AuthorTopic: Knarf's Knewz Channel  (Read 1796313 times)

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UK phone masts attacked amid 5G-coronavirus conspiracy theory
« Reply #15600 on: April 04, 2020, 05:20:10 PM »
Police investigate possible arson attacks as officials and experts reject rumours that 5G causes Covid-19

Three recent mobile phone mast fires around the UK are being investigated as possible arson, amid concerns that people are attacking telecoms infrastructure because of a conspiracy theory linking 5G technology to the spread of coronavirus.

The mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, also revealed he had received threats relating to the “bizarre” theory, which has gained traction on social media.

On Friday, emergency services were called to reports that a 5G mast was on fire in Liverpool shortly before 11pm. Police confirmed they were investigating the blaze at Spencer’s Lane, Aintree, close to the M57 motorway.

Fire crews managed to get the fire under control quickly and were photographed parked outside the field shortly after it was extinguished.

The media regulator, Ofcom, said on Thursday it was monitoring broadcasters who spread the discredited conspiracy theory, although coverage has spread more widely on social networks, such as WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter and Nextdoor.

Speaking at Saturday’s Downing Street press conference, cabinet secretary Michael Gove said the theories were “dangerous nonsense”. Professor Steve Powis, national medical director of NHS England, condemned them as “the worst kind of fake news”.

“I’m absolutely outraged, absolutely disgusted, that people would be taking action against the very infrastructure that we need to respond to this health emergency,” he said. “It is absolute and utter rubbish.”

Just hours before the reported incident in Liverpool, Anderson dismissed the theories as “bizarre”. He said he was amazed by the amount of traction the conspiracy was getting on social media, and that all scientific and government advice showed the technology posed no harm to people.

Speaking to the Guardian, the mayor revealed he had received threats relating to the theory and had reported them to Merseyside police.

“The suggestion that Covid-19 is somehow linked to 5G is patently beyond the realms of credibility – utterly bizarre,” he said.

“In Liverpool these masts are being upgraded and ironically the very people that are using this technology are the ones who are believing these theories. I was mildly threatened yesterday by someone telling me to take them down.

“The reality is there is huge pressure on the network at the moment with so many people at home and that’s why engineers are upgrading it. The idea that I have entered into some kind of machiavellian plot with the government is ridiculous.”

Social media posts from celebrities, such as the singer Anne-Marie, have helped spread the theory, while Amanda Holden, a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, shared a link to an online petition promoting the false rumour that the symptoms of coronavirus are caused by residing near a 5G mast. The petition was removed following inquiries from the Guardian.

Cheers actor Woody Harrelson and former Dancing on Ice judge Jason Gardiner are also among stars who have shared theories.

The government is increasingly concerned about the impact of the spread of such false theories.

A spokesperson for the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport, which has responsibility for telecoms policy, warned people to stop damaging key infrastructure during a national emergency: “These are baseless theories, there is absolutely no credible evidence of a link between 5G and coronavirus. Threats or violence towards any key worker or damage to mobile phone masts will not be tolerated.”

On Thursday, police in Belfast appealed for information after a mobile phone mast was damaged in an arson attack, with online footage suggesting the motive was opposition to 5G networks.

The video clip shows an incident on the Antrim Road in north Belfast on Thursday night, in which flames can be seen at the base of a mobile telephone mast.

According to a report in the Irish News, voices can be heard stating “Fuck the 5G” and “Viva la revolution” as the fire burns.

Facebook removed one anti-5G group in which members were being encouraged to supply footage of them destroying mobile phone equipment. Video footage of a 70ft (20m) telephone mast on fire in Birmingham this week has also circulated widely alongside claims it was targeted by anti-5G protesters.

The problem has become so bad that engineers working for Openreach, which provides home broadband services, have posted pleas on anti-5G Facebook groups, asking to be spared from on-street abuse as they are not involved in maintaining mobile networks.

The industry lobby group Mobile UK said the incidents were affecting efforts to maintain networks that were supporting home working and providing critical connectivity to the emergency services, vulnerable consumers and hospitals. Telecoms engineers are considered key workers under the government’s guidelines.

International radiation experts have repeatedly made clear that the new high-speed telephone system does not pose a risk to humans, while pointing out that the coronavirus has spread widely in many countries without any 5G coverage, such as Iran.
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Outside China, it's the rich world that has so far borne the brunt of coronavirus. Spain and Italy are under siege, the streets of New York are deserted, and, in Australia, luxury cruise ships and a party among the private school set in Aspen have been the centres of the pandemic's spread.

But despite the inconvenience of working and schooling from home, the gripes about Victoria's short-lived "bonk ban" and quarantined ex-travellers complaining about the food in five-star hotels, Australia has been able to hunker down and self-isolate.

Then last week, a tweet from an Indian doctor went viral and provided some much-needed perspective on this fearsome disease: "Social distancing is a privilege," wrote Dr Jagadish J Hiremath. "It means you live in a house large enough to practise it.

“Hand washing is a privilege too. It means you have access to running water. Hand sanitisers are a privilege. It means you have money to buy them. Lockdowns are a privilege. It means you can afford to be at home. Most of the ways to ward the corona off are accessible only to the affluent.”

Dr Hiremath runs a hospital in an industrial area of Bangalore, about 1000 kilometres from Mumbai. His words were a sobering reminder of the world’s structural inequalities.

And if well-off nations with solid health systems and economies have seen about 53,000 people die so far, when COVID-19 spreads in earnest to poorer countries, refugee camps, and informal settlements, it is likely to become deadlier still. Aid agencies, the United Nations and national governments across the developing world know that that day is approaching.

“It’s just a trickle at the moment, but based on what we’ve seen in places like Italy and New York we need to prepare for a tsunami.”

Save the Children deputy chief executive Mat Tinkler
“High population density and inadequate housing conditions ... mean that measures to prevent and respond to COVID-19, such as quarantine and social distancing, are simply not possible,” said World Vision International’s Global Director of Humanitarian Operations, Isabel Gomes, this week.

“Populations forced to live in such places will find it very difficult to protect themselves.”

In India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 21-day nationwide shutdown on March 24, about one-sixth of the urban population live cheek-by-jowl in the country’s slums.

The largest of those communities is Dharavi in Mumbai, which recorded its first case of coronavirus on Wednesday. Here, there’s about one toilet for every 1400 residents, and around 100,000 makeshift homes, each with multiple residents under the one roof. The laneways are so narrow that neighbours can’t help but rub shoulders as they pass. Some labourers fled the cities and crushed onto buses and highways to go back to their home villages, probably carrying the virus to every corner of the country.

As Dr Hiremath told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald last week, COVID-19 started in wealthier nations, but it “has now become a poor man’s burden to carry.”

Indonesia presents another cautionary tale. A few weeks ago, the world’s fourth most populous nation was yet to officially record a single case of coronavirus. By Friday morning there had been 1790 cases and 170 deaths - making the country the worst-affected nation in south-east Asia. Most of the deaths have been in the teeming capital, Jakarta.

While President Joko Widodo was initially slow to respond, his government has now imposed “large scale social restrictions” on its citizens including a nationwide work-from-home policy. But for now, there are no plans to stop “Lebaran” at the end of May, an annual migration of 20 million people from the cities to home villages all over the country to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr religious festival.

In any event, many Indonesians work in informal industries, earning a living as food vendors, domestic helpers, drivers – jobs where working from home is simply not feasible. For these daily wage earners, the choice is stark: risk hunger, or risk infection.

Motorcycle taxi “Gojek” driver Mohammad Feri Fadli told The Age and Herald he would continue working on the streets of Bali, but had noticed a 50 per cent drop in his income since the first case of COVID-19 in his country.

“I am scared of the virus too, but I brave it every day to go out,” said the father of two, who regularly sends money back to his family in Java. “My wife makes snacks and sells them online, but it’s so quiet lately she had to stop. What we eat, we earn each day. If I don’t bring money home, there will be nothing to eat tomorrow.”

Aid agencies also fear the catastrophic impact of COVID-19 sweeping into refugee camps, makeshift settlements and conflict zones. According to the United Nations refugee agency, more than 70 million people are living out of their homes, many in camps, due to conflict.

There, a lack of medical resources and pre-existing health conditions will make the pandemic even harder to fight. And for many communities in fragile nations, COVID-19 will exacerbate a range of child protection threats that are largely foreign in the west, such as child marriage and child slavery.

“It’s a humanitarian emergency writ large,” said Save the Children deputy chief executive Mat Tinkler. “It’s just a trickle at the moment, but based on what we’ve seen in places like Italy and New York we need to prepare for a tsunami.”

That preparation itself has been made difficult by the shutdowns that some governments and non-government groups are imposing on their staff. In the Pacific, Papua New Guinea has now gone into lockdown, and the Australian High Commission evacuated all non-essential staff last week. Private companies that usually assist in aid and development have also withdrawn workers. With fewer people, travel restrictions disrupting supply chains, and limited internet, the ability to “surge into hotspots” and respond to the virus is likely to be affected, says Tinkler.

One of the biggest, most densely packed refugee camps in the world is the Cox’s Bazar displacement camps in Bangladesh, where 859,000 refugees are living after fleeing Myanmar in 2017.

Here, an estimated 40,000 people per square kilometre live in plastic shelters crammed side-
by-side. Thanks to a government crackdown, they have had no access to internet or cell phone data for more than six months, so have no means of obtaining reliable information about COVID-19. They do not know which hospitals could take them in, and which are already at capacity.

An epidemic in this environment could be catastrophic.

In Africa, all but five of the continent’s 54 countries now have cases of coronavirus. As the number of infections exceeded 6000 on Thursday, the head of Africa Centres for Disease Control Prevention, Dr John Nkengasong, warned that the continent was "very, very close" to where Europe was after a 40-day period.

In a small snapshot of the difficulties ahead, Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso are already running out of hospital beds, armed conflict continues unabated in countries such as Nigeria and South Sudan and high rates of diabetes, HIV, other diseases will likely increase the risk of COVID-19 across the continent.

Here too, social distancing and quarantine is often all but impossible. In Mozambique, for instance, it’s not uncommon for up to seven or eight family members to live under the one roof and walk several kilometres a day for basic water supplies. In Uganda and Ethiopia, about 82 percent of the population gather en masse for religious services. Church services in Australia are now streamed online but such a concept is not feasible in rural Africa.

“Health-care systems across Africa could collapse under the added weight of the pandemic,” says Patrick Youssef, the regional director for Africa at the International Committee of the Red Cross.

“In northern Mali, 93 per cent of health-care facilities have been completely destroyed – proof that hospitals, ambulances and medical personnel all too often become targets in armed conflict. The underfunded community health centres that are left already struggle to treat common illnesses like malaria and measles. How could we expect them to test and treat people for COVID-19?”

In a bid to deal with the looming catastrophe, international humanitarian agencies are ramping up their efforts in fragile nations despite their staff restrictions. World Vision has been distributing protection equipment and hygiene supplies in Asia since January and is now undertaking further work in countries such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Haiti and Syria.

However, acting chief executive Graham Strong is under no illusions about the overwhelming challenge ahead, and the stark contrasts between developed nations and the third world when it comes to fighting the worst global pandemic in a century.

From the sanctuary of his Australian home, Strong has been watching in awe at the billions of dollars state and federal governments have pumped into job seeker payments, childcare, and hospital beds. He hopes, optimistically, that it doesn’t detract from the global effort to protect the most vulnerable.

“I’ve just been amazed in terms of watching what the Australian government is doing for Australians,” says Strong. “I think it’s great that we’re able to do that, but we have to realise that a lot of fragile states don’t have the ability to provide that for their citizens.”

In India, Dr Hiremath knows that lockdowns have helped to flatten the curve. In his, country, though, “it is coming with a price”.

“I run a hospital in an industrial area of Bangalore,” he says. “Most of (the labourers) here are daily wage earners, and since the factories are shut down, they’re suffering from a loss of income.

“If proper arrangements are not made, we may soon see more people dying of hunger than COVID-19.”
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #15602 on: April 04, 2020, 06:36:41 PM »
India is a very tinder try forest and this is a match on the forest floor.  I weep.  It will be an inferno, both medically and socially / politically / etc.  A dry hot wind blows through India's social forest.
My "avatar" graphic is Japanese calligraphy (shodō) forming the word shoshin, meaning "beginner's mind". -- -- It is with shoshin that I am now and always "meeting my breath" for the first time. Try it!

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Georgia beaches reopen after governor's executive order
« Reply #15603 on: April 04, 2020, 06:59:23 PM »
Some Georgia beaches will reopen this weekend following an executive order issued by Gov. Brian Kemp (R) that overrode local shelter-in-place mandates from a number of cities.

A spokesperson for Kemp told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the order would allow popular beaches in Georgia, such as Tybee Island, to reopen after they had closed because of local measures aimed at limiting the community spread of COVID-19.

"The Governor's Executive Order suspends the enforcement of any local ordinance or order adopted or issued since March 1, 2020, that relates to COVID-19," said Josh Hildebrandt, director of public and governmental affairs for the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

"This Executive Order thus lifted any local ordinances or orders that had closed or restricted access to Georgia beaches," superseding local government blocks and opening all beaches in Georgia, Hildebrandt added.

The order went into effect Friday night at 6 p.m. It allows for people to exercise outside as long as they maintain at least 6 feet of distance from other individuals.

Tybee Island Mayor Shirley Sessions previously ordered beaches in the area to be closed and was alerted to the new ordinance Friday.

State Rep. Jesse Petrea (R) wrote on Facebook that he had notified the mayor of the changes earlier Friday and said the beach would not be "expressly closed" under the governor's new order but emphasized that "NO congregating" would be enforced by DNR rangers.

While Georgia beaches will remain open during the statewide shelter-in-place ordinance, the public will not be allowed to place chairs, tents or umbrellas on beaches until the order is lifted after April 13.
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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We all know there are still people out there who prey on the elderly, the unsuspecting, the young, the vulnerable.

Now they’re preying on those in fear of catching the coronavirus (COVID-19) and those who are answering the call for help in this time of crisis.

Recently, state Attorney General Mark Herring warned about federal stimulus scams.

But it has morphed into several other scams, including cyber scams, telephone and text messaging scams, counterfeit product offers, bogus door-to-door tests and virus-related products, and phony charity donation requests, all in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

“The sad truth is that we continue to see bad actors in Virginia and across the country taking advantage of the fear and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and trying to scam money from people,” Herring said.

Here are some scams to watch out for:
Utility or government impostor scams

Many people are understandably very concerned when they get an e-mail, letter or phone call from someone identifying themselves as a representative of a government agency or one of their utility companies.

Scammers are constantly improving their techniques to fool their intended victims into thinking they work for the government or utility, including fake identification and spoofed phone numbers on caller ID. This scam employs the fear factor to lead you to part with your money or provide financial information to them. They may even threaten to have you arrested or cut off your electricity or water if you do not comply.

If someone reaches out to you saying they are from a government agency or a utility company, do not give your information to them over the phone.

Instead find a legitimate phone number on the utility company or the government agency’s website and call them back to check and see if they actually need you to send them something.

 Cyber scams

Look out for emails claiming to be from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), and other health care organizations, offering to share information about the virus.

Do not open attachments or click on links within unknown emails, as scammers are using phony COVID-19 tracking websites to infect electronic devices with malware, putting residents at risk for identity theft and financial exploitation.

Take extra precaution to avoid spoofed or phony websites by only visiting websites with clearly distinguishable URL addresses.

Scammers seek to exploit individuals by directing web traffic to similar, but falsely identified website names where they can provide misinformation or attempt to gain consumers’ personal information or finances in exchange for pandemic updates.

Be on the lookout for emails asking for the verification of personal data, including Medicare or Medicaid information, in exchange for receiving economic stimulus funds or other benefits from the government.

Government agencies are not sending out emails asking for residents’ personal information in order to receive funds or other pandemic relief opportunities.

Telephone and text messaging scams

If you find that you’ve answered a robocall – hang up. Don’t press any numbers. Scammers are calling with offers involving everything from COVID-19 treatments and cures, to work-from-home schemes.

The recording might say that pressing a number will direct you to a live operator or even remove you from their call list, but it also might lead to more robocalls.

Similar to email phishing scams, text messages from unknown sources may offer hyperlinks to what appears to be automated pandemic updates, or interactive infection maps.

These are just two examples of ways scammers can install malware on your mobile electronic device, putting you at increased risk for identity theft and financial exploitation.

 Counterfeit product offers & high demand goods

Ignore offers for COVID-19 vaccinations and home test kits. There are currently no vaccines, pills, medications, or other prescription or over-the-counter products available to treat or cure the coronavirus disease. This applies to offers made online, in stores, by electronic message, or over the phone.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorized any home test kits for COVID-19.

As many have seen firsthand, some consumer products are in extreme demand. Household cleaning products, sanitizers, personal hygiene products, and health and medical supplies may be offered via online or in-person sellers aiming to capitalize on under supplied or unavailable products.

When buying online, be sure to research the seller by searching online for the person or company’s name, phone number and email address, plus words like “review,” “complaint,” or “scam.” If everything checks out, pay by credit card as opposed to debit, and keep a record of your transaction.

If you are concerned about price gouging in your area, please reach out to Herring’s Consumer Protection Section for investigation, as violations are enforceable by the Office of the Attorney General through the Virginia Consumer Protection Act.

Bogus door-to-door tests and virus-related products

To ensure your personal safety, do not answer the door or allow into your home or residence any unknown individuals or business representatives moving door-to-door offering to sell consumer products, medical kits, vaccines, cures, whole-home sanitization, or in-person COVID-19 testing.

There are no FDA approved at-home tests, medicines, cures, vaccines, prescriptions or other coronavirus-related products and anything like this that someone is trying to sell is a scam.

Phony charities & donation requests

Coming together in a time of need and extreme hardship is testament to the kindness of Virginians; however, when disasters and life changing events such as the current pandemic occur, be cautious as to where donations are going.

Only give to charities and fundraisers you can confirm are reliable and legitimate.

Scrutinize charities with consumer advocates or friends and find out how much of your donation will go to the charity’s programs and services.

Be especially cautious if you do not initiate contact with the charity. Beware of “copycat” names that sound like reputable charities. Some scammers use names that closely resemble those of respected, legitimate organizations.

Crowdfunding sites are particularly popular. Here are a few things to remember:
Check the creator or page owner’s credentials and try to confirm its authenticity and seriousness.
Look for indicators of endorsement or legitimacy that the page is actually collecting donations for a particular victim or organization. Some sites offer verification and transparency measures for campaigns. Look for those markers of authenticity, and check out the site’s fraud protection measures.
Be cautious, and if you feel uneasy, contribute to a more established charity in the community.
Be wary of charities that spring up overnight in connection with a current event or natural disaster. They may make a compelling case for you to make a donation but even if they are legitimate, they may not have the infrastructure or experience to get your donation to the affected area or people.
If a charity is soliciting contributions in Virginia, verify its registration with the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ Office of Charitable and Regulatory Programs (“OCRP”) at 804-786-1343, or by searching OCRP’s charitable organization database online.

Remember these tips to avoid becoming a victim:
Never wire money or send cash or a pre-paid card—These transactions are just like sending someone cash! Once your money is gone, you can’t trace it or get it back.
Don’t give the caller any of your financial or other personal information—Never give out or confirm financial or other sensitive information, including your bank account, credit card, or Social Security number, unless you know exactly who you’re dealing with. Scammers can use your information to commit identity theft. If you get a call about a debt that may be legitimate — but you think the collector may not be — contact the company to which the caller claims you owe money to inquire about the call.
Don’t trust a name or number—Scammers use official-sounding names, titles, and organizations to make you trust them. To make the call seem legitimate, scammers also use internet technology to disguise their area code or generate a fake name on caller ID. So even though it may look like they’re calling locally or somewhere in the United States, they could be calling from anywhere in the world.
Join the National Do Not Call Registry and don’t answer numbers you don’t know—This won’t stop scammers from calling but it should make you skeptical of calls you get from out of the blue. Most legitimate sales people generally honor the Do Not Call list. Scammers ignore it. Putting your number on the list helps to “screen” your calls for legitimacy and reduce the number of legitimate telemarketing calls you get.
Herring advises consumers to watch out for the following red flags and to keep these tips in mind to avoid becoming a victim of consumer fraud:

The offer seems too good to be true—If it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is. Examples include money left to you from an unknown relative, being awarded a loan or grant for which you did not apply, winning a lottery you did not enter and being selected to receive a share in funds in return for using your bank account.
Requests for fees or payment in advance—Scammers will want advance payments or fees to clear the funds or complete their offer. It might not be clear what the fees are for, but the scammer will tell you they have to be paid or the money can’t be released. They might suggest they are only trying to help you out and the fees are a small sum compared to what you will be receiving. Never pay fees or taxes in advance.
Pressure—Scammers will often put pressure on their victims and urge them to pay immediately or lose the opportunity, or may even threaten them with legal consequences or disconnected utilities unless a payment is sent right away. A genuine business or government entity will not pressure you to act immediately.
Know who you are dealing with—Technology has made it easy for scammers to disguise or spoof their telephone number or create a website that looks very legitimate. Do an online search for the company name and website and look for consumer reviews. If you cannot find a seller’s physical address (not a P.O. Box) and phone number it should be a red flag. It is best to do business with websites you know and trust. If you buy items through an online auction, consider using a payment option that provides protection, like a credit card.
They want private information—Many scams involve getting hold of your bank account details. Scams involving identity theft also seek personal information. A common scenario is an email supposedly from a bank asking you to click on a link to confirm your bank details and password. Banks generally don’t do this, but if you think the email has really come from your bank, pick up the phone and confirm with them. Never click on links or attachments in emails from people you don’t know or you risk your computer becoming infected by viruses, trojans, or other malware.
Untraceable payment method—Scammers prefer payment methods that are untraceable, such as wiring money through Western Union or other services. Be very suspicious of demands for wire transfers or cash payments. Never wire money to someone you do not know.
Grammatical errors or poor production values—Scammers may be clever, but they are not always careful and English may not be their first language. Their grammatical errors can give them away. If the correspondence you receive is full of errors, low-resolution images, or unsophisticated formatting, be very suspicious.
Suspicious email domains and web addresses—Look carefully at email addresses and domain names. Businesses rarely use free email services like Hotmail, AOL, Yahoo, or Gmail. Even if the business seems legitimate, do some research to make sure they have readily available contact information and have not scammed others.
Suspicious or no addresses—Scammers do not want their victims to know where they live. If there is no physical address and your contacts won’t give you one, it’s a sure bet you’re being scammed. If there is a physical address, check it out using the Internet or Google Earth and see if it’s a real address.
Request for access to your computer—A common scam is a phone call from someone claiming to be a technician who has detected problems with your computer and would like to fix them for you free. Never give anyone remote access to your computer
If you think you have been a victim of a scam, reach out to the attorney general’s Consumer Protection Section:

By phone: 800-552-9963
By email:
Online complaint form
Online contact form
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

Offline knarf

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Gov.: Covid-19 outbreak continues to shift to L.I.
« Reply #15606 on: April 05, 2020, 12:13:10 PM »
Coronavirus cases in Nassau County continued to climb steadily overnight from Saturday into Sunday, nearly reaching 14,400, up from 13,346 the day before — an almost 8 percent increase, according to Governor Cuomo.

Statewide, 4,159 people have died of Covid-19, he said.

 Speaking Sunday, Cuomo said, “There is a shift to Long Island … As Long Island grows, the percentage of cases in New York City has reduced.”

The sharp rise in Nassau cases in recent days contrasts with data that show an emerging “plateau” of cases statewide over the past three days, the governor said.

It is too early to tell, he said, if New York is reaching the apex of cases, when the number of deaths will drop, but it appears the high point could be reached sometime in the next week. Previously, he had said it could be seven to 21 days before the apex is reached.

Data appear to suggest the state is nearing a plateau or the apex, Cuomo said. Overnight, the state saw its highest number of hospital discharges — 1,709. The total number of people who have been treated for Covid-19 and released from the hospital stood at 12,187 as of Sunday.

“Discharge is way up, and that is great news,” Cuomo said.

The state also saw its smallest number of new hospitalizations overnight, at 574. That’s a 52 percent decrease from the day before, when there were 1,100 new hospitalizations. The day before that, there had been 1,400.

The state has not seen such a low number of new hospitalizations for 16 days, according to state data.

In all, 16,400 people were hospitalized as of April 5.

The number of people who are being treated in intensive care units also dropped over the past three days, the governor said, as did the number of people who had to be intubated. Intubation is a medical intervention in which a tube is inserted into a patient’s airway to enable breathing.

The three-day statewide trend lines offer glimmers of hope for many downstate hospitals that are now operating above their capacity and, in a number of cases, are running low on supplies, the governor said.

The hospitals, he noted, “are being asked to do the impossible.”

“I hope we’re somewhere near the apex,” he said, “or somewhere near the plateau.”,123775
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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On the Ninth Day of Quarantine, I Got High with My Dad.
« Reply #15607 on: April 05, 2020, 12:20:11 PM »

After just nine days of quarantine in my childhood home, the stress of the crisis broke me down. I walked down the stairs, firmly looked my father in the eye and asked, “Want to get high?”

He was so excited he jumped off the couch.

We both had cannabis experiences, but neither of us are regular users. We’ve joked about it before, but have never gotten high together.

It has just been the two of us and his dog sheltering in place. I’ve been continuing school online, but his job as an accountant for the last 33 years seems to have vanished entirely. He suspects the pandemic is a three-year head start on retirement.

The contrast between my workload and his boredom has been stark. It only took two days before he barged into my room while I was working and shouted, “Hey! Let’s eat a gummy!” He has done that every day—with gusto—since.

“Where are they?” I asked him, referring to the pack of cannabis-infused candies I got him for his birthday last month.

“Those are long gone,” he replied. I thought it was a joke gift. “Don’t you have some?” his excitement faded to concern.

I didn’t know what shocked me more, the fact that he assumed I just had weed on standby, or that he ate all those candies in a month.

Luckily, I found a gummy in my car. He was nervous about eating the entire thing, so we cut it in half with a knife. Although he was looking forward to this all week, he was nervous. Before eating it, he made me compare the two halves in front of him. He was suspicious that I was giving him a bigger piece.

He gobbled up his half, turned off his phone, and dimmed the lights.

First, we went into the basement to play ping-pong. A tradition of ours. On the carpet is a piece of scrap paper we use to keep score. Its heading says, “The Quarantine Classic.” At the time, he had won 16 games, and I won 12. The basement is semi-finished and has a wire that bursts through a ceiling tile and hangs just over the net. House rules are you have to play off the wire no matter what.

We both started strong, but our game deteriorated as the weed hit our systems.

It came on slow then made everything funny. We broke out laughing so hard we couldn’t keep score. At one point, I smashed a serve he couldn’t return, but he lobbed back an insult. “You know, it’s a good thing you grew a mustache,” he paused and carefully chose his next words, “because you look like a girl.”

My high then paved the way for a tremendous happiness while watching my dad enjoy his high. Even though I lived just on the other side of the East River, we didn’t get to spend time like this. Often, I worry about him alone in his house with no one. Last fall, his first dog passed away. Almost instantly, he got a new one.

After ping-pong, we argued about whether the dog is incredibly smart or incredibly dumb. I said that she is incredibly dumb because she keeps eating rocks. He said that she is a genius because she knows how to sit sometimes. Eventually, he gave up on his argument and said it would be a good idea to eat another half of a gummy.

I attempted to make a joke that related his greying hair to his newfound party energy, but talking was hard at that point. Again, I cut a gummy in half, and again he retrieved his glasses to make sure the slices were even.

Now that the weed was slowing us down we decided to watch “The Big Lebowski” on DVD. It took us half an hour to figure out how to turn on the DVD player. Eventually, we were watching the Coen brothers work movie magic.

My dad showed me that movie during hurricane Sandy eight years ago. It has been my favorite movie ever since.

Another wave of emotion hit me when I realized that again, it is just my dad and me navigating a moment of crisis. From disaster to pandemic, with almost everything else uncertain, I know that I can count on my dad to sit me down, and make things feel better. Briefly, I even felt thankful that the virus brought us together for a moment.

By eleven, he said that weed made him feel weird and went to bed. He reminded me that the next day I had to get right back to work.

The next morning, as I am opening emails and making breakfast, he asks, “So how many gummies do we have left?”
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Nurses holding their breath during high-risk COVID-19 procedures, doctor claims
« Reply #15608 on: April 05, 2020, 12:41:03 PM »
A top UK medic tells Sky News of the "harrowing" stories emerging from front line NHS staff battling the coronavirus epidemic.

Dr Rinesh Parmar, chairman of the Doctors' Association UK, said it had been two weeks since Health Secretary Matt Hancock pledged to ensure front line NHS workers had the right protection during the coronavirus outbreak, but warned "sadly that is still not happening".

He told the Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme: "We still have issues with personal protective equipment, with testing of front line staff... so doctors have been left with no choice but to take matters into their own hands.

"Doctors have said that they are having to reuse masks that should be single-use only... and nurses are having to do some high-risk procedures trying to hold their breath, because they are unsure and unaware whether the mask they have been provided is going to offer them adequate protection.

"So this is really harrowing to hear some of these stories across the NHS.

"We have seen doctors resorting to accepting donations from local schools, for example, of science goggles that children would normally be using in their labs.

"We have seen tremendous amounts of effort from local communities to try and get personal protective equipment to doctors in the absence of things coming from the Department of Health."

He said the issues had been brought to light through a new app - - which allows both hospital doctors and GPs to anonymously share their local PPE status in real time.

Dr Parmar said DAUK had joined forces with Messly to create the app and a survey of "hundreds" of medics at more than 150 hospitals since Thursday had revealed 43% of doctors have no eye protection.

He also called for more to be done on COVID-19 testing, saying doctors were going to centres to be checked, only to be turned away because their names were not on the list.

Dr Parmar said that alongside the safety of patients, the safety of the NHS workforce "is our paramount concern".

"Given the severe lack of PPE that is getting through, we're all very concerned about potentially losing more colleagues," he said.

"It's sad to hear that we've already lost doctors and nurses in the line of duty, doing their very, very best for patients, and none of us wants to hear further stories of front line staff losing their lives."

On testing, Dr Parmar said it would be "welcome news" to see in practice that it is being increased, adding: "We've heard from doctors who have been sent to a testing centre only to be turned away and told that their name doesn't appear on a list.

"These are individuals who are isolating, they may not currently have symptoms but they may have family members, for example, in the household who may have symptoms.

"So hearing that almost 15% of doctors - three times the number that the health secretary quotes, are currently off work, is a significant amount of the NHS workforce, and that is a worry going forward."

He added: "We have gone into this pandemic in a position of relative weakness. However, every single member of the NHS is on hand to give 110%, to do everything they can to make sure we pull through this."

A spokesperson for the NHS said: "It is vital that NHS staff get the protective equipment they need to stay safe and the most recent data shows that almost 27 million pieces of protective kit the government have procured for us were delivered to the front line in just one day and 51 million in the 48 hours before.

"Where there are any issues with supply, staff can raise them through a dedicated hotline, which is open 24/7."
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Pope celebrates Palm Sunday mass in nearly empty St. Peter’s Basilica
« Reply #15609 on: April 05, 2020, 12:48:37 PM »

Pope Francis, second from right, holds a palm branch as he celebrates Palm Sunday mass behind closed doors in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican.

VATICAN CITY (UPI) — For the first time, Pope Francis celebrated mass on Palm Sunday in the nearly empty St. Peter’s Basilica because of limitations on large gatherings amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Parishioners worldwide heard and saw his homily via the Internet, radio and television.

Instead of speaking to thousands outdoors from his balcony, the pope gave his homily in the presence of only of a few priests, nuns and a smaller choir, who maintained a safe distance from one another, in the cavernous church.

Italy leads the world with more than 15,000 deaths among 66,000 fatalities globally.

Pope Francis Addresses The COVID-19 Crisis
He addressed the crisis.

“Today, in the tragedy of a pandemic, in the face of the many false securities that have now crumbled, in the face of so many hopes betrayed, in the sense of abandonment that weighs upon our hearts, Jesus says to each one of us: ‘Courage, open your heart to my love. You will feel the consolation of God who sustains you’, ” he said.

Francis described the need to help others: “So, in these holy days, in our homes, let us stand before the Crucified One, the fullest measure of God’s love for us, and before the God who serves us to the point of giving his life, and let us ask for the grace to live in order to serve. May we reach out to those who are suffering and those most in need. May we not be concerned about what we lack, but what good we can do for others.”

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He noted: “loving, praying, forgiving, caring for others, in the family and in society: all this can certainly be difficult. It can feel like a via crucis. But the path of service is the victorious and lifegiving path by which we were saved. ”

He said to prioritize the important things.

“The tragedy we are experiencing summons us to take seriously the things that are serious, and not to be caught up in those that matter less,” the pope said.

Pope Francis Addresses The Youth
Specifically, he called on young people to help others “on this Day which has been dedicated to them for 35 years now.”

The last World Youth Day gathering took place in 2019 in Panama City, Panama, and the next World Youth Day is scheduled for 2022 in Lisbon, Portugal.

He told young people: “Look at the real heroes who come to light in these days: they are not famous, rich and successful people; rather they are those who are giving themselves in order to serve others.”

He ended his homily by saying: “Feel called yourselves to put your lives on the line. Do not be afraid to devote your life to God and to others; it pays! For life is a gift we receive only when we give ourselves away, and our deepest joy comes from saying ‘yes’ to love, without ifs and buts. As Jesus did for us.”

Palm Sunday marks the first day of Holy Week and is one week before Easter.

Pope Francis also will give his Easter homily behind closed doors.
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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As Surgeon General Warns Of 'Pearl Harbor moment', ...
« Reply #15610 on: April 05, 2020, 01:20:21 PM »
 U.S. Surpasses 9,000 COVID-19 Deaths

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Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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Re: As Surgeon General Warns Of 'Pearl Harbor moment', ...
« Reply #15611 on: April 05, 2020, 01:49:27 PM »
U.S. Surpasses 9,000 COVID-19 Deaths

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I can't even listen to him.  He is supposed to be professional not another member of Trumps traveling snake oil extravaganza.

Having typed the above I listened to it.
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Two members of the Kennedy family disappeared in the Chesapeake Bay after they set out in a canoe to retrieve a ball in the water amid windy weather on Thursday afternoon.

Search efforts for the granddaughter of the late Robert F. Kennedy Maeve Kennedy Townsend McKean, 40, and her 8-year-old son Gideon Joseph Kennedy McKean “turned from rescue to recovery” on Friday night, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

“It was dry in the Bay on Thursday; however, it was windy with gusts between 25 to 35 knots (29-40 mph) across much of the Bay,” AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said.

According to Roys, the water temperature in the Bay ranged between 49 to 52 degrees.

“Despite heroic efforts by the Coast Guard and many state and local authorities, the decision has now been made to suspend the active rescue effort. The search that began yesterday afternoon went on throughout the night and continued all day today. It is now dark again. It has been more than 24 hours, and the chances they have survived are impossibly small. It is clear that Maeve and Gideon have passed away,” human rights lawyer David McKean said of his wife in a Facebook post on Friday night.


McKean said the family was self-quarantined at the Maeve’s mother's home off of the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland.

“Gideon and Maeve were playing kickball by the small, shallow cove behind the house, and one of them kicked the ball into the water. The cove is protected, with much calmer wind and water than in the greater Chesapeake. They got into a canoe, intending simply to retrieve the ball, and somehow got pushed by wind or tide into the open bay,” McKean said.

The Coast Guard recovered their canoe, which was capsized and miles away, at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, but no sign of McKean and her son.
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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If Europe, the US and China are struggling to contain it, what chance for millions of people in less developed countries?

Dhaka, Bangladesh… ‘how impossible are the concepts of social distancing and self-isolation.’

It is a terrible thing to see a disaster in the making and be unable to prevent it. Yet this is the prospect confronting us if we dare to look beyond the walls and parapets of a Britain besieged by the coronavirus invader. Tens of millions of people in poorer, less developed countries across the world face a looming catastrophe that appears as unstoppable as it is potentially lethal.

The moment has not quite arrived. But an axe is poised to fall on untold numbers of largely defenceless heads, a massacre almost too appalling to contemplate. As the relatively wealthy countries of the northern hemisphere engage in a noisy struggle to repulse Covid-19, alarm bells are ringing from south Asia to the Middle East and Africa. Mostly they have not yet been heard.

Anybody who has experienced the densely populated slums of Mumbai, Dhaka or Port-au-Prince knows how impossible are the concepts of social distancing and self-isolation for many of their inhabitants. Those who have seen the conditions in refugee camps in and around Syria or Somalia know how limited are the health facilities there, even at the best of times.

The World Health Organization has reported that at least half of the world’s population did not have access to essential medical care even before the pandemic struck. As the global equality charity Plan International Australia has ominously warned, many in these communities, particularly children, suffer from serious underlying conditions such as malaria, tuberculosis and malnutrition.

People living in conflict zones are doubly vulnerable. If you are an inhabitant of Idlib, for example, there is a good chance that any attempt to follow advice, stay at home and stay safe will be disrupted by a Russian or Syrian regime bombing raid. That’s one reason why António Guterres, the UN secretary-general, has called for a global ceasefire in the face of “our common enemy”. There is scant evidence that his plea is being heeded.

The UN has also warned that people in countries whose wellbeing has been damaged by unilateral sanctions, such as Venezuela, Zimbabwe and Cuba, could suffer disproportionately from the spread of coronavirus. This is already the case in Iran. All such sanctions should be lifted immediately, said the UN’s Hilal Elver, to help avoid virus-related food shortages. If the Trump administration heard her call, it has done little about it.

Food insecurity is a growing worry in sub-Saharan Africa, notably the Sahel region. If the disease takes hold there, the World Food Programme says, vital humanitarian supply chains in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger could be further disrupted at a time when millions already face summer food shortages caused by drought and jihadist violence.

From war-scarred Afghanistan to the impoverished Central African Republic, where the Norwegian Refugee Council says there are three ventilators for five million people, fear of imminent disaster is compounded by a chronic lack of resources. And any responses to Covid-19 will be further hampered by unresolved political and security issues left to fester for years.

Gaza is a case in point. Two million Palestinians are crammed into an area of 365 sq km. According to the International Crisis Group, cases of coronavirus have been identified. Now Gaza is preparing for the worst. “A major outbreak would swiftly overwhelm Gaza’s healthcare system, which has been devastated by years of war and Israeli blockade. The death toll could be horrific,” the ICG said last week.

The potential economic impact on the developing world is also a matter of huge concern. Low- and middle-income countries have already been hurt by falling export demand, lower oil prices and a collapse in tourism. Nearly 80 governments have asked for emergency IMF funding, with one estimate suggesting a total bailout of at least £2tn may be necessary.

The resilience of vulnerable states suffering anticipated shocks of such unprecedented social and economic severity is greatly limited when compared, for example, with wealthier nations such as Britain that can call on unlimited borrowing. Lasting, possibly permanent pandemic-related damage increases the risk of social disorder and state violence, as seen in South Africa.

The incidence of Covid-19 in large swaths of Africa, south Asia and Latin America remains limited for now. But there is every reason to believe a virus that has ravaged and humbled the world’s two biggest economies - the US and China - will eventually spread infection to all corners of the globe.

It is not entirely true to say there is nothing we can do but watch. Governments and individuals should support the UN and its agencies; boost foreign aid budgets; donate to international charities; share expertise; offer refuge and succour; and, wherever possible, provide vital medical equipment – all this and more can and must be done. Covid-19 is a universal nightmare, a truly global crisis. All its victims without exception deserve help, wherever they live. If efforts to control the virus in the developing world fail, the human toll could be indescribable. And the disease could become endemic, repeatedly rebounding and recycling through migration, human contacts and second- or third-wave pandemics. It does not bear thinking about.

Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'

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President Donald Trump fired back at Democratic Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker for allegedly "complaining all the time," adding that he "hasn't performed well" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There is a governor, I hear him complaining all the time, Pritzker. He is always complaining," Trump said during Sunday's White House Coronavirus Task Force press briefing. "I just said, 'Give me a list of a couple of the things we've done in Illinois.' We're building a 2,500-bed hospital in McCormick Place, that's a big convention center in Chicago. We're helping to staff it and probably will end up staffing it because he's not able to do what he's supposed to be able to do as the governor."

"He has not performed well," the president added.

Newsweek reached out to the White House for comment.

Trump's criticism of Pritzker came hours after the Illinois governor called out the president on CNN's State of the Union for suggesting that states should have prepared their own stockpiles of medical equipment.

"The president does not understand the word 'federal.' Federal Emergency Management Agency. We have a state Emergency Management Agency, but if he were right, why would we ever need a Federal Emergency Management Agency?" Pritzker said. "It's because individual states can't possibly do what the federal government can do."

Trump had said some U.S. states were "totally unprepared" for the coronavirus pandemic during the White House' COVID-19 press conference on Friday. "We have a federal stockpile, and they have state stockpiles, and frankly they were, many of the states, they were totally unprepared for this," the president said. "So we had to go into the federal stockpile, but we're not an ordering clerk. They have to have it for themselves."

In response, Pritzker told CNN that individual states did not have the power to invoke the Defense Production Act that would have allowed them to prepare for such a pandemic--but noted that the Trump administration did.

"There's no way that we can stockpile in anticipation of a pandemic that no one anticipated, and yet the federal government is responsible for doing precisely that," the Illinois governor said. "And we now know that intelligence sources and all the best advice that was given, was given in January and early February to the president and the White House, and they seemed to not have acted at all upon it."

Prizker also said that if the Trump administration and federal government had invoked the legislation to build ventilators beforehand, then "we would to have the same problems we have today, and frankly, very many fewer people would die."
Mark Twain — 'There are many humorous things in the world; among them, the white man's notion that he is less savage than the other savages.'