Once it became impossible to cancel the Games, people began to consider the facts, which are (1) that a much higher proportion (4x) of those inside the Bubble have been vaccinated versus the rest of Japan and that everyone’s being tested regularly, (2) that as of early July the Delta variant already accounted for roughly a third of all new cases, with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases forecasting a rise to 100% by sometime in August, and (3) since no fans are permitted, there will be no noteworthy change in the behavior of the Japanese. In light of all this, the locals’ fundamental love of sports resumed.
It has never been practical to keep Delta out of Japan, and it was already entrenched prior to the arrival of the Olympic teams. While the media has universally led with the base assumption that the Games will kill many of us, no one has (by my reading) never bothered to explain in any detail just how the very, very strict controls in place will be inadequate.
1 ( +1 / -0 )
Japan unfortunately pushed its luck too far. The people masked up early and did what they were supposed to and prevented the a mass outbreak. Meanwhile, the complacent government couldn’t bring itself to do what every other country did, which is to accept the US FDA’s trials and emergency use approval. The delay due to redundant local trials gave Delta just enough time to break through and get a foothold. The public sector’s lack of creativity with distribution didn’t help, either.
6 ( +8 / -2 )
Sadly, Japan is showcasing the version of itself that is driven by media-driven xenophobic fear and which fails in responding to crises. If this didn’t involve foreigners, the whole vibe would be different. The media is aflame with news that 60 people associated with the Olympics have tested positive, while similarly sized day-to-day fluctuations in the new case count among citizens pass unnoticed. The delta and other variants are already here, so these 60 people represent nothing more than 60 new cases already in a quarantined environment.
And the root cause of this problem—low vaccination rates—owes to Japan’s unwillingness to accept foreign science and recognize, as most countries have done, the FDA’s emergency approvals and bypass it’s own redundant trials. Despite the obvious benefits of making an exception in this special case, the decision was eventually taken to do things exactly the way they have always been done. Had the vaccines been approved on a typical OECD schedule and been administered a couple months earlier, Japan would be riding high, having fun, and recouping some of its investment in these Games.
4 ( +5 / -1 )