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Saturday, May 02, 2020

Links - 2nd May 2020 (2) (Migrant Workers in Singapore)

Renson Seow - "With regards to the allegedly poor conditions at foreign worker dorms. The test is to compare against our oldest military barracks. If the standard of the said barracks is good enough for our men for 2 years, then foreign workers should not be asking for anything better. The providers of infrastructure can only do so much (e.g. provide sufficient toilets to at least meet the aforesaid old military barracks standard). The rest is up to the men (e.g. piss in the toilet that is provided, not on the floor). If our military men can be disciplined enough to do that, these workers can too. They are adults, not children."
Comments from elsewhere: "I used to work for a company who hired about a hundred foreign workers. The company housed them in a mom approved dormitory whereby 12 workers were staying in a 110 m2 unit. The company bought brand new lockers, mattresses, double bunk beds, new cooker hobs in a freshly painted and cleaned unit. When we conducted our 6th month survey, the units were nowhere like the condition they were handed over at the beginning with roaches everywhere. The workers had also thrown out all their mattresses in favour of plywood. The company had to conduct monthly inspections and threatened the workers with fines for them to do proper daily housekeeping. Even then, the standard of cleanliness is very far from what you would expect from us locals. When I talked to the workers, they just said that their standard of hygiene is like that back home."
"The cleaning company for the dorms managed by my boss also my building cleaner. The cleaning company boss give up the new tender for the dorm because cleaners cannot tahan. Chicken bones also can throw inside kitchen sink."


GPGT: Bhais having the time of their lives cause of Covid! - www.hardwarezone.com.sg - "I am in the construction industry and I can tell you that living standards and welfare have improved compared to 10 years ago. The photos/videos circulated on social media which depicted overcrowding and squalid living conditions are the anomaly. Most dorm operators nowadays limit their room occupancy to 10 per room, and the level of cleanliness can be compared to army bunks. MOM regulations have tightened over the years, which in turn discouraged dorm operators from flouting the rules. Since the infection clusters at dormitories started popping up, MOM has gone bonkers and started to increase the frequency of refuse removal and cleaning of the common areas from once to three or four times daily. Those at the infected dormitories have their hot meals distributed within an average of one hour and a half. They even have TASTING sessions to ensure that the food suits their taste"
To SJWs, accounts from non-famous people about how construction worker conditions are alright are untrustworthy because they are anonymous, but we must trust anonymous accounts of how terrible the conditions are

The Economist explains - Why it is so hard to fix India’s sanitation | The Economist explains | The Economist - "The World Bank links one in ten deaths in India to poor sanitation... In 2014 the government pledged to end open defecation by 2019... Improved coverage does not guarantee greater usage. A survey by the Research Institute for Compassionate Economics in 2014 found that in 40% of households with a working toilet, at least one family member preferred to defecate outside. People in villages often fail to acknowledge that a lack of sanitation is a problem. Many use toilets only in emergencies, worrying that the pits will clog up quickly when, in fact, they are meant to last a family of five about ten years. Caste division plays a part, too. Villagers are loth to empty latrine pits manually, a task relegated historically to dalits (formerly untouchables). Some consider defecating in the open to be a sign of virility, and believe a stroll to the fields aids digestion. Toilets, often the only concrete structure in the house, are used as a storeroom for firewood, grass, chickens, cow-dung cakes and food grains, or double up as goat-sheds or even temples. On-ground implementation is patchy, too. Families who receive a toilet-building subsidy do not always build one."
Amusingly, someone countered with dysentery in the Middle Ages. Presumably medieval European kings were responsible for their subjects not following 21st century hygiene standards, just as the Singaporean government is responsible for migrant workers in Singapore having poor hygiene.
Possibly even better, someone else made a comparison to kopi tiam toilets and claimed that this reminded him a little of HDB estates in the early morning before mostly Indian cleaners cleaned them
The irony is that if the Singaporean government actually policed them, the same people would bitch about racism, oppression and authoritarianism


Safer sanitation and hygiene | UNICEF Bangladesh - "The knowledge of key hygiene messages is high in Bangladesh, but the practice of effective handwashing, the most effective hygiene behaviour, is very low.Just about 59.1 per cent of people practice handwashing with water and soap at critical times, found the 2013 UNICEF survey.Conventional sewerage systems are absent in all urban areas except Dhaka. But even in the capital city, only 1 in 5 people are served by a sewer network.The safe disposal of faecal matter generated in rural and urban areas is recognised as a major challenge by the Bangladesh government.Only about two out of five households practice safe disposal of child faeces, despite implications that lead to illness and death of children. One in four pit latrines is unhygienic and without lids to seal away faeces from the environment.There are solid links among diarrhoeal diseases, stunting and sanitation. Unimproved sanitation can lead to faecally transmitted infections like diarrhoea, intestinal inflammation and worms."

More than 40m Pakistanis defecate openly: Unicef - "More than 40 million people in Pakistan do not have access to a toilet, forcing them to defecate in the open, which in turn is a major contributor to stunting in the country, a top Unicef official said."
Someone claimed Bangladesh and Pakistan were not culturally similar to India because they had separated from India, and that it was a mistake to also say China and Japan were culturally similar.

FiveStarsAndAMoon - Posts - "Before these dormitories were built, they lived in worse conditions (this was like pre-2008). To save costs, employers would house them at sites where they worked, these were then unregulated. The government then started to build dorms, but locating them was not easy. Singaporeans didn't want them anywhere near their places of residence. Residents of Serangoon Gardens even launched a petition called "Not in my backyard"...
Right now people are demanding the government to:
• Deport them immediately
• Prevent them from hanging out with their girlfriends (whom are likely maids)
• Asking why the government is wasting resources and devoting healthcare equipment to them
• There is even a rally to get them sent back to their countries
• Asking why do we even care about other countries citizens"

Yi Ran Ding - "大家都在白白付出,我说这个话是有道理的,首先客工营里中国人是和印度人孟加拉人住在一个房间里的,中国人的安全意识很强,每天都戴口罩,在房间里也戴着,可是印度人孟加拉人不戴,我们已经自发的组织送进去不少于20000个口罩了,里面的同胞也发给印度人孟加拉人,可是他们拿到了口罩只是戴一下子拍个照片就摘下来了,到处乱走,还被政府允许在客工营里打篮球,10来个人一起打,他们跑步传出的气息传染病毒🦠更快,送饭去的印度人也不戴口罩,手套,你们说客工营能不泛滥成灾吗?我提议过把中国人和这些印度人孟加拉人分开住,他们不听话,不戴口罩,每个宿舍也不能像安置个炸弹似的,也不能给他们集体打篮球啊!你们说对不对?这就是客工营里的真实实况。"
Of course, the SJWs are very upset at this primary source testifying about Indian and Bangladeshi foreign worker living habits in Singapore. One said he was reporting it to Facebook for "hate speech". It's easy to pretend that "racism" is ignorant when you ignore facts you don't like and you conspire to remove evidence

Kakis' Club - "Due to differences in geographical location, people from different countries of the world have different eating habits. Different cuisines and dishes may be different in different districts of the same country.Some people like to eat rice-fish. Someone likes bread. Again, some people like to eat half cooked food. People's taste in food depends on the eating habits of the regions and countries and cultures. After eating the same food for a long time, many people can no longer be able to adjust with different eating habit.Again, those who have to travel to different countries or come to different places for work can get used to many kinds of eating habits. but in this case, it requires time to adapt or adjust a food habit. So, no one can suddenly change their eating habits. Gradually one has to adapt to the new food from new environment. Otherwise it will have a physiological and psychological effects on human life. It is not easy to change a habit like food that peoples life are depends onto it.Following the outbreak of the corona virus in Singapore, the government has announced a lockdown of the dormitories. At the same time, the government has announced that all workers will be paid during their stay in the dormitory and will be provided with food. It is natural that there will be some problems in providing food to this huge number of workers. Even so, the Government is successful in this aspect.Bangladeshis and Indians like to eat spicy curry with rice and pickle. But in their supply of food, they were not considered nationalities in some way. Many workers have been given half-cooked vegetables with little rice which they are not accustomed to eating. I am not questioning the quality or nutritional value of these foods and I have no doubt about it.But Bangladeshis and Indians are not accustomed to eating these foods and many have thrown them in the dustbin. Several of my migrant brothers have updated photos of these “foods in dustbin’” in different groups on Facebook, complaining about that... its very easy to be a “John behind the Keyboard”... Ripon Chowdhury"
Apparently if migrant workers don't like the free food they are given despite short notice and throw it away, it is the fault of those providing the food
Some people claimed the problem was that they were being given spoilt food. If so, the writer is massively incompetent in not even mentioning this, since most people would agree that they shouldn't be given spoilt food and so would agree with the writer if this were the issue mentioned


The Singapore Daily - Posts - "Kokila Annamalai Slams Incompetent MOM, Labels Employers Uncaring, For Continuing To Ignore Feedback Of Fasting Migrant Workers, Providing Them With Improper Meals"
"No gravy. It's obvious they need gravy right."
"Till today ..does one don't know Indian ONLY EATS AUTHENTIC INDIAN FOOD ..?? Not Malay , Chinese curries .???? How can we consider them one of us ..OR ..maybe that's how they also will treat us if we were Quarantine ..??????"
Amazingly, someone said they should be given the same food as VIPs

The dorms are not the problem – TWC2 - "Workers hardly ever complain about dorms... in the same period when all of Singapore was talking about dorms and dorms, the workers were not bringing the topic up in conversation with us. They were the people experiencing the lock-down inside dorms, confined to their rooms for 20 – 22 hours a day, in stifling crowded conditions, but it doesn’t really come up when they call or message us.Instead, they are anxious about salary and related issues.Other issues, such as exorbitant agents’ fees have not gone away, but in the present situation, they are not as urgent as getting paid for March and April... The one topic that workers raise and which also appears in the general Singaporean discourse is that of food. Under lock-downs, dorms now serve catered food (there may be a few exceptions I don’t know of). There have a lot of complaints from workers about quality, cultural suitability and portion size. However, we also have a sense that the situation varies widely from dorm to dorm, and even from week to week. The complaints may be coming from only some dorms, or some company employees, probably related to management issues of the meals supply chain in those dorms or companies... Of course, the best way to keep payroll cost down is to not pay salaries at all, or to undercalculate them and short-pay... there are innumerable stories about recruitment costs or agents’ fees. For first-time workers, they could be $8,000 or $10,000 in order to obtain a job paying a basic salary of just $400 a month. In other words, the prospective worker sinks in 20 – 25 months’ worth of salary in order to “buy” the job. If the employer has pocketed all of that — not always because the agent also takes a cut — the employer would in effect get free labour for 20 – 25 months.After 24 months, the Work Permit is up for renewal, and another opportunity comes up to ask for another payment.How does this make any sense to workers, then? Well, to be clear we’re talking about unethical employers, not all employers. So the situation varies considerably from one company to another... Consequently, workers always hope for lots of overtime work, so that they can at least live on that, and recover their sunk cost as soon as possible... I must stress, we’re talking about unethical employers. TWC2 believes that in fact most employers try to look after their employees within their means, but the trouble with allowing unethical employers to get away with it is that ethical companies then have to compete against them to win contracts.
The counterfactual posited - that with migrant workers with better conditions, Singapore wouldn't have such a bad outbreak and the economy would be better - isn't inevitable. Many countries without large amounts of migrant workers are seeing bad coronavirus outbreaks, and given how inter-connected the world is (especially Singapore, whose economy is extremely open), it's not clear the economic damage would be much less without migrant workers and their being infected
The minimum wage argument (deatable) is suddenly thrown in after talk about abuse (which probably everyone would agree with). Yet countries without a minimum wage aren't boycotted or criticised for that. So that is conflating the issues.
I've no idea how it makes sense to call the foreign worker levy income tax


Food-tasting sessions and free Wi-Fi: What inter-agency teams at dorms have done for foreign workers’ well-being - "they made sure that the food is acceptable to the residents, which included foreign workers employed in industries providing essential services. This is by having “food-tasting sessions”, where representatives from different nationalities give feedback on the taste and quantity of the food, said Supt Tan, the 35-year-old assistant director of Interpol’s cyber strategy and capabilities development.For Bangladeshi workers, the Migrant Workers Centre engaged a Bangladeshi chef to cook dishes for his compatriots... this includes ensuring that the residents can remit money to their families.“They can be locked down, but they cannot be prevented from sending money home. There are livelihoods at stake,” SLTC Tan said.His team managed to get approval for a remittance company to enter the gazetted compound to provide the service... They also set up free Wi-Fi access within the workers’ rooms, which keeps them occupied and allows them to keep in touch with their families back home... “I told my family, ‘We are safe. The Singapore Government takes very good care of us’”"

The problematic ways of Migrant X Me; a social enterprise accused of promoting poverty porn, tone-deaf captions, questionable methods and saviourism.
Basically it's bad to have a first hand view of migrant workers' lives. We can only depend on what liberal activists tell us, since they have digested the 'facts' and given us indisputable conclusions. If you're not on the liberal side, make one minor mistake like being mistaken about something and you're an irredeemably bad person and condemned for the rest of your life (if you're Joe Biden it's okay though)

莫丽蜜 - "Pizza Hut Singapore to donate 3,000 pizzas to migrant workers for Labour Day"
"If there are 300 000 workers, how much of a pizza does each worker get? Write your answer as a fraction."
This is why we can't have nice things

Words at a funeral

When I was about 9 years old, my mom forced me to go with her to the funeral of a friend of hers that I didn't know. : Jokes

When I was about 9 years old, my mom forced me to go with her to the funeral of a friend of hers that I didn't know.

When we got there, I stayed in a corner waiting for the funeral to end. Then a man approached me and said:

"Enjoy life, boy. Be happy because time flies. Look at me now, I didn't enjoy mine."

He patted my head and left.

Before leaving, my Mom forced me to say goodbye to the dead person. When I looked in the coffin, I was startled to see the man who was talking to me in the corner was the same one in the coffin.

For several years, I was not able to sleep properly because of nightmares.

Years later, I discovered that the dead man had a twin brother.....

Links - 2nd May 2020 (1) (Meghan Markle)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle cast out: couple to stop using HRH titles as Royal Family severs ties - "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex will no longer use their HRH titles or formally represent the Queen, Buckingham Palace has announced as the Royal Family severed all official ties with the couple.A seismic statement following days of frantic negotiations, revealed that the Sussexes' departure from public life would be much more dramatic than previously thought.The couple will repay the £2.4mllion of taxpayer’s money used to refurbish Frogmore Cottage, their Windsor home, and will pay commercial rent on the property, which they will continue to use as their UK family base... As they will no longer be working members of the Royal Family, the Sussexes will not receive public funds for royal duties and the Duke has been forced to give up his much cherished official military appointments.Aides revealed that the couple will spend the majority of their time in north America and will be free to earn their own money however they see fit. Royal sources also admitted that the couple, who will be styled as Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, may yet have to give up their Sussex Royal branding... A statement released by Buckingham Palace at 6.30pm on Saturday laid bare the magnitude of the couple’s split from the Royal Family, making clear that they were not being allowed to adopt the “half in, half out” approach they had wanted... The Queen had made it clear she wanted the issue dealt with “at pace" and within days rather than weeks, keen to ensure the furore surrounding her grandson and his American wife did not overshadow royal duties.Having been left blindsided by the Sussexes’ sudden revelation that they wanted to “step back” from their royal duties, she moved quickly to assert her authority and minimise the ensuing chaos, despite her private devastation... The couple will still receive “private financial support” from the Prince of Wales... Christopher Wilson, a royal historian, said the Queen's "sweet" statement hid her "bitterness, disappointment and hurt", saying Prince Harry had taken a "wrecking-call to the Royal Family's global reputation for duty and service". "The damage he's done is colossal and can only be evaluated slowly in the coming days""

Royal Fans Notice How Meghan Markle Quits Everything After Two Years -- Could Divorcing Prince Harry Be Next? - "One of the first indicators of how someone will act in a relationship comes from looking at their dating history. Meghan made history in the royal family because she was welcomed in even though she’d been married once before.Comparing one marriage to another is almost impossible. But it is very interesting that Meghan was married to her first husband, Trevor Engelson, for just shy of two years before divorcing after 23 months of marriage. Instead of a seven-year itch, Meghan decided to move on after a shorter stint.After divorcing Engelson, Meghan dated chef Cory Vitiello for — you guessed it — two years. Then she met Harry. After around two years of dating, Prince Harry and Meghan made it official by tying the knot on May 19, 2018... It hasn’t even been two years since the wedding, but already fans are noticing Meghan getting antsy. She had her engagement ring redesigned about two years after Prince Harry gave it to her in November 2017. By the end of 2019, Meghan had swapped out the plain band for a diamond-studded option... in early 2020, almost exactly two years since Meghan became a main player in the British royal family, she and Prince Harry made the shocking decision to relinquish their HRH titles and give up their roles as senior working royals... following along this pattern of Meghan abandoning major decisions after two years, it’s perfectly natural to wonder if her marriage will suffer the same fate.There are plenty of stories of Meghan ghosting friends after two years... Both Harry and Meghan have divorced parents which makes them statistically more likely to divorce themselves"

Queen 'bans Meghan Markle and Prince Harry from using Sussex Royal brand'
Maybe Buzzfeed will do an article blaming this on racism

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry insist the Queen doesn't own the word 'royal' - "Prince Harry and Meghan Markle laid bare their hostility with Buckingham Palace — by insisting that neither Queen Elizabeth nor the UK Government owns the word “royal” internationally. Hours after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirmed on Friday they would not go ahead with their planned “Sussex Royal” brand after The Queen put a stop to it, they posted an extraordinary statement on their website insisting they still had the right to the word “royal.”... The new statement from the couple, who are continuing to move forward with their plan to step down as senior royals, indicated that negotiations were tense with Buckingham Palace over the terms of their departure from the Royal Family on March 31st.Saying their “preference” had been to “continue to represent and support Her Majesty The Queen albeit in a more limited capacity,” they appeared to complain they had been treated differently to other members of the family and hinted at their regret they had not received all the concessions they had hoped for."
On reflection, it shouldn't be surprising that if you marry an actress you get drama. Her history of personal drama aside
I saw this Marxist who a while back was insisting that the tabloids were making up stories about how she was trouble


'They've lost all perspective': Palace insider blasts Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for 'sniping' at Queen over 'Royal' branding - but admit her aides were not 'unduly surprised' - "The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were accused yesterday of 'losing all sense of perspective' after making an extraordinary online 'swipe' at the Queen and other royals... The lengthy statement contained what appear to be references to other royals, including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and the Earl and Countess of Wessex. There was also a thinly veiled attack on the British media, who they feel have been unfairly critical of their actions... Prince Edward and his wife Sophie were also initially permitted to pursue their own careers outside of the Royal Family, running a film production company and PR firm respectively.But both were dogged by claims they were trading on and profiting from their royal status, and after a string of scandals were forced to quit their day jobs and become full-time working royals instead, which they have done successfully and without complaint.Over the weekend, Harry and Meghan faced widespread criticism for their statement, with one royal expert calling the comments spiteful.Tom Bower, who wrote a biography of Prince Charles, added: 'The comments smack of spiteful fury. I fear it will get worse.'Ingrid Seward, editor-in-chief of Majesty magazine, said: 'It appears to be a gratuitous and ungracious swipe at the Queen. It is kind of saying, 'By the way we know we can use royal if we want to'.'The Queen is doing everything she can to keep the peace, but the Sussexes believe the Royal Family is against them. The more you read it, the nastier it appears.'...  the great 'Sussex Royal' adventure now looks more like the retreat from Dunkirk?And why, given their evident concern about retaining their royal status, have the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shown such disrespect for the person from whom that status descends – the Queen?... Any requests for 'royal' designation in Canada, for example, must be sent to the Governor-General's Office at – wait for it – 1 Sussex Drive, Ottawa.The statement also neglects the fact that there is another player in this saga, namely the Secretary of State for Business, currently Alok Sharma, who has jurisdiction over 'royal' names for 'any type of business' under the Companies Act of 2006.Similarly, all royal trademarks fall under the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property of 1883.Yesterday, I consulted a top commercial lawyer at an international law firm with offices in the UK and US.Her verdict: 'Signatories to the Paris Convention are required to use reasonable efforts to enforce the trademark legislation of other signatory nation states, giving overseas effect to national protective laws.For example, the US signed the convention back in 1887 and Canada in 1923, so the UK could take steps to challenge the use of 'Sussex Royal' on websites and branding there.'"

Canada to stop paying Harry and Meghan's security - "A public opinion poll released in January by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute indicated that 73% of Canadians had no interest in paying any of the costs for security and other expenditures associated with their relocation."

Meghan Markle news: Duchess 'terrified' as she and Harry run out of funds ahead of Megxit - ""This debt is a blow to their ambitious plan to become freewheeling billionaires in the world."Meghan is terrified that her dreams of being a Hollywood queen will be destroyed by this financial nightmare and she is insisting that Harry make a move and resolve the crisis."The insider however noted the lack of previous working experience could make the search for a new job difficult for the Duke of Sussex... "The big problem is that Harry has no marketable skills, has never had a real job."He does not have a university degree nor does he know a second language. He only has military training."Harry has given up on real life for his rebellious American wife, but his sacrifice is exploding in his face."Their marriage is tense, they could be at a breaking point.""

Harry and Meghan: ‘Let us home, we were wrong!’ - "“They realised they’re facing a harsh new reality - surviving as ordinary folks who have to work for a living,” a well-placed palace insider reportedly told Globe.“They’ve been living in a fantasy world fuelled by money-hungry Meghan. She convinced henpecked Harry they could take the world by storm and make mega-millions if they ditched the royals.”"

Prince Harry may quit hunting over Meghan's dislike of sport, says conservationist friend - "The British primatologist Dame Jane Goodall believes the Duke of Sussex will give up hunting because of his wife’s dislike for the sport, and thinks he has been finding life “a bit challenging” since the couple moved to North America.Goodall, 86, a friend of the pair who has been a guest at their Frogmore Cottage home in Windsor, said in an interview with the Radio Times that Harry and his brother, the Duke of Cambridge, were champions of the natural world – “except they hunt and shoot”... Goodall has a good relationship with Harry, who interviewed her for the special edition of British Vogue guest-edited by Meghan."
Presumably the anti-racists can't dismiss Jane Goodall, who has said this publicly

Exclusive: Prince Harry misses the Army and tells friends his life has been turned upside down - "The Duke of Sussex has told friends he “cannot believe” what has happened in recent months and that he misses the Army... After Harry and Meghan announced they were stepping down as senior royals in January, the Duke was forced to relinquish his roles as Captain General Royal Marines, Honorary Air Commandant, RAF Honington and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command."
Damn racism, forcing him to marry a toxic woman!

Meghan Markle news: Duchess refused to live in US with Trump –'He's got his revenge' - ""She also said at one point she would never live in America as long as Donald Trump was President which is fantastic news for him because he's been able to get his revenge by putting that tweet out about not paying for it."Royal expert Charles Ray added: "Again, she said I'm never going back to America to live there while he's President."Let's not forget when he came over here she used some very lame excuse not to turn up to his state banquet."Look, if you are a working member of the Royal Family, unfortunately, you've got to entertain some people you may not like... President Donald Trump said on Sunday that the United States would not pay for security protection for Britain's Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, who, according to media reports, have settled in Los Angeles... Canada said it would no longer provide security once the couple were no longer working members of the British Royal Family.The couple had been living for several months with their son, Archie, on Vancouver Island in Canada."

Meghan Markle loses first stage of battle with newspaper over publication of private letter to her father - "Meghan Markle has lost the first stage in a legal battle against Associated Newspapers after the High Court in London ruled to strike out part of her privacy case.The Duchess of Sussex is contesting a number of articles from February 2019 – two in The Mail on Sunday and three by MailOnline – in which the contents of a private letter to her estranged father were published."

Friday, May 01, 2020

Why monsters extract tolls for crossing bridges

We're on the edge of greatness — xain-russell

"Dragon: “HALT TRAVELER! THIS BRIDGE IS UNDER MY CONTROL! PAY THE TOLL OR CROSS THIS RIVER ELSEWHERE!”

Knight: “Nay foul beast! These are the lands of men! I shall pay no such toll, and what’s more I shall slay you rid this land of your tyranny!”

Dragon: “TYRANNY!? FOOLISH MAN! THIS BRIDGE IS OVER A HUNDRED YEARS OLD AND IN DIRE NEED OF REPAIRS! THE STONES ARE ERODING AND THERE ARE TERMITES IN THE WOOD!”

Knight: “… what?”

Dragon: “I GIVE THIS BRIDGE ANOTHER FIVE YEARS BEFORE IT COLLAPSES! I’D RATHER AVOID THAT AND PREVENT SOME POOR HUMAN FROM GETTING HURT!

Knight: ”…“

Dragon: “THE TOLL IS TEN GOLD PIECES.”

Knight: “… Okay.”

Dragon: “ALSO, DOWN THE ROAD, A FRIEND OF MINE IS RAISING FUNDS TO FIX A FARMER’S ROOF! IF YOU COULD ASSIST THEM AS WELL WE’D BE VERY GRATEFUL!”"

Links - 1st May 2020 (Coronavirus)

Scientists were close to a coronavirus vaccine years ago. Then the money dried up. - "the SARS vaccine that Hotez's team created in collaboration with scientists at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston is sitting in a freezer, no closer to commercial production than it was four years ago."We could have had this ready to go and been testing the vaccine's efficacy at the start of this new outbreak in China," said Hotez, who believes the vaccine could provide cross-protection against the new coronavirus, which causes a respiratory disease known as COVID-19. "There is a problem with the ecosystem in vaccine development, and we've got to fix this.""
The market provides!

In Name Of Coronavirus, MI Gov. Bans Seed Sales, Allows Lottery Tickets - "Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued yet another executive order Thursday to address the coronavirus crisis. Soon after the details became public, the backlash began with the press and social media uniformly condemning her draconian and nonsensical mandates, including ones that banned the sale of gardening seeds and paint while permitting the public to continue purchasing lottery tickets... since family activities are limited by stay-at-home orders, barring gardening and painting seems like an excessively punitive measure with limited, if any, health benefit. Further, making the order statewide makes no sense, given that some areas have few if any cases of COVID-19"

What will Canada’s Pandexit strategy look like? How officials are deciding when to lift coronavirus lockdowns - "While serological testing is useful for a population-wide assessment of exposure – for example, one such study in Santa Clara, Calif., concluded this week that there were 50 to 85 times more cases in the community than reported – immunologists caution it would be a mistake to assume a serological test alone is enough to determine if any one person is safe to return to work. That’s because it’s unclear how long immunity to the virus can last or the degree of immunity conferred by a mild or asymptomatic case, compared to one that generated a more serious bout of illness... The common view among experts is that governments will need to err on the side of caution, slowly removing one layer of restrictions at a time and carefully measuring the impact on the disease’s spread. Some of the most challenging scenarios are those that require intermittently returning to a state of heightened isolation each time the virus surges and case counts begin to rise, whether due to seasonal waves or looser restrictions... While some stretches of relative normalcy might be preferable to none, a senior provincial minister expressed concern about repeated loosening and tightening of restrictions, saying that could damage governments’ credibility among a weary public. That sort of inconsistency, however scientifically necessary, could also push beleaguered businesses past their breaking point. Clemens Fuest, executive director of Germany’s Ifo Institute for Economic Research, recently produced a multidisciplinary report proposing various processes for managing a gradual reopening. Initially, he says, he thought a trial-and-error process would be fine. But he became skeptical after hearing warnings from larger companies that shutting down industrial operations is so incredibly costly that “you can only do it once.”Erin Strumpf, a health economist at McGill University, is similarly concerned about the industrial impact. She compares the prospect of sudden and repeated closures to the sort of regulatory uncertainty that can make it impossible to do business. It could easily apply to smaller businesses, too – many of which have less financial leeway and are already facing potential doom from the initial lockdown... past research has shown people who are more optimistic about their futures at the end of a period of quarantine or other restrictions are more likely to comply during it"

A dinner table chat between husband and wife may help solve the coronavirus mask shortage - "She's a doctor; he's an engineer. Their conversation led to a new system that can decontaminate 80,000 masks a day."

Coronavirus ethnicity data must be published now, says Sadiq Khan
"> coronavirus death must publish race
>> But terrorist attack criminals cannot publish race"


Mehdi Hasan on Twitter - "So, for years, leftists rightly resisted the dumb and disingenuous argument that criticizing the Israeli government is anti-Jewish. But now it turns out that, for some leftists, criticizing the Chinese totalitarian government is somehow anti-Chinese or anti-Asian. WTF."

Ross Rossatron Hallahan - "Just ponder on this for a minute...
2020 - We just have to stay in for a couple of months.
WW II - You have to leave your loved ones and might never see them again."
Is this whataboutism?
"Just because someone else is suffering more doesn't mean you can't suffer too"


Misinformation goes Viral - "Bill Gates. When he announced that he was going to help develop a COVID vaccine, people went nuts. Gates wants to kill people with the vaccine. Gates patented the new virus. Gates knew about the virus before the Chinese. WTF people?! The richest man on earth gave up running a company to devote all his time to a foundation that is dedicated to public health"

Bill Gates is funding new factories for 7 potential coronavirus vaccines, even though it will waste billions of dollars
Presumably he released the virus to look like a savior now

Stockholm will reach 'herd immunity' within weeks - "Sweden's infectious diseases chief has said parts of the country could achieve "herd immunity" as early as next month as debate rages over the rising death toll.The country's laissez faire experiment with coronavirus restrictions has made it a European outlier - drawing intrigue from around the globe.Data this week showed the rate of new cases peaking for the first time as deaths continued to outstrip neighbouring countries with strict lockdowns.Both the architects and the critics of Sweden's approach - which has left kindergartens, schools, restaurants, cafés and bars open - have both seized on new figures, claiming tentative victories... Sweden's death rate is much higher than in its Nordic neighbours, but it remains comfortably better off than much more locked-down countries such as the UK and France."
It's quite funny how many people were rushing to declare that the Swedish strategy had failed when we will only be able to properly assess it after many months, if not years. Unless the rest of the world is going to be in perpetual lockdown there will be subsequent waves

How Sweden Is Fighting Coronavirus - Bloomberg - "Pomeroy pointed to some Swedish characteristics that may be helping the country deal with the current crisis. More than half of Swedish households are single-person, making social distancing easier to carry out. More people work from home than anywhere else in Europe, and everyone has access to fast Internet, which helps large chunks of the workforce stay productive away from the office.And while many other countries have introduced strict laws, including hefty fines if people are caught breaching newly minted social-distancing laws, Swedes appear to be following such guidelines without the need for legislation. Trips from Stockholm to Gotland -- a popular vacation destination -- dropped by 96% over the Easter weekend, according to data from the country’s largest mobile operator, Telia Company. And online service Citymapper’s statistics indicate an almost 75% drop in mobility in the capital."

Coronavirus: To Swedes, it's the rest of the world engaging in a reckless experiment - "Hospital data is published all the time, so Sweden's "experiment" is being conducted in the open. Every time a patient is admitted, the data is updated on a Covid live website in striking detail. Average age: 60. Those with diabetes: 26 per cent. With cardiovascular or lung disease: 24 per cent. With at least one other underlying health condition: 77 per cent. Sweden is also updating its statistics to say if someone died from Covid, or of something else – but with Covid. This might reduce the "death" figure by two thirds.If Tegnell's analysis proves wrong, the public will be able to see it unravel on his dashboard. In which case, he says, he stands ready to tighten things up. Sweden's famous love of transparency – you can look up your neighbour's salary online if you feel the urge – is being used as a tool to foster trust. So far, it's working: polls show that three quarters of Swedes support the strategy... Swedes are also looking at Britain's surging unemployment, one in five small firms on the verge of going bust, children deprived of education, working mothers edged out of their job. That also hits lives. And this case is being made, in Sweden, in a way it might not be over here. Kerstin Hessius, who runs a government pension fund, has been arguing that money vs lives is a false choice. Rising unemployment hits pensions directly," she says. "What's more, the tax base disappears - then we have to start cutting welfare." And Swedes should be proud that "we have not extinguished the entire society, as many other countries have done"... Swedes tend to have more of a sense of the economy as the engine of the welfare state: damage one, and you damage the other. You also damage public health, society, education and democracy. As one former politician told me, Sweden is not resisting lockdown in spite of being a strong social democratic state. It's doing it because it's a strong social democratic state."

Sweden keeps schools and borders open in 'huge experiment' on virus - "Anders Tegnell, Sweden's state epidemiologist, said the different approach reflected the independence traditionally enjoyed by government agencies like the Public Health Agency of Sweden and the reluctance of politicians to override expert advice."I might look like the figurehead, but agencies in Sweden are very much working as a whole," he told The Telegraph. "These are not decisions I take on my own in my little office."... "I think Sweden and the UK were the only countries being sensible about the whole thing, and then the UK got scared and closed down."Sweden has decided not to close schools because, in a country where stay-at-home parents are almost unheard of, the country's health agencies believe it would remove at least a quarter of the workforce, and an even higher share in the health sector.Closing schools would also put more children on the streets, increasing the risk of vulnerable elderly people becoming infected. If grandparents are called in to help out with childcare, it could even increase the infection exposure of the most at-risk group. Mr Tegnell also argued that there is little evidence that the kind of shutdown measures seen across Europe, can be beneficial."The only studies they have done are on flu and flu is quite different, and even with flu, it should be done at a later stage," he said."The other thing is that you cannot keep schools closed for very long. That would have huge negative effects on the children, not only their education, but also on their health. So if you do close schools, you really need to do it at the most crucial time."Mr Tegnell also noted that, unlike in Italy and Spain, it is very rare in Sweden for several generations of a family to live together under the same roof, making it much easier to isolate the vulnerable older generation... "We are just trying to slow it," he added, "because this disease will never go away. It will come back. If you manage, like South Korea, to get rid of it, even they say that they count on it coming back."Stopping it might even be negative, because you would have a pent-up possible spread of the disease, and then once you open the gates, there is a possibility that there would be an even worse outcome.""
It's strange how we're supposed to trust experts usually, but here there's pressure for politicians to interfere

As the rest of Europe lives under lockdown, Sweden keeps calm and carries on - "His team at the Public Health Agency of Sweden is critical of the Imperial College paper that warned this month that 250,000 people in the UK would die if the government failed to introduce more draconian measures. A week later Johnson ordered the police to implement a partial lockdown to combat the virus, telling people they “must stay at home”.“We have had a fair amount of people looking at it and they are sceptical,” says Tegnell. “They think Imperial chose a number of variables that gave a prognosis that was quite pessimistic, and that you could just as easily have chosen other variables that gave you another outcome. It’s not a peer-reviewed paper. It might be right, but it might also be terribly wrong. In Sweden, we are a bit surprised that it’s had such an impact.

Sweden under fire for 'relaxed' coronavirus approach – here's the science behind i - "The best estimates of the COVID-19 case-fatality ratio (CFR) – the proportion of those infected who die – is currently 0.5-1.0%. By comparison, the 1918-1919 Spanish flu had a 3% CFR in some parts of northern Sweden. A century ago, Sweden was recovering from the first world war, even though the country stayed neutral.Internal transportation and communication systems were less developed than in many other countries at the time, which helped slow the spread of the epidemic. In the short term, this was perceived to be a good thing, but because herd immunity – whereby enough people have been infected to become immune to the virus – had not been initially achieved, there were at least two additional epidemics of the Spanish flu virus within a year. The second wave of infections had a higher mortality rate than the first wave.Learning the lesson from this, many people in Sweden are now optimistic that it can achieve herd immunity. Compared with the Spanish flu, COVID-19 is less severe, with many infected people believed to be asymptomatic. While this contributes to a more rapid spread, it also means that the threshold for “herd immunity” is about 60%. This may be quickly achieved in countries that do not have intensive mitigation or suppression strategies.This may also lower the risk of further waves of the epidemic. So when we probe the lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic in the future, there will likely be a lot of focus on the success or failure of Sweden’s relatively relaxed initial approach. This would take into account not just the loss of lives from the pandemic, but also longer term social and economic negative consequences and the deaths they may cause."

Where Canada's coronavirus response wasn't good enough - "On Jan. 24, for instance, the chief public health officer, the accomplished Theresa Tam, was asked at the House of Commons standing committee on health if it would be wise to ask travellers coming from Wuhan to self-isolate for two weeks.“I would say, as our president of the Public Health Agency has said, that you have to be very cognizant that the global effort to contain the virus requires the absolute commitment and engagement of the communities that are affected,” she said. “Otherwise, they’ll be stigmatized. They will be asked to take measures beyond what is currently the public health evidence.”That was the wrong call, and it points to a reality about the structure of Tam’s office. She is deferring to the president of the agency, a civil servant, the result of a Stephen-Harper-era restructuring. The Public Health Agency therefore answers to the government, and not, as the Venice public health magistrate did for centuries, to a special committee of doctors.Thus a political principle important to the government of Justin Trudeau—the laudable desire to avoid the stigmatization of minorities—appears to have been given more weight than a looming threat to our health... "There are huge ethical questions about a two-tier society where the immune people are able to go out and frolic and those who lack antibodies are still locked down … but we can’t have the conversation until we have the data.”This raises difficult privacy questions, as does another tool that could be powerful: mobile phone tracking, which would allow public health officials to find people who may have been exposed to the virus and get them tested, before they unknowingly infect others.If you believe, as the Venetians did, that the health of the people is the highest law, then this seems like an easy call. Track us and reopen the economy. Let us get back to work, spend money, go out for dinner, play sports, go to the cottage.But the data collected from our phones must be handled by a trusted third party — a body independent from government — strictly for the purposes of protecting public health."

Ohio man, 60, who blasted COVID-19 lockdown as 'political ploy' dies after contracting coronavirus - "On Facebook, he had dismissed the killer virus as a 'political ploy' that he said officials were using to exert control over the public.'Does anybody have the guts to say this COVID19 is a political ploy? Asking for a friend. Prove me wrong'"

Thread by @DToshkov: What accounts for the variation in the policy responses of European countries to the #coronavirus? - "Why some states acted faster than others?
Here are some provisional answers:
(1) Government effectiveness is strongly *negatively* correlated with the speed of the policy response
(2) Countries with higher aggregate freedom scores have been slower in closing schools and imposing national lockdowns
(3) Interpersonal trust in society is strongly related with the policy response: the higher the interpersonal trust, the more time the countries took to impose restrictive measures!
Some other variables show significant effects as well: regionalism and the authoritarian positions of governing parties, for example. But many other suspected predictors do not, such as left-right party positions, number of parties in government, etc."

Coronavirus in Ireland – Patients ranked by points system weighted against elderly to decide who goes into ICU - "people with disabilities yesterday raised concerns that they will be lower down the list when it comes to accessing intensive care due to their conditions.In a report on RTE’s Morning Ireland, Dubliner Tom Clonan, whose 18-year-old son has neuromuscular disease, called for the Government’s ethical guidelines for treatment during a pandemic be changed to add a promise that people with disabilities will not be discriminated against due to their conditions."
Presumably it's better, if beds run out, for ICU beds to be given to those with the worst chances of surviving so both them and those with better prognoses will die. At least if everyone dies, there's "equality"

COVID-19 treatment shows 100% survival rate - preliminary data - "Six critically ill coronavirus patients in Israel who are considered high-risk for mortality have been treated with Pluristem’s placenta-based cell-therapy product and survived"

'Trump is right about the coronavirus. The WHO is wrong,' says Israeli expert - "“The basic principle is that a virus with an R0 of 2 in a non-immune population can be expected to infect 50 percent of the population. After that the R0 will reach a value of 1 or less, and the disease will be contained. By the way, it will recede in a converging exponential; in other words, the coronavirus can be expected to disappear from this region with the same dizzying speed with which it entered our lives... with the majority of viruses, if you’re infected and you have recovered, you won’t be re-infected, because of immunological memory. And if you are infected again, the symptoms will be less acute the second time. The exception to the rule is influenza: Its mutation frequency is so high that you can be infected by it year after year. Last year alone, the flu underwent 17 mutations. Whereas the last time we heard about corona was 17 years ago, with SARS. In other words, the coronavirus did not undergo mutations at the same frequency as the flu. Of course, the mutations themselves are a function of the number of infections: The more infections there are, the greater the likelihood that mutations will occur. But in practice, the most rapid mutations occur in animals, and they only infect us then, and obviously it’s less probable that we will be infected again by a bat in the near future. By the way, viral mutations are more frequent in bats, whose immune system is astonishingly weak, while their social network is extensive and characterized by a lot of interaction... The actual number of people who are sick with the virus in South Korea is at least double what’s being reported, so the chance of dying is at least twice as low, standing at about 0.45 percent – very far from the World Health Organization’s [global mortality] figure of 3.4 percent. And that’s already a reason for cautious optimism... in the final analysis [U.S. President Donald] Trump was right. Not that the coronavirus is just plain flu – it absolutely isn’t – but as he put it: ‘This is just my hunch – way under 1 percent’ [will die]... we won’t be able to isolate ourselves completely or forever. At some stage, we will have to resume a regular routine, and then the R0 will stabilize at 2 again. Effectively, we are delaying the inevitable... these measures of social distancing mean that we will find ourselves with corona for a longer period, even to 2023... children constitute the only age group that comes into contact with all other age groups – not just theirs. That’s why it is the key population in spreading respiratory diseases... with a high probability, we can say that our situation is not good – but it’s not apocalyptic"
I know someone who says he has had some training in epidemiology and claims that all the experts who say herd immunity will kick in at 60-70% infection rates are talking rubbish because we have no hard data of this happening with any other disease without vaccination. Presumably we should never try anything new and we can never analyse new situations. If no one has ever jumped out of a 777 with a parachute, we can't say that parachutes work when jumping out of a 777, even if we know they work with 747s

Ramadan on collision course with virus for Asia’s Muslims - "The coronavirus pandemic has triggered lockdowns throughout Asia, with schools shut and businesses closed, but mosques have largely stayed open."

Imams overrule Pakistan’s lockdown as ramadan approaches - "While clerics and governments across the Muslim world will greet Ramadan this week under lockdown, working together to shut mosques and urging worshippers to pray at home, in Pakistan, some of the most prominent imams have rallied their devotees to ignore the anti-pandemic measures... Pakistan’s imams were empowered by the military during the 1980s when mosques across the country churned out jihadists to fight the Soviet military in Afghanistan with the support of the U.S. While other countries tried to curb hard-line clerics’ influence after the Afghan war, in Pakistan, the powerful military continued to use them as tools of foreign and domestic policy... The military wanted the shutdown, pressuring Mr. Khan to back the measure at a time when he was reluctant and worried about the economic toll. But when the security forces tried to prevent worshippers from gathering at mosques for prayers, they found themselves under attack... By the time Ramadan approached, police officers were no longer willing to erect cordons around mosques to stop congregants. While clerics acknowledge that their mosques are perfect vectors for the coronavirus’s spread — worshippers gather to perform ablutions together before cramming into the mosques, shoulder to shoulder in supplication — they say they have to protect their bottom line: money and influence."

French researchers to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients - "French researchers are planning to test nicotine patches on coronavirus patients and frontline health workers after a study suggested smokers may be much less at risk of contracting the virus.The study at a major Paris hospital suggests a substance in tobacco – possibly nicotine – may be stopping patients who smoke from catching Covid-19... While nicotine may protect those from the virus, smokers who have caught it often develop more serious symptoms because of the toxic effect of tobacco smoke on the lungs... The renowned French neurobiologist Jean-Pierre Changeux, who reviewed the study, suggested the nicotine might stop the virus from reaching cells in the body preventing its spread. Nicotine may also lessen the overreaction of the body’s immune system that has been found in the most severe cases of Covid-19 infection... The results confirm a Chinese study published at the end of March in the New England Journal of Medicine that suggested only 12.6% of 1,000 people infected with the virus were smokers while the number of smokers in China is around 28%. In France, figures from Paris hospitals showed that of 11,000 patients admitted to hospital with Covid-19, 8.5% were smokers. The total number of smokers in France is estimated at around 25.4%. “Our cross-sectional study strongly suggests that those who smoke every day are much less likely to develop a symptomatic or severe infection with Sars-CoV-2 compared with the general population,” the Pitié-Salpêtrière report authors wrote.“The effect is significant. It divides the risk by five for ambulatory patients and by four for those admitted to hospital. We rarely see this in medicine,” it added."

People are dying of coronavirus because we’re too slow at clinical research

German humanities scholars enlisted to end coronavirus lockdown - "the group’s education specialists raised fears that school closures meant that children from poor families would fall further behind their wealthy peers; jurists wondered if restrictions on basic freedoms were legitimate; and ethicists and philosophers stressed that stopping the spread of the coronavirus would depend far more on public willingness to fall in line with moral norms than any coercive state action... While France has a tradition of public intellectuals, Professor Höffe said, in Germany, academic philosophers have a stronger history of involvement in political discussion."

Trump claims he will temporarily suspend immigration over coronavirus fears
Of course, so many other countries have travel restrictions (which are even worse) but no one is complaining

Mark Hughes - "Seems the same type of people who wished a "plague on humanity" LAST year, call the police on people gathering THIS year."

Mafia distributes food to Italy's struggling residents - "“These handouts by the mafias are not gifts. The mafia does not do anything out of its kind heart. They are favours that everyone will have to pay back in some form or another, by aiding and abetting a fugitive, holding a gun, dealing drugs and the like.”“Consider what happened to El Chapo, the Mexican narco,” said Gratteri. “He trafficked tons of cocaine and commissioned the murder of hundreds of people but in his hometown he was known for his benevolence, because people said that he provided medicines to families or built roads. The same thing happens here.”"

"Literally a miracle": Violent rival gangs in South Africa call truce to help people during pandemic - "Warring gangs in South Africa are working together in an unprecedented truce to deliver much-needed food to people under lockdown. The country has seen a 75% decrease in violent crime since it imposed strict restrictions over the coronavirus pandemic, and normally dangerous streets in Cape Town now see sworn enemies meeting up to collect essential goods to distribute throughout hungry communities... "They are the best distributors in the country," he said. "They are used to distributing other white powders, but still they are distributing things and then, they know everybody."Preston Jacobs, a member of the "Americans" gang, told CBS News' Debora Patta it "feels nice" to take on a new role and communicate with those in need."Now I see there are nice people also, and people want to love what we're doing now"... Sansi Hassan of the "Clever Kids" gang expressed hope that this current ceasefire in gang violence could be permanent in the post-lockdown future."If it can stay like this, then there will be no gang fight," he said. "And every gang will agree with us.""

Indonesians quarantined in haunted house for disobeying self-isolation order

Coronavirus: Should outdoor exercise be banned and parks closed? - "Prof John Edmunds, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, explains there were three ways that the virus may be transmitted:
Touching an infected surface and then your face with unwashed hands
From tiny particles that stay suspended in the air (aerosols)
From larger droplets that quickly fall to the ground - the particles in both cases coming from coughing and sneezing, for example
"The first two of these routes would be reduced to virtually zero out of doors," he said. "You are much less likely to touch an infected surface, and suspended particles will be massively diluted by the fresh air." That means that the remaining danger is droplet infection. To try to avoid that people should stay at least the recommended 2m (6ft) distance from others. However, a US study has suggested that coughs can reach 6m and sneezes 8m... Carl Heneghan, professor of evidence-based medicine at University of Oxford, pointed to limited evidence that people who exercise suffer the symptoms of diseases such as Covid for fewer days.He also stressed that people with other health conditions do much worse with the virus, and if people stop exercising they are more likely to have other conditions."If the government is going to stop outdoor exercise then it is stopping responding to evidence," he said."

Infographic: Common COVID-19 Talking Points And What They Actually Mean | The Babylon Bee - "Shutting down the whole economy could have some bad consequences."
"I want people to die"
"I'm a little worried about government overreach."
"I want people to die"
"What about my 5 few constitutional rights?'"
"I want people to die"
"The virus originated in Wuhan, China"
"I want people to die and also l am a racist."
"Trump has managed this situation fairly well."
"I want people to die as I worship at my shrine of Trump."
"The WHO kind of blew it on this one."
"I want people to die and I hate science."
"I sure would like to go for a jog today."
"I want people to die so I can jog over their lifeless bodies."
"Stay the #$!@ home."
"I have an unlimited love for humanity and I believe together we can end death for good."

Preparing for a responsible lockdown exit strategy - "The global nature of this pandemic and the fact that neighboring countries are at different pandemic levels suggests that the pandemic crisis could be long. However, from an economic and social point of view, confinement measures are not sustainable in the long run. In fact, a sustained economic slump will create negative health consequences, from ‘deaths of despair’1 to pressures on public-health budgets, which might thereby create more non–COVID-19-related deaths than confinement would save from this disease. In addition, social tensions linked to severe prolonged confinement, which negatively affects people quite differently, financially as well as non-financially, may get out of hand. A well-designed exit strategy is therefore crucial."
Looks like Nature Medicine hates people and wants them to die and puts profits above them too!

D_Anon63⭐️⭐️⭐️ Text TRUMP to 88022 on Twitter -  "Them: Everyone must get the Coronavirus vaccine when it comes out.
Me: I’ll pass. My body, my choice. Don’t you agree?"

Sunlight destroys coronavirus 'very quickly,' new government tests find, but experts say pandemic could still last through summer - "Preliminary results from government lab experiments show that the coronavirus does not survive long in high temperatures and high humidity, and is quickly destroyed by sunlight, providing evidence from controlled tests of what scientists believed — but had not yet proved — to be true.A briefing on the preliminary results, marked for official use only and obtained by Yahoo News, offers hope that summertime may offer conditions less hospitable for the virus, though experts caution it will by no means eliminate, or even necessarily decrease, new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus... enclosed areas with low humidity, such as airplane cabins, “may require additional care to minimize risk of transmission.”... scientists for many weeks have predicted, based on available data on the disease’s spread, that warmer, wetter climates would be less hospitable to the spread of the coronavirus. An early analysis by scientists observed that the virus was spreading more slowly in countries with warmer climates... the science behind how sunlight kills the virus is fairly well established"

Coronavirus: Vaccine experts says COVID-19 may never be developed - "Professor Ian Frazer, the immunologist who co-invented the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine which prevents cervical cancer, said a coronavirus vaccine was “tricky”.He told news.com.au that although 100 different teams around the world were testing for vaccines, medical scientists did not have a model of how to attack the virus.The professor of medicine at Queensland University, which is testing for its own COVID-19 vaccine, said immunisation against coronavirus was similar to immunising against the common cold.“It is tricky, vaccines for upper respiratory tract diseases, because the virus lands on the outside of you”... Prof Frazer said a vaccine for the 2003 SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) outbreak was never successfully developed and then the virus burnt out.SARS broke out in China and didn’t spread as far, partly because overseas travel by the Chinese population was not as great 17 years ago as it is today.But, Prof Frazer said, it also had diluted potency as it went from host to host... “It may well be the same with this virus. It’s not very effective in making us sick. It may become less effective.“We are now mapping it as it goes and changes are occurring in its genetic make-up, small changes.“Changes to it in China led to the virus becoming less virulent or sick-making... Prof Frazer, who is currently developing vaccines for cancer, is working with a team of medical scientists on a trial for a coronavirus treatment drug.The intervention drug’s purpose is to dampen down the inflammatory response in high-risk coronavirus patients.He said for 99 per cent of people who got coronavirus it was a trivial illness, but that was not the case for those in the vulnerable categories."

Mental illness will be 'next wave' of COVID-19 pandemic, epidemiologist says - "We humans are ultimately social. We're social creatures and we do need interaction — physical and social — with others. "

Coronavirus lockdowns risk return of hunger to Africa where many live hand-to-mouth - "The impact of coronavirus restrictions has left millions unable to earn a living and made them dependent on donations and government supplies – even as the latest World Bank report for Africa warned the Covid-19 crisis had the potential to create a severe food security crisis in Africa.""

Coronavirus lockdowns prompt protests in India, Lebanon, Iraq - The Washington Post - "As more than half the people in the world hunker down under some form of enforced confinement, stirrings of political and social unrest are pointing to a new, potentially turbulent phase in the global effort to stem the coronavirus pandemic.Already, protests spurred by the collapse of economic activity have erupted in scattered locations around the world... In Kenya as of Saturday, as many people had died in police crackdowns on citizens defying curfew as of covid-19, according to human rights groups and government statistics.But the restrictions aimed at halting the coronavirus are also causing new poverty, new misery and new rumblings of discontent among the world’s working poor, for whom hunger can appear to be a more immediate threat than being infected... With the IMF forecasting the worst global recession in nearly a century, there is a risk of “an increase in social unrest and violence that would greatly undermine our ability to fight the disease”... Wealthier countries where workers are losing jobs by the millions are not immune... it is the world’s poorer nations, which can’t afford subsidies for those who lose jobs, that are most vulnerable to heightened unrest, said Cátia Batista, professor of economics at Lisbon’s Nova University. More than 2 billion people worldwide depend on daywork to survive, according to the International Labor Organization, and for many of them, not working often means not eating. A recent study by a U.N. think tank, the World Institute for Development Economics Research, warned that 500,000 people could slide into absolute poverty as a result of the pandemic’s restrictions, reversing three decades of progress in the war on poverty... The announcement by the Chinese authorities on Friday that the Chinese economy had shrunk by 6.8 percent in the first quarter of 2020, marking the country’s first recession since capitalist-style reforms unleashed explosive growth in the 1990s, was a reminder that the social contract could be at risk... Dozens of people in the city of Wuhan, where the coronavirus first emerged late last year, took to the streets to demand rent forgiveness after lockdown restrictions were lifted earlier this month. Violent clashes erupted between police and protesters on the border between the provinces of Hubei and Jiangxi after lockdown restrictions were lifted in Hubei and police in the neighboring province refused to allow Hubei residents to enter. Trust in the government is key for maintaining the loyalty of citizens who are forced to endure severe setbacks to their livelihoods for the sake of quelling the spread of infections for the populace at large, Huang said. That trust was eroded by clear evidence that the government sought to hide the initial severity of the coronavirus’s spread, perhaps prolonging and deepening the economic costs to the country as a whole."

No more pencils, no more books - Closing schools for covid-19 does lifelong harm and widens inequality | International | The Economist - "Closures especially affect the poorest and the youngest school-goers. Those less likely to have access to three meals a day, an internet-enabled computer, highly educated parents, an available teacher and a safe quiet space to study will fare worst. And if eight-year-olds’ learning stops until the autumn, as it will for some, they could lose nearly a year’s maths attainment, according to first estimates. Without interventions the effects could last a lifetime... Even short interruptions hurt performance. In America third-graders affected by weather-related closures do less well in state assessment exams. French-speaking Belgian students affected by a two-month teachers’ strike in 1990 were more likely to repeat a grade, and less likely to complete higher education, than similar Flemish-speaking students not affected by the strike. West Africans readily recall the devastation caused by longer shutdowns. Today’s older schoolchildren will still remember how prolonged school closures during the Ebola outbreak in 2014 led to an increase in unplanned teen pregnancies and in related school dropouts... Another way to estimate the magnitude of learning losses—and gaps—now emerging, is to dig into summer learning-loss data. Over the holiday, young kids in America normally lose between 20% and 50% of the skills they gained over the school year. This is a global problem but most studied in America because of its long summer vacations. Matthias Doepke of Northwestern University estimates that by the end of this summer the sizeable group of American children whose learning loss started when schools closed might have lost up to a year’s attainment. Since every year of education is associated with an increase in annual earnings of roughly 10%, the consequences for those children become clear... Closures will also disproportionately hurt the youngest schoolchildren. “You can make up for lost maths with summer school. But you can’t easily do that with the stuff kids learn very young,” says Mr Doepke. Social and emotional skills such as critical thinking, perseverance and self-control are predictors of all sorts of things, from academic achievement and employment to health outcomes and the likelihood of ending up in jail. And whereas older children can be plonked in front of a computer, younger ones learn far more when digital learning—whether reading an e-book or watching a video—is adult-supervised"
Those who mock anything other than full lockdown as being concerned with money over lives have a less easy time dismissingv this

Epidemiologist: Coronavirus could be ‘exterminated’ if lockdowns were lifted - "A veteran scholar of epidemiology has warned that the ongoing lockdowns throughout the United States and the rest of the world are almost certainly just prolonging the coronavirus outbreak rather than doing anything to truly mitigate it.Knut Wittkowski, previously the longtime head of the Department of Biostatistics, Epidemiology, and Research Design at the Rockefeller University in New York City, said in an interview with the Press and the Public Project that the coronavirus could be “exterminated” if we permitted most people to lead normal lives and sheltered the most vulnerable parts of society until the danger had passed. “[W]hat people are trying to do is flatten the curve. I don’t really know why. But, what happens is if you flatten the curve, you also prolong, to widen it, and it takes more time. And I don’t see a good reason for a respiratory disease to stay in the population longer than necessary,” he said.“With all respiratory diseases, the only thing that stops the disease is herd immunity. About 80% of the people need to have had contact with the virus, and the majority of them won’t even have recognized that they were infected, or they had very, very mild symptoms, especially if they are children. So, it’s very important to keep the schools open and kids mingling to spread the virus to get herd immunity as fast as possible, and then the elderly people, who should be separated, and the nursing homes should be closed during that time, can come back and meet their children and grandchildren after about 4 weeks when the virus has been exterminated”... Asked about Anthony Fauci, the White House medical expert who for weeks has been predicting significant numbers of COVID-19 deaths in America as well as major ongoing disruptions to daily life possibly for years, Wittkowski replied: “Well, I’m not paid by the government, so I’m entitled to actually do science.”"

Commentary: COVID-19 collapse exceeds any recession in the last 150 years - "Employment in China has rebounded somewhat, but it is far from clear when it will return to anything close to pre-COVID-19 levels.And even if Chinese manufacturing does rebound fully, who is going to buy those goods when the rest of the global economy is sinking?... even after an economic restart, the damage to businesses and debt markets will have lingering effects, especially considering that global debt was already at record-breaking levels before the crisis began... it will be difficult to persuade businesses to invest and hire, especially when they are anticipating higher tax bills when it’s all over."

The length of unemployment predicts mortality, differently in men and women, and by cause of death: A six year mortality follow-up of the Swedish 1992–1996 recession - "long-term unemployment is related to elevated all-cause mortality for men and women"

Population health and the economy: Mortality and the Great Recession in Europe - "in the European experience of the past 20 years, recessions, on average, have beneficial short‐term effects on mortality of the adult population."

When the U.S. falls into a recession, a credit bubble will explode - "Here’s a quote from my friend Peter Boockvar, chief investment officer of Bleakley Advisory Group, a $3.5 billion wealth-management firm, which drew an enormous amount of interest: “We no longer have business cycles; we have credit cycles.”"

The Subways Seeded the Massive Coronavirus Epidemic in New York City - "New York City’s multitentacled subway system was a major disseminator – if not the principal transmission vehicle – of coronavirus infection during the initial takeoff of the massive epidemic that became evident throughout the city during March 2020. The near shutoff of subway ridership in Manhattan – down by over 90 percent at the end of March – correlates strongly with the substantial increase in the doubling time of new cases in this borough. Maps of subway station turnstile entries, superimposed upon zip code-level maps of reported coronavirus incidence, are strongly consistent with subway-facilitated disease propagation. Local train lines appear to have a higher propensity to transmit infection than express lines. Reciprocal seeding of infection appears to be the best explanation for the emergence of a single hotspot in Midtown West in Manhattan. Bus hubs may have served as secondary transmission routes out to the periphery of the city."

Gad Saad - Posts - "I agree with @TuckerCarlson on many issues but his position on the prohibition of religious gatherings being an attack on the Bill of Rights is deeply misguided. If the USA were being carpet-bombed by an enemy Air Force, and the government forced the public to stay indoors with the lights turned off at night, it would be ludicrous to argue: But bruh Bill of Rights. No one is telling you to not practice your faith. But I’m sure that God is understanding enough to grant you the flexibility to pray at home rather than in a mega-church with tons of people in close proximity. We are facing a unique challenge that the Founding Fathers had not foreseen. Come on Tucker, this is not a hidden attack on religious liberties. Politicians are doing their best to minimize the death toll. I would certainly accept though your concern about the downstream negative consequences of a prolonged shutdown. Too few politicians are discussing this issue."

Coronavirus cluster emerges at another South Korean church, as others press ahead with Sunday services - "Religious experts say around 60 people in the country claim to be divine – and some have been implicated in fraud, brainwashing, coercion, and other behaviour associated with cults worldwide."

'A phantom plague': America's Bible Belt played down the pandemic and even cashed in. Now dozens of pastors are dead - "Dozens of pastors across the Bible Belt have succumbed to coronavirus after churches and televangelists played down the pandemic and actively encouraged churchgoers to flout self-distancing guidelines. As many as 30 church leaders from the nation's largest African American Pentecostal denomination have now been confirmed to have died in the outbreak, as members defied public health warnings to avoid large gatherings to prevent transmitting the virus... The virus has had a wildly disproportionate impact among black congregations, many of which have relied on group worship. Yet despite the climbing death toll, many US church leaders throughout the Bible Belt have not only continued to hold services but have urged worshippers to continue paying tithes... Bishop Gerald Glenn, founder and leader since 1995 of the New Deliverance Evangelistic Church in Chesterfield, Virginia, was the first black chaplain of the town's police. He had vowed to continue preaching "unless I'm in jail or the hospital" before his death from coronavirus earlier this month.The bishop told his congregation that he believes "God is larger than this dreaded virus" just days before Virginia Governor Ralph Northam urged people to avoid "nonessential" group gatherings... Most congregations are following stay-at-home guidelines, according to recent polling that found that nearly 90 per cent of congregations have closed their churches and been encouraged to worship at home. But 20 per cent of parishioners say they're encouraged to attend in-person services, and another 17 per cent continue to do so. The survey found that evangelicals were more likely to report worshipping in person. In states with restrictions on attending church as well as those without, nearly a third of church-attending evangelicals said they continued to attend in person... The pandemic has also renewed defence of the Second Amendment, with the National Rifle Association claiming lockdowns during the pandemic a chance for "them" to "want your guns", while gun stores are closed along with other "nonessential" businesses... Republican officials have also used the crisis to close abortion clinics and deny abortion care under government orders to halt nonelective procedures... Mr Spell has been embroiled in a legal battle over his opposition to the state's stay-at-home order, stressing to his followers that it's their "duty" to continue attending church services despite the pandemic.He was recently arrested and charged with aggravated assault for allegedly attempting to back over a protester with his church bus... Reverend Spell has also directed parishioners to donate their federal stimulus checks — sent out earlier this month to support unemployed and under-employed Americans during the crisis — to his website"
God's punishment for homosexuality?
Presumably white supremacy is to blame for the blacks' deaths
At least one can say that gun rights are in the US constitution - but not abortion


Judge Says Ralph Northam Can't Close Gun Ranges - "An indoor gun range in Virginia will be allowed to reopen amid the state’s emergency shutdown of non-essential businesses after a judge ruled that ordering its closure was beyond the authority of Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam, even during a pandemic."

4 reasons coronavirus is hitting black communities so hard - The Washington Post - "“Why is it three or four times more so for the black community as opposed to other people?” President Trump asked at Tuesday’s White House task force briefing. “It doesn’t make sense, and I don’t like it, and we are going to have statistics over the next probably two to three days.”...
1. Higher rates of underlying health conditions, and less access to care
2. Black Americans hold a lot of ‘essential’ jobs
3. Insufficient information
4. Housing disparities"

Surgeon general is under fire for 'offensive' instruction for black Americans not to smoke or drink - "Surgeon General Jerome Adams has been met with outrage by the black community for using phrases like 'abuela', 'big momma' and 'poppop', while pleading for minorities to not drink or smoke and follow the government's guidelines to slow the spread of the coronavirus .'We need you to do this if not for yourself than for your abuela. Do it for your granddaddy, do it for your big momma, do it for your poppop,' the nation's top doctor said Friday at the daily coronavirus taskforce briefing -  while also advising those groups to 'avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs.'Adams told Americans of color that they need to 'step up' to stop the spread of coronavirus, and said 'social ills' are likely a contributing factor when looking at the dire statistics that the outbreak has killed twice as many black and Latino people than white Americans. Now members of the black community are calling out the Surgeon General for 'pandering' to them with his use of slang and also for his 'offensive' instruction that those specific communities to stop drinking and smoking during this pandemic... activist Blaine Hardaway wrote: 'I really would like to say I'm surprised but of course I'm not. Trump sent the only black guy on his team out to chastise black and Latino people for smoking and drinking, as if that's the reason our communities are predisposed to this virus. Just disgusting.' Adams was met with immediate push back for his comments later in the briefing when PBS NewsHour's Yamiche Alcindor asked him to respond to those who might have been offended by his colloquialisms. 'We need targeted outreach to the African-American community and I used the language that is used in my family,' Adams said. 'I have a Puerto Rican brother-in-law, I call my granddaddy "granddaddy" I have relatives who call their grandparents big momma.'  'That was not meant to be offensive,' he added. 'That's the language that we use and I use and we need to continue to target our outreach to those communities.'"
If a black person trying to get information to minorities is racist, it's no wonder they have insufficient information
If you can't tell minorities to live healthy lives because it's racist, it's no wonder they have more health conditions
Of course, it's also racist not to take into account cultural peculiarities in education campaigns


A post by I,Hypocrite on March 16 - "How to stop the spread of racism during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. This Canadian short aims to curb coronavirus-related xenophobia, but its message is universal."
"Canada banning entry to foreigners"

Meme - "Oh shit there's a virus killing people
Let's quarantine the country and make it illegal to do business
Oh shit capitalism is failing! See how fragile it is! This is why we need socialism!"

Capitalism Causes Disasters, Socialism Can Solve Them - "The devastation brought by the coronavirus has been hugely magnified by an irrational system that measures human life in terms of profits and loss. Faced with collapse, states have already had to intervene in the markets — now, we need them to plan to rebuild our societies for the future."
Some people claimed that the image was a straw man

Kenya governor under fire after putting Hennessy bottled in coronavirus care package - "The governor justified the inclusion of alcohol as "throat sanitizer.""I think from the research conducted by the World Health Organization and various organizations, it has been believed that alcohol plays a major role in killing the coronavirus"... But the World Health Organization has explicitly stated that alcohol does not protect against coronavirus, and advises people to minimize its consumption."

There may be no going back - "As offices, restaurants and even trains resume service, people in China are, however, finding that the normalcy they were waiting to return to is, in fact, anything but normal. The shadow of COVID-19 is still hanging over every aspect of daily life. In constant fear of the possibility of a second wave of infections, authorities are continuing with a range of physical distancing measures as a precaution. For the rest of the world too, this may be the new normal that awaits us. An April 14 study by Harvard researchers suggested physical distancing measures may be here to stay, perhaps on an on-and-off basis, until 2022, because one-time lockdowns will not be enough to control the pandemic... A friend who works in a start-up in Beijing’s Zhongguancun tech district told me offices now have to choose which employees go into work every day. Offices are reorganising their staff so every department is split into several teams, to ensure that one infection won’t paralyse the entire team. In some buildings, offices cannot hold more than a specified number of people on a given day, which may range from five to 10 depending on the size of the office, according to rules imposed by the property management. Health is no longer a private matter. Your health QR code is now the most important passport to get you anywhere in any Chinese city. An app that every citizen has to download marks you green (safe), while orange or red may mean you can’t enter a shopping mall or restaurant. The colour depends on your travel history and who you have been in contact with, among other things. Then there is temperature screening. Getting half-a-dozen temperature checks a day is now the norm. Building authorities check every employee’s temperature every time they enter or leave the building. So do shopping malls, railway stations and airports. A high temperature means an ambulance may be called and you’ll have to go to hospital, whether you like it or not. If you are running a fever, even if you don’t have COVID-19, you may not be able to board a subway, or catch a train, or enter a shopping mall. Some businesses require every employee to take a nucleic acid test before returning to work. And of course, you cannot leave home without a face mask. Not wearing a face mask in public is now a punishable offence. Social gatherings aren’t what they used to be. Weddings are being put on hold. Restaurants have reduced the number of tables by half, and you can only seat three at a table. In some restaurants, you will be sprayed with disinfectant before entering. Forget about ambience, too — plastic sheets separate every table. In China, the way people eat isn’t what it used to be either. On April 12, the National Health Commission said diners will have to be served meals in separate dishes. So if three diners order a dish, it will be served to each separately to prevent the risk of infection. Shops and restaurants are opening, but many other establishments remain closed. Bars and pubs now firmly limit the number of patrons who can be present at any given time. Some bars in China are openly barring foreigners, because of what the government calls a rise in “imported infections”, which is fanning a new kind of health-triggered xenophobia. While some businesses have opened, gyms, swimming pools, cinema halls, and not to mention most schools and colleges, remain shut. Perhaps the most transformative changes are being seen in education and tourism. Some 300 million Chinese students in schools and universities are now taking classes online every day, and all kinds of new e-learning platforms, teaching everything from classical music to Pilates, are now booming. Travel and tourism have been the hardest hit. In Beijing, starting April 12, a nucleic acid test certificate has to be produced when you check into a hotel. If you don’t, you can’t get a room. (If you’re a foreigner, you may not get a room anyway, according to the policies some hotels are following). Inter-city travel is now a costly exercise. Travelling to another city for work may bring you a 14-day mandatory quarantine when you return home. Then there is air travel. Travel for pleasure may become a thing of the past. And forget about travelling in pleasure. In China, most airline passengers are now decked out in not just masks, but full hazmat suits and goggles. Some airlines, such as Emirates, have started testing passengers for COVID-19 before boarding. Results are issued in 10 minutes. As a result of the continued closures and restrictions, many businesses are floundering. To get consumers to support them, some cities in China are now issuing 30-day spending vouchers to encourage people to support small businesses and retail. They are also making two-and-a-half-day weekends the norm – perhaps one small sliver of a silver lining to hold on to amid all the dark clouds."

COVID-19 Antibody Seroprevalence in Santa Clara County, California - "Results The unadjusted prevalence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in Santa Clara County was 1.5% (exact binomial 95CI 1.11-1.97%), and the population-weighted prevalence was 2.81% (95CI 2.24-3.37%). Under the three scenarios for test performance characteristics, the population prevalence of COVID-19 in Santa Clara ranged from 2.49% (95CI 1.80-3.17%) to 4.16% (2.58-5.70%). These prevalence estimates represent a range between 48,000 and 81,000 people infected in Santa Clara County by early April, 50-85-fold more than the number of confirmed cases. Conclusions The population prevalence of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in Santa Clara County implies that the infection is much more widespread than indicated by the number of confirmed cases. Population prevalence estimates can now be used to calibrate epidemic and mortality projections."

New York Finds Coronavirus Marker in 13.9% People Studied - Bloomberg - "A New York study seeking to measure the spread of the new coronavirus found that 13.9% of 3,000 people tested across the state had signs of the virus, one of the biggest U.S. reviews to date.That implies that about 2.7 million residents may have had Covid-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo said. That’s about 10 times more than the official count based on the state’s testing, which covered mostly very sick patients.The pandemic was more intense in New York City, the hardest-hit area in the U.S. There, 21.2% of people tested positive for a blood marker showing that they had been infected at some point... the fatality rate is likely lower than implied by merely examining confirmed cases and deaths... In the Boston suburb of Chelsea, that percentage was even higher than New York, with 64 out of 200 randomly sampled residents having antibodies. John Iafrate, a pathologist at Harvard University and the study’s principal investigator, told Bloomberg the high levels were likely in part due to dense living conditions.In China, meanwhile, Wuhan’s Zhongnan Hospital found that among 3,600 of its employees only 2.4% developed antibodies, doctors there said in a press conference this month.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated that 25% of people may be asymptomatic for the disease."

In four U.S. state prisons, nearly 3,300 inmates test positive for coronavirus -- 96% without symptoms

China: most asymptomatic coronavirus carriers never get sick - "Among 6,764 people who tested positive for infection without showing symptoms, only one fifth of them -- 1,297 -- have so far developed symptoms and been re-classified as confirmed cases... Some 1,023 are still being monitored in medical quarantine to see if they develop symptoms. The rest -- 4,444 -- have been discharged from medical observation after recovering from the virus"
Some people claim asmptomatic doesn't mean you never develop symtpoms - but most who are asymptomatic never do
This also ties in to China's junk data - no wonder they have so few coronavirus cases since only symptomatic cases are counted


Professor Wants to Lose COVID-19 Vaccine Race, Too Many White Male Researchers - "A women’s studies educator for Oxford University penned an opinion piece for The Huffington Post, explaining how she wants her university to lose the Covid-19 vaccine race, simply because those leading the research are too white and male, as opposed to more progressive research groups... In the opinion piece for The Huffington Post titled, “I Teach At Oxford, But I Don’t Want It To Win The Coronavirus Vaccine Race”... If Britain were to come up with the vaccine, the could pose themselves as world saviors–which would, of course, be a bad thing... "the UK is increasingly resorting to patriotism in response... If my university is the first to develop the vaccine, I’m worried that it will be used as it has been in the past, to fulfil its political, patriotic function as proof of British excellence.""
Anti-racism is so poisonous that it makes you want more people to die rather because the alternative is to have white people accomplish something (again).
Of course we will still be told that it's a myth that liberals hate their countries

Addendum: This is Emily Cousens

COVID-19 Will Mutate — What That Means for a Vaccine - "mutations aren’t necessarily a bad thing. Every virus mutates; it’s part of the virus life cycle. Those shifts and changes aren’t always a big deal.In some cases, those mutations may actually lead to a weaker virus. Usually, though, the changes are so slight that there’s no noticeable difference in the disease’s transmission and fatality rates... “In the world of RNA viruses, change is the norm. We expect RNA viruses to change frequently. That’s just their nature,” said Dr. Mark Schleiss, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and investigator with the Institute for Molecular Virology at the University of Minnesota.SARS-CoV-2 is no exception, and over the past few months it has been mutating.But the virus has mutated at a very slow pace. And when it does mutate, the new copies aren’t far off from the original virus... The virus mutations, like what’s going around in Italy and also New York, don’t seem to be any more infectious or fatal than the original strain that appeared in Wuhan, China, in late December.Though there’s the very rare chance a virus could mutate to be more aggressive, if anything, RNA viruses are more likely to mutate into a weaker version.“Nearly all mutations will make some part of the virus work less well than before. The most common thing is for mutations to appear and die out again quickly,” said Dr. Benjamin Neuman, the head of the biology department at Texas A&M University-Texarkana. But the characteristics and traits of that original strain and its mutations aren’t vastly different from one another. The mutations likely won’t interfere with the effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccine.In fact, the slow and mild nature of the mutations is good news for a vaccine... Usually, an older strain of a virus will “preserve enough features” that it will provide immunity against a whole group of variants, Neuman adds.But the flu virus mutates fast and erratically from year to year.On top of that, our immune system “has a terrible memory for flu viruses,” Neuman said, noting that the immune response to the flu only lasts around a year before we need to get revaccinated.Schleiss says a better analogy for COVID-19 is the mumps. For more than 45 years, we’ve had a very effective vaccine for measles, mumps, and rubella (which are also RNA viruses)... Even if random mutations do occur down the road, Schleiss believes the worst-case scenario is that we’ll see some breakthrough infections, but we wouldn’t have breakthrough life-threatening disease. It’s still unclear exactly how long immunity will last once a person’s immune system beats the infection.Once an infection leaves the body, it leaves markers in the immune system — or antibodies — that can quickly identify and fight the virus if it were to reappear in the future.Looking back at the SARS pandemic in 2003, people who had SARSTrusted Source had a strong supply of SARS antibodies for about 2 years, providing them immunity against the virus.After about 3 years, those SARS antibodies tapered off, and people had a higher chance of contracting the virus again.The timeline with COVID-19 antibodies may be similar.Within a few years, we’ll hopefully have enough herd immunity — from a vaccine along with natural immunity from so many people getting sick — to have eradicated the disease so reinfection will no longer be an issue.Even if, years down the road, those COVID-19 antibodies wear off and SARS-CoV-2 makes a comeback, our bodies will still remember the infection and be ready to fight."

Canada: 1 million respirators acquired from China unfit for coronavirus fight - "Canada's public health authority says around 1 million KN95 respirators acquired from China have failed to meet federal Covid-19 standards for use by front-line health professionals."
According to China shills, all the Western countries are stupid/incompetent for repeatedly choosing unlicensed suppliers. Of course, even if they are right, this doesn't make China look that good since they seem to have a very high number of lousy suppliers

Renson Seow - "What Trump said
==
“So supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it's ultraviolet or just a very powerful light — and I think you said that hasn't been checked because of the testing," Trump said, speaking to Bryan during the briefing. "And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or some other way, and I think you said you're going to test that, too."
He added: "I see the disinfectant that knocks it out in a minute, one minute. And is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning? As you see, it gets in the lungs, it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that."
==
The first sounds like blood irradiation therapy, which was an old experimental treatment involving ultraviolet light on blood before returning it to the body, before the age of antibiotics. Trump is old, possible he might have remembered it from long ago.
The second is not really possible without toxifying the blood.
Yes, it is possible to emotionlessly evaluate the suggestions for merit without going apeshit like the "journalists" of today."
It's irresponsible and reckless for politicians to publicly promote scientific research!
Strange where people are seeing "bleach" mentioned


Students Against Sleep - SAS - "I think eating more greens will boost the immune system, but I'm no doctor"
"Trump now tells people to eat poison ivy"

Disinfectant-Linked Poisoning Rises Amid COVID-19 - ""Exposures to cleaners and disinfectants reported to NPDS [the National Poison Data System] increased substantially in early March 2020," noted a team led by Dr. Arthur Chang, a researcher at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.In fact, there's been a more than 20% spike in the number of such poisoning emergencies reported to the NPDS, compared to the same time last year"
Trump is so powerful his remarks caused people to swallow bleach more than a month before he made them

Botulinum toxin - Wikipedia - "Botulinum toxin (Botox) is a neurotoxic protein produced by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum and related species. It prevents the release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from axon endings at the neuromuscular junction and thus causes flaccid paralysis. Infection with the bacterium causes the disease botulism. The toxin is also used commercially for medical and cosmetic purposes."
According to some people it's a bad idea to inject poison into your body, and I saw one say that no serious researcher would ever suggest doing that.

DeAnna Lorraine 🇺🇸 on Twitter - "For the #TrumpIsNotADoctor crowd... Bill Nye is not a scientist. Greta Thunberg is not a climate expert. Hillary Clinton is not a President. AOC is not an economist. CNN is not a news network. Joe Biden is not winning in 2020. ...and Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself."

Germany will issue coronavirus antibody certificates to allow quarantined to re-enter society

Coronavirus did not jump from Wuhan's seafood market: Here's the evidence - "Q: Did the SARS-CoV-2 virus jump from animals (believed to be bats, and other 'intermediate hosts') to humans in Wuhan’s Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market?
No. Clinical data from China clearly dispute this claim. Chinese authorities and experts are at odds about the real origin of the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.
Q: What’s the evidence showing where it started?
At least two clinical studies, published six days apart in January 2020 (January 24 and January 30, 2020) disprove this Huanan-Seafood-Wholesale-Market-was-the-origin-of-SARS-CoV-2 narrative. The studies were prepared by top-level Chinese clinical researchers.
Q: Who are the researchers?
They are mostly Chinese medical doctors and clinicians... This study was funded by Ministry of Science and Technology, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, National Natural Science Foundation of China, and the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission... Of the 99 patients in the second study (with “2019-nCoV pneumonia”, later known as SARS-CoV-2), only 49 (49%) had a history of exposure to the Huanan seafood market"
More nefarious CIA influence!
Presumably China shills will manage to come up with some way to reconcile the virus coming from the seafood market, claims of no clear evidence of human to human transmission and many cases having no contact with the market


BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Friday's business with Dharshini David - "’Like so many states in America, New York systems are overwhelmed by the tsunami of people filing for unemployment. Just two weeks 10 million Americans lost their job. And as those losses mount so too do the lines at food banks’...
‘If you if you look at where we are already, if you count the 10 million people that have applied for unemployment in the US over the course of the last two weeks, add to the 4% of people that were already employed before this crisis began, you're already at 10%, which was, which was the peak at the great financial crisis in the US. And that's just where we're beginning unfortunately. A back of the envelope calculation using various data sets of what is a vulnerable worker who, did those people who work in close contact with others, barbers, hairdressers, waitresses, waiters, things of that nature. You know, in your very back of the envelope calculation leads you to believe that you could be seeing an unemployment rate of about 25%. That is in line with the Great Depression.’”

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, How will the world after coronavirus be different? - "I'm not against surveillance per se. I mean, it's important to use these new technologies to help us defeat the epidemic. The question is whether this surveillance empowers a single all powerful government or a wider range of organizations and citizens. I mean, who controls all the information? Is it the police, or is it an independent health agency? And surveillance can always go both ways. At the same time that we increase surveillance of citizen movements, at the same time, we also should increase surveillance of say government expenditure. I mean, governments are now spending money like water. Hundreds of billions of dollars and sterling and euros and we need to have a very close watch of who gets what. So I am in favor of surveillance, as long as it goes both ways and doesn't result in an authoritarian regime, like we see happening now in Hungary and in other countries around the world”

BBC Radio 4 - Best of Today, Monday's business with Dominic O'Connell - "The biggest thing that makes supermarkets inefficient is having 20, 25,000 products in a store. Who needs 35 different types of ketchup? Who needs 100 different crisp varieties. And so very quickly they will work with the industry to decide, you know, what's important food, what the population needs, and you probably can get 10%, maybe even 15%, productivity improvement out of simply simplifying the range. You'll still have food, you'll still have all the basic things you need, but you won't have 35 varieties and then together between suppliers going over this list, okay, I will only manufacture that variety, I'll be 10, 15% more efficient because I have to change from my plant. The supermarket, the same. And actually, the filling of the shelves goes massively faster, we have less ranges. So they're ready for that, but it's not, so they're ready for that and  we shouldn't be worried about going hungry, but it will still be panic breaking out because mistakes will happen along the way. And that is when people see one day, a completely empty store. And then the knock on impact on people behaving emotionally and panicking and rioting is bigger, the biggest problem we would have... [Online delivery is] a pipe dream because obviously, it's the most efficient way of getting food to your house, you get somebody else to pick it and deliver it for you. If we're gonna have 5 to 10% labor shortages, it's much more important that person fills the shelf than he sits there driving in a truck coming to you"

BBC Radio 4 - From Our Own Correspondent Podcast, India's Forgotten Migrant Workers - "I would like to report that Japan is handling the covid-19 epidemic exceptionally well, as well or even better than almost anywhere else. Take a look at the figures. Nearly three months since the first infection was recorded here, and only 3000 confirmed cases, less than 100 deaths in a country with the world's oldest population. It is an extraordinary achievement... a lot of what I read makes me feel distinctly queasy about what is going on here. In the rest of the world, strategies to control the virus appear to fall broadly into two categories. Let’s called them distancing and testing. Either you tried to keep everyone away from each other, or you try to test everyone and isolate those who are positive. Some countries are doing both. Japan is doing neither. Yes schools have been closed, and in Tokyo the parks were finally shut down last weekend. But just a week earlier tens of thousands that filled the same parks for the annual madness that is cherry blossom parties. The same weekend in a city just north of Tokyo, 6,000 people jammed a stadium to watch a kickboxing match. People are now being gently encouraged to stay at home if possible, but there's not much sign of it. Certainly not amongst the young. So what about testing? Well, in this Japan is a real outlier. Testing for covid-19 is measured in tests per million people. At the top is Iceland with an astonishing 53,000 tests per million. Germany is pretty high out there too, with 11,000 tests per million. The US and UK are lagging a bit with around 3,000 tests per million, and Japan. Currently, it has done just 300 tests per million. Why? Well, the answer according to Prime Minister Abe's top medical adviser is that Japan is testing people who are sick, and then aggressively tracing all those who have been in contact with them. Testing people who are not sick is a waste of resources. The real answer is a little more prosaic. Japan has a law that says anyone who tests positive for a novel infectious disease must be hospitalized. Health Ministry bureaucrats are terrified. If they start mass testing, the country's hospitals will be overwhelmed by people who have tested positive, but are not really sick. The conundrum for gloom stirs like me, is up to now Japan's relaxed attitude appears to have worked. The question is why? On social media, everyone has their pet theory. Japanese people don't shake hands is a favorite. They don't hug or kiss on the cheeks like Europeans. Japanese people have long been fanatical about hand washing. And one of the hottest right now, Japanese people have long worn masks when they have a cough or a cold. All these things are true. But do they account for the slow spread of the pandemic here? I have asked a number of infectious disease experts and epidemiologists, and the emphatic answer that comes back is no. As they say, Japan's practice of bowing and mask wearing may be helping, but it does not account on its own for the small number of confirmed infections. So what does? As one senior epidemiologist put it to me a few days ago, if you don't test, you don't know what you don't know. He thinks the virus has been quietly spreading through the population here, and that Tokyo is now on the verge of a major outbreak. Unfortunately, the latest figures appear to back him up. Confirmed cases here have more than doubled in the last week"

What Will Our Post-Coronavirus Normal Feel Like? Hints Are Beginning to Emerge - The New York Times - "Until the virus is subdued either by a vaccine or by a global campaign of strategically coordinated lockdowns — which one Harvard study estimated would take two years to work — daily life is likely to be defined by efforts to manage the pandemic... Large gatherings may remain rare. A report led by Scott Gottlieb, a former Food and Drug Administration commissioner, said gatherings should be limited to 50 people or fewer. This would preclude many weddings, sporting events or concerts. It would rule out a full return to commuting by public transit. Many malls, gyms, restaurants, bars and places of worship might remain fully or partly closed. So would many offices and factories. Travel is likely to remain tightly restricted, particularly as societies that have controlled their outbreaks seek to keep new ones from breaking out... as long the virus persists somewhere in the world, the threat of new local outbreaks, and a return to lockdown, will remain.With conflicting messages coming from government officials, much of the day-to-day burden of deciding which behaviors are worth the risk will fall on regular people. Even if officials authorize the reopening of shops, for example, neither employees nor customers will return if they consider it prohibitively unsafe... When the coronavirus outbreak is under control, aversion to strangers or large groups, and the threat of infection they could pose, might echo in our minds for years... In Daraya, a long-besieged suburb of Damascus, Syria, Dr. Mukhopadhyay found networks of charity and mutual support stronger than in many peacetime societies.Now, she said, she’s seeing similar behaviors forming in New York, where, as in other stricken cities, neighborhoods are reorganizing around local support groups as people instinctively shift toward thinking in terms of their immediate community... Liberation, survivors say, comes only through accepting what many would find unthinkable in calmer times: You, as an individual, have little control over the forces upending, and at time threatening, your life... “People live in the moment.”... In the months of pandemic ahead, that may mean planning events like concerts or weddings only days or weeks out, as restrictions lift, knowing they could return at any moment. Travel, business opportunities, even relationships might grow more opportunistic and short-term.

Vanquish the Virus? Australia and New Zealand Aim to Show the Way - The New York Times - "Scott Morrison of Australia, a conservative Christian, and Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s darling of the left, are both succeeding with throwback democracy — in which partisanship recedes, experts lead, and quiet coordination matters more than firing up the base. “This is certainly distinct from the United States,” said Dr. Peter Collignon, a physician and professor of microbiology at the Australian National University who has worked for the World Health Organization. “Here it’s not a time for politics. This is a time for looking at the data and saying let’s do what makes the most sense.” The dreamy prospect of near normalcy, with the virus defeated, crowds gathering in pubs and every child back in school, is hard to imagine for much of the United States... And it may end up being a mirage or temporary triumph in Australia and New Zealand. Elimination means reducing infections to zero in a geographic area with continued measures to control any new outbreak, and that may require extended travel bans. Other places that seemed to be keeping the virus at bay, such as China, Hong Kong and Singapore, have seen it rebound, usually with infections imported from overseas... Far from any global hot spot, they’ve had the advantage of time: Australia reported its first case on Jan. 25, New Zealand on Feb. 28. But compared to Mr. Trump and leaders in Europe, Mr. Morrison and Ms. Ardern responded with more alacrity and with starker warnings. Mr. Morrison banned travelers from China on Feb. 1 (a day before the United States did) and labeled the outbreak a pandemic on Feb. 27 (two weeks ahead of the W.H.O.)... In New Zealand, where the government is more centralized, Ms. Ardern introduced an alert system that led to a total lockdown less than a month after the country’s first case emerged... In both countries, the public initially resisted and then complied, in part because the information flowing from officials at every level was largely consistent... In both countries, the public initially resisted and then complied, in part because the information flowing from officials at every level was largely consistent... Dr. Brendan Murphy, Australia’s chief medical officer, told a New Zealand parliamentary committee last week that elimination would be a “nirvana” scenario — an achievement that would be tough to maintain without indefinite bans on international travel or 14-day quarantines until a vaccine arrives."
Moral of the story - being cut off from the world is a good thing?
Declaring victory before even a second wave comes is premature (just like declaring Sweden's failure)
The New York Times criticises European leaders for their delayed response too


IATA - International Travel Document News - "NOTE: The information is correct to the best of IATA's knowledge at the time of publication and is being reviewed and updated on an ongoing basis by IATA staff, given the rapidly evolving nature of the international response to the COVID-19 outbreak IATA cannot guarantee its accuracy and can accept no liability for any errors or omissions. IATA reserves the right to add or change information at any time. Links to third party websites of third parties are offered as a courtesy. IATA expresses no opinion on the content of the websites of third parties and does not accept any responsibility for third-party information. You should make your own independent inquiries before relying on any information or materials contained on these pages."

New study finds few cases of outdoor transmission of coronavirus in China - "A new study of the more than 300 outbreak clusters of COVID-19 in China reveals that the majority of the outbreaks were fueled by indoor transmission of the disease, while outdoor transmission was scarce"

Are female leaders more successful at managing the coronavirus crisis? - "Whatever conclusions we may draw from these leaders’ performances during the pandemic, experts caution that while women are “disproportionately represented to a rather startling degree” among countries managing the crisis well, dividing men and women heads of state and government into homogenous categories is not necessarily useful.Complicating factors may be at play. Kathleen Gerson, a professor of sociology at New York University, notes, for example, that women leaders are more likely to be elected in “a political culture in which there’s a relative support and trust in the government – and that doesn’t make stark distinctions between women and men. So you’ve already got a head start”."

Inspiring: Celebrities Spell Out 'We're All In This Together' With Their Yachts | The Babylon Bee

expert comments about herd immunity | Science Media Centre - "Dr Bharat Pankhania, Senior Clinical Lecturer with the University of Exeter Medical School, said:
“The concept of herd immunity is to try to create an extremely large group of people who have immunity against an infectious agent.  This means either vaccinating, or allowing people to get infected and recover, so they have developed memory against the infecting agent and for example can produce antibodies when encountering the infectious agent again.  This constitutes the concept of immunity. “To create herd immunity, via an infection route, people get infected and recover, and hope that once they recover, they are hopefully also immune. “With herd immunity, when a virus circulates, there’s the hope that it will invariably encounter people who are already immune. “In general for a good, successful herd immunity, we need more than 90 per cent of the population to be immune in order to afford protection to the remaining 10 per cent who are not immune and are therefore vulnerable from a potential infection... The concept of creating herd immunity by infection is similar to creating it by vaccination"...
Dr Thomas House, Reader in Mathematical Statistics, University of Manchester, said:
"herd immunity... can also happen due to infection leading to disease and later recovery.  Social distancing measures do not lead to herd immunity, so when they are lifted the epidemic may grow again.  Whether we aim for it or not, herd immunity will happen at some point in the future since neither a growing epidemic nor social distancing measures can continue forever, and the aim of policy should be for this to happen with the minimum human cost possible.”
I saw someone with "some training in epidemiology" who claimed that herd immunity was not a valid strategy, that it was dangerous, that there were no examples of herd immunity to a pathogen achieved through natural infection alone, and that people who advocated herd immunity should stay in their lane. Looks like there're lots of fake "experts" who need to stay in their lane

Coronavirus FAQs: Are There Lots Of Cases With No Symptoms? Can I See A Dentist? - ""Dose is important in everything we are doing in life," says Peter Palese, a leading virologist who is professor and chair of microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. "The same is also true for coronaviruses. It makes a lot of sense because if you have a lot of virus [in your environment], such as when you are working in an intensive care unit, then you get many more virus particles in your system and the disease is usually much worse.""Most viruses, there's some form of graded response depending on how big your initial exposure is," explains Dr. Joshua Rabinowitz, a professor of chemistry and genomics at Princeton. "Every virus, if you get one particle of virus, you're likely to never know it – you're also likely to really never get sick and never develop an immune response. And for most acute viruses, there is a gray area where you get some version of sick but not horribly sick — and develop an immune response that is protective against the virus in the future." There have been cases of young, healthy health-care workers getting severely sick with COVID-19. That's what scientists would expect with a virus in which dose plays an important role."

A Virologist Explains Why COVID-19 Coronavirus Isn’t Really Dangerously Lingering On Surfaces For Weeks - "You may have heard reports that researchers found RNA material from the coronavirus on the Diamond Princess cruise ship 17 days after the ship was vacated. Or maybe you heard that there was widespread environmental contamination of viral RNA in COVID-19 patient rooms at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Or perhaps you read an article saying that viral RNA could be detected up to 37 days in patients following the onset of COVID-19 disease. This might put in your head that COVID-19 patients are effectively clouds of contagion for months, shedding the virus for days before they knew they were sick and long after they recovered... the test used to detect the virus in these studies doesn't actually measure whether it’s still infectious... RNA viruses, like the one that causes COVID-19, make a lot of mistakes when replicating their genomes, and sometimes these mistakes result in viral genomes containing fatal mistakes, or mutations, that render a critical viral gene non-functional – meaning they won’t infect people who come into contact with them. (In fact, these kinds of mistakes are why plants, animals, bugs, people – basically anything more complicated than these viruses – store genetic information in DNA instead, because far fewer mistakes are made when DNA replicates.) But when you run a qRT-PCR test, those viral genes with mistakes are indistinguishable from the ones that aren’t. And either way, the cellular machinery that makes more viruses will package up both functional and non-functional RNA... For reasons that are not fully understood, patients that have recovered from a viral infection have cells that can continue to produce viral RNA without actually making infectious virus particles. That means it is not only possible but common to detect viral RNA without there being any infectious virus present... two studies have investigated the ability of virus to remain infectious on different materials in the environment. Although the length of time that virus on a surface remains infectious is dependent on environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity, no virus remained infectious on surfaces for anywhere near 17 days. Furthermore, in both studies, the amount of infectious virus was greatly reduced after several days. This suggests that risk of infection from virus on objects or surfaces in the environment can be minimized by diligent cleaning and disinfection practices"

Wait, how long are we supposed to stay in lockdown? - "In the beginning, we had a goal: to flatten the curve. We were warned that COVID-19 would overtake our hospitals and cause a health-system collapse. We were to stay home to give our medical heroes a fighting chance.So we did, and thanks to the strength of our system, it worked. The Javits Center never filled up; the USS Comfort is sailing away. Three weeks ago, Gov. Andrew Cuomo was vowing to seize ventilators from upstate hospitals and send them to Gotham. Last week, we were dispatching our ventilators out to other states.We did our part; we flattened the curve. So why is there no move to loosen regulations?In February and March, expert and elite opinion seemed to understand that patience with lockdowns would at some point wear thin. But not anymore. Last week, Cuomo used a graphic in his daily presentation that listed the lengths of various wars and previous pandemics. The 1910 cholera outbreak lasted a year. World War II lasted six years. And so on.The message: We haven’t been living through this that long, and our ancestors had it far worse. But if we are looking at years of lockdown, we need to be informed of it, we need a debate — and we need a plan... It’s also becoming apparent that staying closed is some weird poke in the eye to President Trump. Hyper-polarization means that if the president wants to awaken the nation from its devastating economic coma, it must mean that he and his cornpone followers are wrong. Smart people — who tend to have lockdown-immune jobs in academe, government and media — must know better, and they have a license to mock and demean... there is life beyond COVID-19, too. There are pro-life concerns on both sides. The pause has meant people are skipping cancer screenings. The lines at food pantries are scarily long. Last week, Cuomo admitted that domestic violence is on the rise. “Very bad.” But, he added, it’s “not death.” Maybe not yet. But these costs are very real, and they have to be tallied. No one sane is pushing to return to “normal.” Normal won’t be back for a long time, and no one expects it to. If restaurants, bars or movie theaters opened tomorrow, people still wouldn’t flock to them. We are walking around in masks and sanitizing our groceries. We get it — we’re far from normal. We just want to start on the road back. We want to know the road exists.It’s less that we need to know when this ends than we need to know how it ends. Are we waiting for deaths to fall below a certain daily number? What is that number? Are we waiting for hospitalizations to evaporate? For better treatment? For a vaccine? Antibody tests? Herd immunity?"
I have actually encountered people who say we need to lockdown (or have the threat of lockdown once new cases appear) until a vaccine is out, even if that takes 2-3 years. Apparently money is unlimited and there're no costs to lockdown - one claimed the moment there's a new case you need to lockdown again.
One claimed that because it mutates so fast you can't develop immunity. Presumably that means eternal lockdown since a vaccine will never work


A bioethicist on the hidden costs of lockdown in Italy - "The Italian College of Anaesthesia, Analgesia, Resuscitation and Intensive Care tried to make the decision criteria for access to intensive care transparent, to relieve some of the pressure placed on doctors. The document they released in early March aimed to guarantee ventilators for patients with the highest probability of therapeutic success – that is, those with the ‘highest hope of survival’. The criteria adopted were utilitarian: age and pre-existing medical conditions were factors that pushed a patient down the line... there’s nothing intrinsically appalling about the use of criteria – indeed, it’s appropriate and even comforting to know that doctors are accountable to objective standards when deciding who should be at the front of the queue for treatment. The fact that we Italians think that these decisions are exceptional reveals the ways that our privilege has concealed the reality of finite healthcare resources. One of my bioethics students, Caitlin Gardiner, is also an Accident and Emergency (A&E) doctor in the UK. She reminded me that, in her native South Africa, such balancing acts are the norm. There, as she told me, only the tiniest fraction of patients who are ‘not too sick’ – that is, not too old, not living with HIV/AIDS, not too ill or too premature, if they’re babies – get to receive intensive care. And death from tuberculosis (another infectious respiratory disease), after being denied access to intensive care, is entirely normal. There are lessons to be learnt from the Global South, such as how to have humane but open discussions about prioritising patients... Saving lives in the short term by shielding the healthcare system and flattening the curve of infections is obviously a vital goal. However, it cannot be the only one. The social lockdown has very real economic and mental health repercussions for large sections of the population. The damage and deaths it causes will be more difficult to quantify than those directly caused by COVID-19, but they will still exist. As the Italian statistician Maurizio Bettiga has argued, this isn’t just a scientific question, but also a moral one about which values we should prioritise. There’s no such thing as a value-free model. Self-isolation and quarantine are much heavier physical and mental burdens for those who live alone. John Ioannidis, the professor of medicine at Stanford University who exposed the ‘replication crisis’ in social psychology and beyond, has argued since the beginning of the pandemic that the economic, social and mental health implications of lockdowns must be accounted for in cost-benefit public health calculations – including the deaths caused by disruption to the social fabric. We might end up looking back on coronavirus, Ioannidis said, as a ‘a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco’. There’s currently little evidence that the most aggressive measures work, and if they continue, they could end up causing more harm in the long term than riding an acute epidemic wave. However, discounting the future is a typically human bias – as health economists know well from studies of how people think about the consequences of smoking, drinking or failing to exercise... Research carried out at University College London has shown that the benefits of closing down schools are very limited when compared with the longterm economic and social costs... After asking younger people to do so much for the elderly during this crisis, perhaps we ought to give them something in return.The ethics of how to prioritise certain lives over others, and on what basis, go beyond finding justifiable criteria for how to allocate scarce healthcare resources. One of the very tangible, if under-recognised, repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic is the near-total shutdown of the clinical trial industry, as hospitals near capacity and labs mobilise to find and fast-track new drugs to inoculate and treat COVID-19. For people with other life-threatening conditions, who have exhausted their treatment options, the shutdown of the clinical trial industry is a disaster. Entering into a trial for an ‘experimental’ or ‘investigational’ drug might be their best chance of leading a bearable life – or of having any life at all. A friend of mine in the United States, who has metastatic Stage 4 breast cancer, has been on a trial for more than a year already. Now the pandemic has made it impossible for her to visit the research hospital where the trial is taking place, because she would be too vulnerable to experiencing severe symptoms if she contracts COVID-19. Another ‘victim’ of the crisis is the delay or cancellation of routine child immunisation programmes in countries around the world... I cannot go out for a run, my preferred form or exercise – this was banned among increasing social and social-media pressure to do so. A friend who lives alone in Milan, and is also a runner, told me that people had started yelling insults at her from their balconies even before the ban came into place; more worrying still, news reports are emerging of attacks on joggers around the world... There’s no scientific foundation for the claim that people spread this virus by simply going for a run or walk. Isn’t that an unjustified restriction of people’s basic freedom? According to most public health and ethics scholars, it would be. Having access to the outdoors helps relieve pressure in a situation that’s extremely psychologically taxing, and public health policies should take into account the implications of the lockdown on their citizens’ mental health. However, my friends had remarkably similar answers: we stay home out of respect for the doctors and nurses on the frontline; we are all in this together; we are sacrificing our individual freedom for the public good; we need to show respect. To go running or walking outside shows a lack of respect, they say"
It is more sexy to allege hate crimes against Asians than to look at attacks on joggers

China fires two senior Hubei officials over coronavirus outbreak - "China has fired two senior officials in Hubei, the highest-ranking yet to be sacked, as Beijing asserts its control after the deadly coronavirus outbreak – with local officials appearing to be bearing the blame. State media said that Zhang Jin, the Communist party chief of the health commission in hardest-hit Hubei province, and Liu Yingzi, its director, were both fired. They will be replaced by a national-level official, Wang Hesheng, the deputy director of China’s national health commission. The sackings come days after a wave of public anger aimed at the government after the death of a Wuhan doctor who was punished for trying to warn friends and colleagues about the new virus. Li Wenliang, who succumbed to the virus last week, has become a martyr for many and a lightning rod for criticism of the Chinese state’s instinct to suppress information. Chinese authorities appear to be ramping up a campaign of punishing local officials for the epidemic, which has now claimed more than 1,000 lives. Earlier this month, 337 officials in Hubei were “penalised”, including six officials who were fired for “dereliction of duty”. Officials from the Red Cross society in Hubei were also removed. A team from China’s anti-corruption agency, the national supervisory commission, has been sent to Hubei to investigate Li’s death."
Amazingly I see China shills claiming that China didn't cover up at all. I told one to tell China that they sacked people wrongly

China sat on news that coronavirus could be a pandemic for 6 days: AP - "A memo of a confidential phone call with Ma Xiaowei, the head of the National Health Commission, and provincial health officials on January 14, obtained by the AP, said that "human-to-human transmission is possible" and that "all localities must prepare for and respond to a pandemic."... If on January 14 Chinese authorities had told people to stay home, wear masks, and refrain from traveling, the number of cases might have been reduced by about 66%"

Coronavirus: China didn't warn public of likely pandemic for six key days - ""This is tremendous,'' said Zuo-Feng Zhang, an epidemiologist at the University of California, Los Angeles."If they took action six days earlier, there would have been much fewer patients and medical facilities would have been sufficient. We might have avoided the collapse of Wuhan's medical system.''Other experts noted that the Chinese government may have waited on warning the public to stave off hysteria, and that it did act quickly in private during that time.But the six-day delay by China's leaders in Beijing came on top of almost two weeks during which the national Centre for Disease Control did not register any cases from local officials, internal bulletins obtained by the AP confirm.Yet during that time, from January 5 to January 17, hundreds of patients were appearing in hospitals not just in Wuhan but across the country... The Chinese government has repeatedly denied suppressing information in the early days... the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in Beijing initiated the highest-level emergency response internally, level one, on January 15... In public, however, officials continued to downplay the threat"

Three Beijing activists missing after preserving virus articles online - "China has faced criticism over its handling of the outbreak, including punishing whistleblowers who tried to warn about the new virus. Chen Mei, Cai Wei and his girlfriend surnamed Tang -- who contributed to the crowd-sourced project on the software development platform GitHub -- went missing on April 19... The volunteer-driven project, named Terminus2049, preserved articles that were blocked or removed from mainland news outlets and social media by China's aggressive online censorship... "Picking quarrels and provoking trouble" is a vaguely defined charge often used by Chinese authorities to target activists and dissidents, which carries a prison sentence of up to five years."
China shills obsessively focus on Li Wenliang but pretend other whistleblowers don't exist. If they don't exist, it means China isn't cracking down on them

China's Coronavirus Coverup -- Devastating Lies - "You have probably heard variations of: “Chinese authorities denied that the virus could be transferred from human to human until it was too late.” What you have probably not heard is how emphatically, loudly, and repeatedly the Chinese government insisted human transmission was impossible, long after doctors in Wuhan had concluded human transmission was ongoing — and how the World Health Organization assented to that conclusion, despite the suspicions of other outside health experts... as early as the second week of December, Wuhan doctors were finding cases that indicated the virus was spreading from one human to another... “after several batches of genome sequence results had been returned to hospitals and submitted to health authorities, an employee of one genomics company received a phone call from an official at the Hubei Provincial Health Commission, ordering the company to stop testing samples from Wuhan related to the new disease and destroy all existing samples.”... the Wuhan Institute of Virology completed mapped the genome of the virus. The Chinese government would not announce that breakthrough for another week.
January 3: The Chinese government continued efforts to suppress all information about the virus: “China’s National Health Commission, the nation’s top health authority, ordered institutions not to publish any information related to the unknown disease, and ordered labs to transfer any samples they had to designated testing institutions, or to destroy them.”... While Chinese authorities continued to insist that the virus could not spread from one person to another, doctors outside that country weren’t so convinced. The head of the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Infection, Ho Pak-leung, warned that “the city should implement the strictest possible monitoring system for a mystery new viral pneumonia that has infected dozens of people on the mainland, as it is highly possible that the illness is spreading from human to human.”... the CDC offered to send a team to China to assist with the investigation. The Chinese government declined, but a WHO team that included two Americans would visit February 16... On February 4, Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella urged residents to hug Chinese people to encourage them in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, a member of Associazione Unione Giovani Italo Cinesi, a Chinese society in Italy aimed at promoting friendship between people in the two countries, called for respect for novel coronavirus patients during a street demonstration. “I’m not a virus. I’m a human. Eradicate the prejudice.”"
China shill logic: Western governments were incompetent, so that means China didn't cover up
Also published as "The Comprehensive Timeline of China’s COVID-19 Lies"


San Francisco in the 1918 flu pandemic is a warning against lifting lockdown too soon
Apparently we should have a strict lockdown with no graduated release for a minimum of 18 months until we get a vaccine (some people actually explicitly say that, or say that you need to lockdown if you have even 1 case, which is effectively the same thing). And some of these people also claim herd immunity won't work (due to mutations or whatever), not realising that this means that a vaccine won't work either since they work the same way. So presumably we need to lockdown forever to save lives

The rush to close businesses amid coronavirus reeks of white privilege - "In a city where 25% of the population lives in poverty — and where black and brown people are overrepresented in that number — every business owned by a person of color is essential. You don’t need a haircut to live, but to the barber who feeds his family one trim at a time, that business is essential. You can survive without new sneakers, but to the single mother who is a salesperson at a sneaker store, each new pair of kicks is a bottle of milk for her baby. In short, every restaurant, every storefront, every underground example of entrepreneurship is essential to the economic well-being of Philadelphia’s black and brown neighborhoods. If you’ve never truly been in a position of economic desperation, if you’ve never lived in a community where a dollar is hard to come by, if you’ve never obeyed a societal rulebook that’s structured to put you at a disadvantage, it’s hard to understand how essential a legitimate business truly is... President Donald Trump, in the midst of an election year, is working on an idea floated by Republican Sen. Mitt Romney. The president wants the government to use taxpayer funds to send at least $1,000 to every American to help us weather the economic hardship connected to the coronavirus outbreak.Trump manipulating taxpayer dollars for his own political benefit would be the ultimate exercise in white privilege. But in this crisis, it might also be necessary."
Maybe accusations of racism will make the long term lockdown crowd change their minds
Of course if Trump hadn't championed sending people money, he'd have been called racist too - when the conclusion is pre-determined, the facts don't matter


How Social Distancing Could Lead to a Spike in White Nationalism - "Anti-extremism experts are “quite concerned” about hateful rhetoric spiking in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic — not just because of a rise in anti-Asian sentiment related to the virus, but also due to people in self-quarantine being more exposed to extremist movements online."
Priorities...
Presumably the solution is to censor "extremists"


Coronavirus: Learning How to Dance - Tomas Pueyo - "A month ago we sounded the alarm with Coronavirus: Why You Must Act Now. After that, we asked countries to buy us time with Coronavirus: The Hammer and the Dance and looked in detail at the US situation with Coronavirus: Out of Many, One. Together, these articles have been viewed by over 60 million people and translated into over 40 languages.Since then, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases has grown twentyfold, from 125,000 to over 2.5 million. Billions of people around the world are under the Hammer: Their governments have implemented heavy social distancing measures to quench the spread of the virus.Most did the right thing: The Hammer was the right decision. It bought us time to reduce the epidemic and to figure out what to do during the next phase, the Dance, in which we relax the harsh social distancing measures in a careful way to avoid a second outbreak. But the Hammer is hard. Millions have lost their jobs, their income, their savings, their businesses, their freedom. The world needs answers: When is this over? When do we relax these measures and go back to the new normal? What will it take? What will life be like?When do we get to dance?... we can dance for pretty cheap.We likely won’t need to keep businesses and schools closed.But we need to know exactly what these measures are, because we need to prepare for them now.Governments have a major role to play.Most haven’t done what they need to do yet.They are antsy to get back to normal, so they’re rushing without being ready.Many will have a second outbreak.If we do it right, in a few weeks we can get back to a new normal.Our lives will change for a year or so, but these changes will be reasonable.They will allow us to avoid both massive deaths and economic collapse...
contact tracing. The Singapore operation was not actually world class. Until the end of March, their teams could only trace around ~600 contacts. That’s because their process was extremely manual. Tracers had to rely on interviews or CCTV cameras to do their research. No mobile phone data, no credit card data, no connection between the healthcare and travel data as far as we could find. It is unclear whether the investigators force is much stronger or weaker than Taiwan’s, or if their tools are much better or worse. But Taiwan never got overwhelmed by the massive arrival of foreign cases."
Lots of people loved his hammer and dance article. But most people apparently only remember the hammer, but not the dance
Of course those who call for extended lockdowns have the privilege of still having a job


Nearly Two-Thirds of Artists in the US Have Lost Their Livelihoods as a Result of the Coronavirus, a New Survey Says - "Ninety-five percent of artists in the US have lost income due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new study suggests—and nearly two-thirds have become unemployed altogether.The study, which taps into responses from more than 15,000 artists and creative workers, paints a bleak portrait of creative life in the US in the weeks following the arrival of the epidemic... “The precarity of being a gig worker in the United States in 2020 has been made perfectly clear. Artists fall into that camp in the same way that domestic and transportation workers do,” Haggag says, noting that many creative workers earn their incomes across multiple sectors of the gig economy. “They are both nannies and painters, poets and restaurant workers.”"
Ironically, artists are more likely to support lockdown and those who support lockdown are more likely to support artists

Angelenos love suburban sprawl. Coronavirus proves them right - "For nearly a century, Los Angeles’ urban form has infuriated urbanists who prefer a more concentrated model built around a single central core.Yet, in the COVID-19 pandemic, our much-maligned dispersed urban pattern has proven a major asset. Los Angeles and its surrounding suburbs have had a considerable number of cases, but overall this highly diverse, globally engaged region has managed to keep rates of infection well below that of dense, transit-dependent New York City.As of April 24, Los Angeles County, with nearly 2 million more residents than the five boroughs, had 850 coronavirus-related deaths compared with 16,646 in New York City... “Life in California is much more spread out,” as Eleazar Eskin, chair of the department of computational medicine at UCLA, recently told the New York Times. “Single-family homes compared with apartment buildings, workspaces that are less packed and even seating in restaurants that is more spacious.” The experience of the current pandemic is not likely to prove a great advertisement for living cheek by jowl, riding on a crowded subway or getting to work on a busy commuter train. They are the very factors that some researchers, including urbanists like Richard Florida, link to New York’s extraordinary exposure to the virus. The shift to working from home during this crisis will make densification less appealing... a recent focus group of top business executives in Orange County found that many have adjusted to remote work and were surprised that it has not damaged productivity. Many talked of reducing their office footprint in the future... the Los Angeles Metro system carried approximately 120 million fewer riders in 2019 than in 1985, even including transfers, despite subsequently opening a huge rail system, with six lines radiating from downtown. Californians did not reject mass transit because they were worried about their health or in love with cars, but because it makes little practical sense in a dispersed economy. The average commuter, notes the demographer Wendell Cox, can reach “60 times as many jobs by car in 30 minutes in the Los Angeles metropolitan area as by transit (30 minutes is the average one-way commute time in the metropolitan area).” The ratios are even greater in poorer areas... At the same time, most Californians seem less than eager to abandon their single-family homes for the pleasures of what some call “elegant density.” Even before the pandemic, they were voting with their feet for less density and lower costs."

'It's a slap in the face': Toronto doctor says he was told he can't enter local TD branch - "A Toronto doctor says he's "very concerned" about TD Bank's COVID-19 policies after he says he was told that he wasn't allowed to enter his local branch — simply because he's a health-care worker... A TD spokesperson says the bank is screening customers at branch entrances with questions about whether they have been exposed to COVID-19 or whether they've left the country in the last two weeks"
It is okay to deny entry to those who have just returned from abroad. Apparently healthcare workers aren't exposed to covid-19

Let's hear scientists with different Covid-19 views, not attack them - "When major decisions must be made amid high scientific uncertainty, as is the case with Covid-19, we can’t afford to silence or demonize professional colleagues with heterodox views. Even worse, we can’t allow questions of science, medicine, and public health to become captives of tribalized politics. Today, more than ever, we need vigorous academic debate... we are concerned by a chilling attitude among some scholars and academics, who are wrongly ascribing legitimate disagreements about Covid-19 to ignorance or to questionable political or other motivations... vigorous debate is fundamental to the existence of universities, where individuals with different ideas who have a commitment to reason compete to persuade others based on evidence, data, and reason. Now is the time to foster —not stifle — open dialogue among academic physicians and scientists about the current pandemic and the best tactical responses to it, each of which involve enormous trade-offs and unanticipated consequences... When the dust settles, few if any scientists — no matter where they work and whatever their academic titles — will have been 100% correct about the effects of Covid-19 and our responses to it. Acknowledging this fact does not require policy paralysis by local and national governments, which must take decisive action despite uncertainty. But admitting this truth requires willingness to listen to and consider ideas, even many that most initially consider totally wrong... Society faces a risk even more toxic and deadly than Covid-19: that the conduct of science becomes indistinguishable from politics. The tensions between the two policy poles of rapidly and systematically reopening society versus maximizing sheltering in place and social isolation must not be reduced to Republican and Democratic talking points, even as many media outlets promote such simplistic narratives."

Illegal gambling sites tout bets on number of Covid-19 cases here - "The betting options on Covid-19 cases surfaced after the suspension of legal betting outlets in Singapore... Measures to fight the pandemic such as movement restrictions have also made many punters turn to online gambling services.A recent study by analytics group AlphaBeta in Australia found that online gambling there has shot up by more than 65 per cent since last month."

Broader gender focus needed for COVID-19 response in Canada, advocates say - "As Canada continues to combat the health and economic impacts of COVID-19, women’s rights advocates say not enough focus has been placed on the unique and often disproportionate impact the pandemic is having on women.Women and Gender Equality Minister Maryam Monsef says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has tasked her department with examining how government spending and policies, including COVID-19 efforts, affect women and men differently — known as “gender-based analysis plus,” or GBA+ — following longstanding Liberal government practice. But a growing chorus of national and international voices focused on gender equality and human rights say more must be done to ensure Canadian women’s needs are addressed in the government response to this pandemic... Katherine Scott, a senior researcher at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, says aside from the funding announced for women’s and sexual-assault shelters, she hasn’t seen much evidence the government is applying a gender lens to its COVID-19 efforts.“It’s not evident to us that WAGE (Monsef’s Women and Gender Equality Department) is very engaged in this,” Scott said.“This coronavirus is all about women and yet we’re still waiting for more, or at least we haven’t seen that kind of analysis coming forward yet.”"
Men die, women most affected

Covid's war on women - "During this plague year, there is almost never good news, only degrees of bad news. Even so, the pandemic has been different (and worse) for girls and women.It’s true that more men are dying than women from Covid-19 around the world — but that’s not exactly cause for celebration."
Amazing take.

Coronavirus conspiracies like that bogus 5G claim are racing across the internet - "As the U.S. and much of the world hunkers down to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, some virus-related conspiracy theories are having a heyday. Specifically, a conspiratorial false claim that 5G technology is linked to COVID-19 gained ground, accelerating from obscurity into the rattled mainstream by way of conspiracy theorists who’d been chattering about 5G conspiracies for years... Somewhere along the way, people started burning down mobile phone towers in the U.K., acts that government officials believe have a link to the viral misinformation, even though they apparently took down the wrong towers. “Owing to the slow rollout of 5G in the UK, many of the masts that have been vandalised did not contain the technology and the attacks merely damaged 3G and 4G equipment”... the conspiracy went mainstream, getting traction among a pocket of credulous celebrities, including actors John Cusack and Woody Harrelson, who amplified the false 5G claims to their large followings on Twitter and Instagram, respectively."

Broadband engineers threatened due to 5G coronavirus conspiracies - "International radiation experts have repeatedly made clear that the new high-speed telephone system does not pose a risk to humans, while pointing out that the coronavirus has spread widely in many countries without any 5G coverage, such as Iran."

Caitlin Johnstone on Twitter - "There isn't actually any contradiction in the beliefs that (A) the virus is dangerous, (B) mass unemployment is dangerous, and (C) authoritarian government policies are dangerous. There needn't be any cognitive dissonance holding all three at once; they're not mutually exclusive."

What Does COVID-19 Mean for Cities (and Marriages)? (Ep. 410) - Freakonomics Freakonomics - "In 2011, he published a book called Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention — our “greatest invention,” he calls the city — How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier. But in the age of COVID-19, cities also have the capacity to make us… sicker.
GLAESER: As of the time that we’re talking, New York is responsible for almost a third of the total cases in America. So it certainly seems as if density is continuing to do its worst. If you look back historically, these things have been rocking cities for millennia, right? We think about the plague of Athens, 430 B.C. We think about the Plague of Justinian, which almost 1,000 years later, hit Constantinople. If you look at sort of the entire European medieval period, there’s a sense in which cities are not particularly safe places. As late as the time of Shakespeare’s London, you’ve got a six-year life-expectancy loss by living in London relative to the rest of England. That was, by the way, still true in New York City in 1900... cities are connected globally. And secondly, the cities are dense when you get to them. And so the cities are the ports of entry for the new disease, whether it’s the rats carrying the fleas or a traveler from Wuhan carrying the virus."

Trump says spread of coronavirus not the fault of the Asian American community
TDS means Trump really means the opposite of what he says
Strange how Rocky Mountain spotted fever doesn't result in stigma against people from Colorado


Brazil’s coronavirus deaths surge, mass graves are dug and president says ‘so what’? - "Brazil, a continent-sized country that shares borders with nearly every other nation in South America, has reported more than 70,000 cases and more than 5,000 deaths, according to government figures and a tally by Johns Hopkins University – far more than any of its neighbours. The true number of deaths and infections is believed to be much higher because of limited testing... Deaths from the coronavirus outbreak have piled up so fast in the Amazon rainforest’s biggest city that the main cemetery is burying five coffins at a time in collective graves. Manaus, the capital of Amazonas state, which is accessible only by plane or boat from the rest of Brazil, corpses are accumulating in a refrigerated container improvised as a morgue freezer as they await burial... Even socialist Venezuela, where the health system has been in a years-long state of collapse, has said it’s worried about neighbouring Brazil... Bolivia’s government, a right-wing ally of Bolsonaro’s, declined to comment on its neighbour’s antivirus measures, but Defence Minister Fernando Lopez promised this month to strongly enforce the closure of the border.“If we keep being flexible on the border, our national quarantine will be useless”"

Finian Tan - "I... am currently the chairman of Vickers Ventures, a global life science and deep tech venture capital firm. We have several companies that are finding therapeutics and vaccines for covid 19 and so am thinking about solutions to this pandemic, and the devastating effect it has on the world, on a daily basis... The average mortality is about 1.5 pct, which is 15 times higher than the seasonal flu which has a mortality of about 0.1 pct. This very high mortality is why the world is trying to contain its spread as much as possible. However this is merely an average number. In fact the mortality differs greatly depending on age...  As can be seen, for people below 50, and using the age demography of Korea, the average mortality is in fact less than 0.05 pct, lower than the average mortality for the flu, which the world has well accepted as part of life. No country has ever instituted a lockdown of any kind to stop the spread of the common flu.The reason countries are doing their best to contain the spread of the corona virus, even for the young, is not because of the mortality of the infection to the young but because young people who get infected may infect their older relatives and friends whose mortality is unacceptably much higher...  The fact that the severity of the disease grows with age has perplexed the scientific community. Many have suggested that this is because of underlying conditions. This is not a good enough reason for the observation. If this were the only reason than we should see a high mortality for the very young too, like the flu. Premature babies for example, struggle tremendously with a simple cold like the RSV virus, and often need oxygen or even ventilators and can stay in the NICU for many weeks. We are not observing the same effect on the very young from the corona virus. In fact the opposite. Most young babies show almost no symptoms at all.To understand this, we need to first understand that the trigger that tips an infection into the disease of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome needing oxygen or ventilators is viral load and viral diversity exceeding the disease threshold.There is evidence to suggest that the main cause of the large viral load and diversity is due to antibody dependent (or mediated) enhancement or ADE.Antibody mediated or dependent enhancement occurs when there are antibodies in the body that have memory of a previous related (serotypical) corona virus infection, and that try to bind to the virus (antigen) but are not able to neutralise it. When that happens they actually work against the body by entering the cell and multiplying the virus and releasing them into the body. So if you assume that the antibodies are like midfielders in a soccer team, when they try to prevent attackers from passing through but fail, they switch sides an attack their own goal.This has been shown in another RNA virus called Dengue (a mosquito borne disease) and also SARS1 (which occured in Asia in 2003), another corona virus. It also explains why a huge amount of recovered COVID 19 patients show low or no antibodies suggesting that antibodies were not responsible for the patient’s recovery. There is also data to suggest that antibodies correlate with worst disease. In fact the WHO has been recently quoted as saying that antibodies may not be sufficient to explain recovery and antibody diagnostics may not confirm immunity...  In the case of Covid 19, the older a person is, the more corona virus infections he or she has been exposed to (25% of the common cold are from corona viruses) and the higher the likelihood that one of them could have been a related virus. Which then triggers the infection into the disease of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), needing oxygen and ventilators to support them.This would explain why even the very young with underdeveloped lungs don’t seem to get severe disease because they never had any related viral infections in the past (no original antigenic sin).The underlying conditions then dictates the recovery process... Thankfully antibodies are not the only weapon used by our adaptive immune system. When viruses (antigens) escape the antibodies and infect the cells, Killer Tcells come into action to destroy the infected cells. The WHO has also recently been quoted to say that T-cells might need to be involved for recovery from Covid 19. Thankfully there is at least one company, Emergex, which I am involved in, which focusses on vaccines that induce only Killer T-cells, conferring immunity without potential antibody-mediated side effects. Mortality data however could be hugely overestimated because of the lack of mass testing... the mortality for young people would be similarly 7.5 time less or 0.0067pct which would be more than a magnitude lower than that of the flu. If we assume a population of 330m and 66pct of it below 50, this results in a mortality of 15,000 people in total upon reaching herd immunity, less than the number of deaths already in America with just a few pct of the population infected. Some people say that the deaths due to covid 19 might be under reported by as much as 50 pct. If we assume so, this would bring the mortality for the young to 0.01pct, still a magnitude less than the flu... Gilead has just released interim data on their clinical trial results for Remdesivir, an anti viral medication for post infected people suffering from covid 19, originally developed for Ebola. The placebo controlled trial involved more than a thousand patients and shows that patients recovered in 30 pct less time and resulted in about 30 pct less deaths, though the latter didn’t show statistical significance yet. If u assume that Remdesivir will be approved shortly since it is a repurposed preapproved drug, then u might assume a 30 pct lowering of mortality bringing mortality back down to 0.0067 pct for the young...
Covid 19 (50 and above if hospitals overwhelmed) 1.2pct (1200 per 100k)
Covid 19 (50 and above) 0.2pct (200 per 100k)
Flu 0.1pct (100 per 100k)
Road traffic 0.018 (18 per 100k)
Covid 19 (below 50) 0.0067 (7 per 100k)...
This brings about a possible solution that is the direct opposite of the policies being used. Instead of preventing the spread, we should open the economy totally - without social distancing at all, whilst protecting the old completely, until a vaccine is found or herd immunity is reached... Segregating one third of a population is a monumental task. It is however better than separating everybody from everybody. And it’s all over much quicker saving lives and livelihoods. And surely cheaper than paying everybody their salaries to stay at home. And better than opening up partially with social distancing still in place which will increase the mortality and yet not get back to the normal economy we are used to. Even if it takes longer than anticipated to reach herd immunity... Singapore for example, has had a recent spike in the total number of infected people. Mostly from the dormitories housing foreign workers. As a result, the numbers are increasing daily. But the foreign workers are almost all young. And they don’t have older siblings or parents living in the dorms. We therefore show large numbers of infected cases and a very low mortality of 0.1 pct. And although we have thousand of young foreign workers infected, not a single one of them has needed oxygen or ventilators so far. Some people are saying that our medical services must be extremely good to have such a low mortality...
There are only 4 possible responses
1. Shelter in place and livelihood disappears.
2. Semi open with social distancing. Which doesn’t allow the economy to go back to normal and eventually very high mortality again. Flattening the curve doesn’t reduce the number of deaths. It just delays the same outcome because the virus will not stop until herd immunity is reached.
3. Total opening and 6 times more than the average mortality could die because the hospitals will be overwhelmed. Until herd immunity is reached.
4. Segregate the seniors and total opening of the economy for the young as in this proposal...
Reinfection doesn’t mean herd immunity or that vaccines cannot work

First, we need to be clear that there are indeed bona fide cases of reinfection by different strains and not just a deactivation of an existing disease. There could be two reasons for non bona fide reinfections
1. The level of viral content could be below the detectable levels of the test kit. HIV kits used to only be able to test at levels of 1000/cc of blood. But after much technological improvements it can now test below 50/1000. Covid 19 test kits have only just begun so it will take a while for it to reduce its detectable levels.
2. The virus could be in viral reservoirs in the body but no longer in the blood or mucus membranes at detectable levels.
In fact the data from Korea that suggested the possible reinfections were not able to contact trace the spreader that reinfected the persons which causes doubt that the reinfection were bona fide. The international vaccine institute based in Seoul has said that the patients were most likely experiencing reactivations than reinfections and that the corona virus infection is likely to be protective, meaning that it is likely to bring about immunity. But even if there is indeed bona fide reinfection of an individual by a different strain, it doesn’t mean herd immunity or vaccines cannot work. We have to distinguish between individual immunity and herd immunity...  R0 is a scientific number that denotes how infectious or contagious a disease is. It is also called reproduction number. Latest data indicates that r0 is about 5.7 (and not 2-3 as previously thought), meaning that 1 person infects 5.7 people. This is lower than mumps (r0 of 10) and measles (r0 of 18) but higher than the flu since we are not all naive to it.What’s important to note is that r0 reduces as more and more people are infected enroute to herd immunity and will reach zero when herd immunity is reached. This strengthens the case for targeting to reach herd immunity with the least mortality rather than prolonging shelter in place and keeping the population naive and susceptible. R0 also controls how much of the population is needed to reach herd immunity. Based on the new figure of 5.7, herd immunity will be reached at 83pct In order to achieve this, people below 65 (and not 50) should be the cutoff for segregation"

Fight Covid-19 first, Singapore polls must wait — Lee Hsien Yang - "On 7 April, as people prepare to hunker down at home under the “circuit breaker”, the People’s Action Party (PAP) will be pushing through the Parliamentary Elections (Covid-19 Special Arrangements) Bill.The Bill is an indication the PAP is putting its interests, and Lee’s, above those of the country and the people it rules. The ruling party seems to be still obsessing over how to call an early election while it has a full year left in its term, during a pandemic the World Health Organisation (WHO) has called “the worst enemy you can ever imagine”. For someone who urged Singaporeans to “trust that you are not working for personal gain, but for national interests”, Lee’s refusal to rule out an imminent election is baffling... After Lee’s announcement on Friday, a panel of his ministers expounded at length on why these new measures are justified now. Yet Singapore remains at DORSCON Orange. Memes and jokes exploded online and spread through messages, poking fun at the DORSCON status and the colour of Lee’s tie, whether it was orange or red and the true signal of the state of the nation... Lee asserts that he needs a strong mandate to handle the Covid-19 pandemic. He has 12 months remaining on his watch, and a supermajority in Parliament with 93 percent of seats to boot. Is this existing mandate not sufficient for him to lead Singapore at this time?With the special Bill, the ruling party is continuing to signal an early election. If called while Covid-19 infections are not fully controlled, an election while Covid-19 is raging will put lives at blatant, unnecessary risk. A risk the people of Singapore, civil servants, the police, volunteers and others involved in the organisation of an election, did not ask for. Mandatory voting means the vulnerable, in particular older folks and those with preexisting conditions, will be forced to court danger."
Of course, he got called a traitor for publishing in a foreign publication. As if Singaporean mainstream media would accept his article

Melissa Chen - "In the flurry of op-ed pieces that have since followed, we've read how coronavirus could "destroy liberalism" or "be bad for conservatism." The truth is, the cultural psychology and policies that are likely to emerge run the gamut:
* Border controls
* Socialized medicine
* Xenophobia
* UBI
* Anti-globalization
* Fast-track test and vaccine approval
* Reduced hurdles for occupational licensing in medicine field
* Bio-Surveillance and contact tracing
* Increased spending on biomedical and public health research
* Impetus for building strong local communities and civil society
* Social conservatism
Look at that list. There's something for everyone - Republican, Democrat, Libertarian (sorry anarchists)... Real world changes almost never map neatly to our entrenched political tribes. I'm glad people have woken up to that reality at least."

The British Expat Paying $7,000 to Swim in Singapore’s Lockdown - Bloomberg - "“I asked the man why he wanted to rent the bungalow. Is it because of space restraint in his current home?” said Chen, who handled the lease and declined to disclose his client’s personal details. “The man replied that he just wanted to use the pool because his was closed due to the lockdown.”... "I’ve rented out offices, factories, apartments and bungalows. But never just the amenities in a home. This was a first""

Elon Musk downplays severity of coronavirus, contradicting experts - "Musk, who is CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, claimed that a study produced by researchers at the Imperial College of London was wrong, tweeting that there's a "0% chance of anything close" to the study's estimate that there could be up to 2.2 million coronavirus deaths in the US. Musk also shared a graph published by the CDC and claimed, despite evidence in the graph showing otherwise, that the number of confirmed cases in the US was "trending to level off in the next few weeks & be negligible by the end of April."... [He] said on Twitter that Tesla factories would be used to make ventilators "if there's a shortage." Minutes later, when told about hospitals across the US that were running out of ventilators, he questioned whether there was a shortage at all... Musk also agreed with a false claim tweeted by venture capitalist Jason Calacanis stating "deaths are leveling out" in Italy. The COVID-19 death rate in Italy continues to rise at an exponential rate, a fact that Calacanis later acknowledged when someone pointed it out in response to his tweet"
Of course, Elon fanboys get very upset when you point out how he is wrong or otherwise imperfect

Elon Musk's coronavirus strategy mixes PR with a hero complex - The Washington Post - "Musk’s shipments of BiPAP machines continued a pattern of over-promising and under-delivering, all while being the loudest voice in a crisis... Elon Musk promised to ship more than 1,000 ventilators to hospitals around the country last month — and pledged that Tesla would start pumping out its own version of the devices as soon as possible.Many of the machines he sent were continuous or bi-level positive airway pressure machines, noninvasive devices used for patients with sleep apnea who have trouble getting air in their lungs, according to some of the hospitals that received them. They can aid in coronavirus treatment but typically don’t work for the sickest patients unless they are converted into more advanced machines. Although hospital executives said they were grateful for the mechanical reinforcements bought by Tesla, the shipments continued a pattern by Musk of brash proclamations on Twitter with mixed results on follow-through. Since the coronavirus started to spread, he has peddled the drug chloroquine before clinical tests and questioned the ongoing need for shelter-in-place orders — while touting his own relief efforts. One coronavirus-related YouTube video he tweeted was removed because it violated the company’s guidelines... Similar behavior landed him in trouble in 2018, when he took to Twitter to offer help in rescuing a boys’ soccer team from a Thai cave and offered a mini submarine. The boys were ultimately saved by a team of Thai scuba divers. Musk called a volunteer a “pedo guy,” landing the executive in court with a libel suit, although he was later exonerated. It was the same year Musk and Tesla were each ordered to pay $20 million fines in a Securities and Exchange Commission fraud settlement after Musk tweeted that he had “funding secured” to take the company private at $420 a share. “As long as Elon Musk continues to produce amazing products and add tens of billions of dollars of shareholder value, he will continue to play by a different set of rules than the rest of us,” said Scott Galloway, a professor at the New York University Stern School of Business and a Musk critic. “Is it the errant missives of an eccentric billionaire? Or is it dangerous? And the answer is yes and that it is.”... By the end of March, Musk said he’d get a New York factory to produce ventilators “as soon as humanly possible.” Tesla had yet to say by late April whether the factory had been mobilized... In early March, Musk called the coronavirus panic “dumb.” Then as it came to be widely understood that hospitals would face a deficit of ventilators, he asked a journalist: “Which hospitals have these shortages you speak of right now?” A day later, replying to another tweet, he wrote that “kids are essentially immune” to the coronavirus. (Health experts have said that is not the case.)... Charles D. Lindsey, associate professor of marketing within the University at Buffalo, said Musk misstepped in promising medical supplies while Tesla faced a hobbled supply chain. He advised Musk to better manage expectations.Musk’s other error, he said: weighing in on matters far beyond his realm of expertise."
This is the first time I've seen BiPaPs called ventilators

Elon Musk promises about Tesla that haven't worked out yet. - "Here are eight of Musk's pledges that have yet to reach their fully promised potential"

Jeremy #Masks4All Howard on Twitter - "I'm surprised @elonmusk isn't aware that epidemiological modeling *already* accounts for these issues, and many more, and that current best estimates are the 30-70% of people will be infected and 1-2% will die. (That's before accounting for the hospital system getting overrun.)
I'm also surprised that he isn't aware that sigmoid curves (which model infection rates well) *do* match exponential curves closely throughout the early spread of disease - the time when action needs to be taken to stop it."

Ventilators are overused for Covid-19 patients, doctors say - "If the iconoclasts are right, putting coronavirus patients on ventilators could be of little benefit to many and even harmful to some.What’s driving this reassessment is a baffling observation about Covid-19: Many patients have blood oxygen levels so low they should be dead. But they’re not gasping for air, their hearts aren’t racing, and their brains show no signs of blinking off from lack of oxygen. That is making critical care physicians suspect that blood levels of oxygen, which for decades have driven decisions about breathing support for patients with pneumonia and acute respiratory distress, might be misleading them about how to care for those with Covid-19. In particular, more and more are concerned about the use of intubation and mechanical ventilators. They argue that more patients could receive simpler, noninvasive respiratory support, such as the breathing masks used in sleep apnea, at least to start with and maybe for the duration of the illness... That would help relieve a shortage of ventilators so critical that states are scrambling to procure them and some hospitals are taking the unprecedented (and largely untested) step of using a single ventilator for more than one patient. And it would mean fewer Covid-19 patients, particularly elderly ones, would be at risk of suffering the long-term cognitive and physical effects of sedation and intubation while being on a ventilator... often the machines fail to help. “Contrary to the impression that if extremely ill patients with Covid-19 are treated with ventilators they will live and if they are not, they will die, the reality is far different,” said geriatric and palliative care physician Muriel Gillick of Harvard Medical School.Researchers in Wuhan, for instance, reported that, of 37 critically ill Covid-19 patients who were put on mechanical ventilators, 30 died within a month... Older patients who do survive risk permanent cognitive and respiratory damage from being on heavy sedation for many days if not weeks and from the intubation... “The patients in front of me are unlike any I’ve ever seen,” Kyle-Sidell told Medscape about those he cared for in a hard-hit Brooklyn hospital. “They looked a lot more like they had altitude sickness than pneumonia.”"
It is notable that BiPaP is distinguished from ventilators here

Belgians urged to eat frites twice a week to deplete coronavirus potato mountain - "Even though the country’s iconic frites shacks were given special dispensation to stay open, many shut because of the pandemic. Those that stayed open have seen customer levels drop.The damage was compounded by the cancellation of Belgium’s many music festivals, where frites are eaten in huge quantities... Even Belgians cannot be expected to munch through three quarter of a million tonnes of tatties, Mr Cools admitted.“We are also working on sales to Central European countries that want to make starch from it, and it is also used to make animal feed and even electricity,” he said.Belgapom is also sending 25 tonnes of potatoes to food banks every week until the end of May and possibly longer.“Our entire potato chain is happy that, thanks to this action, we also contribute to providing the weakest in our society with tasty and healthy potatoes”"

Chinese restaurant installs a banner to CELEBRATE the 'coronavirus epidemic in the US and Japan' - "A Chinese restaurant has put up a huge banner to celebrate the fact that the United States and Japan have been hit by the novel coronavirus.The red banner was placed in front of the restaurant yesterday and read: 'Huge congratulations to the American epidemic and long live the epidemic in little Japan.'The owner of the local restaurant franchise in north-eastern China's Shenyang has been sacked after the company faced backlash on social media. The restaurant owner, known by their surname Hui, installed the banner - without alerting the head office beforehand - as an attempt to attract customers... 'This is so, so embarrassing,' one commenter wrote on the Chinese Twitter-like Weibo.Another one said: 'It represents a large number of Chinese people with narrow-minded nationalism.'"

Discrimination amid pandemic, Pakistan refuses to give food to Hindus as Covid-19 rages - "The country's Hindus and Christian minorities are not being given food supplies by authorities, saying they are meant for the Muslims."

COVID-19 Superspreader Events in 28 Countries: Critical Patterns and Lessons - "When do COVID-19 SSEs happen? Based on the list I’ve assembled, the short answer is: Wherever and whenever people are up in each other’s faces, laughing, shouting, cheering, sobbing, singing, greeting, and praying. You don’t have to be a 19th-century German bacteriologist or MIT expert in mucosalivary ballistics to understand what this tells us about the most likely mode of transmission. It’s worth scanning all the myriad forms of common human activity that aren’t represented among these listed SSEs: watching movies in a theater, being on a train or bus, attending theater, opera, or symphony (these latter activities may seem like rarified examples, but they are important once you take stock of all those wealthy infectees who got sick in March, and consider that New York City is a major COVID-19 hot spot). These are activities where people often find themselves surrounded by strangers in densely packed rooms—as with all those above-described SSEs—but, crucially, where attendees also are expected to sit still and talk in hushed tones... I had trouble finding any SSEs that originated in university classrooms, which one would expect to be massive engines of infection if COVID-19 could be transmitted easily through airborne small-droplet diffusion... If small-droplet airborne concentrations in unventilated spaces were a common vector for COVID-19 transmission (as with measles, for instance), one would expect whole office buildings to become mass-infection hot spots. That doesn’t seem to have happened... This would mean that many of our current COVID-19-avoidance protocols, however well-intentioned, would be guarding against modes of transmission that aren’t really significant contributors to the overall pandemic.In some cases, public-health rules that guard against non-existent threats may actually make the problem worse."

COVID-19 Science Update for March 27th: Super-Spreaders and the Need for New Prediction Models - "one of the long-term effects of the COVID-19 crisis might be to accelerate a shift toward models that are less rooted in traditional R0 frameworks. Thanks to smartphones, the velocity of public-health information is now so high, and the penetration of that information so thorough, that prescribed behavioral changes and direct public interventions can radically disrupt disease transmission dynamics many times over within the time scale of a single pathogenic incubation period. In Wuhan, according to unpublished CDC data, the observed R0 for COVID-19 went from 3.86 to 0.32 in just a few weeks. On the Diamond Princess cruise ship, the rate went from about 15 to less than two once isolation protocols commenced... we need to stop wasting resources on pointless measures such as closing remote parks and natural reserves, where few people come close to one another anyway. In an especially important section of the aforementioned CDC report, the authors note that even COVID-19 super-spreaders can’t seem to infect people effectively in open spaces"

California's Newsom announces $125M fund to give coronavirus stimulus checks to immigrants in state illegally - "California has been seen as the most aggressive state in the nation when it came to giving benefits to immigrants living in the country illegally. Last year, California became the first state to give taxpayer-funded health benefits to low-income adults 25 and younger living in the country illegally. This year, Newsom had proposed expanding those benefits to seniors 65 and older."
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