Tokyo records highest number of new coronavirus cases in a single day

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for context: “line” is japan’s facebook messenger or whatsapp. sort of. [ for various reasons sms was long implemented ( more or less ) as email. line was one of the early apps that allowed people to easily exchange contact info and then chat in semi realtime without trading actual phone numbers or email. ]

7% of users seems like a big number.

[ edit, maybe around 70mil monthly users so 5ish million users self-reporting symptoms. ]


“at least one coronavirus symptom” is pretty vague though - if I have a sore throat does that count?

Japan does appear to have been a bit complacent and I imagine that the numbers are going to skyrocket soon - which is a concern as my elderly inlaws and one of my sons live in Tokyo and we cannot get to Japan easily if something happens.

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Yes it does. Right now. For you, and everyone else.

If you have a sore throat, stay home. If you must go outside, wear a mask in public to reduce the risk to infect others. And stick to the other Corona virus health advice.


I agree with all of that, but sometimes a sore throat is just a sore throat, it isn’t COVID-19.
We need to treat it like it potentially is COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean that 7% of the responders will actually be infected.

(for the record, I do not have a sore throat, it was just an example)


And yet another country is about to discover the true price of complacency. Japan has appeared to have had a very low infection rate up to this point, but has not appeared to be taking the robust approach to testing and contact tracing that South Korea has used to great effect.

Given the virus’ risk profile, and Japan’s demographics, this could be a most costly mistake indeed. ,


I did the Line survey, but couldn’t complete it accurately due to bad design. I have a cough, so I was taken to a further question that asked about a long list of symptoms - the only cough one being a severe cough (mine I’m hasn’t been that bad) and I didn’t see head ache so I clicked none of their choices and then after completing everything else, I couldn’t submit because I had t picked anything from their second list.


I live in Japan too. Our youngest son has an existing medical condition that means he is high risk. Japan’s government in their dithering, desire to protect the olympics, desire to protect the economy and genera arrogance has put a lot of people at risk.

However as a nation Japan has a few things going for it. People are naturally semi-socially distant. No hugging or kissing friends and not even handshakes. Masks are prevalent all year round and we have a good national health insurance system. It’s probably going to get rough but people are taking notice and pretty much sporting events and large gatherings have been cancelled for some time.



I would even bet it is more likely that a sore throat is not Covid-19.

Right now, precautions can buy the people in medical professions time. Which will save lives.
And I thank everyone for helping. :disappointed_relieved:

ETA: @Namaikisaru, the best of luck to you. I have a niece who is immunosuppressed due to a transplanted organ and can relate.

I really hope that the cultural differences between, say, Spain and Japan will help slowing the spread. Nearly all of Asia is pretty used to wearing masks, and the differences in behaviour you describe are also very much likely to help.

However, I wonder how public transport will react. The stereotypical image of Tokyo is a city full of people, in closest proximity. Thinking of the underground at rush home made me nauseous at the best of times, but now it makes me want to cry. How is this looking right now? I have a colleague who was visiting Japan until the 20th of March, but we haven’t spoken since then (our whole institution is still working, but mostly from home if possible at all).


So Japan does not have some magical way of virus protection that kept the numbers down prior to the cancellation of the Olympics after all? Man, what are you supposed to believe these days …

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I think you may be confusing “Short Mail” with SMS here. The two were separate things. All carriers had SMS pretty much from the start but Short Mail was later and carrier specific (I forget which carrier had it first and am too lazy to look it up). SMS was wildly popular, Short Mail not so much. Line didn’t come along until smart phones.

You are correct that the popularity of Line is because it lets users avoid exchanging phone numbers or email addresses.

i was hand waving over some of the details because i didn’t quite remember, and it was… complicated.

doing some quick searches to refresh my memory… [1] [2] [3]

sms between carriers wasn’t possible for quite some time ( 2011 is the date i see bandied about. ) sms cost money where email didn’t. sms limits adversely affected unicode ( 70 characters. )

shortmail i’m pretty sure was just docomo’s name for it’s proprietary version of the sms protocol. but, i could be wrong.

maybe among certain groups? i think overall it probably wasn’t used much. paywalled 2010 article from wsj says 40% adoption rate. ( vs 66% us, 82% in europe )

secretly, i think everybody just likes the stickers :cat:

That 2011 date “feels” wrong to me, doesn’t match my memory.

But as per wikipedia it turns out that the various local phone-mail services were just variants of SMS. Typical Japan re-inventing the wheel.

Switching over to the Japanese version of the Wikipedia SMS article tells a different story. It would seem that SMS was even part of the PHS service, a non GSM mobile standard starting in the late 90s. PHS was far cheaper than GSM or WCDMA, and had mobile data service that beat the pants off GSM or WCDMA. I still had a PHS phone up past 3/11, probably all the way until I finally got an iPhone 4S.

That said, it also looks like the 2011 date is supported from the Japanese article that SMS interconnect was started from June 1, 2011. I guess somehow my memory of watching people message each other and my memories of all the inter carrier “standards” here and all the Galapagos nonsense got all mixed up.

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