Flight Diverts To Kick Off Anti-Masker… In Japan?!?

Filed Under: Other Airlines

A flight was diverted earlier this week after a man refused to wear a mask. This probably isn’t the first or last time we’ll hear a story like this. Rather what makes this story unique is where it took place: in Japan!

Peach Aviation flight diverts over mask incident

On Monday afternoon a Peach Aviation flight with 124 people from Kushiro to Kansai diverted to Niigata, after an unruly anti-masker started threatening the crew. For those of you not familiar with Peach Aviation, it’s a Japanese low cost carrier that’s partly owned by All Nippon Airways.

So, what exactly happened? Based on reports from the airline and police:

  • Before the plane took off, flight attendants noticed that the man wasn’t wearing a mask, so they asked him to put one on, but he refused
  • People seated near the man started asking to be reseated, because they didn’t want to sit near someone without a mask
  • The man became angry at this point and accused other passengers of slandering him
  • This confrontation caused the flight’s departure to be delayed by about 45 minutes, though somehow the man wasn’t removed from the flight
  • After takeoff, a flight attendant once again asked the man to wear a mask, but he refused
  • A flight attendant then threatened to issue the man an official warning if he didn’t cooperate
  • The man told the flight attendant to go ahead, and at this point the man started “abusing” flight attendants and other passengers
  • The captain then decided to divert the plane to kick off the unruly passenger
  • This caused the plane to arrive at Kansai Airport over two hours late

Airline officials are planning on seeking 500,000 JPY (~4,700 USD) in compensation from the man for the trouble and inconvenience caused.

Japan’s transport ministry said that this is the first time during the coronavirus pandemic that a flight has been diverted in the country over someone not wearing a mask.

Here’s a video of part of the alleged incident (if anyone can translate or provide details, that would be awesome):

Bottom line

Japan is one of the most orderly places in the world, and it’s somewhere that many people have worn masks long before coronavirus started. It’s a bit surprising to see an anti-masker “movement” like this in Japan, though I guess there will be people everywhere who are like that…

Also, I can’t fully get over how the crew handled this situation. So the flight was delayed by 45 minutes because this guy was being aggressive, refused to wear a mask, and accused others of slander, but then they still took off with him?! And then the flight was diverted because… his behavior didn’t change?

Comments
  1. I’m surprised they even bother with the charade. Considering if you’re allowed to eat or drink on the flight, you have to remove the mask in order to do so, therefore making the mask you were wearing, now useless and necessitating a change of mask, I have to ask what’s the point?
    I’m sorry, but if you’re not going to use them properly, there’s little point in using them at all.

    For a mask to offer any protection, you must sanitise or wash your hands before putting on the mask. If you touch the outside of your mask to adjust it, you must sanitise or wash your hands immediately afterwards. If you take off your mask, you must take them off from behind, not touching the front of the mask. Then you must either dispose of it hygienically, or if it’s cloth, you must place it somewhere safe, like a plastic bag, for washing later. Then you need to bring out a new fresh mask and place that on.

    That’s the actual science behind wearing a mask. Now, these masks as well, don’t actually protect you from catching anything. They protect you from passing viruses on. Even then, they must be proper masks, not cheap garbage, in order for them to work well.

    I’m afraid that a lot of the mask wearing stuff has just become a part of mass hysteria and in some cases either a political statement or a way of placating the concern of others. There’s little scientific evidence that fully backs the usage of face masks in regards to Covid.

    What evidence there is however, is adamant that you must use the right type of mask and use it properly.

  2. My Japanese is quite rusty after being away for 14 years but he appears to be using formal Japanese (keigo) while arguing with the crew. I don’t think he was abusive in this video but was definitely uncooperative. I am really surprised to see a Japanese individual in Japan not wearing a mask on a plane given how closely Japanese society follows the rules and conform to expectations. Shame they had to divert over such selfish behaviour.

  3. Richard, non-N95 masks aren’t being worn to protect the wearer…. they are being worn to reduce the risk to everyone else.

  4. @John K, we don’t know if it was a Japanese individual just because he looks Japanese and speaks Japanese and on a Japanese aircraft. Could have easily been from the West visiting Japan like anyone else.

  5. @Ella even for PC gals like me that’s a bit OOT PC. Anyway, I live in Japan, the guy is Japanese. Trust me, if he was a foreigner, it would have been played up a bit more.

    And there is a very small anti-masker movement, it’s estimated that approximately 4% of the population refuse to wear masks. Anti-maskers even planned an anti-mask ride around one loop of the Yamanote Line (like foreigners used to do every Halloween back in the day) but ended up not doing it because it would have been interpreted as “forcible disruption of business” as stores were closing early to avoid any trouble. And it was only about 50 people! The nutbag who planned it also ran for governor of Tokyo in the most recent election. Needless to say, he lost.

  6. @Ella – he is 100% a native Japanese speaker. Sure it’s possible he could be living in a different country now, but based on his intonation, he is definitely native.

    @Ben – The gist of the video is the man is asking for an official document saying that a mask is required, and once that is procured he will put a mask on. Besides that, he’s saying he won’t put on a mask.

  7. Japan does have a small anti-mask contingent. In Korea, where I live, I haven’t heard of a single anti-mask protest, though there was a right wing protest several weeks ago where most of them wore masks but it was against public health recommendations and it triggered over 500 new infections around the country. So yes, there are idiots in every country.

    Regarding mask wearing and effectiveness: the way “actual science” *actually* works is by looking at empirical evidence. Most of those who say that “science” indicates that mask wearers have to wear them perfectly are not quoting scientific studies, but rather just quoting the individual opinions of doctors or other health officials mostly near the beginning of the pandemic when no one knew what the h— was going on. Today, however, we know that masks ARE effective when worn by the general public and even when worn sloppily as many people do.

    The reason, most people now believe, is that the way that you contract the disease is not by breathing 1 virion into your nose or lungs but through prolonged exposure. Viral load is key. Masks do not have to be 100% effective to work — they just need to reduce your exposure enough that you don’t allow an infection to take hold.

    Some studies:

    Mask-wearing mandates have a measurable effect on COVID spread:

    https://www.healthaffairs.org/doi/10.1377/hlthaff.2020.00818

    At the outset of the pandemic many health care professionals assumed the primary mode of spread was via fomites (touch). We now know it is almost certainly primarily driven by airborne particles, and mask wearing is effective at slowing spread:

    https://files.fast.ai/papers/masks_lit_review.pdf

    Study of mask wearing during the SARS outbreak: surgical masks 68% effective, N95 masks 91% effective:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4293989/

    Flu transmission at home: mask use significantly reduced flu transmission using either surgical or N95 masks in compliant households:

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2662657/

    Mask wearing can reduce severity of infection:

    https://cejph.szu.cz/artkey/cjp-202002-0001_can-wearing-face-masks-in-public-affect-transmission-route-and-viral-load-in-covid-19.php

  8. The airline should have removed him from the plane before it departed. It just doesn’t make sense to me why the crew had to divert the plane when the man was acting the same way on the ground as he did up in the air.

  9. A few weeks ago there was a small group of about 100 anti mask protesters gathering at shibuya station, Tokyo. While it is unusual, but there are still some people against wearing masks in public.

  10. The crew should’ve just provided him official documentation showing that he needs to comply with crew instructions.

  11. @John K, as a resident of Japan for over 30 years, I can confirm that the guy is certainly speaking politely but seems insistent that he is doing nothing wrong as wearing a mask is only “recommended” by Peach air but not required. And that fragment is not at all abusive.
    @Ella, it is true that he could be non Japanese but the chances of that are extremely slim. It’s more than his obvious fluency in Japanese and the lack of grammatical errors – more telling is his perfect pronunciation. If he isn’t a Japanese national it doesn’t matter as everyone in Japan will regard him as being Japanese from his appearance and speech.
    While it is surprising that this happened in Japan where mask wearing is uncontroversial, you gotta remember that in a country of 130 million, there’s bound to be more than just a few less well mentally adjusted people around.

  12. What a shameful news. I am Japanese and used to work in airport as foreign-based airline’s rep. Actually he is very typical ‘Japanese difficult passenger’. Very very typical.

    Here is a translation of what I heard in the conversation. A few parts may be missing as their voices are hard to get.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Pax: It should not be an issue at all.
    Crew: Other passengers around you care about it…
    Crew: Sir, we have another seat where no other passengers are seated close to you.
    Pax: I don’t move. I am issued boarding pass and am properly seated here. I will no longer move from the seat.
    Crew: If you don’t follow cabin crew’s instruction, please leave the plane.
    Pax: It is unacceptable. I will not get off the plane.
    Crew: If you don’t follow the instruction,,,
    Pax: If you have a ‘Request’ for me, I will hambly accept it. I am willing to fill document if you request me to do so.
    Crew: About face mask,,,
    Pax: I did the same on Jetstar flight.
    Crew: Sir, we cannot depart under this situation. You please need to leave the plane.
    Pax: It is just a ‘Request’, right? I just understand it as your request.
    Crew: Sir, we cannot depart.
    Pax: I am saying I understand your ‘Request’. I am willing to fill paper if required.
    Crew: If you wear mask, we will depart right away.
    Pax: I am saying I will not. If you don’t give me an exception case, you should show me a documentation. It is all right, isn’t it? For example, also on Jetstar flight,,,
    Crew: There is another seat no one else is seated on same row. Please move.

  13. @Yuki thanks so much for taking the time to translate, much appreciated. I was quite sure he wasn’t speaking rudely but his behaviour was less than kind now that I read the the details. I really have a hard time imagining police needing to forcibly remove a passenger. I wonder what happened here, if the captain simply told him he had to deplane or what. Sounds like it was handled well from the part of the FAs though, kudos to them.

  14. Japanese are overwhelmingly compliant , in the best sense of the word, and are very aware of the impact their behaviour has on others; that’s not to say there are no fruitcake wackos in the manner of the orange blob supporters. There are a few million of them: on display every day in the form of the trucks with loudspeakers driving around major cities.
    This man showed his cards/ true colours when he refused to move to a vacant row.

  15. @QQ
    You might want to actually read Richard’s post. Third paragraph, 3rd sentence, to be exact. He says exactly what you criticize him for supposedly not saying.

    @Mitsu
    Those studies you list, there’s some key words there. SURGICAL masks (the ones you buy at Home Depot, Walmart, etc. are NON surgical/medical grade masks). There’s also the notes that the studies are concerning droplets and there appears to be some recent information that COVID is more aerosol vs. droplet. However, so far, it *seems* (anectdotally/observationally, as I don’t believe there are any clinical double-blind studies on non-surgical masks for COVID yet) that mask compliance coupled with social distancing are working. I’m not disagreeing with you per se, but there needs to be a distinction between specific masks types (worn properly as per the studies) for the effectiveness percentage that keep getting thrown around. Although you also correctly (at least so far the data supports this) that *prolonged* exposure is also a heavily weighted factor.

  16. @mjonis Richard was saying that this incident was part of a “charade”, which presumably means there was/is no point in enforcing mask wearing guidelines on a plane. Even if it were the case that masks do not protect the wearer (this is also incorrect) but only stop onward spread, it’s obvious that not wearing a mask potentially endangers others. But Richard also mentioned that people take masks off when eating and drinking, wear them incorrectly, don’t wear “proper” masks, and so on, again rendering the entire mask enforcement a “charade”. None of this is correct.

    The first study I mentioned was an empirical study of mask mandates — which is to say, that the mere existence of a mask mandate has a measurable correlation with reduced COVID spread. This in spite of the fact that within the United States (another example of how horribly we have handled this pandemic), “proper” masks are difficult to find. In contrast with South Korea, where everyone can easily obtain KF94 masks (nearly as effective as N95 masks but much more comfortable to wear) and surgical masks.

    The idea that masks (whether N95, surgical, or cloth) do not protect the wearer, is a common myth, again spread by some health care officials mostly earlier in the pandemic, but not supported by the “actual science”. In fact, all of these masks have shown some filtration effectiveness, though obviously cloth masks are less effective (however they vary a lot depending on the specific design). But again, the chief myth that needs to be debunked is the idea that masks must block 100% of the viral load from reaching you to be effective at all, or that a single mistake (touching the mask when taking it off) totally eliminates their effectiveness. Neither of these statements are correct; if they were we would not see such large and measurable effects of general public use of masks.

    A comprehensive study of cloth mask efficacy (as I noted, they don’t protect perfectly, but they do offer some protection):

    https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/10/20-0948_article

    Good overview of varying quality and effectiveness of cloth masks:

    https://www.sciencealert.com/some-masks-are-better-than-others-here-they-are-ranked-best-to-worst

    Large survey of many mask studies. tl;dr masks work, even cloth masks, for both prevention of transmission and protection of the wearer, and N95/KF94 > surgical > cloth > nothing

    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1HLrm0pqBN_5bdyysOeoOBX4pt4oFDBhsC_jpblXpNtQ/edit#

  17. @Richard you may be right or incorrectin certain of your analysis but 99.9 % of Japanese will listen to their Govt and scientists so spare yourself the trouble. They have heard enough like I have and already made up their mind as to how many lives can be saved listening to the scientists.

  18. @Yuki – thanks for the translation. It’s indeed shameful when a passenger feels he is entitled to ruin the day for a plane full of passengers and crew with a refusal to comply with a little thing like wearing a mask. There could have been passengers en route to a funeral, wedding, graduation, birth of a child or similar events that they will potentially miss but for the selfishness of one guy with a bad attitude.

    It is a little shocking to hear of this incident from Japan, here in the USA it’s nearly everyday under the current conditions, politically and pandemic driven.

  19. Wait, according to OMAAT people only MAGA-hat wearing, white, middle-aged ee-vangelical Trump voters are anti-maskers. You mean to say there are Karen’s all over the world? I’m shocked, I tell ya.

    @Ella must be disappointed this guy wasn’t from the USA

  20. @Jan. No one will be disappointed. Yes there are exceptions to any rule or an occassional outlier or should I say outLiar

  21. Quite simple. If you don’t agree with wearing a mask presently, do us a favour and don’t fly or go into a store

    These people are fully aware and intent on causing a disruption to the majority of people who are happy to comply

    I recall Korean Air crew have access to tasers

  22. @Mitsu
    https://www.who.int/images/default-source/health-topics/coronavirus/clothing-masks-infographic—web—part-2.png?sfvrsn=d7b0f88d_20

    It is pretty clear to me that governments have failed miserably in educating the masses in the importance of proper mask usage.

    The mask must fit properly. It must have no gaps around your face. For Covid, it is to protect others from catching your infection. That means it must catch your breath, not just any coughs or sneezes.

    Any gap in the mask around your face presents an opportunity for the particles of the virus to escape.

    You must never ever ever reuse your mask, under any circumstances. Once you take a mask off, you are allowing any particles caught on the inside of your mask to escape. You must also never ever ever, wear a mask that becomes wet or damp.

    You must always wash your hands before you put a new mask on and after you have adjusted your mask. You must also never touch the front of your mask without washing your hands afterwards.

    Particles from Covid do make it to the front of masks. Meaning that if you touch your mask, then you touch a surface, there can be transference.

    These are really important steps to follow. It’s also recommended that for masks to be 100% effective you must still keep practicing social distancing as well as regular hand washing. This is a recommendation not only of WHO but of CDC as well. Mask wearing is not an excuse for you to break the guidelines of keeping your distance.

    I call it a charade, because if you are feeding people on a plane, it means people have to take their masks off. Once their masks are removed, unless you’re feeding one person at a time and only allowing one person at a time to remove their masks to eat or drink, then you’re exposing everyone else on the plane to catching the virus.

    That’s why it’s a charade.

    There is a lot of hysteria in regards to Covid. Many people don’t understand death and also don’t understand just how many people die every day around the world. This is mainly because death has become a sanitised affair in the modern world, particularly in developed countries.

    Much of the panic is being whipped up by media, who are incredibly poor at reporting science. This isn’t helped by the fact that science doesn’t know that much about Covid as yet. This isn’t the plague, it’s not even close. People aren’t dropping dead in the streets. The vast majority of people who contract Covid are in fact recovering from it. Very few have ongoing issues that aren’t psychosomatic.

    There are also studies coming out, for example one held by RSSB, that claims there is a 1 in 11,000, journey risk of catching Covid when riding on an air conditioned train. That suggests that as long as there is air conditioning and it’s pointing down towards the floor, there’s Buckleys risk of contracting Covid on a train.

    While I’d love for a similar study to be done on planes, I’m unsure if there has been one yet. I know there are a lot of people who are convinced they contracted Covid on a plane. Like the NBC “Doctor” who clearly has mental health issues. Or the flight load of party goers who returned to the UK from Zante. All likely to have picked up the virus in Zante itself for failing to maintain social distancing.

    I’d need more information. However, considering that flights are still going. Considering that people are taking their masks off during said flights, together, to eat and drink. I’m erring on the side that face masks aren’t that important on planes.

    At the end of the day. None of you, unless you’re over 70, or have several very serious health problems, have any risk of dying from Covid. At worst, you’ll get a bad dose of the cold. If you are over 70 or have serious health conditions that would put you at risk, be responsible for yourself. Isolate yourself, place on medical grade filter masks as well as face shields when you do have to go out and let everyone else get on with their lives.

    If the world keeps going on this ridiculous lockdown, chasing its tail trying to push numbers down for a virus of which there is no cure, then we will all reap the destruction of our economies. That will mean the end of flights forever. The end of travel. Huge amounts of the global population plunged into unemployment and poverty. All for 911,000 thousand out of 7.8 billion people dying.

    That’s the most ridiculous part of all of this garbage. Sacrificing economies, whole populations livelihoods and mental health, not to mention making it more difficult for those with existing conditions to get treated for them, allowing them to die, for 0.11% of the global population

    I’m utterly disgusted at the panic, the mass hysteria that has been allowed to grip the globe over something that is only slightly more deadly than influenza.

  23. @Richard

    Do you think anyone reads your word diarrhea, or are convinced by you repeating the same points over and over again? Everything coming out of your mouth lacks evidence and/or were address by Mitsu’s comments.

    Also, when you type an essay in the comments section (and repeating yourself over and over), you just look mentally unhinged.

  24. Hard to believe! I live in Waikiki and a large percentage of Japanese tourists were wearing masks years before COVID

  25. Japanese summary(may have already been given but here it is (again))

    Basically the man is stating that the mask is merely a request. There have been no actual rules laid down on paper where you are not allowed to board without a mask and therefore he is not required to wear a mask.

    Which is as egocentric as one can get, but that’s the case.

  26. Masks aren’t required on board of PEACH, it’s just a recommendation.

    The man asks the crew to show him a document requiring him to wear a mask and the crew then offers to move him to a row by himself which alone shows that wearing one isn’t mandatory. He also offers to sign some sort of waiver or document. The conversation runs in a polite fashion throughout it course.

  27. Thank goodness wearing a mask in Japan is not political. Typically they are worn during hay fever season, with cedar the big culprit. Also presenteeism at work means people come to work even when they are sick, but wear a mask to minimize spread to others. It is plain common sense.

    And @Richard, I wonder how you explain the low prevalence of Covid in paces like Japan where wearing masks is the norm? Bottom line is they may not be perfect, but if they prevent 80-90% of transmission it is better than none.

    I recently flew on ANA between Haneda and Chitose. Everyone wore a mask. In the airport everyone sat on the marked socially distanced seats. When beverages were served on the plane, no one used it as an excuse to take off their mask, just briefly removing for a sip and then putting it back. At the luggage carousel everyone respected the social distancing. Disembarking and boarding everyone followed the instructions. It was efficient and so refreshing.

  28. @Richard

    Nobody who recommends masks believes they are 100% effective at stopping the spread. The point is that they help to reduce the spread. Taking masks off to eat does not mean the whole exercise is pointless. If passengers only wear a mask for 80% of the flight, that is significantly better than not wearing one at all. Basically you seem to be looking at masks as black or white issue – it either stops the virus spreading completely or it is completely pointless. The idea is to reduce the spread – eliminating the spread is pretty much impossible. The more we wear masks, the more we can help reduce the spread. And yes wearing properly fitted masks, washing hands and socially distancing all help towards this goal.

    Your attitude of “a lot of people don’t wear them correctly or take them off to eat so there is zero benefit to mask wearing” does not make sense.

  29. @Janet

    The explanation for Japan’s apparently low prevalence of COVID-19 cases is rather quite simple. Their per capita testing rates are outrageously low and the majority of positive cases remain unreported. The United States has administered 20 times as many SARS-CoV-2 tests per capita as compared to Japan, for instance.

    The fact that so many Japanese are so willing to don face masks is further evidence that either: (1) they don’t understand the science behind infectious diseases or (2) they’re aware of the testing limitations as well as the underlying implications on the actual number of infected persons and are wearing masks more willingly as a result.

    Pro-maskers should learn a little bit more regarding the science behind the human immune system. Guess what?!? It does wonders at protecting us against viral infections. Masks are an unnecessary and pointless measure introduced to assuage the hysterical fears of cowards. Those in at-risk populations (a small group we can define with high confidence) should be taking the necessary and responsible steps to avoid contracting the virus. Masks can’t kill SARS-CoV-2, so the second an infected person takes one off later, they will simply pass it then instead of now.

    Global COVID-19 cases continue to be on the rise. This, despite months of pointless mask-wearing nonsense. Here’s a fact: not a single person’s life will be spared because we all decided to wear masks. Every living thing eventually dies. Sorry, but fear of death is illogical. Here’s another fact: COVID-19 started with just a single person…in Asia, where masks were commonplace prior to this pandemic. Now that it has spread to tens of millions of people, we think it can actually be stopped? Nice try.

  30. @RK

    What is the point of reducing the spread? What does that mean? That some people will be able to escape the virus entirely or that they’ll get the virus, but not until a much later date?

  31. Notice…pro-maskers didn’t bother to check out my links….”they” scream for “science” and when you show them, they say nothing. Cuz it isn’t about science, it’s fear….that’s why science is often pointless. In 20 years any job with the title of science in it will be a shameful profession.

  32. Hope this moron who caused the rerouting will be billed the cost of it plus time wasted by fellow passengers.

    @Richard
    You are obviously an expert on death. No emotion there evidently. Why don’t you show us your fortitude when facing the end? Ricin is quick.

    @Mitsu
    You give me faith in humanity after reading the tripe from @Richard. Thank you for the excellent post and all those references. I will use some of the material when I try to get my condo to mandate masks.

    Cheers.

  33. @Roger, I guess you think all the scientists forecasting death rates have no idea what they are talking about. You clearly have no idea of the situation here in Japan. The positivity on tests is well below 10% despite the excellent contact tracing that goes on after a case is identified. A friend was tested when someone in his office rested positive, and neither he nor anyone in the office tested positive. Funny enough, they all wear masks at work.

    There has been no increase in the death rate that would suggest undetected cases, despite the aging demographics. There have been no outbreaks in schools, where kids where masks but there is limited social distancing. The main change has been kids eat lunch at their desks. There has been no jump in hospitalizations and the percent of ICU beds being used is low. All this suggests a very limited spread of Covid-19 in Japan. I agree with the science that suggests wearing a mask saves lives, pure and simple. And please respect the rest of us who don’t want to be infected. Wear a mask to protect us from you.

  34. @Roger, one more point. Covid started in Wuhan, China. I have spent a lot of time in Wuhan on business in the past and no one there ever wore a mask. To the extent masks were used in China it was for pollution, not pollen/sickness. They were also not common in Hong Kong or Singapore before Covid. It was predominantly Japan and Korea. The reason people in Asia have quickly adopted masks and done much better than the US is political leadership and respect for the collective and protecting one’s fellow citizens rather than the US focus on individual rights. I would further highlight that Canada has done a much better job at keeping infection rates low…funny enough Canadians have been much better at wearing masks.

    You are correct that masks won’t cure Covid-19, but they will reduce its spread and keep the healthcare system available for those who need it. You just have to remember NYC or Italy in the early days to know the disaster of an overloaded healthcare system. With any luck a vaccin

  35. Vaccine will be available and we can further mitigate the spread. Given the long-term health consequences for up to 20% of people infected across all demographics, Covid is not something anyone should feel nonchalant about catching. Even young healthy people can have their lives severely harmed.

  36. @Janet

    All the evidence you provide is based on empirical and anecdotal observation. You repeatedly infer causality where none exists.

    All the early outbreaks you quote were associated with populations of exceptionally weak and unhealthy groups. The overloading of hospitals and ICUs was driven — not by actual need for care — but by countless, selfish people operating in fear and insisting on hospitalization for their own protection.

    I wouldn’t expect massive outbreaks in Japan to be reported since: (1) this virus is not very deadly and (2) Japan is knowingly underreporting its infection rate. When reported cases started to rise in August, the Japanese Government immediately took steps to reduce the amount of testing and reporting in order to save global face.

    Every observable you cite is nothing more than the result of an elaborate propaganda campaign. Don’t believe everything you read or see in the media.

  37. @Richard I understand that some people would like to believe this is all an overreaction, etc. — and I understand the desire not to want to live in an anxious state of mind. However in my view, it is more sensible to have a neutral perspective towards danger and just evaluate the evidence as evenhandedly as possible. Facing risks square on is I think the best approach.

    The points you’re making come from sources mostly earlier in the pandemic, and pretty much all of them have been discredited by the mainstream scientific community. Briefly, for instance — the disease is very dangerous for people of all ages – it is a myth that if you’re younger, you are safe. In reality, there is evidence that 50% of all people who contract the virus suffer serious lung damage even if they have no evident symptoms. More than half of recovered COVID patients show brain damage. A study of middle aged (46-53 years old) recovered COVID patients showed 3/4th had evidence of a heart attack and also heart damage. Half of the COVID survivors in Bergamo report they have still not fully recovered.

    Fatality rates in other words are not the whole story.

    Recent study showing coronavirus can and does spread on planes:

    https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-on-planes-cdc-study-asymptomatic-2020-8

    And masks are crucial. There have been many documented cases of airborne disease spread on planes, ranging from the original SARS epidemic to today. Keep in mind that in the US the chances you are flying with someone infected is quite high, given the fact that probably around 1 percent or more of the general population is currently actively infected.

    Half of Bergamo survivors have not fully recovered:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2020/09/08/bergamo-italy-covid-longterm/?arc404=true

    There are still plenty of people vulnerable to this illness — my guess from the best models is we are currently at around 15% total in the US who have been infected (with huge regional variation). Which is to say, there are still plenty of people who can get this, and hundreds of thousands still vulnerable to die if we relax too much, too soon, again. Early evidence that even people with mild symptoms experience potentially significant pulmonary damage continues to build.

    Four studies of asymptomatic infected have shown about half show ground glass opacities on CT scans.

    https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200811/asymptomatic-covid-silent-but-maybe-not-harmless

    A study of 100 relatively young (46-53) recovered COVID patients found 78 showed signs of structural changes to their hearts and damage, and 76 had a biomarker associated with a heart attack.

    https://www.webmd.com/lung/news/20200729/recovered-covid-patients-often-have-heart-damage

    New study on neurological damage in 55% of recovered COVID patients:

    https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370(20)30228-5/fulltext

  38. @Roger, you clearly have no idea of the situation in Japan. No investigative journalist has found any evidence of under reporting. I live in Tokyo and have a son who teaches for a school board in Osaka. We are very aware of the situation here.

    I would refer you to the excellent comments and links from @Mitsu. Not sure why you would push back on masks, as clearly they mitigate the spread. And this is not a disease you want to mess with.

  39. As an Inflight Customer Service Director for 25 years for a major airline in North America, I would of called the police and have him removed before departure PERIOD. Sorry to say the Incharge did do her job. Landing fees are costly and the airline should charge him for the flight diversion.

  40. Where i live in Japan (large northern city), the majority of people who don’t wear masks are geezers and guys in their 20s-40s. Not that many, but a handful. The old guys just don’t care, probably the same mindset as their selfish younger counterparts. The new clusters have been in colleges, probably because of clowns like them. There is also a very small handful of women (some young, some old), and most children don’t seem to wear them either. The funniest is that even the one homeless guy I see all the time has a mask on (but not the crazy lady near me, though I forgive her as she never talks to anyone)! But, as there is no law for or against wearing masks, and just the lame governmental recommendation, people will do as they please.

  41. @Roger
    “What is the point of reducing the spread? What does that mean? That some people will be able to escape the virus entirely or that they’ll get the virus, but not until a much later date?”

    What is the point of trying to reduce the spread of a potentially fatal virus? Honestly, I have no idea, I just thought it sounded good.

  42. @RK

    That’s exactly what I suspected. These are soothing and reassuring words being peddled to the masses solely for the purpose of diffusing panic and hysteria.

    Very few people have contemplated the long-term ramifications associated with the mask-wearing course of action. Masks cannot be worn indefinitely and they are far from flawless in their ability to protect. So, we wear them to slow the spread, to reduce the spread! Translation: This means we’ll reduce the number of new cases today, disperse them into the future instead, and hope that a miracle occurs between now and then.

    Sounds a lot like the typical approach to social security, [under] saving for retirement, or spending beyond one’s means. Just like these financially irresponsible people underestimate the power or burden of compounding interest, so to do mask wearers underestimate the burden of attempting to temporally disperse an inescapable fate.

    Now, instead of 2,000,000 people dying in one year, we’ll have the same 2,000,000 dying over five years…plus 1,000,000 more that could have built up an immunity if exposed while they were younger but now possess multiple recession-induced comorbidities that prevent them from doing so.

    But let’s not stop there. In an attempt to further extend the comfortable lives of those in at-risk categories, let’s also: (1) push millions of working people into unemployment, (2) bankrupt thousands of small businesses, (3) disrupt the education of millions of children, (4) create a culture of indolent mediocrity in the name of pandemic-induced restraints, and (5) authorize obscene amounts of spending to bail out the unprepared at the risk of introducing a debilitating tax burden onto countless future generations.

  43. @Roger, I feel really sorry for you. Clearly you are a glass half empty kind of guy. More resources are being poured into vaccines and treatments for Covid than any recent disease, so only the pessimistic expects nothing can be done to improve future outcomes. Just look at the progress made over the past 6 months and the reduced mortality. But what we have also learned is that the long-term impact can be devastating, for both young and old. So why not try and avoid getting it. And given the large percentage of asymptomatic people, why not do your best to not pass it on if you unknowingly have Covid? Because there is a good chance we will have a vaccine over the next year.

    In any case, I feel really sorry for you as you are clearly a sad person who gets no joy from life. Meanwhile I will happily do my bit to avoid getting Covid and passing it on should I be an asymptomatic carrier. In doing so, life can return to almost normal, as it is in the tristate area, where people are mostly sensible and considerate of their neighbors and where positivity rates are below 1%. Our economy will rebound because Covid is in check, unlike the red states that are in a state of denial. I feel sorry for them too, as they will sadly die in greater numbers, and their economies will take longer to recover. And I will enjoy my retirement, which doesn’t depend on social security.

    I pray for your clearly very sad soul.

  44. @Roger

    I was being sarcastic. I don’t really know why I am bothering to explain this but there is gigantic benefit to slowing the spread of a potentially fatal virus. The point is to reduce the spread to save lives until a vaccine can be found. It is not definite that a vaccine will be found but it is highly likely. And even if there was no hope of a vaccine being found, we would still want to slow the spread of the virus in order to reduce/spread the load on our health system and increase the odds of survival for those hospitalized with covid.

    And yes masks could probably be worn indefinitely, why not? It is a pretty minor thing to have to do to save thousands or millions of lives while we wait to see if a successful vaccine can be developed.

  45. @RK

    It is difficult to shower with a mask, to eat with a mask, to have teeth cleaned while wearing a mask, to exercise with a mask, to replace an old mask without removing or touching a mask. They cannot be worn indefinitely — there are fixed limits to the wearing of masks.

    In its steady state, SARS-CoV-2 will be no more dangerous or deadly than the common cold, another coronavirus strand for which a vaccine has never existed. The sooner we reach this steady state, the better off we’ll all be. You must have read in the media that COVID-19 was scary and dangerous, but it is nothing of concern for 99% of the planet. Introducing policies and procedures that have long-lasting effects in response to the temporary and transient properties of a viral infection is nonsensical.

    Many other diseases and threats warrant substantially more of our attention, yet we’ve allowed ourselves and our medical researchers to become unnecessarily distracted by this nothingness of a virus.

    @Janet

    Don’t feel sorry for me, reflect upon how disconnected from reality you must be. There is a difference between pessimism and realism.

    Fantasy masquerading as unearned optimism is often the displayed attitude by those that take more than they give. Many in this pandemic have escaped unscathed, as they’ve been able to convince those that surround them to work harder, take greater risks, and experience more of the burden. Meanwhile, this same group has become adept at pilfering profits, gold digging, and surviving at the hand of an inheritance or hard-working relative or colleague. Naturally, this group has no concerns regarding COVID-19. The solution is simple. We’ll all just wear our masks, stay at home (because we never really worked or contributed to society in the first place), order all our supplies via Instacart, order all our meals via DoorDash, reduce the maid’s cleaning schedule to just twice a month, pass on our next cruise vacation, and spend more time sipping cocktails and reading books on how to come across as less of a privileged, liberal elitist.

  46. Apparently the problem has more to do with the passenger’s behavior being hostile to other passengers and the crew, especially the latter during the flight. Another passenger sitting a few rows behind the unruly passenger wrote in the comment section of the video: “He kept picking up on the crew every time they passed by, to the extent that it was almost a harassment. When the crew was reading safety regulation rules off the manual card in front of him, the guy kept shouting and disturbed the crew by continuously hitting the card with a pen at the same time.

  47. @Roger, Actually those of us smart enough to wear masks, wash our hands regularly and socially distance ourselves can enjoy our lives to the fullest knowing we won’t inadvertently make strangers sick. Covid is air born mostly and rarely transmitted by touch, but regular hand sanitizing removes the risk of taking off your mask etc.

    I am just back from a holiday at a Park Hyatt in Japan. I felt safe on the flight as all the passengers wore masks and there were several points going through the airport where hands needed to be sanitized. Wearing masks is precisely what enables one to get out and enjoy life. I swim several times a week (without a mask!) and go out to eat…I would never order in food as one eats out for the experience. I can cook my own food better than any delivered meal.

    Masks let you enjoy life outside the home. Too bad you are missing out given your misguided views that lack any scientific support.

  48. When MM126 departed after 45min delay due to dense fog, the no-mask man wasn’t a very serious problem. You are requested to wear a mask just like any other countries, but you won’t be removed from a domestic flight in Japan just because you don’t wear a mask when other anti-infection measures are taken well.

    In this case, Peach cabin crew managed to ensure social distancing between the man and other passengers, thanks to the passengers’ cooperation except him. So forget about the mask when you discuss this case.

    One correction. 500K JPY is upper limit of governmental fine and bill for damage should come separately, depending on the airline’s decision. A precedent case settled between another Japanese carrier and a man who told a stupid joke that he had a bomb onboard indicates that the compensation could be as much as 12M JPY or 113K USD. The amount this time may depend on how many flights after MM126 were scheduled using the same aircraft.

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