Richard Gallagher comments

Posted in: New virus cases in Tokyo drop to 5; none reported in Osaka See in context

New Zealand has a population of 4.7 million. Australia a population of 25 million. Hardly valid comparisons. Figures for the presence of SARSCoV-2 are not simply numbers shouted out by Abe or shadowy figures aka 'the government'. They are compiled thru various sources, such as hospitals, local governments, public healthcare institutions, etc.

This from the article in the journal, Nature Reviews Immunology, 5/11: "Most individuals infected with SARS-CoV-2 remain asymptomatic or develop a mild-to-moderate disease that is mainly characterized by upper respiratory tract symptoms.  However, a significant minority of patients progress to severe pneumonia with ARDS, respiratory insufficiency and even death, particularly older patients. At the time of writing, SARS-CoV-2 has killed more than 264,000 people, with over 2 million infected, and has given rise to a global economic shutdown, which is predicted to lead to a depression more serious than the great depression of the 1930s."

Various studies allow that due to reproduction factors, eventually the numbers go down and flatten. Interestingly, the 1918 Flu epidemic came in three waves. Everyone infected in the second wave perished. Obviously, the 1918 Flu was more virulent than SARSCoV-2. Yes, the coronavirus-19 is not the flu.

As cited, somewhere above: practices in place need to be kept & followed - masks, hand washing, general hygiene and avoiding overcrowding and keeping social distancing in certain & particular milieus. Opening up schools and business needs to be in stages. And large scale gatherings should remain cancelled thru the summer. What will happen is unknown.

Testing is a panacea, as it is often cited as some means of arriving at accurate figures, which is a queer understanding wedded to some manner of accounting and somehow will stave off the virus. It has a specific function - indeed it can be used to identify clusters, but then what? Tracking is a limited tool. And the current use, testing those who have symptoms is reasonable, as testing everyone is an impossibility and it would have to be performed en masse. Asymptomatic individuals do represent a barrier to managing the spread of the virus. No matter, a slow burn thru the population is inevitable, lacking a vaccine. Quarantining the healthy is certainly an odd stratagem - its value can be assessed later. Controlled isolation, reducing contact is a partial solution, but eventually reaches a zero point, if there are no random contacts, which is neigh impossible. As is, we shall see what we shall see.

There has certainly been a lack of planning by public healthcare officials and it has been churned into a political event. The state failed in its response. This is notable: the Chinese are lauded for their ability to construct a 'hospital' in a very  compressed time-frame - what is ignored, it indicates China was not fully prepared for such an epidemic and reflects a failure to have sufficient resources in place, though being fully aware that such an event is imminent. Same throughout the world, where healthcare has been diminished for various economic and political purposes. Public healthcare has not been fully and adequately funded by design. Which is a problem in the so-called first world. Let alone the lack of adequate resources in poor countries. However, two shining examples are Vietnam and Cuba, small nations but with well-planned responses. The rest of the world, not so. Next pandemic will be a killer, unless there are changes in the social structure and institutions.

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Posted in: Abenomasks See in context

Convenience store has oodles of masks. Noabemasks and noAbemoney. A fine implementation of policy and actions by the overlords.

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Posted in: Abe announces lifting of state of emergency for 39 prefectures See in context

The numbers were fudged because of the Olympics. Evidence, please. There could be ten times, twenty times the existing number of cases: once again, evidence please? The incredible number of individuals opining and the pretense it is fact or reality is amusing. For instance: exponential spread based on 2.6 per individual, which is utter nonsense and ignores the complexity and has no basis in any manner of fact. It is a mathematical model which is speculative and based on no actual data wedded to the spread of the virus. The panacea of testing is continually misrepresented as be some kind of indicator: you going to test everyone, at once? Then track down all contact? Sure. What is fact, the incidence of comorbidity and fatalities from SARSCoV-2. Which requires an adjustment in representing numbers. The gross ignorance of numerous postings is entertaining and oft reflects a very peculiar prejudice or inflated sense of self. Especially, the foreigners living in Japan. The continual reference to 'Japan' is simply queer, as well as meaningless.

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Posted in: Governors seek travel curbs even if virus emergency lifted for some prefectures See in context

Sensible, if not scientific. Contains the spread to a slow burn within locales. But. For an example: The infections in Kyobashi, Live House Arc, moons ago, was a visitor from Hokkaido. It was a vector. And. Uh. Where exactly are medical personnel, in Japan, dropping dead? Anecdotal references, conversations with local nurses are indicative of exactly what? There is accurate data available, and means to determine if the 'count' is accurate. Tossing out gross statistics is meaningless twaddle. One month ago, in a two month span: There were a total of 9,000 infected healthcare workers in the U.S. 55% was from contact with infected patients. 27 died. Restricting travel between prefectures to 'vacation' is sensible and even so allows more freedom than being locked-down. You live in Tokyo, stay in Tokyo.

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Posted in: Japan looks to lift emergency in some areas ahead of May 31 See in context

The response to SARSCoV-2, was based on conjecture, speculation, politics, economics and such. Science was not the main determinant, as initial examination of the pandemic did not provide sufficient data and was to a large degree 'reactive'. Geography and socio-economic characteristics, are/were of import in explaining the coronavirus.

The models for spread of the virus are mathematical and presuppose a very precise and linear projection. This is contrary to the actual means and only produces exponential and cumulative charting.

Instead: file:///C:/Users/user/Downloads/COVID_19_final.pdf

Much of the political response was based on fallacy and was framed by a very real and immediate an ongoing emergency. Certain structural and institutional frameworks hindered the medical response. Which were fiscal & economic and reflected the shift to a corporate dominated healthcare system wedded to shareholders.

Better luck next time.

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Posted in: More businesses reopen as gov't eyes end to emergency measures in some regions See in context

Note to the individual citing Japan's large debt. The yen is a fiat currency. 97% of debt is domestic. Japan holds the largest amount of debt owed by the USA. The U.S., owes Japan 1.5 trillion dollars.  Japan’s debt is mostly government bonds.  The Bank of Japan is the biggest holder, it accounts for 46.2% of the Japanese government bonds. However, the Japanese government doesn’t have to pay back the Bank of Japan’s bonds. Because The bank of Japan is a subsidiary company of the Japanese government. Borrowing and lending of money between parent and subsidiary companies is offset in consolidated accounting. Paying interest is not necessary either. So 46% of Japan’s debt is actually not a debt.  And other parts, which occupy the rest of the whole consists of banks, life and non-life insurance, public pensions, and pension funds, these parts are domestic financial firms. In fact, Japan remained the biggest creditor nation for the 28th straight year, according to the Ministry of Finance. The net value of assets held by the government, businesses and individuals stood at 342 trillion yen ($3.10 trillion) at the end of 2018, up 3.7% from the year before. Japan’s net external assets were about 1.3 times higher than those held by Germany, the world’s №2 creditor nation with 261 trillion yen in net assets at the end of 2017.

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Posted in: Japan to revise criteria on symptoms for being tested for virus See in context

Abe, needs to find a new job.

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Posted in: Schools reopen in some parts of Japan after pandemic shutdown See in context

Am a teacher in a private elementary school. Kyoto. School will return to the classroom in June. Maybe. Maybe not. We begin online classes next week. There are teachers who refuse to participate in online classes, asserting they were hired as homeroom classroom teachers, not on-line instructors. Some parents, typically professors, will not allow their progeny to take on-line classes. Public schools in Nara from k-12: assigning boatloads of homework, no online, some videos, but no actual contact with the teacher. The elementary schools have since decided no class until September. Which means almost seven months of no school. Rates of infection, proclamations from on high, the panacea of testing, everything is closed thru May 6th, now June but reassessment May 14th, graphs show the contagion has peaked and flattened and on and on. Abe a primary concern: the 310,000,000,000 yen investments, from private corporations, in the Olympics and his so-called legacy. As a member of the IOC said: no vaccine, no Olympics. But, Abe, asserting at some point, that the contagion has to be eradicated, otherwise, no Olympics, as if the Japanese people are at fault or can remedy the situation by doing a better job of gawd knows WTF. This is a man who shot out of a blue tube, in Rio, dressed as Mario. Koike, the Mayor of Tokyo, no background in education or public healthcare, issues proclamation ostensibly made by reading the entrails of a goat. The head of school, professed, we will open, we will close, we will open depending on when someone contracts the virus. All it takes is one case and the school closes for two weeks. So it goes. SARSCoV-2 has mutated into a political disease. No science necessary. Might as well have a chimp throw the I-Ching to make decisions.

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Posted in: Journalist ponders meaning of Japan's (currently) low coronavirus infection numbers See in context

Ah. Anecdotal commentary disparaging the author's musings - nice of everyone to add to the conversation or spin out some dead witticism or rude nonsense. Some of the figures he cites are correct. 80% of those infected will be asymptomatic or suffer a mild case of coronavirus. 20% will suffer medium to severe cases. 5% will require intensive care. To which can be added: over 80% of cases are comorbidity the most common comorbidities were hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. Among patients who were discharged or died, 14.2% were treated in the intensive care unit, 12.2% received invasive mechanical ventilation, 3.2% were treated with kidney replacement therapy, and 21% died. You want S C I E N C E. Here it is from a JAMA study in NYC. But, if you don't want to read, here is a summary: If you have a comorbidity: hypertension, diabetes or obesity and are elderly, you have a high probability of being hospitalized and you are in the cohort with the highest number of fatalities. If you are male, that increases your risk. If you end-up on a ventilator: almost 90% of patients on a ventilator die. Which is a standard measure, no matter the reason, before coronavid-19 existed, the numbers were over 80%. If you are healthy and not elderly, you probably will acquire a mild case. The biggest factor is comorbidity. And age. Though if you are a 40 year-old fat, chain-smoking diabetic with heart problems, best you isolate at home, give-up smoking, lose weight, get on a nutritious diet and do some exercise. Otherwise, SARSCoV-2 or not you are headed to the land of pine boxes. So whether you are a stinky American or smelly French person or a typical Japanese (whatever that means) wash those hands after you take a dump. Put a mask on. Practice social distancing. And if sick or showing symptoms: stay home. If it continues, call your doctor. But. Most people will make it thru. Just don't kill off your older relatives with bad habits.

 A total of 5700 patients were included (median age, 63 years [interquartile range {IQR}, 52-75; range, 0-107 years]; 39.7% female). The most common comorbidities were hypertension (3026; 56.6%), obesity (1737; 41.7%), and diabetes (1808; 33.8%). At triage, 30.7% of patients were febrile, 17.3% had a respiratory rate greater than 24 breaths/min, and 27.8% received supplemental oxygen. The rate of respiratory virus co-infection was 2.1%. Outcomes were assessed for 2634 patients who were discharged or had died at the study end point. During hospitalization, 373 patients (14.2%) (median age, 68 years [IQR, 56-78]; 33.5% female) were treated in the intensive care unit care, 320 (12.2%) received invasive mechanical ventilation, 81 (3.2%) were treated with kidney replacement therapy, and 553 (21%) died. As of April 4, 2020, for patients requiring mechanical ventilation (n = 1151, 20.2%), 38 (3.3%) were discharged alive, 282 (24.5%) died, and 831 (72.2%) remained in hospital. The median postdischarge follow-up time was 4.4 days (IQR, 2.2-9.3). A total of 45 patients (2.2%) were readmitted during the study period. The median time to readmission was 3 days (IQR, 1.0-4.5) for readmitted patients. Among the 3066 patients who remained hospitalized at the final study follow-up date (median age, 65 years [IQR, 54-75]), the median follow-up at time of censoring was 4.5 days (IQR, 2.4-8.1).

The Charlson Comorbidity Index predicts 10-year survival in patients with multiple comorbidities and was used as a measure of total comorbidity burden.8 The lowest score of 0 corresponds to a 98% estimated 10-year survival rate. Increasing age in decades older than age 50 years and comorbidities, including congestive heart disease and cancer, increase the total score and decrease the estimated 10-year survival. A total of 16 comorbidities are included. A score of 7 points and above corresponds to a 0% estimated 10-year survival rate. Acute kidney injury was identified as an increase in serum creatinine by 0.3 mg/dL or more (≥26.5 μmol/L) within 48 hours or an increase in serum creatinine to 1.5 times or more baseline within the prior 7 days compared with the preceding 1 year of data in acute care medical records. This was based on the Kidney Disease: Improving Global Outcomes (KDIGO) definition.9 Acute hepatic injury was defined as an elevation in aspartate aminotransferase or alanine aminotransferase of more than 15 times the upper limit of normal.

A total of 5700 patients were included (median age, 63 years [interquartile range {IQR}, 52-75; range, 0-107 years]; 39.7% female) (Table 1). The median time to obtain polymerase chain reaction testing results was 15.4 hours (IQR, 7.8-24.3). The most common comorbidities were hypertension (3026, 56.6%), obesity (1737, 41.7%), and diabetes (1808, 33.8%). The median score on the Charlson Comorbidity Index was 4 points (IQR, 2-6), which corresponds to a 53% estimated 10-year survival and reflects a significant comorbidity burden for these patients. At triage, 1734 patients (30.7%) were febrile, 986 (17.3%) had a respiratory rate greater than 24 breaths/min, and 1584 (27.8%) received supplemental oxygen (Table 2 and Table 3). The first test for COVID-19 was positive in 5517 patients (96.8%), while 183 patients (3.2%) had a negative first test and positive repeat test. The rate of co-infection with another respiratory virus for those tested was 2.1% (42/1996). Discharge disposition by 10-year age intervals of all 5700 study patients is included in Table 4. Length of stay for those who died, were discharged alive, and remained in hospital are presented as well. Among the 3066 patients who remained hospitalized at the final study follow-up date (median age, 65 years [IQR 54-75]), the median follow-up at time of censoring was 4.5 days (IQR, 2.4-8.1). Mortality was 0% (0/20) for male and female patients younger than 20 years. Mortality rates were higher for male compared with female patients at every 10-year age interval older than 20 years.

Among the 2634 patients who were discharged or had died at the study end point, during hospitalization, 373 (14.2%) were treated in the ICU, 320 (12.2%) received invasive mechanical ventilation, 81 (3.2%) were treated with kidney replacement therapy, and 553 (21%) died (Table 5). As of April 4, 2020, for patients requiring mechanical ventilation (n = 1151, 20.2%), 38 (3.3%) were discharged alive, 282 (24.5%) died, and 831 (72.2%) remained in hospital. Mortality rates for those who received mechanical ventilation in the 18-to-65 and older-than-65 age groups were 76.4% and 97.2%, respectively. Mortality rates for those in the 18-to-65 and older-than-65 age groups who did not receive mechanical ventilation were 19.8% and 26.6%, respectively. There were no deaths in the younger-than-18 age group. The overall length of stay was 4.1 days (IQR, 2.3-6.8). The median postdischarge follow-up time was 4.4 days (IQR, 2.2-9.3). A total of 45 patients (2.2%) were readmitted during the study period. The median time to readmission was 3 days (IQR, 1.0-4.5). Of the patients who were discharged or had died at the study end point, 436 (16.6%) were younger than age 50 with a score of 0 on the Charlson Comorbidity Index, of whom 9 died.

For both patients discharged alive and those who died, the percentage of patients who were treated in the ICU or received invasive mechanical ventilation was increased for the 18-to-65 age group compared with the older-than-65 years age group (Table 5). For patients discharged alive, the lowest absolute lymphocyte count during hospital course was lower for progressively older age groups. For patients discharged alive, the readmission rates and the percentage of patients discharged to a facility (such as a nursing home or rehabilitation), as opposed to home, increased for progressively older age groups.

Of the patients who died, those with diabetes were more likely to have received invasive mechanical ventilation or care in the ICU compared with those who did not have diabetes (eTable 1 in the Supplement). Of the patients who died, those with hypertension were less likely to have received invasive mechanical ventilation or care in the ICU compared with those without hypertension. The percentage of patients who developed acute kidney injury was increased in the subgroups with diabetes compared with subgroups without those conditions.

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Posted in: Over 100 Filipino crew leave virus-hit cruise ship in Nagasaki See in context

That is an infection rate of almost 25%. And WHY were just crew on that particular ship?

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Posted in: Japan's child population falls for 39th straight year to record low See in context

Demographics. An overall decrease in the population is fact. The population of elders will decrease. The population will continue to fall. So what? It will decrease impacts on natural resources and require fewer imports. The export markets far outweigh the domestic in terms of corporate profit. Same with financial investment. Pensions? Japan has a fiat currency. As is evident, Japan simply can print money and increase debt - that's where your 100,000 yen (if and when you see it) comes from; 'an increase in the money supply. That debt is domestic aka internal.

As for all the opinions about WHY 'women' are not 'producing' more offspring - all are purely speculative and meaningless. As if it is a matter of 'identifying' a problem and determining an underlying cause, which hence will produce an understanding of fact or a remedy.

To produce additional anecdotal evidence: I know many women in their 30s and 40s who are not married. A large majority own a business, a small shop or cafe, essentially independent and owner run. Owning and operating a business is at the center of their life. A few were professional athletes when young. (Look at Nadeshiko Japan and in the professional soccer leagues now & then, how many are not married) Others are not willing to submit to an annoying mother-in-law or overbearing husband. Some have been shunted into caring for an ill parent or parents alongside holding a FT job. One individual, the first female president of a major Japanese corporation, professed it would not have been possible to marry, have children, let alone take care of her ailing Mother for a decade and pursue her career. They are all, independent, strong-willed and intelligent. Certainly they have relationships and boyfriends, but they are not going to give-up their livelihood to become at home mothers or enter into anything but a relationship of equals with a suitor and possible husband. On a whole, they are some of the finest human beings I know or have come across in a lifetime. They are not married, let alone with children for an array of complex reasons, there is no baseline or underlying shared reasoning.

To take a different example: The USA would be better off with 100 million.

There are too many people everywhere. And reductions in populations are inevitable, as should be apparent as of late. As the seas rise, as the planet warms, as natural disasters increase - it will take a creative and imaginative response which will probably not be forthcoming, the present disaster isn't even a warm-up. That the concern for a decrease in population is mostly an economic concern is to mark such as grossly ignorant, if not totally vapid.

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Posted in: Empty street See in context

Empty pockets. The Abe Cvovid-19 policy in action.

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Posted in: Workers, parents feel strain as state of emergency extended See in context

An array of commentary. An individual from NY who claims to have a read on Japanese hospitals, that they are unable to accommodate more SARSCoV-2 patients. Which hospitals and where in Japan? Name ten hospitals in Japan off the top of your head. Places that re-open all of the sudden have a rise in cases - places where? On the moon? What does that possibly mean, it is beyond vague - it doesn't even reach the level of gossip. Testing, the great panacea, all you have to do is test. Really! And then what? Everyone will get the virus another fancy non-fact. Where does that 'information' come from? And a reference to South Korea. What is the population of South Korea? It is 51 million. Seoul has a population of approximately 10 million. Busan 3.5 million. Incheon 2.8 million. Daegu 2.4 million. Additionally there are five cities over one million. That's it. Japan has a population of 127 million. Geographically, Japan is almost four times larger in area that South Korea. Tokyo, the urban/metro area is 38 million. Osaka urban/metro area is around 20 million. There is no actual correspondence to South Korea.

The prefecture I live in, reports two deaths - which is 0.0001% of the population. The total cases of coronavirus since January 16th, is 87 or 0.006% of the population. Active cases are a total of 49, which is 0.003% of the population. 7 of which are asymptomatic. The prefecture is 1,500 square miles or 3691 square kilometres. With a population of 1.4 million. The largest city is 350,000. Explain, how does that fit with Tokyo?

Abe, the response is haphazard and ad hoc. Supposedly, it is the prefectures that decides policy and deference is to the prefecture governor. Our prefecture governor is daft, if not senile, basely incompetent and obtains his marching orders from Tokyo, in particular Abe and his cabal of wizards.

Public school education is becoming a farce, here it consists of assigned homework and an occasional video to watch. By June many students will have been out-of-school for almost four months. If Abe and Koike get their wish to start school in September that will be a fiasco. Koike has absolutely no experience in education or public health - Abe, seems to mirror that fact. Teachers have legal, binding contracts, most start in March 2020 and end in March or so 2021. I have such a contract. How is that going to work out? The law of contracts is tossed out?

And. One individual declares the human body cannot develop immunity against every virus. That's a sharp observation, though fairly witless. The human body has what is dubbed the human virome. Most viruses are neither consistently pathogenic nor always harmless, but rather can result in different outcomes depending on the health and immunological status of their hosts. Indeed, it is nature, extremely complex and with much unknown.

The response in Japan is mostly cultural and already in place with respected protocols, which has added to the low numbers. The low numbers are not some plot by Abe to save The Olympics, though that was his initial impetus and arises once again. Despite the ineffective response of that twit and his policy by whim, for the most the response was one of care and being careful by the citizens, with little need for directives from fools in Tokyo. What is needed is economic and financial aid directly to the population.

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Posted in: Abe regrets having missed goal of amending Constitution by 2020 See in context

The U.S. Constitution was ratified in 1788. The only amendment to be repealed was the 18th amendment, which prohibited alcohol, which didn't turn out well unless you were with the Mafia. It wasn't created 80 years ago. Abe is anything but wise or acting for the greater good.

Abe, wants to militarize the state. Why? Abe is going to conquer China? Throw off the shackles of the U.S. and no longer be a client-state? What percent of the budget will be dedicated to arming the state? Look at the oh-so-powerful U.S. that spends the majority of its budget on the military and its failures. War. It will teach you one thing: life is short. The Great Imperium, delusions and madness.

Abe and his fellow scoundrels are still looking to save the Olympics, not just to add to his grandeur, but to keep in their pocket the 3.1 billion already invested by large corporate industries. Atop that is a contagion with a haphazard, ad hoc response that reveals incredible incompetence - but indeed reveals the sensibility of the majority of Japan's citizenry who acted without particular direction and when called to adhere to protocols, got in line. Abe doesn't give a crap about anyone's rights, he radiates the odor of sulfur, as he looks to undermine the greater good with self-serving schemes from whence he and his right wing goons will profit. He is quite mad, and ordinarily so. He needs to be put out pasture or kicked to the curb. It is the 21st Century. He lives in the age of the Daimyos. Be gone foul beast.

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Posted in: Gov't to set guidelines on economic restart on Monday See in context

“The worst scenario of the games being canceled has been avoided,” said an upbeat business leader.

The SARSCoV-2. Most of the opinions are exactly that, speculative, conjunctures, hoary prejudice wedded to varying agendas - very little reflects the metrics of the virus. Nor specific geographies and demographics. What is anecdotal: presented as some manner of factual understanding or insightful. None reflecting any actual science. Even proclamations by MDs are for the most immediate impressions, though specific, are parochial. It en-flames the economic disaster and does little to mitigate the contagion.

Abe stated that he is considering changing the academic school year: it would begin in September. Such a notion is embraced by the dingbat Mayor of Tokyo, hardly an expert on education or public health. The issue of contracts, which is a tenet of law, will certainly be in play: as a teacher, in a private elementary school my contract begins in March and ends in March. That's a legal contract. Same with the junior high and senior high and the university within which we are institutionalized. Many are willing to go to the mats. Numerous colleagues have refused to teach on-line, as it isn't what they were hired to do. They are homeroom, classroom and subject teachers. Abe, at best, is haphazard in his design dealing with the pandemic, other than to retain power and bring The Games to Japan.

Had Abe acted in January, imposing the clampdown during what is a seasonal lull in consumer activity, along with banning foreign tourists, it would have been a model for one means of response. Instead, there was a not well documented intent, that the concern was The Olympic Games. That arises again, as he stated ominously, all SARSCoV-2 must be eradicated in Japan, for the games to go forward. This will juice all decisions. And the play-makers are powerful corporate industries with enormous power and resources.

Fat chance. No matter the success or failure of his rather slipshod attempt to deal with the virus, it obvious there actually is not A Plan. It's simply a set of measures more wedded to politics. A list of the sponsors of The Olympics, Alibaba, Airbnb, Coca-Cola, G.E. Westinghouse, Toyota and VISA, to name a few who have contributed 310,000,000,000 yen, illustrates the hordes of cash involved. Anything and everything Abe does is mitigated by the import to hold The Games. It is economics and politics, not health & welfare, excepting how it enhances the goal.

It is foolhardy, to suppose that the present contagion will not spread to Central & South America, throughout Africa, and back, through the present hotspots in the world. If Japan, extinguishes the virus, without a vaccine in place, WHY would you allow visitors from nations where the virus is still prevalent to enter the country?

The economic distress among independently owned and operated businesses, small and medium sized, is producing dire circumstances - its effects are immediate on the businesses affected and will impact other entities, a simple example: automobile loans. Train-wreck Abe-style.

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Posted in: Abe seeks to extend state of emergency by about a month See in context

Time Magazine. That's a fine Science Journal of Epidemiology. The Guardian, as if a Journal of Economics. And a BBC video. That's a compendium of factual data. Sweden has an approximate population of ten million. It is compared to Norway, Finland and Denmark who have populations hovering around five million. A dubious comparison. What are the parameters that constitute it as a valid comparison, except for the use of 'numbers' and formulaic abstractions? Nevertheless, none correspond to Japan. Same for Italy, Spain, UK and USA. Any similarities are purely superficial and contrived. Someone suggested shutting down the trains, there's a bold move, just shut down the trains, which would accomplish exactly what? Maybe you should join the panel? Turnstile figures, in all major hubs, illustrate that train use has dropped by Abe's magic 80%. Fatalities reflect factors of comorbidity. Basic three: hypertension, diabetes and obesity. Age is also a factor. Read the recent JAMA study of NYC and SARSCoV-2 aka Covid-19. A few factual figures

New York state: 90.68

Spain 50.98

Italy 45.27

France 35.37

U.K. 32.70

Sweden 23.13

U.S. 17.84

Canada 8.05

Iran 7.18

Poland 1.57

Mexico 1.24

Russia .60

Australia .36

South Korea .48

Japan .31

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Posted in: Japan preparing to extend coronavirus emergency for about a month See in context

Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike, there's a brilliant mind. The current clampdown is sensible in Tokyo, Osaka and larger cities. Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe, maybe, maybe. Australia, there's a good model, excepting there are more people in Tokyo, actually about twice the number. "I believe there will be a second wave of Coronavirus-19, if the government did not test all citizens." Well, at best that is a faulty 'belief system'. Science is key. Health experts that's an innocuous term, sounds like a political gathering. And oodles of anecdotal musings, as if that registers on some scale keying in on the pandemic. Here's some data. Nara Prefecture, has 1,400,000 people. 3,691 square kilometres (1,425 sq miles). There are 83 cases of Covid. That is cumulative since January 16, 2020. That works out to: 0.01% of the population. Nara City has a population of 355,300. There are 19 cases. 3 are asymptomatic. That is: 0.01% of the population. There has been one death. That is: 0.00007% of the population. How does that fit with Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo, Hokkaido, Kanagawa, Saitama, Chiba, Fukuoka and Chiba? Blanket proclamations from on high, Mr. Abe and his health experts and even worse the rather anile Governor of Nara Prefecture, who continues on into his dotage.

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Posted in: Koike calls for state of emergency to be extended nationwide See in context

Koike is a reactionary conservative, child of wealth and privilege. Governor of a prefecture. What she thinks is relevant to her sphere of influence and nowhere else.

As for all the protocols in terms of masks & social distancing and forgoing large gatherings, etc. All fine and good. Shutting down the economy, schools and such, is an experiment - SARACoV-2 is not the flu, but look at the 1968 Hong Kong flu and the 1958 Asian flu. Both caused at a minimum a million deaths upwards to four million. There was no clampdown, though disinfecting common surfaces, social distancing and such was practiced. The 1968 flu arrived in the early fall, late summer. A vaccine was in place August 1969.

Scientists, at places like Stanford University, who have no political or economic agenda and are examining the array of data and factual science determine that social distancing is fine & helpful, as is washing hands and being careful. The groups at risk are well-defined: suffer from diabetes, hypertension, obesity - typically have comorbidity and if elderly are high risk. 88% on ventilators die, which is in line with patients on ventilators who are not suffering from coronavirus. 80% of those infected will range from no symptoms to mild. The remaining 20% will range from moderate to severe and a small percent will be fatalities. The most prevalent place for acquiring the virus, is a hospital. School children are not as susceptible as adults, in fact their immune systems are capable & designed to fend off viruses.

Various studies agree that suspending school has numerous adverse impacts. Additionally, criticizes 'online learning' as insufficient, noting: learning and education is a social activity.

The response to the virus is inflamed by mediated reality, political agendas, and lotsa pseudoscience. Speculative musings are often incorrect and ignore basic science and actual data.

Tamping down the curve, may prevent over-extending hospitals and medical care, it slows down the inevitable, but just extends the time-frame for the contagion, its 'natural path' cannot be managed at this point. Destroying the economy and peoples lives thru thoughtless public policy will cause incredible damage with no remedy. At risk populations need to be shielded and protocols such as masks, washing hands disinfecting common areas and being careful and caring in the presence of others remains necessary. Eventually it will flare-up and out.

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Posted in: Showdown looms between Silicon Valley, U.S. states over contact tracing apps See in context

The point is tracking. European firms related to technology and marketing are interested in obtaining the data collected in China during the pandemic. Which is an initial indicator of abuse. Tracking, at this point in the contagion is fairly useless - scientists who conduct such studies and are expert in the field, Stanford University in particular, have stated that fact. That millennials heedlessly engage in 'tracking' is hardly a justification and moot. An examination of Pokemon Go, owned by a subsidiary of Google, is illustrative of intent: it was used to herd participants to specific commercial locations, which was intentional & purposeful with an attendant fee. It is a gross intrusion of privacy and unwarranted.

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Posted in: Japan to approve Remdesivir for coronavirus patients in May See in context

A draft, withdrawn by WHO, is quoted by The Guardian. The New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing improvement among patients with severe symptoms of SARSCoV-2, especially individuals on ventilators. A study in JAMA concluded that almost 90% of patients on ventilators with the virus expired. Any means that offsets that figure is certainly more than a matter of statistics. Slightly unhinged individuals quoting a withdrawn study, quoted by a rag that misrepresents fact is not exactly insightful or in any manner associated with the science of medicine. And certainly experiences with your personal physician offers insight into medical science. A run on condoms, that's keen. The more failed kidneys the better. Those observations are simply meaningless and indeed daft.

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Posted in: Abe says Japan at crucial stage for lifting of state of emergency See in context

Wow. What a thread. SARS-CoV-2. There is a study in JAMA, a renowned medical journal, concerning hospitalization rates in New York City for the contagion. Almost 90% had two comorbidities 94% of individuals had comorbidity: primarily, diabetes, hypertension and obesity. Median age 63. People placed on ventilators: 88% died. Individuals on ventilators primarily were suffering from diabetes and COVID-19. Predominantly older males. As for masks, surgical masks are 80% efficient at masking the virus. As it has been opined, masks do help prevent the spread of the disease from an infected individual.

Here is something factual to chew on:

As for lock-down: examine the cruise ship: Princess. 712 patients out of 3,711.  567 passengers and 145 crew. Average age was 58, with 1/3 of the passengers 70 years or older. 7 deaths. . Of 634 cases, a total of 313 cases were female and six were aged 0–19 years, 152 were aged 20–59 years and 476 were 60 years and older. Of the 634 confirmed cases, a total of 306 and 328 were reported to be symptomatic and asymptomatic, respectively. Currently, there is no clear evidence that COVID-19 asymptomatic persons can transmit SARS-CoV-2, but there is accumulating evidence indicating that a substantial fraction of SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals are asymptomatic.  Previous work on COVID-19 suggests that the distribution of the delay, D, between infection and onset of symptomatic infection (i.e. the incubation period) follows a Weibull distribution, with a mean and standard deviation at 6.4 and 2.3 days. The posterior median estimate of the true proportion of asymptomatic individuals among the reported asymptomatic cases is 0.35 (95% credible interval (CrI): 0.30–0.39), with the estimated total number of the true asymptomatic cases at 113.3 (95%CrI: 98.2–128.3) and the estimated asymptomatic proportion (among all infected cases) at 17.9% (95%CrI: 15.5–20.2%).  Estimates of the true proportion of asymptomatic individuals among the reported asymptomatic cases are somewhat sensitive to changes in the mean incubation period, ranging from 0.28 (95%CrI: 0.23–0.33) to 0.40 (95%CrI: 0.36–0.44), while the estimated total number of true asymptomatic cases range from 91.9 (95%CrI: 75.2–108.7) to 130.8 (95%CrI: 117.1–144.5) and the estimated asymptomatic proportion ranges from 20.6% (95%CrI: 18.5–22.8%) to 39.9% (95%CrI: 35.7–44.1%). Most of the infections on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship appear to have occurred before or around the start of the 2-week quarantine that started on 5 February 2020, which further highlights the potent transmissibility of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, especially in confined settings. To further mitigate transmission of COVID-19 and bring the epidemic under control in areas with active transmission, it may be necessary to minimize the number of gatherings in confined settings.

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Posted in: Woman’s body with backpack containing ¥3.25 mil and rocks found in river See in context

Ah, idle speculation. Maybe she fell out of an airplane.

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Posted in: Q&A: How do I receive ¥100,000 from the government? See in context

Those receiving the $1,200 from the U.S, are taxpayers, social security recipients or did not make enough money to pay taxes. However, all are citizens. Though often ignored, there are at least the last vestiges of a social compact. If you pay taxes, working in Japan that certainly qualifies, especially if you are currently furloughed due to the contagion. Abe, did not conceive the 100,000 yen for each citizen. It was initially proposed by the opposition and opposed by Abe.

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Posted in: Abe asks citizens to be more diligent on social distancing See in context

People here, the locals are taking care, wearing masks, keeping their distance, mostly remaining at home, spaced on the train, if need be they must commute to work. Most restaurants are closed, if not, tables are at a distance. Coffee shops have moved to take out or simply closed. Moving through public spaces are mostly commuters, strung out and not crowding one another. Will it tamp down the spread of SarsCoV-2? Probably. But, what will be key is 'herd immunity' as there is no vaccine. How to achieve that; talk to an immunologist or virologist and scientists who are expert in such, not a politician or someone simply opining.

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Posted in: Coronavirus outbreak sparks harassment at workplaces in Japan See in context

A 73 year old women is informed, she should not be asking 'others' to eat lunch with her - which, the little information provided, indicates she is not practicing social distancing. Apparently, it is not a single incident. Whether she is from Osaka or the moon, it is mere speculation on her part; though assuming it is because of coronavirus is not just a 'guess' and ignores the protocol of keeping one's distance because of the virus. As noted above, was she the only individual thusly informed, is she the only person exhibiting a certain habitual behavior, are other people 'eating together'? And the posting: 'Commuters packed like sardines' - somehow tied to the aspect of social distancing - as if one logically dismisses or requires the other. Over a week ago, commuter traffic at Osaka Station was less than 50% of the daily average - trains are exhibiting fewer riders and a modicum of 'social distancing' is possible - it has been advised by healthcare officials and immunologists, that riding in a crowded space, though best avoided, such as trains, wearing a mask, and avoiding anyone coughing or sneezing and not touching one's face, immediately washing one's hands will prevent acquiring infection. Riding the train to work is unavoidable for many - sitting down to lunch with a fellow worker is not a necessity, but an ill-conceived choice, no matter the circumstance. Harassment? That is a different issue. Osaka: to be avoided and if you live there, stay there, unless you have to go to work elsewhere. Remember: stay at home. Though, to a degree it is a bogus strategy. But, there is no other.

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Posted in: Japan to boost stimulus to ¥117 tril due to cash payouts to ease virus pain See in context

A form will be mailed to all heads of household. Everyone in the household is eligible for the 100,000 yen. You fill out the form and the money is deposited directly into your bank account. The alternative is on-line, using My Number. Lower taxes, that's a typical USA con-job. As for a bureaucrat spending his 100,000 on a 'hostess', nothing wrong with that, it is a viable element of the economy the cash rolls in to someone deserving, performing a job that requires a very certain talent and should, at a minimum, be monetarily rewarded. Point is to provide a modicum of immediate relief to those impacted by the clampdown and such. As for 'paying it back', note it is a bond issue. Japan, like the USA can issue its own currency - and Japan is the largest holder of U.S. Debt, totaling approximately 150,000,000,000 yen. Japan also holds 500,000,000,000 Aus Dollars in debt. A similar amount in Euros. Japan is owed approximately 5,000,000,000 yen, by the IMF. Japan owns almost 25% of the world's debt. Most of Japan's debt 95%, is domestic aka rolling liquidity or quantitative easing. That would construe 10% as outside debt. Don't get your panties in a knot. Especially, foreigners whose 'investment' in Japan is more akin to a carpetbagger, than citizen, let alone member of the community.

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Posted in: Bed vacancy rate for virus patients in urban areas below 20%: survey See in context

The makeshift hospital in Wuhan was two stories and a thousand beds - most of the beds were in wards. Japanese residential construction, such companies as Sanyo Homes are expert at pre-fab construction, which was the means used in Wuhan. They could easily duplicate such a feat. One difference is that Wuhan is approximately 12 million - Tokyo metro area is 40 million. The price and availability of property is an offsetting factor - though you do have uninhabited Olympic venues.

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Posted in: Abe leans toward ¥100,000 cash handout scheme See in context

The government of Japan will be making a one-time, across-the-board ¥100,000 cash payment to every resident of Japan in order to mitigate the economic fallout from the spread of the coronavirus in the country. A form will be mailed to every residence. Eligibility for the cash subsidy from the government is based on the Basic Resident Register, which means that all residents of Japan are eligible, including resident foreigners as long as you have a Residence Card.

There are no age or income restrictions on the “¥100,000 per person” subsidy.

Apply for the subsidy by filling out the application form that will be mailed to you by your local municipal government (city, town, or village) office. The application form will be sent by postal mail to the head of every household in Japan. If you live by yourself, obviously, you are the head of your household.

To prevent fraud, the name of the “head of household” will pre-printed on the application form. If you wish to receive the subsidy, fill in the required information, including the bank account number where you want the subsidy to be deposited.

In order to minimize person-to-person contact, as a rule, you will not be able to pick up the payment in cash from your local city or ward office. For people who don’t have a bank account, however, the government is considering allowing them to receive the payment in cash from their local government.

If you have a My Number Card, and can digitally verify your identity, you’ll be able to go to a website where you can apply for the subsidy online.

Japan will issue deficit-financing bonds to cover the approximately 12.6 trillion yen required to make a ¥100,000 payment to each of Japan’s approximately 126 million residents. The government had originally planned to issue bonds worth 8.6 trillion yen to cover the ¥300,000 payment to households with reduced income (for a total of 4 trillion yen). The new plan will require an additional 8.6 trillion yen of financing.

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Posted in: Pandemic may force Japan to give up RCEP agreement in 2020 See in context

Reverting to home manufacture, with the advent of advanced technologies and AI would leaven the profit gained by manufacture and assemblage in China. That anyone would consider Duterte possesses the necessary intelligence to creating a viable economics is beyond absurd. The opening-up of protected markets is one more example of embracing a failed fiscal policy, aptly named Abenomics. The domestic economy is of little actual concern to Abe, as the finance sector looks to outside investments to secure profits in foreign markets, all good and well for those who worship the golden calf and are engaged in profiteering and reflects the design of Abe and his cohort. The domestic economy has become anchored in various versions of mono-cropping, such as industrial tourism primarily dependent on visitors from a single foreign entity. This neglects the local, regional and nation economies and especially localized social ecologies. The architecture of which is evident in the current crisis which has disrupted the entire culture and threatens to bankrupt the very means and way of life that informs and is the very unique culture of Japan. A contagion from abroad was introduced and spread by and in line with the outlandish dependency on Chinese tourists. A contingency that has displaced domestic tourism which has been foisted by a queer notion of present and future demographics. That all is anchored on expansive growth instead of integrating the reduction of population into a genuinely sustainable mode of economics is daft, if not dangerous & foolish. By reducing gross resource consumption via a smaller populous it is possible, to richly provides for the citizenry, offset by, so-to-speak, cultivating one's own garden. Destruction of the agricultural sector, by so-called 'free trade', is to create an unnecessary dependency that will further impoverish the many, for the profit of the few, as always, because that is the overall intent. Globalization has been a failure, unless you are the CEO of Goldman Sachs or U. S. Secretary of the Treasury.

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Posted in: A DIY guide to making alternative face masks See in context

Masks have approximately an 8% efficiency in spreading the virus. Washing one's hands frequently and after being on the train or such, reduces the spread another 20%. Militantly practicing social distancing is 70% effective. There you go: 98%, more or less.

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