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Mon, 30 Mar 2020
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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.


Eight killed after medical evaluation flight catches fire and crashes at Manila airport

medical plane crash Manila
© Facebook / Department of Health (Philippines)
Philippines officials load medical supplies into the Westwind jet several days before its crash.
A medical evacuation flight has crashed at Manila Airport in the Philippines, killing all on board. The IAI Westwind jet was reportedly chartered by the Philippine government to evacuate a sick patient to Tokyo.

The jet, which had the registration number RP-C5880, was scheduled to take off from Manilla's Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 8pm on Sunday. Before making it off the tarmac, the plane caught fire, overshooting the runway as flames billowed from its wrecked hull. Fire crews extinguished the blaze within an hour.


Rats swarm New Orleans' as coronavirus shut-down leaves streets empty

rats new orleans covid shut-down
Precautions put in place to slow the rise of coronavirus cases in New Orleans has inadvertently led to a rat problem for the Louisiana city. With restaurants closed save for take-out service, far less food waste is being discarded in the city's alleyways, driving the local rodent population out into the open to search for scraps.

New Orleans' famous Mardi Gras celebration brought thousands of tourists to the city, and medical experts believe it might be a big factor in the city's COVID-19 outbreak. Now with Bourbon Street's famous bars all closed and people social distancing, videos show dozens of rats scurrying through the empty streets.

"I turn the corner, there's about 30 rats at the corner, feasting on something in the middle of the street," Charles Marsala of New Orleans Insider Tours and AWE News told CBS News' Omar Villafranca. Marsala said he had "never" seen anything like it before.


Former Israeli Health Ministry chief Yoram Lass: Lockdown will kill more people from depression than the virus

Yoram Lass
Former Ministry of Health director-general Prof. Yoram Lass has been regularly interviewed by the Israeli media since the coronavirus outbreak first started. But in contrast to the prophets of doom and deep concern shown by most medical professionals, he has presented a somewhat different and controversial opinion. Prof. Lass feels that it is wrong to shut down the entire country because of a virus that is ultimately less of a killer than the flu. In other words, he is saying that taking into account the cost benefits, it is preferable 'to sacrifice' the elderly so that daily life can go on as normal. This is an outlook that has antagonized many and has made him a 'persona non grata' in the TV interview studios.

Lass is at peace with himself over all this and with the voices calling him 'deluded." "I didn't invite myself to the studios," he told "Globes," "and I'm prepared to give my opinion to everybody who is ready to listen."

Do you think you are being excluded because you presented an unpopular position?

"I can tell you that several days ago I heard with my own ears, after I was interviewed on the radio by Nissim Mishal, the deputy director of the Ministry of Health Prof. Itamar Grotto tell Mishal that I shouldn't be brought into studios. And last Friday, I was invited to the studio by Ayala Hasson. Some three days beforehand, they called me and ask not to go anywhere else, and then the day before they cancelled. And who did they replace me with on the program? The futurist David Passig, who told the people of Israel that in the best case scenario 40 million people would die, and in the worst case scenario 300 million people would die. That shows you how the media is only trumpeting hysteria. Because it was clear that if I was sitting next to him, I would only have told an amazed Israeli people that every year 17,000 Italians die of flu while in Israel only 126 dies of flue last year.


COVID: an infectious disease and a phantom pandemic

covid-19 coronavirus
In an essay published on the Saker blog at the beginning of March, I wrote with a restrained skepticism about the novel coronavirus, the narratives surrounding the severity of its adverse health impacts compared to its cousins causing other influenza epidemics, and its reported mortality rates both in Iran and elsewhere. Now, towards the end of March some three weeks, five continents, one hundred ninety two countries, three hundred twenty thousand cases, and thirteen thousand four hundred deaths,[1] and one official pandemic announcement by World Health Organization later, my original skepticism has evolved into a nagging, nuanced, and forcefully persistent suspicion. A lot of things just do not add up.

In this essay, I would like to examine this locally-specific globally-diffused novel coronavirus phenomenon from two distinct yet interlinked angles. From one angle, we look at the phenomenon as an infectious respiratory disease epidemic as it is experienced and weathered by ordinary people in Iran while at the same time, juxtaposing the people's experiences with the official reports of morbidities and mortalities that are either confirmed and/or alleged to be caused by nCoV-19 and/or other factors. From the second angle, we follow this phenomenon as part of a socially-constructed phantom pandemic buttressed with multiple connotations of a zombie virus and amalgamated by death from other causes.

Firstly, I am not using the word zombie in a derogatory manner just to be disrespectful of this lifeless creature. Rather, the use of the term is meant to instill an interest in the readers to dig deeper into the history of the development of these sorts of viruses[2] should they be interested. Cambridge Dictionary defines zombie as "a frightening creature that is a dead person who has been brought back to life without human qualities. Zombies are not able to think and they are often shown as attacking and eating human beings."[3] The evidence that grandparent of this virus and its relatives may have been dug up[3] from the remnants of civilians and soldiers who died of influenza in 1918[4], reversed engineered[5], and genetically augmented[6] in series of experiments far exceeds the evidence that it did not. Exploring potentially choreographed intentional and/or accidental releases of the virus with respect to epidemiological trio of person, place, and time, though interesting and informative, is not the topic of this essay.

Comment: See also: