COVID-19 - social and political fallout (6)

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COVID-19 - social and political fallout (6)

ag. 24, 2020, 8:32am


Europe Tried to Limit Mass Layoffs, but the Cuts Are Coming Anyway
Liz Alderman | Aug. 24, 2020

...A tsunami of job cuts is about to hit Europe as companies prepare to carry out sweeping downsizing plans to offset a collapse in business from the outbreak. Government-backed furlough schemes that have helped keep around a third of Europe’s work force financially secure are set to unwind in the coming months.

As many as 59 million jobs are at risk of cuts in hours or pay, temporary furloughs, or permanent layoffs, especially in industries like transportation and retail...

Governments are warning that millions will soon lose paychecks, and the European Central Bank last week said unemployment was likely to surge and stay high even when a recovery from the pandemic unfolds.

..Compared with the United States, which lost more than 20 million jobs in April alone, the furlough programs in the European Union have prevented unemployment from going off the charts. Germany, France, Denmark and Britain are among countries that have employed so-called short-work schemes, effectively nationalizing the paychecks of about 60 million private-sector employees...

ag. 25, 2020, 9:37am

Even after all the voices saying to not do it after Trump talked about it, Texas Poison Control is now begging Texans to stop drinking bleach.

ag. 25, 2020, 3:06pm

Airline Industry Signaling Coming Apocalypse

According to Bloomberg, American Airlines announces that 19,000 will be laid off/furloughed in October without further federal stimulus."
. . .American plans to fly less than 50% of its normal schedule in the fourth quarter, with long-haul international at only 25% of 2019 levels.
“We don’t think we’re going to see recovery for a long time,” said Helane Becker, a Cowen & Co. analyst. “We think three to five years for domestic and five to seven for international” to get back to last year’s levels. American’s job cuts are “not surprising, and you’re going to see more.”
Even with a clean extension of PSP, dramatic jobs cuts will only be put off to next spring.

33% of March 2020 furloughed employees throughout the economic spectrum were permanently laid off in July. These are long-term and permanent job losses that threaten a severe recession lasting at least two years.

1 in 5 small businesses expect to close in next 6 months without urgent federal aid. A National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) study showed that "one in five respondents reported a 50% drop in sales, and
nearly half of them said they would need more government help to stay afloat in the next year."
Nearly 85% of respondents to the NFIB survey said they had already used up their (PPP) loans to keep their employees, rent, and other expenses paid.
The Labor Department said last month that 3.7 million workers had permanently lost their jobs. That number is expected to reach at least 6.2 million and as high as 8.7 million by the end of this year, according to researchers at Harvard University and the Federal Reserve Board.

ag. 28, 2020, 11:44am

The value of talking to strangers — and nodding acquaintances
Colleen Walsh | August 27, 2020

Experts: COVID has robbed us of impromptu contacts that help keep us happy

...Research suggests there are many reasons these informal connections are so beneficial. They are typically brief, taking up little time in our overscheduled lives. They offer people a way to be seen, heard, and appreciated, as well as the chance for them to express gratitude. They frequently come free of any expectations. They are likely to be bridges to other communities and networks. And, perhaps most important of all, according to Small, they can help us cope with some of life’s most pressing challenges.

People may think otherwise about themselves, “but they will repeatedly, willingly, and even without much reflection confide deeply personal matters to individuals they are not close to, even to those they barely know,” writes Small in his book “Someone To Talk To,” which looks at how individuals decide who they will turn to when they need to talk something through. In his book Small also notes that “approaching individuals they are not especially close to appears to be what adult Americans do more than half the time they confide in others.”...empathy...we don’t want our secrets spreading...“simply because they were there”...suggests the need for venting strongly supersedes a rational belief that we have to be careful about whom we vent to.”

But with social distancing and working from home come fewer chance in-person encounters in our daily lives. Small recommends turning to an informal messaging option like an online chat function as a way to check in with colleagues or friends, in place of long virtual exchanges...

Besides making us feel less happy, the lack of casual interactions also may be undermining productivity. According to Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Ashley Whillans, the loss of impromptu office conversations isn’t good for morale or the bottom line....


Wither the handshake?
Colleen Walsh | March 30, 2020

...Some have begun to wonder if the (handshake) universal form of greeting, of acknowledgement, of sealing a deal may become a thing of the past. In recent weeks the practice has rapidly vanished, replaced by fist bumps and peace signs, head nods and foot taps, all in an effort to limit the close contact that helps the virus spread.

...Even the elbow bump puts people in closer contact than Hanage thinks is truly safe. Instead, he recommends the Hindu namaste greeting: a slight bow, with the hands pressed together in a prayer pose over the heart.

...why are we so attached to such a gesture, one that some say originated in ancient times as a way to show a potential foe that you were unarmed? The answer likely has something to do with our DNA, according to Steven Pinker, Harvard’s Johnstone Family Professor of Psychology who points to the “Principle of Antithesis” detailed in Charles Darwin’s “Expression of Emotion in Animals and Man.”

“In order to display a friendly, nonthreatening intent, animals often evolve a display that is the joint-for-joint, muscle-for-muscle opposite of their display for aggression. So a friendly dog assumes the opposite posture from an aggressive dog: instead of a rigid tail and body with the head poised forward as if to attack, it will crouch, look upward, and wag its tail,” Pinker wrote in an email. “In the case of humans, too, friendly displays tend to be the antithesis of threatening ones: our hands are open rather than clenched, our arms are supinated, we approach the other person closely rather than keeping the wary distance of two fighters, and we expose vulnerable body parts like our lips and neck.”

Through time, every culture has to adopt conventions about which gestures are put into practice, said Pinker, “to eliminate any ambiguity about just how friendly the intent is.”

Conventions differ across cultures, he points out.

“Many Americans were taken aback when George W. Bush held hands with his Saudi counterpart, since a quick handshake is the maximum touching sanctioned for American men,” Pinker said.

...When it comes to the handshake and the coronavirus, “fear of contagion could certainly change the conventions as well,” noted Pinker, “but with an interesting twist.”

“Displays guided by Darwinian antithesis are just those that spread germs ­— contact, proximity, and exposure of the mouth and nose — whereas sanitary conventions like fist-bumps and elbow-taps go against the grain of intuitive friendliness. That explains why, at least in my experience, people accompany these gestures with a little laugh, as if to reassure each other that the superficially aggressive displays are new conventions in a contagious time and offered in a spirit of camaraderie.”

ag. 30, 2020, 12:17am

Far right using coronavirus as excuse to attack Asians, say police (Guardian)

Government urged to give extra protection to targeted communities after hate attacks rise by a third...

The experience of Covid-19 shows how easily catastrophe can befall our species (Guardian)

A previous generation understood the destructive power of humanity. We would do well to heed their insights...

Editat: ag. 31, 2020, 8:14am

With Canada and Mexico borders closed, Americans are trapped in their own healthcare system
Caitlin Hu | August 31, 2020

...Buying insulin abroad

Only 1.5% of American adults who take prescription medications buy their drugs abroad, according to a June analysis by researchers at the University of Florida Gainesville, based on a 2015-2017 National Health Interview Survey.
But that's still an estimated 2.3 million people...

...With the borders closed, online ordering has spiked, he adds...But ordering online isn't for everyone -- there is always a risk that the medicine will be confiscated or that temperature-sensitive drugs like insulin could go bad waiting at customs or in US Postal Service delays.*

...US President Donald Trump has called to allow larger scale importation from Canada, among a raft of recent proposals to reduce the prices of certain US drugs. Since 2019, they've (some Canadian health industry groups and patients) warned that Trump's importation plan could lead to drug shortages for Canadians -- a fear likely sharpened after witnessing global shortages of vital medical equipment in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

A crumbling economy

As the pandemic wears on, the options are dwindling for Americans who can't afford to be sick in the United States -- especially after the cratering economy erased nearly 13 million jobs, taking health insurance options with them...

* margd: this summer shutdown, I've mailed several packages of kids' books, etc. to Canadian relatives. In June, packages took three weeks to arrive. Four weeks and counting the last package has not yet arrived. Probably a combination of US and Canadian delays--I suspect "quarantine" in the latter case, when Canada is receiving?

ag. 31, 2020, 12:27pm

#6--I suspect you're just another victim of Trump's decision to destroy the US Postal Service. Consider the US Postal Service handles 48% of the world's mail in one way or another. That's a lot of reach for a country that has what--about 5% of the world's population? There's more than enough potential to have a massive effect on the global economy. Trump sees all this only through his blinders---killing the vote but he's got more than enough support from outfits like Cato and the Heritage foundation and shitbird libertarians like Rand Paul.

set. 2, 2020, 6:31am

Academia needs a reality check: Life is not back to normal
June Gruber, Jay J. Van Bavel , William A. Cunningham, Leah H. Somerville, Neil A. Lewis, Jr. | Aug. 28, 2020

...we feel strongly that the scientific community needs to take a step back, once again, and recalibrate our expectations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some universities may be reopening. But with all the grim statistics and uncertainty, one thing is clear: Things may not be back to normal for many months to come (if ever). As we adapt our expectations for ourselves and others, we suggest three principles for facing reality during the upcoming semester:

Acknowledge that things are not normal
Respect child care and other personal needs
Triage what work is essential and reasonable

Editat: set. 2, 2020, 3:28pm

President Inject-Bleach & His New Covid-19 "Expert Advisor" Who Has +X-Ray Vision, I Guess
Dr. Scott Atlas isn’t an expert in infectious disease or epidemiology, as are coronavirus task force advisers Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci, whom he has pretty much usurped. Atlas is a radiologist and, more importantly, a senior fellow at the far-right bad-idea incubator known as the Hoover Institution (previously home to the infamous prediction that the U.S. death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic would be around 5,000. Here's why:
Atlas has questioned whether wearing face masks slows viral spread (it does) and pushed for the CDC to change its recommendation on coronavirus testing to cover only people with symptoms, even though the science clearly shows that asymptomatic people are spreading the disease — and may indeed be a principal vector for spread.
Trump's guy is obviously gonna be popular with the Evangelicals. They've promoted any MD who spouts support for their nonscientific screwy theological position, as seen by the stream of "experts" they put forward in their anti-scientific, anti-abortion rights attacks that put women's lives in danger. And again illustrated by crack-pot dissenting scientists who are climate change deniers. The rule of the anti-scientific will always be the exception, not the rule, and will be justified by redefining the scientific term "theory" to mean "any old idea, preferably a non-scientific one."
Atlas is reportedly behind Trump’s new enthusiasm for “herd immunity,” which is the latest euphemism for a non-policy letting the coronavirus run rampant. . .Actual scientific experts in disease are uniformly against this idea, because it would dramatically raise the death rate and likely wouldn’t restore the economy anytime soon."
Not to mention that the scientific research we have thus far available on which to base effective pandemic response indicates antibody protection from Covid-19 infection lasts 4 months tops. And re-infection with Covid-19 has been confirmed. That's like promoting herd immunity to seasonal flu or the common cold. Good. Luck. With. That.

The ultimate result of Trump's irrationality and fondness for sycophants rather than actual experts is that
. . .more than 6 million Americans are infected and nearly 18(7),000 have died, and that number is likely to continue growing at an alarming rate, especially as Trump now has a doctor to hide behind when justifying his hostility to public health.
Atlas. i remember that guy. He's the one who pushed out the prediction from the Hoover Institution that only 5,000 Americans would die.

Stable Genius Trump no doubt wants to have his head X-amined as further proof of his iQ. By Scott Atlas, M.D.
"Sorry losers and haters, but my I.Q. is one of the highest -and you all know it! Please don't feel so stupid or insecure, it's not your fault." --DJT, Twitteriot, since at least May 8, 2013
"And I have the X-rays to prove it!!!!"

set. 3, 2020, 12:04am

Rethinking Security in a Pandemic: No Justice, No Peace (Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns)

Recent global events call into question traditional approaches to security. A national security paradigm based on military defense cannot keep us safe from pandemics, food insecurity, or climate change. When communities in other countries suffer from these disasters, we feel the effects at home, too: COVID-19 continues to spread, migrants flee to our borders, violent conflict erupts over scarce resources, and the changing climate impacts us all.

The very notion of “national security” places undue emphasis on preparedness for war. Budget appropriation debates present national security, or defense, as one concern, vying for funds against global health initiatives, international development and humanitarian aid, and diplomacy. “Homeland Security” and border protection are promoted as national security concerns, while environmental regulations and public health initiatives are not.

The novel coronavirus pandemic is a dramatic reminder that our own security is bound up with that of people in other countries and that promoting true security requires an integrated approach. Addressing the interrelated issues that threaten human security – from ethnic conflict to food insecurity, threats to health and to the environment, poverty and lack of essential freedoms – requires an approach that is integrated, proactive, cooperative, and nonviolent...

set. 3, 2020, 8:17am

CDC halted evictions. Hope longer fix is found fair to renters and small landlords--maybe banks pause mortgage bills?

Josh Campbell @joshscampbell | 9:00 PM · Sep 2, 2020
One of the most important pieces of journalism all year -- @KyungLahCNN
with the stories of those being evicted and losing their livelihood every day due to the economic stresses of Covid-19.

America is in crisis. Don't look away.
4:58 ( )

set. 4, 2020, 10:13am

A Junior High in Texas is under fire over a quiz Question. The question was "Is the corona virus a scam?" Choice of answers were true or false. False was marked as incorrect.

Editat: set. 5, 2020, 3:24am

Covid-19 and freedom of Assembly and Association (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)

“States responses to Covid 19 threat should not halt freedoms of assembly and association” – UN expert on the rights to freedoms of peaceful assembly and of association, Mr. Clément Voule

The Covid-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to human rights around the world. Clément Voule, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association salutes the efforts of governments, international organizations and civil society working together to protect the public from this health hazard.

No country or government can solve the crisis alone; civil society organizations should be seen as strategic partners in the fight against the pandemic. The Special Rapporteur is concerned by information received from online consultations with civil society around the world, that reveal several worrying trends and limitations, including on civil society's ability to support an effective response.

In the face of the current public health emergency, the Special Rapporteur would like to remind States of the necessity of responding in a manner compliant with their human rights obligations. In particular, the Special Rapporteur would like to emphasize ten key principles:

First: ensuring that new legal measures respect human rights...
Second: ensuring that the public health emergency is not used as a pretext for rights infringements...
Third: democracy cannot be indefinitely postponed...
Fourth: ensuring inclusive participation...
Fifth: guaranteeing freedom of association and assembly online...
Sixth: protecting workplace rights to freedom of association and assembly...
Seventh: freedom of expression must be ensured...
Eighth: civil society’s participation in multilateral institutions must be secured...
Ninth: international solidarity is needed more than ever...
Tenth: future implications of Covid-19 and responding to popular calls for reform...

Also available in French, Chinese and Russian.

set. 6, 2020, 11:45pm

Covering covid-19 in Africa: 'The virus cannot stop this life and energy' (Guardian)

The Guardian’s Africa correspondent on life in a country that has fought and faced down more than one epidemic...

set. 7, 2020, 7:10am

Bodega sign on Ave. C in Manhattan:

Covid-19 is some real shit!!!

. Cover your fucking mouth!!
. STFU buy your shit and leave ASAP
. Absolutely NO titty or Shoe money
. Stand back at least 6 feet playa!!!!
. Store capacity to ONLY 5 motherfuckers at once
. You cough, You are OUT!!!

Stay safe and drink responsibly

set. 11, 2020, 3:41am

A pandemic, a motel without power and a potentially terrifying glimpse of Orlando’s future
Greg Jaffe. Videos by Drea Cornejo and Photos by Eve Edelheit | Sept. 10, 2020

...The aging motels along Florida’s Highway 192 have long been barometers of a fragile economy. In good times they drew budget-conscious tourists from China, South America and elsewhere, whose dollars helped to pay the salaries of legions of low-wage service workers; the people who made one of the world’s largest tourism destinations — “the most magical place on earth” — run.

In tough times, the motels degenerated into shelters of last resort in a city where low-income housing shortages were among the most severe in the nation and the social safety net was collapsing. Now they were fast becoming places where it was possible to glimpse what a complete social and economic collapse might look like in America.

The pandemic had heaped crisis on top of crisis. The 2008 housing collapse and recession had caused the tourist market to tank at the exact moment the foreclosure crisis was forcing thousands of homeowners and overburdened renters from their homes. Struggling motel owners began renting rooms to the only customers they could find, those who had no place else to go.

In the decade that followed, the tourists returned to Orlando by the millions. Executive salaries at companies such as Disney and Universal soared. So did local real estate prices, buoyed by a booming market for gated, luxury vacation homes.

But almost nothing was done to address the reality that many service workers had emerged from the recession saddled with stagnant wages, bad credit or eviction records that made it nearly impossible for them to rent an apartment and return to a normal life. Many spent much of the past decade stuck in motels with restful names — the Paradise, the Palm, the Shining Light, the Star, the Magic Castle — that belied an increasingly grim reality for both the owners and tenants who found themselves trapped together...

set. 12, 2020, 11:58pm

Trump ally who sought to change CDC Covid reports claims he was fighting 'deep state' (Guardian)

A former Trump campaign official now spokesman for the US health department sought to change key reports on the coronavirus pandemic, in some cases “openly complaining” that they “would undermine the president’s optimistic messages about the outbreak”, according to internal emails seen by Politico.

The official, Michael Caputo, told the website he was attempting to stymie “ulterior deep state motives in the bowels” of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC...

Editat: set. 13, 2020, 10:10am

From the "have" side of the pandemic:

How We Shop for Food
Oranges and frozen foods are being snapped up. Shelves have fewer choices. And customers are steering their carts in surprising new directions.
Kim Severson | Sept. 8, 2020

1. Trips Are Fewer, Lists Are Better
2. Online Aisles Are Bustling
3. Orange Is the New Snack
4. Redrawing the Store...wider aisles, new methods of sanitation and less-crowded stores...
5. Choices Are Shrinking
6. The Freezer Is Hot
7. ‘Local’ Is a Bigger Lure

We are so lucky:

The Other Way Covid Will Kill: Hunger
Worldwide, the population facing life-threatening levels of food insecurity is expected to double, to more than a quarter of a billion people.
Peter S. Goodman, Abdi Latif Dahir and Karan Deep Singh | Sept. 11, 2020

set. 16, 2020, 12:21am

Coronavirus in Kenya: From salon to sewer worker (BBC)

To help some of the hundreds of thousands of Kenyans who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic, the government is paying some of them to brave open sewers to clean up their neighbourhoods...

Editat: set. 16, 2020, 10:25am

Reminds me of the long time it takes to recover from a major extinction event. The major niches are filled rather quickly, but takes a very long time to repopulate the rich undergrowth of niches that depend on others...

Yelp data shows 60% of business closures due to the coronavirus pandemic are now permanent
Anjali Sundaram | Sep 16 2020

Yelp on Wednesday released its latest Economic Average report, revealing business closures across the U.S. are increasing as a result of the coronavirus.

As of Aug, 31, 163,735 businesses have indicated on Yelp that they have closed, a 23% increase since mid-July.

According to Yelp data, permanent closures have reached 97,966, representing 60% of closed businesses that won’t be reopening...

set. 16, 2020, 11:49am

#20--underscores what not having a pandemic strategy and the history of resentment and division that the Trump administration turns everything into.

I'm not a fan of Biden but there's no other direction for him to take us but up--that's if it's possible still by the time he's inaugurated. It's like we're at the bottom of a well with no exit out.

Editat: set. 16, 2020, 12:57pm

Trump blaming Biden for not mandating that people wear masks.....???!!?? Yeah, that's right--Trump out doing full lunatic.

Trump says that waiters and servers don't like to wear masks. That he did all he could do to stop the spread of the virus and that once again one day it will disappear like magic......and a bunch of other ridiculous claims that make him look like the village idiot.

Editat: set. 17, 2020, 5:06am

A Christian response to COVID-19 by an old colleague of mine, well known Catholic scripture scholar John Wijngaards, disagreeing wholeheartedly with some of the evangelical fundamentalist Christian positions. Incidentally, I suspect that the use of the word "him" in the headline to describe God was added by a sub-editor, as Wijngaards would normally use inclusive language.

Direct requests to God reduce him to a chaotic manager and us to mere puppet-theatre toys (Irish Times)

India is one of the countries hardest-hit by Covid-19 with more than 4.8 million recorded cases and over 79,000 deaths. The Indian Catholic Bishops Conference has organised “web prayer meetings” in response.

A bishop declared that Pope Francis had called for such prayer on May 3rd last. The aim of the meeting, the spokesman claimed, was to “implore God to save humanity from the pandemic”. Indeed, many devout Catholics in India believe that we need a miraculous intervention by God.

A song on YouTube by sisters of the Congregation of the Mother of Carmel in Kerala, India, has gone viral. They sing: “Go away, Corona! We have Jesus who will destroy you for ever!”

In response to a critical remark by me on the song, an anxious pastor from Mumbai sent me a letter: “Jesus is a God of miracles. He has the power to burn away the virus from our bodies. He has the power to wipe the virus from the face of the Earth. He promised: ‘If two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in Heaven’ (Mt 18,19).”

It harks back to the medieval God-rules-the-world spirituality.

Pilgrims would walk hundreds of miles on foot to visit a shrine where a saint could intercede with God on their behalf. They believed it would secure them good health, a happy marriage or abundant crops. When Europe was devastated by the plague, processions of “flagellants” would roam from town to town.

Glib petitions

They were priests and their flock whipping themselves till blood would stream from their shoulders to move God to pity. Their ideas are still alive to some extent when we glibly petition God to cure a sick parent or bring us back home safe and sound when travelling by air. In this spirituality the underlying concept does injustice to God. If it is God who releases the virus, how cruel on humankind. If God destroys the virus at our request, how fickle God proves to be. If God spares an individual because we pray for that person, how partial since others who have no friends to pray for them are left to their fate.

It reduces God to a chaotic manager, whimsy, treating us as toys in a puppet theatre – the God that avowed atheist Bertrand Russell rightly rejected.

However, when we read what Pope Francis actually did say during his Regina Coeli appeal on May 3rd, we get a different picture. He did call for all leaders of religions to join in prayer. But they should do so “to implore God to help humanity overcome the pandemic”.

Notice it is we, humanity, who should overcome the pandemic. Pope Francis also mentioned explicitly the importance of “international co-operation to respond effectively to this pandemic, with common efforts to find vaccines and extend their benefits to all”.

Role of mini-creators

In the creation story, we read that God said: “Let us make humankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals” (Genesis 1,26). What does being made in God’s image mean if not that, by giving us intelligence, God made us mini-creators who could and should rule our own world? In the Gospel, Jesus added the priority of love. On the day of reckoning we shall be judged by how we treated the hungry, strangers, the sick, outcasts and prisoners (Matthew 25,31-46).

In short therefore: we ourselves are responsible for the world we live in, a charge guided by reason and compassion.

We ourselves will need to eliminate the threat of Covid-19, paying special attention to the needs of the most vulnerable in health or finance. It is natural, being the creatures we are, that we cry out to God for spiritual support.

After all, we are anchored in God. God pervades us, sustains us in being, inspires us to love, gives ultimate meaning to our lives.

But God expects us to defeat the virus ourselves.

John Wijngaards is founder of the UK-based Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research

Editat: set. 18, 2020, 4:23pm

Dad's love for Halloween leads to 'candy chute' creation for trick-or-treating (2:46)
Friday, September 18, 2020

...The chute was made out of a six by four pipe that he spray-painted orange and added duct tape to it. The chute runs from his front porch to the sidewalk.

(Ohio dad Andrew) Beattie adds that he will have a sign that tells trick-or-treaters where to place their bag or bucket to prevent hand-to-hand exchange. He said all candy will be factory sealed until it's opened outside, and plans to wear a mask and change gloves frequently.

SEE ALSO: Trick-or-What? Pandemic Halloween is a mixed bag all around

"Even if they're completely comfortable with where things are right now, a lot of people that aren't," he said. "I think if they can see people doing things like this, it can give them a little bit of grace that it might encourage more people to get involved and get out there and get us back to looking the way we want to look."

While some places are considering no trick-or-treating at all, Beattie is encouraging those wanting to pass out treats to give making their own "candy chute" a try. He hopes it's something that will help keep the holiday tradition alive and create some positivity in the midst of the pandemic.

Hershey proposes safe trick-or-treating ideas based on US virus risk
Brhe Berry | Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Green suggestions:
Regular trick-or-treating with social distancing guidelines
Invite a limited number of guests over for a themed costume party
Participate in a neighborhood parking lot (car) trunk or treat to help minimize the close quarters of pathways and porches

Yellow suggestions:
Drive up trick-or-treating where neighbors set up candy curbside
Neighborhood costume parade with a predetermined route marked to maintain safe distances between participants
Throw a face mask decoration party with limited guests

Orange suggestions:
Trick or treat in reverse by having neighbors walk or drive-by and deliver candy to the front yard
Hold a neighborhood candy hunt with social distancing guidelines
Throw a neighborhood driveway pub crawl

Red suggestions:
Throw a Zoom party
Have a Netflix scary movie party on the phone or Zoom where everyone starts the scary movie at the same time
Take family porch photos
Create a Halloween piñata with just your family in the back yard
Have a costume Halloween dinner with your family

Trick-or-What? Pandemic Halloween is a mixed bag all around
Thursday, September 17, 2020

set. 23, 2020, 12:24am

South Sudan Catholics Return to Church (Voice of America)

Hundreds of Catholic faithful in the South Sudan capital Juba returned to Mass on Sunday, nearly five months after the government suspended religious, social and political gatherings to prevent the spread of COVID-19...

New guidelines for congregants were announced by Metropolitan Archbishop of Juba Diocese Stephen Ameyu Martin. "All the people will have face masks and all of them will have to wash their hands at the entrance and all other social distancing protocols are all observed... South Sudan's Catholic churches are offering more services to ensure that fewer people attend each one... The leadership also issued new guidelines for taking Holy Communion. A priest will give a wafer to a congregant, the congregant will move about one meter away, swallow it, then walk away... congregants also will be screened before entering church to determine if they have abnormal temperatures...

The archbishop said the church leadership realizes the pandemic is still a threat to human life. "We will always monitor the infection of the people; if the people are infected more and more, we could still close down our churches," Martin told VOA.

set. 23, 2020, 11:34pm

Pope: ‘The only way out of the current crisis is all together' (Vatican News)

Speaking during the General Audience in the Vatican, Pope Francis looks to a post-pandemic world and reflects on the principle of subsidiarity, whereby every level of society has a role to play in revitalizing the social fabric...

set. 24, 2020, 12:41pm

Most recent research indicates that natural immunity following infection with coronavirus may last no more than 12 months, at best. And we also learn that, similar to our annual need for flu vaccines, people will likely need annual immunization against Covid-19 virus and its ever increasing number of discovered variants. If any vaccine induces protection as well as natural immunity (some research indicates it will -- but not all).

The news descends to provide background to the gloomy warning from Dr. Fauci yesterday in Senate hearing testimony, that the long term after effects of Covid-19 infection warrant attention to lengthy cardiovascular disease and its concomitant health challenges. As yet it is unknown if a lengthy period of time (months to years) may provide full recovery, or if debilitation will persist for life and deterioration be gradual but inevitable.

Implications? Aside from the unknown prognosis of people who suffered moderate to severe cases of Covid-19, ALL OF US can foresee much higher premium costs or no chance of health insurance coverage on the basis of pre-existing conditions in the future from private health insurers. This amidst the ongoing War on ACA (Obamacare) being waged by Trump and Republican senators. It's no wonder the chaos of the administration's mishandling of the pandemic hovers like doom on the horizon.

One asks, "How much Trumpian "greatness" can this country survive?" 200,000 dead Americans due to coronavirus is where we stand now after 8 months of Don-Boy's response to and "management" of the pandemic. That implies 1,200,000 and more additional deaths over a second term and that is only if direct proportional extrapolation is applied. Predictably, the number could be much higher as the Baby Boom Generation of older move vulnerable people peaks then.

VOTE! as if your life depended on it. It probably does.

Editat: set. 25, 2020, 8:18am

Ghost on a zip line delivers treats:


set. 25, 2020, 6:19pm

>29 margd:
That was a great story. I'd seen it several days ago and thought, "That's the kind of 'American ingenuity' we need more of!" What a great guy. And what fun for the kiddies.

set. 27, 2020, 12:13am

Welcome to libertarian Covid fantasy land – that’s Sweden to you and me (Guardian)

The right fails to recognise that the Swedes’ real virtue in this pandemic is their social cohesion...

set. 30, 2020, 3:35pm

WHOOT! and BWAHAHAHA for Confirmation of Republican Stupidity Biting a Deserving Republican in the A&&!!

Michigan Republican fighting to block Democratic governor’s public health orders tests positive for COVID.

Listen to this guy's swarmy Facebook speech.
"Thankfully, the worst of my symptoms came and went this weekend, and I'm feeling much better. I am following the doctor’s orders and working from home through at least the middle of next week," LaFave posted.
Yep, dear readers. It's all about MEEEEEEE!! When the governor proposes the state follow scientifically mandated methodology to PREVENT Covid-19 infection, this guy says don't step on my rights to be a stupid schmuck, to go on living my way, regardless of the threat to others' health that I pose when I do. That's SOCIALISM!

But when the bug bites him in the a$$, he runs to the science-based medical professional (whose scientific reality-based treatment he can easily afford as he's covered by a state health plan -- SOCIALISM!!) and willingly accepts the physician's advice without protest and without indication that he's going to flounce around in public while "I don't feel good."

Love it when RWNJs demonstrate for all to see that it's not socialism that kills; it's individual ARROGANCE & STUPIDITY.

Editat: set. 30, 2020, 6:15pm

Honestly! I heard on radio that Michigan AG is investigating one fellow who is contesting Guv's emergency powers. Seems to me that she should be shutting down more than opening up as our cases edge upward, and I wonder if pressure from these guys is responsible.

Right now I'm in day 3 of 14-day quarantine, a condition for attending to some essential business here in Ont. While I filled out some paperwork ahead of time, border guard in booth processed us, which makes sense I guess in they no doubt didn't want us indoors! Very anxiety-making, though to pack enough food for 2 or 3 weeks, not knowing if we would be admitted or not
--between DH and I packed TONS, e.g., six loaves of bread, three bags of tangerines and oranges, two jars of peanut butter... DH slept for only two hours the night before, and we had a flat tire before we even left the U.S... SO nice that cousin-neighbours switched on the fridge in our cottage and left a bottle of wine to chill! We call authorities' line every day, and wait for a call or other surveillance. (Mayor has a small plane...) The township has not had one case and we don't want to be the Americans who bring it in, so huge incentive (in addition to threats of fines and jail time) to observe quarantine!!! Fingers crossed that bump in provincial numbers doesn't result in another shutdown before we can take care of the banking business we came for... Aargh!

set. 30, 2020, 7:20pm

You "smuggled" fresh citrus into Canada?

I had to throw out a single raw baking potato at the border. Crazy! LoL!!

Editat: oct. 2, 2020, 1:47am

It's the US that doesn't want citrus-- for risk of introducing pests into CA and FL. Crazy though that they've taken one or two when we're headed to home in MI... Especially when ships passing under bridge with zebra mussels and gobies in their ballast water--in bad old days... They worry about peppers and beef more I'll have to toss what we don't eat or re-home...

oct. 1, 2020, 9:59pm

So Hope Hicks a prominent Trump aide traveled with the Donald to a rally on Wednesday and tested positive for Covid on Thursday. Apparently she had been around a number of other very important Trump apparatchiks--well she was at the rally. Apparently Dan Scavino and Kayleigh McEnaney were supposed to travel with Trump too but for some unexplained reason pulled out at the last minute. Purely speculation with those two though. Trump instead of quarantining is going to continue on his road trip--then again he has the luxury of being tested whenever he wants. He will also have the luxury of the best medical care possible and gratis unlike others whose health insurance he's determined to shitcan.

oct. 2, 2020, 12:58am


Donald J. Trump

and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
12:54 AM · Oct 2, 2020·Twitter for iPhone

Editat: oct. 2, 2020, 1:17am

In full knowledge of Hick's positive test, Trump held his fundraiser.


The leader of the free world announced early Friday morning that he has tested positive for COVID-19.

President Donald Trump has tried to downplay the virus and has held high-risk campaign rallies against the advice of medical professionals, even though he is at risk due to his age and obsesity.

Melania Trump has also tested positive for coronavirus.

Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020

Editat: oct. 2, 2020, 1:57am


Walter Reed standing by and fully prepared to care for POTUS (& assume FLOTUS) if need be.

POTUS required to end all campaigning events per MD's orders as he and Melania are quarantined. Had been at Bedminster today for fundraiser. Upcoming campaign travel had been heavily scheduled and is now out of the question.

ALL THOSE in contact with Hicks, and Trumps should go into quarantine. Known that all the Trump children had been on plane, plus many staffers. Possible many in Trump's last rally can be positive, asymptomatic but ABLE TO INFECT OTHERS.

Hope Hicks did feel symptomatic at least two days ago, yet Trump did not get tested immediately but may have been infectious days before, exposing aides, Secret Service, and many others. Trump, himself, may have infected his SCOTUS nominee, having met with her two days ago.

Questions swirling why Trump went to fundraiser at one of his golf courses knowing Hicks had tested positive. Suggested that ALL rallies and group meetings be cancelled. Reports are Trump and entourage fly AF-1 WITHOUT MASKS, NO SOCIAL DISTANCING, and known to mock same while in flight. As yet, medical knowledge incomplete as to aerosol

Pence probably also exposed. NO ANNOUNCEMENT VP TESTED.

Questions swirling around delay in testing POTUS, concern for medical advice and supervision within WH. Allowing symptomatic individual to fly with POTUS (and others) is not consistent with Covid-19 anti-infection protocols.

Trump in HIGH RISK: older + overweight/obese patients known to have negative trajectory. Known that he has other comorbidities (high blood pressure) despite fake medical evaluations made public in the past. Never had a full medical report made available.

SPEAKER PELOSI ADVISED to isolate and take extra precautions during time of uncertainty as possibility that she will be called upon to maintain executive continuity should Pence also test positive and current executive branch become symptomatic, or worse.


Questions being asked about possible spread of infection at Tuesday night at first debate. No social distancing in front row of president's party; no masks. Many witnessed much hand shaking at night's event and other public rallies and within the WH.

The possibility of additional debates is fading.

CDC working at contact tracing, which is overwhelming in light of Trump's recent schedule.

DOW futures have plunged 500 pts overnight on the news.

Degree or disagree, like or not like what he says, all of us hope that he remains healthy in view of the fact of his high risk status. There is no therapeutic of proven universal efficacy. If Trump remains asymptomatic for 10 days, he will be very lucky.

Unfortunately for Trump, his infection and any subsequent health effects he might suffer will completely negate and overturn his previous statements about the virus, especially at rallies and news briefings. Future efforts to downplay Covid-19 will be impossible without risking ridicule. It's unknown how Trump's base will react to their world being turned upside down on this issue. There will be no vaccine available before Election Day.

Editat: oct. 2, 2020, 1:47am

I mean if anybody deserved to test positive for the virus it would be a person who acted like he was above getting it and who encouraged and got millions of others to do the same and to take no precautions. Who stood by and did nothing as leader of the country while over 200,000 of the people he was suppose to lead died. Who was always trying to turn this into a blue state problem even when it ravaged states in the south and southwest. Who used the pandemic to divide people even further instead of bringing the nation together in a national response to fight this virus. That would be a guy who would deserve to get it if anybody deserved it.

Now I see this as his own personal problem because there is no national effort because he made sure that we were all on our own.

oct. 2, 2020, 1:58am

Oh, the irony.

Editat: oct. 2, 2020, 2:37am

I was beginning to think maybe hydroxyquinone did have prophylactic properties. Either that or Trump luck extended to viruses.
He's going to go through some things...won't be fun I suspect.

What if he can't run? Is election postponed or does Pence move to top of ticket? What if Pence can't run? Election goes on?


NYT: "Even if Mr. Trump, 74, remains asymptomatic, he will have to withdraw from the campaign trail and stay isolated in the White House for an unknown period of time. If he becomes sick, it could raise questions about whether he should remain on the ballot at all."*

- Michael Barbaro @mikiebarb | 1:27 AM · Oct 2, 2020


What if Trump was infectious at Tuesday debate and infected Biden?
Melania? None of the Trumps wore masks to debate, though required.

What if we have only small third parties on ballot?

I've already voted--what if MY candidate dies?

oct. 2, 2020, 2:07am

Election goes on because it's going on as I type. No provision made for loss of candidate. Too late to file for candidacy. Too late to get on ballot. Early voting underway in many states.

If Pence remains healthy, imagine RNC will fight to offer him as proxy. Imagine that will result in challenges from Democrats and create a legal mess all the way to SCOTUS and its 8 remaining judges, which might result in a 4-4 decision, effectively no decision.

Editat: oct. 2, 2020, 2:21am

Norman Ornstein @NormOrnstein | 1:12 AM · Oct 2, 2020:

I was there in the debate hall. The entire Trump entourage came in w masks, took them off as soon as they sat down, refused to put them on when asked by Cleveland Clinic personnel. Flouting defiantly the law & rules. And Trump shouting only 8-10 feet from Biden for 90 mins. Oy


ETA: Wonder if Chris Wallace was exposed? Other journalists? Members of audience?

Jacqui Heinrich (Fox) @JacquiHeinrich | 1:04 AM · Oct 2, 2020:
Timely reminder that on debate night, members of Trump family and Trump administration did not wear masks, which were required by the Cleveland Clinic. A doctor approached the Trump guests, offering masks and reminding them to put one on – but nobody did.

oct. 2, 2020, 2:52am

#42--the election is going on dead candidates or not. Trump dies---Pence goes to the top of the ticket. Biden tests positive and dies Harris would go to the top of the ticket. Trump in close proximity (sorry Prox) was yelling at Biden a good two hours the other night--so who knows. Maybe Donald knew already he was positive and was yelling at Biden to give the virus to Joe---seems a bit far fetched but when it comes to underhanded with Trump anything is possible.

The fallback person is the speaker of the house--or second in line of succession---Nancy Pelosi. So if it all went to shit she would be the one who would at least for a while be POTUS.

oct. 2, 2020, 4:05am

Data suggests the pandemic is playing out differently in Africa (devex)

Experts are calling for more study of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa as ongoing data analysis points to differences in how it is playing out on the continent.

Speaking at a World Health Organization press briefing last week, professor Mark Woolhouse, director of Tackling Infections to Benefit Africa, a research partnership that has been analyzing data on the pandemic, said the group’s findings so far point to unique characteristics within Africa.

“Africa has had its own epidemic … I have worked very closely with the epidemic in the U.K. and elsewhere in Europe as well {and} they are different. They have different characteristics so I think there are going to be lessons to be learned from all this data from Africa for Africa,” he said...

oct. 2, 2020, 9:23am

Actually when voting for president you're really voting for electors who are pledged to vote for that candidate in the electoral college. So if that candidate dies I believe they are free to vote for whomever they want.

Editat: oct. 2, 2020, 12:32pm

BREAKING Biden, Harris both test NEGATIVE for Covid-19 (also MSNBC reports)

Yamiche Alcindor
CONFIRMED: There was no contact from the Trump campaign or the White House to alert the Biden campaign of possible exposure. The campaign learned of the situation from the news reports, a Biden campaign aide tells me.
10:25 AM · Oct 2, 2020

Sarah Mucha
Hearing there was no contact from the Trump campaign or the White House to alert the Biden campaign of possible exposure to COVID-19.
9:06 AM · Oct 2, 2020

oct. 2, 2020, 12:42pm

These days if you get a cold you should quarantine and get tested because you don't know. This is what happened to my son last week. Got a cold--quarantined in his room-got tested--quarantined some more while waiting for results that ultimately came back negative. If he had come in positive the rest of us would have quarantined and tested too.

oct. 2, 2020, 12:49pm

Who Has Been Infected with Covid-19 in US Senate?

See all of the senators who have either tested positive or have been quarantined.

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)

Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)
Sen. Shelley Capito (R-W.Va.)
Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.)

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)
Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.)
Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah)
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.)

Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah)
Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.)
Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.)
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas)

Notice anything that they ALL HAVE IN COMMON?

oct. 2, 2020, 3:02pm

Article visible only if one has a subscription.
The Wall Street Journal reported that President Donald Trump’s positive test for the highly contagious virus had spread fear throughout the building.

Aides texted one another in the absence of official directions, and one White House official described the mood in the West Wing as “hair on fire.”
. . .all East Wing staffers were told to work from home until further notice.

oct. 2, 2020, 3:21pm

In spite of being told he could work from his room in the private quarters, Trump did not participate in today's scheduled conference call, designating Pence to stand in for him. The WH has cancelled all public appearances and travel for Trump. Tonight's scheduled rally in FL will not take place. Further specific cancellations have not been specified.

Speaker Pelosi has called Covid-19 a "vicious disease/virus." From what we see of Trump's silence on Twitter, skipping a phone call, and the reported restrictions on his campaign, the public is naturally wanting information on what, exactly, constitutes his "mild symptoms."

In the absence of therapeutics, the only known treatments are still being studied but none for non-intubated patients are yet standard practice. It could be to aid resting, doctors have prescribed or given Trump sedatives or sleeping aids and monitoring blood oxygen levels. It's reasonable to assume that supplemental oxygen is on hand, if not being used immediately. The only reported "mild symptoms" are that Trump's voice sounded raspy at the fund raiser and he had felt lethargic.

Favorable medical views on vitamin-D concentrations (especially in severe cases) being kept above minimum levels, the administration of anti-coagulants, especially in older patients, and monitoring blood O2 levels for supplemental demands are becoming more common treatments for mild cases.

Editat: oct. 2, 2020, 7:55pm

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

oct. 2, 2020, 10:42pm

Republicans have cooties.

Editat: oct. 2, 2020, 11:23pm


Add another name to the Covid-19 positive senator list: Embattled GOP senator, Thom Tillis of NC, tests positive for COVID.
Tillis is also a member of the Judiciary Committee, was at the White House SCOTUS event Saturday, met with (Judge Amy Coney) Barrett on Wednesday.
Barrett and her spouse both had tested positive this summer.

Tillis has the same thing in common with the other senators. But you already knew that.

Were all the recently positive news hounds, government officials, and staff at the group meting/reception for Trump's nominee to SCOTUS? The possibility that someone at that affair is a super-spreader grows. Can people who were formerly positive for the coronavirus somehow remain infectious, or are they asymptomatic carriers who shed virus load after contact with someone who is communicable?


Breaking P.S. Kellyanne Conway, former Trump senior advisor, announces a positive Covid-19 test.

oct. 2, 2020, 11:36pm

>55 Limelite: Conway's kid actually announced that... "Update my mom has covid... I'm furious. wear your masks. don't listen to our idiot fucking piece of shit president. protect yourselves and those around you"

She goes on: "She also lied to me and told me her test was negative when it literally wasn't and I spent all day around her".

Why would you lie about that? I mean, that's seriously pathological stuff. Poor kid, having to put up with that. I bet she ends up a real hellraiser.

Editat: oct. 3, 2020, 1:04pm

oct. 3, 2020, 1:10pm

Ernst looking pretty vulnerable. Not far away from me thinking she's in the Tillis, Gardner, Collins and McSally tier of not going to make it. Just saying.

oct. 4, 2020, 1:29am

Jaime Harrison in his debate with Lindsey Graham for Graham's South Carolina Senate seat came prepared. Graham spent considerable time this week with Utah Senator Mike Lee who tested positive for Covid. Harrison put up a plexiglass wall around his podium and started the debate off by saying that Graham shouldn't even be there--he should be quarantining.

oct. 5, 2020, 12:14am

Pope Francis says capitalism has failed in the pandemic (CNN)

Pope Francis disparaged so-called trickle-down economic theory, saying the pandemic has shown that free-market policies cannot solve all of humanity's most dire needs... "The marketplace by itself cannot resolve every problem, however much we are asked to believe this dogma of neoliberal faith," the pope wrote... He added that free-market capitalism "reproduces itself" by resorting to the magic theories of "spillover" or "trickle" as the only solution to societal problems. The pope said this "spillover" does not "resolve the inequality that gives rise to new forms of violence threatening the fabric of society"...

oct. 5, 2020, 12:43am

#60--Someone forgot to tell Pope Francis that at least in the United States Capitalism and God are the same thing. You can read something every day like that in threads right here but you can also hear it everywhere as well. People who don't even have a pot to piss in believe that too.

But I agree with him that wealth needs to be shared equitably and that when it's not divisions between people are created. When I look at the United States these are the main 4 people I would blame for neo-liberal economics. In the United States 1. Ronald Reagan and 2. Bill Clinton and in Britain 3. Margaret Thatcher and 4. Tony Blair. These are or were all enemies of the people.

oct. 5, 2020, 12:52am

>61 lriley:

Can't disagree with you there. Mainstream USA, including much of US Catholicism, is not in sync with Catholic Social Thought, of which the current pope is an outspoken proponent.

Editat: oct. 6, 2020, 3:45pm

Those poor folk are out of luck again /still...

Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump | 2:48 PM · Oct 6, 2020:
Nancy Pelosi is asking for $2.4 Trillion Dollars to bailout poorly run, high crime, Democrat States, money that is in no way related to COVID-19. We made a very generous offer of $1.6 Trillion Dollars and, as usual, she is not negotiating in good faith. I am rejecting their...

...request, and looking to the future of our Country. I have instructed my representatives to stop negotiating until after the election when, immediately after I win, we will pass a major Stimulus Bill that focuses on hardworking Americans and Small Business. I have asked...

Mitch McConnell not to delay, but to instead focus full time on approving my outstanding nominee to the United States Supreme Court, Amy Coney Barrett. Our Economy is doing very well. The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment...

...also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!


The Wall Street Journal WSJ · 4h
Fed chief Jerome Powell warned of potentially “tragic” economic consequences
if Congress and the White House don’t provide more stimulus—his strongest remarks yet

Poll: 74 percent of voters want Senate to take on COVID-19 relief before SCOTUS nominee


Eric Martin @EMPosts | 2:56 PM · Oct 6, 2020:
The U.S. stock market's reaction to Trump cutting off stimulus talks with the Democrats until after the election...*
Image ( )

* immediate 0.56% drop

oct. 6, 2020, 4:43pm

#63---it's another big fuck you from Trump to anyone who has lost their job or can't pay their rent or mortgage in these times of pandemic. Neo-cons and neo-libs share pretty much the same economic outlook--socialism is for the rich and austerity is for everyone else and the cipher and plutocrat Trump absolutely is on the side of wealth and not anybody including all the yahoos who vote for him. Bernard Sanders categorization of our capitalist economy as an oligarchy is right on the mark.

oct. 6, 2020, 5:14pm

I read that one out of six Americans are food insecure. One out of six!

oct. 6, 2020, 5:22pm

Trump Throws in the Towel

And actually takes responsibility for quitting on getting Covid-19 stimulus money to suffering Americans! No way Republicans can blame Pelosi for this, since their guy picked up the phone and told McConnell, "Never mind. No talks on possible stimulus until after the election."

That was a re-election killer. Republicans were blaming Democrts for the stall and now, Trumpty-Dumbpty, who hasn't even been involved in the bargaining heretofore, shows up, one day out of Walter Reed, and shoots himself in the foot on Pennsylvania Avenue, while killing the hope for relief in so many potential voters' hearts.

Remember that when you go vote, Republicans who are not collecting paychecks.

Biden's campaign strategy of "Let Trump be Trump," is possibly going to be recorded as the most savvy counterpoise to a political opponent for the office of president America has ever seen.

oct. 6, 2020, 5:58pm

BREAKING: BUSTED: Trump’s Surgeon General caught violating coronavirus restrictions in Hawaii.
U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams was cited in Hawaii for violating the state’s coronavirus restrictions after he entered a park in Oahu late August that was closed due to the virus.
Honolulu’s coronavirus citations are punishable by up to a year in jail and a $5,000 fine if a person is found guilty, although hundreds of cases have been dismissed. Relative to other Trump administration officials’ defiance of coronavirus guidelines, Adams’ offense is minor but he joins a long list of officials who have not followed CDC, state and local guidelines that the American public is expected to follow.

Editat: oct. 6, 2020, 6:19pm

Dow dives more than 300 points after Trump abruptly kills COVID stimulus negotiations

Notwithstanding Trump's lies that the economy is GrrrrreAT! in a tweet today:
The Stock Market is at record levels, JOBS and unemployment……also coming back in record numbers. We are leading the World in Economic Recovery, and THE BEST IS YET TO COME!
He's right (unintentionally, of course) about one thing. "Unemployment is coming back" to highest job loss numbers since February of this year -- over 11,000,000 -- before any lockdowns. But if "the best is yet to come," it won't be while he's in the Oval office.

Other than record unemployment and plunging stock prices today, Trump is also directly making a decision in disregard of the Federal Reserve Chair's advice last week.
Jerome Powell urged Congress to come through with more aid, saying that too little support “would lead to a weak recovery, creating unnecessary hardship for households and businesses.”

There you have it, voters.
1. Total disregard for your health risk by encouraging crowded gatherings of unmasked people who travel across America after exposure. Remember, to Trump Covid-19 "It is what it is." Remember his first public appearance while still positive for Covid-19 and under medical care featured him whipping his mask off. The mask that is for protecting others, not him, from infection.
2. Total disregard for your ability to survive economically whether you get Covid-19 or not demonstrated by his dismissive instructions to McConnell, effectively saying, -- "Damn the fiscal relief! SCOTUS appointment, full speed ahead!" And "I've got my taxpayer helicopter to take me to a private tax-payer funded hospital for treatment. Too bad you don't. Don't let Covid-10 dominate you! Sorry, don't come to me for help -- STAY BACK 15 FEET!"

Remember those two things, voters, and GO VOTE!

oct. 6, 2020, 6:56pm

Coronavirus whistleblower Dr. Bright quits after Trump administration continues to ‘ignore scientific expertise.’

Look at his reasons for leaving. Dr. Rick Bright, the former chief of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority who turned into a whistleblower has officially resigned his position at the National Institute of Health.

Dr. Bright sounded the alarm about the White House’s failed response to the COVID-19 pandemic, their lack of preparedness and outright cronyism between Health and Human Services officials and the pharmaceutical industry. That latter reason is a direct response to Trump colluding with Big Pharma to rush a drug to market and keep its availability as exclusive as possible to US, and his forcing the FDA to relax safety and efficacy requirements on drug developers and manufacturers in order to aid the rush to market of any vaccine product made in the US.

In sum: Give testosterone to drug marketers; "emasculate" drug regulators because that helps billionaire investors -- and who cares about the "little guy?" Period.

oct. 6, 2020, 10:33pm

The prime time on-air personalities at FOX News don't care
one iota about the health of most of the people who work in
the White House community because they are safe and
sound in the FOX hole Murdoch provides them.

oct. 8, 2020, 4:37pm


Trump today: "I don't think I'm contagious at all!" As in, "Viruses are contagious organisms. People are not viruses."

Well, he got that right. He's just infectious. As in "The dog is still infectious for rabies."

oct. 8, 2020, 5:36pm

BREAKING Follow-up Dr. Bright Resignation to CNN's Jake Tapper

Dr. Bright was ‘horrified’ that the White House would call and demand he develop way to inject disinfectant.
Dr. Bright initially was reassigned to the NIH while he was working on developing a coronavirus vaccine and therapeutics for the COVID-19 outbreak. He suspected it was politically motivated because he refused to push Hydroxychloroquine, a drug that Trump falsely decided would cure the coronavirus.

He went on to say that he was “horrified” that he would get a call from the White House saying that they needed to find a way to inject disinfectant into people. “That wasn’t a joke,” Dr. Bright told Tapper, dispelling the claim from Trump that his comment was a joke.
He also noted that in early January he started working on the vaccine and preparing for the pandemic but at every step of the way, the White House tried to block him. He said he wanted to buy PPE, swabs, and other things that were all ignored when they attempted to push back against him. Finally, when he spoke out, they demoted him.

oct. 8, 2020, 5:47pm

Wonder Why Trump's Lost Florida?

Simple -- because he's a Covid-19 superspreader.

Daniel Uhlfelder, is the legal counsel for Florida Beaches for All, a citizens group. . .He has filed a lawsuit in the Sunshine State. Floridians ask judge to declare Trump debating "live" ‘a public nuisance’ so he doesn’t spread COVID.
. . .a group of Miami-Dade residents have filed suit to have Trump declared “a public nuisance” to prevent him from visiting the state and possibly spreading COVID-19.

The lawsuit cites a Florida statute declaring a nuisance as anything that “tends to annoy the community or injure the health of the community.”

Looks like they have a case. (See what I did there?)

oct. 8, 2020, 6:13pm

BREAKING: Superspreader Loses Bigly because of His Own Stupidity

Biden wins debate timeslot after Trump pulls out – ABC to host town hall without president.

No doubt Joe Biden is thinking, "Nobody wants to waste the president's valuable time!" So, he, and ABC, and TV viewers won't!
ABC News will host a town hall with former Vice President Joe Biden next week during the same timeslot as the second presidential debate was supposed to be held, after President Donald Trump very publicly announced he would not attend.

The Commission of Presidential Debates, citing Trump’s recent coronavirus infection, announced next week’s debate would be virtual, to prevent Trump from spreading the virus to others. Trump declared he would not “waste” his time by participating.

oct. 8, 2020, 6:45pm

Talk about "Social Commentary!"

Mike Pence Fly’ bobblehead unveiled

Now to be immortalized and enshrined in the pop culture annals and The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum: Mike Pence, Fly Pet, Complete with Plexiglass Barrier.
The inspiration for the figurine happened during Wednesday night’s vice presidential debate between Pence and Democratic nominee Kamala Harris when the insect took up residence for several minutes on Pence’s hair.

Pence had spent much of the night shaking his head in response to Harris’ answers. But the vice president didn’t appear to notice the fly’s arrival. Despite his talking and normal body movements, the hot stage lights and those virus-fighting barriers, the fly was unperturbed.

It finally flew away on its own.

Editat: oct. 8, 2020, 8:59pm

>75 Limelite: Wonder if cartoonists will ever again draw Pence without a fly on his hair? Worse though was the conjunctivitis, which can be a sign of COVID. Today he cancelled stop in Indiana to head straight back to DC. Sure hope 12' separation and plexiglass was enough to protect Harris from any COVID cooties!

oct. 8, 2020, 9:37pm

>76 margd:

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's press briefing -- if Trump's people dare one. I noticed the bloodshot eyes and the slittiness of them, and thought they looked like Trump's when he fell ill. Should be fun to watch Friday's "news dump," if journalists ask after Pence's health. Don't know if anyone is healthy enough to come out of the WH Hot Zone to issue any statement.

Do you?

oct. 9, 2020, 4:16am

Ivanka, Jared, Guiliani, Christie all seem to have gone quiet. I suspect Pence will join them.

oct. 9, 2020, 10:25am

>74 Limelite: A comment thread I read on a post about Trump backing out shortly after he tweeted it, had a bunch of people who thought Biden should just do a solo town hall. An interesting suggestion I saw on an article this morning said Biden should request an empty chair be placed "on stage" with him.

Editat: oct. 9, 2020, 1:38pm

>80 rastaphrog: Sold out already, I hear, but for a mere $50... (Poor guy, that fly will follow him to his casket. :D)

Halloween store selling 'Debate Fly Wig' inspired by bug on Mike Pence's head at VP debate
An online shop has flown to stock a bug-bedecked white wig
Janine Puhak | 10/9/2020

...Now, shoppers bugged by the politician, or simply delighted by the viral moment, will surely be amused by 3Wishes’ new “Debate Fly Wig,” currently in stock and retailing for $49.95. The silver hairpiece with an attached, oversized faux fly was reportedly first made available on Thursday morning.

According to the product page, customers are encouraged to “look fly and steal the spotlight at your next party with this Debate Fly Wig, perfect for when being a fly on the wall just won't do!”

While a flag lapel pin is included with the purchase, a suit and Plexiglas divider are not...

oct. 12, 2020, 4:12pm

The estimated cumulative financial costs of the COVID-19 pandemic related to the lost output and health reduction is $16 trillion--FOUR TIMES that of output lost in the Great Recession...

David M. Cutler; Lawrence H. Summers. 2020. The COVID-19 Pandemic and the $16 Trillion Virus. JAMA. Published online October 12, 2020. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.19759

...The total cost is estimated at more than $16 trillion, or approximately 90% of the annual gross domestic product of the US. For a family of 4, the estimated loss would be nearly $200 000. Approximately half of this amount is the lost income from the COVID-19–induced recession; the remainder is the economic effects of shorter and less healthy life.

Output losses of this magnitude are immense. The lost output in the Great Recession was only one-quarter as large. The economic loss is more than twice the total monetary outlay for all the wars the US has fought since September 11, 2001, including those in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria. By another metric, this cost is approximately the estimate of damages (such as from decreased agricultural productivity and more frequent severe weather events) from 50 years of climate change.

...Congress is currently discussing whether to provide economic support to mitigate the economic damage caused by COVID with legislation following up on the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. The highest-return investments that should be included in such legislation are increased testing and contact tracing. A minimum of 5% of any COVID economic relief intervention should be devoted to such health measures.

More generally, the immense financial loss from COVID-19 suggests a fundamental rethinking of government’s role in pandemic preparation. Currently, the US prioritizes spending on acute treatment, with far less spending on public health services and infrastructure. As the nation struggles to recover from COVID-19, investments that are made in testing, contact tracing, and isolation should be established permanently and not dismantled when the concerns about COVID-19 begin to recede.

Editat: oct. 12, 2020, 4:22pm

#82---as I've said a bunch of times this pandemic is an argument for medicare for all. Such a system controls costs and although it will be paid for mostly through taxes--those taxes could and should be directed in great part towards the most wealthy or those who have not been paying their fair share for so long and Trump himself is a great example of a rich man and a tax cheat. We wouldn't be looking then at people being bankrupted/destroyed financially for medical bills they can't afford.

Editat: oct. 12, 2020, 5:14pm

Deep and disturbing reason Fauci is furious at Trump’s distorted campaign.
Dr. Anthony Fauci came out against President Donald Trump’s mischaracterization of his March 22, 2020 comments blatantly used in a campaign ad without his consent.

At the time that he was heralding the Coronavirus Task Force for their dedication, Trump was still lying to the public about the virus.

". . .the use of Fauci’s comments doesn’t just pluck them out of context. It also distorts them in a manner designed to rewrite much of the history of Trump’s own depraved and malevolent dereliction of duty during an absolutely critical period,” according to WaPo's Greg Sargent.
Much of this could have been avoided if Trump had heeded the warnings that Fauci and other experts were issuing at precisely the time when Fauci uttered the words that have now been twisted into praise of the president’s mismanagement of this whole catastrophe,


Added: BREAKING: Fauci told CNN’s Jake Tapper that he believes the campaign should take down the misleading ads.
“I think it’s really unfortunate and really disappointing that they did that – it’s so clear that I’m not a political person,” Fauci said Monday afternoon. “I have never either directly or indirectly endorsed a political candidate.”

oct. 13, 2020, 7:39am

Total COVID cases per million since June 1, 2020, by state, R/D:

2:20 flourish bar animation ( )
From Tony Clark

- Eric Feigl-Ding @DrEricDing | 9:44 PM · Oct 12, 2020

Editat: oct. 13, 2020, 8:32am

Virtual scientific conferences open doors to researchers around the world
Lorena Villanueva AlmanzaSep. 25, 2020

...But virtual conferences may not serve the needs of all scientific communities. The Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM), for example, was smaller than it had been in previous years, despite offering a registration discount of about 70%. “Some might still value face-to-face interactions,” notes Stephen Porzio, associate executive director and director of operations for the American Statistical Association, which runs JSM.

...Attendance for this year’s Ecological Society of America (ESA) Annual Meeting—with registration fees about 50% lower than 2019—was approximately the same as what organizers expected for an in-person meeting, according to ESA Executive Director Catherine O’Riordan. But, she adds, “we didn’t have the same people.” About 20% of participants tuned in from abroad; in previous years, only about 8% of attendees were international. The virtual format “enabled us to market it further beyond the United States,” O’Riordan says. Similarly, the overall attendance for Botany 2020—which offered a registration discount of about 75% for various member types compared with 2019 fees—was comparable to previous years, but the number of countries represented increased from 35 to 45. That included attendees from countries that had not been represented in recent years, including Russia, Rwanda, and Singapore.

...Virtual conferences are also more accessible for some researchers with disabilities.

...virtual conferences have lifted some barriers to participation, they also introduce some new obstacles...internet connectivity problems and power outages

...some students mentioned being exhausted after staring at the computer all day. Even so, connecting virtually may lead to more relaxed interactions...send messages directly to others with just the click of a button...

...Many of the researchers Science Careers spoke with are hopeful that future meetings will offer some kind of hybrid format, with both virtual and in-person options. But, according to conference organizers, this is easier said than done. Logistically, this would require resources for two meetings. As Jean Rosenberg, director of meetings and events for the American Society of Plant Biologists, says, “it’s not just putting something on Zoom.”

Editat: oct. 13, 2020, 12:21pm

Dr. Fauci's 40-year career was the glide-path to the rock-star
status he has attained during this Trump era pandemic. Covid-19
has become a story of how the lives of two very different men
crossed paths at a very critical time in America's history.

oct. 15, 2020, 12:36pm

The billboard here put up by Iowa farmers for Trump's rally last night kind of says it all:

oct. 15, 2020, 11:20pm

A massive animal migration is still happening in the Maasai Mara. But the pandemic means few can see it (CNN)

Every year between June and December, one of the world's largest and longest animal migrations takes place in East Africa. Over two million wildebeest, zebras, gazelles and other animals travel across the Serengeti into Kenya's Maasai Mara in pursuit of greener pastures. Dubbed by many as the Great Migration, the circular route spans between 800 and 1,600 kilometers, with herds of wildebeest often seen stretching across 40 kilometers In the past, the bulk of Kenya's tourists arrived between June and October to witness the migration. However, months of travel restrictions due to the pandemic have dealt a blow to the country's tourism industry. ugust is typically one of the busiest months for tourists, accounting for 10% of Kenya's total annual visitors, with around 250,000 travelers, according to Najib Balala, Kenya's Minister of Tourism and Wildlife. International flights were halted at the end of March due to coronavirus, and resumed on August 1; the country welcomed less than 15,000 tourists that month, Balala says. The drop in demand has put 2.5 million Kenyan tourism jobs in jeopardy...

oct. 16, 2020, 2:00pm


Not Even Sweden Went THIS Crazy!
COVID-19 deaths predicted to spike 80 percent in US by February — as White House embraces dangerous ‘herd immunity’ strategy.
Under Trump's current mismanagement of the pandemic's impact in USA, experts have revised their models to account for his current "It is what it is," position. And it ain't good.
A model designed by experts at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation forecasts that the U.S. coronavirus death toll will soar from around 217,000 at present to 389,087 fatalities by February 1.

Under the model’s best-case scenario— in which all Americans adhere to mask guidelines—the U.S. death toll is predicted to rise to 314,000 by the beginning of February. If mask-wearing requirements are eased, the model predicts total U.S. deaths from the pandemic could rise to 477,000.
“We expect deaths to stop declining and begin increasing in the next one to two weeks. Daily deaths will reach over 2,000 a day in January even with many states reimposing mandates before the end of the year.” —Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation

oct. 17, 2020, 12:15am

Polio expertise steers the COVID-19 response in South Sudan (WHO)

Across South Sudan, polio experts have been at the forefront of South Sudan’s COVID-19 pandemic response. Drawing on their experiences in the country’s polio eradication work, more than 300 polio team members are now helping to strengthen disease surveillance in communities and health facilities as well as contact tracing and data management...

“Of course, the disease is different. But the experience, knowledge, and skills we honed while tackling polio can all be used in the fight against COVID-19,” says Dr Andrea Jiel Jiel Dhieu, the WHO polio specialist in Lakes State. “This approach has greatly helped us find, isolate, test, and treat as well as trace and quarantine COVID-19 contacts”...

oct. 17, 2020, 12:20am

The pandemic has eroded democracy and respect for human rights (Economist)

Strongmen have taken advantage of covid-19 in numerous ways...

The pandemic has been terrible not only for the human body but also for the body politic. Freedom House, a think-tank in Washington, counts 80 countries where the quality of democracy and respect for human rights have deteriorated since the pandemic began. The list includes both dictatorships that have grown nastier and democracies where standards have slipped. Only one country, Malawi, has improved (see map). Covid-19 “has fuelled a crisis for democracy around the world”...

oct. 22, 2020, 11:10am

Unemployment aid is running out for millions: "People are going to become desperate"
Aimee Picchi | October 16, 2020

Sure hope politicians know what they're doing...

Trump Wanting Stimulus Checks in People's Pockets Is Democrats' Leverage in Negotiations, Pelosi Says
Jenni Fink | 10/21/20

oct. 22, 2020, 1:44pm


Woman shares final wish to mourners in her own obituary,
‘In lieu of flowers, please don’t vote for Trump’.

93-year old Minneapolis resident, Georgia May Adkins, had specific, politically oriented, and Covid-19 derived instructions and wishes regarding her last rites.

She also wanted to be cremated and then honored with a church service that followed social distancing guidelines.

Do the liberal dead have more concern for their country and fellow citizens than the living conservatives? Looks like it.

Editat: oct. 23, 2020, 11:34am

Self preservation and common sense don't exist here ~

If during WWII people in England gave up fighting the Germans as quickly
as many Americans have given up fighting this Covid-19 war, Hitler would
have conquered England in very short order. Doing simple things like
wearing a mask and distancing from each other appear to be too
inconvenient and/or too much of a burden for far too many Americans.
Sadly, we are not united in this 21st Century medical war effort. My prayers
are with the medical personnel around the country who have been dealing
with this outbreak 24/7 for many months.

oct. 23, 2020, 1:55pm

Early on in this pandemic Trump made the analogy to a war, but he seems to have forgotten that in war people make shared sacrifices for the good of the country and whining about losing your freedom is a traitorous act.

oct. 23, 2020, 3:53pm

>95 Molly3028:, >96 jjwilson61:
Unfortunately empathy, self-sacrifice and concern for others are traits that have gone out of style. I suspect that as long as the most narcissistic, self-serving, hypocritical generation in the history of the planet is in charge of our social, political and economic lives they will remain so. I realize this is a generalization but I'll take the hit. Baby boomers are exhausting.

oct. 23, 2020, 4:41pm

#95, 96, 97--When you have a leader who has abnegated his role and an entire party that has circled their wagons around all of his lies and misinformation I guess all of this is to be expected. Today in the county I live in our covid case numbers went from 1167 to 1591--or 424 new cases in one day for a county of roughly the size of 85,000 people. A lot of those cases are inmates at the local correctional institute where there are another 430 tests pending. People who work at that facility though will be bringing it back home with them too. How could they not.

I'm afraid that a lot more people are going to die just because the only way for some to learn is for it to happen to them or someone very close to them. This country is full of freedumb loving maniacs.

oct. 25, 2020, 10:41am

The pursuit of herd immunity is a folly – so who's funding this bad science? (Guardian)

Links between an anti-lockdown declaration and a libertarian thinktank suggest a hidden agenda...

How Africa fought the pandemic — and what coronavirus has taught the world (FT)

Can similar future outbreaks be prevented? The vital lessons of Covid-19 can be learned from African countries’ powerful response...

Editat: oct. 25, 2020, 11:15am

#99--the most noted libertarian in congress is Sen. Rand Paul from Kentucky. A man who continually attacks medicare/medicaid or any kind of national health care program but when he needs hernia surgery has no problem travelling to Canada (a country that has a national health system) and getting it there. His name is not an accident--his father Ron a former Texas congressman--(also a former medical doctor) who made at least two runs for POTUS named him after his favorite writer Ayn Rand. Back in Sept. 2011 in a GOP presidential primary debate Ron was asked by CNN's Wolf Blitzer about--'if someone opts not to buy (as in a lot of cases because they can't afford) health insurance and then gets sick should they be allowed to die?'

Many of the libertarian minded in the crowed interrupted to shout 'Yeah!' Then Ron responded this way:

'That's what freedom is all about. The whole idea that you have to take care of everybody....' cut off by cheering. Basically they'd leave people to die wherever--in their homes, in the street and leave them there because they don't even like the idea of taxes to pay sanitation workers.

So there you go and Rand has often had the ear of Trump. To be fair there are a few things I do agree with Rand Paul on---like pulling our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and closing down overseas military bases which both Paul's have long advocated for. Domestically they would be a disaster---possibly even a greater catastrophe than Trump if that can be imagined.

oct. 25, 2020, 6:38pm

Trump claiming to a New Hampshire crowd today that he's won two Nobel Prizes.

He's a clown.

Editat: oct. 26, 2020, 12:35am

The origin of the word "taboo" (BBC)

By harnessing the ancient practice of tapu, the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island were able to ward off the coronavirus soon after it penetrated their territory...

I was struck by phrases such as “Tapu is a sacred order to protect our health, to protect our life and to protect our elders and their ancient wisdom. It’s a form of discipline rooted in Polynesian culture that has to do with restrictions, but also respect” and Tapu is essentially a self-care principle based on respect for the norms of nature, with spiritual restrictions and shared prohibitions at its core. So different from the USA, where respect and (self-)discipline seem to be absent from the narrative.

oct. 26, 2020, 2:04am

Economic Policy during the COVID-19 Pandemic in South Sudan (Sudd Institute)

Publication Summary

South Sudan is experiencing a distressing economic period. Government revenue has shrunk to historic lows and debt, both domestic and external, is mounting, marked by unsettled salary arrears and outstanding loans. A combination of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fallout of just-concluded civil strife is largely to blame. The pandemic and conflict have dramatically impeded oil sales, collection of non-oil revenues, and access to remittances and foreign aid. While income levels have dropped drastically, the cost of basic commodities continues to spiral upward. The government initially introduced economically taxing COVID-19 restrictions before relaxing them four months later; other pandemic-related actions included cushioning the foreign exchange market, shaking-up the economic sector’s leadership, and attempting to abolish the South Sudanese pound. This review analyzes the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and specifically focuses on production, the performance of the commodity and foreign exchange markets, and resultant government policy interventions. It concludes by recommending:

Sustained improvements in peace and security;
Investing in human and physical capital;
Investing in agriculture;
Improving non-oil revenue collection;
Instituting and bolstering economic reform frameworks to combat corruption.

oct. 26, 2020, 4:36am

COVID's Other Toll: Unnecessary Tests and Huge Hospital Bills (Scientific American)

In a physician chat group recently, a doctor who treats hospitalized patients made a recommendation to our group of 38,000 members that left me startled and alarmed. She shared her protocol for all COVID-19 patients admitted to the hospital: every one of them gets not only a chest x-ray but an entire battery of special tests, including a coagulation test, a leg ultrasound and a CT scan.

This was offered as her blanket standard of care. What it actually represents to me is one of the biggest problems with health care in America—because not every admitted patient needs all these tests. And this is not a new story.

Simply put, as physicians in the U.S., we overdiagnose and overtreat people. We order way too many tests, treatments and surgeries that you don’t need and that may actually harm you—and they cost money, lots of it...

oct. 26, 2020, 2:33pm

>104 John5918: I'm not a doctor but those tests sound prudent to me. If many covid patients have problems that can be uncovered by those tests then doing them right away instead of waiting for additional symptoms could result in quicker responses and better outcomes. Especially in a situation where the doctors treating the patients may be overwhelmed and not attending as closely to the patients then they would normally.

oct. 26, 2020, 3:02pm

Testing in a pandemic is a LOT cheaper than not testing and being overwhelmed by severe cases and persistent health issues that require and benefit from earlier intervention.

One day in ICU costs more than testing probably dozens. Similarly, one day on a ventilator. . .probably hundreds. Similarly, a lifetime of cardiac, respiratory, and renal support. . .probably millions.

Editat: oct. 26, 2020, 3:21pm

>105 jjwilson61:, >106 Limelite:

Who knows? I'm not a doctor either. But it's probably worth at least giving some consideration to the opinion of a doctor writing in a periodical such as Scientific American as part of a conversation on how best to utilise limited medical resources.

oct. 27, 2020, 6:22am

Survey uncovers widespread belief in 'dangerous' Covid conspiracy theories (Guardian)

Significant numbers of people around the world believe Covid-19 was created deliberately, has killed far fewer people than reported, or is a hoax and does not actually exist, according to a global survey. Along with belief in other conspiracy theories – such as that the world is run by a secret cabal – the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project, a survey of about 26,000 people in 25 countries designed in collaboration with the Guardian, found widespread and concerning scepticism about vaccine safety...

Among the most widely believed Covid conspiracies is that the death rate of the virus, which according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker has so far killed nearly 1.1 million people worldwide, has been “deliberately and greatly exaggerated”...

oct. 27, 2020, 7:54am

>109 John5918:

Many people have heard of local events in which a death has been wrongly called COVID. There have been hundreds... But the fatality rate is dropping significantly, and the number of positive tests are only a pct of the total. Moving on.

oct. 28, 2020, 6:53am

How Zimbabwe is decimating Political Pluralism behind the smokescreen of covid-19 (African Leadership Centre)

In Summary

- It is in the interest of public health and safety to restrict and suspend fundamental rights and freedoms to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is vile to use the pandemic as a smokescreen behind which to exterminate political pluralism.
- The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission should have objected to the suspension of by-elections, not only because it is illegal, but also because Zimbabwe is ready to conduct COVID-19 compliant elections.
- The limitation and suspension of fundamental rights and freedoms is unavoidable during a never-seen-before public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, but such measures must be proportionate, restrained, circumstantially reasonable and constitutional.
- In the new COVID-19 world, instead of using the pandemic to undermine political freedoms, Africans should use it as an opportunity to complete the decolonisation project which their ancestors started.

oct. 28, 2020, 8:26am

Trump era double whammy ~

Trump and Covid-19 have one thing in common ~ they are both narcissistic
~ they refuse to be ignored.

oct. 28, 2020, 8:50am

>112 Molly3028:

Says the narcissists who can't stop talking about either.

oct. 28, 2020, 6:01pm

Senior Trump Official Tests Positive After Trip To Europe

Peter Berkowitz, director of policy planning at the State Department, tested positive for the coronavirus after a trip to Britain, Hungary and France, the Washington Post reported.

U.S. embassy staff in Europe were concerned about him traveling during the pandemic and his mask-wearing and social-distancing practices were lax during the trip, according to one official
Europe is battling another wave of the coronavirus and lockdowns and restrictions are being reinstated across the continent. The UK alone reported more than 22,000 new cases on Tuesday and 367 deaths ― the first time daily deaths have exceeded 350 since May.
European leaders have admitted loss of control of the virus in their countries. Lockdowns are being reinstated in an attempt to get a grip on the Second Wave. (US is on third wave verge.) After months of coronavirus restriction easing, statistics of daily infection rates have produced spikes in every country, some, like Germany, going from near zero new cases in the summer to 15,000 in one day last week. A scan of the daily report charts shows sharp exponential upward slopes into an alarming range literally overnight.

oct. 29, 2020, 12:12am

Cate Blanchett: 'Covid-19 has ravaged the whole idea of small government' (Guardian)

In this extract from essay collection Upturn, the actor considers the disruptions of the pandemic and the renewed fervour for social and economic justice...

Editat: oct. 29, 2020, 3:36pm

See the here the video of Cambridge University School of Law's Freshfields Annual Law Lecture 2020: 'Government by decree - Covid-19 and the Constitution' by Jonathan, Lord Sumption, medieval historian and former senior judge of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. (running time: 01:21:25)

delivered Tuesday evening, 27 October, via video link from Milan, IT. to Cambridge University, Cambridge.

Read the full text of the lecture here.


oct. 29, 2020, 11:00am

Health care workers were not only on the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus, they were also the majority of those purchasing guns, leading to a surge of gun ownership.

A study from New Mexico State University and the University of Toledo found that 67% of people who said they bought a gun during the coronavirus pandemic worked in the health care industry. In the first few weeks of the pandemic, the researchers found, working as a health care professional was a strong predictor of firearm purchasing.

But, ya know, anyone that buys a gun is a low-IQ type.

oct. 29, 2020, 11:04am

Family celebrations that break coronavirus restrictions in the United Kingdom may be broken up by police entering their homes.

The Telegraph reported that police chiefs in the U.K. are warning residents that their homes could be entered as police enforce coronavirus restrictions. The chiefs focused most of their attention on warning families about Christmas celebrations but also mentioned Hanukkah and Diwali as well.

“If we think there’s large groups of people gathering where they shouldn’t be, then police will have to intervene,” David Jamieson, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), told the outlet. “If, again, there’s flagrant breaking of the rules, then the police would have to enforce.

“It’s not the police’s job to stop people enjoying their Christmas. However, we are there to enforce the rules that the Government makes, and if the Government makes those rules then the Government has to explain that to the public,” he added. “The police are there to enforce it and keep people safe – they’re not there to make judgments about whether people should enjoy themselves or not.”

Jamieson added that Christmas was not the only holiday that would be targeted. “Remember that you’ve got Eid and Diwali as well, in which there are similar expectations from families to be mingling together closely, just as for Christmas,” he said.

oct. 29, 2020, 12:24pm

"Amendment I

" Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

" ... but this much I think I do know—a society so riven that the spirit of moderation is gone, no court can save; that a society where that spirit flourishes, no court need save; that in a society which evades its responsibility by thrusting upon the courts the nurture of that spirit, that spirit in the end will perish. What is the spirit of moderation? It is the temper which does not press a partisan advantage to its bitter end, which can understand and will respect the other side, which feels a unity between all citizens—real and not the factitious product of propaganda—which recognizes their common fate and their common aspirations—in a word, which has faith in the sacredness of the individual." ...

— Billings Learned Hand, Senior Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. From "The Contribution of an Independent Judiciary to Civilization" (1942)

Editat: oct. 30, 2020, 1:31pm

This action has become a sad but necessary occurrence in this dismal divide-and-conquer Trump era.

oct. 30, 2020, 6:06pm

It's 2020 and These Are the Facts Today

An American is being infected with Covid-19 at a rate of one every second.

An American is dying of Covid-19 at a rate of one every 107 seconds.

Editat: nov. 1, 2020, 12:27am


The family of former Prime Minister Alsadig Al-Mahadi said that he has tested positive of COVID-19 on Thursday. Al-Mahadi’s family said in statement he felt sick and fatigue and later tested coronavirus and it was positive and receiving medical treatment. Al-Mahdi (85 years) was Sudan’s PM in (1986-1989) and overthrown by military coup of ousted President Omer Al-Bashir on 30 June 1989.

The article fails to mention that he was also Prime Minister from 1966-67. He is of course the great-grandson of Muhammad Ahmad al Mahdi, who defeated General Gordon, the Ottoman-Egyptian military ruler, in 1885 and created the first independent state of Sudan which lasted until his successor was defeated in 1898 by an Anglo-Egyptian army under Kitchener.

nov. 1, 2020, 6:16am

Kitchener the same British field marshall from WWI I presume and behind the scenes subject and evil piece of shit of two excellent movies Breaker Morant and Gallipoli and for whom Kitchener Ontario is named.

nov. 1, 2020, 8:34am

>123 lriley:

Indeed the same very Kitchener. At the 1898 battle which the British call Omdurman and the Sudanese call Kereri his forces slaughtered up to 15,000 Mahdists using state of the art modern weaponry - smokeless powder, modern rifles, machine guns, and gunboats on the River Nile.

nov. 14, 2020, 8:49am

How a Covid-19 vaccine could change travel for good
Julia Buckley, CNN • 14 November 2020
On November 9 it was announced that one of the candidates for a Covid-19 vaccine, made by Pfizer and BioNTech, was over 90% effective in preventing volunteers from contracting the virus.

The beleaguered travel industry immediately got a boost, with airline and cruise company share prices rallying, and tour operators seeing upticks in searches and bookings for 2021. Finally, it feels as if vacations might be in our future.

But will travel post-vaccine go back to how things were, or has your vacation been irrevocably changed?

For starters, it'll be a while before we know the answer to that, says travel specialist Dr Felicity Nicholson, lead doctor at Trailfinders Travel Clinic in the UK..

nov. 19, 2020, 6:24am

"Southern swings", multi-stop trips by young US professionals, sound inadvisable this pandemic winter. At least American health insurance will presumably cover COVID. Canadian health insurance for travelers is either very expensive or doesn't cover snowbirds downed by COVID--one of many obstacles to wouldbe Cdn snowbirds willing to risk COVID for a little sun...

How Many Snowbirds Will Be Flying South for the Winter?
The tradition of flocking to Florida and other sunny shores for the winter, usually by retirees, looks different this year.
Sarah Firshein | Nov. 17, 2020

...Brandreth Canaley, the director of operations at Sextant Stays, a Miami-based vacation-rentals agency, said multi-stop “Southern swings” like that are a new pattern this year.

“We’re seeing young professionals traveling around the country, spending a month or two in different cities,” said Ms. Canaley. “We’ve had guests like that in South Florida and in New Orleans. It’s one of the surprise opportunities of the pandemic, for those who are able to work from home.”

...‘Canada’s canceled’

The United States-Canada land border has been closed to all nonessential travel since March; the closure is slated to last through Nov. 21, though it may be extended. Although people can still fly from Canada to the United States, a reliable bloc of snowbirds is, for now, marooned: More than 70 percent of the more than 110,000 members of the Canadian Snowbird Association usually reach their winter destination by car. And they’re not all eager to jump on a plane in the middle of a pandemic.

...Air travel booked through travel agencies from Canada to Greater Miami is down by about 90 percent through March compared to last year, according to data from the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau....


Florida Looks At A Winter Without Canadians
Greg Allen | November 19, 2020
Heard on Morning Edition ( Audio will be available later today. )

...Land crossings at the border between the U.S. and Canada have been prohibited since March to contain spread of the coronavirus. The closure means that tens of thousands of Canadians who usually drive south this time of year, can't. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said recently his government wants Canadians to avoid all non-essential travel. "People can make their own decisions," he said. "But a travel advisory from the government of Canada to not travel outside the borders unless it's essential travel is about as strong as we can go."

For many Canadians, there's a bigger obstacle than the closed border keeping them home. It's health insurance. Travel insurance broker Martin Firestone says policies that cover COVID-19 are expensive. And some policies have limits as to how much they'll pay. Firestone says, "I would say my business is down close to 75% right now from the traditional period that it used to be very busy with people all leaving for upwards of 185 days, coming back typically in April."

In Florida, Canadians make up a significant part of the tourism-dependent economy. Fort Myers and Cape Coral are especially popular with visitors from Ontario. The Lee County Visitors and Convention Bureau says last year, more than 215,000 Canadians visited, spending more than $218 million.

...The border is closed until at least November 21. Prime Minister Trudeau has indicated the closure will likely be extended indefinitely. Because the border closure doesn't affect air travel, some Canadians are flying to Florida this year.

But for those who insist on bringing their cars, Jeremy Rood recently came up with a work-around. "...We can get you across the border by helicopter.'"

A friend with a trucking company loaded his parents' car on a flatbed and delivered it just across the U.S. side of the border. Rood's parents picked it up and continued south to Florida. Rood has helped take more than a dozen other Canadians and their cars across the border since then.

U.S. and Canadian Customs officials say it complies with their regulations. ...


...Garrick Taylor with the Arizona Chamber of Commerce said Canadian visitors spend $1.4 billion dollars annually in Arizona. This year, visitation is restricted...


Canadian border closing to COVID-19 stopped flow of snowbirds, affecting Polk and Florida economies
Kevin Bouffard | November 14, 2020

...The (US-Canada border closure0 agreement shuts down only non-essential vehicle traffic between the countries, which accounts for 70% of cross-border snowbird travel...Canadians can still fly into the U.S.

...Each year, more than 1 million Canadian residents spend winter months in the U.S., including nearly 500,000 snowbirds in Florida, Rachovsky said. That represents 2.7% of Canada’s population of 37.6 million people.

...Canadian tourists spend about $6.5 billion in the U.S. annually...There is no data for Canadian snowbirds only.

...Canada is the No. 1 international tourism market for Florida and the U.S., said Kris Keprios, senior tourism sales and marketing manager at the Central Florida Visitors & Convention Bureau, Polk’s tourism marketing agency. “It’s on par with a number of our top domestic markets, such as Georgia and Michigan” ...

...Daily trips to the state of at least 50 miles, which would certainly include Canadian snowbirds, sank 48.5% in November compared with a year ago, Visit Florida reports. Hotel demand in November is down 45.7% over the year.

...Although flying into Florida is an option, even fewer of the roughly 150,000 Canadians who chose that option in the past will likely opt to fly in 2020-21...


nov. 19, 2020, 11:51am

CBS News @CBSNews | 11:15 AM · Nov 16, 2020:
Thousands of cars lined up to collect food in Dallas, Texas, over the weekend, stretching as far as the eye can see.
0:41 ( )

Editat: nov. 20, 2020, 11:57pm

The United States did a million new cases in the last week. Staying static at that rate we will have approx. 9 million more cases by inauguration day. But the likelihood really is those cases are going to ramp up unless some drastic measures are taken.

....and what drastic measures very well might mean is shutdowns again. Fact is I don't see how it can be avoided at least in a lot of states. When hospitals are being overwhelmed it can mean a lot of things--not just that the ICU's and ventilators are all taken up--but they run out of beds to take new patients, that they don't have the trained staff or maybe even staff enough to take care of all their cases or that staff gets worn down (or get sick themselves) with day after day double (triple) shifts, that they use up PPE faster than they can replace, or they run out of the medications needed to treat patients, that they start having to choose who is going to die, that some who would normally be admitted will go back to their homes because there is no room left and will have to fend for themselves, that the spread is at the point where it is worsening and saturating to the point that it's virtually no longer containable. It can mean some of the conditions above or it could mean all of them.

The Trump administration lost all interest in the pandemic a long time ago and encouraged republican governors to do nothing and left a notion in the heads in a large % of the republican base that the virus is a hoax and we could be looking at a whole lot more than half a million covid deaths by the time Biden replaces this shitbird. people might want to think about how important their christmas is. Might have to say goodbye to their jobs, their stock portfolio when businesses start crashing, might have to get use to the idea that all of their favorite restaurants have gone kaputt because it looks to me like there's a lot more damage coming and this is very much Donald Trump's failure--his dereliction in the face of a health care crisis.

nov. 23, 2020, 1:32pm

Pope: Involve poor people in planning post-pandemic economy (Crux)

Pope Francis urged young economists, entrepreneurs and business leaders Saturday to promote post-pandemic development models that involve the poor. Francis, in a videotaped message for a forum of young people in Assisi, Italy, said the worst reaction once the coronavirus pandemic ends would be to “fall even more deeply into feverish consumerism and forms of selfish self-protection.” Instead, Francis said, the poor should be invited to participate in discussions about creating a “different economic narrative” that he thinks is urgently needed...

nov. 23, 2020, 10:49pm

Pope says anti-maskers stuck in 'their own little world of interests' (Guardian)

Francis contrasts opposition to Covid measures with ‘healthy indignation’ over racism...

nov. 24, 2020, 3:23pm

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez AOC | 2:44 PM · Nov 24, 2020:
If you want to know why COVID relief is tied up in Congress, one key reason is that Republicans are demanding legal immunity for corporations so they can expose their workers to COVID without repercussions.

Dems don’t want you to die for a check. That’s what we’re fighting over.


Blanket COVID-19 liability shield will cost taxpayers
Legal immunity won’t heal the economy or prevent harm, but it could end up making ordinary Americans pay
Steve Ellis | August 21, 2020 at 3:04pm

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has made a five-year “liability shield” a key demand in negotiations for the next COVID-19 relief legislation. As the country navigates uncharted waters of the pandemic, many types of businesses — nursing homes, retail and restaurants, and health care providers — could receive legislated protection from civil liability for harms (including deaths) their actions may or may not have caused...

As a starting point, it is important to remember who is protected by immunity and who is harmed. Immunity from civil liability for negligence does not prevent harm or injury. It simply shifts the burden and costs to the person or group who has been injured — and all too often, to the taxpayer. The legal standard for negligence requires a plaintiff to prove four separate elements: duty of care, a breach of that duty, harm, and a causal connection between the harm and the breach of duty...

nov. 26, 2020, 6:23am

Disney to lay off about 32,000 workers in first half of 2021
Radhika Anilkumar | November 26, 2020

Walt Disney Co said on Wednesday it would lay off 32,000 workers, primarily at its theme parks, an increase from the 28,000 it announced in September, as the company struggles with limited customers due to the coronavirus pandemic.

...Southern California...

Disney's theme parks in Florida and those outside the United States reopened earlier this year without seeing new major coronavirus outbreaks but with strict social distancing, testing and mask use.

Disneyland Paris was forced to close again late last month when France imposed a new lockdown to fight a second wave of the coronavirus cases.

The company's theme parks in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Tokyo remain open...

Editat: nov. 26, 2020, 7:18am

Malaysian PPE factories--forced labor, COVID outbreak...

Top Glove says it produces 26% of the world’s supply of rubber gloves, producing 90 billion gloves every year, across factories in China, Thailand and Vietnam as well as Malaysia...

Major PPE Maker Shuts Factories After Nearly 2,500 Workers Test Positive For Covid-19
Siladitya Ray | Nov 24, 2020

Top Glove, the world’s largest manufacturer of latex gloves, will shut down more than half its factories after nearly 2,500 of its workers tested positive for Covid-19 amidst a surge in demand for its gloves, a key part of personal protective gear.

...The company plans to close down 28 of its 41 plants in Malaysia in phases as it attempts to curb the spread of the virus among its workforce, the BBC report added.

On Monday, the Malaysian health ministry reported a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases in the region where Top Glove’s factories and worker dormitories are located.

...The outbreak has led to questions about working conditions for the low-paid migrant workers at Top Glove’s factories, which have been dealing with a surge in demand for PPE during the pandemic. Many of the company’s workers — mostly immigrants from Nepal, Bangladesh and other countries — have complained about 72-hour work weeks, cramped living conditions and low wages, a Los Angeles Times report found. Earlier this year, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) placed a detention order on imports from two of Top Glove’s subsidiaries. Such an action by the CBP is targeted against companies suspected of using forced labor. The Department of Labor also issued a report that pointed at foreign workers being forced to pay steep recruitment fees to secure jobs in the rubber glove industry in Malaysia, which leads to debt and bonded labor. Top Glove’s founder Lim Wee Chai is ranked 14th on Forbes’ 2020 Rich List for Malaysia with a current net worth of $4.2 billion. (The company’s shares slumped by 7.48% on Tuesday.)...

Editat: nov. 27, 2020, 11:15am

Thanks to Trump's inept pandemic response ~ this pandemic era is ushering
in the robot era at warp speed ~ and that means more job losses for the
low-education cult followers who continue to admire him.

nov. 27, 2020, 11:11am

A growing number of Americans are going hungry
26 million now say they don’t have enough to eat, as the pandemic worsens and holidays near
Todd C. Frankel, Brittney Martin, Andrew Van Dam and Alyssa Fowers | Nov. 25, 2020
Portaits by Scott Dalton
Drone footage and stills by Mark Felix

...One in 8 Americans reported they sometimes or often didn’t have enough food to eat in the past week, hitting nearly 26 million American adults, an increase several times greater than the most comparable pre-pandemic figure, according to Census Bureau survey data collected in late October and early November. That number climbed to more than 1 in 6 adults in households with children.

“It’s been driven by the virus and the unpredictable government response,” said Jeremy K. Everett, executive director of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty in Waco, Tex.

...More than 1 in 5 adults in Houston reported going hungry recently, including 3 in 10 adults in households with children. The growth in hunger rates has hit Hispanic and Black households harder than White ones, a devastating consequence of a weak economy that has left so many people trying to secure food even during dangerous conditions...

nov. 27, 2020, 12:06pm

#135--wasn't it Mnuchin who suggested after the first stimulus check that recipients could use that money to explore all over the United States? He seemed to think that people could live off $100 a week. So going by that standard we should be into at least into our 4th $1200 stimulus check by now. The Republican Senate certainly does not want that though---would trade off to indemnify their corporate masters from endangering their own workers. Trump doesn't seem to care a lot either. Certainly not as important as his fucking golf game. Someone else might come along with some Shakespearean nonsense to defend him but Trump's never picked up a book in his life---or at least not to read. I did hear he picked up a bible once to wave at protesters. It was upside down.

Editat: nov. 27, 2020, 1:05pm
Supreme Court blocks strict COVID-19 restrictions on New York houses of worship

My take ~ If conservatives were truly concerned about religion and the
welfare of religious people, they would not be giving believers more
opportunities to get sick and die during this pandemic.

nov. 30, 2020, 5:49am

America Failed at COVID-19, but the Economy’s Okay. Why?
The U.S. entered the coronavirus recession with a few structural advantages. Its success may not last for long.
Annie Lowrey | November 27, 2020

The International Monetary Fund expects the U.S. economy to contract by 4.4 percent in 2020, versus 5.3 percent in Japan, 6 percent in Germany, 7.1 percent in Canada, and nearly 10 percent in both the United Kingdom and France.

...many of those peer nations have had significantly better outcomes, as measured by COVID-19 caseloads, hospitalizations, and death rates...The unemployment rate here (US) is far higher here than it is in Japan, Germany, or the U.K.

America owes its macroeconomic good fortune to Washington muscling through a giant and successful stimulus in the spring...

The United States came into the coronavirus recession with a few structural advantages, including a highly diversified economy...The U.S. is also lucky not to have to rely on exports for growth. World Bank data show that sales abroad account for 12 percent of our gross domestic product, compared with 18 percent in Japan, 32 percent in Canada, and 47 percent in Germany...

Another structural advantage is that Washington prints the world’s reserve currency, which means that it tends to suck in global capital flows when uncertainty is high... The U.S. labor market is also more flexible than those in other countries...

...It has had best-of-class monetary policy: This spring, the Federal Reserve, the country’s most capable technocratic institution, calmed the financial markets with an alphabet soup of special programs while dropping interest rates to zero and flooding the markets with cash.

Yet Washington, improbably, has truly distinguished itself with fiscal policy, at least earlier in the year. The U.S. has fewer, stingier, more complicated, and more conditional safety nets available to people than many other advanced economies...But when COVID-19 hit, congressional Democrats negotiated a series of enormous, highly effective temporary stabilizers with Republicans who were ready to go big, among them Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. In the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, Congress provided forgivable loans to small businesses; sent $1,200 checks to most Americans; added gig workers to the unemployment-insurance system; and put a $600 weekly top-up on unemployment checks.

The investment paid off. The U.S. increased millions of low-income families’ earnings over the spring and summer, and increased the amount of money in American pockets overall. This meant that while the economy experienced a sharp, miserable contraction, as businesses closed down, trade halted, and fear took over, it has bounced back better than many of its peers. The U.K., Germany, Canada, and France are all doing worse—in some cases far worse—in terms of output.

Still...Some peer countries did better in macroeconomic terms—countries that did not bungle their public-health responses and managed to add good amounts of stimulus as necessary, too. Australia, South Korea, and Taiwan...

Moreover, Washington shored up output without shoring up employment, a queasy policy legacy for the 10 million Americans who had jobs a year ago and do not today...Other countries elected to directly subsidize employment, paying businesses to keep workers on the books, though often at lower pay.

America’s strong GDP number also masks the brutal inequality of the recession. Young workers and low-wage workers have been hit particularly hard...women...Black and Latino workers...

The United States’ relative GDP success might not last much longer, either. The country is facing not just a slowing recovery but also a potential reversal. Eviction moratoriums and student-loan-payment deferrals end on December 31. The Federal Reserve is in a public spat with the Treasury Department, which is trying to end and reclaim the financing for some of the Fed’s special-support programs. The financial benefits from the $1,200 in helicopter money and the additional $600 in unemployment checks are fading too. Credit-card and debit-card usage is decreasing. Restaurant reservations are down. Measures of consumer mobility, like surveys of miles driven and flights taken, are dropping. Layoffs are increasing, and unemployment-insurance claims are stuck above 1 million a week.

The situation is made yet more dangerous by the intensification of the pandemic...

Congress seems uninterested in repeating its springtime success...

Editat: nov. 30, 2020, 7:34am

The top 1% own more than half of United States stock. The Dow Jones is not really a very good indicator for the state of the economy nor is the unemployment rate......and not just Trump but POTUS's from both sides of the political spectrum have fallen back on these numbers for decades to optimistically and opportunistically skew the reality of the situation.

Dow Jones is about rich people getting richer and not really about anything else. When looking at unemployment %'s we should very much keep in mind the under employed, the part timers, wage and benefit stagnation, those who fall between the cracks and are no longer counted--the federal minimum wage not keeping up with the economy. Well over 50% of the country cannot afford a surprise $500 expenditure. Whereas the republican party seems to like this state of affairs more than the democratic party--it's really a failure of a two party system which for the most part is disconnected from needs of the population. Democratic lawmakers just as much as republican lawmakers are chasing after the campaign cash of their largest donors and serve those donors first and foremost.

des. 1, 2020, 10:23am

Canada unveils largest economic relief package since WW2
BBC | Nov 30, 2020

Canada's federal government will spend C$100bn ($77bn, £58bn) to kick-start the country's post-pandemic economy.

The spending will bring the deficit to a historic C$381.6bn by March 2021.

The wide-ranging plan includes targeted relief for hard-hit business sectors, investments in long-term care homes and distribution of a Covid-19 vaccine.

The announcement - the first full fiscal update from Canada's Liberal government since the onset of the pandemic - comes as the country battles a steep second wave of Covid-19 infections. The number of active cases in Canada has more than doubled in November alone, bringing the total number of infections to more than 376,000 - according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University. So far, more than 12,000 Canadians have died.

"When the virus is under control and our economy is ready for new growth, we will employ an ambitious stimulus package," to be spent over the next three years, Ms Freeland said in the House of Commons on Monday. The spending will amount to 3-4% of Canada's GDP...

...(Chrystia Freeland, Finance Minister, Dep PM) defended the record deficit as affordable - thanks to low interest rates - and necessary for Canada's economy. "As we have learned from previous recessions, the risk of providing too little support now outweighs that of providing too much," she said. "We will not repeat the mistakes of the years following the Great Recession of 2008."...

des. 2, 2020, 9:32am

Covid-19: What’s the harm of ‘funny’ anti-vaccine memes?

Memes, often in the form of humorous images and videos, are a major part of how people communicate on the internet, but they can also be used to spread disinformation. We've been looking at how these memes can present false and misleading information about Covid-19 vaccines, feeding into concerns about their efficacy or safety...

Masked Indian comic superhero fights Covid-19 fear

India's first female comic superhero Priya, a gang-rape survivor who earlier campaigned against rape, acid attack and sex trafficking, is back to fight disinformation around the Covid-19 pandemic. In Priya's Mask, due to be launched on 2 December, the comic crusader joins hands with Jiya, the "Burka Avenger", a popular character from a Pakistani cartoon show, as the two go about trying to tackle the pandemic - and also the "infodemic", a major proliferation in fake news surrounding the coronavirus...

Both from BBC

des. 3, 2020, 7:28am

Why McConnell cannot be allowed to extend blanket liability protection for COVID in the workplace:

(Iowa Gov) Reynolds (and Tyson Foods) abandoned balance with lives in the balance
Todd Dorman | Dec 2, 2020

(Iowa) Gov. Kim Reynolds often talks of “balance” as she describes her approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Protect lives and livelihoods. Sounds so sensible.

But for a dose of reality, read through the lawsuit filed in June and amended twice recently against Tyson Foods by the families of three employees who contracted the coronavirus at the company’s Waterloo pork plant*. Sedika Buljic, Reberiano Leno Garcia and Jose Ayala died of complications from COVID-19.

There’s no “balance.” All there is are pages and pages and pages of unconscionable and callous conduct on the part of plant management, all the while top executives lobbied for liability protections. Reynolds and her administration stood by and mimicked the company’s line that everything was fine, as hundreds of workers got sick.

...Tyson, which has operations in China, including in the province where the virus was first detected, understood the threat as early as January. And yet by March, when cases started to crop up in Iowa, the company failed to proactively provide protective equipment or put distancing practices in place.

...“Safe and responsible” apparently included a betting pool for plant managers wagering on how many workers would contract the virus

...managers told interpreters behind closed doors in early April to tell immigrant employees that “everything is fine” and there is no outbreak. Workers were to be told Black Hawk County public health officials had “cleared the plant.”

...In reality, local public health officials and County Sheriff Tony Thompson were urging the company to shut down the plant, where, on April 10, they found workers still shoulder to shoulder with many not wearing face coverings...

* 34 p lawsuit

des. 4, 2020, 7:40am

Reinventing Workers for the Post-Covid Economy
Eduardo Porter | Dec. 1, 2020

Especially in service industries, old jobs may not be coming back. Training programs are aiming to provide skills for more resilient occupations.

...The nation’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic will hinge to some extent on how quickly show managers can become electricians, whether taxi drivers can become plumbers, and how many cooks can manage software for a bank.

The labor market has recovered 12 million of the 22 million jobs lost from February to April. But many positions may not return any time soon, even when a vaccine is deployed...

des. 4, 2020, 9:35am

#143--there is going to have to be massive stimulation from the government. Work projects. There is no other way around it and a 50/50 Senate doesn't portend well especially when you have shitbird democratic Senators like Joe Manchin.

You can provide skills but you still need someone to hire the skills. All the training that happened after the NAFTA virtually went nowhere when you've trained a machinist but there are no machinist jobs or when you've trained another auto mechanic but there are not enough shops to work out or cars to work on or when you take that mechanic and turn him into an office worker making maybe half or a third of what he use to make.

We do have loads of infrastructure issues that need fixing though--schools, roads, bridges, airports. We could take this disaster and use it to transition towards more green solutions. We know we need to go there that the Paris Climate Accords---fine get back into it but it moves at a snail's pace--we can and need to do better and push timelines to get things done faster. We should also look at cutting the graft that goes into the military industrial complex---this is the biggest ripoff going.

des. 4, 2020, 10:40am

>144 lriley: Before her wings were clipped, Michigan Governor offered essential workers free tuition at community colleges. By way of thanks. CARES Act money, I believe. In two years, one could be certified in HVAC, etc. Heck, one class could prepare someone to take phlebotomy exam!

des. 7, 2020, 8:09am

Kansas man died of COVID-19 ‘lonelier than necessary.’ His obituary slams anti-maskers
Katie Bernard | December 03, 2020

(Veterinarian) Dr. Marvin James Farr, 81, of Scott City, Kan., passed away Dec. 1, 2020, in isolation at Park Lane Nursing Home. He was preceded in death by more than 260,000 Americans infected with covid-19. He died in a room not his own, being cared for by people dressed in confusing and frightening ways. He died with covid-19, and his final days were harder, scarier and lonelier than necessary. He was not surrounded by friends and family.

Marvin...was born into an America recovering from the Great Depression and about to face World War 2, times of loss and sacrifice difficult for most of us to imagine. Americans would be asked to ration essential supplies and send their children around the world to fight and die in wars of unfathomable destruction. He died in a world where many of his fellow Americans refuse to wear a piece of cloth on their face to protect one another...

des. 7, 2020, 3:18pm

Do we need to re-visit the topic of "death panels," only real maskless, mass-gathering Republican ones this time?

des. 7, 2020, 5:54pm

Former AL Republican State Senator Dead of Covid-19

Former Sen. Larry Dixon, a Republican who also served as the executive director of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners, died from Covid-19 on Dec. 4.

Did his ideology get in the way of his medical education? If so, his death is a real Greek tragedy. Unlike the artful descriptor employed by the dead senator's friend, I disagree that anything about Dixon's warning was 'prescient.' America has been told repeatedly and known for 11 months that SARS CoV 2 is highly infectious, especially dangerous to contract by elderly persons, and more likely to be fatal in that demographic. Masks and social distancing should have been de rigeur since April, but Republicans remain defiant, happy to endanger themselves and the rest of us. Especially frontline medical workers. How considerate of them.

Here is a sad but natural incident.
Dr. David Thrasher, a close friend of Dixon and a pulmonologist in Montgomery, told NBC News that Dixon's wife, Gaynell Dixon, told Thrasher that his last words to her were a prescient warning to the people of Alabama.

“We messed up, we let our guard down,” Dixon said, according to Thrasher. “Please tell everybody to be careful. This is real, and if you get diagnosed, get help immediately.”

Thrasher said his friend was exposed to the virus at a social gathering “with a couple of guys” that was hosted outside about two weeks ago.

. . .two other men who attended the meetup tested positive.

Dixon’s death came just hours after Alabama set state records for hospitalization rates and number of new Covid-19 cases.
Since Dr. Thrasher attended his friend, I hope he took proper safeguards against infection. Dixon's wife is now also positive. I wonder if the media that reported on Dixon's death will feel obliged to pay as much to Mrs. Dixon if she, too, succumbs to Covid-19?

Editat: des. 8, 2020, 7:53am

"diagnosed"? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?

Does it mean that one has been exposed to this virus--as indicated by the fact that blood-serum tests show the presence of antibodies ?

Link/Source: (report)
( )

Antibody Test for IgG

This test detects IgG antibodies that develop in most patients within seven to 10 days after symptoms of COVID-19 begin. IgG antibodies remain in the blood after an infection has passed. These antibodies indicate that you may have had COVID-19 in the recent past and have developed antibodies that may protect you from future infection. It is unknown at this point how much protection antibodies might provide against reinfection.

View COVID-19 IgG Detection by ELISA Antibody Test Fact

Antibody Test for IgM

This test detects IgM antibodies. IgM is usually the first antibody produced by the immune system when a virus attacks. A positive IgM test indicates that you may have been infected and that your immune system has started responding to the virus. When IgM is detected you may still be infected, or you may have recently recovered from a COVID-19 infection.

We're going to experience a little "living-laboratory", real-world example:

in this case, we discover and reveal the true character of the relation between Pro-Biden idiots' beliefs & assumptions about the efficacy of virus testing, of the use by imposition, whether it is of sporadic or mass, or occasional or sustained quarantines, mask-wearing and spatial-separation in the actual virulence of this virus in the actual living environment.

We expect that our living-laboratory "tests" shall indicate that there is effectively a zero or near-zero relationship between the implementation of these anti-virus measures and the actual incidence and spread of the virus in the natural environment. Our tests shall also indicate a dismal lack of understanding of these results and their import and implications, suggesting that these ardent supporters of masks, quarantines and spatial separation are, if anything, significantly more stupid and lacking in sound reasoning abilities than are those they ridicule for such intellectual deficiencies.

Our hypothesis suggests that key there shall be no measurable difference between or improvement in the incidence or spread of this virus under a Trump or a Biden administration's approach. In other words, for all his words, assumptions and differences in policy, a Biden administration shall effect no significant difference in the course of this pandemic.

We grant that, with time, the pandemic shall ease and eventually cease. But we posit that this should have come about eventually no matter the measures taken (or not taken) and no matter the person occupying the role of president of the United States at the time of the observed fall-off, with, in any case, similarly high (or low, as the case may be) rates of morbidity and mortality under any given or posited scenario.

... "However, experts have warned that the tests are “not fit for purpose” and called for an immediate halt to their use.

"This comes after the government’s own analysis highlighted their lack of sensitivity in identifying positive cases.

"A document released by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) read: 'In the field evaluation in Liverpool, compared to PCR tests, these tests picked up 5 out of 10 of the cases PCR detected and more than 7 out of 10 cases with higher viral loads, who are likely to be the most infectious.

'These tests will not pick up everyone who has Covid-19.'

This means about a third of the most potentially infectious people were not being told to self-isolate, therefore raising the risk of further transmission.

"Previous laboratory validations had suggested the devices were susceptible to missing only 5 per cent of infections when a high level of virus was present in an individual.

"This discrepancy is likely due to the fact laboratory tests are undertaken in a controlled environment where there is little scope for human error.
The DHSC also admits in its report that 'some of the use envisaged by community testing may be outside the manufacturer’s instruction for use, for example self-swabbing and asymptomatic use'.

"PCR tests – which require laboratory processing – are widely considered the gold standard, and are offered to people who have symptoms of Covid-19.

"These tests miss fewer than 5 per cent of cases, according to government data.

"The DHSC has yet to release a breakdown of its data on Liverpool’s mass testing programme, though the recent results suggest that for every 10 people who tested positive using the PCR method, only five will have been identified by the lateral flow tests.

“ 'This test is not fit for purpose for the government's plans,' said Jon Deeks, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Birmingham and leader of the Cochrane Collaboration’s research into Covid-19 tests.

“ 'It is totally unsafe to use these tests to decide somebody does not have Covid nor ‘infectious’. If it were a drug surely this would warrant an immediate withdrawal from use.

“ 'Missing 30 per cent with high viral loads is not safe.' ” ...

Editat: des. 8, 2020, 7:10pm

Aquest missatge ha estat suprimit pel seu autor.

des. 8, 2020, 11:22pm

Rich countries hoarding Covid vaccines, says People's Vaccine Alliance (BBC)

Rich countries are hoarding doses of Covid vaccines and people living in poor countries are set to miss out, a coalition of campaigning bodies warns. The People's Vaccine Alliance says nearly 70 lower-income countries will only be able to vaccinate one in 10 people...

des. 9, 2020, 7:37pm

Red States Mandating, Anti-Maskers Be Damned

Even the reddest of the red states are capitulating to the fact that nouveau Coronavirus is real and it can be deadly. Wyoming and Alabama have initiated state-wide mandated face coverings be worn in public. Even the stubbornly stupid governor of ND initiated such a mandate after being humiliated as the Covid Death Capital of the World. SD continues to keep its head (the governor) up to her neck in sand.

More states are coming to heal in line with CDC guidelines that state masks should be worn at all times indoors in public places. Data is now available that sustain the fact that wearing a face mask brings the spread of the virus under control because it protects both the wearer and those who one comes in contact with. Studies in TN and KS, two of the rabidly red states in America, proved it once face masks were mandated.

Why this sudden change of heart that converted ideological mask-free states into science-based masked states? ND's humiliation aside, the answer is simple and obvious. Record breaking spikes in cases across the country, hospitalizations ditto, and deaths the same have brought the non-believers in science up to facing reality because of a short, sharp shock.

There are no more beds for Covid-19 patients to be found almost everywhere; there is not enough staff nationwide to care for the severely ill; ICU bed do not exist; and medical care is being triaged and cut from standard practice for all to instituting rationed practice for all.

The norm in NM, MA, WI, VT, MO, MD, UT and other states is field hospitals. They are being opened and pressed into service, even if that means they must be staffed by National Guard troops who have never seen a Covid case in their lives. The facilities are scattered statewide and can be seen from roadways anywhere, since not a few are set up in parking lots. Citizens can see for themselves that the pandemic is not a hoax. Seeing is believing.

des. 9, 2020, 8:55pm

#152---even setting up the field hospitals the number of medicos that are really qualified to handle this is finite and really you can't borrow anyone else's because every state is in dire need of keeping the people they have.

These people literally are putting their lives on the line and more often than not for some ingrate or fool of a denier. About 11% of the population of North Dakota have had Covid and most all of them in recent months. South Dakota is practically at 10%. Those are staggering %'s AFAIC and anyone who doesn't think it's for real at this point is to my mind a complete imbecile.

des. 10, 2020, 12:55am

I don't know if it's been mentioned here how Ron DeSantis Florida's Governor sent his goons to harass and arrest Rebekah Jones for getting to the truth of all his Covid lies.

des. 10, 2020, 4:26am

>154 lriley: I mentioned it in COVID thread (bad info kills) and in righteous Rs (one R resigned in protest). Cellphone signals last season quite clear that DeSantis mgt affects people far away. W Michigan was one spot of concentrated returnees I was surprised to note.

des. 10, 2020, 4:58am

#155--that's good because it needed to be remarked upon. And DeSantis claims he didn't know which is another lie. These people weren't going to break into the house of what is now a very famous person in Florida---waving their guns around without DeSantis knowing.

des. 10, 2020, 5:36am

>156 lriley:

Rebekah Jones @GeoRebekah | 8:08 PM · Dec 8, 2020
Got new info tonight.

The judge who signed the search order of my house was appointed by Governor Desantis and sworn in less than a month before he signed that warrant. In civil court. He's not even a criminal court judge. It was one of his first actions as judge.

0:42 ( )

des. 10, 2020, 7:16am

#157---how surprising is that?

des. 16, 2020, 9:29pm

Bernie Sanders and Joe Manchin the conservative democratic Senator from West Virginia apparently had it out over stimulus checks. Right now it looks like everyone is getting $600 with Sanders vowing to fight for more. Some on the democratic side are pissed at Sanders because their deal didn't include any checks to individuals but were afraid that Sanders, Hawley (republican from Missouri) and a few other democrats (Warren, Wyden, Merkley and I think a couple others) were going to kill the deal. So there you go.

Krystal Ball was reporting on the Hill this morning that defense contractors like General Dynamics and Boeing wrote a few days ago begging for a piece of this bill and that stimulus money was now in the bill for them. I guess we'll see but that would be really disgusting. People are hurting--can't pay their rent and on the verge of eviction, small businesses like restaurants are dying---they can all pound salt but as soon as Lockheed complains they get help.

des. 17, 2020, 3:10am

Stealing to survive: More Americans are shoplifting food as aid runs out during the pandemic
Abha Bhattarai and Hannah Denham | Dec. 10, 2020

...Shoplifting is up markedly since the pandemic began in the spring and at higher levels than in past economic downturns, according to interviews with more than a dozen retailers, security experts and police departments across the country. But what’s distinctive about this trend, experts say, is what’s being taken — more staples like bread, pasta and baby formula.

“We’re seeing an increase in low-impact crimes,” said Jeff Zisner, chief executive of workplace security firm Aegis. “It’s not a whole lot of people going in, grabbing TVs and running out the front door. It’s a very different kind of crime — it’s people stealing consumables and items associated with children and babies.” estimated 54 million Americans will struggle with hunger this year, a 45 percent increase from 2019, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. With food aid programs like SNAP and WIC being reduced, and other federal assistance on the brink of expiration, food banks and pantries are being inundated, reporting hours-long waits and lines that stretch into the thousands.

Several federal food programs that have provided billions of dollars in fresh produce, dairy and meat to U.S. food banks also are set to expire at the end of the year. The largest among them, the Farmers to Families Food Box, has provided more than 120 million food boxes during the pandemic and is already running out of funding in many parts of the country.

...Fabien Tiburce, chief executive of Compliant IA, which provides loss prevention software to retailers. “There is a well-known historical correlation between unemployment and theft,” he said, a connection that is more entrenched in the United States than in countries with more robust safety nets like Canada and Australia...

des. 17, 2020, 5:41am

#160--It's very easy to understand the impulse of people taking shit they badly do need---if I were in a store and noticed someone grabbing diapers or formula I would just offer to pay for it for them. This is not their failure---it's much more a failure of our national response to deal effectively with this crisis at the Main St. level where there are literally millions of desperate people now--looking at foreclosures and evictions. This pandemic coming along--taking millions of jobs away is not their fault. Winter is coming on and we have a massive snowstorm in the northeast today. If people need help the government needs to help them. You cannot let people starve or die on the street and those with real political power need to do their jobs and make sure that doesn't happen.
En/na COVID-19 - social and political fallout (6) ha continuat aquest tema.