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  1. #2551

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Alternative NOAA
    @altNOAA
    That darn Obama!

    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  2. #2552
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    WHO's Situation Report for May 19, 2020. I wish I hadn't said anything about Vietnam a few days ago and how they had gone 6 days with no new cases. Now they've had a few new cases each of the last 2 days. But not very many new cases.

    https://www.who.int/docs/default-sou...sitrep-120.pdf
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  3. #2553

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Alternative NOAA
    @altNOAA
    That darn Obama!

    They need to correct the graph. Everyone knows that Benghazi was Hilary's responsibility!
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  4. #2554

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Not relevant in the sense that nobody in my immediate circle has come down with C19 or is in any way in danger.
    But...
    When this pandemic hits home.
    Colombia closed borders on March 24th. I got stuck here. Now, they have grounded all DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL flights until August 31st. Which means I will have to extend my stay WAY beyond my accepted time of departure (early July). I will be over my visa limit, running the risk that next time I apply for a visa (2021) I will be denied.
    Also. If I stay here over a certain period of time, I become a TAX RESIDENT. Not a real resident (I have no legal rights) but I would have to pay taxes in both the USA and Colombia, and since they do not have a tax agreement, I run the risk of paying twice.
    Venezuela has not opened borders either, so I can't fly there. And my last chance of going somewhere, which was Argentina, is also locked down until the end of September.
    Total number of deaths in Colombia: 630 (first cases in March).
    Speaking of bias (another thread). I know this virus is serious. But now, being affected, I have this slimy feeling that I want all economies to be opened back. Don't know, I am already in problems work wise and now this...
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  5. #2555

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    And nobody anywhere that I'm aware of is talking about people in your situation. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  6. #2556
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    I'm so sorry ponchi. I have no advice for you. Your situation is out of my depth.

    That said, if you ever need a place to hide out to escape the authorities or the tax collectors, I happen to know someone who lives at the end of a dead-end road in the middle of nowhere who has a spare bedroom, needs help with a crazy puppy, and has all sorts of outdoor projects that need to be done.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  7. #2557

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Covid Apoclaypse Party at Dry's!
    A Canadian Slam winner? Inconceivable!

  8. #2558

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Thanks for the thoughts and help. Indeed, sometimes I need to vent a bit.
    The decision from Colombia, I believe, is extreme. As extreme as in Argentina. This lockdown until August 31st is basically a death sentence for Avianca, an employer of 20K people who will NOT find jobs easily as, for example, pilots cannot fly in countries where they are not certified. Argentinian pilots and crews will also suffer because most likely LATAM will also cease to fly there.
    The lockdown is also interesting in this. Colombia reports 630 deaths. That is around 200/month. So you get a circularity: are they exaggerating in their response (they have few deaths) or are they precisely doing the right thing (they have few deaths)? For a country of 45 million, 17,000 cases and 630 deaths is a success story. Of course, no herd immunity is being built up as basically everything is shut down. NOBODY is walking the streets and NOBODY is allowed to roam without a mask (our concept of OUR FREEDOM is basically different than here).
    So Colombia, which has a severe issue with unemployment (prior to the virus) has simply decided this course. The sole guiding principle is health, not the economy. And therefore, the president's approval rating is at... 36%. It was low before this, it has gone lower. Which means there will be some extra people to vote against him in 2022.

    The IRS will be an issue next year (back to personal issues). I need to call CBP to see if they can understand the issue and get an extension. Or some plans. The last thing I need is to go delinquent against the US GOV. I hope I talk to somebody with some sense.

    Somebody PM'd me a message. You box is full so I cannot reply. I will as soon as you delete some mails.
    PT's idea: hey, I will bring the nachos!
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  9. #2559

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    @ponchi: I guess there is nowhere else for you to go in SA either, right? I do agree doing it like this is probably shooting yourself in a foot...

    Update from Switzerland: we went hiking today as it's a bank holiday in most of the country (Ascenscion day) and the weather is superb. Lots of people on that particular trail, had I known we would have chosen another more remote option. The usual hiking crowd is skewing significantly younger than usual, but other than that all is as normal. Trains are of usual Sunday occupancy, restaurant outdoor terraces are packed etc. Social distancing? What social distancing? I think the younger and middle age crowd here has stopped to give a shit about most of it. In some other European countries they're obsessing about too many people on the beach, don't see it happening here. Not that we have any beaches and swimming pools are closed (also all indoor events).

    Selfishly I just wish I could fly to Latvia now...
    Roger forever

  10. #2560

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Update.
    So woke up and started making calls. CBP/CIS answered the phone after the usual PRESS 17 NUMBERS before you get to talk to somebody. I only need to file an extension request. The price is outrageous (US$370/each) but there is no option.
    But again, the US GOV surprised me. I went into the I-94 website (that is a form foreigners have to fill in upon entry, so you Americans would not know of it) to retrieve my last I-94 (Feb 2020). So... surprise! My last entry into the USA was in Jan 2019, according to CBP: In theory, I am not even here.
    Really. The more I deal with the USA GOV, the more I understand how you people need 3 years to get Paul Manafort in jail. The level of inefficiency in this government is off the chart (at least when I compare it to the Colombian GOV).
    So the final question is: do I contact CBP and tell them my I-94 is wrong? Or do I let a sleeping dog lay and next year claim I was not even here, according to THEIR records? Problem: I really suck at lying. I do.
    (Which is what a liar would say, I know).

    @Suliso. Sole country in S. America with open borders still is Brasil. Kind of wrong destination right now (and I have nobody there to stay with. My Girl From Ipanema got married a long ago).
    Face it. It's the apocalypse.

  11. #2561
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    Not relevant in the sense that nobody in my immediate circle has come down with C19 or is in any way in danger.
    But...
    When this pandemic hits home.
    Colombia closed borders on March 24th. I got stuck here. Now, they have grounded all DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL flights until August 31st. Which means I will have to extend my stay WAY beyond my accepted time of departure (early July). I will be over my visa limit, running the risk that next time I apply for a visa (2021) I will be denied.
    Also. If I stay here over a certain period of time, I become a TAX RESIDENT. Not a real resident (I have no legal rights) but I would have to pay taxes in both the USA and Colombia, and since they do not have a tax agreement, I run the risk of paying twice.
    Venezuela has not opened borders either, so I can't fly there. And my last chance of going somewhere, which was Argentina, is also locked down until the end of September.
    Total number of deaths in Colombia: 630 (first cases in March).
    Speaking of bias (another thread). I know this virus is serious. But now, being affected, I have this slimy feeling that I want all economies to be opened back. Don't know, I am already in problems work wise and now this...

    Is going to Mexico for a bit an option? I believe the Mexico border is open (The US border with Mexico is essentially closed but not the other way) and it'll likely be cheaper than CO (depending on your housing arrangements). Although it's having COVID spikes, if you quarantine, you should be ok. This would then avoid you having any visa/tax issues here.


  12. #2562

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    What’s really behind Republicans wanting a swift reopening? Evangelicals.
    By
    Gary Abernathy
    Contributing columnist
    May 20, 2020 at 5:29 p.m. EDT

    HILLSBORO, Ohio — Polls conducted since the outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic find that Democrats take the virus more seriously than Republicans, and are more willing to support restrictive government edicts in response to the outbreak. Most of those pontificating from the left conclude that Republicans get bad information from President Trump, Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh, to name a few, and therefore aren’t as worried as they should be.

    (...)

    And yet, there is something more to the partisan divide than the age-old contrast between conservative and liberal politics. But our reluctance to discuss religion beyond its basic political impact often results in skirting honest evaluations. Let’s try anyway.

    It’s noted so often that evangelical Christians are a cornerstone of modern GOP support that the point is in danger of losing its impact. But it’s helpful to be reminded what, exactly, makes an evangelical, because to understand it helps to understand so many Republican positions. The National Association of Evangelicals has identified four statements that it says define evangelicals, the last of which is most pertinent for this discussion: “Only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.” This literal belief in eternal salvation — eternal life — helps explain the different reactions to life-threatening events like a coronavirus outbreak.

    Every few years, the Pew Research Center conducts a comprehensive Religious Landscape Study, the last full one in 2014. According to the study, Christians, who comprise more than 70 percent of all Americans, are almost evenly divided by party — 43 percent Republicans or leaning Republican, 40 percent Democrats or leaning Democratic.

    Americans describing themselves as evangelical Christians totaled 25.4 percent, the largest of all Christian subsections. Fifty-six percent of evangelicals self-identified as Republican, just 28 percent as Democrats. Unaffiliated — atheists, agnostics and “nothing in particular” — totaled 22.8 percent of all Americans. According to Pew, 69 percent of atheists and 64 percent of agnostics identify as Democrats, with just 15 percent of atheists and 21 percent of agnostics claiming the GOP.

    What was somewhat surprising is how the beliefs of evangelicals compare to Catholics, another group that might be considered biblical literalists. According to Pew, 84 percent of evangelicals believe the Bible is the word of God, compared with 62 percent of Catholics. Fifty-five percent of evangelicals agree that the Bible should be interpreted literally — twice the percentage of Catholics.

    Among those who hold literal biblical interpretations is the certainty that waiting at the end of this terrestrial journey is eternal life in Heaven.

    Evangelicals take it to heart when James reminds them, “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes,” or when Paul writes, “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us,” or when Jesus asks, rhetorically, “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”

    The coronavirus? Christian fundamentalism is often fatalistic. As far as many evangelicals are concerned, life passes quickly, suffering is temporary and worrying solves nothing. That’s not a view that comports well with long stretches of earthly time spent waiting out business closures or stay-at-home orders. It should be no surprise that a person’s deepest beliefs about the world influence how they measure the risks they’re willing to take.

    Former six-term Ohio Rep. Bob McEwen (R) is a longtime evangelical leader who serves as an advisory member of James Dobson’s Family Talk board of directors. McEwen told me this week that evangelicals aren’t rattled by covid-19, either the disease or the government’s response to the pandemic, because the Bible instructs them not to let earthly fears overwhelm them. “They steal your life, your liberty and your freedom by using fear,” said McEwen. “Man, on his own without God, will always be fearful,” he added. “But the Bible says, ‘Fear not.’”

    Evangelicals aren’t just twiddling their thumbs until Heaven beckons, of course. Most of them aggressively pursue careers, enjoy television shows, cheer their favorite sports teams, and take pride in the achievements of family and friends. They do good things in their communities, and sometimes they do bad things, just like everyone else.

    They’re in no hurry to exit this world. But when ruminating over why there are millions of people who don’t seem to panic over a global pandemic or other life-threatening event, critics should remember that, right or wrong, it often involves a belief in something even bigger than people named Trump, Hannity or Limbaugh.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opini...-evangelicals/
    “No matter how cynical I get, I just can't keep up.” – Lily Tomlin.




  13. #2563
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Well, I don't know where Mr. Abernathy got his information about evangelicals. The NAE website and an interview with one evangelical doesn't get you far in understanding how most evangelicals think. And here, Mr. Abernathy missed the mark. Badly.

    First, I will concede that evangelicalism has its fair share of nut jobs. I'm talking about the people who show up at rallies carrying "Jesus is my vaccine!" signs. Yes, they exist. But among the larger community of evangelicals, they make up a small share. Perhaps that assumption is incorrect. But that's my perception.

    Now, the real reason why evangelicals want to reopen everything is simple: the economy. The economy, and that fact that the United States has been able to amass vast wealth, is critical to civil religion, a concept that most evangelicals aren't aware of but describes most of them to a T. (Civil religion is the notion that the Christian faith should drive all aspects of governance and that government, nationalism, and patriotism are and should be inseparable.)

    And the reason why America is so wealthy is because we, as a nation, were founded on Judeo-Christian principles and values (this is debatable, of course), and God has blessed us abundantly for it. We are wealthy because we are favored. We are better than other countries. God loves us more, as Americans, and because of that, we have more of God in us than any other country. We are, fundamentally, better than everyone else. (Again, evangelicals would never actually say this; it just an unspoken fact.)

    If we cannot pay our bills, if we cannot feed our families, if we cannot buy the basic supplies we need, we would suffer. And if we suffer, that may end up meaning that God no longer likes us best. And that proposition is unthinkable.

    Furthermore, evangelicals benefit disproportionately from healthy economies. Evangelicals tend to be wealthy, or at least comfortable. Reopening as soon as possible stands to benefit evangelicals markedly. Even if some heathens die in the process.

    So it's not about literal interpretations of Biblical text or about how God will protect us. Most evangelicals are very much afraid. They will still get up each morning. They will pray. They will pray that God will protect them as they perform their daily tasks. They will pray that God protects their families and loves ones. Some might even be so woke that they'll cast a quick prayer for their brothers and sisters around the world (but only the brothers and sisters). But I assure you, most evangelicals are very much afraid.

    Nevertheless, money is everything. Money is who we are. Money tells us that we are favored, that we are better. Without money, we can no longer claim that we are exceptional.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  14. #2564
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    WHO's Situation Report for May 20, 2020.

    https://www.who.int/docs/default-sou...sitrep-121.pdf

    I thought today's newsletter was notable--in a highly depressing way. Some highlights below.

    ::

    At the global level, the relative proportion of COVID-19 cases continues to shift away from Europe and North America and toward Africa, South America, and Asia. After at one point peaking at more than 75% of the global COVID-19 daily incidence, new case in Europe now represent less than 15% of the daily total. Similarly, North America, driven largely by the United States, represented nearly 45% of the global total in early April, and now constitutes slightly more than 25%. For reference, Europe and North America represent approximately 9.6% and 4.7% of the global population, respectively. Asia and South America have steadily increased their relative contribution to the global incidence, up to nearly 25% for Asia and more than 30% for South America. Africa is slowly but steadily increasing as well, now up to approximately 4% of the global total.

    Brazil reported 19,951 new cases, its highest daily incidence to date and an increase of more than 2,500 (14.6%) compared to the previous high reported yesterday. Brazil is now #3 globally in terms of total incidence, and it could potentially surpass Russia to become #2 by early next week. Brazil’s daily per capita incidence is now more than 20% greater than the United States’. The per capita incidence in Peru and Chile is even higher, however, with Peru reporting nearly 120 new cases per million population each day and Chile reporting 172, more than double Brazil’s current per capita daily incidence. Like Brazil, the daily incidence in Peru and Chile are also increasing rapidly.

    Russia reported 8,849 new cases, its second consecutive day with fewer than 9,000 new cases. After peaking at more than 11,000 new cases in mid-May, Russia’s daily incidence has decreased over the past week. India reported 5,609 new cases, continuing its recent trend of elevated and increasing daily incidence. On a per capita basis, India’s daily incidence is still well below the global average; however, the increasing trend is concerning. The state of Tamil Nadu, where a large outbreak has been linked to one of Asia’s largest markets, reported 743 new cases.

    Singapore reported 448 new cases, including 434 (96.8%) among residents of migrant worker dormitories. Outbreaks in migrant worker dormitories continue to drive Singapore’s growing COVID-19 epidemic. Singapore estimates that the cases confirmed so far represent 8.53% of the total population across all migrant worker dormitories, compared to only 0.03% of the general public population. Of the total confirmed cases reported in Singapore, 92.4% are among residents of migrant worker dormitories.

    UNITED STATES
    The US CDC reported 1.53 million total cases (23,405 new) and 91,664 deaths (1,324 new). Daily COVID-19 deaths in the United States are declining, but the total could potentially reach 100,000 deaths in the next 6-8 days. In total, 10 states (no change) reported more than 40,000 cases, including New York with more than 350,000; New Jersey with more than 125,000; and California, Illinois, and Massachusetts with more than 75,000.

    The New York Times continues to track state-level COVID-19 incidence, with a focus on state policies regarding social distancing. This tracker now differentiates between states that have relaxed social distancing measures statewide and those that have done so on a regional basis.

    The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 1.56 million US cases and 93,606 deaths as of 11:30am on May 21.

    US MEDICAL SUPPLY CHAIN The US government awarded a 4-year, US$354 million contract to a startup pharmaceutical company to establish and operate domestic production capacity for various generic drugs and active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs). The contract, awarded through the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority to Phlow Corp., aims to shift production of critical pharmaceuticals back to the United States in order to reduce reliance on foreign production and build a domestic inventory of APIs and surge production capacity for future emergencies. Many generic drugs and APIs used in the United States are currently produced overseas, particularly in China and India, and the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the vulnerability of these supply chains to major global health emergencies. The contract could be extended for up to a total of 10 years and $812 million.

    In another effort to streamline the domestic medical supply chain, the US Department of Health and Human Services is considering a program to implement a centralized public-private management infrastructure for the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response posted a request for information to solicit public input regarding the program’s “strategy and structure” and the role of public-private partnerships in managing the SNS. The program, referred to as NextGen SNS, looks to streamline procurement, inventory management, and distribution of critical stockpiles supplies and equipment during health emergencies, which have been identified as barriers to the US COVID-19 response.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  15. #2565
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    So, based on today's Situation Report from WHO, two things.

    1) Brazil.
    2) I want to know more about the start up with limited experience that wins a $354 million contract to buy generic drugs and pharmaceutical ingredients. There's MUCH more to THAT story.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

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