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Mon, 30 Mar 2020
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Greta Thunberg says she likely has coronavirus after traveling around central Europe

greta thunberg
Little Greta Thunberg has been pretty quiet lately. Perhaps her puppet masters have deemed her dispensable and no longer have a use for her. She's turned into more of a D-rate Instagram figure now, and she's used that platform to announce that she likely has Covid 19, due to a recent trip across Europe she took with her equally D-rate actor father, Svante.

Her post reads:
The last two weeks I've stayed inside. When I returned from my trip around Central Europe I isolated myself (in a borrowed apartment away from my mother and sister) since the number of cases of COVID-19 (in Germany for instance) were similar to Italy in the beginning. Around ten days ago I started feeling some symptoms, exactly the same time as my father - who traveled with me from Brussels. I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed. My dad experienced the same symptoms, but much more intense and with a fever.

Comment: If she had it all. It could also be that Greta has been missing the spotlight in recent months and needed to find a way to make herself relevant again.

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Coronavirus and why Russians are lucky to be led by Putin

On Tuesday, March 24th, the following happened:

U.S.A. had the world's largest number of new coronavirus-19 cases: 10,168. The prior day, there were 33,546 cases; so, this 10,168 new cases were a 30% increase from the day before.

Russia had 71 new cases, up 19% from the prior day's 367.

Reuters bannered "U.S. has potential of becoming coronavirus epicenter, says WHO" and reported that,
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday it was seeing a "very large acceleration" in coronavirus infections in the United States which had the potential of becoming the new epicenter.
Over the past 24 hours, 85 percent of new cases were from Europe and the United States, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters. Of those, 40 percent were from the United States.

Asked whether the United States could become the new epicentre, Harris said: "We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential.

Comment: See also:


Devil in the details: Media jumps to blame Trump for death of man who self-medicated with FISH TANK CLEANER containing chloroquine

trump chloroquine
An Arizona man has died after consuming a substance used to clean aquariums - but is also found in a drug the US president said could treat Covid-19 - prompting the US media to hop aboard the Trump blame train, details be damned.

The Phoenix-area man and his wife - who survived - ingested a form of chloroquine used as a fish tank cleaner on Monday, reportedly after hearing President Trump mention the chemical on TV. Though the substance is similar to one used in an anti-malaria drug touted as a possible treatment for the coronavirus, the aquarium additive comes in a different form and is highly toxic to humans. But that hasn't stopped a spate of media outlets from casting blame on the president, insisting he encouraged the couple to guzzle down a lethal dose of a dangerous drug.

From NBC, to the Hill - which falsely claimed the man had taken a "malaria medication" - to ABC and beyond, much of the US press corps rushed to place the tragedy squarely on Trump's shoulders. Netizens soon pointed out the problem with that framing, however, shredding the news agencies for running with a "dishonest" narrative.

Comment: Here's another example of "truth in media". Note the headline and compare it to the first paragraph:
Arizona man dies after taking chloroquine for coronavirus

By Deena Beasley

March 23 (Reuters) - An Arizona man has died and his wife is in critical condition after they ingested chloroquine phosphate - an aquarium cleaning product similar to drugs that have been named by President Trump as potential treatments for coronavirus infection.

The couple, in their 60s, experienced immediate distress after swallowing the drug, an additive used at aquariums to clean fish tanks, according to Banner Health Hospital in Phoenix.

Chloroquine phosphate shares the same active ingredient as malaria drugs that President Trump has touted as possibly effective against COVID-19, the potentially life-threatening disease caused by the coronavirus.

On Saturday, Trump tweeted about the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, saying it had "a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine."


Bizarro Earth

HANTAVIRUS the next big killer... really? Twitter spreads groundless MASS PANIC as man in China dies from little-known disease

© Reuters / China Photo ASW
Reports about a Chinese man dying from a rare illness at a time when the international community is struggling to stem the spread of Covid-19 has caused panic on social media. But should we be worried?

People around the world have been closely following the developments around the coronavirus pandemic that has seen hundreds of thousands being infected and claimed more than 16,000 lives. Now, they have been startled by more worrying news about a man in China dying from something called hantavirus.

China's state Global Times newspaper reported that a person from the southern Yunnan province died after testing positive for hantavirus. Since the incident took place while the man was traveling to another province by bus, some three dozen of his fellow passengers were tested for the disease as well.

Bizarro Earth

Multiple explosions at Iraq's Camp Taji housing US & Iraqi forces

taji base
© CC0
According to local reports, at least three explosions were heard at the Camp Taji military base north of Baghdad late Tuesday. The base houses both Iraqi and US forces.

A reporter with Sky News Arabic said on Tuesday night that three explosions had been heard at Camp Taji, an Iraqi military installation that also houses a large number of US troops.

​US forces at Taji have come under attack repeatedly this month, resulting in the deaths of several members of the US-led coalition in Iraq. While Washington maintains the attacks were carried out by Kataib Hezbollah, a Shiite militia in Iraq's Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF), at the direction of Iran, Tehran has denied the accusations.

Comment: See also:

People 2

Coronavirus shutdowns: This is not sustainable

© Lucy Nicholson/Reuters
Raul Gonzalez, Jr., 53, stacks chairs at his Mambos Cuban restaurant in Glendale, Calif., which is being forced to close after 32 years due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, March 18, 2020.
Nor will people stand for it except as a temporary expedient.

Countries have experienced economic depressions before, but not usually as a matter of choice.

The nationwide coronavirus shutdowns over the past two weeks have ground parts of the country to a halt. We have probably never before in our history seen so much economic activity vaporize so quickly — within days or even hours. The Great Depression and the panics of the 19th century are the only possible analogues.

Goldman Sachs is forecasting a 24 percent drop in quarterly GDP. Morgan Stanley is anticipating a 30 percent decline.

These are the top-line numbers of a vastation that will throw millions out of work, stress families and blight personal lives, destroy the dreams of small-business owners, and bankrupt industries. This is a tale of human misery, not just of declines in the stock market and in GDP.

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Bad Guys

Class war in the making? Coronavirus quarantines pit well-off hermits against serfs who supply them

© Reuters / Mike Segar
Delivery workers wait to be summoned in otherwise-shut-down midtown Manhattan
Coronavirus has exposed stark divides in US society as the wealthy hole up in their homes and the poor are reduced to delivering their supplies in often-unsafe conditions. With mass layoffs underway, is class war imminent?

Coronavirus untouchables

New York warehouse workers at FreshDirect and Amazon - the two e-commerce giants emerging as the economic winners in the coronavirus epidemic for their near-monopoly on groceries and, well, everything else - tested positive for coronavirus last week, bringing into sharp focus the high-risk nature of their jobs. Along with gig economy workers - rideshare drivers, couriers, and food-service delivery people - and grocery clerks, the warehouse employees handling the surge in deliveries to pandemic shut-ins represent the "have-nots" of the new coronavirus caste system.

No job security, scant health insurance, and high likelihood of exposure to the virus - these jobs don't come with much to recommend them, but employers can squash any rebellion by dropping a hint that workers are lucky to have a job at all. With so many newly-unemployed ex-bartenders, ex-waiters, and ex-retail workers trying to sign up for benefits that state websites are crashing, no one wants to join the ranks of the newly jobless - ranks that the Trump administration hinted earlier this week could swell to 20 percent of the labor force by the time the pandemic subsides.

Comment: It has been said that when you lose everything, what have you got left to lose? At least in the interim, it seems that the authorities are wise to the need to reassure and placate the masses and there are murmurings of government handouts:

Eye 2

Canada rolls out Big Brother: Trudeau govt. considers using phone location data to identify gatherings of people

A report by The Logic indicates the City of Toronto has obtained data from wireless carriers in order identify gatherings of people
Trudeau self-islolation covid-19

“This is not a suggestion. You cannot stop at the grocery store or visit your family. If people do not follow these guidelines, we will put in place much more stringent measures,” Trudeau said.
Justin Trudeau is not closed to the idea of requesting location data from telecommunications companies in order to spot social gatherings that are contravening orders to self-isolate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the first time since the beginning of the global health crisis, nearly all new Canadian cases of the virus diagnosed in the past few days were caught through community transmission as opposed to travel abroad, Canada's top doctor revealed Tuesday.

On the same day, another bleak milestone was hit in Quebec, which became the first Canadian province to have over 1,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 as community infections continue to grow.

To curb that trend, could the federal government request location data from wireless providers to see when people are ignoring orders to stay home and avoid congregating?

Comment: See also:


New York physicians urge Gov Cuomo to issue order banning sale of all tobacco products to battle coronavirus

Person smoking
© Warren Lynam
A group of doctors and medical professionals think forcing New Yorkers to kick the habit will help battle coronavirus.

The New York State Academy of Family Physicians is urging Gov. Cuomo to issue an executive order banning the sale of all tobacco products, citing a study that found smokers are at an increased risk of being impacted by the respiratory illness.

"As our state and country struggle to respond to the rapidly evolving and escalating COVID-19 pandemic affecting our residents and straining our healthcare system, mounting evidence demonstrates the link between tobacco use and increased risk for progressive COVID-19," the group's president, Dr. Barbara Keber, said in a statement.

Prior to the coronavirus crisis, Cuomo had already made curtailing the growing popularity of vaping a priority.

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Heart - Black

The brass of Bezos: World's richest man wants YOUR donations to help Amazon employees

jeff bezos amazon
© Charles Krupa / Associated Press
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos during the JFK Space Summit at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, June 19, 2019.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the world's first centibillionaire, a man who vies with Bill Gates for the title of the planet's richest individual, is asking the public for donations to provide basic support to his 800,000 employees who are suffering in poverty in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Bezos announced:
"We are establishing the Amazon Relief Fund with a $25 million initial contribution focused on supporting our independent delivery service partners and their drivers, Amazon Flex participants, and seasonal employees under financial distress during this challenging time."
The fund will also support both employees and contractors around the world that face economic hardship due to natural disasters or unforeseen personal circumstances. Those who qualify can apply for a grant of up to $5,000.

Comment: Speechless. Yet it is the perfect illustration that Bezos and his ilk live in a completely different world, physically and mentally, than the rest of humanity.