cases I know both personally and through friends - I can count on one hand the number that said they had lingering symptoms after a week. The 20pc figure then is certainly not the case in my experience - no way near. And those infections include children as young as 4 to adults in their 90s. Some vaxxed and some unvaxxed. Some fit and healthy and some with various underlying health conditions including cancer, lupus, obesity and diabetes. Given the millions being infected in Japan every week we shall see if the result of that is a complete collapse of society due to all the long covid. I don't see that happening.
0 ( +8 / -8 )
Good to see folk are opening their eyes and the mass covid fear is clearly over. Japan has been well behind the curve but is slowly getting it. Hundreds of thousands of cases a day and folk are out in force and ready to holiday. There goes the fear ;)
Sadly the mask wearing is still widespread despite the fact record global cases for weeks now show they are not working. Again reality is slowly sinking in on that front as you can't deny the reality forever.
On the positive side, all those travelling overseas will be able to lose the mask without feeling the social pressure of having to wear it, especially outside. I'm sure they will appreciate that sense of freedom and going to places where not only are masks not worn, but there are far fewer covid cases. Good times!
-3 ( +14 / -17 )
If a country of over 125 million doesn't have the healthcare structure to accommodate 500 odd serious hospital cases (with/of covid) before it collapses then that it is problem.
Funny then that an ambulance was on the scene within 5 minutes of a road accident I had the misfortune of witnessing yesterday. Luckily for the injured child, the healthcare system obviously hadn't collapsed in that area and the ambulance crew were on the scene to help the poor kid in no time. Sadly he lost his mask in the accident - though I don't think contracting covid was he biggest concern at the time.
As for pushing vaccines. You do realise the vaccine (developed in 2020) is very ineffective against the latest variant and does not stop transmission. So for the vast majority there is little reason to get vaccinated. For the elderly and immunocompromised then go for it if you want. But when double boosted presidents are still getting covid then don't expect it to protect you from getting covid. But you would have to be living in a covid bunker to think they do. Which is possible here.
Borders? Thailand had restricted borders until it started to open up in November. It has no bearing on cases whatsoever. Covid was already there. The wave went through the country independently of arrivals. Millions have arrived since - including tens of thousands from Japan. They are no longer subject to any entry requirements. All this but cases continue to fall nationally. It is almost as if they had no influence on an airborne virus that was already running through the native population.
Japan should take note. It's not complicated.
10 ( +15 / -5 )
As someone who has had the privilege of living and visiting a few countries since 2020 (I know many positing here have not left the masked and sanitised bubble of Japan), I can see that Japan is very much behind the curve when it comes to accepting covid is now endemic, the pandemic is over, and life goes on.
On the positive side, the huge case numbers here (largest numbers in the world despite all the masks) and fact they are not resulting in severe illness for the overwhelming majority (as was always going to be the case as we have seen almost everywhere else), is only good in terms of the population finally realising that.
It has taken time. But we are getting there. Judging by the hordes I've seen out it seems those who still try to push the fear are very much in the minority.
There is absolutely no justification for border controls. Obviously. But then Japan would not have been the first country to make rules up that make no scientific sense whatsoever.
8 ( +16 / -8 )
"Health authorities advise that those who test positive should quarantine for 10 days and their close contacts should isolate for at least five."
This is insanity and the reason why you will have businesses, hospitals, factories, schools, etc unable to operate. It is not because the virus is causing severe illness and they are unable to work (for the majority it is very mild/less than a flu) - it is because these restrictions and ridiculous rules are making it impossible for them to do so.
Isn't it over half a year ago since many countries started lowering the self quarantine period to just 5 days (only if you had it)? And since then many no longer require any quarantine at all but put the trust in people to make their own decisions based on their health, i.e. just like we were doing before 2020? With no close contacts needing to quarantine at all.
To say Japan has an 'enviable record' is highly debatable. I know many places that are certainly doing much better than Japan right now in terms of cases and deaths all while enjoying normality - I don't imagine they envy Japan right now. It seems a few posters here clearly have not left Japan during the entire pandemic - travel broadens the mind - you would be in for a pleasant surprise if you went to places that have long since got over this and where life is very much back to normal. Indeed, it has been for some time.
0 ( +2 / -2 )