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Mon, 30 Mar 2020
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COVID-19: A pathologist weighs in on the misrepresentation and spin

hindenburg disaster

Going down in flames
Slowly, slowly the truth is coming out — not everyone is ruled by hype, emotion and images

In announcing the most far-reaching restrictions on personal freedom in the history of our nation, Boris Johnson resolutely followed the scientific advice that he had been given. The advisers to the government seem calm and collected, with a solid consensus among them. In the face of a new viral threat, with numbers of cases surging daily, I'm not sure that any prime minister would have acted very differently.

But I'd like to raise some perspectives that have hardly been aired in the past weeks, and which point to an interpretation of the figures rather different from that which the government is acting on. I'm a recently-retired Professor of Pathology and NHS consultant pathologist, and have spent most of my adult life in healthcare and science - fields which, all too often, are characterised by doubt rather than certainty. There is room for different interpretations of the current data. If some of these other interpretations are correct, or at least nearer to the truth, then conclusions about the actions required will change correspondingly.

The simplest way to judge whether we have an exceptionally lethal disease is to look at the death rates. Are more people dying than we would expect to die anyway in a given week or month?


Nigeria: Massive explosion splits Akure-Owo road, dozens of houses damaged

crater nigeria explosion akure

A crater caused by the Ondo explosion
On March 28 morning, a massive explosion rocked a suburb of the city of Akure, the capital of the southern Nigerian State of Ondo.

According to Nigerian sources, the explosion split Akure-Owo road and inflicted serious damage on dozens of houses, 50 to 100, as well as a school and churches.

Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, revealed that the explosion was a an accident. According to the governor, a fire broke out in a vehicle within a convoy transporting explosives to a storage facility in a neighboring state, which caused the explosion.

Comment: Punch news site reports:
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has said a vehicle moving improvised explosive devices to a nearby state caused the explosion that rocked Akure, the state capital.

The PUNCH reports that the explosion which occurred in the early hours of Saturday split the Akure-Owo Road into two, destroying over 50 buildings. Akeredolu, who inspected the scene of the explosion on Saturday, said he was briefed by security chiefs.

He explained that the vehicle was in a convoy heading to a storage facility in a neighbouring state when it broke down along the Akure-Owo Road, some 2km to the Akure Airport.

The governor said the explosion, which destroyed over 50 buildings, happened in the process of fixing the vehicle.

He said the state would commence work on creating an alternative route for commuters due to the importance of the split Akure-Owo road.

He said, "I have been briefed by the security chiefs that in the early hours of Saturday, March 28th, a vehicle in a convoy transporting explosives to a storage facility in a neighbouring state developed a fault while in transit along the Akure Owo Road about 2km from the Akure Airport.

"Security personnel and other individuals transporting the ordinances noticed smoke from the vehicle. After several attempts to extinguish the resulting fire failed, the vehicle and its consignment ignited causing a massive explosion that was felt in Akure and its environs.

"Presently, efforts are being made to ascertain if there are casualties.

"I have directed that the area be cordoned off to allow the explosive ordinance department/bomb squad to extricate the vehicle buried underground because it is unclear if there are still explosives that are yet to be detonated.
There are conflicting reports. According to The Cable, the crater was caused by a meteorite impact:
The explosion that rocked Akure, Ondo state capital, on Saturday, was caused by a giant rock from space known as meteors, a team of experts have concluded.

A meteor is what happens when a meteoroid - a small piece of an asteroid - burns up upon entering earth's atmosphere, creating a streak of light in the sky.

The experts led by Adepelumi Adekunle, a professor of geophysics and earthquake engineering at Obafemi Awolowo University, said the meteors impacted the location from "an angle of 43 degrees".

Rotimi Akeredolu, governor of the state, had told journalists the blast occurred after a truck conveying explosives to a quarry exploded.

"I have been briefed by the security chiefs that in the early hours of Saturday March 28th, a vehicle in a convoy transporting explosives to a storage facility in a neighbouring state developed a fault while in transit along the Akure Owo Road about 2km from the Akure Airport," the governor had said.

But Adekunle said findings by his team suggest the explosion was caused by a natural phenomena, thereby contradicting the governor.

He added there was no evidence of a buried vehicle, buried ordinance or explosives from the site, and that "foreign rocks and strange metallic objects" were found within the crater crated.

His report read: "My Research group carried out a detailed analysis of the impact site. A circular impact crater with 21m diameter and 7.8m depth was found which suggest a natural phenomenal.

"Water was found oozing out from the edges of the crater. A preliminary in situ vibration, noise, seismicity, water analysis, radioactivity studies, rock and soil investigation were carried out.

"Our findings suggest that the impact of the blasting covers 1km radius of the surroundings of the crater. No evidence of fire or Burning of anything was found within the vicinity.

"No evidence of radioactivity radiation was found within the crater and immediate vicinity. The field evidence point to a conclusion that a meteoric from an asteroid belt that travels at a great speed from space impacted the location at an angle of 43 degrees created an ejecta at South-Western part."


We were wrong: So sorry that we ruined your life

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York, is moving up in the betting odds for getting the Democratic presidential nomination, even though he is not running. The reason is that binge-watching newshounds have noticed something about his comportment during this crisis. He seems just slightly struggling to know what's true. Sometimes he is even honest.

Consider this. On Thursday March 26, Cuomo dared question the orthodoxy that has wrecked countless businesses and lives. He revealed what actual experts are saying quietly all over the world but had yet not been discussed openly in the endless public-relations spin broadcast all day and night.

He said the following:
If you rethought that or had time to analyze that public health strategy, I don't know that you would say quarantine everyone. I don't even know that that was the best public health policy. Young people then quarantined with older people was probably not the best public health strategy because the younger people could have been exposing the older people to an infection.

Comment: See also:

Heart - Black

Frightened mobs in Peru burn hundreds of bats with torches as coronavirus hysteria grows

Scared Bat
As the coronavirus outbreak continues to grow, misinformation in the form of fake news, rumors, and gossip have continued to feed mass hysteria and panic over the deadly disease.

In Peru, this has resulted in locals attempting to fight CoViD-19 by attacking communities of bats despite the fact that the novel virus still hasn't been decisively proven to have originated from the winged creature.

On Wednesday, the Peruvian government issued a statement warning residents to stop killing bats after authorities were forced to intervene when roughly half a thousand of the flying mammals came under attack by gangs of peasants hoping to exterminate what they believed were carriers of the disease, reports Peruvian network América Noticias.

Roughly 300 of the creatures were killed in the arson attacks that took place in the small village of Culden, which lies in the Cajamarca region, after mobs attacked the caves where the bat communities dwelled, Peru's National Service of Wild Forests and Fauna (SERFOR) announced.


Cat and dog adoptions surge as shelters find creative ways to reach out amid pandemic

Shelter puppy
The coronavirus pandemic has rippled through society, disrupting and transforming lives in myriad, unpredictable ways.

However, amid the crisis people have gone out on a limb not only to help each other but also to help homeless pets find temporary housing as animal shelters feel the impact of lockdown orders throughout the country.

Organizations like the Asheville Humane Society in North Carolina have had to suspend volunteer care jobs, forcing them to find alternatives to their traditional methods of finding foster parents for homeless cats and dogs.

However, after launching an online appeal to recruit temporary foster families, the humane organization found that their community was more than willing to step up and help take care of foster pets in need.


UN FAO warning: Current health crisis may trigger global food crisis as countries restrict exports

Food shortage sign
© Walmart
If the Covid-19 infection does not get you thanks to government prevention measures, the downside is that these steps may deprive you of fresh food, including fruit and vegetables.

While people rushed to stock up on toilet paper and other supplies as the coronavirus crisis escalated, some countries decided to enforce protectionist measures, including export bans for certain products, to satisfy growing domestic demand.

"The worst that can happen is that governments restrict the flow of food," Maximo Torero, chief economist of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, told the Guardian, adding that we may face the consequences of these steps soon.

For example, Russia halted exports of buckwheat and other grains for 10 days starting from March 20. Neighboring Kazakhstan followed suit and introduced restrictions on shipments of wheat flour, buckwheat, sugar, several types of vegetables, and sunflower oil.

The UN official warns that protectionist measures and trade barriers only make the situation worse, creating "extreme volatility." Another problem is that some countries now lack the workforce to harvest the crops due in part to border closures and domestic lockdowns.

Comment: While the coronavirus has been designated and treated as a pandemic of global proportions, the looming crisis is 'what is not in the pan'! Global food shortages are already here and on the rise, harbingers of the approaching ice age. Lessons on the surface remind us to look for deeper lessons underneath - and do it quickly!


The real #covidiots

park defying quarantine
Those who rush to denounce others often reveal their own ignorance.

More than 500,000 Brits have signed up to be NHS volunteers to help vulnerable people through the coronavirus epidemic, smashing a 250,000 target in just 24 hours. It's a welcome reminder of how good people are, and we needed it. In recent days you'd be forgiven for thinking we are all feckless idiots who aren't taking this virus thing that seriously because we are simply too thick or too selfish to care. At least, that has been the message pumped out by the self-important of social media.

'Covidiots' is the ugly coinage that has been used to shame anyone who some nosey sort deems to have erred. We may not, to the chagrin of many in the media, be in a full continental-style lockdown, in which police are demanding papers and soldiers sit on every street corner. But we do at least have public denunciations and snitching, via an army of the smartphone-wielding self-righteous, ready to pap and shame anyone with too much loo roll in their trolley or too little distance between themselves and other joggers in the park.

Comment: Jordan Peterson warned us that, given the right circumstances, we wouldn't be that different from the guards at Auschwitz. This isn't far off. People evidently need little incentive to become Gestapo rats, joyously snitching on their fellow citizens.

Eye 1

COVID-19 outbreak is the Trojan Horse to increase smartphone surveillance

smartphone surveillance
The coronavirus outbreak is proving to be the Trojan horse that justifies increased digital surveillance via our smartphones.

All over the world, starting with China - the suspected origin of the COVID-19 outbreak - governments are increasing surveillance of citizens using their smartphones. The trend is taking off like wildfire; in China citizens now require a smartphone application's permission to travel around the country and internationally.

The application is AliPay by Ant Financial, the finance affiliate controlled by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma, and Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeChat. Citizens now require a green health code to travel, Yahoo News reported.

Comment: See also:


Covid-19 news: China resumes domestic passenger flights in Hubei; Moscow enters lockdown

Hainan Airlines plane
© Thomas Peter / Reuters
A Hainan Airlines plane taxies at Beijing Capital International in Beijing, China, March 13, 2020.
Beijing has allowed civilian air travel in its Hubei region, where the Covid-19 outbreak originally began, after a strict lockdown was lifted in all of its major cities except for Wuhan.

The first domestic passenger flight took off at midnight on Sunday as all cities in China's central Hubei Province, with the exception for Wuhan, resumed regular civilian air travel, local media reported. Officials earlier said that airports in the major cities of Xiangyang, Enshi and Shennongjia - all of which had been quarantined in January - are among those to reopen for domestic flights this week.

Wuhan's Tianhe Airport will start passenger flights from midnight on April 8, when the quarantine is expected to be lifted from the city. Wuhan was the original epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, which prompted Beijing to enforce a strict lockdown in the area.

The number of new Covid-19 cases has since dropped significantly in Hubei as authorities began to gradually ease travel restrictions and prepare the cities for the resumption of normal life.

Comment: While China has declared victory over the spread of the coronavirus within China, they are also warning of the possibility of a second outbreak caused by imported cases. Thai inmates sparked a jail riot over fears of catching the virus. Singapore, which has one of the lowest rates of case-doubling in the world so far, nullified a man's passport for violating a self-quarantine order. Germany registered fewer new cases than they did in the last few days - under 4k. But German officials are still issuing dire warnings, e.g., that the health care system could buckle like in Italy. Spain saw another record day of tallied deaths (allegedly Covid-related), but the rate of new infections dropped, as in Germany. Italy's economy minister clashed with European Commission chief von der Leyen after she said the EU would not issue "corona bonds" to help affected countries:
"The commission president's words were a mistake and I regret that she made them," Italian Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri told reporters at a news conference on Saturday, stressing that Europe needs "a great Marshall Plan" to keep its economy afloat.
In an interview with DPA, von der Leyen did not rule out the idea of 'corona bonds' but said that they were "not the plan" the EU was working on. "The word corona bond is actually just a buzzword," she said. The option was similarly dismissed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who said that creating 'corona bonds' was "not... the view of all EU countries."
Trumps Covid advisor, Dr. Fauci, is also issuing dire predictions, presumably pulled out of thin air (or somewhere less pleasant):

New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut residents have all been advised to avoid non-essential travel for 14 days. The husband of a Netanyahu adviser reportedly tested positive. Iran confirmed 2,901 new cases, and IRGC chief Salami issued the following advice to the U.S.:
The American leadership should "really care about the lives of their people in New York and the states involved with coronavirus rather than thinking about Hollywood scenarios and killing people in Iraq," Major General Hossein Salami, Chief Commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), pointed out.
Salami reminded his audience that Washington has already "tested the power" of Tehran and "knows very well how Iran will react to any efforts to undermine it." Claims by some US officials that they will continue to "carry out limited operations against the Iranians" were "nothing more than a political bluff."

So, instead of causing havoc around the globe and only "deteriorating its own power," the America had better keep its military at home "like Iran, which has used its armed forces to fight the coronavirus," IRGC chief said.
The rate of deaths in the UK dropped today, but the first UK healthcare worker died from the virus. Russia's emergency plan may cut into their economic growth. Moscow issued a stay-at-home order for the city (just short of full quarantine). Mayor Sobyanin said:
"The situation with the spread of the coronavirus has entered a new stage. More than 1,000 cases of have been recorded in Moscow already. No one is safe [from getting infected]," Sobyanin wrote on his blog on Sunday.
"Please, stay safe. All Moscow residents must stay home in the coming week. If you are on the street or at the store, maintain safe distance," he warned. "Everyone is seeing what is happening in Italian and Spanish cities, in New York where tens and hundreds are dying daily."
Just because things are particularly bad in Italy, that doesn't imply that things will be that bad elsewhere. For whatever reasons (in addition to the mere presence of the virus), Italy seems hardest hit.

See also:

Yellow Vest

Trouble on the horizon: Locals in Sicily take food and tell cashier they cannot pay, armed police move in to protect supermarkets

sicily food loot
Police with batons and guns have moved in to protect supermarkets on the Italian island of Sicily after reports of looting by locals who could no longer afford food.

The novel coronavirus has claimed more than 10,000 lives across the Mediterranean country, about a third of the world's total, creating the worst emergency Italians have known since World War II.

Simultaneously, it has eroded the economy, which had been the third-largest in the European Union before the new illness reached Italian shores from China last month.

A lockdown designed to curb contagion has shut almost everything across the country since March 12, depriving millions of steady incomes.

Comment: And so it begins? UK's empty supermarket shelves: Panic is not the problem

Good job, Globalist Managers of Earth. You have broken the system that feeds people and thus you.

Soon they're going to turn on YOU.