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Tue, 07 Apr 2020
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California police to use patrol drones with night-vision cameras during coronavirus lockdown

drone coronavirus quarantine
© China Daily via Reuters
People in rural China are being publicly shamed by talking drones for not wearing face masks or for venturing outside unnecessarily.
A California police department is planning on using drones equipped with cameras and loudspeakers to monitor a coronavirus shutdown.

The Chula Vista Police Department recently doubled its fleet of drones, purchasing two of the machines from Chinese company DJI. The police department told the Financial Times that they would be outfitted with night-vision cameras.

"We have not traditionally mounted speakers to our drones, but ... if we need to cover a large area to get an announcement out, or if there were a crowd somewhere that we needed to disperse, we could do it without getting police officers involved," said Capt. Vern Sallee.

"The outbreak has changed my view of expanding the program as rapidly as I can," Sallee added.

Bizarro Earth

LA County Sheriff orders closure of gun stores, releases 1,700 inmates

© ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva has released 1,700 inmates from county facilities and is ordering gun stores in the county closed.

Fox 11 reports the gun store closures are part of the coronavirus stay-at-home order while the release of the inmates is an attempt to slow the spread of the virus in county facilities.

Villanueva is the Director of Emergency Operations, which means "all FEMA requests go through him, and all National Guard requests go through him."

Arrow Down

Italian nurse with coronavirus kills herself over fear of infecting others

Daniela Trezzi
© Newsflash/Daniela Trezzi
A 34-year-old Italian nurse working on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic took her own life after testing positive for the illness and was terrified that she had infected others, according to a report.

Daniela Trezzi had been suffering "heavy stress" amid fears she was spreading the deadly bug while treating patients at the San Gerardo Hospital in Monza in the hard-hit region of Lombardy, the Daily Mail reported.

She was working in the intensive care unit while under quarantine after being diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the UK news site.


States across the US, attacking 2nd Amendment by forcing gun stores to close, but many are fighting back

gun store closings
In case you are just waking up from a coma, America is currently in utter turmoil. Panic buying has emptied shelves across the country, millions of unemployed people are spending their last dollar on food, hundreds of cities have been placed on lockdown, and cops are using Chinese-made patrol drones to monitor citizens 24-hours a day. In a matter of just 2 weeks, America has shifted from the land of the free to the land of the economic collapse and newly ushered in police state. As if things couldn't get bad enough, governments across the country are now stripping people of their constitutional right to bear arms by forcing gun stores to close.

With so much uncertainty on the horizon, there has never been a better time for a citizen to be prepared to defend themselves and their family. The market is reacting appropriately to this demand and business has boomed for the gun industry in the past week, with long lines stretching outside gun stores across the country. The Wall Street Journal reports that on March 16, background checks were up 300% compared with the same day last year, according to federal data shared with the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

However, this is becoming increasingly harder to do thanks to executive orders and court rulings that have shuttered gun stores from coast to coast.

Heart - Black

Cruelties pile up: Julian Assange denied bail by London court in spite of poor health and danger from coronavirus

assange protest
© Agence France-Presse / Daniel Leal-Olivas
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been denied bail by a London court after his lawyers argued that the Covid-19 pandemic posed a serious threat to his health in light of his pre-existing conditions.

Judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that the global pandemic "does not provide grounds" for Assange's release.

The judge also cited Assange's "past conduct" which she said "shows the lengths he is prepared to go to avoid extradition proceedings," according to the AAP's reporter in court.

Comment: It's clear the US and UK are hoping that Assange's death will solve their problem for them. How sick is that?


Holiday week, financial support for affected & taxes for rich: Putin lays out coronavirus emergency plan - and other Covid-19 updates

putin covid
© Sputnik / Konstantin Mikhalchevskii
Russians will get a week of paid leave and a boost to benefits for those most in need, while the wealthiest will have to pay more revenue taxes, the Russian president said as he presented his plan to deal with the coronavirus.

Speaking in a televised address on Wednesday, President Vladimir Putin announced a number of measures designed to support the Russian people and the national economy amid the increasingly serious threat of coronavirus in the country. He said there was no feasible way to keep the virus out, but that an efficient, coordinated effort to preempt and mitigate the damage will help protect people from the worst outcomes.

Week-long holiday

One of the immediate decisions taken by the government was to declare next week a long national holiday in Russia. Salaries for the days off will still be paid, Putin said. This is expected to help slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The president warned against underestimating the threat posed by the virus and said everyone should act responsibly.
Please, don't think like people often do: 'This cannot touch me.' It may touch anyone.
Constitution vote postponed

Russia will also postpone the national vote on constitutional amendments, which is currently scheduled for April 22. The package of constitutional amendments was tabled by Russia's president back in January and greenlit by legislators earlier this month.

Comment: Violating quarantine in Russia may result in up to seven years in prison, if new regulations are passed. Russian military specialists have arrived in Italy to help with the crisis there:
The convoy, composed of 22 trucks and other vehicles, set off for the northern Italian city of Bergamo early on Wednesday. The convoy, escorted by the Italian Carabinieri, has reached Florence, making a brief stop there, the Russian military says.

One hundred Russian military medics and disease specialists were airlifted to Italy over the weekend, landing at Pratica di Mare Air Base 30km (18.6 miles) from Rome. The team, deployed to help Italy in its fight against coronavirus, brought mobile laboratories, disinfection vehicles, coronavirus test kits, and other equipment to battle the disease.
How's that for optics? While the EU does nothing, help comes from Russia with love. Here's how the mayor of Bergamo described the situation to RT (keeping in mind that the public nature of the crisis will cause more people with serious illnesses to go to the hospital who otherwise might have received treatment elsewhere, thus contributing to overwhelming the system):
The healthcare system has been entirely overwhelmed by the outbreak, Gori told Il Messaggero on Wednesday, with everyone "working from 8am till we collapse exhausted in the evening."

"Too many people are arriving in hospitals late and in grave condition, requiring intubation in intensive care units," Gori said, adding that more than 300 people died last week in Bergamo region alone.
Many just can't make it to a hospital and die at home. Nearly all of them are elderly people with pneumonia and are Covid-19 cases that had slipped under the radar.
The mayor warned that it is "difficult... to intercept such people in time, and there is no room for everyone in the hospitals."
Extrapolating from Italy's Sismg mortality data, Bergamo province ordinarily experiences between 150 and 200 deaths per week around this time of year, with spikes of up to 300. There is no doubt some overlap between the Covid-related deaths this last week, and people who would have died regardless, but it does show that the region is experiencing more deaths among the elderly than usual, especially considering that only 8% of deaths in Italy on average are from respiratory illness.

Italy recorded 683 deaths over the last day, a dip from 743 the day before. Note that unlike Spain, Italy's death cases are "confirmed" by testing, although everyone who dies while testing positive counts as a covid-related death, even if the virus can't be identified as the cause of death. 99.2% of deaths have been in people with serious pre-existing conditions, and only 12% have listed the coronavirus as a direct cause of death.

Local French authorities have banned alcohol sales in Aisne, ostensibly to cut back on family violence. Spain officially overtook China's death toll with 3,434 reported deaths (again, Spain is not testing, so these are all guesses). Wuhan recorded zero new cases, and Hubei residents boarded trains in large crowds as restrictions were finally removed. India banned the export of hydroxychloroquine. London City Airport is closing under the lockdown. Prince Charles tested positive, suffering mild symptoms.

New Yorks governor says NYC will close some streets to cars, allowing them to be used by pedestrians, because people don't currently have enough space to adequately follow the new "social distancing" rules. Pennsylvania reversed the Covid-19 gun sale ban by classifying gun shops as "life-sustaining businesses". Trump's response to Romney testing negative was slightly amusing:

Here's UN Chief Guterres's take on the current situation:
"Global action and solidarity are crucial. Individual country responses are not going to be enough," Guterres said on Wednesday.

The secretary general said the Covid-19 crisis is unlike anything the UN has faced in its 75-year history and is pleading with the developed world to raise trillions of dollars to help poorer countries fight off the deadly viral scourge.

The UN is launching a $2 billion program to help the world's poor fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Guterres has repeatedly called for aid from G20 nations this week as the global pandemic worsens and threatens to reach what he described as "apocalyptic proportions."

He also called for a ban on tariffs, quotas and other trade restrictions, as well as the waiving of sanctions which might impede countries from getting much needed food and medical supplies.

Guterres also suggested the G20 should create a mechanism for dealing with future pandemics, though he did not specify what form this would take. He said that a "two-digit" percentage of the global economy should be allocated to improving response to pandemics.

Meanwhile, the IMF and the World Bank have called for governments to suspend debt payments owed by the world's poorest nations to free up resources to fight the pandemic.
Sounds to us like he's exaggerating...

See also:


Los Angeles Mayor: Water, power will be shut off if you don't close up shop

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
© Getty Images
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti threatened "non-essential" businesses Tuesday that if they do not obey the city's "stay at home" order to close during the pandemic crises, he will cut off their water and their electricity.

Speaking at his daily briefing, the mayor described his new enforcement initiative (via KTLA 5):
The mayor went on to announce the "business ambassadors program" — an effort to get nonessential businesses to close.

"This behavior is irresponsible and selfish," he said of those that remain open.

He said the Department of Water and Power will shut off services for the businesses that don't comply with the "safer at home" ordinance.

Neighborhood prosecutors will implement safety measures and will contact the businesses before issuing further action, according to Garcetti.

"The easiest way to avoid a visit is to follow the rules," he said.


Decadent like the late Roman Empire, the West is committing suicide through its irrational response to Covid-19

Colosseum and Arch of Constantine
© Getty Images / Marilla Sicilia / Archivio Marilla Sicilia / Mondadori Portfolio
Colosseum and Arch of Constantine during the Coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). Rome (Italy), March 19th, 2020.
Many think Covid-19 is some kind of alien invasion that spells the end of the world. But the real threat to us is a much deadlier virus: a hatred of all the values that have underpinned our civilisation for centuries.

For years, I was puzzled as to why the Roman Empire ceased to exist and was replaced by communities that were uncivilized by comparison. How and why could mankind's progress reverse in this way? Recent experience has eliminated the mystery. No special devastating event was needed; the cause of Rome's demise was simply the loss of its people's desire to support their 'empire' and its underlying values. And as it was 1,500 years or so ago, so I fear it is now.

The Covid-19 crisis - specifically, the reaction to it - demonstrates that people have grown bored, detached, and easily impressionable by things that have nothing to do with the roots of their society. We are all - or too many of us - fin de siècle Romans now.


Greta Thunberg says she likely has coronavirus after traveling around central Europe

greta thunberg
Little Greta Thunberg has been pretty quiet lately. Perhaps her puppet masters have deemed her dispensable and no longer have a use for her. She's turned into more of a D-rate Instagram figure now, and she's used that platform to announce that she likely has Covid 19, due to a recent trip across Europe she took with her equally D-rate actor father, Svante.

Her post reads:
The last two weeks I've stayed inside. When I returned from my trip around Central Europe I isolated myself (in a borrowed apartment away from my mother and sister) since the number of cases of COVID-19 (in Germany for instance) were similar to Italy in the beginning. Around ten days ago I started feeling some symptoms, exactly the same time as my father - who traveled with me from Brussels. I was feeling tired, had shivers, a sore throat and coughed. My dad experienced the same symptoms, but much more intense and with a fever.

Comment: If she had it all. It could also be that Greta has been missing the spotlight in recent months and needed to find a way to make herself relevant again.

See also:


Coronavirus and why Russians are lucky to be led by Putin

On Tuesday, March 24th, the following happened:

U.S.A. had the world's largest number of new coronavirus-19 cases: 10,168. The prior day, there were 33,546 cases; so, this 10,168 new cases were a 30% increase from the day before.

Russia had 71 new cases, up 19% from the prior day's 367.

Reuters bannered "U.S. has potential of becoming coronavirus epicenter, says WHO" and reported that,
The World Health Organization said on Tuesday it was seeing a "very large acceleration" in coronavirus infections in the United States which had the potential of becoming the new epicenter.
Over the past 24 hours, 85 percent of new cases were from Europe and the United States, WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris told reporters. Of those, 40 percent were from the United States.

Asked whether the United States could become the new epicentre, Harris said: "We are now seeing a very large acceleration in cases in the U.S. So it does have that potential.

Comment: See also: