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Tue, 31 Mar 2020
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No new cases in Hubei, China, 93% recovery rate - and other worldwide Covid-19 news

china masks
© Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins
People wearing face masks exit a subway station following an outbreak of Covid-19, in Beijing, China. March 30, 2020.
No new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded in China's central Hubei Province and its capital Wuhan, where the outbreak originally began, the National Health Commission (NHC) told reporters during a press briefing on Monday.

Overall, 81,470 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in mainland China since the beginning of the outbreak, and 75,770 of them have subsequently recovered and were discharged from the hospitals, a health official said. This makes the recovery rate in the country close to 93 percent.

Chinese doctors have recorded 31 new cases and four deaths in the past 24 hours, with all but one of the new cases are linked to people arriving from overseas.

Imported cases of Covid-19 are now the government's main concern since NHC spokesperson Mi Feng said on Saturday that the domestic transmission of the disease had "basically been stopped."

There are currently 723 imported cases of Covid-19 in China after Beijing banned foreigners from visiting the country earlier this week.

Comment: The Chinese embassy in France says that haters "envy the efficiency of our political system and hate the inability of their own nations to perform as well. So they try to stick the 'dictatorship' label on China." If the disease isn't as bad as everyone thinks, then the "efficiency" of the Chinese response is self-congratulation over nothing (or not much, at least). As Dr. John Lee puts it:
If we take drastic measures to reduce the incidence of Covid-19, it follows that the deaths will also go down. We risk being convinced that we have averted something that was never really going to be as severe as we feared.
Around the world, global cases passed 700k. The European death toll passed 25k (though actual deaths caused by Covid-19 are probably a fraction of that). Spain's rate of fatalities fell (though health chief Fernando Simon tested positive, like several other health ministers worldwide). Germany recorded another 4,751 cases (around 800 more than the day before). The UK spread of the virus shows signs of slowing. (PM Johnson's top adviser Dominic Cummings also came down with symptoms and is self-isolating. Prince Charles is out of isolation, health improved.) US cases have almost reached 150k, with 2,500+ deaths. NYC first responders have had a record number of emergency calls. Athony Almojera, a Fire Department lieutenant and supervisor, told RT:
"In the last few days we've done over 44,000 calls. Just to give you some perspective, we normally do only about 4,000 calls a day," he explained. "9/11, which was the busiest day for the EMS, we've done 6,300 calls roughly. For the last couple of days we've done over 7,000."
US stocks rose, but global markets are sinking. Netanyahu decided to self-isolate after confirmation that one of his aides tested positive (and after initial reports that Netanyahu wouldn't self-isolate). Iran's FM Zarif says US sanctions on life-saving drugs are leading Iran into a 'humanitarian catastrophe'. In India, Modi denied that the lockdown there would be extended past April 14.

And in Russia, the Orthodox Church has told worshipers to stay at home. In Moscow, data shows that almost half of Covid-19 patients are between 18 and 40 years old.

See also:


Authoritarian hysteria: Armed vigilantes chop down tree, block driveway to force neighbor into quarantine

house in Maine
A group of armed vigilantes cut down a tree and dragged it across a man's driveway in Maine to force him to quarantine in his home amid fears he could be infected with the coronavirus, officials said.

A man residing on Cripple Creek Road in Vinalhaven, an island off the coast of Maine, called authorities around 3:35 p.m. Friday to report a group of people with guns had cut down a large tree and dragged it in front of his driveway, blocking access to the main road.

The man said he left his house to check his property when he noticed the cable went out. The unidentified man said he retreated to his home and hailed the Coast Guard for help using a VHF radio after a neighbor began yelling at him to get indoors and remain quarantined.

The armed group had dispersed before authorities arrived. Deputies with the Knox County Sheriff's Office, along with the Maine Marine Patrol and a Coast Guard boarding party, responded to the scene. The incident remains under investigation.

Comment: The fear pandemic is now showing its ugly and oppressive face in greater numbers. So sadly for many Americans and individuals elsewhere, we are seeing an uptick in irrationality - and an impetus to make life miserable for anyone not sharing in this thought-disease.


Fascism: Maryland ups the ante on coronavirus quarantine enforcement with $5,000 fine or one year in PRISON

empty parking lot
© Reuters / Mary Calvert
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan has issued a stay-at-home order for state residents, warning that violations are punishable by fines of $5,000, a year's prison time, or both, the heftiest sentence yet as states strengthen penalties.

Hogan effectively locked down Maryland residents on Monday, declaring that as of 8pm that night leaving one's home for any other reason than "an essential job or for an essential reason such as obtaining food or medicine, seeking urgent medical attention or for other necessary purposes" would incur the steep punishment.


Scientists must look dispassionately at Covid-19 so they can see what it is, not what they fear: Rushed science can be bad science

© Getty Images / Pierre Crom
No one likes uncertainty, especially when it comes to the threat of death posed by the coronavirus. Demanding certainty may be human, but we should be very wary of rushing to quick conclusions driven by fears rather than evidence.

It is inevitable that the "something must be done" demands to stem the coronavirus are placing immense pressure upon governments and scientists. At times like these, there is a tendency to shut down debate, to become increasingly intolerant of different views, disagreements and challenges.

But challenging the experts has become a fundamental part of defeating Covid-19, not a divergence from this fight.

Bad Guys

Italy's lockdown has been a recipe for disaster

italy lockdown
© Getty
More than 80,000 people in Italy are known to be infected with Covid-19 and 8,215 have died from it - nearly twice as many as any other country.

Yet despite this dreadful outcome, in a video conference of G7 foreign ministers on 25 March Italy's foreign minister, Luigi Di Maio, boasted about Italy's lockdown model. 'In these weeks the other countries have recognised that Italy's approach is the model to follow', said Di Maio. His statement implies that the Italian government's response to coronavirus was based on a rational model and guided by strategic thinking. But the government's key actions prove this is a myth.

First, on 31 January, after two Chinese tourists in Italy tested positive for Covid-19, the government became the first Eurozone country to ban all direct flights between Italy and China. As there are high volumes of business between the countries, it was inevitable people would continue to travel anyway, only indirectly. There are more than 300,000 Chinese people working in Italy and some of them were likely to be travelling back to Italy after Chinese New Year on 25 January.

Comment: From the article Planetary Hysteria: Manufactured COVID-19 'Health Crisis' Pushes Humanity, Global Society to Total Shutdown:
The fabric of societies has been shredded, human interactions have been altered, economies decimated. All based on a manufactured pretext, mass manipulation, and media-inducted mass panic.

Humanity was treated to a similar crippling shock event with false flag event of 9/11, the manufactured global "war on terrorism". But this one dwarfs all previous events, and all previous wars, including the world wars.

The authorities — global, national, regional, local, community by community — have moved in terrifying lockstep. This is the Deep State, out in the open.

Eye 1

Moscow mayor issues strict Covid-19 pandemic order, stopping short of complete lockdown - UPDATE: Russia extends lockdown to entire country

Comment: UPDATE 30 March 2020

24 hours later, they're extending it to the whole of Russia.

Govts have apparently been instructed to 'let people down gradually, so as not to shock them too much at once'.

© Sputnik / Anton Denisov
Moscow, where the number of coronavirus cases now exceeds 1,000, has introduced a tough self-isolation regime. From Monday, residents of the Russian capital will be only allowed to leave their homes in cases of absolute necessity.

Under the new rules, Muscovites can go outside if they need urgent medical help or to purchase food or medicine, for which they must use their nearest stores. They may also throw out trash and pet owners will be permitted to walk animals, inside a radius of 100 metres from their buildings.

The decree, issued by Mayor Sergey Sobyanin, applies to all age groups. People can continue to go to work, if they must, and enter or leave the capital. Moscow is Europe's largest city, with a population of over 13 million. The surrounding Moscow region, which has introduced similar restrictions, is home to another 7.5 million, meaning the metropolitan area dwarfs the likes of London and Paris.

Eye 1

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: Harvard professor exposes Google and Facebook

Shoshana Zuboff

Prof. Shoshana Zuboff
"In a room where people unanimously maintain a conspiracy of silence, one word of truth sounds like a pistol shot." ~ Czesław Miłosz1
In recent years, a number of brave individuals have alerted us to the fact that we're all being monitored and manipulated by big data gatherers such as Google and Facebook, and shed light on the depth and breadth of this ongoing surveillance. Among them is social psychologist and Harvard professor Shoshana Zuboff.

Her book, "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism," is one of the best books I have read in the last few years. It's an absolute must-read if you have any interest in this topic and want to understand how Google and Facebook have obtained such massive control of your life.

Comment: It's a brave new world, where everything you say do (even think?) is known and influenced by actors you have no knowledge of. The dystopian future you've been reading about is now.

See also:


Oil on the verge of dipping below $10 a barrel - UPDATE: Canadian oil now worthless at $6, and still falling

Comment: UPDATE 30 March 2020

Canadian oil has fallen to just $6.50. That's 6.50 in US dollars...

Canadian analysts say they expect it to drop all the way to zero in the coming weeks.

total oil
The wave of oil industry spending cuts continues, with the majors now announcing significant reductions to spending as oil remains stuck in the $20s. Royal Dutch Shell said on Monday that it would cut spending by 20 percent, or about $5 billion, and also suspend its share buyback plan. French oil giant Total SA and Norway's Equinor announced similar moves.

ExxonMobil and Chevron have suggested they too would be axing their budgets, with Exxon under particular pressure. Goldman Sachs estimates that Chevron needs $50 per barrel in order to cover spending and its dividend. ExxonMobil, on the other hand, needs something like $70.

The majors are relatively more insulated from the downturn than small and medium-sized shale drillers because they have downstream refining and petrochemical assets that have typically performed somewhat better than upstream units when prices fall. Refineries, for instance, spend less on oil during the downturn, and low prices also translate into a boost in sales of refined products.

Comment: See also:

Road Cone

EasyJet grounds fleet, troubled airlines need bailouts, airline staff drafted in to help at hospitals

© Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters
About 4,000 of easyJet’s 9,000 UK staff will be furloughed for at least two months from 1 April.
EasyJet has grounded its entire fleet of aircraft for at least two months and will seek to reduce £4.5bn in spending, including payments for new planes from Airbus, in response to the collapse in demand for air travel because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The budget airline said it could not put a firm date on restarting commercial flights and 4,000 of its 9,000 UK staff will be furloughed initially for two months from 1 April.

Comment: Interestingly, according to Wiki, the word furlough was officially defined only recently:
The word furlough was first defined officially in the UK on 24 March 2020 in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. The government announced a new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to enable businesses to continue paying part of their employees' salary for those that would otherwise have been laid off.[12]

EasyJet also said it would seek to pay less for new aircraft after its founder, Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, threatened to call repeated shareholder meetings to remove directors until the airline reconsidered buying 107 new aircraft from Airbus. The new Airbus planes are a major part of easyJet's planned £4.5bn in capital expenditure up to 2023.

Comment: See also:

Microscope 1

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

coronavirus microscope
The novel coronavirus SARS-COV-2, which causes the Covid-19 disease.
German researchers plan to introduce coronavirus 'immunity certificates' to facilitate a proper transition into post-lockdown life, as Chancellor Angela Merkel's handling of the crisis has led to a boost in the polls.

The antibodies will indicate that the test participants have had the virus, have healed and are thereby ready to re-enter society and the workforce. The researchers plan to test 100,000 members of the public at a time, issuing documentation to those who have overcome the virus.

The researchers will use the information to determine how to properly end the county's lockdown, including re-opening schools and allowing mass gatherings.

Comment: See also: