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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Links - 18th April 2020 (2) (Ebola and 'Racism', Identity Politics and Film)

How the illegal trade in wild-animal meat could cause the next global pandemic - "Bushmeat is a catchall phrase for the meat of wild animals found in the tropics, principally West and Central Africa. It is illegal in the UK and many other countries, which were forced to adopt strict rules following disease outbreaks that were linked to the import of wild meat... the next big one will be a zoonotic disease—one capable of jumping from animals to humans. The fear of such an event, often called a “spillover,” is why bushmeat gets a bad rap. Unlike smallpox and polio, which have been eradicated and nearly eradicated respectively, zoonotic diseases cannot be entirely wiped out—unless we can also destroy all the species that serve as reservoirs for these pathogens. Black death, Spanish flu and HIV—causes of the three biggest known pandemics—are all zoonotic diseases, and so, almost certainly, will be the next big one. In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a list of the top emerging diseases that are “likely to cause severe outbreaks in the near future.” It’s no coincidence that all the diseases on the list are zoonotic diseases caused by RNA viruses, which turn animals—mostly wild ones—into reservoirs to hide in... All wild meat is dangerous to some extent. Consider the 2012 outbreak of trichinellosis in Europe, the first in more than 20 years. Researchers in Italy found that uncooked sausages made from wild boar meat were responsible for infecting more than 30 people with the pathogen Trichinella britovi. But some wild meats are a lot more dangerous than others. Tropical forests are home to a much higher number of species than other kinds of forest, which means their inhabitants can carry more kinds of disease-causing microbes than wild animals in other parts of the world. Bushmeat in Africa has been shown to be the source of scourges such as HIV and, more recently, the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which sent a chill down the spines of epidemic experts... [Bushmeat is] tradition, it’s a primary source of protein in a place where there isn’t enough of the nutrient, and—everyone swears—it’s delicious... “In a small town in Central Africa, a mother must make a choice whether to spend the little she has to buy a quarter kilogram of chicken or one kilogram of bushmeat,” she adds. “People prefer to eat fish and wild animals, because they are almost free.”... In 2012, a BBC investigation found that butchers at Ridley Road Market in London were selling bushmeat. It wasn’t on display, but asking nicely could get you a cane rat, a larger cousin of a house rat found in West Africa and considered a delicacy there. The investigation also revealed that between 2009 and 2012, despite having been made aware of the sale of illegal meat, environmental health officers had only made two enforcement visits. Worse, none of the shops had had their licenses revoked. (The local council says that the number of enforcement visits since 2012 has gone up considerably.)... At the Experimental Burger Society in London, you can get a taste of exotic meats without the attendant risks, thanks to a supplier called Freedown Food. The company told me that they comply with all UK and European regulations. Their list includes crocodile from Namibia, ostrich from Spain, halal bison from Canada, and zebra and antelope from South Africa.Even some countries known to be hotspots for bushmeat are looking at this kind of option. For example, the Ghanaian delicacy of cane rat is being farmed in Accra, the capital of the country, for its urban residents. Other common species of bushmeat, such as duikers, porcupines, and squirrels, could also potentially be farmed, and perhaps lessen the demand for endangered bushmeat species such as apes, monkeys, elephants, pangolins, and big cats."

Ebola: Now an Excuse To Vilify Africans as Primitive, Bush-Meat Eating, Plague-Carriers? - "Know What’s Scarier—and More of a Threat—Than Ebola? The Racism It’s Fueling... the very description of Ebola as affecting “West Africa” is inaccurate, since West Africa is made up of 17 nations, only three of which—Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, with a combined population of 22 million—have been seriously affected by Ebola. Both Nigeria and Senegal, which experienced a handful of Ebola cases, are likely to be declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization in the coming days."
It's better to die of Ebola than be "racist"
Presumably it's inaccurate to say that there's an opiod crisis in the US, since it really only affects some states


Althouse: How racist is Newsweek's "Smuggled Bushmeat Is Ebola's Back Door to America"? - "I see that the Newsweek cover also has the words "Post-Post Racial America" (referring to a different article) and the choice of a chimpanzee rather than a fruit bat (the creature most closely associated with the current outbreak), so Newsweek does seem to be trying to insinuate itself into the magazine-buyer's subconscious. Also: "back door." What's your first association? I asked Meade, and his was the same as mine, and I asked Google too, and it agreed, putting this as the top hit. The ape threatens rape... anal rape... fatal anal rape.Now, let's read The Washington Post article. It's written by 2 assistant professors Laura Seay and Kim Yi Dionne, who study, respectively, "African politics, conflict, and development" and "identity, public opinion, political behavior, and policy aimed at improving the human condition, with a focus on African countries." They review the history of depicting "Africans as hyper-sexualized savages" and they define and deploy the term "othering""

Smokies: the West African delicacies that are illegal in the UK - "Ferguson went in search of a West African delicacy, the smokie: an old sheep or goat, shorn, hung and its carcass “smoked” with a blowtorch. This gives the meat a unique flavour when subsequently cooked."
Strangely, given that this is the Guardian, they didn't explicitly call this racist. But then this was in 2014

‘Asian-American actors are ugly & your films make us look backward’: Hollywood sets movies in China, locals don’t want to watch - "Hollywood thinks that by telling Chinese stories they will woo its massive market they so crave…they couldn’t be more wrong, as the failure of the Farewell amply illustrates.The critically adored American film, which tells the story of a Chinese-American woman who returns to her ancestral homeland to visit her dying grandmother, opened in China at the weekend.As The Farewell was written and directed by a Chinese American woman, Lulu Wang, and stars Chinese-American, Golden Globe winning actress Awkwafina, while the film’s dialogue is mostly spoken in Mandarin, Hollywood’s expectations were that the movie would be well received in China.That did not work out.... [There were] scathing audience reviews from viewers who largely thought that the story was dull, patronizing, and had nothing to say to them. The film’s failure is reminiscent of the poor showing in China by another Asian themed Hollywood movie, Crazy Rich Asians... Disney thought Asian representation would attract Chinese audiences when they cast Asian-American actress Kelly Marie Tran in a major role in the most recent Star Wars trilogy. The problem was that Ms. Tran (who is of Vietnamese descent anyway, which is like appealing to the English by casting an Italian) did not conform to classical Chinese standards of beauty and thus Chinese audiences never warmed to her.Chinese audiences have voiced similar complaints regarding Awkwafina, with some Chinese people on social media going so far as to call her “very ugly,” which may be one of the reasons why The Farewell is doing so poorly. And this is before we get to her Mandarin, which was widely considered laughable for a first-generation immigrant, even a one who left China early, according to the plot (the actress herself did not speak Chinese fluently before the film).Another example of this cultural divide is Simu Liu, a Canadian-Chinese actor who was recently cast in the lead of the upcoming Marvel movie Shang-chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. Liu is considered handsome by Western standards but some Chinese people say he is “not handsome by Chinese standards”... the Hollywood films that have found success in China are gigantic franchises telling American stories filled to the brim with spectacle and movie stars…and none of those stars are Chinese... The 1998 animated Mulan financially flopped in China – though this was before its current cinema-building boom – and one wonders if the live action version is just another culturally tone deaf attempt by Hollywood to try to tell and sell a Chinese story back to the Chinese... China has a thriving film industry all of its own and Chinese audiences don’t clamor to see Chinese stories told from Hollywood’s perspective (even if they’re made by Chinese-American artists) any more than Americans yearn to see American stories told by foreign artists, however, flattering it might be that someone is interested enough in your culture (and pockets) to do that.Chinese audiences want to see American movies from America and can get over the fact that none of their countrymen look like Chris Hemsworth. At its best, the art form of cinema is a universal language that speaks eloquently across cultural boundaries. For example, American audiences this year have embraced the South Korean film Parasite.Parasite didn’t try to tell an American story with American actors in an attempt to cash in with US audiences; instead it tells a dramatic and artistically profound Korean story about family and class that connects to people of all cultures and looks fresh to foreign audiences... if it does want to make what it thinks are “Asian” stories, it should be culturally humble enough to know that it’s making them primarily for the art house cinemas in Brooklyn, rather than the multiplexes in Beijing."
For all that Asian-Americans go on about their 'heritage' and 'roots', their obsession with identity politics makes them very American
Seems diversity and representation aren't the route to success after all, and only Americans (or, probably, only American Liberals) want to see themselves onscreen. Everyone else wants escapism and a good time


Golden Globe-winning ‘feminist’ Fleabag is adored by woke critics. Does that mean it’s actually terrible? - "My skepticism regarding critical opinion has been hard-earned, as it seems all criticism of entertainment nowadays is rife with political agendas that far outweigh quality in a critic’s professional criteria.A prime example of this biased critical approach is the 2017 film Lady Bird. Lady Bird, which was directed by Greta Gerwig, was met with unabashed critical swooning upon its release. Amidst all of this vociferous praise I was excited to go see Lady Bird…and then I saw it. To call Lady Bird a raging mediocrity would be an insult to raging mediocrities.It was readily apparent to me that Lady Bird, which boasts a 99 percent critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, was being graded on a woke political curve simply because it had a female writer/director at the helm. By pointing this fact out I became the turd in the punchbowl at Greta Gerwig’s coronation as the new Queen of Cinema and was quickly labeled a misogynist for my treason and cast out of the Kingdom of Right Thinking People... Transparent, the 2014 Amazon comedy/drama about a father who becomes a trans-woman, is another example of critical judgment skewed for symbolic political purposes. The show, which was created by Jill Soloway and starred Jeffrey Tambor as Mort – who becomes Maura, won eight Emmys over its four seasons. Critics gushed over Transparent, as it received critical scores on Rotten Tomatoes of 98, 98 and 100 over its first three seasons.I watched the show because I had heard that Tambor, an actor I deeply respect, did amazing work in it…and he did…but the show itself was so God-awful it made my stomach hurt. I have never seen a collection of more repulsive characters and vapid caricatures on one show in my entire life. My loathing of Transparent was met with predictable accusations of transphobia, which is ironic since the characters I found so repellent weren’t the trans-gendered ones, but the cis-gendered ones... Contrary to my contrarian instincts, Fleabag is absolutely, insanely and infectiously fantastic. The show is not some recipient of a woke-inspired critical leg up, but rather is an offbeat, gutter-dwelling, low-brow, sort of masterpiece of the half hour comedy genre... Fleabag is a feminist show, but not in the sense of how that term is misused in our popular culture at the moment. Fleabag does not embrace victimhood or blame men, instead the lead character, brilliantly played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, is a fully formed, multi-dimensional person who has agency in her life and is solely responsible for the hysterical mess she’s made of it.If, like me, you have a plethora of pop culture scar tissue and stayed far away from Fleabag out of fear that it is just another piece of politically correct garbage, I promise you that it isn’t"

‘Knives out’ – new film from ‘The Last Jedi’ director Rian Johnson – sharpens the blade of anti-white racism - "I thought of The Birth of a Nation while watching Knives Out this week... I fully expected a light-hearted and comedic take on the whodunit genre, but what I got instead was a politically charged, thinly veiled allegory of immigration in America fueled by a pernicious anti-white racism. The racial animus on display in Knives Out is certainly not as vicious as anything seen in The Birth of a Nation, but it is just as gratuitous... Woke white self-flagellation has become performance art posing as racial sensitivity that, in actuality, is the most pernicious form of cheap grace as it costs the self-loather nothing and reduces fighting racism to mere narcissism and masturbatory theatre... What I find so unnerving is that audiences are so enamored with Knives Out. I guess the film’s success at getting white people to cheer their own degradation, and by film’s end, their own demise, is a testament to American’s susceptibility to propaganda and their addiction to celebrity culture.Sadly, Knives Out teaches us that the knives of racism are still out in American culture, they are just pointing in a different direction. Some people want to celebrate that notion… I’ll hold my cheers until the knives of racism are sheathed and not pointing at anybody."

How Grab can charge 30% of menu prices and food and beverage businesses can still hypothetically make more money despite a single digit profit margin

In this time of Singapore's Coronavirus Circuit Breaker (CCB), Grab's "exorbitant" fee of 30% of the order total are getting many people worked up.

Grab responded that the order total was not pure profit, and the majority of it went to the delivery rider and much of the rest went to pay various expenses. This got a snarky takedown (which I saw many people sharing), including the awful claim that customers tip deliver riders instead (Tipping is a terrible idea since you give workers an unpredictable income and let employers not take responsibility for paying them. Plus it's awkward for everyone).

I pointed out that Grab had provided actual numbers (original post), according to which of a total bill of $21.60 paid by a customer, only $1 would go to Grab.

After some extravagant handwaving about how these numbers could not be trusted (with no proof, of course), I was told that it was "literally contradictory" for food and beverage (F&B) merchants to typically have a low single digit margin at best but for them to be able to make money with food delivery services charging 10% or more of the sticker price as service fees.

So I came up with a worked example to illustrate how this could be.

For simplicity, let us assume a merchant's costs only consist of rent, labour and (food) ingredients. He does not engage in advertising, is not paying off any business loans and does not have utility bills to pay.

Let us consider the base scenario where Grab is not offering food delivery for a particular F&B merchant and serves dine in and take out customers.

His accounting looks like the following:

Rent: $500
Labour: $250
Ingredients: $200
Total Cost: $950
Revenue: $1,000
Customers: 100
Average Revenue Per Customer (ARPC): $10
Profit $: $50
Profit %: 5%

Now let us consider a scenario where Grab has entered the picture and is charging 30% of revenue in service fees.

For simplicity let us assume that there is no drop in business from pre-existing customers and he gets 50 new customers who pay the same to get his food delivered via Grab as they would pay dining at the establishment).

The F&B merchant's accounting now looks like this:

Rent: $500 (this does not change unless the business from Grab is so big that the merchant needs to move to new premises - which would be a good thing)
Labour: $300 (with more business, he now needs to hire more staff or pay them to work longer)
Ingredients: $300 (with more sales of food with Grab exposing him to new customers, ingredient costs naturally go up)
Total Cost: $1,100

Revenue from old customers: $1,000
Old customers: 100
ARPC for old customers: $10

Bill of new customers: $500
New customers: 50
Merchant revenue from new customers after Grab's 30% cut: $350
ARPC for new customers: $7

ARPC for all customers (after Grab's 30% cut): $9
Total Revenue: $1,500
Profit $: $400
Profit %: 26%

We can see that although Grab charges 30% of the sticker price in fees and the merchant's old profit margin was 5%, with Grab his profit dollars and margin have both risen.

The real problem with delivery is not the fees - but if offering food on delivery cannibalises a merchant's existing customers. Because then even if the same customers are paying the same price for their food, the merchant is earning less from them.

If merchants are afraid of cannibalisation, they can always choose not to offer their food on Grab. Or jack up the menu price for delivery by ~30% to cover the Grab cut. But then the prisoners' dilemma comes into play (your competitors can choose to offer their food on a delivery app, and eat into your business).


Related:

The Millennial Lifestyle Is About to Get More Expensive - The Atlantic

"If you wake up on a Casper mattress, work out with a Peloton before breakfast, Uber to your desk at a WeWork, order DoorDash for lunch, take a Lyft home, and get dinner through Postmates, you’ve interacted with seven companies that will collectively lose nearly $14 billion this year. If you use Lime scooters to bop around the city, download Wag to walk your dog, and sign up for Blue Apron to make a meal, that’s three more brands that have never recorded a dime in earnings, or have seen their valuations fall by more than 50 percent...

To maximize customer growth they have strategically—or at least “strategically”—throttled their prices, in effect providing a massive consumer subsidy. You might call it the Millennial Lifestyle Sponsorship, in which consumer tech companies, along with their venture-capital backers, help fund the daily habits of their disproportionately young and urban user base. With each Uber ride, WeWork membership, and hand-delivered dinner, the typical consumer has been getting a sweetheart deal...

The idea that companies like Uber and WeWork and DoorDash don’t make a profit might come as a shock to the many people who spend a fair amount of their take-home pay each month on ride-hailing, shared office space, or meal delivery...

For years, corporate promises rose as profits fell. What’s coming next is the promise-profit convergence. Talk of global conquest will abate. Prices will rise—for scooters, for Uber, for Lyft, for food delivery, and more. And the great consumer subsidy will get squeezed. Eating out and eating in, ride-hailing and office-sharing, all of it will get a little more expensive. It was a good deal while it lasted."

Links - 18th April 2020 (1)

Foreign doctors are revealed to be behind 60% of all sex assaults on patients - "Foreign-trained doctors commit six in ten cases of sexual misconduct with patients, even though they make up only a third of NHS medics... The alarming statistics have emerged just as the NHS has introduced targets to reduce the numbers of black and ethnic minority staff – almost two-thirds of whom trained abroad – being hauled before disciplinary hearings.Britain’s 95,000 doctors from black and minority ethnic backgrounds (BME) are more than twice as likely to be referred to the GMC as their white colleagues. There is a similar pattern with other staff such as nurses. NHS chief people officer Prerana Issar, who recently joined from the United Nations, wrote: ‘It is not acceptable that if you come from some backgrounds, you are more likely to enter the formal disciplinary process, stay in it longer and have more career-limiting outcomes. We must change this and quickly.’"
Of course, if men are found to be more likely to be disciplined than women, this won't be deemed a problem

Gingerswappingresponse - Posts - "How women act in bikinis vs lingerie. So weird lol."

Poppy Corby-Tuech interview - The Harlots actress you need to know about - ""One in five women in 1763 worked in the sex industry and that's something that historically has been cast aside. The politics and the cultural ramifications of that statistic are huge; they shaped Georgian society economically, morally and architecturally. The currency of sex was important because it gave women, often the poor and disadvantaged, a chance to gain a social status and an income independently from a man.""

Funding for women’s group under review after call for ban on man-woman relationships - "The Quebec government says it will re-evaluate the $120,000 annual public funding it gives to the province’s biggest women’s federation after its president suggested that heterosexual relationships should be banned... she said heterosexual relationships were violent, mostly based on religion and possibly should be banned... The women’s group president has attracted attention in the past for other provocative musings. She suggested last June the state should make vasectomies obligatory for men as soon as they reach 18 years old... The recent positions of the federation under Bouchard have reflected divisions in the province’s women’s movement. Bouchard has taken the group in a more radical direction, and alienated certain feminists who have publicly declared the organization no longer spoke for them."
"Stereotypes"
This is what a feminist looks like


saira rao on Twitter - "Reminder that private messages of support is another form of white supremacy. Make it public or keep it to yourself."
"There’s no way she is not a parody account. She’s out-parodying Titania McGrath"
Naturally, there're still supportive replies


A fifth of Brits under 30 has NEVER had a full English breakfast – and probably never will - "The survey of 2,000 Brits aged 18 to 30 found that black pudding was the main turn-off for 27 per of them, followed by bacon for 24 per cent.The same proportion believe fry-ups are too greasy while 20 per cent associate the meal with heart attacks.Forty-two per cent said it reminded them of men wearing vests in transport cafes.A full English conjures up images of Brits abroad for 30 per cent, with 29 per cent cringing when they see holidaymakers tucking into a cooked breakfast.Seventy-one per cent prefer healthier smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, smashed avocado on toast or oatmeal pancakes...
BRIT kids’ diets are getting healthier, with their favourite snacks now apples (52 per cent), grapes (50 per cent) and strawberries (48 per cent), Kellogg’s research suggests."

Pool of Arches – Ramla, Israel - "The Pool of Arches (also called the Pool of St. Helena and the Pool of Goats) was originally built as an underground reservoir in 789 to supply water to the residents of Ramla. According to Christian tradition, St. Helena ordered its construction. And its other name, Pool of Goats, is also fitting, as the four-legged beasts used the cistern in the past."

Shengwu Li - "I have an announcement to make regarding the Singapore state’s prosecution against me. As you may remember, in 2017, during the events widely known as ‘Oxleygate’, my uncle Lee Hsien Loong was accused by his siblings of abusing state power to bully them and to subvert his own father’s dying wish. Shortly after, the Singapore Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) started prosecuting me for allegedly “scandalising the judiciary” in a private Facebook post. This prosecution has continued for years, and during that time the AGC has submitted thousands of pages of legal documents over one paragraph on social media. Recently, the AGC applied to strike out parts of my own defense affidavit, with the result that they will not be considered at the trial. Moreover, they demanded that these parts be sealed in the court record, so that the public cannot know what the removed parts contain. This is not an isolated incident, but part of a broader pattern of unusual conduct by the AGC. For instance, when arguing jurisdiction in the court of appeals, the AGC argued that a new piece of legislation should be retroactively applied against me. The court saw it as unfair for the new legislation to apply retrospectively. In light of these events, I have decided that I will not continue to participate in the proceedings against me. I will not dignify the AGC’s conduct by my participation. I will continue to be active on Facebook, and will continue to regard my friends-only Facebook posts as private. However, I have removed my cousin Li Hongyi from my Facebook friends list."

Shengwu Li - "The AGC has made a new press release that contains more allegations against me. These are, as usual, false and spurious.The AGC demands that I give them the identities of my Facebook friends. My position is this: Who my friends are is none of their business. My friends have a moral right to privacy."

Left Claims Women Are Essential To Business But Optional To Families - "Democratic Sen. Jamie Pedersen, sponsor of both the 2018 and 2020 versions of SB 6037, stated in a 2018 Senate hearing that referencing mothers and fathers in parenthood laws was “unconstitutional.” The SB 6037 circa 2018 not only rendered parenthood sex-neutral, it legalized commercial surrogacy and endorsed the dangerous precedent of parenthood based on “intent” — a.k.a., awarding children to whichever adults have the money to acquire them.The justification for such a radical makeover? The national legalization of gay marriage, proving once again that redefining marriage redefines parenthood... SB 6037 of 2020 insists the female perspective is critical to corporations. SB 6037 of 2018 insists the female perspective is optional for children... Many early childhood educators lament the disproportionate female-to-male teacher ratio, about nine-to-one, in elementary schools, arguing that children, especially those reared by single mothers, would greatly benefit from male teachers as role models. According to the Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, “[H]alf of the countries of the world today use some type of electoral quota for their parliament.” And hell will be paid if there are no female nominees for Best Director at the Oscars. So it seems sex matters to the left in the institutions of justice, education, business, government, and entertainment"

Increasingly Secular Nation Replaces Outdated Religious Ideas With End Times Prophecies, Moral Judgments | The Babylon Bee - "Lady Gaga pronounced Mike Pence's Christianity as lacking morality, a claim immediately praised by the same people who agree that morality is relative and that you can't judge people based on who they are or what they do."

Śmigus-Dyngus: Poland's National Water Fight Day - "on Easter Monday, boys in the countryside would be allowed to drench girls with water and smack them with branches of pussy willow. Although it sounds terrible, it was usually meant as a way to show their affection (and likely resulted in some marriages later on)... Today, as a the hybrid Śmigus-Dyngus, this relatively harmless set of rituals has turned into a full-blown national water fight. It no longer only involves just young boys and girls. It can involve anyone. That’s right – you may be just an innocent passer-by, but you, too, could be soaked from head to toe. Śmigus-Dyngus has become a free-for-all: water guns, water bottles, water balloons from above – you never know where the water is going to come from! In some cases, even fire trucks have been known to join in the festivities."

110 km/h coming to 3 Ontario highways starting September - "Right now, the 400-series highways, including Hwy. 401, 402, 403 and 417, as well as the Queen Elizabeth Way, have posted limits of 100 km/h. Other provincial highways range between 80 and 90 km/h.Speed limits haven't been reviewed in the province since the 1970s. They used to be about 110 km/h but were lowered in 1975 because of the oil crisis.Yurek points out six other provinces in Canada that have posted speed limits of 110 km/h on certain highways... other experts argue that 110 km/h is already the speed most cars travel on 400-series highways, especially in the Greater Toronto Area"

Opinion: Want to end congestion? Put a price on our roads - "The irony of building more roads is that much of the time most of our roads are underused – we all try to use them at the same time and they get jammed up. Road pricing distributes our use of those same roads, thereby shifting more movement to times when roads are currently underutilized, or to more efficient modes, such as walking, cycling and transit.London famously became a leader in urban road pricing nearly two decades ago, when it began charging drivers to enter the city core between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays. The results transformed the city: Congestion was reduced by 30 per cent, crashes decreased by 28 per cent, emissions went down by 12 per cent and more than $4-billion was raised in the first 10 years, much of it reinvested into public-transit expansion. Singapore and Stockholm have seen similarly impressive results from their own congestion-pricing schemes... Road pricing is rarely popular prior to its implementation. It takes political will and guts to get it done, to convince a skeptical public that they will be better off paying for something they currently perceive to be free. In Stockholm, a doubting public quickly grew to support road pricing once they saw and experienced the benefits in their city, including a 20-per-cent drop in people driving into the core during peak periods and significantly reduced commute times... Of the trips accounting for the reduction in traffic in London’s congestion zone, 50 per cent to 60 per cent was attributed to people choosing to take public transit, 20 per cent to 30 per cent to people choosing to avoid the zone, 15 per cent to 25 per cent to people choosing to switch to car-share and the remainder to people choosing other forms of transportation... how does all of this translate into the Canadian context? In many areas across the country disincentives to driving, such as tolls or taxes, are hard to imagine since many drivers are starved for reasonable alternatives; in Canadian cities, drivers are often relatively price inelastic not because driving is their first choice, but because it is their only choice... governmental budgeting is a closed-loop system: A few hundred million dollars spent on widening a road that will be full in a few years is a few hundred million dollars that won’t be spent on transit expansion that could induce people to get out of their cars. The opportunity cost of wasting vast sums of money on a project that won’t do anything to solve congestion is the underinvestment in solutions that are proven to alleviate it. In places where it has been implemented, revenue from road pricing has been reinvested into better public-transit options, even in cities such as London and Stockholm, which already have much more extensive transit infrastructure than most Canadian cities do"

The meat-free mob, ill informed masses - "It takes less water to grow a cow than to grow an almond tree.It takes less water to produce a cow than a kilo of chocolate.It takes less water to produce a cow than a vineyard of grapes. 85% of the land used for grazing cattle cannot be used to grow crops... While we are on the subject of appropriate land use, is it ok to have 2 million acres of land used just for parking spaces in the US?Is it ok to have millions of acres dedicated to growing grapes for wine, cocoa for chocolate or sugar cane for example? Humans can survive perfectly well without wine, chocolate or processed sugar, so if land use is based on need and we apparently don’t need to eat meat, we sure as shit don’t need wine, cocoa, sugar, palm oil, and the thousands of other things that have zero nutritional value. Cows eat forage.Forage is grass, hay, silage, or some form of plant matter fresher, ensiled or dried.Forage constitutes nearly 90% of virtually all cattle diets…for some cattle its 100%.The other 10-13% of feed is made up of human inedible grains, byproducts, stale human food (sweets, cake, bread, etc) and a minuscule percentage of direct grown feed. No ones gives a monkey’s fart about the vast acreage dedicated to golf courses, football fields, graveyards or Disneyland and its ilk, but grow a few grains and pulse crops as feed for cattle and the ill informed masses lose their shit."

Teenager Who Looked Like A 'Grandmother' Given 'New Face' - "Xiao Feng, 15, from Liaoning's Heishan County, China, suffers from Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria syndrome, one of the symptoms of which is premature aging."
Sadly the article doesn't say if she'll need another operation in a few years

Friday, April 17, 2020

Links - 17th April 2020 (2)

US ambassador's moustache gets up South Korea's nose - "Tensions may be running high on the Korean peninsula, but Harry Harris’s facial hair is vying with denuclearisation as the defining theme of his tenure as US ambassador to South Korea.Harris, a former navy admiral who was born in Japan to a Japanese mother and an American navy officer, has been accused of insulting his hosts by growing a moustache that reminds many South Koreans of the days of Japanese colonial rule... “My moustache, for some reason, has become a point of some fascination here,” he said, according to reports. “I have been criticised in the media here, especially in social media, because of my ethnic background, because I am a Japanese-American.” Harris said he had been largely clean-shaven during his 40-year naval career but had decided to grow a moustache to mark the start of his diplomatic career.“I wanted to make a break between my life as a military officer and my new life as a diplomat,” he said last month, according to the Korea Times. “I tried to get taller, but I couldn’t grow any taller, and so I tried to get younger, but I couldn’t get younger. But I could grow a moustache, so I did that”... Harris pointed out that no one had made similar criticisms of moustachioed Korean independence leaders, adding that while he understood the historical background to present-day tensions between Japan and South Korea, he was not going to play down his ethnicity in response to racist comments on social media.“I am who I am,” he said. “All I can say is that every decision I make is based on the fact that I’m the American ambassador to Korea, not the Japanese American ambassador to Korea.”And the moustache, it seems, is here to stay. Asked if he intended to shave it off, Harris replied: “You would have to convince me that somehow the moustache is viewed in a way that hurts our relationship”."

Excess Tongue Fat Could Be Leading to Sleep Apnea, Scientists Find

Send memes to cure depression - Posts - "Honda power of dream
#hdi"

Piers Morgan says black people calling him a 'white gammon' is racist - "‘Let me tell you what’s so offensive about this Piers, especially with you,’ Shola answered. ‘You are a man, privileged to have power and influence and you are using your platform so irresponsibly to spout out this personal vendetta with nasty and vile comments knowing full well that your words are containing bigotry, misogyny, sexism and racism. ‘You don’t take responsibility for how you have contributed to the so-called royal crisis. So when you ask me where is racism, it is not my job teach you about racism.’"
So conveniently she can make wild unsubstantiated accusations of racism while being racist herself and claim the moral high ground because she refuses to justify her claims

Ugandan imam is suspended after finding out his wife of two weeks was actually a man - "A Ugandan imam has been suspended after discovering his new wife was actually a man.Sheikh Mohammed Mutumba, 27, found out the truth when his bride was caught stealing a TV from a neighbour and was searched by police.The thief later admitted pretending to be a woman so he could marry the imam and steal his money... Shocked Mutumba has been suspended from his duties as a cleric at the Kyampisi Masjid Noor mosque while an investigation is carried out... He claimed he hadn't been intimate with his 'wife' since the wedding two weeks before because she told him she was menstruating... Her true identity was exposed when she was arrested for the theft of a television set and clothes from his next door neighbors.A female police officer carried out a body search on the suspect, thinking she was a woman, and found out she was actually a man... Friends and colleagues said they were also fooled by the imposter, who usually wore a hijab.Amisi Kibunga, who also works at the mosque, said: 'He had a sweet soft voice and walked like a woman.'... The mosque's head imam, Sheikh Isa Busuulwa, said the suspension was necessary to 'preserve the integrity of their faith.'"
Apparently it's his fault he got tricked?

Pro TaeKwonDo Competition in South Korea Now Uses TEKKEN Style Life Bars to Keep Score - "Each fighter starts out with 100 points of health, which depletes immediately after the corresponding "point" is scored. This makes it easier than ever for casual spectators in the audience to follow the pace of the fight and see who's in the lead."

Police recall guidance listing 'Muslim beliefs' as signs of extremism - "Counter terror police are recalling official guidance which suggested that ‘Muslims who believe they are oppressed’ could be a sign of extremism."
Yet, we are told that Western foreign policy (which makes Muslims feel oppressed) is what causes terrorism

Sexy robot influencers are taking over Instagram — and coming for your jobs - "On Instagram, there’s a woman so gorgeous that admiring fans wonder how she could possibly be human.“You don’t even look real. You [look] like a painting,” one user commented after the South African model, who goes by Shudu, posted a dreamy photo of herself wearing a gauzy pink dress, gold African neck rings and a powder-pink turban. “Omg!!! Im in love.”... these otherworldly beauties are landing lucrative partnerships with the biggest names in fashion, such as Balmain, Calvin Klein and Dior. Social-media-savvy celebrities are embracing them as well; Kim Kardashian, Bella Hadid and Zendaya have all appeared in photos and videos with their digital counterparts. Even top modeling agencies, including IMG and Lipps, have signed on to manage the most popular bots... unlike humans, bots present brands with a unique level of control: “They won’t do anything the brand doesn’t want them to do.”... Wilson wasn’t intentionally trying to “deceive anyone,” he says, but a “ ’Black Mirror’ moment” with a T-shirt company prompted him to finally come clean.Eager to collaborate with Shudu, the T-shirt company sent the model a yellow sample to wear in an Instagram post for cash. Wilson, determined to prove his skills, then created a digital version for Shudu to wear and posted the pic. When the company believed the shirt — and photo — were real, Wilson was shocked... Wilson unmasked himself in a Harper’s Bazaar piece in 2018, but the confession was met with outrage, mainly by critics who viewed him as a white man profiting off the image of a black woman... Just like living influencers, the virtual ones showcase their “lives” through posts about travel, heartbreak, activism and, in Lil Miquela’s case, sexual assault... Wilson believes the bots have even more potential to do good, by reducing air travel and ground transportation for photo shoots and by eliminating the need for sample clothing, all of which could have a positive environmental impact."

The medications that change who we are - "Over the years, Golomb has collected reports from patients across the United States – tales of broken marriages, destroyed careers, and a surprising number of men who have come unnervingly close to murdering their wives. In almost every case, the symptoms began when they started taking statins, then promptly returned to normal when they stopped; one man repeated this cycle five times before he realised what was going on... We’re all familiar with the mind-bending properties of psychedelic drugs – but it turns out ordinary medications can be just as potent. From paracetamol (known as acetaminophen in the US) to antihistamines, statins, asthma medications and antidepressants, there’s emerging evidence that they can make us impulsive, angry, or restless, diminish our empathy for strangers, and even manipulate fundamental aspects of our personalities, such as how neurotic we are... The world is in the midst of a crisis of over-medication, with the US alone buying up 49,000 tonnes of paracetamol every year – equivalent to about 298 paracetamol tablets per person – and the average American consuming $1,200 worth of prescription medications over the same period... in the UK, one in 10 people over the age of 65 already takes eight medications every week... Golomb first suspected a connection between statins and personality changes nearly two decades ago, after a series of mysterious discoveries, such as that people with lower cholesterol levels are more likely to die violent deaths... if you put primates on a low-cholesterol diet, they become more aggressive. There was even a potential mechanism: lowering the animals’ cholesterol seemed to affect their levels of serotonin, an important brain chemical thought to be involved in regulating mood and social behaviour in animals. Even fruit flies start fighting if you mess up their serotonin levels, but it also has some unpleasant effects in people – studies have linked it to violence, impulsivity, suicide and murder... Several studies have supported a potential link between irritability and statins, including a randomised controlled trial – the gold-standard of scientific research – that Golomb led, involving more than 1,000 people. It found that the drug increased aggression in post-menopausal women though, oddly, not in men. In 2018, a study uncovered the same effect in fish. Giving statins to Nile tilapia made them more confrontational and – crucially – altered the levels of serotonin in their brains. This suggests that the mechanism that links cholesterol and violence may have been around for millions of years... But Golomb’s most unsettling discovery isn’t so much the impact that ordinary drugs can have on who we are – it’s the lack of interest in uncovering it... Mischkowski’s own research has uncovered a sinister side-effect of paracetamol. For a long time, scientists have known that the drug blunts physical pain by reducing activity in certain brain areas, such as the insular cortex, which plays an important role in our emotions. These areas are involved in our experience of social pain, too – and intriguingly, paracetamol can make us feel better after a rejection."

Make it Last - "When I started losing weight I noticed people started talking to me or being nicer to me and that my husband started being more affectionate towards me.I would lay in bed and think “fuck man, people didn’t like me before because I was fat” and I would feel bad. The kind of bad that you feel in your bones, it makes your body ache. I didn’t like to think my worth was directly tied to my weight.What I’ve come to realize is that it’s me. I’m nicer, im more approachable,I’m in better moods, I smile. People want to talk to me because I want to talk to people. My husband is more affectionate with me because I’m more affectionate with him.They weren’t measuring my worth by my weight. I was :/"

In 2013, a soap opera was filmed in IKEA without the store knowing about it

quityourbullshit | Image | "Whore VS Hulk" : TranscribersOfReddit - "How come when the hulk smashes everything he's "incredible" but when i do "im a whore". Wow."
"The Hulk smashes bad guys and saves the world....you smash guys named Chaz, Chad, and Cooper and spread diseases"

Meme - "LGBT: IM GAY
Everyone Else: K
LGBT: IM REALLY FUCKING GAY
Everyone Else: K
LGBT: TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT IT OR YOU'RE a BIGOT
Everyone Else: Ok That's a Little Too Fa-
LGBT: FUCK YOU FASCIST
Everyone Else: Ok This Movement Has Gone Too Far
LGBT: Omg I'm So Oppressed"

Labour leadership: Jess Phillips vows to stop acting 'statesmanlike' - "At the hustings on Saturday, she said she and her colleagues needed to become “salespeople for socialism”."
I guess this is an admission that socialism won't work

15 Years Later, Here's Why A Gamer Was Duct-Taped To A Ceiling - "Few photos from the forum ages of online gaming live in greater infamy than one of what appears to be a human duct taped to the ceiling of a dimly lit basement, his arms reaching out to lightly graze the keys of a Dell mechanical keyboard."

Plus-Sized Women Admit They Aren't Attracted To Overweight Men - "These women open up about dealing with the stigma of being plus-sized and refusing to settle and date overweight men"
"Stigma". Strange how men who do something similar are shamed

Kris Johnson on Twitter - "“Serverless” means you have servers, but can’t configure/customize them. “No-code” means there is code, but you can’t change it. “NoSQL” means you have to learn a new query language and implement your own transaction mechanisms. Removing complexity is not always a win."

Keep Your Eyes On The Stars — whoneedsfeminism - "I need feminism because never having experienced street harassment shouldn’t make me feel unattractive."
???

The Unbearable Hipness of the Vikings

"Anglo-Saxon writers of the period occasionally wax poetic when talking about viking mayhem, revealing a grudging admiration for the raiders’ sense of self, their restlessness and rootlessness. For the Norseman had a style...

Alcuin voices his horror at the sack of Lindisfarne in 793 in letters and verse that bewail not only its appalling aftermath but also the excessive levity of the raiders. Alcuin’s distaste for such laughter, a symptom for him of disorder and loss of control, is apparent in his much-quoted letter of 797 to the head of an English community, an exhortation that famously demands: “Let God’s words be read at the episcopal dinner-table. There it is proper that a reader should be heard, not a harpist; patristic discourse, not pagan song. What has Ingeld to do with Christ?”... His reprimand ends as primly as it began: “The voices of readers should be heard in your dwellings, not the laughing rabble in the court-yards.” Rhythm (even Sievers’s five metrical types) seems to him, as to later preachers, to pose a threat to civilization. Here is the voice of authority railing against the cacophony of street entertainers, brothel blues, enclaves of low culture, bootstrap hustle, ethnically impure music; it is the black church castigating bebop and hip hop as the work of the devil and the harp as his instrument; it is the industrialist Henry Ford denouncing “monkey talk, jungle squeals, grunts and squeaks and gasps”—he was speaking of jazz.

If listening to songs about Danes were not bad enough, some Anglo-Saxons apparently copied the look of these road-warriors. In a letter of 793to King Æthelred of Northumbria, shortly after the raid on Lindisfarne, Alcuin berates his countrymen for imitating the appearance of the pagan Northmen, their oppressors: “Consider the dress, the way of wearing the hair, the luxurious habits of the princes and people. Look at your hairstyle,how you have wished to resemble the pagans in your beards and hair. Are you not terrified of those whose hairstyle you wanted to have?”...

Alcuin never describes what the retro-pagan hairstyle he so deplored looked like. But Ælfric, writing two centuries later from Wessex in the reign of another Æthelred, makes a stab at it. He rebukes his countrymen for abandoning ancestral English customs for heathen ways, and, in particular, for“dressing in Danish manner, with bared neck and blinded eyes”15—suggesting long bangs in front and hair shaved at the neck. Ælfric, who almost certainly knew the Alcuin letter just quoted, continues prissily: “I will say no more about this shameful dress except that books tell us that he will be cursed who practices the custom of heathen people in his life and dishonors his own kindred in the process.” Complaints about the rawness of Danish table manners come later, as in E. A. Freeman’s laconic mid-nineteenth-century put-down: “Pelting people with bones at dinner seems to have been an established viking custom.” A few tenth-century Anglo-Saxons, representing the forces of rectitude, lined up against this non-U looseness, this mongrel chic, as against a disease.

But others, including Ælfric’s own lay patron, sometimes express a more admiring attitude toward the Dane; they do so indirectly, by the careful placement of a Norse-sounding compound or resonant poeticism or archaism...

Some Norse loans hint at an even more intimate kind of swapping. Although composed in a landscape presumed to be crawling with Norsemen, Aldred’s glosses (950–970) to the Lindisfarne Gospels on the whole avoid Scandinavianisms. But not completely. The closest Old English gets to a certain four-letter obscenity is a Norse loanword found among his glosses to Matthew: Old English sero from Old Norse seroa(with the same meaning as the English word that turned the flower named after Leonhard Fuchs into afuschia). This borrowing from Old Norse renders “do not commit adultery” as “do not sin with or sero another man’s wife.” Perhaps what is referred to was so rare among the northern English that Aldred had to adopt a dirtyword from his Danish contemporaries to describe it. Something like our own borrowing of ménage à trois. Another Norse word found only in the Lindisfarne glosses, twice, is song, “bed, couch.” One thirteenth-century chronicle attributed a slaughter of Danes by Anglo-Saxons in 1002 to the former’s irresistibility to the latter’s spouses: “The Danes made themselves too acceptable to English women by their elegant manners and their care of their person.They combed their hair daily, according to the custom of their country, and took a bath every Saturday, and even changed their clothes frequently, and improved the beauty of their bodies with many such trifles, by which means they undermined the chastity of wives.”"

--- Terminally Hip and Incredibly Cool: Carol, Vikings, and Anglo-Scandinavian England / Roberta Frank

Links - 17th April 2020 (1) (Coronavirus)

Bryan Mac, but six feet away on Twitter - "Did previous civilizations deal with whiners like this?
"Man, we've gotta open the gates."
"We've been through this, Phil. The Mongols are still outside."
"But I've gotta harvest my turnips"
"MONGOLS"
"Ugh. But we've been in here or WEEKS."
"That's how sieges work, Phil."
"But the Mongols have barely killed anyone in days."
"That's because of the walls, Phil."
"Are you sure? Maybe the Mongols aren't that dangerous."
"..."
"I'm just saying, how bad could it be. They can't kill ALL of us"
"That is literally the thing they do."
"But my turnips...""

Keri Smith Lennon - "There are some key things that most people don’t know about hospitals that I think everyone should understand at least a little bit, in light of current events:
1) Hospital beds are only somewhat fungible (interchangeable). When you hear that a hospital “has 600 beds,” that doesn’t mean that they can properly serve just any 600 very sick patients. See, not every bed has the same characteristics in terms of level of care (for example, intensive care bed versus “regular” beds), equipment available (for example, telemetry), isolation capabilities (for example, negative pressure rooms), ability to accommodate patients with specific characteristics (for example, cribs for pediatric patients or larger entry doors for bariatric beds, etc.). Every patient that needs a hospital bed comes with a set of requirements that may only match a small number of the beds in a given facility, and there’s a small army of people at every hospital that tries really hard to figure out how to make a never-ending game of Tetris solve every single day (actually, every single hour!).
2) Doctors and nurses are only somewhat fungible. Though they certainly get some baseline set of common training in school, most doctors and nurses are at least somewhat specialized. A nurse who usually works on an orthopedic ward CAN care for patients who have had a stroke – but, that patient will be much better served by a nurse who has been trained to care for stroke patients. Conversely, a neurologist CAN set your broken bone, but you’d really rather have an orthopedist do that. All this is to say that just because there are people with MDs or nursing licenses available, that doesn’t mean that they are equipped to treat any condition that comes their way.
3) Some kinds of hospital beds are in very high demand even during “regular” times. Many, many (most?) large hospitals have a patient placement problem. At first glance, it often looks like a particular hospital has enough beds to serve the patients in line to be put into beds; but, in fact, the available beds are the wrong beds for the patients that need them or they are available at the wrong time. Nowhere is this more acute than in the relatively small subset of beds that are designated as Intensive Care (ICU) or Progressive Care units (“Progressive Care” units are a step-down from ICU, but the patients in these units still require more care and attention than those “on the floor” – which is hospital speak for “regular hospital bed.”). Those beds must be constantly turned over to ensure that there are always beds available for the patients that most critically need them. This means that patients are typically only in these units for a day or two. Sure, there are people who have to be in ICU or Progressive Care for longer, but they are the exception. In general, people go to these units to get stabilized or deal with an acute issue, and then they move “back to the floor” (a regular unit). If there are NOT enough ICU or Progressive Care beds available, nurses “on the floor” have to care for these patients. That means that their other patients get less care, since critical patients demand more one-on-one nursing and constant monitoring. It’s a lose/lose for both the critical patient stuck on a regular floor AND the patients who are in the right place, but end up getting less attentive care...
The news out of Italy is that the patients that do need to be hospitalized are in pretty bad shape. In other words, they need ICU or Progressive Care unit beds. But, unlike the typical ICU/Progressive Care patient, they need these beds for WEEKS, not days...
Note that I didn’t say that “coronavirus patients” will experience these things. It’s true, they will, but that’s not the point here. **ALL patients will experience these things.**"

Sargon of Akkad - Posts - *one white and one black hand washing each other - handwashing procedures*
"Diversity ideology reaches new heights of ridiculousness."

'No risk' of catching coronavirus on the Tube, says Sadiq Khan
Coronavirus: Sadiq Khan warns 'stop Tube travel or more will die'
Life comes at you fast

Melissa Chen - "Couple of observations:
- Seems like it's easier for the right to move left on economics than it is for the left to move to the right on culture and identity. The left will increasingly alienate the working class.
- Globalism reveals it flaws. The world needs a new Marshall Plan."

Melissa Chen - "Mark D. Levine @MarkLevineNYC: In powerful show of defiance of #coronavirus scare, huge crowds gathering in NYC's Chinatown for ceremony ahead of annual #LunarNewYear parade. Chants of "be strong Wuhan!"If you are staying away, you are missing out!"
"Our elites missed this. Trump will get the most flak for his incompetence but let's not forget that no one else, save the edges of Twitter, some rogue academics, and a smattering of Silicon Valley/Finance industry leaders, got it. The media missed it, and so did the rest of our elected leaders. This individual is the Chair of NYC Council's health committee, representing District 7. Now's not the time to parse blame, but when it's over, I hope America will remember which leaders failed us."

Democrats say Google’s COVID-19 ad ban is a gift to Trump - "Two days after the publication of this story, Google revised its ad policies and said it would issue new guidance on political advertising about COVID-19.
As coronavirus spread around the world in February, Google decided to ban most nongovernmental advertising about the outbreak in an effort to defeat misinformation, fraud and scams. But Democrats say the Google ban does something else: It allows the Trump administration to run ads promoting its response to the crisis while denying Democrats the chance to run ads criticizing it... "We are currently blocking ads related to coronavirus under our sensitive events policy, with exception of government PSAs on important health information," a Google spokesperson told Protocol in a statement. "This policy applies to all advertisers equally, including all political advertisers.""
Restrictions on exploiting sensitive subjects on social media are only needed when liberals don't like the message

Jesse Kelly on Twitter - "In the second year of the Great Depression, US unemployment was just under 9%.We just hit approximately 9% after this morning’s unemployment numbers were released.It has been two weeks.This is going to get even worse before it gets better."
"A self-imposed Great Depression. I’ve never seen anything like it in history. Politicians pointing their fingers at the public and ordering them to shut down the economic system. And large parts of society being ok with it. Frankly, I’m stunned."

Wuhan doctor who went public over spread of coronavirus 'goes missing' - "Dr Ai Fen said she faced 'unprecedented, extremely harsh reprimanded' by officials at Wuhan Central Hospital after she shared a picture of a patient report labelled 'SARS coronavirus'. The image was widely circulated and made its way to whistle-blower Li Wenliang who raised the alarm about the bug, which has killed more than 41,000 people worldwide.Dr Li was reprimanded by authorities for 'illegally spreading untruthful information online'.Dr Ai gave an interview to a Chinese magazine criticising the hospital's management for dismissing the early warnings of the coronavirus but has not been seen since... 'This incident has shown that everyone needs to have their own thoughts because someone has to step up to speak the truth,' she added. 'The world needs different kinds of voices.'... Samples analysed as early as December 26 suggested a new type of SARS was circulating, the Washington Post reported, but Wuhan was not locked down until January 22 - almost a month later... Chinese authorities initially reported that the virus could not spread person-to-person, despite evidence that it was spreading rapidly through the city of Wuhan including doctors being infected by patients.This was used as justification for keeping the city of Wuhan operating as normal through a major CCP conference that was held between January 11 and 17, with authorities claiming zero new cases in this period.China did not confirm human-to-human transmission of the virus until late January, when large parts of Hubei province including Wuhan were put into lockdown... Furthermore, China delayed reports suggesting that some 14 per cent of patients who initially tested negative for the virus or who appeared to have recovered tested positive a second time, only confirming such cases in February.That further hampered efforts at early containment of the virus in places such as Japan, where patients who tested negative on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship were allowed to leave - only to test positive later.Authorities in Beijing were also slow to report the deaths of two doctors from the virus, including one who was killed on January 25 but whose death was not reported by state media until a month later. Despite early admissions that the virus began in the city of Wuhan, China later back-tracked - even going so far as to suggest American troops had brought the infection over after visiting the province... Chinese has also tried to push the theory that the virus originated in Italy, the country with the most deaths, by distorting a quote from an Italian doctor who suggested the country's first cases could have occurred much earlier than thought. Giuseppe Remuzzi said he is investigating strange cases of pneumonia as far back as December and November, months before the virus was known to have spread.Chinese state media widely reported his comments while also suggesting that the virus could have originated in Italy.In fact, Remuzzi says, there can be no doubt it started in Wuhan - but may have spread out of the province and across the world earlier than thought. China has reported a total of some 82,000 infections from coronavirus, claiming a domestic infection rate of zero for several days in a row recently - even as it eased lockdown restrictions in placed like Hubei.But, by the country's own admission, the virus is likely still spreading - via people who have few or no symptoms.Beijing-based outlet Caixin reported that 'a couple to over 10 cases of covert infections of the virus are being detected' in China every day, despite not showing up in official data... As it brought its own coronavirus epidemic under control and as the disease spread across the rest of the world, China attempted to paint itself as a helpful neighbour by sending aid and supplies to countries most in need - such as Italy.In fact, while the Chinese Red Cross supplied some free equipment to the Italians, the country purchased a large amount of what it received.Meanwhile officials in Spain said that a batch of coronavirus testing kits bought from China had just 30 per cent reliability - unlike the 80 per cent they were promised. China is also the world's largest manufacturer of disposable masks of the kind being worn to slow the spread of the virus by people while out in public.But as the disease began gathering speed in the country in January, China began limiting exports of the masks while also buying up supplies from other countries"
I saw a China shill say he supported cracking down on rumour mongers. Then when I pointed out Chinese state media was now praising Li, he said they had learned their lesson

UK has millions of coronavirus antibody tests – but NONE work - "Professor John Newton said that all of the coronavirus tests had failed evaluations and “are not good enough to be worth rolling out in very large scale”.He said the antibody tests bought from China were only able to identify immunity accurately in people who had been severely ill."

80% of coronavirus test kits 'gifted' to Czechs by China faulty - "as is the case with many of its other quasi charitable acts, Chinese state-run mouthpieces used the verbs "supplied" and "delivered" to give the impression that the communist regime was donating 150,000 portable, rapid COVID-19 test kits to the Czech Republic. In fact, the central European nation's Health Ministry paid some 14 million crowns (US$546,000) for 100,000 test kits, while the country's Interior Ministry footed the bill for another 50,000... Czech news site iROZHLAS on Monday revealed that local healthcare workers have discovered that up to 80 percent of the Chinese kits give false results... According to Hamacek, the Chinese rapid test kits can be "used when the disease has been around for some time," "or if someone returns after quarantine after fourteen days," he added. The leader said that in his opinion, it would be most appropriate to use the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test (conventional lab test) to detect the disease at an early stage."
If China wants to take credit, they can't avoid blame (if they didn't give the Czechs what they wanted, by claiming that the masks came from unlicensed sellers)

Finland discovers masks bought from China not hospital-safe - "In recent weeks, Spain, the Netherlands, Turkey and Australia have returned Chinese-bought masks, leading the Chinese government to suggest that nations have not "double checked" the products before purchasing."
Looks like the lesson is just that you can't trust Made In China

1st known case of coronavirus traced back to November in China - "A 55-year-old individual from Hubei province in China may have been the first person to have contracted COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus spreading across the globe. That case dates back to Nov. 17, 2019, according to the South Morning China Post... it's now clear that early in what is now a pandemic, some infected people had no connection to the market. That included one of the earliest cases from Dec. 1, 2019 in an individual who had no link to that seafood market"
So much for no evidence of human-human transmission

China’s coronavirus conspiracy: Wuhan residents tell of chilling death toll clue - "Wuhan residents believe up to 18 times the number of people died in their city from coronavirus than authorities are reporting.The seven funeral homes serving Wuhan have reportedly been running nonstop recently, prompting one resident to say “anyone with any ability to think” knows officials are lying about the death toll... News website Caixin.com reported that 5,000 urns had been delivered by a supplier to the Hankou Funeral Home in just one day.“It can’t be right ... because the incinerators have been working round the clock, so how can so few people have died?” a Wuhan resident surnamed Zhang told Radio Free Asia."

China Concealed Coronavirus Outbreak Extent: U.S. Intelligence - Bloomberg - "China’s public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete. Two of the officials said the report concludes that China’s numbers are fake... While China eventually imposed a strict lockdown beyond those of less autocratic nations, there has been considerable skepticism toward China’s reported numbers, both outside and within the country. The Chinese government has repeatedly revised its methodology for counting cases, for weeks excluding people without symptoms entirely, and only on Tuesday added more than 1,500 asymptomatic cases to its total.Stacks of thousands of urns outside funeral homes in Hubei province have driven public doubt in Beijing’s reporting."
Of course, China shills claim that the US being unable to test everyone is the same as China making up data

China’s COVID-19 disinformation push, aided by Canadian group, raises concerns about next pandemic - "It’s safe to say China’s foreign ministry does not often pay much attention to obscure Canadian research organizations run by conspiracy theorists.But earlier this month the ministry’s spokesman tweeted in English not once but three times about two surprising articles from the Montreal-based Centre for Research on Globalisation... “The Chinese Communist Party sees itself as engaged in a global competition over the narrative surrounding COVID-19, its origins and government responses,” says Julian Gewirtz, Harvard-affiliated author of Unlikely Partners: Chinese Reformers, Western Economists and the Making of Global China.“The disinformation, the conspiracy theory peddling and the wild and unsubstantiated accusations are prime examples.”... The centre’s website, globalresearch.ca, is replete with such conspiracy theories, including claims that Al Qaeda and the 911 attacks were an American invention, that the U.S. manipulates the weather as a potential weapon of mass destruction and vaccines are “genetic poisons.”The website earlier came to the attention of the Latvia-based Strategic Communications Centre (StratCom), a NATO-affiliated thinktank, because of its consistent dissemination of articles reflecting Kremlin propaganda. A recent piece suggested NATO was preparing to attack Russia.Those articles tend to reflect disinformation that was originally spread by Russian operatives. Then, to bolster the legitimacy of the dubious reports in a sort of “information laundering,” the Canadian items are quoted back by Kremlin-controlled media, Janis Sarts, StratCom’s director, said in an interview Friday.“When Russia needs to refer to a Western source, this is typically the site that is quoted,” he said.In a similar vein, the site’s articles on COVID-19 quote extensively from the Chinese Communist party’s Global Times, only to be later cited by a Beijing official.For those not convinced the pandemic originated in the U.S., state-controlled media like the Global Times and CGTN have proffered another suggestion: that it began last November in Italy. But when Italian newspaper Il Foglio reached the supposed Italian source for one such report, the pharmacology professor told the outlet “it’s propaganda. The virus is from Wuhan. Science has no doubt about that.”Then there is the reinvention of Li Wenliang’s tragic story. His death triggered an outpouring of public grief and anger at authorities “unlike anything else I can remember,” said Gerwitz.That was before the regime claimed him as one of its own. Local police were punished for unfairly persecuting him and official organs described him as a loyal party member... Rather than make the necessary changes, Beijing may see the crisis as a reason to intensify even further its surveillance and control of the population.“We have not seen the last Li Wenliang,” Gerwitz said of the doctor whistleblower. “The question his case raises is whether the next Li Wenliang will even have the opportunity to send that first message.”"

China to postpone 'gaokao' college entrance exams due to coronavirus: state media
Strange. I thought they had no more local transmission

Coronavirus: Chinese cinemas told to close just a week after reopening

Coronavirus | Doctors wary of BCG vaccine study - "The BCG vaccine is known to confer a strong immune response that had protective effects beyond just staving off a tuberculosis infection and because COVID-19 was particularly lethal to the elderly, those countries where the elderly were likely to have had a BCG shot in their childhood were likely to be better protected against coronavirus, the authors argue.Several studies over the years have shown that the BCG vaccine, because it accentuates a powerful immune response, has conferred a significant degree of protection against leprosy and non-invasive bladder cancers... Spain, France, the United States, Italy and the Netherlands don’t have universal BCG policies and have seen many deaths from COVID-19. Many of these countries don’t have a universal programme because BCG has been shown to not be always protective against tuberculosis in adults as well as an increased risk of infections from other species of mycobacterium."

Can a century-old TB vaccine steel the immune system against the new coronavirus? - "BCG, which can remain alive in the human skin for up to several months, triggers not only Mycobacterium-specific memory B and T cells, but also stimulates the innate blood cells for a prolonged period. “Trained immunity,” Netea and colleagues call it. In a randomized placebo-controlled study published in 2018, the team showed that BCG vaccination protects against experimental infection with a weakened form of the yellow fever virus, which is used as a vaccine.Together with Evangelos Giamarellos from the University of Athens, Netea has set up a study in Greece to see whether BCG can increase resistance to infections overall in elderly people"

Gay ER nurse pleads LGBT+ people to stay indoors amid coronavirus - "Scrolling through social media and seeing gay men hitting clubs, pulling other guys and hanging out in large groups is “the biggest slap in the face ever” to one gay nurse.On the r/askgaybros board, the nurse went on a winding “rant” about “gay men who post on social media about going out during this pandemic... “People are choosing to be ignorant because party, sex and drugs are more important than a fucking life, you might not be that affected by it, but some boomer, or a cancer patient going through treatment, people whose immune systems are weak, they can die because of your lifestyle.“Please stay at home.”Another added: “Heck, if anything, Grindr is more lit-up now than in regular times."
Homophobia!

Danielle Butcher on Twitter - "americans: i’m worried about the health of my family, my job security, making rent, and avoiding a recession
journalists: ok
journalists:
journalists: Trump said “china virus” again"

Why is New Orleans' coronavirus death rate twice New York's? Obesity is a factor
"Health at any size"
Maybe fat activists will blame "stigma" for the deaths


States Consider Whether Religious Services Qualify As 'Essential' - "The nationwide move to close churches, synagogues and mosques as part of the broader effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus is meeting some new resistance.In a new "safer-at-home" order banning many activities, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Wednesday said "attending religious services" is among the "essential" activities that would be permitted. The order came two days after the arrest of a Tampa pastor, Rodney Howard-Browne, who held worship services in defiance of a local ban on large gatherings. That ban is now effectively overruled.Governors in several other states have also designated houses of worship as providing essential services and thus exempt from shutdown orders. Those provisions have come in the wake of criticism, largely from conservatives, that any order to close churches constitutes a violation of the principle of religious freedom."

Virginia pastor who held packed church service dies of coronavirus - "An evangelical pastor died of COVID-19 just weeks after proudly showing off how packed his Virginia church was — and vowing to keep preaching “unless I’m in jail or the hospital.” In his last known in-person service on March 22, Bishop Gerald O. Glenn got his congregation at Richmond’s New Deliverance Evangelistic Church to stand to prove how many were there despite warnings against gatherings of more than 10 people.“I firmly believe that God is larger than this dreaded virus. You can quote me on that,” he said, repeating it a second time to claps, saying that “people are healed” in his church... Their daughter, Mar-Gerie Crawley, told WTVR that her father initially dismissed his symptoms because he has a condition that often leads to fevers and infections.She is now urging everyone to stay home."

Kansas Republicans undo governor’s coronavirus order prohibiting large religious gatherings.

Coronavirus and Islam: Pakistani clerics refuse to shut down mosques - "Pakistani President Arif Alvi and provincial governors held a meeting with Sunni and Shiite clerics to convince them to close mosques for congregational prayers across the country amid rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases in the country. The clerics, however, rejected the request."We can in no way close mosques ... It is not possible in any circumstances in an Islamic country," said Muneeb-bur-Rehman, a cleric who attended the meeting... Many Pakistanis have refused to offer their prayers inside their homes, saying that religion is more important than anything else."I offered prayers in the mosque on Friday. More than 300 people were in attendance and it looked like a routine Friday prayer," Muhammad Ashraf, a kiosk-owner in Islamabad, told DW."The mosque is a safe place. I don't fear coronavirus," Ashraf said, adding that he intended to attend the next Friday prayer as well.Many Islamic countries have shut down mosques and banned mass prayers after the emergence of coronavirus cases. Saudi Arabia even closed down Islam's holiest site, the Kaaba, and other sacred mosques to contain the spread of COVID-19. But even these examples did not deter many Pakistanis."The pandemic is spreading due to our sins and because we are not following the teachings of Islam," Ejaz Ashrafi, a senior cleric belonging to the Tehreek-i-Labaik (TLP) Islamist party, told DW... "The laws clearly state that anyone who deliberately spreads diseases should be imprisoned or fined. Prime Minister Imran Khan's government seems to be completely helpless""
Blaming the Jews in 3...

'God is with us': Many Muslims in Pakistan flout the coronavirus ban in mosques - ""Our prayer leader told us that the virus can't infect us the way it does Western people," Durrani told Reuters. "He said we wash our hands and we wash our face five times a day before we say our prayers, and the infidels don't, so we need not worry. God is with us."... While the Council of Islamic Ideology, a body that advises the government on religious issues, has called on clerics and the public to cooperate with government measures, several priests and local leaders have opposed the ban.A prominent leader of a religious party told a crowd of hundreds of people gathered for a funeral last week that government orders to limit congregations were unacceptable."If you do this, we will be forced to think that mosques are being deserted on America's instructions," Mufti Kafayatullah told the crowd. "We're ready to give our lives, but not ready to desert our mosques." In Karachi, Pakistan's largest city, police were attacked for a second straight week as they attempted to halt prayers at a mosque... Akbar, the special assistant to the prime minister, said most mosques were cooperating with the government.He added however: "This is a sensitive matter, we don't want to impose it using a stick. And even if we wanted to, there aren't enough sticks to implement it across Pakistan.""

Coronavirus in Israel: Cases Soar Among Ultra-Orthodox Jews - The New York Times - "Ultra-Orthodox Jews failing to comply with government instructions to contain the coronavirus are causing it to spread so quickly that Israeli officials are considering blockading entire communities to protect the wider population.The virus is mushrooming in ultra-Orthodox communities as much as four to eight times faster than elsewhere in Israel... Experts attribute the proliferation among the ultra-Orthodox to overcrowding and large families, deep distrust of state authority, ignorance of the health risks among religious leaders, an aversion to electronic and secular media that they believe is mandated by religious law, and a zealous devotion to a way of life centered on communal activity... Some ultra-Orthodox rabbis, many of whom are predisposed to suspect the state as a secularizing influence, asserted the importance of prayer and Torah study, arguing, “It’ll rescue us from this virus”... Shmuel Stern, 17, said his uncle, a 50-year-old accountant and rabbi with 30 grandchildren, was in the hospital on a ventilator.But he said he had been taught that the pandemic, like wars and even the Holocaust, was “getting us closer to the redemption,” the coming of the Messiah."
Religion being more important to you than life is one thing. But when you infect other people...

Brazilian church wins court battle to remain open despite coronavirus

Bishop Schneider: Priests don’t have to obey bishops, govt who suspend Mass over COVID-19 - "Bishop Athanasius Schneider has stated that a priest, using discretion and following the necessary health precautions “has not to obey the directives of his bishop or the government to suspend Mass for the faithful.” He also described the COVID-19 pandemic as a chastisement and a purification.Directives canceling all public Masses “are a pure human law; however, the supreme law in the Church is the salvation of souls”... “Priests in such a situation have to be extremely creative in order to provide for the faithful, even for a small group, the celebration of Holy Mass and the reception of the sacraments. Such was the pastoral behavior of all confessor and martyr priests in the time of persecution"... Being prohibited by ecclesial authority from visiting the sick and the dying would also be a reason for a priest to disobey, Schneider explained. “Such a prohibition is an abuse of power. Christ did not give a bishop the power to forbid visiting the sick and dying. A true priest will do everything he can to visit a dying person.”Schneider also called out “the prevailing majority of bishops” for having reacted “precipitously and out of panic in prohibiting all public Masses and – what is even more incomprehensible – in closing churches.”... Attending Mass is as essential as shopping at grocery stores or using public transportation, both of which have not been shut down, the bishop pointed out. “One could guarantee in churches the same and even better hygienic protective measures.”... Many of the bishops who “tranquilly allowed the poison virus of heretical teachings and practices to spread among their flock,” are now attempting to protect the faithful “from contamination with a material virus.”"
Of course, it is fashionable to bash only "cults" like the one in Korea

Don’t “Flatten the Curve,” squash it! - "Dampening the infection rate of COVID-19 to a level that is compatible with our medical system means that we would have to spread the epidemic over more than a decade!... containment is unavoidable, and should not be postponed, because later containment is going to be less effective and more expensive, and leads to additional deaths."

Choir practice turns fatal. Coronavirus is to blame - Los Angeles Times - "Sixty singers showed up. A greeter offered hand sanitizer at the door, and members refrained from the usual hugs and handshakes.“It seemed like a normal rehearsal, except that choirs are huggy places,” Burdick recalled. “We were making music and trying to keep a certain distance between each other.” After 2½ hours, the singers parted ways at 9 p.m.Nearly three weeks later, 45 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or ill with the symptoms, at least three have been hospitalized, and two are dead.The outbreak has stunned county health officials, who have concluded that the virus was almost certainly transmitted through the air from one or more people without symptoms... it’s possible that the forceful breathing action of singing dispersed viral particles in the church room that were widely inhaled.“One could imagine that really trying to project your voice would also project more droplets and aerosols”"
To some choristers, choir is essential

China's costly cover-up: Coronavirus cases might have been reduced by 95% with immediate action - "A new study emphasizes the importance of early action in the case of containing an outbreak. Had the Chinese authorities acted one, two, or three weeks earlier, the number of cases would have been reduced by 66 percent, 86 percent and 95 percent respectively."

Tokyo's infection spike after Olympic delay sparks questions - "Before the Olympics were postponed, Japan looked like it had coronavirus infections contained, even as they spread in neighbouring countries. Now that the games have been pushed to next year, Tokyo’s cases are spiking, and the city’s governor is requesting that people stay home, even hinting at a possible lockdown.The sudden rise in the number of virus cases in Tokyo and the government’s strong actions immediately after the Olympic postponement have raised questions in parliament and among citizens about whether Japan understated the extent of the outbreak and delayed enforcement of social distancing measures while clinging to hopes that the games would start on July 24 as scheduled.With the Olympics now off, many are voicing suspicion that the numbers are rising because Japan suddenly has no reason to hide them. “In order to make an impression that the city was taking control of the coronavirus, Tokyo avoided making strict requests and made the number of patients look smaller,” former Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said in a tweet. “The coronavirus has spread while they waited. (For Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike) it was Olympics first, not Tokyo’s residents.” Experts have found a rise of untraceable cases mushrooming in Tokyo, Osaka and other urban areas — signs of an explosive increase in infections."

Why Japan appears to have avoided a mass coronavirus outbreak - ""Japan relied on a strategy of quickly identifying clusters of new cases and then imposing containment measures to prevent a larger outbreak"... Japan did not mandate a shelter-in-place. It did take some crucial steps such as closing schools, staggering commute times on public transport during peak hour times, and limiting crowd sizes at public gatherings and at some entertainment venues... "That the disease here just hasn't spread in the way it has elsewhere due to a number of pre-existing conditions: relatively less social intimacy (bowing vs. shaking hands), an inclination to wear masks when sick that has existed since long before this coronavirus, already high rates of isolation amongst the elderly, and what little voluntary self-isolation and social distancing there is has meant that Japan is flattening its curve without a truly active attempt to." The third train of thought is that Japan's "just enough" efforts, such as targeted testing where needed has contained the disease where it has emerged and decentralized efforts stemming from individuals and corporations, worked in conjunction with those pre-existing conditions."

Calls grow for state of emergency as Tokyo logs record coronavirus cases

Singapore’s early warning - "This rudderless period only came to an end when SARS threatened Singapore’s aristocracy: the family of its founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew. Kwa Geok Choo, wife of Singapore’s first prime minister and mother of the current prime minister, was rushed to hospital with a fever in mid April. Although she was quickly diagnosed as SARS-free, the scare galvanised the government... But while Singapore learnt from its experience, recent signs suggest that it risks letting politics undo much of its good work. Last week prime minister Lee Hsien Loong set the worst example by going on a walkabout through his constituency, only to be mobbed by a crowd of supporters seeking some of the — wait for it — hand sanitiser he was distributing. The walk, which took place during an uptick in Covid-19 infections, is likely to be a prelude to calling a general election in or near May, a year earlier than required. Regardless of the conduct of Singapore’s politicians, though, Australia and the rest of the world would do well to learn from the actions of the city state’s service and health professionals"
Michael Barr praising Singapore!

Yuval Noah Harari: the world after coronavirus | Free to read | Financial Times - "In this time of crisis, we face two particularly important choices. The first is between totalitarian surveillance and citizen empowerment. The second is between nationalist isolation and global solidarity... if we are not careful, the epidemic might nevertheless mark an important watershed in the history of surveillance. Not only because it might normalise the deployment of mass surveillance tools in countries that have so far rejected them, but even more so because it signifies a dramatic transition from “over the skin” to “under the skin” surveillance.Hitherto, when your finger touched the screen of your smartphone and clicked on a link, the government wanted to know what exactly your finger was clicking on. But with coronavirus, the focus of interest shifts. Now the government wants to know the temperature of your finger and the blood-pressure under its skin... One of the problems we face in working out where we stand on surveillance is that none of us know exactly how we are being surveilled, and what the coming years might bring. Surveillance technology is developing at breakneck speed, and what seemed science-fiction 10 years ago is today old news. As a thought experiment, consider a hypothetical government that demands that every citizen wears a biometric bracelet that monitors body temperature and heart-rate 24 hours a day. The resulting data is hoarded and analysed by government algorithms. The algorithms will know that you are sick even before you know it, and they will also know where you have been, and who you have met. The chains of infection could be drastically shortened, and even cut altogether. Such a system could arguably stop the epidemic in its tracks within days. Sounds wonderful, right?The downside is, of course, that this would give legitimacy to a terrifying new surveillance system. If you know, for example, that I clicked on a Fox News link rather than a CNN link, that can teach you something about my political views and perhaps even my personality. But if you can monitor what happens to my body temperature, blood pressure and heart-rate as I watch the video clip, you can learn what makes me laugh, what makes me cry, and what makes me really, really angry... Imagine North Korea in 2030, when every citizen has to wear a biometric bracelet 24 hours a day. If you listen to a speech by the Great Leader and the bracelet picks up the tell-tale signs of anger, you are done for. You could, of course, make the case for biometric surveillance as a temporary measure taken during a state of emergency. It would go away once the emergency is over. But temporary measures have a nasty habit of outlasting emergencies, especially as there is always a new emergency lurking on the horizon. My home country of Israel, for example, declared a state of emergency during its 1948 War of Independence, which justified a range of temporary measures from press censorship and land confiscation to special regulations for making pudding (I kid you not). The War of Independence has long been won, but Israel never declared the emergency over, and has failed to abolish many of the “temporary” measures of 1948 (the emergency pudding decree was mercifully abolished in 2011). Even when infections from coronavirus are down to zero, some data-hungry governments could argue they needed to keep the biometric surveillance systems in place because they fear a second wave of coronavirus, or because there is a new Ebola strain evolving in central Africa, or because . . . you get the idea... Asking people to choose between privacy and health is, in fact, the very root of the problem. Because this is a false choice. We can and should enjoy both privacy and health. We can choose to protect our health and stop the coronavirus epidemic not by instituting totalitarian surveillance regimes, but rather by empowering citizens. In recent weeks, some of the most successful efforts to contain the coronavirus epidemic were orchestrated by South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. While these countries have made some use of tracking applications, they have relied far more on extensive testing, on honest reporting, and on the willing co-operation of a well-informed public.Centralised monitoring and harsh punishments aren’t the only way to make people comply with beneficial guidelines. When people are told the scientific facts, and when people trust public authorities to tell them these facts, citizens can do the right thing even without a Big Brother watching over their shoulders. A self-motivated and well-informed population is usually far more powerful and effective than a policed, ignorant population.Consider, for example, washing your hands with soap. This has been one of the greatest advances ever in human hygiene. This simple action saves millions of lives every year. While we take it for granted, it was only in the 19th century that scientists discovered the importance of washing hands with soap. Previously, even doctors and nurses proceeded from one surgical operation to the next without washing their hands. Today billions of people daily wash their hands, not because they are afraid of the soap police, but rather because they understand the facts... to achieve such a level of compliance and co-operation, you need trust. People need to trust science, to trust public authorities, and to trust the media. Over the past few years, irresponsible politicians have deliberately undermined trust in science, in public authorities and in the media. Now these same irresponsible politicians might be tempted to take the high road to authoritarianism, arguing that you just cannot trust the public to do the right thing"
This is loads better than spiked hysteria

Giving Americans Money to Offset Coronavirus Impact Gains Trump Administration Support - WSJ - "The idea of a stimulus straight to workers is a shift from the payroll-tax cut President Trump has been pushing to a tepid reception in Congress. A payroll-tax cut would benefit only people who are still getting paychecks. In addition, as the money would come throughout the year instead of in an upfront burst compared with cash, it would do relatively little to help Americans who have urgent bills caused by the pandemic"
Of course, I still saw many Americans bitch about how they'd rather have a tax cut than a cheque. But then they are probably ideologically opposed to taxes

Phil Magness - "Things that I hope Coronavirus permanently destroys by revealing that they are unsanitary and conducive to spreading disease:
1. Reusable shopping bags
2. Electric hand dryers
3. Open office floor plans
4. Water-saving sink faucets
5. Gratuitous and excessive uses of touch screens for everything
#silverlinings"

Allison Pearson on Twitter - "China inters a million Uighur Muslims in concentration camps."
The Left: uneasy silence.
China blamed for lying about Coronavirus leading to thousands of deaths and economic meltdown worldwide.
The Left: RACIST!"
Of course it's still always open season on white people

Rob Smith 🇺🇸 on Twitter - "When @realDonaldTrump stopped flights to and from China, they called him racist. When the virus emerged, they wanted impeachment. When he tried to inspire, they said he gave false hope. When they had a chance to help, they didn't. When this is over, they'll blame him."

New York Times - "‘Women Will Not Be Forced to Be Alone When They Are Giving Birth’
New York State will order all hospitals to allow partners in delivery rooms, despite the coronavirus risk. Some hospitals this week had banned support people because of the pandemic."
Priorities!

elijah daniel on Twitter - "the government asking americans to stop giving rim jobs will be in the history books forever now, when your grandchildren study about this pandemic they will write papers on the government begging people to stop eating ass."

Lucas Lynch - "Chernobyl?
I don't know, kind of racist towards Russians and Ukrainians to name the explosion after the city it took place in, don't you think?
The RBMK Reactor explosion of 1986 would be much more appropriate.
#CrisisCorrectness"

Vernon Chan - "Apple Daily explains why China has zero new infections: Wuhan stopped testing for infections completely and even released patients early from quarantine. All in order to impress Xi Jinping when he visited Wuhan recently. And of course to cast Xi and the CCP in a good light."

lil cough on Twitter - "This quarantine is affecting everyone in the work force, but it especially sucks for men We're losing $1 for every $.79 women are losing"

COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planner - "The mathematics for calculating the probability of exposure given the number of carriers in a population and group size aren’t difficult but they can be surprising. Even a low number of carriers can generate a relatively high probability for reasonably sized groups"
Good illustration of how risk scales with group size - aka how social distancing works

Fact Check: National Quarantine Likely Not Legal - "Polly J. Price, a professor of law and public health at Emory University, tells NPR: "If you're talking about quarantine in terms of encouraging people to stay home or closing businesses — and that's what public health folks talk about as social distancing measures, really — I think from the White House that can be advisory only and that those are exclusively state powers." She says though that the federal government does have other tools at its disposal to limit people from traveling between states, including controlling who can fly"
Those who slam him for not acting fast or decisively enough will slam him for being a dictator if he locks down the country

German firm insists Trump didn’t try to buy coronavirus vaccine - "German pharmaceutical company CureVac insists it did not receive any offer from U.S. President Donald Trump to secure exclusive rights to a potential coronavirus vaccine, despite the German government and the company’s main investor saying it did.CureVac deputy CEO Franz-Werner Haas said on Tuesday “there was and is no offer” from Trump “or any governmental organizations” to take over the company or “to have manufacturing slots reserved” for exclusive vaccine production for the U.S. market."

US firm denies German ′piracy′ claims over vanished face masks - "US conglomerate 3M on Saturday denied German claims that a shipment of 200,000 medical face masks ordered by the city of Berlin amid the coronavirus pandemic had been confiscated in the Thai capital, Bangkok, by US officials. 3M told Germany's dpa news agency that it had no reports of masks being seized, nor any paperwork on such a shipment destined for Berlin.The denial comes after Berlin's regional interior minister, Andreas Geisel, on Friday accused the US of "modern piracy" for having confiscated the FFP-2 respirators, intended for use by police officers in the capital. He said the masks, which were reportedly manufactured in China, had been paid for."
If it fits the Orange Man Bad narrative, it must be true

Coronavirus: French protective mask manufacturer scraps NHS order to keep masks in France
Previously posted
Everyone does it, but it's only bad when Trump does it


Singapore Matters - "𝑫𝒐 𝒚𝒐𝒖 𝒌𝒏𝒐𝒘 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒕 𝑺𝒊𝒏𝒈𝒂𝒑𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒘𝒐𝒖𝒍𝒅 𝒉𝒂𝒗𝒆 𝒘𝒂𝒚 𝒎𝒐𝒓𝒆 𝒕𝒉𝒂𝒏 𝒆𝒏𝒐𝒖𝒈𝒉 𝒎𝒂𝒔𝒌𝒔, 𝒊𝒇 𝒏𝒐𝒕 𝒇𝒐𝒓 𝑻𝒂𝒊𝒘𝒂𝒏'𝐬 𝐞𝐱𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭 𝐛𝐚𝐧? Singapore Technologies (ST) Engineering was based In Taiwan to produce Air+ N95 and XS masks for the Singapore population. Upon the first news of coronavirus outbreak in China last year, ST Engineering was already briefed and instructed by the Singapore government to ram up its mask manufacturing. Benevolent as always, Singapore had probably wished to help the other countries as well. The mask stock was scheduled to leave Taiwan for Singapore after the Lunar Chinese New Year break. However, the Taiwan government decided to ban exports of all types of masks, resulting in ST Engineering not being able to send its production of N95 masks from Taiwan to Singapore. The Singapore government swung into action. Behind the scenes, unknown to Singaporeans, plans were made and factory space prepared for mask production. Two of ST Engineering mask production lines were moved back to Singapore... What's the lesson we draw from this? It is that small countries like Singapore is very vulnerable in a global crisis as all countries will act to protect their own interests. It is therefore vital that we build capabilities in key areas that are existential."
They couldn't resist throwing in National Education

Mask hysteria: Germany denies export ban despite blocking Swiss-bound medical supplies - "another shipment - this time of surgical gloves which had been produced in China but were destined for Switzerland - was stopped in Germany.As reported in the Tages Anzeiger, the Swiss Economics Department said it was one of many shipments that had been detained in Germany. Another shipment was detained on Wednesday, this time from Italy."
Someone made a convoluted argument that other countries seizing masks and other medical equipment was not as bad as what the US was doing because the masks other countries seized were produced in the same countries. But evidently not. And this from Germany, which people with TDS like to hold up as a contrast to the US under Trump

If you imagine that a local business making surgical face masks is working 24/7, guess again - "Everything Bowen has warned about has come true. He warned that allowing another country to serve as our main supplier of personal protection equipment has the potential to become a national security nightmare... The common theme is that during an outbreak like this, everybody wants to be his customer. But as soon as an outbreak subsides, his customers dump him and run back to China. The reason? His masks may cost a dime each, but a made-in-China mask might go for two cents.“Last time he geared up and went three shifts a day working his tail off,” the mayor recalled. “As soon as the issue died, he didn’t have any sales. He had to pay unemployment for all these people, and he had to gear down.”... Bowen wants a guaranteed contract, not a proclamation. It’s tough to win a bid to supply U.S. hospitals through their group purchase agreements that seek the cheapest price when your competitor pays low wages, ignores environmental concerns and is subsidized by a Communist government... “He was begging them to understand that we shouldn’t have all our masks made in China. He wanted a federal government contract that would keep him in steady business,” the mayor said, adding that Bowen wanted to help build a future stockpile for a pandemic that Bowen predicted would happen... Or as Bowen asked in a 2017 Dallas Morning News interview, “If the government doesn’t even buy American, who will?”... he is ramping up, but it takes weeks to build new machines and train employees. His company’s street sign announces it is hiring. The company is not selling to the general public or to non-American buyers. Now, it’s only selling to U.S. hospitals. But Bowen asks hospitals to sign contracts. Who can blame him?"
The downsides of neo-liberalism

Kevin Libin: Ottawa won’t admit Canada’s COVID-19 plan is made from counterfeit Chinese parts - "Maybe a global pandemic will eventually shake Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of the philosophy that Canada can afford to be the “first post-nationalist state,” as he expressed to The New York Times a few years ago. But so far it appears his government still prefers to imagine there are no countries, which seems as out of touch as celebrities singing John Lennon lyrics to us on Instagram. On Thursday, Health Minister Patty Hajdu channelled the worst excesses of Lennon and Yoko Ono as she scolded a CTV reporter for “feeding into conspiracy theories” for questioning whether Ottawa should trust China’s data in its efforts to beat COVID-19 now that U.S. intelligence officials have reportedly concluded that Beijing has been issuing fake infection statistics... A recent tally counted at least 60 nations imposing export restrictions of medical supplies, prioritizing their own needs over others. Britain banned the export of antimalarial and anti-viral drugs that have lately shown promise in treating COVID-19. India banned the export of ventilators. European countries have put export controls on any gloves, masks, goggles and testing swabs... But China did these things first. In February it commandeered foreign-owned factories that produce masks and medical equipment (while it accepted supplies donated by well-meaning countries like Canada). It began rapidly importing medical supplies while blocking exporters. Beijing just recently began re-allowing limited exports, apparently satisfied it has now properly supplied itself — although some of the N95 masks its sending to Canada and elsewhere have been found to be counterfeit or don’t work properly... Chinese authorities had already effectively acknowledged their data were flawed when they announced last week that they would now start including asymptomatic cases in their case numbers, which they hadn’t been doing before, essentially admitting they failed to report literally millions of cases. They revealed that the day before Hajdu scolded that CTV producer for questioning their data... because it failed to report asymptomatic cases before now, China’s data are unreliable. Its death rate must be artificially inflated.That, in turn, compromises the World Health Organization data that Canada and other countries have relied upon, which are amassed from China and other countries. The projected mortality models that are the basis for shuttering our economies and throwing masses of people of out of work — including the ones that Ontario Premier Doug Ford soberly revealed last week, the ones that Britain’s Imperial College published that shocked the U.K. government into draconian action and, yes, the models Hajdu is using, but so far refuses to show Canadians — are made of counterfeit parts from China."

Avi Yemini 🇦🇺🇮🇱 on Twitter - "#BREAKING Trump just extended his Muslim ban to white Europeans. The bloke is racist against everyone. It’s almost like he doesn’t care if you’re black, brown, yellow or white — he just cares about protecting America. Racist against the world. The bad orange man."

Trump’s personal stake in the malaria-drug maker Sanofi could be as small as $99 - "As President Donald Trump has persistently discussed the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine, critics have wondered about his motivation, given the drug’s far-from-certain performance on the global stage as a treatment for coronavirus, and the Food and Drug Administration’s refusal so far to approve it as a treatment for COVID-19. The New York Times says Trump has a “small personal stake” in Sanofi, the French drug manufacturer that produces the drug.The report doesn’t say how small, but it notes that his three family trusts have investments in a Dodge & Cox mutual fund whose largest holding is Sanofi. A fund that matches this description is the Dodge & Cox International Stock Fund, which at last check was 3.3% invested in Sanofi.Trump’s 2019 financial-disclosure form lists stakes in Family Trusts 1, 2 and 3 valued at between $1,001 and $15,000. So if Trump has the maximum $15,000 in each of the trusts, he holds a stake in Sanofi that’s worth $1,485 — and, at the minimum, just $99... Trump has a small stake in basically every big company you can think of... Another point worth making is how little the malaria drug means to Sanofi’s bottom line. In 2019, what the company calls Plaquenil wasn’t even broken out by name in the company’s financial accounts, while 33 other medications were.That is hardly surprising as the drug has been around since the 1950s and is available generically. A host of other companies are making the medication"
OMG conflict of interest. No one can ever buy a mutual fund again
Of course Al Gore having a stake in green companies is good and shows he puts his money where his mouth is


Coronavirus treatment: clinical data on hydroxychloroquine in COVID-19 - "One of the main backers of hydroxychloroquine is Dr. Didier Raoult, a prominent infectious-disease expert in France. The Financial Times recently described Raoult as "a long-haired, iconoclastic virologist" who has become a "pandemic rock star."... His initial experiment tested the cocktail of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin in COVID-19 patients... But Raoult's study is rife with flaws... A study of 62 patients in China is "perhaps the most supportive" evidence yet that hydroxychloroquine could work, Abrahams wrote. This trial randomly assigned patients to either the treatment or the control arm and found that the patients taking hydroxychloroquine recovered about a day faster from their coughs and fevers. But that study also has raised concerns"

A small trial finds that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating coronavirus

Steven Crowder on Twitter - "LAST WEEK: Trump mocked for suggesting "sanitizing masks" and the drug Chloroquine. TODAY: Technology can sanitize 120,000 masks/day and Chloroquine has been approved by FDA for #CoronaVirus. Any questions?"

Hydroxychloroquine Update For April 6 - "It’s weird and startling, though, if you haven’t had the opportunity to go back through clinical research (and even patient treatment) and seen how many things looked like they worked and really didn’t. It happens again and again. Alzheimer’s drugs, obesity drugs, cardiovascular drugs, osteoporosis drugs: over and over there have been what looked like positive results that evaporated on closer inspection. After you’ve experienced this a few times, you take the lesson to heart that the only way to be sure about these things is to run sufficiently powered controlled trials. No short cuts, no gut feelings – just data. What do I mean by “sufficiently powered”? That gets to the concept of “effect size”, which is something that most people outside of medical research probably don’t spend much time thinking about. One of the favorite arguing points that I get sent my way is “You don’t have to run a controlled trial to see that parachutes work! What are you going to do, take up a planeload of people and toss half of them out without a chute to prove your point?” Ah, but the effect size of having a parachute at 10,000 feet is very, very large. And the larger the effect size, the smaller a trial can be and still have meaning. In drug research, though, we do not approach parachute levels of difference very often. Drugs help some parts of the patient population, to varying degrees, whereas a parachute helps every single person who’s tossed out of a plane (and the result shows up in a very hard, dramatic, and easily measurable endpoint!)"

Experts know the new coronavirus is not a bioweapon. They disagree on whether it could have leaked from a research lab - "Professor Richard Ebright of Rutgers University’s Waksman Institute of Microbiology, a biosecurity expert who has been speaking out on lab safety since the early 2000s, does agree with the Nature Medicine authors’ argument that the new coronavirus wasn’t purposefully manipulated by humans, calling their arguments on this score strong. Ebright helped The Washington Post debunk a claim that the COVID-19 outbreak can somehow be tied to bioweapons activity, a conspiracy theory that’s been promoted or endorsed by the likes of US Sen. Tom Cotton, Iran’s supreme leader, and others.But Ebright thinks that it is possible the COVID-19 pandemic started as an accidental release from a laboratory such as one of the two in Wuhan that are known to have been studying bat coronaviruses.Except for SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV, two deadly viruses that have caused outbreaks in the past, coronaviruses have been studied at laboratories that are labelled as operating at a moderate biosafety level known as BSL-2, Ebright says. And, he says, bat coronaviruses have been studied at such labs in and around Wuhan, China, where the new coronavirus first emerged. “As a result,” Ebright says, “bat coronaviruses at Wuhan [Center for Disease Control] and Wuhan Institute of Virology routinely were collected and studied at BSL-2, which provides only minimal protections against infection of lab workers.”Higher safety-level labs would be appropriate for a virus with the characteristics of the new coronavirus causing the current pandemic. “Virus collection, culture, isolation, or animal infection at BSL-2 with a virus having the transmission characteristics of the outbreak virus would pose substantial risk of infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker, the public,” Ebright says.Ebright points out that scientists in Wuhan have collected and publicized a bat coronavirus called RaTG13, one that is  96 percent genetically similar to SARS-CoV-2. The Nature Medicine authors are arguing “against the hypothesis that the published, lab-collected, lab-stored bat coronavirus RaTG13 could be a proximal progenitor of the outbreak virus.” But, Ebright says, the authors relied on assumptions about when the viral ancestor of SARS-CoV-2 jumped to humans; how fast it evolved before that; how fast it evolved as it adapted to humans; and the possibility that that the virus may have mutated in cell cultures or experimental animals inside a lab.The Nature Medicine authors “leave us where we were before: with a basis to rule out [a coronavirus that is] a lab construct, but no basis to rule out a lab accident,” Ebright says.Yanzhong Huang, a senior fellow for Global Health at the Council on Foreign Relations, recently wrote an article for Foreign Affairs that is dismissive of conspiracy theories about the origins of the pandemic but also mentions circumstantial evidence that supports the possibility that a lab release was involved. That evidence includes a study “conducted by the South China University of Technology, [that] concluded that the coronavirus ‘probably’ originated in the Wuhan Center for Disease Control and Prevention,” located just 280 meters from the Hunan Seafood Market often cited as the source of the original outbreak.“The paper was later removed from ResearchGate, a commercial social-networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers,” Huang wrote. “Thus far, no scientists have confirmed or refuted the paper’s findings.”... lab safety has been a problem in China. “A safety breach at a Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention lab is believed to have caused four suspected SARS cases, including one death, in Beijing in 2004. A similar accident caused 65 lab workers of Lanzhou Veterinary Research Institute to be infected with brucellosis in December 2019,” Huang wrote. “In January 2020, a renowned Chinese scientist, Li Ning, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for selling experimental animals to local markets."

In Northern Italy, 60 volunteers who thought they'd never suffered COVID-19 gave blood. 40 of them tested positive for antibodies to the virus. : Coronavirus
Herd immunity is closer than we think

BBC Radio 4 - Moral Maze, Coronavirus - "Those at risk are overwhelmingly very old and those with other serious medical problems. There is much government talk about proportionate response. But sooner or later, we may face that most basic of moral choices: whether an action should be judged on its own merits or by its consequences. Protecting the most vulnerable must be a good thing. But what if the consequences are not just harm to the economy on which all our welfare depends, but suffering of all kinds, including perhaps the deaths of those whose medical treatment for other conditions is being disrupted? How authoritarian do we want our government to be in the face of this threat? What price are we prepared to pay to as one commentator rather crudely put it, save the lives of those who will be dead soon anyway?"

Eric Weinstein on Twitter - "If you are quietly asking yourself whether this virus is connected to laboratories studying Corona viruses at the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a good number of the smartest people I talk to are wondering the same thing. They however don’t want to be scolded for wondering aloud."

Irish studies find Vitamin D can build Covid-19 resistance - "Their report finds that vitamin D plays a critical role in preventing respiratory infections, reducing antibiotic use and boosting the immune system response to infections."
This could explain the summer effect

Coronavirus: food security, Asia’s next battle in a post-Covid world - "Impulsive export controls, disinterest towards multilateral coordination and sharing of information, and the paying of lip service to the welfare of farmers and the rural poor were among the reasons fears of a food crisis had heightened, they said.“[Countries] close off exports to take care of their own in the middle of an information vacuum, but ironically time and time again that’s what triggers a bigger problem for everyone, including the exporter,” said one Singapore-based agro-trader. Paul Teng, a widely respected expert on Southeast Asian food security, told This Week in Asia such a scenario played out in the 2007/08 crisis, when benchmark Thai white rice at one point rose from US$350 a tonne to US$1,000... governments also ordered importers to secure contracts for future delivery of rice, in anticipation that new export licences may not be granted.And that has proved prescient, with Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnamin separate announcements since March 24 effectively suspending new export orders.Countries generally have sizeable food stockpiles – with at least three months’ worth of rice in the case of staple food – but the Indochinese countries’ moves have caused concern. Along with these three Southeast Asian nations, eight other countries had imposed export restrictions on food products as of Thursday, according to data compiled by the agricultural group CGIAR.Global attention would be on Vietnam in the coming weeks and months for clues on whether a rice crisis loomed, Teng said.The country is responsible for about 10 per cent of global rice trade – an exceptionally tight market with just about six per cent of all rice traded – and a long-term disruption could roil much of Asia, where the carbohydrate is the main staple... Lack of transport and restrictions on movements have meant that in some parts work has come to a standstill as produce cannot be packaged and sent to wholesale markets or retailers. Confusion over whether workers in countries under some form of lockdown are allowed to work in the fields has also meant that crop losses may be imminent.
In India – where a lockdown began on March 24 – concerns are intensifying about such a disruption because migrant labourers in the country’s breadbasket states like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh returned home to their villages in eastern India... Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Myanmar, Brunei and Singapore on March 26 announced they had signed a special pact to keep trade and supply chains open even as other nations began shutting themselves off to safeguard domestic supplies.Of the seven countries, New Zealand, Canada, Australia and Chile are among the world’s top food exporters. Conspicuously missing from the grouping are the likes of major Southeast Asian producers Vietnam and Thailand"

COVID’s Other Casualties - "The longer the suppression lasts, history shows, the worse such outcomes will be. A surge of unemployment in 1982 cut the life spans of Americans by a collective two to three million years, researchers found. During the last recession, from 2007-2009, the bleak job market helped spike suicide rates in the United States and Europe, claiming the lives of 10,000 more people than prior to the downturn. This time, such effects could be even deeper in the weeks, months and years ahead if, as many business and political leaders are warning, the economy crashes and unemployment skyrockets to historic levels.Already, there are reports that isolation measures are triggering more domestic violence in some areas. Prolonged school closings are preventing special needs children from receiving treatment and could presage a rise in dropouts and delinquency. Public health centers will lose funding, causing a decline in their services and the health of their communities. A surge in unemployment to 20% – a forecast now common in Western economies – could cause an additional 20,000 suicides in Europe and the United States among those out of work or entering a near-empty job market... Some experts are concerned that students at home, especially those living in unstable environments or poverty, will miss more assignments. High school students who miss at least three days a month are seven times more likely to drop out before graduating and, as a result, live nine years less than their peers, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation report.Among the most vulnerable: the more than 6 million special education students across the United States. Without rigorous schooling and therapy, these students face a lifetime of challenges... In Europe and the United States, suicide rates rise about 1% for every one percentage point increase in unemployment, according to research published by lead author Aaron Reeves from Oxford University. During the last recession, when the unemployment in the United States peaked at 10%, the suicide rate jumped, resulting in 4,750 more deaths... Local health departments run programs that treat chronic diseases such as diabetes. They also help prevent childhood lead poisoning and stem the spread of the flu, tuberculosis and rabies. A severe loss of property and sales tax revenue following a wave of business failures will likely cripple these health departments... displaced workers could lose, on average, a year and a half of lifespan. If the jobless rate rises to 20%, this could translate into 48 million years of lost human life... Young adults entering the job market during the coronavirus suppression may pay an especially high price over the long term. First-time job hunters seeking work during periods of high unemployment live shorter and unhealthier lives... the government should weigh the costs of the suppression measures taken and consider recalibrating, if necessary.Dr. Jay Bhattacharya, who researches health policy at Stanford University, said he worries governments worldwide have not yet fully considered the long term health impacts of the impending economic calamity. The coronavirus can kill, he said, but a global depression will, as well. Bhattacharya is among those urging government leaders to carefully consider the complete shutdown of businesses and schools.“Depressions are deadly for people, poor people especially”"
For those who claim that those who oppose lockdowns are heartless and want old people to die

Social distancing slowing not only Covid-19, but other diseases too - "data from Kinsa Health, a company that has sold or given away more than 1 million smart thermometers in the US. Kinsa collects anonymized thermometer readings (via its app, which users connect to the device) from its active user base to estimate the share of people that are ill in different geographies. By comparing current thermometer readings to historical trends, researchers have used Kinsa’s data to predict flu outbreaks weeks before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s surveillance program, which uses hospitalization records."

Copper kills coronavirus - "Copper is a natural, passive, antimicrobial material. It can self-sterilize its surface without the need for electricity or bleach. Copper boomed during the Industrial Revolution as a material for objects, fixtures, and buildings. Copper is still widely used in power networks—the copper market is, in fact, growing because the material is such an effective conductor. But the material has been pushed out of many building applications by a wave of new materials from the 20th century. Plastics, tempered glass, aluminum, and stainless steel are the materials of modernity—used for everything from architecture to Apple products.  Brass door knobs and handrails went out of style as architects and designers opted for sleeker-looking (and often cheaper) materials. Now Keevil believes it’s time to bring copper back in public spaces, and hospitals in particular.  In the face of an unavoidable future full of global pandemics, we should be using copper in healthcare, public transit, and even our homes. And while it’s too late to stop COVID-19, it’s not too early to think about our next pandemic... “Sleek and shining stainless steel doorknobs and push plates look reassuringly clean on a hospital door. By contrast, doorknobs and push plates of tarnished brass look dirty and contaminating,” she wrote at the time. “But even when tarnished, brass—an alloy typically of 67% copper and 33% zinc—[kills bacteria], while stainless steel—about 88% iron and 12% chromium—does little to impede bacterial growth.”... When a virus or bacteria strikes the plate, it’s flooded with copper ions. Those ions penetrate cells and viruses like bullets. The copper doesn’t just kill these pathogens; it destroys them, right down to the nucleic acids, or reproductive blueprints, inside."

Fox Glacier pilot flies self-isolation rule-breaking tourists straight to police - "A Fox Glacier helicopter operator took matters into his own hands after a pair from Hong Kong went for a scenic flight when they were supposed to be in isolation.Rob Jewel's heli-flight flight full of tourists over Fox Glacier was compromised by tourists refusing to self isolate"

Is it fair to expect people to adopt lock down behaviour when you are confusing them by calling it a "circuit breaker"? - "The phrase “lock down” is already widely in use and most people are familiar with what it means. It is also unambiguous in its meaning. “Circuit breaker” on the other hand is misleading and confusing."
Given that different countries define their lockdowns differently, this is silly

Trump says he is on same page with Fauci, is not firing him - "President Donald Trump said on Monday (Apr 13) that he liked leading health expert Anthony Fauci and did not intend to fire him after Fauci said in an interview that earlier mitigation efforts against the coronavirus outbreak could have saved more lives.At a briefing with reporters, Trump said he and Fauci had been on the same page "from the beginning" about the virus and played a video for reporters defending his administration's response.Trump, who played down the seriousness of the virus in its initial stages, has chafed at media coverage suggesting he did not do enough to prevent its spread.On Sunday, Trump retweeted a call to fire Fauci after the top US expert on infectious diseases said lives could have been saved if the country had shut down sooner during the novel coronavirus outbreak... Fauci... made clear that Trump had listened to him when he recommended mitigation efforts... "The president listened to the recommendation," Fauci said. "The first and only time that I went in and said: 'We should do mitigation strongly,' the response was, 'Yes, we'll do it.'"... Fauci, 79, has led the federal infectious disease agency since 1984 under Republican and Democratic presidents. Republican George W Bush honoured him with the presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008."
Those with TDS presumably think Trump threatened Fauci into lying

COVID-19 Travel Update: Fauci Says Cruising Is OK If You Are Healthy
From March 9

Coronavirus risk to U.S. as a 'whole' is 'still low': Fauci | Reuters Video - "Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar spoke to reporters on Thursday following their briefing with lawmakers, with Fauci saying "the risk in the United States as a whole is still low.""
From March 5

Dr. Anthony Fauci: China misled the world; coronavirus erupted in mid-December - "“Early on we did not get correct information, and the incorrect information was propagated right from the beginning,” Dr. Fauci said... while China was hiding disease facts, it was also buying up lots of medical equipment around the world. When COVID-19 spread to other nations and began sickening and killing patients, China’s propaganda machine went into action, making the unfounded assertion that the U.S. Army planted the virus in Wuhan. Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, had himself relied on the Chinese disinformation to downplay COVID-19’s threat to America.“This is not a major threat for the people in the United States, and this is not something the citizens of the United States right now should be worried about,” he told Newsmax as late as Jan. 21, when the virus began spreading on the West Coast."

Emily Willoughby on Twitter - "This Forbes article suggests that countries with female leaders seem to do better in response to COVID-19.
What Do Countries With The Best Coronavirus Responses Have In Common? Women Leaders (Forbes)
I scraped some pandemic statistics for different countries along with the gender of each country's leader: No significant gender effects at all. 🤷‍♀️
This might seem like a pretty pointless analysis, but I think it is more important now than ever to keep our speculations, opinions, and predictions about coronavirus as science-based and data-driven as possible.
And a small update: What about among only the 62 most developed countries (as per Human Development Index; list: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Developed_country)? Still not stat sig."

What went wrong with the media’s coronavirus coverage? - "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for instance, didn’t tell the country to stop gathering in groups until March 15 — weeks after a top CDC official announced that the virus would begin spreading throughout the US. And after telling Americans for months that they should not wear masks unless they are sick, the government formally flipped that advice on April 3 and said that everyone should wear some kind of covering on their face in certain public settings.Much of the mainstream media amplified this slow and muddled reaction to the rapidly spreading virus. Since alarming reports about Covid-19 began to emerge from China in January, the media often provided information to Americans that later proved to be wrong, or at least inadequate.For instance: While President Trump has been correctly pilloried for describing the coronavirus as less dangerous than the flu, that message was commonplace in mainstream media outlets throughout February. And journalists — including my colleagues at Vox — were dutifully repeating exhortations from public health officials not to wear masks for much of 2020... If you read the stories from that period, not just the headlines, you’ll find that most of the information holding the pieces together comes from authoritative sources you’d want reporters to turn to: experts at institutions like the World Health Organization, the CDC, and academics with real domain knowledge.The problem, in many cases, was that that information was wrong, or at least incomplete. Which raises the hard question for journalists scrutinizing our performance in recent months: How do we cover a story where neither we nor the experts we turn to know what isn’t yet known? And how do we warn Americans about the full range of potential risks in the world without ringing alarm bells so constantly that they’ll tune us out?... even the best-meaning experts and institutions gave conflicting information, some of which now has proven to be inaccurate or up for debate. That includes National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci, who is now the most trusted official in the federal government when it comes to the Covid-19 response, but as late as February was calling the risk from coronavirus “minuscule” and warning people to worry instead about “influenza outbreak, which is having its second wave.”... acknowledging gaps in knowledge is crucial but not easy.“One thing that science journalists have been getting better at is not just saying what we do know, but what we don’t know,” she says. “But most journalists aren’t accustomed to doing that.” And that assumes the journalists themselves have the expertise to ask the right experts. Mainstream journalists who know how to read and understand academic research reports are a select group and have been for decades. Many midsize newspapers once employed dedicated science journalists, but those jobs have been dwindling for years. (One reason that Stat, a publication that launched in 2015, which specializes in medical and science reporting, has been so valuable during this crisis is that it employs dozens of expert journalists who once did this work for other outlets.)... "from the end of January through most of February, a soothing message got widespread traction, not just with Donald Trump and his audience, but among traditional media in the United States, which exhorted us to worry about the flu instead, and warned us against overreaction. It seemed sensible, grown-up, and responsible.”Some of that advice shows up in memes that highlight headlines from a range of respected media outlets that now seem terribly misleading after new information came to light... Maimuna Majumder, an epidemiologist at Harvard Medical School, told BuzzFeed News in late January — in a story originally titled “Don’t Worry About The Coronavirus. Worry About The Flu” — that some worst-case projections about the disease’s velocity were “absolutely premature and hyperbolic.”A January 29 piece from Axios explained, “Why we panic about coronavirus, but not the flu.” It quoted an infectious diseases physician at the University of Nebraska, an epidemiologist at the University of Michigan, and a professor of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University to make the argument that the flu should be Americans’ real concern... even if you’re inclined to give the media a pass for its performance before the pandemic hit the US, what about the second phase? When we knew it was coming and that it would be bad?You can’t argue that Americans had mixed messaging by that point: On February 25, CDC official Nancy Messonnier told reporters that she expected to see the coronavirus appear in the US via “community spread” — meaning people would become infected without knowingly coming into contact with other infected people — and that “disruption to everyday life might be severe.”But even after that, worrisome news about the spread and effects of the virus, which was moving across Asia and showing up in Europe, competed with coverage of the Democratic primary and other stories of the moment, like Harvey Weinstein’s sentencing for sexual assault. And stories that did cover the virus often focused on the Trump administration’s moves — like his decision to put Mike Pence (theoretically) in charge of a virus response team — instead of plainly telling Americans that they could be facing huge death tolls and a devastated economy... “In a fundamental, definitional way, news is bad at communicating risk,” he said. Telling you about a plane crash is news, but it doesn’t convey the risk of flying — it overstates it, by giving it prominence. The same with local crime stories. Meanwhile, telling you about a pandemic that’s about to overtake the country, kill tens of thousands of people, and crater the economy is very hard to do when it hasn’t happened yet, but there’s a chance it could. This core challenge for journalists won’t go away after the pandemic: There are always going to be threats that could eventually lead to disaster, but most of them don’t. If we holler every time we see one, we’ll be wrong and no one will listen to us. If we don’t holler when there’s a real one, we will have let down our audience.I first started poking a few weeks ago at the idea of whether the mainstream media should have been more alarmist about the coronavirus sooner. When I talked to Brian Stelter, CNN’s media reporter, on March 10, he told me he didn’t want to cause “undue fear” in his coverage, and that extended to the way he edited the on-air chyrons that ran during his Reliable Sources show.For instance, Stelter said at the time that he was stripping out the word “deadly” whenever he saw the phrase “deadly virus.”...
'So here’s the problem. Anything you say in advance of a pandemic seems alarmist. Anything that you’ve done after it starts is inadequate.'"
It's all Trump's fault everyone got it wrong

The road to Canada's COVID-19 outbreak: timeline of federal government failure at border to slow the virus - "Jan. 29: Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer,on Twitter: “I am concerned about the growing number of reports of racism and stigmatizing comments on social media directed to people of Chinese and Asian descent related to 2019-nCoV coronavirus… Racism, discrimination and stigmatizing language are unacceptable and very hurtful… Everyone has a part to play in preventing the spread of the virus. The Chinese community and all travellers from affected areas are a key part of these efforts….Racism, discrimination and stigmatizing language are unacceptable and very hurtful. These actions create a divide of Us Vs Them. Canada is a country built on the deep-rooted values of respect, diversity and inclusion.”...
Tam stresses the need to work to have affected communities work with everyone else. “Otherwise, they’ll be stigmatized. They will be asked to take measures beyond what is currently the public health evidence. It is a matter of balance when you’re restricting someone’s freedom, essentially, to move about in the community after return. I think that is not something that we would take lightly.”...
Tam will continue to resist the mandatory quarantine of incoming travellers and the mass use of face masks for the public, even as Asian countries at the front lines of this battle, such as Taiwan, South Korean and Singapore, see both as crucial measures to control the spread of the virus...
"the need to support weaker countries that do not have the same integrated systems that Canada has and to preventing the misinformation that is leading to racism and stigmatization of so many Chinese Canadians and other people of Chinese descent around the world.”"
When you're distracted by fears of "racism"

GUNTER: Political correctness got in the way of a swift COVID-19 response - "As recently as Jan. 29, when it was obvious the Chinese had a big problem on their hands, Theresa Tam, the chief federal public health officer, was rejecting calls for a ban on travellers from China saying “racism, discrimination and stigmatizing language are unacceptable and very hurtful.”More hurtful than dying in an ICU gasping for breath with fibrotic lungs, alone because your family is forbidden to be with you?For nearly a month, our own prime minister was more worried about showing how “woke” he is on racism than safeguarding public health.Toronto Mayor John Tory said allegations the virus was spreading from China was “fake news” and claimed “we can’t let fear or ignorance triumph over our values of community …” A January online petition, organized by a parent of Chinese heritage, asked Toronto-area schools to recommend 17 days of self-isolation for travellers returning from China. Local school board officials dismissed it as “racism” and “hatred.”Worse, yet, the World Health Organization (WHO) is still practising political correctness... WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom (a former Ethiopian politician, not a doctor) owes his election to the position in 2017 to China’s endorsement.In his home country, opposition politicians accuse Adhanom of covering up three cholera outbreaks while health minister... Taiwan and other neighbours of China, such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia, do not operate under politically correct delusions.For instance, the day this outbreak was first announced by China in January, Taiwan began testing all travellers arriving from China and isolating any with positive results.Days after that, they cut off all travel from China.As of Tuesday, Taiwan — a crowded island nation of 24 million — had just over 300 infections and five deaths."

Coronavirus: Nature magazine apologises for reports linking Covid-19 with China - "British scientific journal Nature has apologised for associating Covid-19 with China in its reporting, saying that early coverage of the global health crisis by itself and other media had led to racist attacks on people of Asian descent around the world... Beijing has strongly objected to any links between Covid-19 and China, saying that the origin of the coronavirus remains unknown and that establishing where it came from should be left to the scientific community and not be used as a political football."
"LOL this is how you weaponise "social justice" to destroy the truth."

They’ll Snuff Your Life to End Their “Stigma” - "speaking of AIDS, we can look to that particular pandemic for an instructive example of what happens when scientists, in league with “identity” advocates, abrogate their responsibilities and put innocent people at risk, prioritizing the fight against stigma over the fight against death... gays were not being asked to modify their sexual behavior. They weren’t being asked to stop being gay. All that was being asked of them was to refrain from donating blood. And they refused, because to ask anything of gays that was not also being asked of 80-year-old Christian grandmas and 5-year-old girls was “stigmatizing.”... Gay organizations were informed of a disaster in the making, one that could kill significant numbers of people. They were told that gays were contributing to this disaster by donating blood, and they were asked to make a minuscule sacrifice to save human lives. And the gay organizations responded in unison, “No, because we’re more concerned about ‘stigma’ than we are about saving thousands of people. Oh, and change the name of the disease so that we’re not stigmatized there, either.”Members of a perpetually offended identity group saw greater danger in a word than they saw in a fatal disease. And hey—welcome back to 2020!... The intent of the meeting was to persuade those organizations to “accept the evidence as significantly supporting the case for a blood-borne infection and produce recommendations that high-risk groups be excluded from the donor pool.”The CDC’s Evatt described that day as “possibly the most discouraging and frustrating day of the epidemic for CDC staff. Rather than a rational discussion of the data, the meeting quickly became a forum to advance individual agendas and turf protection.” Instead of heeding the CDC’s warning and listening to the evidence, the attendees instead “issued a joint statement restating their opposition to donor screening using questions regarding sexual preference.” That Jan. 13 joint statement condemned the CDC for exerting “considerable pressure on the blood banking community to restrict blood donation by gay males.”One of the participants in the ill-fated Jan. 4 meeting was immunologist Dr. Roger Enlow. Enlow haughtily informed the Philadelphia Inquirer that he had gone to the meeting not just as a “scientist,” but as a proud gay man, a “representative of the gay community.” And he had attended with an agenda: to “keep the homosexuals from being stigmatized.” He waged all-out war against any attempts to ban gay men from giving blood, because the ban “reminded him of the days when blood banks used to reject donations from blacks.”Yes, this “gay man first, doctor second” literally equated actual science (rejecting blood donations from an identified risk group with a high prevalence of a blood-borne disease) with pseudoscience (rejecting “black blood”) in order to ensure that hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients were not protected from AIDS... “We are currently pursing elimination of groups at risk of contact AIDS by means which are likely to eliminate all groups with the possible exception of gays (e.g. checks for IV drug use. travel questions, symptom questions, prohibitions on hemophiliacs).” In other words, the Red Cross was willing to, and actively working to, eliminate high-risk donors (drug users, those who’ve traveled abroad, and hemophiliacs) as long as they weren’t gay, because “we are not likely to incur much resistance with respect to elimination of any other group.” Regarding “resistance,” Cumming admitted, “the focal group of concern is the gays.”Note the irony that the Red Cross was willing to ban the victims of gay-donated blood—hemophiliacs—but not the gays who donated the tainted blood that infected them... Cumming weighed potential lawsuits from offended gays against potential lawsuits from people infected with AIDS by unscreened blood, and he decided to err on the side of not getting sued by gays. Their delicate feelings were more important than the lives of hospital patients and hemophiliacs. That became the official Red Cross position: Better we get sued by a dying child’s family than by an offended homosexual.To be fair, Cumming was right about the lawsuit risk. The same month he wrote his memo, the National Gay Task Force went after the National Hemophilia Foundation for “discrimination” after the Foundation issued a warning about blood donated by gay men. The Task Force claimed that the warning amounted to “persecution.” For his part, italicized all-caps GAY Dr. Enlow would go on to become director of the Office of Gay and Lesbian Health, New York City Health Department, where he continued to fight the “stigmatization” of gays by attacking medical research that demonstrated how “rectal trauma” caused by anal sex was a prime factor in the transmission of AIDS. This “scientist” who rejected the science behind blood-donor screening also rejected the science behind AIDS transmission and rectal trauma. Because, as he so often noted, he was not just a scientist but a “representative of the gay community,” and that came first... These psychopaths—and there’s no other word to use—take great glee when a group-specific malady finally makes inroads into the population at large. Gays cheered when AIDS was no longer a “gay disease,” even as they buried their history of helping to bring that situation about (the number of hemophiliacs and transfusion recipients who died of AIDS in the U.S. due to tainted blood is calculated to be in the tens of thousands, and that’s not counting the deaths of those who were infected by transfusion recipients and hemophiliacs who were unaware of their infection)."

AOC wants coronavirus ‘reparations’ for minority communities - "Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has called for coronavirus reparations for minorities, claiming higher numbers of COVID-19 fatalities in low-income communities stems from underlying inequality."

Identity Politics Lied. New Yorkers Died - "Last year, New York City Health Commissioner Oxiris Barbot was warning that “even brief contact with the police or indirect exposure is associated with lasting harm to people’s physical and mental health”.“We as a public health department have really been trying to frame criminal justice system involvement as an exposure,” Barbot’s epidemiologist, Kimberly Zweig, claimed.Zweig had a degree in epidemiology, but her focus was entirely on PTSD and stress. Not on disease... In 2010, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake chose Barbot as Baltimore's health commissioner. Blake would later become infamous for announcing that she had given the city's race rioters "space to destroy".The city's murder rate has continued hitting new highs since.A few years later, Barbot came back to New York City and began working her way up through the Department of Health. When she was named Health Commissioner last year, the big news was that the city had its “first Latina commissioner” who had come out the Bronx housing projects.  Barbot succeeded Mary T. Bassett: a 17-year veteran of the University of Zimbabwe. Bassett had launched the Center for Health Equity and spent her time warning of the public health threat from racism in talks, "Why Your Doctor Should Care About Social Justice", articles, “How Does Racism Affect Your Health”, and research papers, “Uprooting Institutionalized Racism as Public Health Practice.”As Health Commissioner, Barbot's bio boasted that "she uses a racial equity lens" and credited her with "spearheading the creation of the Center for Health Equity which operationalizes the Department’s commitment to racial justice."As the coronavirus bore down on New York City, Barbot and the Health Department were busy operationalizing social justice while remaining oblivious to the scientific realities of the pandemic. The department’s focus on health equity required it to discourage recent arrivals from Wuhan from going into self-quarantine or avoiding large public gatherings like the Lunar New Year celebrations.“We are very clear: We wish New Yorkers a Happy Lunar New Year and we encourage people to spend time with their families and go about their celebration,” Barbot insisted.A week later, Barbot appeared at a press event promoting Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown."As we gear up to celebrate the #LunarNewYear in NYC, I want to assure New Yorkers that there is no reason for anyone to change their holiday plans, avoid the subway, or certain parts of the city because of #coronavirus," she insisted...  Barbot went on urging people to participate in the parade while spreading misinformation about the risk. “You won’t get it merely from riding the subways – you get it from secretions,” she even claimed.The commissioner went on with the happy talk in March.After the first coronavirus case in the city, she claimed that "disease detectives" would prevent the spread of the coronavirus and that New Yorkers were "at low risk"."As we confront this emerging outbreak, we need to separate facts from fear, and guard against stigma and panic," Commissioner Barbot signed off: warning that the real enemy was prejudice. “There’s no indication that being in a car, being in the subways with someone who’s potentially sick is a risk factor”... New York City’s leaders applied the same approach to the coronavirus that they had used for crime and terrorism.When it came to terrorism and crime, the policy had been to minimize the risk, cover up actual cases and to warn against prejudice toward communities likely to engage in crime or terrorism. This approach had failed miserably in preventing crime or terrorism, but the actual scale of the damage had not been so devastating as to actually make a major dent in daily life in New York City.New York City’s Health Department had already medicalized this approach with HIV. Last year, the Health Department was back to running ads encouraging sex with HIV positive people... The coronavirus outbreak has exploded in New York City. And everyone has gone all in on the cover-up. The inept De Blasio administration, which didn’t bother ordering protective equipment until March, when it was still assuring New Yorkers that there was nothing to worry about, has been blaming Trump."

Thai man retrenched amid pandemic asks to be arrested so he can eat - "A Thai man walked into a police station on a Phuket resort island on Saturday (April 11) with a single methamphetamine tablet, asking to be arrested so that he would have something to eat.Thammasant Boonsong, deputy chief of the Wichit police station in Muang district, said he and his colleagues were surprised when Chayaphol Addin, 20, turned up at the station, presented one "ya ba" pill and asked officers to apprehend him. Chayaphol told them that he lost his job as an electrician after Covid-19 hit the island and could not leave the province to stay with his mother in Phatthalung due to the island lockdown, Mr Thammasant said.The man said if he were imprisoned, he would at least be given regular meals"

Popular Turkish singer wishes coronavirus to hit Greece, Russia and US in viral song (video) - "popular Turkish folk singer Fikret Simsek wishes the deadly virus to leave his country and hit its enemies, including Greece, Russia and the U.S.As the site reports the singer “exorcises” the evil by interpreting his new hit “Get out of here, go viral” that went viral on Turkish social media.The lyrics, the translation of which were made by tourkikanea.gr asks the coronavirus to “leave” Turkey and go to its enemies, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Egypt, Assad and Syria, Putin and Russia, Trump and the US, and of course Greece, which is characterised as a “black stain of the era”."

Melissa Chen - "Can I ask why is this story not covered prominently?
"The Trump administration announced an additional $225 million in foreign assistance to help countries combat the coronavirus pandemic, bringing the total to nearly half a billion dollars."
But when China and Russia sends PPE and kits, the images are front and center on the NYT, NPR, WaPo, etc, and the stories are written up glowingly in op-eds and on Twitter.
I mean seriously. I had to search for the outlets that did cover this news, and they were all small local papers that most of us never heard of (all syndicated from the AP though)."
I saw a few people react to this. They blamed Trump for trying to curry favour with foreign countries and ignorign Americans. You know anything he does will get him bashed
Comments: "When Trump announced $174M aid to 64 countries in March, I was surprised that I didn't get this news from any American outlet. I got it from an Indian news paper. They had covered it because out 174 million, about 3 million were given to India."
"America tossing out foreign assistance and money isn't news because it happens all of the time."


Dutch-Belgian border village left half-open, half-shut due to coronavirus lockdown - "For decades, residents have freely gone about their business barely noticing the dotted frontier on the ground, but now tougher lockdown rules in Belgium limit its citizens to food shops and pharmacies, while the Dutch are also allowed to visit the shoe shop, travel agency and optician on their territory... One store even had a ribbon down the middle of its premises, marking the border, with the Belgian section off-limits. Belgians are still allowed to go to food shops, a pharmacy or a doctor if they happen to be on Dutch territory. The village and its surroundings are entirely within the Netherlands, but it also comprises 22 Belgian enclaves that form Baarle-Hertog and, within these, a further eight Dutch micro-enclaves, which belong to Dutch Baarle-Nassau. The border even bisects some properties. De Bont said the quirky geography stemmed from a feudal system of land swaps and rentals that extend back to 1,000 years ago, and were left in place."

Intermittent physical distancing might be a thing until 2022, research suggests - "according to analysis by Harvard researchers, the best strategy for beating COVID-19 probably isn’t one extended period of physical distancing, but several staggered periods, with time in between to allow immunity to take hold in the population.The research, described in the Harvard Gazette ahead of being peer reviewed, posits that this strategy could “avoid overwhelming hospitals while allowing immunity to build in the population.”...  Less of these measures will be needed if the U.S. is able to increase their critical care abilities. Doubling the number of critical-care beds in the hospital system changed the predicted data, showing that bouts of intermittent physical distancing could end in 2021, as opposed to extending for another year.With no physical distancing at all, the models predict that the U.S. epidemic would be over in the fall — but with an extreme increase in deaths, and a wholly overwhelmed health care system...  “The limits of what we can achieve — even locally, in terms of COVID control — is set by the weakest health care systems globally,” said Fortune in a media conference call Thursday morning, referring to how more fragile health care systems could re-expose a country on its way to recovery.The only option isn’t to simply switch from a full lockdown to completely open streets and businesses again and keep repeating that, however.An editorial in the Washington Post written by three Harvard researchers from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, including one of the central authors of the new research, proposed that certain businesses could reopen slowly before others, depending on different risk factors. For example, schools may be able to reopen before restaurants if it is determined that children are significantly less likely to carry and pass on the virus."

Your Sacrifices are Saving Lives - "Data from more than 1 million Kinsa thermometers tells the same story across the country: 3 to 7 days after a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place order is enacted, fevers in that community start to drop... Kinsa evidence comparing counties also shows that taking early and aggressive action can flatten the curve. See the graph below contrasting a county that was able to quickly begin restricting gatherings vs. one that took longer to do so."
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