Osaka hit hard by 4th wave of Covid, doctors warn of hospital system collapse

Originally published at: Osaka hit hard by 4th wave of Covid, doctors warn of hospital system collapse | Boing Boing


Doctors there warn that the upcoming Olympics event, which will bring in over 70,000 athletes, coaches, officials, and administrators, could quickly spread the variant around the world.

And yet…

The IOC continues to maintain its reputation as a scumbag organisation.


Different type of competition. Last man standing wins.


Be on the mend soon good friends.


meanwhile in the u.s. we’re being told the masks can come off, the festivals are a go, tourist season is upon us, and everything will be peachy


Hey, look, the IOC have taken the brides; it would be criminal of them to pull out at this point. :face_with_monocle:


The major difference there is vaccine rate. Japan is sitting around 5%, the US is on pace to hit 40% like this week.

It’s probably a bit early on the masks and “back to normal” talk. But infection rates in the US tanked weeks ago.


The lack of vaccination is causing this to hit Japan pretty hard, but the US is getting complacent not because of vaccination successes but because more because social distancing and mask wearing has led to plummeting death and new infection rates. After all, we’re nowhere close to herd immunity - we still have more than enough unvaccinated people that the spread of a variant could still get enough people sick to collapse the health care system. The target adult vaccination rate for this summer still wouldn’t be enough to reach herd immunity, even just for adults. I fear we’re going to get complacent, and give up mask wearing and social distancing, just as variants start ripping through the US.


None if the variants running around currently have ended up being vaccine resistant in a serious way though. And current (and still falling) infection rates here should make a resistant strain leas likely to develop. Infection rates are falling among the unvaccinated as well.

One could still get imported if it crops up in a nation have serious problems. But that would still be a problem if and when we’re at herd immunity.

I also tend to think the projections we’re hearing about vaccine refusal are too high. The surveys they’re based in tend to conflate out right refusal with resistance. Public information campaigns, social pressure and better access is already putting a dent in the former in many communities.

I think we’ll probably see that move faster if news continues to be good.

My worries are more along the lines of low vaccine rates among kids. And the experts who were criticizing the CDC change on masks were mostly talking about that, and calling for a few more weeks. Basically until school is out.

You don’t need a resistant strain for that to be an issue, especially if a variant that hits young people harder pops up.

I do think we’re headed for isolated/regional outbreaks once vaccination caps out though, that tends to be how those things go. And we don’t seem to planning to vaccinate very young children till the fall.


Thomas Bach from the IOC: “The athletes definitely can make their Olympic dreams come true. We have to make some sacrifices to make this possible.”

I’m guessing Mr Bach won’t be making any sacrifices from the luxury hotels that have been block-booked for the IOC (who have been accorded ‘royal’ status by the Japanese Foreign Ministry).

All for a drug-fuelled running and jumping show that sells sugar water and hamburgers.


The IOC may be scum, but that’s a (hopefully) new low for them!


:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: I’m not dyslexic; I’m just a very, very, very lazy reader.


Sure, but my point is that they don’t need to be, given how many unvaccinated people we have (and will continue to have, thanks to Republicans). The variants just make everything worse (especially for young people), with higher transmission rates and much greater lethality, but even the initial strain would hospitalize enough people to be a major problem if everyone stopped wearing masks and distancing.

Exactly this. And some of the variants - e.g. the one ravaging Brazil - are much, much deadlier for young people. Brazil is losing a lot of kids and young adults. The general mortality rate for those who can’t get medical attention is as high as 40%.

Yeah, I think so, too. But just based on target vaccination numbers (even assuming we exceed them), we have a good percentage of the population unprotected (kids alone, if mostly unvaccinated, prevent herd immunity). So we’re not ready to throw off masks and stop distancing, but especially with the variants out there. Unfortunately, that’s what we’re doing. Ironically I think adopting masks and social distancing has been so effective in reducing infections and deaths that people are now convinced the danger has passed.


Yeah. I live in Japan and the vaccine rollout here has been maddeningly slow. Japan’s history with vaccines has created a major confidence issue here, but the response to that has been counterproductive if anything; they’ve basically slowed things down to make a show of “caution”, without actually doing anything that increases safety as far as the public can tell. It is extremely frustrating.


I wish…
Because it’s the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, the percentage of people who are fully vaccinated is more like 2%. 5% of people here have had at least one dose, but the US 40% figure is for people who have had both doses (or the one-dose J&J, which isn’t available in Japan).

ETA: Here’s the latest data from NHK (for May 25), showing Japan well behind Bangladesh and Indonesia. (Japan at bottom with 2.09%)


Oh shit.


One dose is still better[1] than no dose but indeed: oh, as you say, shit.

[1] In that at least partial immunity is conferred, but still.


The government of Japan only got around to approving the Pfizer vaccine in mid-February and, in spite of having secured commitments for tens of millions of doses from the other major vaccine makers, have yet to approve any others. They should call the vaccine rollout here “Operation Worm Speed.”


The IOC are, certainly, a verminous bunch, whose willingness to continue is repugnant; but it seems like the blame ultimately has to fall on whoever is calling the shots in the Japanese administration.

Sure, the IOC has fancy contracts and the local organizing committee will probably go bankrupt and whatnot; but unless Japan has astonishingly weak disease-control powers, or emergency powers generally, by nation state standards the IOC only calls the shots so long as the state pretends that the stakes are low enough that the games the IOC is playing are the ones that really matter.


I am hard-pressed to understand Japan’s national (and/or local) government’s poor performance re getting everyone there vaccinated. Fergoodnessakes it’s in their national interest. Am I missing something?

AFAICT Japan’s got a huge elderly population (major risk category). Japan’s also having a hard time managing its replacement population rate. Japan was or maybe still is having a workforce shortage. Any logistics or long-range planner would see overwhelmingly compelling arguments in favor of protecting the health of all who live there.

Puzzling. Since you are over there and way more in the thick of things, do you think it’s just a problem with bureaucracy? Or (I hope not) vaccine-skepticism? Is the breakdown at the prefecture level, or central government?

Thanks in advance for any insights from where you are in Nihon.

ETA: asking all on-thread who are currently in Japan (hi @mofolotopo ) for their thoughts.

This seems like such a gamble to me, and Osaka certainly seems to be one of the losers as those governmental authorities [ir]responsible for public health have bet against its own people.