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No, life during the coronavirus isn't like Gaza

Palestinian girl candle
© REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
A Palestinian girl lights a candle inside her house during a power cut in Jabalya in the northern Gaza Strip November 17, 2013.
One post has been going viral on social media, that asks: "Dear World, how's the lockdown?' Signed: Gaza." The suggestion is that people in Italy, Spain, France, or the U.S., now know how Palestinians in Gaza live. The post has even been shared by Palestinians from Gaza itself, as well as by Arabs in various parts of the world. Writing about the newly-imposed restrictions on travel and large gatherings in Europe, as well as the horrific reality of having to do a triage of patients in overwhelmed hospitals in Italy, Ahmed Abbas asked: "How can I not think of Gaza?"

Speaking for myself, as someone who does think a lot about Gaza, I can say this much: I live just outside of Seattle, that is, the U.S. epicenter of the COVID-19 epidemic, and I fit in the high risk category, since I have asthma, as well as high blood pressure-the latter being now suspected as an aggravating circumstance, because a disproportionate number of fatalities apparently also had high blood pressure. I am self-quarantining, and am out of my staples: brown rice, lentils, and chickpeas, essential to my vegan diet. Nevertheless, while I understand the impulse to remind the world that Gaza has been under lockdown for thirteen years, I have found the meme comparing my current circumstances with the 13-year siege on Gaza unnerving, and am compelled to point out some significant differences, which Abbas indeed alludes to.

I still have electricity. That means I am not reading by candle light, my internet is on 24 hours a day, my fridge is running, as are all my electric appliances, from dishwasher to microwave. It also means my freezer is full, so while I may run out of fresh greens, I do have frozen spinach. I expect to have electricity throughout this pandemic.

Comment: While the world all over is not oppressed to the degree which Palestinians are, the draconian measures we are all seeing will eventually lead us to that point if we continue to submit to their insane policies. See also:


European philosopher Giorgio Agamben on coronavirus: 'The enemy is not outside, it is within us'

Giorgio Agamben

Giorgio Agamben
"What is a society that has no value other than survival?" Giorgio Agamben asks, in this piece published today in Italian on the blog Quodlibet. The essay was republished on Medium, and in an authorized translation by Adam Kotsko , who described it as the important European philosopher's "indirect response to the controversy surrounding his article about the response to coronavirus in Italy." It was also included in the European Journal of Psychoanlysis, in a round-up of thoughts on "Coronavirus and Philosophers," and from there to Facebook, where it came to my attention:

Brick Wall

Britain buckles, follows global madness into full 'coronavirus lockdown'


No, this isn't a scene from '28 Days Later'

What do the new restrictions involve?

In brief: an Italian-style lockdown to force people to stay at home beyond a small range of very limited circumstances. Under the terms explained by Boris Johnson in his TV address, people will be allowed to leave home only for the following reasons:
  • shopping for necessities, as infrequently as possible;
  • one form of exercise a day, such as running or cycling, alone or with household members;
  • for medical or care needs, for example to help a vulnerable person;
  • travelling to and from work, but only if you cannot work from home.
Meeting friends, shopping for anything beyond essentials, and gathering in crowds are now banned.

Comment: The slow creep of fascism isn't so slow any more.

See also:


Teenage girls arrested after 'coronavirus-linked racial attack' in Southampton

police line
© PA
The two girls remain in custody after being arrested in Southampton.
Two teenage girls allegedly assaulted a group of Chinese people in a suspected coronavirus-linked incident.

The pair, aged 14 and 15, are reported to have shouted abuse at the four people, who were wearing medical face masks, before confronting them.

The alleged incident, which occurred on March 17 in Vincent's Walk, Southampton, is believed to have been racially aggravated and linked to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Arrow Down

Coronavirus: Teens held for 'coughing in face' of elderly couple

Paynes Park, Hitchin
© Google
The pair were approached by three people in Paynes Park, Hitchin
Three teenagers were arrested after an elderly couple were allegedly coughed at in the street.

The couple were approached by three people in Hitchin, one of whom is said to have coughed in their faces.

A passer-by intervened and there was "an altercation" which left a woman in her 70s with a black eye, police said.

Pumpkin 2

The Coronavirus Hobgoblin

The great H.L. Mencken, a classical liberal when such creatures still existed, once wrote, "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary." I find myself repeating this quote more and more these days.

America, and the rest of the world, is in the throes of a panic that has never been seen before, outside the fanciful scripts of Hollywood. A new "super" virus, the Coronavirus, is being hyped nonstop by our state-controlled media as the new bubonic plague. The fear porn emanating from our television sets is relentless.

Attempting to urge calm, and discuss this subject rationally is very difficult. Hysterical shoppers have wiped the shelves clean in many stores. Toilet paper, for whatever reason, is being hoarded by nearly everyone. I have done what I can, with my own limited platform. I've had guests like the veteran medical fraud expert Jon Rappoport, and Dr. Steven Hotze, on my radio show "I Protest." Most listeners, and most of my contacts on social media, seem to agree that this thing is being wildly over hyped. Some agree with my growing suspicion that it is, in fact, a hoax.


US woman gets $34,927.43 bill for coronavirus treatment

covid 19
A woman in the United States says she was billed $34,927.43 after being tested and treated for the coronavirus, Time magazine reports.

When Danni Askini first came down with the symptoms of the virus — shortness of breath, a fever, a cough and migraines — she was told by a doctor to go to the emergency room. There, she was told she had pneumonia and could go home. She visited the emergency room two more times as her symptoms persisted and worsened before she was finally tested for the coronavirus. Three days later her results showed she had COVID-19.

The tests and her treatment for the viral illness all took place while Askini was uninsured and before President Trumpsigned congressional measures ensuring free diagnostic testing. After, she got a bill totaling $34,927.43.


Julian Assange's lawyers to apply for release on bail, citing risk of Covid-19

free assange
© REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Lawyers for Julian Assange are to make a bail application for the WikiLeaks co-founder, arguing that he is in imminent danger of contracting the deadly novel coronavirus at the center of a global pandemic while in prison.

The Australian is currently being held in the notorious maximum-security Belmarsh prison in London on a US extradition warrant for publishing classified information about the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

WikiLeaks released a statement on Monday, saying the 48-year-old's legal team would now be pushing for bail at a hearing at Westminster Magistrates court in London on Wednesday.
Julian Assange falls into a category of persons who should be released to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.


Cancel culture setback: 'Toxic pariah' and 'menace to society' Woody Allen finds a publisher for memoir

woody allen
© REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
Filmmaker Woody Allen has found another publisher for his controversial memoir, bypassing attempts to cancel him, that at one point involved employees of his previous publisher walking out in protest.

New York-based Arcade Publishing announced on Monday they are the new home for Allen's memoir, titled 'Apropos of Nothing.' Arcade calls the book a "candid and comprehensive personal account" of Allen's life.

Editor Jeannette Seaver said in a statement that her company refuses to "bow to those determined to silence" Allen.

Comment: Previously:


A plea from doctors in Italy: To avoid Covid-19 disaster, treat more patients at home

coronavirus victims
Bodies of coronavirus victims from Bergamo, Italy, are unloaded Saturday upon arrival at a cemetery in Ferrara, where they will be cremated.
A dozen physicians at the epicenter of Italy's Covid-19 outbreak issued a plea to the rest of the world on Saturday, going beyond the heartbreaking reports of overwhelmed health care workers there and a seemingly uncontrollable death toll to warn that medical practice during a pandemic may need to be turned on its head — with care delivered to many patients at home.

"Western health care systems have been built around the concept of patient-centered care," physicians Mirco Nacoti, Luca Longhi, and their colleagues at Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo urge in a paper published on Saturday in NEJM Catalyst, a new peer-reviewed journal from the New England Journal of Medicine. But a pandemic requires "community-centered care."

The experience of the Bergamo doctors is crucial for U.S. physicians to understand "because some of the mistakes that happened in Italy can happen here," said Maurizio Cereda, co-director of the surgical ICU at Penn Medicine and a co-author of the paper. The U.S. medical system is centralized, hospital-focused, and patient-centered, as in most western countries, "and the virus exploits this," he told STAT.