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  1. #1666

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Steve Schmidt @SteveSchmidtSES

    The melting down of the President of the United States at these briefings marks the death of the US led liberal global order that was architected by FDR, built by Truman and protected from Eisenhower thru Obama. What comes next will be different from what has been.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  2. #1667
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan View Post
    I thought most people were kept sedated on the ventilator, because people would pull the tube out of themselves if they weren't. There was concern in New York on the weekend that they were going to run out of the drugs.
    I think that's true. Lots of people get panicky when they wake up on a vent. I think in most cases their outcomes are better if they're kept sedated. My neighbor is a doc and he said either most or all ventilated patients are kept sedated if they don't need to be communicating.

  3. #1668

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan View Post
    I thought most people were kept sedated on the ventilator, because people would pull the tube out of themselves if they weren't. There was concern in New York on the weekend that they were going to run out of the drugs.
    Yes, they are put on sedation. But they are still conscious. Sedation does not mean the patient is unconscious.

  4. #1669
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
    Steve Schmidt @SteveSchmidtSES

    The melting down of the President of the United States at these briefings marks the death of the US led liberal global order that was architected by FDR, built by Truman and protected from Eisenhower thru Obama. What comes next will be different from what has been.
    This is frightening.

    Sent from my SM-J737P using Tapatalk

  5. #1670

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    In case you want to listen to the actual audio of Modly's speech to the sailors:
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  6. #1671

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by skatingfan View Post
    I thought most people were kept sedated on the ventilator, because people would pull the tube out of themselves if they weren't. There was concern in New York on the weekend that they were going to run out of the drugs.
    Due to what I did, I've seen far more people on ventilators than I would prefer to remember. Skatingfan is exactly right. Most people can't tolerate being fully conscious and being on a ventilator. Some do. But the ones who cannot tolerate that are kept in varying degrees of sedation, from just a little to comatose.


    P.S. My partner survived a fairly serious case of sarcoidosis as a young adult. He had a surgical procedure and had to be ventilated for a short while afterward. He said that the most horrible feeling, by far, that he has had in his entire life was waking up with that tube breathing him. He had to be basically put back under for the duration of the need for ventilation. (a relevant current point on this: He recovered fully from the disease, but it left him with somewhat compromised lung function. That is one reason we are being so careful about the virus. I am concerned how well he would do with viral pneumonia in view of his history)
    Last edited by GlennHarman; Today at 02:42 AM. Reason: added P.S.

  7. #1672

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Another topic: As I've stated before, I was in the Air Force for 13 years. As a veteran, I was supremely offended by Modly's speech. But on the other hand, I was also supremely offended as a human being, so there you go. GH

  8. #1673

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Live updates: Boost in coronavirus relief is sought for small businesses; Boris Johnson receiving oxygen in ICU

    Siobhán O'Grady,
    Rick Noack,
    John Wagner,
    Kim Bellware,
    Marisa Iati,
    Lateshia Beachum,
    Miriam Berger and
    Adam Taylor
    April 7, 2020 at 12:29 p.m. EDT

    The Washington Post is providing this story for free so that all readers have access to this important information about the coronavirus. For more free stories, sign up for our daily Coronavirus Updates newsletter.

    U.S. Treasury Department officials are preparing to ask Congress to swiftly commit an additional $200 billion for a new coronavirus relief program for small businesses that is being overwhelmed by demand. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in intensive care, receiving supplemental oxygen, as he battles a coronavirus infection, according to his official spokesman.

    Here are some other significant developments:

    A key forecasting model used by the White House to chart the coronavirus pandemic has revised its estimates downward. But some states and health experts continue to steel themselves for grim weeks ahead, noting that the University of Washington’s updated IHME model conflicts with other estimates showing higher equipment shortages, deaths and projected peaks.

    Primary and local elections in Wisconsin got off to a chaotic start after a last-minute legal battle, with hundreds of voters standing in lines that stretched for blocks in Milwaukee. The surgeon general urged Wisconsin voters to wear masks to the polls.

    The virus has not hit children as hard as adults, preliminary data from the United States suggests, supporting earlier reports of what appears to be a mysterious saving grace of the deepening pandemic.
    European and U.S. markets rose as investors grew more optimistic that lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and other restrictive measures around the world are working.

    China on Tuesday announced no new deaths for the first time since it began regularly reporting figures in January. But China’s official coronavirus numbers have been met with skepticism internationally since the outbreak began.

    10:33 a.m.
    Adams says black Americans face higher coronavirus risk, cites own health issues

    U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams acknowledged Tuesday that black Americans are at a higher risk for covid-19, citing as an example his own history of health problems as someone who grew up black and poor in the United States.

    In an interview on “CBS This Morning,” Adams said “it breaks my heart” to hear reports of the significant racial disparities in deaths and cases of the novel coronavirus. The reason for the disparities, he said, is twofold.

    “When you look at being black in America, number one, people unfortunately are more likely to be of low socio-economic status, which makes it harder to social distance,” Adams said. “Number two, we know that blacks are more likely to have diabetes, heart disease, lung disease. And I have shared myself, personally, that I have high blood pressure; that I have heart disease and spent a week in the ICU due to a heart condition; that I actually have asthma, and I’m prediabetic.”

    He added: “And so, I represent that legacy of growing up poor and black in America. And I and many black Americans are at higher risk for covid. It’s why we need everyone to do their part to slow the spread."

    In recent days, a civil rights group and hundreds of doctors have called on the federal government to release race and ethnicity data on coronavirus infections and deaths from covid-19, the illness caused by the virus. The CDC’s public reports have broken down cases by age and gender, while most states have provided information only by county.

    By Felicia Sonmez and Vanessa Williams

    10:47 a.m.
    Sports doctors and trainers are joining the fight against the coronavirus

    As an internist for the Washington Redskins, John Tabacco was accustomed to working around obstacles in chaotic locker rooms, and he knew how to communicate with injured players while diagnosing ailments on a football field.

    Now he was trying to do his part on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic, joining sports doctors across the country who are applying their skill sets in ways they never would have imagined.

    In Massachusetts, a sports medicine office has morphed into a coronavirus testing facility. In Texas, a prominent sports medicine specialist has left his practice to work shifts in an emergency room. In hot spots from Washington state to Indiana to Michigan, athletic trainers have signed up to help shorthanded hospitals through an app that normally helps them find work on fields or in gyms.

    Read more here.

    By Roman Stubbs

    9:48 a.m.
    Biden says November presidential election should not be delayed

    Former vice president Joe Biden said emphatically in an interview broadcast Tuesday that the November presidential election should not be delayed, even if the novel coronavirus outbreak remains a concern.

    “I’d much prefer to have, you know, in-person voting, but it depends, it depends on the state of play,” Biden said on NBC’s “Today” show. “But we cannot, we cannot delay or postpone a constitutionally required November election.”

    Biden’s comments in the interview, taped Monday, echo previous occasions when he has noted that voting occurred during the Civil War and World War II.

    But his remarks take on new significance given how the Wisconsin presidential primary is playing out Tuesday amid widespread concerns about the impact of the pandemic on voter turnout. The Democratic contest between Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is among the races on the ballot.

    By John Wagner

    11:33 a.m.
    Polls open in Wisconsin amid confusion, fears over coronavirus

    Hundreds of voters stood in lines that stretched for blocks in Milwaukee early Tuesday morning to cast their ballots amid warnings about the spread of the novel coronavirus, a chaotic start to Wisconsin elections that went forward only after a last-minute legal battle.

    Confusion has reigned after rapid-fire developments over whether and how voting should proceed. On Monday, the Wisconsin Supreme Court blocked an executive order by Gov. Tony Evers (D) suspending in-person voting. This launched a final scramble for election officials to prepare polling places and protect voters and workers hours before balloting was scheduled to begin.

    The court’s order made Wisconsin the only state to proceed with a major presidential primary this month, defying the public health emergency that led more than a dozen other states to postpone their contests.

    Read more here.

    By Elise Viebeck, Amy Gardner, Dan Simmons, Jan M. Larson and John Wagner
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  9. #1674

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Tuesday 4/7/20 WaPo Updates P2

    11:21 a.m.
    Germany launches new coronavirus monitoring app
    BERLIN — Germany’s health authorities launched an app Tuesday that detects coronavirus symptoms in an effort to map distribution among the country’s population.

    The free app, called the Corona-Datenspende or Corona Data Donation app, is voluntary and can be connected to wearable fitness devices or smartwatches. Germany’s federal agency for infectious disease, the Robert Koch Institute, developed the app with the Berlin-based health start-up Thryve.

    Together with other data sets, such as confirmed infection reports and Zip codes, the app can help experts better understand and visualize the distribution of the coronavirus, according to the health agency’s head, Lothar Wieler. It gathers the user’s vital signs, such as resting heart rate, sleep and activity level. Collected data will be displayed on an interactive map on the federal health agency’s website.

    Wieler said the app does not replace testing for the coronavirus and does not warn users of infection. It also does not tell users whether they have been in contact with an infected person.

    “It is very important to understand that this app recognizes symptoms. This is not an app that can prove infection with covid-19,” Wieler said at a news conference Tuesday.

    Germany’s government and citizens have historically been hesitant to volunteer personal information to authorities, most likely a remnant of fears caused by Nazi- and communist-era surveillance.

    The Corona Data Donation app does not store personal information, but assigns users IDs to store health data, according to its website. It asks users to provide their Zip code but does not track location data. Users can delete their data at any time.

    By Luisa Beck

    11:22 a.m.
    Saudi Arabia locks down more cities, warns infections could rise to 200,000

    An empty King Fahd main street in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, on March 26. (Fayez Nureldine/Afp Via Getty Images)

    Saudi Arabia announced late Monday that nine more cities would be added to the list of those on 24-hour lockdown — including the capital, Riyadh, and the Red Sea port of Jiddah — and warned that infections could top 200,000 if restrictions are not obeyed.

    Previously, just the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, international pilgrimage destinations that had seen large numbers of cases, were subjected to these 24-hour curfews, along with some Jiddah neighborhoods. People in the rest of the country just had to stay inside at night.

    With 841 cases, Riyadh is home to the largest number of Saudi Arabia’s 2,795 infections — the most in the Middle East after Iran. In the past few days, the number of afflicted people has increased by about 10 percent a day. Three new deaths were also reported Tuesday, bringing the total to 41.

    Health Minister Tawfiq al-Rabiah warned Tuesday that if people do not obey the restrictions, including the curfew and ban on social gatherings, the number of infections could rise tenfold, according to government models.

    “Let me speak to you frankly, even if it hurts,” he said, according to the state-run Saudi Press Agency. “These studies estimated that the number of infections during the next few weeks will be between 10,000 infections at the minimum level, up to 200,000 infections at the highest level.” He added that it could take four months to a year to contain the disease.

    During the curfews, all residents will be confined to their homes except for trips within their neighborhoods to gather medicine or groceries between 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. Children are not allowed out of the house. Only those working in vital sectors will be allowed in or out of these cities.

    Saudi Arabia has already closed all nonessential commercial establishments and stopped incoming and outgoing flights as well as suspended the year-round pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. Officials have indicated they will probably suspend the key hajj pilgrimage set for late July that would bring some 2 million people together.

    By Paul Schemm

    11:48 a.m.
    Singapore moves to ban social gatherings of any size

    Singapore’s Parliament passed a bill Tuesday that would ban all social gatherings, no matter what size they were or whether they took place in a private or public space.

    The move came as the city-state entered its “circuit breaker” period of enforced social distancing, a measure to stem an increasing outbreak and one that reversed earlier policies that had focused on extensive contact tracing to isolate suspected cases.

    “This enables us to better regulate events and gatherings, including those that take place on private properties,” Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said in Parliament on Tuesday, according to the Straits Times newspaper.

    Singapore had 120 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, a record daily increase, prompting it to quarantine nearly 20,000 migrant workers in their dormitories ahead of the “circuit breaker” shutdown.

    The city currently has 1,375 confirmed cases and has recorded six deaths.

    By Adam Taylor

    12:38 p.m.
    Finland to begin random antibody tests for coronavirus next week

    Finland will begin testing for coronavirus antibodies in the general population next week, hoping to better understand the spread of the outbreak.

    Initially, 750 randomly chosen people will be voluntarily tested each week, the Finnish national broadcaster Yle reported, with the first results expected at the end of April. Positive samples will be checked again against a different test before an individual is informed that they have been exposed to the coronavirus, Arto Palmu of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare told Yle.

    Testing for antibodies, also known as serology testing, differs from standard testing for the coronavirus as it would also show people who have had the virus and recovered from it. It involves testing blood, rather than the deep nasal swabs used to determine whether someone is infected.

    Such serology tests might be especially useful if it is proved that large portions of the population have had the coronavirus but were asymptomatic. Additionally, if it can be proved that those who had the virus are immune for some period, shutdowns may be eased systematically so that only those with immunity can return to work.

    Countries such as the United States and Germany have pointed toward antibody tests as a possible way forward, while Singapore announced that it had performed the first antibody test in late February.

    Experts caution that many factors may slow or even overwhelm the development of serology tests. It is not clear to what extent someone who recovers from the coronavirus will be immune, if at all.

    Yle reports that Finnish officials think that as many as 1 in 2 coronavirus infections may be asymptomatic, meaning these people are unlikely to get tested and recorded in official tallies.

    “The idea is to get a picture of the situation across the entire country,” Jussi Sane, a senior researcher at the Institute for Health and Welfare, told the broadcaster.

    By Adam Taylor
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  10. #1675

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Tuesday 4/7/20 WaPo Updates P3

    12:18 p.m.
    Trump blasts World Health Organization, HHS watchdog’s report as coronavirus toll rises

    President Trump on Tuesday continued to assail a report by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services outlining the severe equipment shortages facing the country’s hospitals, dismissing the document as a “Fake Dossier.”

    The HHS survey of hospitals across the country found that hospitals’ ability to combat the coronavirus pandemic is being impeded by shortages of tests, protective gear, staff and space, as well as inconsistent government advice.

    “Why didn’t the I.G., who spent 8 years with the Obama Administration (Did she Report on the failed H1N1 Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 people died?), want to talk to the Admirals, Generals, V.P. & others in charge, before doing her report. Another Fake Dossier!” Trump tweeted, in an apparent comparison to the now-infamous dossier alleging links between Russia and Trump’s 2016 campaign.

    Despite Trump’s focus on her work during the Obama administration, Christi A. Grimm, the HHS principal deputy inspector general who issued the report on the country’s hospitals, began working at the Office of the Inspector General in 1999, according to her official biography. And the CDC has estimated that more than 12,000 people died during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.

    In another tweet Tuesday, Trump took aim at the World Health Organization, accusing the body of being “very China centric.”

    “Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?” Trump asked.

    Some public health experts have questioned whether the WHO’s praise of China in the early weeks of the pandemic created a false sense of security that potentially spurred the virus’s spread.

    By Felicia Sonmez

    12:29 p.m.
    McConnell eyes more small-business aid; Schumer wants hazard pay for workers

    Republicans and Democrats could be on a collision course over coronavirus rescue funding after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday he would seek to push hundreds of billions of dollars in small-business aid through the Senate on Thursday.

    McConnell made the announcement just as Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.) and other Democrats rolled out a proposal to award federal hazard pay to workers forced to remain on the job during the pandemic — including health-care providers, sanitation workers and those in the transportation and grocery industries.

    The hazard pay proposal — which Schumer called a “Heroes Fund” — would award about $13 an hour, or up to $25,000 annually, to workers filling essential jobs, as well as $15,000 recruiting bonuses for needed health-care workers.

    “Not all heroes wear capes — some wear masks, some wear scrubs,” Schumer told reporters. “They deserve [bonuses]. They are risking their lives.”

    There is probably broader bipartisan consensus on the need to supplement the small-business aid — adding resources to the Paycheck Protection Program established in the $2.2 trillion Cares Act, which was signed into law in late March.

    Schumer declined to say in a news conference call whether he would condition any additional small-business aid on approval of the hazard pay proposal, which could amount to hundreds of billions of dollars itself.

    “All I’m going to say is that this is one of our very highest priorities” for the next coronavirus bill, Schumer told reporters.

    Justin Goodman, a spokesman for Schumer, said after the media call that Schumer had not heard from McConnell about his plans for a Thursday vote.

    By Mike DeBonis and Erica Werner

    12:48 p.m.
    Trump removes inspector general who was to oversee $2 trillion stimulus spending

    Glenn Fine, the acting inspector general at the Defense Department, was dismissed from his acting position at the Pentagon, making him ineligible to be the watchdog over spending to counter the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.

    Fine, a career official who will remain a deputy inspector general, had been chosen for the spending role by a committee of inspectors general. The move will be seen by some as another instance of the president chafing at independent oversight.

    By Washington Post Staff

    12:51 p.m.
    New York tallies its highest single-day death toll but sees improved outlook ahead

    The coronavirus death toll in New York reached 731 on Tuesday to mark a new one-day high as the state grapples with the outbreak that has killed nearly 5,000 people.

    But not all of the updates from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s daily news briefing were as grim: While the number of hospitalizations rose slightly from the day before, the three-day average trended downward. Cuomo (D) cautioned people not to look at any one day but said the three-day average was encouraging.

    “Right now, we’re projecting that we’re reaching a plateau in total number of hospitalizations,” he said.

    New hospitalizations are the primary indicator of where a population is on the curve of the outbreak. Deaths from covid-19, the illness caused by the virus, occur days or even weeks after a patient is hospitalized, making those rates a lagging indicator.

    Cuomo warned that fewer hospitalizations each day will only hold and ultimately decline as long as people maintain strict social distancing and home isolation practices.

    “This is not an act of God we’re looking at,” he said. “It’s an act of what society actually does.”

    The state still faces an overwhelmed health-care system even though 7,000 new workers, mostly retired health professionals and those from out of state, have become eligible to work in New York hospitals. Statewide, doctors and nurses are overworked and becoming sick as they perform under tremendous physical and emotional stress, Cuomo said.

    Still, the possibly changing tide in New York spurred Cuomo to discuss the far-off plans for how the state would eventually “restart life.” Cuomo said resuming business would be planned as part of a regional approach with Connecticut and New Jersey, which is grappling with a surging outbreak.

    By Kim Bellware
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  11. #1676

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Adam Klasfeld @KlasfeldReports
    In response to a press inquiry, FDNY spokesman Frank Dwyer shares this info about daily ems call volume at "unprecedented highs" right now.

    "Normally, we would avg around 4000 calls day," he notes, reporting a 50% increase in volume.

    @FDNY account shares call #-s daily.

    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  12. #1677

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Ryan Browne @rabrowne75

    230 sailors assigned to the USS Theodore Roosevelt have now tested positive for the coronaviurs, a US official tells CNN. More than 70% of the crew have now been tested. Only ~2,000 have been moved ashore. The Navy originally said it would move 2,700 ashore by last Friday
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  13. #1678

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    As northern Italy is ravaged by coronavirus, there's trouble brewing down south
    By Barbie Latza Nadeau and Valentina Di Donato, CNN
    Updated 8:34 PM ET, Sun April 5, 2020

    (CNN)Four weeks into a nationwide lockdown, very few Italians are still singing from their balconies or banging pots and pans in solidarity. Instead, flags were lowered to half-staff this week for the nearly 15,000 coronavirus victims including doctors, nurses and health care professionals who have perished since February 23.

    The lockdown, which was originally scheduled to end Friday, April 3, has now been extended to beyond Easter, and Italians from north to south are nearing a breaking point just as the draconian measures have begun to show signs of stopping the spread of Covid-19.

    Italy's wealthy northern provinces have taken the brunt of the coronavirus outbreak with more than 75% of overall cases and deaths north of Tuscany, in the center of the country, per the Italian Civil Protection agency.

    More than 10,000 health care workers in the northern provinces have been infected with the virus, according to the Italian Doctor's Federation, as a lack of proper protective gear made contagion inside healthcare facilities a contributor to the rampant spread. Some of the best health structures in all of Europe are in northern Italy, but they were pushed to near collapse with the sheer number of Covid-19 patients in need of urgent care.

    Had the initial infection cluster started in the poorer southern regions, which do not have the same strong infrastructure, no one disputes that the crisis would have been even worse.

    But the southern regions are struggling, too. The so-called "mezzogiorno" is where organized crime syndicate hubs are based and where unemployment hovers around 20% for adults and up to 50% for those under 24 during the best of times, according to figures from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT). Even with the outbreak in some southern communities affecting "only" a few thousand, the facilities are stretched and care for non-Covid patients has been severely compromised.

    With a huge part of the southern population working in the so-called "black economy" off the books, a whole segment of people lost jobs for which they cannot legally claim unemployment benefits. Those who do have legitimate employment have been given a path to ask for the suspension of some bills, but black economy workers -- of whom there are an estimated 3.7 million, according to ISTAT -- have no such outlet for relief.

    In addition to the undocumented workers, soup kitchen volunteers in Rome, Palermo, Naples and Bari tell CNN they are seeing petty criminals, from car thieves to cat burglars, joining sex workers queuing for food, unable to afford a daily meal. This segment of society, for which there is no public accounting, are the most desperate and the most likely to reach breaking point first.

    Almost every grocery store in Italy now has a cart at the front where people who can still afford groceries are encouraged to donate items for those who cannot. In apartment blocks across the country, there are continuous reports of care packages deposited in front of the doors of people who have lost their jobs by neighbors and police officers.

    One law enforcement official in Palermo donated his entire monthly salary, around $2,100, to buy groceries for everyone at a grocery store he was in last week, Palermo police confirmed to CNN.

    But for all the kindhearted compassion this virus has inspired, there are at least as many troubling signs that as the pandemic subsides, the worst could be yet to come. Police in the southern province of Puglia say that a food delivery truck was hijacked on the main highway near the port town of Bari last week, Bari police confirmed to CNN.

    The driver was unharmed, but when the truck was found, every single item was gone. Many grocery stores now have security guards out front when new merchandise is unloaded to stop people from running up to grab basic supplies like boxes of pasta and cans of tomatoes.

    A few days after the Puglia hijacking, police were called after 20 people filled their carts at a Lidl supermarket in Palermo on the island of Sicily, and refused to pay. Col. Michele Monti responded to the call and told CNN that while he viewed it as an "isolated incident" the message was clear. "If this situation continues without the help of the government, we won't be able to feed our children," he said. "It was a message that they wanted to be understood."

    The incident ended peacefully. "It wasn't violent, and the 20 people filled their carts said they didn't want to pay so we intervened and they calmly left without the food," Monti told CNN. "We here in Palermo also activated ourselves after this. We knew that many people, for their own dignity, wouldn't have asked for help but would need it. We know that a lot of this need was being hidden, so it was our initiative to support everyone." They have prepared care packages, left food at door steps and made sure high-risk people have medicine they need so they don't have to leave their homes.

    Palermo Mayor Leoluca Orlando told CNN that he has petitioned the government in Rome for a "survival income" to give to citizens left behind without the desperate help they need. The municipality now lists places where people who need basic supplies and food can go for help and several companies prepare care packages in lieu of giving cash handouts to ensure people are buying food.

    Orlando is concerned that his city government will not have the means to compete with a far greater source of help for the needy. He and others warn that organized crime groups are waiting in the wings to exploit the situation by offering help in exchange for new recruits as foot soldiers when the crisis is over. He points a number of private Facebook groups including one called National Revolution, now calling for mass protests in the streets and sharing details about easy-to-break-into shops. "The mafia is fanning the flames and will soon ignite this fire," he told CNN, after he wrote about his fears on his blog. "We need to quell it before it leads to violence."

    On a recent post by the National Revolution group, anonymous vigilantes call for everyone to gather in the streets of Palermo to protest that rents, mortgages and other utility bills have not been suspended for those who work in the black economy and who cannot prove they've lost their jobs.

    Anti-mafia prosecutor Federico De Raho told CNN that social unease is the breeding ground for social unrest. "The Camorra, 'Ndrangheta and Mafia are all there to offer services to those who are suffering, giving them what they need in order to demand to be paid back later with interest," he said. "We have seen this in other emergency situations, these criminal groups are there to exploit the situation. This will be no different."

    De Raho also says these groups are promoting violence against authorities and encouraging disgruntled and vulnerable people, especially petty criminals, to organize themselves to stage break-ins and wreak other havoc. He says that when the country eventually comes out of the lockdown, the criminal groups will be there to loan money and fill the vacuum left by the over-extended state. "If the state does not intervene with the right economic support at the right time, the businesses will have no option but take help where they can get it. The mafias are there ready to invest their money."

    Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte has promised around $440 million in food vouchers to those in need, and a further $4.5 billion in aid to regional mayors to help vulnerable people in their communities. But the consortium of Italian mayors has complained that the $4.5 billion had already been earmarked to be delivered in May before the pandemic swept Italy, and that it cannot now be retargeted as part of the crisis support.

    As the pressure from the pandemic calms in the north, there are still concerns that it could explode in the south if disgruntled people start defying the lockdown in greater numbers, which would add even more misery to an already miserable situation for everyone.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  14. #1679

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Staggering Surge Of NYers Dying In Their Homes Suggests City Is Undercounting Coronavirus Fatalities
    APRIL 7, 2020 6:00 A.M

    If you die at home from the coronavirus, there’s a good chance you won’t be included in the official death toll, because of a discrepancy in New York City’s reporting process.

    The problem means the city’s official death count is likely far lower than the real toll taken by the virus, according to public health officials.

    It also means that victims without access to testing are not being counted, and even epidemiologists are left without a full understanding of the pandemic.

    As of Monday afternoon, 2,738 New York City residents have died from ‘confirmed’ cases of COVID-19, according to the city Department of Health. That’s an average of 245 a day since the previous Monday.

    But another 200 city residents are now dying at home each day, compared to 20 to 25 such deaths before the pandemic, said Aja Worthy-Davis, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office. And an untold number of them are unconfirmed.

    That’s because the ME’s office is not testing dead bodies for COVID-19. Instead, they’re referring suspected cases to the city’s health department as “probable.”

    “If someone dies at home, and we go to the home and there [are] signs of influenza, our medical examiner may determine the cause of death was clearly an influenza-like illness, potentially COVID or an influenza-like illness believed to be COVID,” said Worthy-Davis. “We report all our deaths citywide to the health department, who releases that data to the public.”

    But the health department does not include that number in the official count unless it is confirmed, a spokesman said.

    “Every person with a lab confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis is counted in the number of fatalities,” the spokesman, Michael Lanza, said in an email. He said the city's coronavirus death tally does not break down who died at home versus who died in a hospital from the virus.

    “While undiagnosed cases that result in at-home deaths are connected to a public health pandemic...not all suspected COVID-19 deaths are brought in for examination by OCME, nor do we provide testing in most of these natural at-home deaths,” Lanza said.

    Typically, when someone dies at home, a loved one, acquaintance or neighbor calls the police or 911. First responders call in the medical examiner, who conducts a review to determine if there was foul play, then records a cause of death.

    Worthy-Davis could not immediately provide a tally of how many “probable” COVID-19 deaths have been referred to the Health Department. The health department also could not provide the number of “probable” COVID deaths certified by OCME.

    If a person had been tested before death, that record would be passed along, said Worthy-Davis. But testing protocols have generally excluded victims who are not hospitalized.

    Statistics from the Fire Department, which runs EMS, confirm a staggering rise in deaths occurring at the scene before first responders can transport a person to a hospital for care.

    The FDNY says it responded to 2,192 cases of deaths at home between March 20th and April 5th, or about 130 a day, an almost 400 percent increase from the same time period last year. (In 2019, there were just 453 cardiac arrest calls where a patient died, according to the FDNY.)

    That number has been steadily increasing since March 30th, with 241 New Yorkers dying at home Sunday — more than the number of confirmed COVID-19 deaths that occurred citywide that day. On Monday night, the city reported 266 new deaths, suggesting the possibility of a 40% undercount of coronavirus-related deaths.

    A spokeswoman for Mayor Bill de Blasio did not return a request for comment about the difference between probable and confirmed COVID-19 deaths. But the discrepancy troubled public health authorities and local elected officials.

    “There’s no doubt we’re undercounting,” said City Councilman Mark Levine, who chairs the city’s Health Committee. “If the person had a confirmed test result before death then they were marked that was the cause of death on the death certificate. If someone did not have a confirmed test but it appears they had the symptoms, then OCME will flag them as a ‘possible’ [COVID death]. It’s unclear to me whether those are being counted in our total stats.”

    Dr. Irwin Redlener, the director of Columbia University's National Center for Disaster Preparedness, called the discrepancy “a subset of the whole testing fiasco.” He said the city should be testing dead bodies and reporting the results.

    “This difference between the [Medical Examiner] and the Health Department, that’s something that needs to be resolved urgently, that’s not okay,” Redlener said. “They have to be on the same page.”

    Redlener said the city should also be tracking other deaths that occur as collateral damage.

    “[People] may be dying because of reduced care for other non-COVID diseases” like diabetes, heart attacks or other chronic conditions, Redlener said. “Those to me, should be somehow tallied as we’re looking at the death toll of COVID.”

    Meanwhile, city and hospital morgues and refrigerated trucks used to supplement them are nearing capacity, and first responders continue to answer unprecedented numbers of 911 calls every day. They’re averaging more than 6,400 a day over the last 11 days, compared to 4,500 before the pandemic, according to union officials.

    To alleviate pressure on hospitals, last week the council that oversees emergency responders told paramedics and EMTs to try to revive a person whose heart has stopped beating in the field. If they can’t do so, the person is not taken to a hospital for further care.

    “We had one lieutenant in his 16-hour tour respond to 11 cardiac arrests, which is beyond abnormal,” said Michael Greco, vice president of Local 2507, the union representing the Fire Department’s EMTs and paramedics. On Sunday, they fielded 187 calls for cardiac arrest, where they would have to try to revive people on site. They used to get 20 of those a day, he said.

    “None of us were trained for this,” he said. “None of us signed up for this.”
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

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