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  1. #1726

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    I wanted to response in a separate note to what Dry said about the persons in the two stores:

    I would emphatically recommend to Dry (and to anyone else who observes this) to do first what Dry did (mention it to the store manager) and then to call the County Health Department and tell them exactly what you saw, when you saw it, and as good a description of the persons as you can manage. So Dry, I'm saying you should definitely do this, even if some time has passed before you get around to calling.

    That story scared me. We have heard stories of some right-wing groups who are hoping to use the virus as a biological weapon of terror. I worry that Dry might have seen someone trying to do so.


  2. #1727

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    What dry reported sounds creepy and indeed should be reported. As for biological weapons this crisis is yet another proof how useless bacteria or viruses would be for such a purpose. No real way of ensuring that only people you want to be dead will die...
    Roger forever

  3. #1728

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    If you go biological warfare, sure, virus and bacteria are useless.
    But if you are going full 12 MONKEYS, then welcome to my paranoid world
    (And, yes, half joke, because I understand we are still a long way from manipulating anything to that degree of genetical engineering).

    To Dry:
    I went shopping yesterday. The guy behind me at the checkout lane indeed was not keeping his 6'. But his cart was full. And he was wearing a mask, so I wonder if he just simply could not figure out what 6 feet are.
    Missing winter...

  4. #1729

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    This feels like gloating again because of the shit show being staged in the White House briefing room everyday, but Ontario Premiere Doug Ford (who is a Donald Trump-like politician) has really done a great job for the past month dealing with the pandemic. Two years ago Ford was elected in Ontario by jumping up and down on Justin Trudeau's head (and then Premiere Kathleen Wynne), and then Trudeau got reelected last fall by jumping up and down on Ford's head, and yet in the past few weeks both have had nothing but praise for the other as they work together. A few months ago there were big fights brewing between the Federal government, and various provincial governments to the point where there was a small movement for Alberta independence gaining steam, and in the past month no one has heard anything about them. I'm sure they will return, but it is a big relieve that it shows the country works when it counts the most.

    A crisis can forge great leaders. Doug Ford is showing that in Canada.

    By Michael Taube
    April 7, 2020 at 7:30 a.m. EDT
    Michael Taube, a Troy Media syndicated columnist and political commentator, was a speechwriter for former prime minister Stephen Harper.

    Political leaders face many challenges in office. But as the old saying goes, the true test of leadership occurs during a time of crisis.

    Case in point, Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

    He’s the older brother of the late Rob Ford, the former mayor of Toronto who became a cause célèbre in 2013 after he admitted to smoking crack cocaine during one of his “drunken stupors.” The right-leaning Progressive Conservative has also had his share of controversies, including patronage appointments, reducing the number of Toronto city council seats and fighting the federal carbon tax.

    Yet, the Canadian left’s favorite lightning rod for controversy has undergone a stunning transformation during the coronavirus pandemic. Doug Ford has turned into one of the most trusted political leaders in not only Canada.

    Ford’s leadership has been been described as being strong, compassionate, calm, honest and transparent. His news conferences have expressed everything from empathy and concern to open and honest discourse. He has thanked front-line workers and medical professionals. He has spoken highly of the media — once his mortal enemy — including a cameraman who responded in appreciation. He praised American Sign Language interpreter Christopher Desloges as a “rock star” on his final day on the job and invited him to the podium to speak about his work with the deaf community. He went to Markham to help load 90,000 masks donated by a local company, Dental Brands, on his truck, and didn’t even inform his staff.

    Ford was also commended for releasing covid-19 projection numbers in Ontario last week. He acknowledged the scenarios were “really stark,” but he still felt “we have to be fully transparent with the people of Ontario, no matter how hard it will be.” (Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hasn’t done this on a national scale to date.) Ford has also kept the lines of communication open with opposition leaders, and said in the Ontario legislature, “Now is the time to put politics aside. No matter what our political stripe, we must all be Team Ontario and Team Canada.”

    Ford blasted President Trump for stopping exports of 3M’s N95 face masks to Canada. “I just can’t stress how disappointed I am at President Trump for making this decision,” Ford said last week. “When the cards are down, you see who your friends are.”

    The political left’s days of comparing Ford to Trump may finally be over.

    This helps explain why Ford’s leadership has received praise from across the political spectrum. Most notably, the list includes Liberal Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland, who told Toronto Star columnist Susan Delacourt, “He and I have actually come to describe one another as each other’s therapists.”

    CBC News recently gathered together some public opinion polls to determine which world leaders have handled covid-19 the best. According to a March 20-23 Angus Reid Institute poll, Ford was at 74 percent. That’s behind Quebec Premier Francois Legault and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, but ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Trudeau and Trump. I would assume Ford’s poll numbers are even higher today.

    Ford’s switch from polarizing political figure to respected political leader has been much to the surprise (and, one assumes, chagrin) of left-leaning opponents, critics and perpetual naysayers. Many can’t believe they’re praising a man they’ve despised for so long. A few sense it’s an act and wait impatiently for the other shoe to drop.

    Will things change when the coronavirus pandemic is over? Absolutely. In politics, there are times to be proactive — and times to be combative.

    But make no mistake about it: This transformation isn’t an act. As several commentators, including me, have previously pointed out, there’s more to Ford than meets the eye. He’s intelligent, plain-spoken, friendly and engaging. While he understands political strategy and retail politics, he respects honesty and transparency far more than his political rivals give him credit for. As well, he now realizes his political past doesn’t have to define his political present or political future.

    Great leaders emerge in difficult times, even if that leader isn’t someone you would have naturally considered for that role. Doug Ford has proved this in spades.
    Last edited by skatingfan; Yesterday at 04:29 PM.

  5. #1730

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    @Dry, I would assume you know that there have been cases of people intentionally coughing on others in Pennsylvania and New Jersey claiming they had the coronavirus. The people were arrested and charged with terrorist threats and harassment and a few other things in addition to charges associated with breaking the social distancing regulations.

    All this to say, while PA and NJ wouldn't necessarily take what you saw seriously at any other time, they will right now. County commissioners are doing their best to get a handle on this and don't want people even more afraid than they already are and Governor Wolf is not here for any version of anyone's nonsense and has made that crystal clear to the cities and counties, so reporting what you saw would be taken seriously.

  6. #1731
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    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by ponchi101 View Post
    To Dry:
    I went shopping yesterday. The guy behind me at the checkout lane indeed was not keeping his 6'. But his cart was full. And he was wearing a mask, so I wonder if he just simply could not figure out what 6 feet are.
    Sure. I've seen that several times. Some people don't judge distance well.

    But this was wacko. The guy in the grocery store never bought anything--at least I'm pretty sure he didn't because I was right by the checkout lanes when I told the manager. And twice I saw the smirk on his face. He was playing. He was amusing himself in some twisted way. I just don't know why.

    The second guy (at the convenience store) was a little different. He wasn't standing by people as much as he was making a concerted effort to come as close to other people in the store--and unnecessarily so. Like when I was waiting to pay, and he walked in, and I had nothing around me for about 8 feet or so, and he quite intentionally bumped against my shoulder when he had plenty of space to get by me without doing so and numerous other pathways to get where he wanted to go. Which turned out to be nowhere because I watched him do the same thing he did to me to about three other people. And then he left--without buying anything. And he never gave any indication that he was actually looking for something.

    I just remember thinking to myself: What is going on here? Are these jackasses part of some sick and twisted club I've never heard of?


    While I at first thought it was the same guy as the supermarket because they looked so much alike, I'm pretty sure it wasn't because they were dressed differently. Maybe they were brothers or cousins who have too much time on their hands.

    It was just very weird. Suliso probably has it right--just creepiness.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  7. #1732

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Just in time for Easter. And the Kansas already has 3 outbreaks in the state related to religious gatherings.

    NBC News

    Kansas lawmakers overturn an executive order by Gov. Laura Kelley that restricted religious gatherings, despite the state's spike in coronavirus cases.

  8. #1733

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Huw @ed_son

    Emily Maitlis with powerful words that needed saying tonight.
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  9. #1734

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

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

    ― Frank Zappa

  10. #1735

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Trump preparing to unveil second coronavirus task force, officials say

    Ashley Parker,
    Josh Dawsey and
    Yasmeen Abutaleb
    April 8, 2020 at 10:39 p.m. EDT

    Trump is preparing to announce as soon as this week a second, smaller coronavirus task force aimed specifically at combating the economic ramifications of the virus and focused on reopening the nation’s economy, according to four people familiar with the plans.

    The task force will be made up of a mix of private-sector and top administration officials, including chief of staff Mark Meadows — whose first official day on the job was last week — Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and national economic adviser Larry Kudlow, a senior administration official said.

    Meadows is likely to lead the task force, though no official decision has been made, two senior administration officials said.

    Kevin Hassett, Trump’s former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, may also join the group, another official said.

    Those people spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

    The economic task force — which will be separate from the main coronavirus task force, despite having some overlapping members — will focus on how to reopen the country, as well as what businesses need to rebound amid catastrophic conditions. The goal is to get as much of the country as possible open by April 30, the current deadline Trump set for stringent social distancing measures.

    The economic task force will not meet every day, like the large one, and is expected to have a more informal feel, with many of the meetings held over the phone and as in-person briefings with the president.

    An announcement could come as early as this week, although within the West Wing, there were previous plans to announce this second task force earlier this week — and those were delayed.

    The White House declined to comment.

    The second task force adds yet another layer to an already unwieldy bureaucratic coronavirus response process within the White House; after becoming involved in the effort last month, Jared Kushner — Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser — has also formed his own working group, which some dismissively refer to as a shadow task force.

    The idea of a group dealing solely with the economic impact of the virus has recently been under consideration.

    After initially announcing an Easter deadline — which falls on April 12 this year — to reopen the country, the president reluctantly pushed the time frame back to April 30, amid strong urging by public health officials. But he has remained fixated on reopening the economy and has publicly mused about a second task force focused on this goal.

    On Saturday, Trump shared a tweet by Fox News host Dana Perino, in which she suggested a supplemental economic task force. “I think we need a 2nd task force assembled at direction of POTUS to look ahead to reopening of the economy,” Perino wrote. “Made up of a nonpartisan/bipartisan mix of experts across industry sectors, so that we have their recommendations & plan - let 1st taskforce focus on crisis at the moment.”

    Trump supported the proposal, writing, “Good idea Dana!”

    Later, asked at Saturday’s briefing whether he was, in fact, planning to go forward with a second task force, Trump replied that he was considering it.

    “Thinking about it,” he said. “Getting a group of people. And we have to open our country. You know, I had an expression: ‘The cure can’t be worse than the problem itself.’ Right? I started by saying that, and I continue to say it: The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself.”

    Trump concluded: “We’ve got to get our country open.”
    There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life.”

    ― Frank Zappa

  11. #1736

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Live updates: CDC announces coronavirus guidelines for essential workers; New York has highest single-day death toll

    Alex Horton,
    Miriam Berger,
    Eva Dou,
    Michael Brice-Saddler,
    Candace Buckner,
    Meryl Kornfield and
    Colby Itkowitz
    April 8, 2020 at 10:46 p.m. EDT
    Refresh for updates
    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.

    The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced new guidelines to help protect essential workers in the United States, including taking the workers’ temperatures, wearing masks at all times, and to avoid sharing headsets and other equipment that is used near the face.

    In the United States, signs of optimism that the spread of the coronavirus was flattening contrasted with rising death tolls, opposing messages about social-distancing orders, and political frustration.

    Here are some significant developments:

    Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the World Health Organization’s director-general, said countries should unify or risk worsening the pandemic. His comments came after President Trump on Tuesday threatened to withhold funds from the U.N. agency.

    New York announced 779 new deaths from the virus, its highest single-day toll, though the state’s number of hospitalized patients is down. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) acknowledged progress but cautioned, “It’s not a time to get complacent.”

    Ahead of Easter and Passover, Kansas legislators voted along party lines to strike down an executive order that Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly issued the day before, limiting religious gatherings to 10 people.

    As law enforcement personnel are tasked with making sure citizens comply with unprecedented restrictions on their freedom of movement, coughing ‘attacks’ may be prosecuted as terrorism.

    A leading forecasting model used by many states and the White House now estimates tens of thousands fewer covid-19 deaths by August. But a separate report to the White House by a panel of medical experts finds that the coronavirus is unlikely to significantly wane with the arrival of summer.

    8:22 p.m.
    Trip at center of top Navy official’s resignation cost taxpayers over $243,000

    Acting Navy secretary Thomas Modly boarded one of his service’s executive jets Monday to visit Guam — a trip that turned out to be costly for both him and U.S. taxpayers.

    During his visit, Modly created an uproar by insulting the former commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, who had raised concerns about how the Navy was handling a coronavirus outbreak on the warship.

    For Modly, the trip resulted in his resignation. For taxpayers, the cost of the flight alone was at least $243,151.65, according to a Navy estimate.

    The detail emerged amid the continuing fallout from Modly’s recent actions, which include his decision to remove Navy Capt. Brett Crozier, the Roosevelt’s commander. Last week, Crozier wrote a letter to Navy leaders requesting that 90 percent of his 4,800-sailor crew be temporarily removed from the ship in Guam to allow for coronavirus testing and quarantining.

    As of Wednesday, 286 members of the crew had tested positive for the virus. Crozier is among them.

    Read more here.

    8:51 p.m.
    Coronavirus crisis highlights Trump’s resistance to criticism — and his desire for fervent praise

    The pandemic has crystallized several long-standing undercurrents of President Trump’s governing ethos: a refusal to accept criticism, a seemingly insatiable need for praise — and an abiding mistrust of independent entities and individuals.

    Those characteristics have had a pervasive effect on the administration’s handling of the crisis, from Trump’s suggestions that he might withhold aid from struggling state governments based on whether he is displeased with a governor to his repeated refusal to take responsibility for shortcomings in the laggard federal response.

    Read more here.

    By Ashley Parker and Anne Gearan

    9:24 p.m.
    Birx and Fauci: Theories that the U.S. coronavirus death toll is inflated are inaccurate

    Deborah Birx and Anthony S. Fauci on Wednesday pushed back on conspiracy theories suggesting that the U.S. coronavirus death toll is falsely overcounted, particularly by including people who died of preexisting conditions.

    Those ideas, which Fauci described as distractions, have been shared online and by television commentators including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who on his Tuesday night show said he thinks pneumonia deaths have been incorrectly labeled. His guest, former Fox News host Brit Hume, argued that the death toll was exaggerated by people dying of other causes and played a clip of Birx saying at a briefing that “if someone dies with covid-19, we are counting that as a covid-19 death.”

    On Wednesday afternoon, Fox host Harris Faulkner played the same comment by Birx.

    “How many of those people had other health risks at play, though, and maybe it wasn’t in fact covid-19 that caused their death?” Faulkner said.

    Hours later, during the Wednesday coronavirus task force briefing, Birx objected to that argument, which she said was a misinterpretation of data from Italy that showed that patients who died often had co-morbidities.

    “Those individuals will have an underlying condition,” she said, “but that underlying condition did not cause their acute death when it’s related to a covid infection.”

    Underlying medical conditions do not cause covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, but can increase a person’s risk of contracting it and dying of it, according to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, so those conditions should be reported as part of certifying deaths but should not be listed as the condition that led directly to death.

    By Meryl Kornfield

    10:39 p.m.
    Testing sites that lose federal funding may close this week

    As the coronavirus apex in the United States approaches, some federally funded coronavirus testing sites across the country may be shut down if states and municipalities can’t keep them running.

    The drive-through sites, which are part of the Community-Based Testing Sites program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Administration, will lose federal funding this week, NPR first reported. Philadelphia announced it would shut down two of the federally funded sites and disperse tests across the city instead, according to local station WHYY.

    However, not all testing sites will close. Dallas confirmed on Wednesday that two sites set to close after April 10 will end up staying open through May 30 after the federal government extended its support for those sites.

    HHS and FEMA didn’t immediately respond to The Washington Post for comment, but spokespersons for the agencies told NPR the change merely gives states the authority to run the sites.

    “The transition will ensure each state has the flexibility and autonomy to manage and operate testing sites within the needs of their specific community and to prioritize resources where they are needed the most,” the HHS spokesperson said.

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

    ― Frank Zappa

  12. #1737

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by GlennHarman View Post
    Relative to the question posed by Drop: Foco infeccioso, literally translated "infectious focus", is generally stated as "focus of infection" in English. It is the place from which an infection arises and is dispersed. A "vector" is a related term but also different. A vector is the thing or being that transfers the infection to others. So using Drop's mention of the dogs, and not being specific to Coronavirus for a moment to make the point: Let's say there was an infected puddle of water out by the street (there are several diseases for which this is a real possibility). Several dogs go out to that puddle and wade in it or drink from it. Each dog then goes into a house where it rubs against and licks several people. In this example, the puddle was the focus of infection and the dogs were vectors.

    For Coronavirus, dogs and cats are not thought to be frequent vectors of the infection. But there are some definite scenarios when they probably are. For instance, one person in a house or area has the virus. It would be very possible for a dog to be the vector to other people. The virus could get on its coat, its collar, in its mouth, etc, and the next person or people could come into contact with those.

    When this started, I was discussing our strategy with Chris. I explained exactly the concept that our dogs were unlikely to get infected. I also explained that they were unlikely to spread the virus to us UNLESS they came into contact with someone with the virus. So I said we would not be allowing anyone to pet the dogs on our walks and the dogs would not be allowed into the company of other people or dogs (where we live and with our large fenced-in backyard, this is actually a very easy thing to maintain).

    So I would recommend that dogs and cats be monitored for potential contacts. Still, contact with infected persons (serving as vectors for others) is far riskier, as is contact with the things that infected persons have recently touched.

    Agreed Glenn about focus of infection, although "foco infeccioso" or better said "foco / foco de infeccion" is also used as to the organ from which the infection is originating. It was this in this sense that I meant it. I assume you might use the same expression...?

    About the dogs, this article stated that they would pick the virus up on the streets (mostly their paws) and whilst not becoming infected, certainly pass it on to humans when they came into contact with the paws.
    Meet again we do, old foe...

  13. #1738

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    CDC has been so very embarrassing during this crisis. But there is evidence that they've been muzzled and signs that they continue to quietly try to do the right thing and follow the science.

    Ms. Krassenstein

    BREAKING: The CDC website has quietly deleted nearly ALL Anecdotal Reports and guidelines on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, the drug that Trump has been furiously pushing as a cure for Coronavirus.

  14. #1739

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Associated Press
    Girl who inspired Charlotte's Web marijuana oil dies
    Associated Press April 8, 2020, 10:11 AM MST
    FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, 7-year-old Charlotte Figi, whose parent describe her as once being severely and untreatably ill, walks around inside a greenhouse for a special strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte's Web, which was named after Charlotte early in her treatment, at a grow location in a remote spot in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colo. Figi, the Colorado girl with a rare form of epilepsy whose recovery inspired the name of a medical marijuana oil that drew families to the state has died. The non-profit organization co-founded by her mother says Charlotte, now 13, Figi died Tuesday, April 7, 2020. It didn't say how she died. A post on her mother's Facebook page said she was recently hospitalized and a virus had infected her whole family. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
    FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, Matt Figi hugs and tickles his once severely-ill 7-year-old daughter Charlotte as they walk around inside a greenhouse for a special strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte's Web, which was named after Charlotte early in her treatment, at a grow location in a remote spot in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colo. Figi, the Colorado girl with a rare form of epilepsy whose recovery inspired the name of a medical marijuana oil that drew families to the state has died. The non-profit organization co-founded by her mother says Charlotte, now 13, Figi died Tuesday, April 7, 2020. It didn't say how she died. A post on her mother's Facebook page said she was recently hospitalized and a virus had infected her whole family. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)
    1 / 2

    FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2014 photo, 7-year-old Charlotte Figi, whose parent describe her as once being severely and untreatably ill, walks around inside a greenhouse for a special strain of medical marijuana known as Charlotte's Web, which was named after Charlotte early in her treatment, at a grow location in a remote spot in the mountains west of Colorado Springs, Colo. Figi, the Colorado girl with a rare form of epilepsy whose recovery inspired the name of a medical marijuana oil that drew families to the state has died. The non-profit organization co-founded by her mother says Charlotte, now 13, Figi died Tuesday, April 7, 2020. It didn't say how she died. A post on her mother's Facebook page said she was recently hospitalized and a virus had infected her whole family. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)

    DENVER (AP) — A girl with a rare form of epilepsy whose recovery inspired the name of a medical marijuana oil that drew families of children with similar health problems to Colorado for treatment has died after being hospitalized and treated as a likely coronavirus patient, her mother said Wednesday. Charlotte Figi was 13.

    Charlotte, who lived in Colorado Springs, died Tuesday after suffering a seizure that resulted in cardiac arrest and respiratory failure, her mother, Paige Figi, said in a statement. Charlotte tested negative for the coronavirus when she was initially admitted to a hospital on Friday but was still treated as a likely COVID-19 case when she was returned to the hospital Tuesday after the seizure because her whole family had been sick for a month with suspected coronavirus symptoms, Figi said.

    Her death was first announced by the group co-founded by Paige Figi, Realm of Caring Foundation, to help other families who uprooted their lives for a chance to use cannabis to treat their children's seizures before marijuana became more widely legalized in the United States.

    Charlotte’s case and the advocacy of her parents played a significant role in drawing attention to the potential that a drug derived from cannabis could be used to treat epilepsy.

    “Some journeys are long and bland and others are short and poignant and meant to revolutionize the world. Such was the path chosen by this little girl with a catastrophic form of epilepsy called Dravet Syndrome,” the announcement said.

    At age 5, Charlotte suffered as many as 300 grand mal seizures a week, used a wheelchair, went into repeated cardiac arrest and could barely speak.

    With doctors out of ideas, Paige Figi began calling medical marijuana shops. Her symptoms largely disappeared after she began taking an oil created using a strain of marijuana with low THC, the drug's psychoactive compound, but high in the chemical CBD, created by Stanley Brothers, a marijuana business in Colorado. It later named it after her.

    Federal prohibition of marijuana has limited research into marijuana and individual compounds' health effects, but Charlotte's family and hundreds of others shared their own experience using it for seizure disorders.

    U.S. health regulators in 2018 approved the first prescription drug made with CBD to treat rare forms of epilepsy in young children.

    In an online tribute, Stanley Brothers praised Charlotte as “a light that lit the world.”

    “She grew, cultivated by a community, protected by love, demanding that the world witness her suffering so that they might find a solution,” it said.

    For most, the coronavirus causes mild to moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. But for some older adults and the infirm, it can cause pneumonia and death. Over 300,000 people worldwide have recovered.
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

  15. #1740

    Re: covid-19 Virus Updates and Discussion

    Eight U.K. Doctors Died From Coronavirus. All Were Immigrants.
    Benjamin Mueller
    The New York Times

    LONDON — The eight men moved to Britain from different corners of its former empire, all of them doctors or doctors-to-be, becoming foot soldiers in the effort to build a free universal health service after World War II.

    Now their names have become stacked atop a grim list: the first, and so far only, doctors publicly reported to have died after catching the coronavirus in Britain’s aching National Health Service.

    For a country ripped apart in recent years by Brexit and the anti-immigrant movement that birthed it, the deaths of the eight doctors — from Egypt, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Sudan — attest to the extraordinary dependence of Britain’s treasured health service on workers from abroad.

    It is a story tinged with racism, as white, British doctors have largely dominated the prestigious disciplines while foreign doctors have typically found work in places and practices that are apparently putting them on the dangerous front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.

    “When people were standing on the street clapping for NHS workers, I thought, ‘A year and a half ago, they were talking about Brexit and how these immigrants have come into our country and want to take our jobs,’” said Dr. Hisham el-Khidir, whose cousin Dr. Adil el-Tayar, a transplant surgeon, died March 25 from the coronavirus in western London.

    “Now today, it’s the same immigrants that are trying to work with the locals,” said el-Khidir, a surgeon in Norwich, “and they are dying on the front lines.”

    By Tuesday, 7,097 people had died in British hospitals from the coronavirus, the government said Wednesday, a leap of 938 from the day before, the largest daily rise in the death toll.

    And the victims have included not just the eight doctors but a number of nurses who worked alongside them, at least one from overseas. Health workers are stretched thin as hospitals across the country are filled with patients, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who this week was moved into intensive care with the coronavirus.

    Britain is not the only country reckoning with its debt to foreign doctors amid the terror and chaos of the pandemic. In the United States, where immigrants make up more than a quarter of all doctors but often face long waits for green cards, New York and New Jersey have already cleared the way for graduates of overseas medical schools to suit up in the coronavirus response.

    But Britain, where nearly a third of doctors in National Health Service hospitals are immigrants, has especially strong links to the medical school systems of its former colonies, making it a natural landing place.

    That was true for el-Tayar, 64, the oldest son of a government clerk and a housewife from Atbara, Sudan, a railway city on the Nile.

    He had 11 siblings, and one left a special impression: Osman, a brother, who became ill as a child and died without suitable medical treatment. Though el-Tayar rarely spoke of his brother’s death, he gave the same name to his oldest son.

    “In my mind, I think that’s what led him to medicine,” el-Khidir said. “He didn’t want anyone else in his family to feel that.”

    After graduating from the University of Khartoum, el-Tayar decided to help address a tide of kidney disease sweeping across sub-Saharan Africa. So he moved to Britain in the early 1990s to train as a specialist transplant surgeon. He returned to Sudan around 2010 and helped set up a transplant program there.

    But the deteriorating political situation in Sudan and the recent birth of a son persuaded el-Tayar to settle back in Britain, where he went to work once again for the health service. Having lost his status as a senior doctor when he left for Sudan, he had taken up work filling in at a surgical assessment unit in Herefordshire, northwest of London, examining patients coming through the emergency room.

    It was there that his family believes el-Tayar, working with only rudimentary protective gear, contracted the virus. Sequestered in the western London home where he loved sitting next to his 12-year-old son, he became so short of breath recently that he could not string together a sentence. While on a ventilator, his heart failed him.

    Had the health service started screening hospital patients for the virus sooner or supplied doctors with better protective gear, el-Tayar might have lived, said his cousin, el-Khidir.

    “In our morbidity analyses, we go through each and every case and ask, ‘Was it preventable? Was it avoidable?’ ” he said. “I’m trying to answer this question with my cousin now. Even with all the difficulties, I’ve got to say the answer has to be yes.”

    Analysts warn that doctor shortages across countries ravaged by the coronavirus will worsen as the virus spreads. While ventilators may be the scarcest resource for now, a shortage of doctors and nurses trained to operate them could leave hospitals struggling to make use even of what they have.

    By recruiting foreign doctors, Britain saves the roughly $270,000 in taxpayer money that it costs to train doctors locally, a boon to a system that does not spend enough on medical education to staff its own hospitals. That effectively leaves Britain depending on the largess of countries with weaker health care systems to train its own workforce.

    Even so, the doctors are hampered by thousands of dollars in annual visa fees and, on top of that, a $500 surcharge for using the very health service they work for.

    Excluded from the most prestigious disciplines, immigrant doctors have come to dominate so-called Cinderella specialties, like family and elderly medicine, turning them into pillars of Britain’s health system. And unlike choosier Britain-born doctors, they have historically gone to work in what one lawmaker in 1961 called “the rottenest, worst hospitals in the country,” the very ones that most needed a doctor.

    Those same places are now squarely in the path of the virus.

    “Migrant doctors are architects of the NHS — they’re what built it and held it together and worked in the most unpopular, most difficult areas, where white British doctors don’t want to go and work,” said Dr. Aneez Esmail, a professor of general practice at the University of Manchester. “It’s a hidden story.”

    When el-Tayar moved to Britain in the 1990s, he was following a pipeline laid by the family of another doctor who has now died after contracting the coronavirus: Dr. Amged el-Hawrani, 55.

    An ear, nose and throat specialist, el-Hawrani was about 11 when his father, a radiologist, brought the family in 1975 from Khartoum to Taunton, a town in southwestern England, and then Bristol, a bigger city nearby.

    Many Sudanese doctors at the time were burnishing their skills in Britain before returning home or moving to Persian Gulf countries for higher wages. But el-Hawrani’s family turned their home into a staging post for Sudanese doctors interested in longer-term stays, hosting their families during exams or house hunts.

    “The more the merrier,” said Amal el-Hawrani, a younger brother of el-Hawrani. “My mum always liked that.”

    Being British-Sudanese in the 1980s was not easy. Race riots flared in cities across the country. Mosques were scarce. Amged el-Hawrani went to school almost exclusively with white British classmates.

    The young doctor quietly stood up for his family: When someone once tried to kill a 100-year-old fern in their garden by cutting out a ring of bark, el-Hawrani snapped off branches and nailed them across the gap so that nutrients could get across.

    Still, discrimination bothered him. When it came time to follow his father into medicine, el-Hawrani told his brother that he “wanted to be an orthopedic surgeon but felt that maybe because of certain prejudices he didn’t get it.”

    His resolve only grew stronger after an older brother, Ashraf, a fellow doctor, died at 29 of causes related to asthma. Amged el-Hawrani discovered his brother’s body.

    Before el-Hawrani’s death, on March 28, he had finally come around to the idea that his only son, Ashraf, named in his brother’s memory, would study English instead of the family trade. Ashraf said in a statement that his father “was dedicated towards his family.”

    “Now he has to make his decisions about which university to go to on his own,” Amal el-Hawrani said of Ashraf. “He was expecting to have his father’s help.”

    The coronavirus has taken a devastating toll on migrant doctors across Britain, leaving at least six others dead: Dr. Habib Zaidi, 76, a longtime general practitioner from Pakistan; Dr. Alfa Sa’adu, 68, a geriatric doctor from Nigeria; Dr. Jitendra Rathod, 62, a heart surgeon from India; Dr. Anton Sebastianpillai, in his 70s, a geriatric doctor from Sri Lanka; Dr. Mohamed Sami Shousha, 79, a breast tissue specialist from Egypt; and Dr. Syed Haider, in his 80s, a general practitioner from Pakistan.

    Barry Hudson, a longtime patient of Zaidi in southeastern England, recalled their exam table conversations about England’s cricket team.

    “He was a big figure in the community,” Hudson said. “He had a proper doctor’s manner. He didn’t rush anybody.”

    For families that love to gather, grieving at a distance has been wrenching.

    El-Tayar was buried beside his father and grandfather in Sudan, as he had wanted. But because only cargo planes were flying there, his wife and children could not accompany the coffin.

    At el-Hawrani’s burial, an imam said a prayer before a small, spread-out crowd, and the doctor’s four living brothers and son lowered his coffin into the ground. Then they dispersed.

    His brother, Amal el-Hawrani, permitted himself a single intimacy: a hug with his mother, because “I couldn’t turn that away,” he said.

    Then she returned to her home in Bristol, along with a son who had visited Amged el-Hawrani in the hospital. Fearful of passing on the virus, he had to forbid her from his room to keep her from bringing in food.

    This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

    Lots of issues brought up in this article, and not just coronavirus issues. These stories continue to be heartbreaking in multiple ways.
    Last edited by Jeff in TX; Yesterday at 11:22 PM. Reason: additional comment
    "And for my next fearless prediction..."

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