Tag: Lockdown

Spain sees new COVID-19 cases double

As Spain saw new COVID-19 cases inch up for the second day in a row on Wednesday, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said Spain’s economy is the world’s most susceptible to damage from a second wave of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Spanish doctors diagnosed 167 COVID-19 cases, according to the Ministry of Health data published Wednesday. On Monday 84 cases were detected, and on Sunday the number hit a record low of 48 cases.

The number of new contagions still remains a fraction of what it was at its peak of nearly 10,000 per day in late March.

So far, a total of 242,280 people have been confirmed to have contracted the virus in Spain. Of this group, 27,136 people have died, according to official statistics which have not been effectively updated for weeks.

Besides the loss of life and costs to the healthcare system, new economic projections released by the OECD give Spain even more reason to worry about a second outbreak.

The organization suggests that Spain would be the most economically affected economy in the world if a second coronavirus wave were to occur. It estimates that country’s GDP would plummet by 14.4%.

According to the report, fall in domestic demand due to job destruction and paralyzed activity would be a key driver of the historic slump. It also predicts that tourism losses this year will weigh heavily on the country’s economy.

Current projections by the Bank of Spain suggest the country’s GDP will drop this year by a minimum of 9%.

And while the coronavirus’s national spread has seemingly come under control for now, once Spain opens its borders to international travel on July 1, containing the pandemic could become more complicated.

Globally, the virus is spreading more rapidly now than earlier this spring. Last Sunday saw the confirmation of over 136,000 COVID-19 cases, the highest daily number since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, Spain’s government has also put into law the post-lockdown scenario. To help prevent a second wave, face masks, hygiene measures and physical distance will remain mandatory until an effective treatment or vaccine is discovered.

Sky News: Boris Johnson to announce zoos can reopen in latest easing of lockdown

Zoos and safari parks will be allowed to reopen next week, in the latest moves to relax coronavirus lockdown rules being announced by Boris Johnson.

Bowing to pressure from MPs, animal-lovers and conservationists – including his own father Stanley – the prime minister will declare that zoos can reopen from next Monday, 15 June.

Outdoor attractions where people stay in their cars, such as safari parks and drive-in cinemas, will also be allowed to reopen from Monday, given the low risk of coronavirus transmission.

Perspectives on the Pandemic | The (Undercover) Epicenter Nurse | Episode Nine

Erin Marie Olszewski is a Nurse-turned-investigative journalist, who has spent the last few months on the frontlines of the coronavirus pandemic, on the inside in two radically different settings. Two hospitals. One private, the other public. One in Florida, the other in New York. And not just any New York public hospital, but the “epicenter of the epicenter” itself, the infamous Elmhurst in Donald Trump’s Queens. As a result of these diametrically opposed experiences, she has the ultimate “perspective on the pandemic”. She has been where there have been the most deaths attributed to Covid-19 and where there have been the least. Erin enlisted in the Army when she was 17. She deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Part of her duties involved overseeing aid disbursement and improvements to hospital facilities. While in country she received the Army Commendation Medal for meritorious service, and was wounded in combat. Erin eventually retired as a sergeant, and became a civilian nurse in 2012. Erin is a medical freedom and informed consent advocate. She co-founded the Florida Freedom Alliance but no longer has any connection with the organization.

New Scientist: Is it safe for coronavirus ‘shielders’ in the UK to go outside now?

THE easing of lockdown restrictions in the UK has prompted growing concern from those taking extra precautions because they are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus. On 31 May, the UK government announced that so-called shielders in England and Wales could now leave their homes. But what is the evidence behind the idea of shielding vulnerable people, and is it really safe for this to now stop?

Many countries have told those thought to be at higher risk from coronavirus due to illness or age to take extra safety precautions. But because this virus is so new, advice has largely been based on people’s best judgements, rather than scientific evidence, and the details of the advice has varied between countries.

The UK has been unusual in distinguishing between two groups of people at higher risk. In March, letters were sent to about 2 million people thought to be “clinically extremely vulnerable”, including some people with cancer, lung conditions such as severe asthma, and those who had had an organ transplant or have weak immune systems. Recipients were told they should stay home at all times. If they had no friends or family who could fetch essentials, they could get food parcels sent.

The Guardian: Pub gardens in England could reopen from 22 June – reports

Opening beer gardens before the end of the month would give struggling pubs a psychological boost but most would still lose money, JD Wetherspoon’s founder, Tim Martin, has said.

The government is reportedly ready to let pub beer gardens in England reopen from 22 June as part of plans drawn up by a group of ministers, dubbed the “Save Summer Six”, who are looking at ways to restart the hospitality industry earlier than initially planned.

The proposals, first reported in the Financial Times, would allow some of the 27,000 pubs that have outdoor space to serve customers for the first time in three months.

The Guardian: Coronavirus lockdown halts surge in UK slavery

Number of suspected victims of modern slavery falls for first time in four years

The number of suspected modern slavery victims identified in the UK has fallen for the first time in four years due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Home Office has said.

Officials said the decrease “is understood to have been influenced by the effects of restrictions implemented in the UK as part of the response to the Covid-19 pandemic”.

The UK’s national referral mechanism (NRM), the official system through which victims of modern slavery are identified and provided with support, received 2,871 referrals of potential victims in the first quarter of 2020 – a 14% fall from the previous three months. This is the first quarter-on-quarter fall since 2016.

Travel restrictions by other countries on people coming to the UK, increasing numbers of people self-isolating and businesses shutting after the lockdown on 23 March are understood to be some of the factors behind the decline.

Ministers have said people referred through the NRM will continue to be able to access support and government-funded accommodation through the pandemic.

Potential victims would usually be assisted to find new accommodation after 45 days, but will be able to remain for three months to protect them from Covid-19.

BBC News: How the UK is sleeping under lockdown

More than half the UK population has struggled with sleep during the lockdown, a survey suggests.

King’s College London researchers said sleep problems were more common in people facing financial hardship, while two in five reported having more vivid dreams than usual.

Some people slept for longer than usual, but without feeling rested.

The findings are based on online interviews in late May with 2,254 UK residents in the 16-75 age bracket.

The study was carried out by market research company Ipsos MORI and King’s College London.

Blog: The crazy world of social media debating

Why is it that people with no prior knowledge on a specific subject, choose to interject during an ongoing debate but complain when their argument gets pulled apart by those who know their stuff or just more up to date?  The usual get-out of jail card sounds something like “imagine how you’d feel…” or “shut up you [insert negative label here]”. 

Curiously, the most common behaviour is to turn on their opponent and list a series of negative traits, usually in the vein of “you’re never wrong are you”, “you just have to be right all the time” or even bringing up old personal skeletons (this one above all demonstrates the lowest form of intelligence – if you want to call it that). 

Like, frustration alone is good enough to somehow open the heavens and be appointed the winner, or at least neutralise the conversation and call a draw.  Like, there was no Aristotle, there was no Newton, or Einstein.  Like our science only works in hospitals, construction sites and rockets, but in all other places, science is a more caring, living entity that takes your feelings into account and deep-down, recognises everyone as a winner.  Rather than interject blindly, why don’t these people use the opportunity to learn something new?  Debates are a great source for new reading topics.  People seem to only use them to get their daily hit of endorphins by winning, whether they actually do or not is irrelevant to them. When you have more information than over a million combined Alexandria libraries at the touch of a thumb in your pocket, ignorance becomes a choice!

How is it that we are so far gone that even logical syntax can vary from person to person?  That’s right, people with no clue who Aristotle even is, are just making up their own logic syntax patterns as they go along.  You give some people 2+2 and all they ever throw out is sixes and sevens.  There are a number of contributing factors to this problem and make no mistake, it is a huge problem and the very root to most of society’s problems today. 

To some extent, I blame participation-trophy culture and similar modern-day practices that play a big part in the shaping of society.  The result is someone with no clue on a subject, but will interject anyway, lose spectacularly, then insult everyone at the table for not seeing it how they want it to be.  Even though there is an accepted way to go about things including, the scientific method and a logic syntax that has endured for thousands of years.  Most young adults and teens today have had a childhood of adult mediators intervening in arguments, forcing a truce even though one person was usually in the wrong.  This principle has made it’s way into everyday life and the result is sitting right there on your social media feed.

Today, unless you have a specific career in mind, there is no real incentive to have further education, to grow your vocabulary, your knowledge, your intelligence, to continue independent learning. It isn’t rewarded proportionately either.  Nay, in many schools it is even fashionable to be a total dumbass!  Nowadays, you can mess around in school, fail your tests or not even turn up to your exams, spend your 20s partying hard and you can still salvage a life and even start a career that requires very minimal intelligence and live a comfortable life.  There is no real incentive to continue learning after school years, for most people, learning is a part of childhood and adults just get on with the slow dumbing down process.  

Blame the education system, which on a structural level has changed very little since the days of the orphan workhouses.  Blame a pop culture that supports “beauty” over brains.  A music scene that gives the biggest platform to the simplest musical structures and lyrics.  I bet half the parents who let their little kids listen to Little Mix haven’t even heard the lyrics properly.  We have been educated to believe we are entitled to be right.  That your opinion is like your own little Light of Earendil against the Shelob.  Sadly, it’s not. 

This part is so cool. Frodo does know some Elvish... (With images ...
your opinion is like your own little Light of Earendil against the Shelob

I wouldn’t have gone to the effort to write this article, but ignorance and stupidity is rife, it needs to be recognised as a debilitating trait in human society.  It’s the only real pandemic I have seen this year and it doesn’t seem to be showing sign of letting up any time soon.

Blog: You can go ahead and put Black Lives Matter in your “socially-acceptable reasons to break social distancing” folder

So let me just clarify something… Because it’s Black Lives Matter, people are amiably sharing “protest in your [insert local town]” posts. Ultimately, promoting large gatherings in built up areas. Major cities in countries around the world are “protesting” over something that is happening in the US? I understand showing respect, creating a political message and/or raising awareness, but all these countries outside of the US…who exactly are you protesting to? What exactly are you protesting, that you think will positively affect the situation right now in the US? I really don’t get what these other countries are hoping to achieve.

Also, I think it’s fair to say you can go ahead and put Black Lives Matter in your “socially-acceptable reasons to break social distancing” folder. Not to be confused with “don’t sit beside your dying son” or “don’t have anyone attend your Dad’s funeral” , which are firmly situated, as you know, in the “unacceptable reasons” folder

(to confirm: my personal view is that the lockdown is completely ridiculous and is an unjustified abuse of rights and liberties. Unless we have something like Ebola on our doorstep, spreading like fire then I will never support a government intervention on our liberty. The cost to public health, independent businesses and the wider economy, is just too great in the long term. (economy – another way of saying “the way we afford world leading healthcare, education, defence, law enforcement, justice, fire and personal care services”) I personally don’t have a problem with anyone protesting, at all. I just think they should be protesting for their own rights (which are still very much at stake) and therefore makes more sense to protest. Also the glaring and cringed hypocrisy is barely forgivable, considering the last few months have been mostly self-enforced by the people. That’s just my honest opinion.

I have people on my social media who, only last week were spewing the worst kind of bile online over people not observing lockdown and social distancing guidelines going out to beaches and parks etc even accusing people of murder, are now sharing pictures and promotional material encouraging people to gather in their local town to protest.

What. The actual. F*#%?!

Not sure who is more thick here, them or me for ever engaging in the first place. The thought that I could ever hope to make certain people understand something other than the thing they merely want to understand, in hindsight, was a tall order from me.

When the cold hard sinking realisation sets in that you have been wasting your time all along, it can leave you feeling somewhat obtuse. You live and you learn. I’ll be spending the majority of my time, going forward, thinking-up ways to make information clearer and more accessible to those who actually want it.

New Statesman: The silence of the chief scientists is worrying and deeply political

The chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, and chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, did not speak out when asked about the Dominic Cummings affair, compromising urgent public health messaging. This makes their positions untenable.

In the astonishing UK government update on the pandemic on the evening of Thursday 28 May, we watched the relationship between government and science collapse before our eyes. Much of the media coverage has focused on Boris Johnson’s muzzling of his chief medical officer (CMO) Chris Whitty and chief scientific adviser (CSA) Patrick Vallance, as he intervened to prevent them from answering questions about the public health repercussions of Dominic Cummings breaking the lockdown rules. But that much was business as usual: we should by now be used to this increasingly isolated prime minister shutting down inconvenient debate.

WHAT’S THE RIGHT CONSPIRACY? by Richard Banker

Boris Johnson groupies are the most extreme instance of putting blind faith in this ‘posh boy’ media pinup and that our rulers are benevolent. in reality, he’s a serial liar, abuser of power, incompetent, out for his own ends and archetypal ruling class. I arrived at the conclusion in my uni days that they conspire against us . The is a long standing right wing elite conspiracy bent on reversing civilised advances of the 1945 political settlement including making the NHS the same as the insurance based US healthcare system, destroying trade unions, etc. They see it as a ‘temporary aberration’. Political adviser, Dominic Cummings is archetypal, firstly over Vote Leave and now effectively Prime Minister pulling the strings on Johnson. Cummings is the bad guy to watch more than anyone else.

For the last 10 years, the Tory government has contracted out parts of the NHS to ripoff private contractors like Richard Branson,lumbered it with ruinous PFI mortgages attacked pay and conditions of junior doctors and nurses. From 2015, I was active in a group supporting junior doctor demonstrations and opposing Derbyshire health chiefs from cutting 535 hospital beds on instructions from above . The recent Panorama programme showed how not restocking PPE for hospitals in the name of cost cutting so large quantities became medically obsolete. This failure was why over 300 doctors and nurses died of COVID. At the same time, PPE stocks were centred on hospitals but patients were discharged to nursing homes and spread COVID in a closed in environment amongst elderly disabled inmates. Only a few months into the crisis did they include these figures into the lists of those who’ve died. These poor sods haven’t had a chance.

The NHS was set up by the 1945 Labour Government to free people from the fear of escalating medical bills, a GP gatekeeper system handling referrals where they couldn’t treat, an ambulance service, health visitors and especially preventative medecine including vaccination (and, from my experience a Live Well clinic for healthy eating and exercise). It was set up as part of a programme of social improvement including clean water, public health and decent housing. My personal experience of the NHS one way or another is quite extensive one way or another. It is compatible with those with alternative medecine (and probiotics). 

I’m highly aware that lockdown legislation includes a ban on gatherings of more than 2 for 2 years (even with proposed relaxation) so national protest demonstrations will be illegal for the first time under the letter of the law (A year or so back, they tried to charge national demonstrations for the cost of policing, sealing off traffic so they have history) Johnson is still bent on Brexit and selling off the NHS

This country had enough warnings of the coronavirus and the WHO on Jan 30th decided that the outbreak constituted a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern.” (Its on the WHO coronavirus timeline) . It strongly advised countries to set up a test and trace programme, immediate lockdown, social distancing. All other European countries followed this advice while Johnson opted for ‘herd immunity’ and we must ‘take it on the chin’. He let the Cheltenham Races go ahead, the most effective way of spreading COVID far and wide. He wasn’t guilty of draconian lockdown but on the contrary, too little too late as the lockdown only kicked in on March 20th . On top of this, the ‘stay at home’ ,’control the virus’ mantras let Cummings and Johnson off the hook for their gross negligence towards the NHS for 10 years prior and during the pandemic. The ‘stay alert’ mantra is both vague and puts responsibility for catching COVID on the individual and not on the government.

I checked the origins of the world Health Organisation on Wikipedia and it comes directly under the auspices of the United Nations and not the fiefdom of Bill Gates. it’s worthwhile noting that Trump is threatening to cut funding to the WHO on his own nationalist and backside covering motives and not out of philanthropy. where Trump leads, the alt right social media surely follows. 

by Richard Banker 

Blog: Whatever happened to “catch it, bin it, kill it”?

The ‘2-metre rule’ or ‘social-distancing’ are terms that were ‘conjured out of nowhere’, there is no scientifically credible reason why social distance should replace individual diligence and common sense. The rule is simply there because, in the government’s eyes, we cannot be trusted. [1]

The lockdown will be lifting soon, we are all expecting it.  I’ve just been looking today at some example of preparations businesses and organisations are choosing to make before lifting the lockdown.  A theatre in Germany are removing chairs from theatres to create distance between audience members [2], in the US and UK some schools have introduced marked-off areas and hoops on the floor for smaller children to stand in [3] and pubs could be opening with clear Perspex barriers, like those in supermarkets [4].

Is this a taster of what is to become the infamous ‘new norm’? Is this how terrified we really are?  So much so that we‘re willing to risk the very high chance of causing serious mental health issues for our young people to grow up with, who rely on us for good guidance throughout their development. [5] Human beings are fundamentally social creatures and are hard-wired to interact closely with people.  This is not good guidance; this is complete and utter madness.

Let’s not get carried away, it’s important to remember that the lockdown was actioned by a government that has little to no scientific or technical expertise of their own.  The politicians of today are not the representatives of real-world people as they should be, but rather trained social engineers that rely on hidden ‘experts’ to provide data and ‘facts’ that at least sound logical to us (most of which I doubt they even believe themselves), so that we confidently turn a blind eye to everything else they do.  The lockdown was based on a messy and scientifically flawed computer model and overreaching scientists.  [6]

“This guy (Fergusson) has caused massive strife to the world with his absurdly fake ‘science,’” – Elon Musk [7]

 “Neil Ferguson’s lockdown predictions are so dodgy that you wouldn’t even ask him what day Christmas is on” – Ross Clark [8]

If this was an airborne virus, which it isn’t, then you will catch it whether you are 2 metres or 10 metres away.  Not that people were constantly brushing shoulders before.  Whatever happened to “catch it, bin it, kill it”?  Did that not work in the past?

Although the lockdown measures have not been fully relaxed, you only need venture out to your local town or village and see that streets have been a lot busier for weeks now.  Why can no one explain to me how and why the daily cases and deaths can decrease even though the distancing is relaxing?  Whether it has been permitted by the government or not, most people are starting to get relaxed.  Yet, every new idea for exiting the lockdown strategy still has people holding a twinkle in their eye.

Are we like that child who has privately figured out that the tooth fairy isn’t real, but doesn’t say anything to the parents because the money will stop if they no longer believe in it?  I think a lot of people are like this right now.  Otherwise, I am stuck for words to explain why there seems to be people demanding more lockdown and protection on one hand, and on the other hand, busy parks and beaches the second they relax the rules.

Just to clarify, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with going to the park or the beach if you believe it is safe for you and your family.  I just have trouble watching mass-hypocrisy in full swing.

 

References

1 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/politics/2020/05/07/government-has-terrorised-britons-believing-coronavirus-will/

https://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/1277125/coronavirus-lockdown-two-metre-social-distancing

2 https://www.thelocal.de/20200528/in-pictures-how-germany-is-doing-social-distancing-in-coronavirus-times

3 https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8328819/Primary-school-unveils-plans-social-distancing-pupils-return-class.html

https://ksltv.com/433323/utah-school-uses-hula-hoops-to-teach-kids-parents-about-social-distancing/

https://www.infodash.org/virus/new-social-distancing-circles-are-shown-at-dolores-park-in-san-francisco/

4 https://news.sky.com/story/coronavirus-is-this-the-pub-of-the-future-for-enjoying-a-post-lockdown-pint-11989802

5 https://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/doctor-note-psychological-effects-social-distancing-200414071411061.html

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-04-covid-social-distancing-significant-impacts.html

6 https://statmodeling.stat.columbia.edu/2020/05/08/so-the-real-scandal-is-why-did-anyone-ever-listen-to-this-guy/

7 https://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-prof-neil-ferguson-resigned-moron-absurdly-fake-science-2020-5?r=US&IR=T