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Thu, 09 Apr 2020
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What pandemic? Sarasota Memorial Hospital furloughs employees due to 'drastic drop in patient volumes'

The coronavirus pandemic has forced the Sarasota Memorial Health Care System to make tough decisions.

On Friday, Sarasota Memorial Hospital announced it will furlough some workers and reduce hours for others due to a "sudden and drastic drop in patient volumes and revenues."

"This was an extremely difficult decision, and one that we did not make lightly," CEO David Verinder said in a letter to employees. "Staff have gone above and beyond to care for our patients throughout this crisis, even as they have been anxious about the health and well-being of themselves and their families.

The hospital also implemented a hiring freeze as a result of the drop in revenues.

According to officials, Sarasota Memoria Hospital experienced a $16 million reduction in revenue in March. After non-emergency procedures were canceled due to the pandemic, surgery cases fell by more than 50 percent and the hospital saw a 30-percent drop on the number of inpatients, according to the press release.

Gold Coins

Why are individuals and institutions buying gold and silver in droves right now?

gold and silver coins

Comment: Yes, the article below comes from a company that does its business selling and storing gold. The information provided is, nonetheless, a very good summary of the issues at hand; for entertainment and educational purposes of course.

The purpose of this article is purely educational. Increasingly, the wider public is turning to gold in a spontaneous reaction to financial and economic problems that have become suddenly apparent, hastened by the spread of the coronavirus. For everyone now thinking of buying gold it is a leap into the unknown, so they should know why.

It is not just the financially inexperienced, but investment managers and financial advisors are equally unaware of what is happening to money and capital markets. We are in the early stages of a radical debasement of state-issued currencies which is on course to collapse the entire financial system.

I explain the two phases of this destruction of fiat money, the one experienced so far and the one we are about to suffer.

I explain why sound money has always been physical gold and silver, returned to by the people after government and banks have collectively destroyed state-originated unsound money.

Comment: And having enough stored food and needed supplies for an extended period of time is just as - if not more - important to have on hand when conditions worsen.


This is what economic collapse looks like

covid-19 economy
Approximately ten million Americans have filed new claims for unemployment benefits over the past two weeks. To put that in perspective, the all-time record for a single week before this coronavirus pandemic hit was just 695,000. So needless to say, 6.6 million claims in a single week puts us in uncharted territory. Just check out this chart. We have never seen a week like this before, and we may never see a week quite this bad again. Of course millions more jobs will be lost in the months ahead as this pandemic stretches on, but it is hard to imagine another spike like we just had. When you add the last two weeks together, somewhere around 10 million Americans have filed new unemployment claims during that time period...
The torrent of Americans filing for unemployment insurance skyrocketed last week as more than 6.6 million new claims were filed, the Labor Department reported Thursday. That brings to 10 million the total Americans who filed over the past two weeks.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected 3.1 million for last week, one week after 3.3 million filings in the first wave of what has been a record-shattering swelling of the jobless ranks. The previous week's total was revised higher by 24,000.


Is it Brave New World or 1984? Here are a few dystopias we ALREADY live in

This is the Voice you have learned to fear
© Warner Brothers / Reuters / Toby Melville
This is the Voice you have learned to fear
The post-coronavirus future is looking grim: economic collapse, martial law. It's not like we weren't warned humanity was heading south, however, and there's a lot more doomsaying to explore beyond Orwell and Huxley.

Who wouldn't want to live in a future described as "a boot stomping on a human face, forever"? It's all but impossible to describe Western life in 2020 without invoking George Orwell, who crystallized the police-state paranoia not only of the Cold War but of its tech-enabled aftermath with '1984'.

Constant surveillance by an omnipresent 'Big Brother' keeps citizens in line, while the 'memory hole' greedily sucks down inconvenient history as fast as the government's scribes can rewrite it.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, Aldous Huxley laid out the infantilizing future of those societies that don't fit the Orwellian mold in 'Brave New World', in which the elevation of the mindless pursuit of pleasure to the focus of life makes totalitarian repression almost beside the point, keeping citizens dumb and docile with drugs and sex.


Two killed in refugee stabbing attack in French town of Romans-sur-Isère

Romans-sur-Isère attack
A Sudanese refugee went on a knife rampage in a town in southeastern France on Saturday, killing two people in what is being treated as a terrorist attack.

The attack in broad daylight, which President Emmanuel Macron called "an odious act", took place with the country on lockdown in a bid to stem the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

Counter-terrorism prosecutors have launched an investigation into "murder linked to a terrorist enterprise" after the rampage in a string of shops in Romans-sur-Isere, a riverside town with a population of about 35,000.

Eye 1

Zoom privacy debacle shows the danger of our reliance on Big Tech during coronavirus lockdown

© Reuters / Albert Gea
A student takes classes online with his companions using the Zoom app in El Masnou, north of Barcelona, Spain April 2, 2020
Security vulnerabilities video conferencing app Zoom have revealed the danger of putting blind faith in big tech's coronavirus solutions. Zoom was riddled with privacy issues for years, and its competitors aren't much better.

With more than half of humanity under some form of lockdown, those lucky enough to keep their jobs have gotten to grips with video conferencing apps, with Zoom the most popular. According to Zoom CEO Eric Yuan, the app had 200 million daily users in March, up from 10 million just three months earlier.

However, it didn't take long for problems to emerge.

First, "zoom-bombers" discovered public video chats and jumped in, hijacking them with porn and racial slurs. In one case, swastika-tattooed scoundrels interrupted a classroom session to spout profanities, prompting the FBI to issue a warning.


Man commits self-immolation outside Pakistan's PM house

Pakistan police
© FILE PHOTO Athar Hussain / Reuters
A man self-immolated outside Prime Minister's House on Friday.

According to Islamabad Deputy Commissioner Hamza Shafqaat, the man was "mentally disturbed".

He said that the deceased, identified as Faisal Mehmood, was a resident of Murree and was mentally unstable and a drug addict.

The claim about Mehmood's mental health could not be independently verified.


Could the Covid-19 response be more deadly than the virus?

The initial, alarming estimates of deaths from the virus COVID-19 were that as many as 2.2 million people would die in the United States. This number is comparable to the annual US death rate of around 3 million. Fortunately, correction of some simple errors in overestimation has begun to dramatically reduce the virus mortality claims.

The most recent estimate from "the leading US authority on the COVID-19 pandemic" suggests that the US may see between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths from COVID-19, with the final tally likely to be somewhere in the middle." This means that we are expecting around 150,000 US deaths caused by the virus, if the latest estimates hold up.

How does that compare to the effects of the measures taken in response? By all accounts, the impact of the response will be great, far-reaching, and long-lasting.

To better assess the difference we might ask, how many people will die as a result of the response to COVID-19? Although a comprehensive analysis is needed from those experienced with modeling mortality rates, we can begin to estimate by examining existing research and comparative statistics. Let's start by looking at three critical areas of impact: suicide and drug abuse, lack of medical treatment or coverage, and poverty and food access.


'Expert' COVID prediction of 50K hospitalizations in NY by April 1 turned out to be 400% too high

NYC Navy hospital ship
© Kena Betancur / Getty Images
The USNS Comfort, a Navy hospital ship, is docked at Pier 90 on April 3, 2020, in New York City.
As coronavirus models go, the one put forth by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, or IHME, has been one of the more optimistic ones.

According to The Washington Post, the model predicted 38,000 to 162,000 deaths in the United States — lower than most models and lower than the White House estimate of 100,000 to 240,000 deaths.

Even though it may be conservative, however, the IHME model might not have been conservative enough.

Take New York, the epicenter of the disease. According to the IHME model, the state would have needed 50,962 hospital beds on April 1, on the way to peak usage April 9. On that day, it would need 76,130 hospital beds.

Comment: Seems even New York's manipulation of the death rate by including any symptom that is vaguely like the coronavirus as a cause of death hasn't worked out so perfectly. No worries. Most people won't see these details, and most of those who do will see through the facts because 'people are dying'!

Russian Flag

Russian FSB prevents terrorist attack after shoot-out with Dagestani ISIS

Russian FSB
© Sputnik
The Russian FSB prevented the attacks that members of international Islamist groups planned to carry out in the Stavropol Territory and the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area. This was announced today, April 3, at the Center for Public Relations (CSP) of the FSB of Russia.

In the Stavropol Territory, terrorist acts were prepared by members of the cell of the Islamic State terrorist group (ISIS). One local resident and a native of Dagestan planned attacks on police officers and terrorist acts at objects of mass stay of citizens.
"One of the criminals was detained by the forces of the special forces of the FSB of Russia in Neftekumsk, the second engaged in armed resistance and was neutralized," the TsOS said.
In the city of Lyantor (Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Okrug), the FSB, in conjunction with the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, detained three members of a cell of the Caucasus Emirate group (banned in the Russian Federation) who were preparing a terrorist attack on one of the city's retail facilities.
"They discovered and seized a home-made explosive device ready for use, components for the manufacture of IEDs, weapons and ammunition," the FSB said.