First, Prince Charles and, now, Bojo. Apparently, the coronavirus doesn’t like the British state.
By Guy Faulconbridge and Kate Holton
LONDON, March 27 (Reuters) – British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Friday he had tested positive for coronavirus and was self-isolating at Downing Street but would still lead the government’s response to the accelerating outbreak.
Johnson, 55, experienced mild symptoms on Thursday – a day after he answered at the prime minister’s weekly question-and-answer session in parliament’s House of Commons chamber.
“I’ve taken a test. That has come out positive,” Johnson said in a video statement broadcast on Twitter. “I’ve developed mild symptoms of the coronavirus. That’s to say – a temperature and a persistent cough.
Maybe it will be the hand sanitizer that finally exposes the sham.
The Transportation Security Administration announced Friday that due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s waiving the familiar 3.4-ounce limit for liquids and gels—for hand sanitizer only.* You may now bring a bottle of Purell as large as 12 ounces onto the plane to assist in your constant sanitizing of yourself, your family, your seat, your bag of peanuts, and everything else. All other liquids and gels, however, are still restricted to 3.4 ounces.
Among many shocks of the past week—school closures, Tom Hanks, the shuttering of one sports league after another—this rule change registers as major. The liquid restriction has been a key component of air travel ever since 2006. If people are now allowed to bring 12-ounce bottles of hand sanitizer onto planes, won’t the planes blow up?
One crisis chases the next. We are constantly being confronted with new threat scenarios. In our pursuit of security, we accept restrictions on our freedom all too easily and enable state and capitalist monitors to control and examine every aspect of our everyday life. Most people believe everything they read on the internet or see on TV way to easily. And “that fear pays off is an age-old knowledge” was already stated by Professor of Sociology Jörg Schindler in his book “Panikmaking”. Even the state philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli advised the powerful to spread fear rather than benefits – it was “much safer to be feared than to be loved”. A recommendation that not only the rulers follow. Too much money can be made by unsecuring the masses. Food and pharmaceutical corporations, as well as insurance companies are currently recording astronomical profits, while dozens of medium-sized and small companies have to introduce short-time work or even close it.More…
Corona has taken over. Despite the fear and panic (or even denial) that has taken hold, one thing is for sure: the cracks of the system are emerging for all to see.
How can the left respond in a way that dodges the minefield of strengthening the state, at the same time as ensuring that people are being put before profits? How can self-organised activity, like the community groups that are popping up to help vulnerable people, be facilitated and crucially, be used as vehicles to get our demands met? It’s all very well to reiterate demands, such as for a universal basic income, as well as push for new ones, such as full-waged sick pay from day one. But the question always is: how do we enforce it?
We could simply rely on the fact that a crisis means extraordinary measures are implemeted from the top. We can only capitalise on the shakiness of global capitalism and this pandemic to push for a more equal society if we have a real grassroots power – that extends from mutual aid to workplaces. This means getting rooted in the longer term in our communities – inside and outside the workplace walls. To those ends, AngryWorkers have written a book about what this could actually look like, based on our experiences over the last six years in west London. There are no shortcuts!
Book plug over (!), we now present some further thoughts about the various facets of this health (and economic) crisis. There’s so much to discuss that it can all get pretty overwhelming. So we thought it would be useful to set out the following categorisations as a possible structure for the ongoing public debate – with the help of comrades. The various aspects are:
Gordon Brown has urged world leaders to create a temporary form of global government to tackle the twin medical and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The former Labour prime minister, who was at the centre of the international efforts to tackle the impact of the near-meltdown of the banks in 2008, said there was a need for a taskforce involving world leaders, health experts and the heads of the international organisations that would have executive powers to coordinate the response.
A virtual meeting of the G20 group of developed and developing countries, chaired by Saudi Arabia, will be held on Thursday, but Brown said it would have been preferable to have also included the UN security council.
Scientists warned that the United States someday would become the country hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic. That moment arrived on Thursday.
In the United States, at least 81,321 people are known to have been infected with the coronavirus, including more than 1,000 deaths — more cases than China, Italy or any other country has seen, according to data gathered by The New York Times.
The Times is engaged in a comprehensive effort to track the details of every confirmed case in the United States, collecting information from federal, state and local officials.
With 330 million residents, the United States is the world’s third most populous nation, meaning it provides a vast pool of people who can potentially get Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus.
Optimism is in short supply as the coronavirus pandemic grows deadlier by the day. COVID-19 has taken thousands of lives around the world and upended nearly every aspect of daily life.
But there is at least one bright spot in this global public health emergency. That’s the astounding speed with which private firms have begun tackling the problem. While federal regulators have exacerbated the crisis at seemingly every turn, private firms have rolled out promising new therapies and technologies that could help mitigate the pandemic—and save lives.
Doctors are hoarding medications touted as possible coronavirus treatments by writing prescriptions for themselves and family members, according to pharmacy boards in states across the country.
The stockpiling has become so worrisome in Idaho, Kentucky, Ohio, Nevada, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Texas that the boards in those states have issued emergency restrictions or guidelines on how the drugs can be dispensed at pharmacies. More states are expected to follow suit.
“This is a real issue and it is not some product of a few isolated bad apples,” said Jay Campbell, executive director of the North Carolina Board of Pharmacy.
The medications being prescribed differ slightly from state to state, but include those lauded by President Trump at televised briefings as potential breakthrough treatments for the virus, which has killed at least 675 people in the United States and infected more than 52,000.
The author of this article apparently can’t do math. He claims 1% of Italians have been diagnosed with COVID-19, but according to the data he provides, it’s only 1/10 of 1/% with 10% of diagnosed cases having died so far, although the number infected is obviously larger than those accounted for.
By Reid Wilson
A tsunami of coronavirus victims that is overwhelming health systems in Italy offers a frightening preview of what could lie ahead for the United States as case counts grow and hospitals run out of space and equipment to treat those with severe symptoms.
The strain is so great in Italy that the nation’s doctors have begun rationing care, making heart-wrenching decisions about who gets treatment and who is left to die. Obituary pages in local newspapers are running dozens of pages. Piles of coffins are stacked in parking lots.
“Too many for [the] crematory to burn,” Raffaele De Francesco, a microbiologist at the University of Milan, said in an email.
Just over a month after the hardest-hit Lombardy region confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, almost 64,000 Italians have been diagnosed with COVID-19 – or about 1 percent of the total population in a nation of 60 million. Of those, 6,077 have died, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control.
The worst tragedy of all is unfolding in Iran right now where an utterly insensitive and a criminally complicit world watches hapless Iranians fight the Covid 19 crisis with both hands tied behind their backs.
For that’s the situation they are in, given the US-led sanctions that are crippling their medical emergency services.
Rest assured, governments around the world will use/are using the current public health crisis as a pretext for a permanent power grab. Because that’s what governments do. We need to be prepared with a bottom-up response to ruling class shenanigans that are intended to strengthen class subjugation.
With the shutdown of businesses, schools and countless other institutions, millions of people are facing loss of income, housing and access to basic survival resources, including food. Confronted by popular pressure and the specter of civil unrest, states have begun to undertake a “disaster socialism” of uneven and often contradictory aid measures. Still, conditions of emergency are intensifying by the hour and the current biopolitical regime faces an existential crisis.
Under such circumstances, the need for self-organized infrastructures of mutual aid, care and resilience could not be clearer. In the coming weeks and months, rent strikes and other acts of collective refusal are on the horizon. How could these works of mutual aid flow into the construction of a dual power situation? As the system collapses, can physical bases of autonomy and solidarity transform our relationship to the state?
At Woodbine, an autonomous space and organizing framework maintained in New York City since 2014, this is what we have been preparing for — to mobilize our networks, skills, knowledges and energy to coordinate and provide for each other, while simultaneously building the longer-term capacity to face an uncertain future.
Being a certifiable agoraphobic basket case, you would think someone like me would be almost preternaturally suited for the stone blind isolation of fever fucked pandamania. And you would be completely fucking wrong. I spent six years in self imposed isolation as a twenty-something shut in. I spent another six desperately clawing my way out of that hole and slowly building what has only just begun to resemble a life, and in less than six days, covid-19 has torn this intricately constructed matrix of groups, volunteer jobs and therapy down to the ground and reduced me to the shambled debris of ground zero. I’m a little bit pissed, but mostly I’m just fucking scared. If I’m going to write about something like this, I’m going to write about it with the naked ferocity that defines my writing. A strange, vaguely haunted cobweb of Gonzo muckraking and navel gazing confessionals that I’ve come to refer to as Emo-Gonzo. I am the genderfucked bastard bitch of Hunter Thompson and Sylvia Plath, humped together in the dizzy oven of some bored press junket cafeteria, and today, this is my story. George Romero eat your heart out.
More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority.
After deaths from the virus reached more than 2,500, with a 150% increase in the past week, health authorities have been combing through data to provide clues to help combat the spread of the disease.
Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government is evaluating whether to extend a nationwide lockdown beyond the beginning of April, daily La Stampa reported Wednesday. Italy has more than 31,500 confirmed cases of the illness.
The new study could provide insight into why Italy’s death rate, at about 8% of total infected people, is higher than in other countries.
The Rome-based institute has examined medical records of about 18% of the country’s coronavirus fatalities, finding that just three victims, or 0.8% of the total, had no previous pathology. Almost half of the victims suffered from at least three prior illnesses and about a fourth had either one or two previous conditions.
More than 75% had high blood pressure, about 35% had diabetes and a third suffered from heart disease.
There are three reasons to believe that COVID-19 is a communist agent. First, it is universalist; it does not recognize or respect national borders. Second, it is atheist; it has forced cancellations of pilgrimages, along with thousands of other religious rituals. Third, it has been threatening the capitalist economic order across the globe.
Perhaps it is inappropriate to joke about COVID-19. However, the pandemic’s increasing traumatic effects across the world are precisely the reason we should also joke about it. Those of us who have lived through calamities realize that sarcasm, far from being disrespectful to human suffering and loss, can be nobler than any serious expression that will inevitably undermine the actual experience. Those of us who have lived through something along the lines of the following examples know the indispensability of sarcasm: living defiantly in the face of the terror devised by a totalitarian regime; being a political prisoner under a fascist regime; taking the first physical steps to leave every place and everyone one has ever known; or, crossing bloody borders in a mythic-like quest in search of a place where one can continue to exist, even if merely as an ontological mistake. Humor is almost a natural coping mechanism when everydayness becomes a struggle for survival. One can easily observe that despite the apparent contradiction, there is more laughter among political prisoners who are facing death than among the affluent in luxurious social settings that are prepared specially to prevent boredom and dread.
The Land of Neo-Feudalism is predictably the first in line for Neo-Fascism.
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