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2019–20 Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) Thread


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5 hours ago, rockstaryuzu said:

I mean, they're not keeping track of the disease the same way Canada is, so their numbers will be different and will not give an accurate picture of the state of affairs for COVID in Japan. 

 

The testing in Canada Is NOT satisfactory, not by a long shot, but at least we're doing some. And our authorities are willing to acknowledge the shortcomings in our system and realize that whatever we measure is still probably an underestimation of what's actually happening, so they plan for worse than what we are getting so far, in the hopes that it won't get as bad as they think it will. 

 

Toronto is Canada''s most populated city, in a way it's natural to expect it to have a higher number of infections. But actually the province of Quebec is currently reporting the highest number of cases. Quebec is also testing many more people and their infections started earlier. 

 

My point being, just because a country is reporting low numbers, doesn't mean they have low numbers. 

 

So where is safer: a place where at least they are willing to see and acknowledge the problem, or a place where they've chosen not to look at the problem, as a way of pretending it's not there? 

 

 

I agree that looking at the current case numbers doesn't tell the full story.  Japan managed to limit international travel early enough (in February) to keep down the number of travelers from affected countries (initially China and S Korea but later Europe). This helped to keep the number of cases low.  Japan is not doing extensive testing but rather focusing on catching clusters, tracing the source and containing the spread.  This has worked well until mid March.  But when other countries started closing borders, many overseas Japanese started to return in large numbers in March and these returnees appear to have brought in a new wave of covid cases.  The returnees were supposed to self-quarantine for 14 days  but many did not follow instructions and their actions were not closely followed like they do in Taiwan or S Korea.  As a result, we now have seem to have widespread community infections in many regions.  Moreover, the warm spring weather during our 3 day holiday in late March led to a massive number of people going out to parks, theatres, bars, karaoke, etc.  This was around the time Japan and IOC were discussing the postponement of Tokyo Olympics, and politcal pundits speculate that the politicians were distracted by the Olympics negotiations and took their eyes off the covid ball.  Governor Koike of Tokyo finally noticed the uptick in # cases last weekend, and announced the need for social distancing, but we missed a critical moment to prevent that massive social mingling.  We may well be facing a major outbreak this coming week as a consequence of this inaction.  We are already beginning to see an exponential increase in the number of cases.  Governor Koike specifically called out bars, nightclubs and karaoke bars as likely places of contact, and she is beginning to take more aggressive steps to restrict movements and to prepare the health system for the coming storm.  This includes asking the Ministry of Health for permission to allow less severe Covid cases to be cared for at home and not be kept in hospitals.  (Yes, up to now, ALL covid positive patients were REQUIRED to be hospitalized, regardless of the degree of severity as mandated by the Ministry).  Koike is also starting to set aside hotel rooms to accommodate patients with relatively mild symptoms so that they can recover without clogging up scarce hospital beds or putting other members of their family at risk.  Governor Koike is action-oriented and I am glad she is beginning to sound the alarm and take concrete steps,  although coming rather late...  Just now I heard leading medical experts in Japan issuing a warning to the government that our  health system will quickly reach capacity limits and risk an Italy-like collapse if we don't stop the outbreak now, like RIGHT NOW.

 

Watching the responses of both the Japanese and Canadian governments in parallel, I must say I have more confidence and trust in the Canadian government.   Japanese citizens are generally inclined to follow the instructions of the government, but it doesn't help when the government is unclear about its policies and is seen to be dragging its feet.  Canada' has a good network of Public Health agencies  which were established in the wake of SARS experience.  Meanwhile, Japan's Ministry of Health is working slowly with ad hoc technical committees with experts drawn from various institutions- figuring out how to work together under crisis.  Global public health is my field and I have worked on Avian Flu and Ebola projects over the past decade.   Little did I expect my own government  - with all the resources and expertise - to be caught so flat footed in dealing with our own public health crisis.  Truly alarming and heartbreaking... 

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1 hour ago, Umebachi said:

(Yes, up to now, ALL covid positive patients were REQUIRED to be hospitalized, regardless of the degree of severity as mandated by the Ministry)

The data out of Singapore indicates that this is actually a good thing to be doing. 

 

 

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1 hour ago, rockstaryuzu said:

The data out of Singapore indicates that this is actually a good thing to be doing. 

 

 

Since end March, those who looks to be recovered but still test positive for Covid-19 will be moved out of hospital into community isolation facility to free up hospital beds. No choice with the number of cases still increasing. At least we don’t let them roam around. Staying at home has the risk of some not following order and running out.

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In the uk there seem to be spikes that are being attributed by some people to mass events, like the Cheltenham horse racing festival, and the last set of football matches before the lockdown.  Japan may get the same effect from the late March festival @Umebachi refers to. I also think a lot of countries will have higher death tolls later, because certainly in Europe we only seem to be counting hospital deaths, not those who die at home or in care homes- those will only get counted in when the statisticians look at causes of death on death certificates after it all calms down.

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Idk if it happens in different countries but the internet here has been really sh*tty since mass social distancing. I can barely get into fb and youtube is lagging which never happens to me be4:((. Idk if I will go crazy if it gets worse and worse. 2 more weeks at home with nothing but a sloppy internet :59227c768286a__s:

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I am fed up with being sensible, going out once a week to shop, spending ages on the phone explaining and re explaining rinse and repeat to old people who don’t comprehend the crisis very well or at all.  It’s very difficult to tell an old man he can’t go to the pub or for his paper, especially when his memory barely holds the information long enough for you to complete a sentence.   Aaaaaargh

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12 hours ago, Sombreuil said:

I am fed up with being sensible, going out once a week to shop, spending ages on the phone explaining and re explaining rinse and repeat to old people who don’t comprehend the crisis very well or at all.  It’s very difficult to tell an old man he can’t go to the pub or for his paper, especially when his memory barely holds the information long enough for you to complete a sentence.   Aaaaaargh

and they are the most fragile now....but it's very hard to make them understand and it's very frustrating for us all.....sometimes they are like children aren't they?I wonder if one day it'll be me like them too.

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I have no words to explain my upset and disgust at the following. As a non-American healthcare worker, even though I'm not directly on the frontline, I know that this choice Trump is making endangers me and could possibly kill people I work with. Meanwhile thousands of Canadians work in US healthcare, risking their lives every day in this battle against COVID-19. How very wonderfully he returns the favor, eh? 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/03/white-house-scrambles-scoop-up-medical-supplies-angering-canada-germany/

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8186447/Donald-Trump-says-N95-mask-exports-banned.html

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/covid19-masks-trump-1.5520422

 

In addition to the shipment of masks intended for Germany that was intercepted in Bangkok and re-directed to the US, in the last 24 hours two shipments meant for Canada were seized and redirected to the US. One of them was a private purchase of Chinese-made N95-like respirators, purchased by a  Chinese entrepreneur in Montreal to donate to Montreal's biggest hospital, that actually arrived at the DHL depot in Montreal and was then inexplicably re-directed to Ohio. 

 

Trump's a gangster at heart so I have no doubt he thinks he's doing the smart thing here but the reality is that this will backfire on the US bigtime. 

 

Nice to know how little my life means to someone like that. 

 

My apologies for the outraged tone of this post but  this is just beyond the pale. 

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9 hours ago, rockstaryuzu said:

I have no words to explain my upset and disgust at the following. As a non-American healthcare worker, even though I'm not directly on the frontline, I know that this choice Trump is making endangers me and could possibly kill people I work with. Meanwhile thousands of Canadians work in US healthcare, risking their lives every day in this battle against COVID-19. How very wonderfully he returns the favor, eh? 

 

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/03/white-house-scrambles-scoop-up-medical-supplies-angering-canada-germany/

 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8186447/Donald-Trump-says-N95-mask-exports-banned.html

 

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/covid19-masks-trump-1.5520422

 

In addition to the shipment of masks intended for Germany that was intercepted in Bangkok and re-directed to the US, in the last 24 hours two shipments meant for Canada were seized and redirected to the US. One of them was a private purchase of Chinese-made N95-like respirators, purchased by a  Chinese entrepreneur in Montreal to donate to Montreal's biggest hospital, that actually arrived at the DHL depot in Montreal and was then inexplicably re-directed to Ohio. 

 

Trump's a gangster at heart so I have no doubt he thinks he's doing the smart thing here but the reality is that this will backfire on the US bigtime. 

 

Nice to know how little my life means to someone like that. 

 

My apologies for the outraged tone of this post but  this is just beyond the pale. 

 

...panic buying of medical supply on a governmental scale....why am I still surprised at that? :knc_brian3:

 

The resources for creating the supply of things (eg. hand sanitizer ...and to a lesser extent the surgical masks too? 😕 ) for public use in this situation can be more easily redirected so that it is produced locally — that's not always the case with the more specialized medical supply, whether it be the testing kit, the N95 respirator masks, the ventilator, just to name a few. And for a certain [redacted] to just panic buy the supply (the way some dullards panic bought food supply and toilet paper just around two weeks ago :v ) so that other countries cannot get the same supply?? ...and to do this after insisting day after day that it wouldn't be such a big deal and diminishing the potential impact of the pandemic on the society?? The figging GALL! 🔥🔥🔥

 

That is indeed infuriating. Here's hoping that other parties can pressure the orange menace to not pile up the supply and return some of the supply to the rightful purchaser yea I'm talking about the Montreal N95 donator, just to name a few. Infuriating that the WHO potentially has to watch over this kind of sxxt as well...

 

...and to all people working in the healthcare sector and other essential sectors, hang in there, you all always have our support, those who stay at home and do our own part in these trying times... 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

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1 hour ago, Figure_Frenzy said:

panic buying of medical supply on a governmental scale...

It's the 'and the rest of the world can't have any, now or in future' part that has me livid. Every government is panic-buying at this point, but this move has just blocked a large portion of the world supply away from anyone outside the US, for the foreseeable future. And that is where the problem lies. 

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9 hours ago, FlyingCamel said:

Does anyone know where I can order some of those reusable masks that Yuzu has? 

 

8 hours ago, monchan said:

You mean like this one:

img_ebdd486dac28324c5b259d0fb985b719134695.jpg

source

It's CLEVER mask, a Jpn brand. Pricey and alr sold out:

https://nippon-clever.shop-pro.jp/?pid=108932500

Can't find on Amazon jp. Don't know if available abroad.

It seems that they currently stop taking orders. Their masks are hand-made, and they've already received so many orders that it will take until the end of June to fill them. (source)

 

My rant:

Spoiler

My parents live in a small town in Tohoku. They are old and often reluctant to check the news since their eyes are getting weaker, but they at least try to listen to me when I explain the situation and ask them to wear masks and wash hands. However, they insist on persuading me into going to their home from Tokyo to avoid the virus and it kills me. As much as I want to be with them and help them, I can't because I know what happened in other countries after people traveled from heavily affected areas to less affected areas to stay with their loved ones. Lately, I had to turn down their offer again knowing how much they were worried and feeling insecure. Meanwhile, the media report about people traveled to where they live to take refuge and tested positive. I feel so helpless. I hope our government stop saying we are on the verge of emergency because this is already an emergency, and do something essential to prevent the situation from getting worse.

 

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2 hours ago, sweetwater said:

My rant:

  Hide contents

My parents live in a small town in Tohoku. They are old and often reluctant to check the news since their eyes are getting weaker, but they at least try to listen to me when I explain the situation and ask them to wear masks and wash hands. However, they insist on persuading me into going to their home from Tokyo to avoid the virus and it kills me. As much as I want to be with them and help them, I can't because I know what happened in other countries after people traveled from heavily affected areas to less affected areas to stay with their loved ones. Lately, I had to turn down their offer again knowing how much they were worried and feeling insecure. Meanwhile, the media report about people traveled to where they live to take refuge and tested positive. I feel so helpless. I hope our government stop saying we are on the verge of emergency because this is already an emergency, and do something essential to prevent the situation from getting worse.

 

 

Please take care in Tokyo!   Sorry for the long rambling thoughts, below: 

 

 

Spoiler

 My sister and husband (in their 70s) are in Ueno, close to the Ueno Park.  They are minimizing going out and maintaining physical distance, but neither the national nor municipal government are asking the stores to ensure 2 meter physical separation.  They have to go shopping for groceries in the nearby store - which remains fairly crowded since stores in Tokyo are cramped due to tight land availability.   They are doing their best to shop when it's relatively less crowded but it's not easy.   

I am so frustrated with the Japanese national government for dithering and delaying on declaring state of emergency when it's clear that Tokyo is already on an overshoot path.   Tokyo municipal government is already moving ahead on various actions but they can't go forward with tighter restrictions on movements without the green light from the national government. The delay in declaring emergency status is apparently because they are working on a comprehensive economic relief package to go along with public health actions - which would make sense if we had more time but we are already deep into overshoot territory...  At least the government has already announced a direct cash transfer of about $2500 per household in need.  A few years back, Japan introduced a national ID "My Number" which functions as a unique identifier and would have been an excellent way to ID and make direct bank deposits to households (like Canada's CRA direct deposit).  But the current government didn't do anything to encourage registration and so far only a small percentage of citizens have registered. So - government agencies are scrambling to figure out how to transfer funds - I fear it will be a very complicated and slow task.

  

And most hospitals in Tokyo are reporting they are at or close to max capacity and running out of PPE, even at this early stage, and medical experts are now crying loudly that health system will be overwhelmed long before we reach the peak.    I expect the situation will deteriorate exponentially in Tokyo over the coming week, and I fear for the health of my family. 

Meanwhile, I feel relatively safe in BC where the provincial government has been quite orderly in introducing physical distancing and stores are imposing strict physical distancing procedure.  Citizens are also in the process of learning about a barrage of economic and financial support programs from the federal government which aim to try to keep people employed vs American approach of paying unemployment insurance after they lose their jobs.  Also glad the Canadian government at all levels is shining light on the risk of increase in domestic violence  and the need to protect vulnerable population.  So, although the case numbers in Canada are much higher than in Japan at the moment,  I feel relatively more secure in Canada.  

I really hope I am wrong and pray fervently that Tokyo will manage to contain the spread of infection this coming week. For all of you in Tokyo, please stay away from crowded places and be safe!  And please don't panic when the government declares a state of emergency (which should be coming soon): Japan has plentiful supply of food and basic commodities.  What will be in short supply: medical PPEs and equipment and health workers. 

We are collectively appalled at Trump's call to stop 3M and others from exporting PPE to Canada and elsewhere.  Good to see the Canadian federal government is working intensively with Canadian firms to collaborate and ramp up production of PPEs and other critical supplies, and grateful for the show of solidarity among the Canadian political parties in fighting the pandemic.  

 

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