Firstly a diclaimer: I AM NOT A DOCTOR. I AM NOT A MEDICAL RESEARCHER. I AM NOT A SPECIALIST IN ANY WAY. I AM A TOTAL LAYMAN WITH A PHONE, AN INTERNET CONNECTION, AND A WHOLE BUNCH OF EMOTIONAL AND COGNITIVE BIASES THAT INFLUENCE MY JUDGMENT. DO NOT FOLLOW MY ADVICE. DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. MAKE YOUR OWN JUDGMENTS. TAKE YOUR OWN DECISIONS.
Ok, with that out of the way, here are my layman thoughts:
A blog post (link below) by another layman with an internet connection (a Japanese national living in Australia) suggests a hypothesis that the differences in speed of spread and severity of infection between different regions of the world may be due to BCG vaccination programs, with the important distinction that not all BCG vaccinations are the same, and that the so-called “Japan Strain” (an older strain, used in Japan and several other countries, particularly in Asia) may be more effective in providing resistance to the Covid-19 virus (this would explain why some countries with a BCG program are experiencing rapid spread: they use other strains that do not provide the same resistance).
In my response to Hideo’s death I somehow ended up sharing my grief on social media (which is very not usually something I would do). I discuss this in the final section of this post, but first, the posts themselves, culled from my social media for that week:
自治会会長と話して、ウイルスでイベント中止の動きに揃いましょうって。ご了承下さい、近い内に… I talked to the head of the neighbourhood association and we decided to cancel this event to help contain the corona virus (many public events are now being cancelled) we’ll reschedule once things have calmed down…
I’ll be doing my next Climate Emergency presentation at my local neighborhood association, it’ll be in Japanese but please come if you can, the more people show up the bigger the impact, and the bigger the impact the greater the chances of it leading to real action.
[Follow-up comments, written the morning after my Nerd Nite presentation]:
Firstly I want to thank everyone who watched my presentation last night. Despite how I look once I’ve got a mic in my hands (somehow being in the limelight lends me a lot of energy), I’m not a naturally outgoing person (I’m terrible at small talk) so I was very nervous: you were a wonderful audience and made it easy for me to give my talk. Thank you.
I have a few follow-up comments, things I might have said if I’d had more time and/or if I had been quick-witted enough to have thought of them in the moment:
Climate Reality Project (気候現実プロジェクト）、とClimateStrikeOki（気候ストライキ沖）、tensaimon（天才門！）は美浜アメリカンビレッジで２０２０年１月２４日（金）１８時からフラッシュモブをします！歌の題名Staying Aliveは「生き残る、死なない」って意味だから、気候危機にすごくふさわしい：踊るが死ぬかといえば、踊りましょうね！ The Climate Reality Project, Climate Strike Oki, and Tensaimon (me!) are going to do a Flash Mob in Mihama on Friday 2020-01-24!! Please come and join in, because if it’s dance or die we should probably dance!!
As you know I follow this story quite closely, and I can confirm that these figures are an accurate representation of the science. The problem of course is politics: right now it is looking very unlikely we will avert this. Which basically means most humans are going to die in the next few decades.
However there is a silver lining (if you can call it that): at 1.5-2.0 degrees the massive crop failures and resulting famine, whilst leading to enormous suffering and death (from starvation and war) in the short term, will lead (once enough humans are dead) to a collapse of the world’s civilization: at that point carbon emissions will drop to (near) zero, and since nature abhors a vacuum, trees and animals will take over again – those trees will absorb CO2 which in time will cool the earth again.