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Sat Aug 1, 2020, 10:35 AM

Japan Acted Like the Virus Had Gone. Now It's Spread Everywhere.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-07-31/japan-acted-like-the-virus-had-gone-now-it-s-spread-everywhere

After initial success, Japan is facing a reality check on the coronavirus.

The country garnered global attention after containing the first wave of Covid-19 with what it referred to as the “Japan Model” -- limited testing and no lockdown, nor any legal means to force businesses to close. The country’s finance minister even suggested a higher “cultural standard” helped contain the disease.

But now the island nation is facing a formidable resurgence, with Covid-19 cases hitting records nationwide day after day. Infections first concentrated in the capital have spread to other urban areas, while regions without cases for months have become new hotspots. And the patient demographic -- originally younger people less likely to fall seriously ill -- is expanding to the elderly, a concern given that Japan is home to the world’s oldest population.

Experts say that Japan’s focus on the economy may have been its undoing. As other countries in Asia, which experienced the coronavirus earlier than those in the West, wrestle with new flare ups of Covid-19, Japan now risks becoming a warning for what happens when a country moves too fast to normalize -- and doesn’t adjust its strategy when the outbreak changes.

*snip*

14 replies, 2175 views

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 11:03 AM

1. I was in Japan in March

I’d bought my ticket back in the fall and although the virus was spreading, I thought I was okay to still travel at that time (early March). There hadn’t been a single positive test in the prefecture (Ibaraki) where I spent most of my time. All incoming passengers were thermally screened at the airport. At least 50% of people on the street were masked and 100% of workers in stores were masked. I always wore a mask as a show of respect, courtesy and concern. Stores were open and well stocked (this was the time when Americans were panic hoarding toilet paper and other essentials). The number of tests at that time was low because I think Abe was desperate to keep the Olympics on schedule. That goal quickly evaporated as country after country went into lockdown. I was planning on staying until mid April but the situation was spiraling out of control and so many flights were being canceled that I flew back on the soonest flight I could get. I didn’t want to impose on my hosts. I hope my friends there are all okay. One is an elementary school teacher and she was back in the classroom (everybody is masked).

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 12:36 PM

2. The finance minister's comment shows some arrogance.

What's up with that?

The country’s finance minister even suggested a higher “cultural standard”

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Response to brush (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 12:57 PM

4. The Japanese culture is well known for its "politeness"..

You do not shake hands or exchange hugs and/or kisses. You bow to each other (maybe several times if necessary!).

So I'm thinking this is what the government official meant. As well, it has been very common to see Japanese tourists in my town wearing masks in years gone by. They will wear a mask if they've caught a cold and don't wish to give it to their travelling companions or strangers. It's just the polite and caring thing to do.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 01:14 PM

7. And they don't wear their street shoes in the house, but there is some chauvinism. See WW2.

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Response to luvtheGWN (Reply #4)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 01:17 PM

9. This is correct. nt

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Response to brush (Reply #2)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 01:17 PM

8. A lot of countries showed arrogance

The virus has a way of humbling arrogant people.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 12:52 PM

3. This virus isn't going away anytime soon....

Humanity.

We had a good run....

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 12:58 PM

5. Whenever I read about "problems" in other countries

My first thought is always that it’s kids stuff relative to the mess we’re in.

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Response to BannonsLiver (Reply #5)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 01:10 PM

6. That is for fucking sure.

They have actual functioning leadership, and mask wearing is not seen as political.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 01:20 PM

10. Watched NHK news tonight and they blamed it on bars and restaurants.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 01:35 PM

11. Uggh - daily new cases is above their previous peak in mid-April, and going straight upward

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/japan/

But I notice that their cumulative total numbers (both cases and deaths) are about 2/3 of those in Minnesota (my state), despite Japan having a 126 million population while Minnesota is about 5.6 million.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 01:39 PM

12. Could be that

Japan may have had a "copy" of the virus that wasn't easily transmitted to others during round #1. They were very good at first and then the wheels fall off the cart. Do you think that changed their habits that much that they went from good to bad.

If this is indeed a second wave for them and it's infecting more people increased transmissibility is likely.

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 02:00 PM

13. Big outbreak in the US military stationed there as they're allowed to come and go as they please

Way to go US.

TOKYO—Japan’s defense minister accused the U.S. military of lax coronavirus controls after infections at a Marine Corps base more than doubled and three Americans allegedly ignored Japanese quarantine rules and took a commercial flight while infected.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-military-coronavirus-cases-climb-in-japan-straining-ties-11594819676

Yokosuka Naval Base, south of Tokyo, on Tuesday announced that seven people at the home of the 7th Fleet are positive for the virus. On Okinawa, the Marine Corps said five new cases there were identified within “the last 24 hours,” according to a Facebook post by Marine Corps Installations Pacific.

https://www.stripes.com/news/pacific/us-forces-japan-allows-its-installations-to-report-coronavirus-case-numbers-1.638242

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Response to Nevilledog (Original post)

Sat Aug 1, 2020, 10:52 PM

14. hhmmm

re: "Japan now risks becoming a warning for what happens when a country moves too fast to normalize -- and doesn’t adjust its strategy when the outbreak changes."

Q: I seem to remember one other country that might fit that description...

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