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Japan (definitely not) opening to tourism in April 2021 on a trial basis


chadbag

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Lots do it for particulate air pollution and pollen. I went to undergrad at UC Davis. It’s an ag school in the middle of farm fields and field burning (less of a practice now) would make for horrid particulate air pollution at times and some would wear masks. While not n95 at least some was cleared and not as bad. I do remember a few times hacking up some dark looking sputum on bad days when wind was coming right off fields and bikes and cars had a very fine black powder on them, use to wonder what my lungs looked like on those days! It was fairly large particulates.

 

I notice a big effect on my sinuses when I use even a cheap blue surgical mask when working in the wood shop. Progressively as I’ve gotten older I think I’m slowly becoming more reactive to wood particulates, probably lignans. Even if I do some fine sanding and don’t wash my hands they can feel a little irritated and swollen later, washing usually prevents this or if I’m sanding for a longer time I wear disposable gloves. I wish I had been more careful in my younger days as never wore a mask when doing woodworking and metal work. At least I never smoked and diesel exhaust makes me very queasy so I stayed away from it on ships.

 

jeff

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gavino200

Yeah, people did it for lots of reasons. The most common was, I believe a wish not to pass on a bug to fellow city dwellers out of a sense of social consciousness. It was weird to me in the sense that I hadn't seen this in person before. I thought it made sense. I bought a couple for a tiny bit of "authentic Tokyo experience". Just curiosity. I felt self conscious at first, but then it felt completely normal. I was curious if it would affect my interactions with people.  Nobody cared, nobody noticed. After a while I got bored of it and found it annoying. After wearing a mask now all the time for about a year it was odd to look back on a time when it was unusual enough to warrant a selfie. Well, that was part of it. IIRC the primary subject of that selfie was the poster for the Bowie Exibition on the pillar. 

Edited by gavino200
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I often wear a mask in Japan too. The main issue is that most Japanese ones are too small, and the XXXXL ones that fit my normal sized (for a Northern European) face are rare! Once I found some good ones that properly fit around my nose so my glasses don't steam up I took to them.

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railsquid
13 hours ago, gavino200 said:

Another aside (I'll stop after this one, I promise). I was looking through old photos today and I found this. This was in 2017. I was amazed by how many people in Tokyo were walking around with face masks.

 

It's certainly bemusing to hear about the concept of "antimaskers". Anectodal, I know, but since this whole thing started, I've personally seen 5 (five) people not wearing a mask where the situations would warrant it (on trains, in shops etc.).  It's rare to see people outside not wearing a mask too; the government had to actually issue official advice last summer to go easy on masks when outside due to the heat.

 

(One place where wearing a mask outside is somewhat advisable is parks and playgrounds; it's usually dry in winter, and due to the lack of alternatives, they've been extrememly crowded, to the point you can see a miasma of soil/dust rising above them).

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gavino200

Wow, I envy that situation. Here it's been quite bizarre. I work with the general public. The attitude has fluctuated somewhat, but there was a while when I had to have the "you can put on your mask or you can leave" conversation at least once a day. People would come in with them on and take them off right in front of me. It was like a gesture of defiance. Usually with some half-baked pseudo-medical claim. I never argued, I just gave them their choice. That situation is now rare, but I'd say about a quarter of people still walk in with the "nose of rebellion". I just say "You know, your nose is sticking out of that thing". At this stage people comply, but for a long time this lead to the previously mentioned conversation. 

 

It's always been odd to me. I've been wearing these masks for a good part of my work life now for decades. It's so not hard. But the cultural resistance has been a barrier here. In the early weeks of the pandemic here my employer (a hospital) was threatening to fire employees for wearing a mask. That included the people who were tasked to check for fevers at the main door. That was during the brief period when the smart people were sincerely debating whether there was any efficacy to wearing these masks. Yes, we've come a long way. The only thing good I can say about our response to the pandemic here is that we are now somewhat better prepared for another future pandemic. It's just one more way that I feel "I wish we could be more like Japan".  🙂

Edited by gavino200
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Tony Galiani

I can empathize with that.  From time to time, I end up fielding complaints about mask requirements but my University and Health System have been pretty consistent so  that makes these situations a bit easier to manage.

 

I will happily wear a mask if that turns out to be a future travel requirement for Japan.  In fact, my wife has made me several masks from our visit to Nippori Fabric Town in Tokyo so I will have Japanese themed masks for this.

Of course, if you figure in the amount of money she spent on fabric and all I got was a few masks - then these need to be some of the most expensive masks you will ever see!

 

Ciao,

Tony Galiani

Edited by Tony Galiani
typing error
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3 hours ago, bill937ca said:

Japan is just not on the vaccine rollout.

 

As mentioned a while back, the official statistics are here. Has picked up to about 100,000 first shots a day recently, though at that rate it will take about 4 years to cover everyone.

 

Rollout to the elderly is scheduled to begin on April 12th, supposed to be completed by August. A lot will depend on availability of supply, this stuff doesn't grow on trees apparently.

 

In the meantime Tokyo and other areas are back in special measures.

 

Personally I think it's insane to even think about non-essential travel until the situation is properly under control and factors such as transmissibility and vaccine effectiveness against variants are well understood.

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I'm trying to figure out where the hold-up is. Is it supply of vaccine or issues with the roll-out?

 

Japan should be able to do most adults by the summer I think, unless there is some issue.

 

Edit: Doesn't your NHK link say that they intend to do all elderly people in 2-3 months? In the UK it started slow and then ramped up to about 800k/week now.

Edited by mojo
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15 minutes ago, mojo said:

Edit: Doesn't your NHK link say that they intend to do all elderly people in 2-3 months? In the UK it started slow and then ramped up to about 800k/week now.

 

Around here they started with the elderly people in long term care. But then things died out. Many older  elderly do not leave there homes much and therefore ate not at risk. 

Now in Toronto where there is a huge breakout of the Variants of Concern (VOC) they doing mobile clinics in high risk neighborhoods and doing people as young as 18 and essential workers. I get mine on the 23rd (my scheduling).

Also originally a retired general was in charge of logistics. Now it is a doctor, the CEO of the provincial air ambulance service.

Edited by bill937ca
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roadstar_na6
On 4/10/2021 at 2:17 AM, katoftw said:

They are struggling to contain covid domestically anyway. 3000 new cases last Wednesday alone. So inturnal pressures will halt travel before anything else.

 

*Laughs in Germany*

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7 minutes ago, roadstar_na6 said:

 

*Laughs in Germany*

Yeah, but Germany's vaccination rate is lower than Slovenia, but a little better than Greece.

Edited by bill937ca
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roadstar_na6
Just now, bill937ca said:

Yeah

 

We also have around 20.000 new cases every day yet politicians are talking about lifting restrictions again... It's a disgrace

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6 hours ago, mojo said:

I'm trying to figure out where the hold-up is. Is it supply of vaccine or issues with the roll-out?

 

Japan should be able to do most adults by the summer I think, unless there is some issue.

 

Edit: Doesn't your NHK link say that they intend to do all elderly people in 2-3 months? In the UK it started slow and then ramped up to about 800k/week now.

 

Supply appears to be the issue, I hear a lot of statements along the lines "we plan to carry out X vaccinations by Y date, provided we get the supplies". Like I said, apparently these vaccines don't grow on trees and there appear to be issues with scaling production.

 

In the meantime the "British variant" is raising its ugly head, should make for a fun few months.

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Supply is the issue world wide unless in China and Russia.

 

EU suppliers dont wont new manufacturer locations but are failing to keep to their contracts.

 

7 hours ago, railsquid said:

 

In the meantime the "British variant" is raising its ugly head, should make for a fun few months.


We have had the british version escape quarantine facilities twice in Brisbane and not spread past a few more transmissions.

 

Sometimes i wonder if the media just blow things up for clicks and views.

 

13 hours ago, roadstar_na6 said:

 

*Laughs in Germany*

Does Germany have closed borders and water surrounding 360 of it?

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7 minutes ago, katoftw said:

We have had the british version escape quarantee facilities twice in Brisbane and not spread past a few more transmissions.

 

Sometimes i wonder if the media just blow things up for clicks and views.

Wait till it cools down and people go inside.

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1 minute ago, bill937ca said:

Wait till it cools down and people go inside.

Wouldnt more people stay at home cause a reduction in transmissions?

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28 minutes ago, katoftw said:

We have had the british version escape quarantee facilities twice in Brisbane and not spread past a few more transmissions.

 

Australia seems to have been able to keep outbreaks rigorously under control, which is not the case in Japan, alas.

 

31 minutes ago, katoftw said:

 

Sometimes i wonder if the media just blow things up for clicks and views.

 

Egged on by those pesky scientists with their pesky scientific studies, no doubt.

 

 

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34 minutes ago, katoftw said:

Wouldnt more people stay at home cause a reduction in transmissions?

Yes, if they stay home and don't gather together and party. And if they wear masks, social distance and wash their hands. But many don't. from recent polls 2/3 seem to obey and 1/3 resist. 

Edited by bill937ca
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Sorry, lets scale back the discussion to just Japan and covid effect on travel there. we want to stay away from full scale covid discussions on the forum.

 

thanks

 

jeff

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disturbman

Possible. Germany hit 600.000 jabs a day when it let GPs vaccinate people. I think the UK is managing around 850.000 jabs a day. Beyond the logistics of distribution, production has been a big issue so far. Between raw material shortage, production issues, insufficient manufacturing capacity, and export bans. Once the US ease their export restrictions further, worldwide access will probably improve a lot.

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