Sign in to follow this  
Eikokurai

Coronavirus in China

Recommended Posts

Hey. Nothing at all to do with sumo, but I thought I’d share a few thoughts on life inside China right now as the fear and panic about the coronavirus starts to take effect, almost growing in parallel with the pandemic itself. As of last night the city of Wuhan, where the virus orginated, is sealed off. Flights and trains only arrive – all departures are cancelled. Public transport in the city is also cancelled so people can only move about on foot, by bike or private car. Chinese social media is full of stories of selfish Wuhan residents fleeing overnight in their cars before the quarantine came into effect. The internet is not being kind to these people, especially people in Shanghai, where most people seem to say they are fleeing towards. That’s where I am too, so I’m not thrilled about the prospect of lots of infected people heading my way. Some of the people fleeing have even been very open about the fact that they are sick and intending to visit hospitals in Shanghai, which is just fantastic. Meanwhile, shops have pretty much sold out of face masks and more and more people are wearing them. At the start of the week the atmosphere was pretty indifferent, but as the days have gone by and the start of Spring Festival has gotten closer I’ve definitely noticed a change. People in Shanghai have started worrying about the mass movement of people around the country. As you may know, up to a third of Shanghai residents come from other parts of China so a lot of them will be on the move this week, potentially returning to the city from infected areas. That’s the risk a tier one city faces that smaller cities don’t. Most companies have told their employees to work from home if they have any flu-like symptoms (I have a runny nose today so am working from home) and if they go to Hubei province this week to either stay there or work from home for a couple of weeks after the holiday. The mood is palpably much bleaker now than last week. There’s a lot of mistrust in the official numbers and more and more people are avoiding being out in public longer than needed because they don’t believe the claims about how the virus is spreading. Suspicion is growing. This is not to say there aren’t plenty of people casually going about their life, because in the main I’d still say they are, but things are shifting day by day. My family have cancelled our usual Spring Festival dinners because we all agreed it’s best to avoid places like restaurants. That would be unthinkable in any other year. It’s like cancelling Christmas. 

Anyway, that’s all for now. Happy Chinese New Year to you all.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife and I are following the disaster closely.   What is happening in China is something out of futuristic movies.    My random thoughts:

  • The Chinese government reacted too late for the people of Wuhan.   Its existing medical system just can't handle the onslaught.
  • I can't trust the official death toll.  The consensus is to multiply the number by four.    Some unofficial reports are tens of times higher.
  • Other nations have reacted swiftly to stop the spread.  
  • Tour. manufacturing and other industries are hit hard.   The global economy will likely go into recession.   Other than the US, other parts of the world were already going through a slowdown even before the outbreak.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The virus is affecting sumo events in Japan. A chanko-kai was planned for the 15th in Kamogawa, Chiba, to serve to 500 people, by Takadagawa-beya, to help reconstruction after the damage from last year's typhoon. The event is canceled ("postponed") due to concerns that in these days of the virus spreading (in Japan in the news), so many people come together. http://www3.nhk.or.jp/lnews/chiba/20200210/1080009830.html

I wonder what will happen at the Olympics.

Edited by Akinomaki

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, I too have been following the news closely. I was supposed to go teach in Changsha for the entire month of March, only a 3 h drive from Wuhan. Now, I'm just hoping that it is contained and that the people of China can recover quickly. Needless to say, I've put this one-month class off until the situation resolves. Since I had the entire month reserved for this class, I scheduled a play trip to Japan when it was delayed, and I have a box for Day 14 in Osaka. Hoping that works out OK, as well, but like sumo: only time will tell.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually have a trip to Japan scheduled in late March. This will be my first trip back since I left in 1990! The wife and I are very concerned about the virus. Their is a chance that our flight could be canceled. We are also concerned about making it to Japan and then getting into a situation where we could not leave. Or getting quarantined on arrival back here for two weeks.  Their are just so many unknowns right now.  Most importantly though I hope that the virus can be contained. Their have been so many deaths already.... :-(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
 
 
 
On 10/02/2020 at 12:10, Akinomaki said:

I wonder what will happen at the Olympics.

It is already impacting some preliminary events.   Some events are moved to another venue, or delayed.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/02/2020 at 05:32, Kaminariyuki said:

Yes, I too have been following the news closely. I was supposed to go teach in Changsha for the entire month of March, only a 3 h drive from Wuhan. Now, I'm just hoping that it is contained and that the people of China can recover quickly. Needless to say, I've put this one-month class off until the situation resolves. Since I had the entire month reserved for this class, I scheduled a play trip to Japan when it was delayed, and I have a box for Day 14 in Osaka. Hoping that works out OK, as well, but like sumo: only time will tell.

I’d forget all about that if I were you. Changsha is a lot closer than a 3-hour drive. On the train it’s little more than an hour and though I don’t expect many people will be making the journey to/from Wuhan in coming weeks, you never know. They are starting to get orders to ease up on the quarantines because of the economic impact so by March people could be on the move around Hubei.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, Eikokurai said:

I’d forget all about that if I were you. Changsha is a lot closer than a 3-hour drive. On the train it’s little more than an hour and though I don’t expect many people will be making the journey to/from Wuhan in coming weeks, you never know. They are starting to get orders to ease up on the quarantines because of the economic impact so by March people could be on the move around Hubei.

No worries, I'm coming to Tokyo and Osaka for a week instead of China. Just a little more sumo, please...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Kaminariyuki said:

No worries, I'm coming to Tokyo and Osaka for a week instead of China. Just a little more sumo, please...

First death by the virus is reported in Japan.   Don't book the tickets yet.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, robnplunder said:

First death by the virus is reported in Japan.   Don't book the tickets yet.  

I have mine already for May. I can only hope my technique works

In theory, in my flow engine mode, the immune system should work on optimum - but I'd rather not test if it does

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, robnplunder said:

First death by the virus is reported in Japan.   Don't book the tickets yet.  

LOL, too late~ I have airline tickets and tickets for  a Day 14 box at the honbasho. I'll sacrifice both if things get ugly in Japan, but as of now the vast majority of Japanese cases are from the cruise ship. I have to admit, I have more faith in the Japanese government/health care system than some of my Japanese friends, but I will sacrifice the financial loss and ditch the trip if things get out of control over the next few weeks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

More on COVID 19:

  • I am multiplying 10 to the number of death reported by Wuhan/Hubei.   There are just too many video footages, unofficial reports, and other evidence out of Hubei.  I didn't believe it at first but 15000 death so far seems to be a realistic number.  Numbers from other Chinese provinces may be more realistic but we shall see.
  • Japan's handling of the cruise ship in Yokohama so far borders on stupidity.   
  • Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan's COVID 19 numbers appear to be on the rise, not yet under control.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a sudden jump in COVID 19 patients in Japan.   I wonder if the next basho will happen as planned.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Tokyo Marathon on Mar 1 will be cancelled for most people except for 200 corporate sponsored runners. Usually participation is more than 20k I think.

Also foreign volunteers have been disinvited.

 

The Nagoya marathon in mid March will make a decision to cancel or not soon.

 

The March sumo tournament may get caught up in all this too.

 

Addendum: Looking at social media it seems a few days ago the govt recommended to not gather in large groups anymore, which prompted some backlash on these events. After that, the events were cancelled. Now, refunds are not given for registration so more backlash occurs. I hope a little more forethought is used considering future events.

Edited by Tsuchinoninjin
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If they cancel Haru, Goeido might be a bit annoyed at himself for not retiring a few months later and collecting his Ozeki pay cheques.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, robnplunder said:

Hi, Eikokurai.   Any updates from where you are at?   Are things getting better?

Well, better in the sense that things have calmed down and everyone has settled into the quarantine lifestyle, yes. I’ve been working from home for two weeks with another two to come, mostly just as a precaution. My wife is working 1-2 days a week with reduced hours per day but she has to actually go in (she can’t work from home). We’ve been issued cards that authorize us to leave our apartment complex which was sealed off at two of the three exits and closed to outsiders like delivery drivers and visitors. Only residents can come in and we have our temperature checked as we do. But there aren’t any cases (that we’ve been told about) nearby so mostly these are just preventive measures. We’re not locked in like I’ve heard happens in complexes with diagnosed cases (my boss had one in her complex and spent two weeks indoors). So long as we wear a mask we are allowed to go out to the supermarket or for work, etc. I’ve not really needed to go out except for grocery shopping so that’s once a week. The rest of the time I’ve been inside, tidying up or working. Not much fun but it’s been fine really. I’m lucky where I am. We’ve avoided the worst of it. Things are better better generally (it’s being reported anyway) but still a long way to go before they give the all clear. Mind you, I have zero trust in the authorities here so I’m sort of expecting them to start easing up on the news coverage and act like things are fine just so people feel safe again and go outside. Without people working or spending money the economy is suffering and they won’t want that to last forever. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Eikokurai said:

If they cancel Haru, Goeido might be a bit annoyed at himself for not retiring a few months later and collecting his Ozeki pay cheques.

Didn't work like that when the 2011 March tournament was cancelled. Rikishi got paid for March/April based on the created-for-Haru banzuke which was carried over to Natsu.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wasn't too worried about my upcoming trip to Japan until the report of the Tokyo taxi driver last week, and then another of a Japanese salaryman who was infected, exhibiting symptoms, but then went ahead and rode the Shinkansen to Aichi. He certainly didn't know he had COVID 16, of course, but I fear the situation in Japan will now spiral out of control. Likely the same around the rest of the world, as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If it "spirals out of control" it just means that a bunch of people who had weak immune systems will die prematurely and everyone will be much more likely to get a severe cold than before.  It's not like it's the Spanish Flu that's killing young people preferentially - it's just a really nasty cold virus.  It'll simply be one of the many that are floating around, and the world will have to deal with it.  Immuno-compromised people will have much shorter life spans, people will get a cold very slightly more frequently, and life will eventually return to a new normal not too different from now.

And I'm almost certain that's what's going to happen, given that it can spread before you know you're infected, plus there are plenty of people who still travel while infected to help spread it as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gurowake said:

If it "spirals out of control" it just means that a bunch of people who had weak immune systems will die prematurely and everyone will be much more likely to get a severe cold than before.  It's not like it's the Spanish Flu that's killing young people preferentially - it's just a really nasty cold virus.  It'll simply be one of the many that are floating around, and the world will have to deal with it.  Immuno-compromised people will have much shorter life spans, people will get a cold very slightly more frequently, and life will eventually return to a new normal not too different from now.

And I'm almost certain that's what's going to happen, given that it can spread before you know you're infected, plus there are plenty of people who still travel while infected to help spread it as well.

COVID 19's claim to fame so far is that if unchecked with a massive effort, it can spread faster than the local medical facility can handle.   That's how so many people in Wuhan have died (about 2000 in the official report but I think the real number is closer to 10 times that).   So, in order to contain its spread, human to human contacts have to be restricted in an extraordinary fashion.   Most gatherings (meetings, conferences, sports events, church gatherings, restaurants, shops, ....)  have to be closed or canceled.   As this goes on, the impact on the global economy can be catastrophic.   Besides the human loss, I fear it will start the next global recession.   Eerily, the US market has been brushing the COVID 19 aside so far.   Just the impact on Apple which has its main factory in China can sour the NASDAQ in the coming quarter.   Apply that to all the global companies whose factories are in China and the pessimist in me sees the global recession coming.  Today, the world's largest economy, China, has virtually stopped in order to fight the spread of COVID 19.  Many events in Japan are and will be canceled, too.  I doubt if the next basho will happen.  If it does, it had to be without the crowd, just on TV.

Edited by robnplunder

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, robnplunder said:

Many events in Japan are and will be canceled, too.  I doubt if the next basho will happen.  If it does, it had to be without the crowd, just on TV.

Imagine a basho day 1 where all the Japanese attendees are wearing their white facemasks.  How weird!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, Yamanashi said:

Imagine a basho day 1 where all the Japanese attendees are wearing their white facemasks.  How weird!

... and goggles.  I don't know how but it is known to spread from the eyes, too.      

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this