may 2020 (Covid1984)

2020:

January  February  March  April  May  June  July  August  September  October  November  December

This is a chronology not invariably based on the date the information was published but sometimes based on the date  I received it.

It should be clear that I am not  in accord with the ideological aspects of the content of many of the articles I link to.

30/5/20:

Spain: over 1 million fines handed out for breaking Coronavirus lockdown, with some of the most absurd pretexts for issuing them

“Nathalie Rose Kern, 37 from London, was fined €1000 for “walking too slowly” …”This is NOT how you walk to the bank. You are showing no urgency…” etc.etc.

20/5/20:

Some pertinent links:

Below is a description and a link to a short article regarding the uselessness of the lockdowns (the description is from the shady but sometimes useful Swiss Policy Research site):

“In his latest contribution, the Swiss chief physician of infectiology, Pietro Vernazza, uses the results of the German Robert Koch Institute and ETH Zurich to show that the Covid19 epidemic was already under control before the “lockdown” was even introduced:

“These results are explosive: Both studies show that simple measures such as the renunciation of major events and the introduction of hygiene measures are highly effective. The population is able to implement these recommendations well and the measures can almost bring the epidemic to a halt. In any case, the measures are sufficient to protect our health system in such a way that the hospitals are not overburdened”.

Apparently, “in 2019, a WHO study found “little to no scientific evidence” for the effectiveness of measures such as “social distancing”, travel restrictions and lockdowns.” (Original study)

A study that aims to show why “masks don’t work

A detailed article about the situation in Syria (academic/research-type):

Long Quote:

“Testing for COVID-19

The regime is not just hoarding supplies or limiting access to northeast Syria; it is also hampering what capacities are in place and spreading false information. The WHO provided the Syrian Ministry of Health with five PCR machines, and Damascus decided not to send even a single one to the northeast. Accordingly, doctors there were compelled to use one of two routes to send samples to Damascus for testing. The first entails calling in a Rapid Response Team (RRT) supported by the WHO. Alex describes the difficulties encountered so far: “If a health facility calls the RRT for highly suspect cases, they say they can’t get through the checkpoints, they arrive late, or they simply say ‘we’re not coming.’ If they do arrive, they often say ‘these people don’t meet the case definition’ and refuse to swab them, even when they clearly display the symptoms.” According to Dr. Ciwan Mistefa, the co-chair of the Autonomous Administration’s Health Directorate and a human rights researcher working on Syria, the regime’s Health Directorate in Hassakeh ordered the RRT not to collect samples from hospitals that cooperate with NGOs that were not registered and approved by Damascus, such as MSF and the KRC. As a result, in some cases, patients were forced to be transferred to regime-run hospitals for the RRT to be willing to collect samples from them, endangering the health of both the patient and ambulance crews. This conduct is consistent with the WHO’s general refusal to provide assistance and coordinate with NGOs not registered in Damascus, which are responsible for meeting much of the area’s medical needs, said Dilgesh Issa of the KRC.

An alternative route involves shipping the samples to Damascus through the Qamishli airport, which has been used for sending samples for polio and influenza diagnostic tests in the past. “The RRT refused to come to the quarantine hospital in Hassakeh, saying there are too many checkpoints and not enough staff. After the failure to get them to come, we sent the two samples to Damascus on March 31 through the regular route recommended by the WHO, but Damascus says they did not get to them,” said Dr. Kevok. Similarly, samples collected by the RRT in northeast Syria, which the WHO claims tested negative, were apparently never tested, according to a well-placed health sector source who requested anonymity. This means that the Syrian Ministry of Health lab, supported by the WHO, is potentially misreporting cases as negative, when those individuals in fact are infected with COVID-19 and pose a danger to the community around them.

As a result of the apparent policy of deprioritizing testing in northeast Syria, only 19 samples from the region were sent for testing in Damascus. “There are several samples for which no result was provided. We don’t know if they turned out negative, positive, or even if they were tested,” said Dr. Mistefa of the Autonomous Administration. He added, “There are dozens of suspected cases in northeast Syria. 19 tests for the entire region is a low number, indicating the limited cooperation by the WHO and limited support” provided to the northeast.

The failure of the COVID-19 testing system in northeast Syria, overseen by a hostile regime and an obedient WHO, became glaringly apparent on April 18, when the Autonomous Administration announced that the WHO had just notified them that a patient whose sample was collected on March 29 and died on April 2 had tested positive for the virus. The WHO informed the Syrian Ministry of Health about the test results on April 2, but the regime refuses to coordinate with the Autonomous Administration and did not pass on this vital information. A spokesperson for the WHO claimed that contract-tracing was carried out after the test came back positive, but humanitarian workers in the region doubt this claim given the RRT’s hands-off approach and limited testing in the area. This conduct is reminiscent of the regime’s decision to ban the WHO from providing polio vaccinations in rebel-held Deir Ez Zor in the early years of the war and subsequent efforts by the WHO to cover up the inevitable outbreak of polio there in 2013.

On April 11, long after other areas in Syria, the Autonomous Administration was finally able to obtain two PCR machines from the KRI. Three more machines have arrived since and two are en route, according to Dr. Kevok, all of them transiting through the KRI. On April 20, after undergoing training, local technicians began to carry out COVID-19 tests in Qamishli. The WHO did not deliver any COVID-19 test kits to the region, leaving northeast Syria dependent on continued access to the KRI to acquire the needed supplies.”

10/5/20:

Israel: “I am a Corona prisoner” – patients in hotels describe a rigid attitude, sudden orders from above and growing distress

hotel of the future
[originally in Hebrew, Google translate + adjustments from T]
Yesterday morning the Dan Panorama of Corona patients evacuated at short notice. One of the patients who was evacuated: “Sick people are sitting here on the floor, finished with the trip. The feeling is that I am just packing and unpacking.” Home Front Command: “The place will now be used for isolation of returnees from abroad”
“This is a youth hostel,” A told Hamakom, evacuated to Ashkelon. “There is no water in the rooms, there are dead insects, hairs on the floor and the beds, and we will all be two in the room. We have not been notified in advance. Exhausted from the trip, carrying the luggage, seeing and not believing.
Moving us, transferring us, tossing us around without logic and without explanation. “
Rumors of evacuation arrived at the hotel’s premises as early as yesterday morning, before a formal announcement from the Home Front Command at noon.
According to Home Front Command publications, the hotel claims that the occupancy rate has dropped, but some hotel occupants and their families have claimed that evacuations are a “vengeful conspiracy,” stemming from the feeling that they define “denial of one’s humanity.” This feeling, according to people who spoke to Hamakom today, is growing among patients as a result of their encounters with the health system and the Home Front Command, which is entrusted with the logistics of their exile away from home.
“I’ve been living the corona from March 26,” says N. from Jerusalem, “I went through a lot under its shadow and I’m exhausted by the treatment I receive. First, I suffered from the symptoms of the disease. I was tested, but I did not get an answer because three of the four tests I did were lost. “They announced that I was positive for the virus only after a month when I was in isolation in a room at home, the positive answer was received from the first of all the tests I did. In the meantime, it turned out that two of my children were also infected with Corona and because I have other children, we chose to go to the hotel.”
“Last Tuesday, we arrived at the Dan Hotel in Jerusalem. We left things in the room, and when I went down to the lobby in the evening, I was told that there was a message from the Home Front Command that we are leaving the hotel tomorrow and moving to Tel Aviv. We packed up again. When we arrived in Tel Aviv after a military bus ride, we waited in the hotel’s parking lot for an hour, our bags checked as if God knows what bomb we brought from the hotel in Jerusalem.
“Yesterday at noon, I go down to the lobby again and see a group of people who find out that we’re leaving tomorrow. The kids were in shock when they heard, they were just getting acclimatised to the place. I try to stick to an optimistic feeling that I and the children are vacationing in Israel, but the unexplained orders are difficult and the feeling is that I am just packing and unpacking.”
Screaming and crying at the hotel

“I asked to move to Nahariya [a coastal city in the north of Israel, about 11 km from the Lebanease border – T], this is the hotel closest to our home in Haifa,” says N. “The proximity to home is important because my children do not eat the food we receive and it is forbidden to order food from outside. We rely on hot dishes and snacks that family members deliver.

“The parcels are delivered between eight and ten o’clock in the morning. There have been many cases of screaming and crying at the hotel because family members coming from afar who are late with parcel delivery, even slightly, are sent home as soon as they come. In addition, when we are released, we have to return home on our own, so Nahariya is the preferred option.”
Luggage packing and check-out occur not only in hotel transitions, but also when a patient has to be cleared for screening. It happened to N with her 16-year-old daughter on Sunday night this week. The girl had trouble breathing and decided to be evacuated to the hospital. The mother and daughter returned to the hotel in the wee hours of the night, unpacking their belongings after a difficult hospital experience, only to have to pack up again the next day in the passage to “the unknown”, as N. describes.
“When we got to the hospital, we were instructed not to get out of the ambulance,” she describes. “We waited three hours, without a glass of water. When a doctor arrived, he told me to feel my daughter’s stomach and asked if it was soft or hard. I answered ‘soft’ and he went away. The ambulance driver was shocked by the treatment we received.”
Topaz Tsuzak, a young woman from Tiberias who was evacuated from the hotel to Ichilov hospital that Sunday, also testifies to similar treatment. “My coughs got stronger and I felt chest pains. The family doctor said she was hearing beeping on the phone and that I had to do a lung photograph.
“I packed my belongings, deposited the tickets at the front desk and was carried by ambulance with the suitcases. In the hospital, I waited about two hours for a nurse to take me for measurements. I told her I had to go to the bathroom and she replied that there was nothing to be done about it. After the nurse left, I waited for quite some time, a doctor arrived and told me that I looked fine. I asked that you check me out anyway. She measured me a fever, picked up my shirt in an ambulance, checked me and said she would come back with a release letter.
“The ambulance driver told me not to let it go and I announced that I was not going to take an X ray photo. I cried, and the doctor said I might be paranoid because of the illness. In the end she said they would arrange an isolated room for me. I waited another hour in the ambulance until I was taken to a room that was closed with two doors with a camera and intercom. I started to cry that I had to go to the bathroom.
“After a long time, someone with a pot came into the room. I told her I couldn’t do a pot because the room was being filmed. She insisted, and finally a solution: she put the pot in between the two doors to give me privacy. I felt helpless, not like a human being, as if they had found me in the trash.”
Tsuzak went to the hospital in the early evening. The chest image was taken in the wee hours of the night and showed that she had an upper respiratory tract infection. With that diagnosis, she returned to the Dan Panorama Hotel to unpack her things before she was told she had to pack up again for the move.
“I don’t have the nerve for it,” she says. “There are people in a much more difficult situation here, but even I can’t do more with these hazings.”
Surrounded by fences and armed security guards
This is not the first hotel Tsutzak goes through during her illness. “I left home for the Kinar Hotel in Tiberias because my father has a serious chronic illness,” she says, “After a few days there, we were notified of the move the next day. The Home Front decided to designate the hotel for ultra-Orthodox Corona patients. They took all the seculars and Arabs to Dan Panorama.
“We were taken to Tel Aviv by military bus. I felt we were Security prisoners [=term commonly used by the Israeli State, usually refers to Palestinians imprisoned in Israel accusations such as being “members of illegal organizations” (meaning formerly the PLO, and now Hamas or Islamic Jihad), planning or taking part in sabotage against Israelis, raising a Palestinian flag, etc., – T]. Before we boarded the bus, we were head-counted to make sure no one escaped. Since I describe myself as a Corona prisoner, that’s what we are.”
“The rooms at the Dan Panorama were beautiful and there was room to walk in. The yard was 75 steps toward,” says A.
“But we were still surrounded by fences and armed security guards in every direction. I’m trying to figure out why, what is the logic. That behavior brings me back to my military days.”
A. spent ten days in Dan Panorama. She spent the previous 31 days of her illness with home isolation and two hospitalizations. “I suffered from all the possible corona symptoms,” she says, “when I was cleared by intensive care ambulance due to respiratory distress, I wrote a will during the journey.”
Today, A. suffers from mild symptoms: ear infections, laryngitis, muscle pain and veins: “It’s not the flu I imagined. Vein pain that feels like someone is pulling them out of you, it’s indescribable pain.”
“It’s a disease that tests our patience mainly,” says A. “Some people have lived in the hotel for a month and even two months. But all the conduct with us is without planning. We have no emotional support. Apart from Gitty, the psychologist who was here and released a week and a half ago, we did not receive emotional support, and hers was also accidental. I hope people come out of here healthy in their souls.”
“We are sick, but not lepers,” says N. “Today I have a Corona, but anyone can get sick. The attitude is rigid: the difficulties of packing, the sudden wandering between hotels, the fact that we couldn’t even order food that the children would be willing to eat in Dan Panorama.
“We are isolated from the world in every way, not let us be a part of anything but the disease. Nobody asks how we feel as simple people. The corona did not grow horns for us and we cannot be treated like people who are being moved from place to place, without preparation, without explanation. We get an instrumentalising attitude from everyone who comes in contact with us during this time.”
“We are dealing with illness,” adds A. “We are all far from home and isolated from society. It is an island of lepers. The mental state of many people in the hotel is shaky. There is no thought about how the steps taken are affecting the mind of a Corona patient. I know that in the army they don’t think about the soldiers’ emotional side and I have no allegations against the Home Front Command, but it could have just gone differently.
According to patients from the Dan Panorama Hotel, the Home Front Command now offers those who would like to return to their home in isolation. “But there is a reason why we went to the hotel,” says A. “We did this so as not to jeopardize family members. Now people are broken from the routine and attitude and prefer to be locked in a room in their home.”
The Home Front Command explained yesterday that the decision to evacuate Dan Panorama was made following the decline in hotel occupancy, and that the place will now be used for the isolation of returnees from abroad. However, it has already been decided today to put to vote the duty of isolation in the hotels for those returning from overseas, due to its high costs and the mental distress to which many of the isolated are exposed.

 

3/5/20:

Spain: new so-called deconfinement rules very clearly attack the “elderly” and create social apartheid between the old and the rest

“The government order underscores that …residents of senior residences are not allowed out on public streets and spaces…People who need to go out with a caregiver and seniors over 70 years of age have their own time slots of 10am to 12pm and 7pm to 8pm.”

“A local officer told the Euro Weekly News “Everyone is getting clear notice of the time this morning so there are no excuses after 10am and we will start rounding up anyone who’s out after the designated time.””

This is a state that left people to die alone and unknown in care homes but spends endless amounts of money to send helicopters to arrest a lone person strolling along the beach! Remember – this government is a coalition of the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party (PSOE) and Podemos. The most totalitarian Coronavirus regime in Europe (and the competition is hot): up until recently kids weren’t even allowed to go out, and officially you weren’t even allowed to go out into your garden (though this was never enforced).

Spanish state accumulates at the very least 21 million euros in 2 days

Should pay for the cops’ bonuses plus drones, machine guns, helicopters, etc. – all the essentials for health – the health, of course, of the state. The article says “From March 15 when Spain’s state of alarm kicked, until May 3, a total of 7,189 people were arrested, while 806,595 were fined.” With 600 euro minimum fines (1500 minimum in Madrid), that makes an absolute minimum of over half a billion euros , a minimum based on the unlikely idea that no-one was fined in Madrid, and that it also excludes multiple “offenders” whose fines can reach up to 600,000 euros! The media outside Spain is so far presenting it all as some nice staggered “deconfinement” but these filth are as fascist as Franco, though very differently and in very different historical circumstances. They even seem to be looking to define certain kinds of criticism of the goverment as a “hate crime”.

Andalusia takes its cue from Trump…the bleached road to hell is paved with moronic intentions

“A 1.2-mile stretch of beach in the village of Zahara de los Atunes was sprayed with the disinfectant using tractors in an attempt to kill off coronavirus…Zahara de los Atunes official Agustin Conejo said the bleaching had been carried out in anticipation of children who would visit the beach after six weeks of quarantine, but admitted it was a “wrong move”. He told broadcaster Canal Sur: “I recognise it was an error. But it was done with the best of intentions.”

Israel: an aesthetic anaesthetic – or “…as long as this world is fundamentally ugly and work-oriented, aesthetics as a specialised activity will try to make it look nice and playful…”

It’s all bright for some

From Our Diplomatic Correspondant on Radio Tel Aviv (87.9 Medium Wave – but to you 86.5)

Coronavirus Chic: Young Israeli Designers Face a Brighter Future Thanks to These Cool Masks (Haaretz article, in fact)

With their core activities curtailed by the pandemic, four quick-thinking Israeli designers saw no option but to handle the crisis in style. They’ve become unexpectedly must-have accessories whether we like it or not: Face masks are now mandatory in Israel, punishable with a 200 shekel ($55) fine if they aren’t worn in public during the coronavirus pandemic. The country’s offices, stores and streets have suddenly begun to resemble hospital operating rooms, with most people wearing standard surgical masks, interspersed with the occasional homemade cloth mask, mass-produced Lycra mask or improvised bandana. Among the fashion conscious, though, demand for more stylish and cheerful forms of face protection has exploded – and several quick-thinking Israeli designers have filled that niche, offering masks that, on average, sell for between 69 to 199 shekels. In her Jaffa studio, Swedish-born designer Kiki Almqvist has been busy producing her one-of-a-kind creations. …. For her, the paper masks she bought at the pharmacy at the outset of the outbreak immediately rubbed her the wrong way. “It gave me an allergic rash,” she relays. “A lot of people with sensitive skin aren’t able to wear them comfortably.” So Almqvist took some of the elegant material from her designs and made silk-lined masks for herself. Her friends and customers wanted them as soon as they saw them. “It’s so much nicer to have a piece of good fabric on your face than paper,” she explains. Initially, she says, she was inspired to create masks that match her best-selling item at the moment – silk kimonos, which she calls “the ultimate clothing for the coronavirus: They are comfortable to wear around the house, but you can throw on heels and go outside and still look elegant.” The silky and sequined masks “are an extension of my collection,” she says. “Masks are going to be with us for a long time, and I think it will be great to have an elegant-looking mask to wear to an important meeting or a special event that feels ‘dressed up.’”…Wedding gown designer Yarden Oz characterizes her new mask-making venture, Happy People, as a way of “making lemonade out of some very bitter lemons.” She and her husband Shachaf work in some of the hardest-hit professions: He owns and operates a venue that specializes in bar- and bat-mitzvah parties – the Coliseum, in the Tel Aviv suburb of Rishon Letzion, where the couple lives. The special events industry was one of the first to fall victim to the coronavirus, with large gatherings banned; it is also expected to be one of the last to return to full operation. “I love my work because I get to dress women on the happiest day of their lives,” says Oz, 28, explaining the name of her new venture. But when the coronavirus struck, nothing seemed happy anymore. “Suddenly, my days were all about cancellations, fears and pain,” she recounts. “Some of my brides postponed their events, others downsized to small ceremonies and I had to replace their dress with something more modest that suited the occasion better.” Oz made her first mask for her husband, after he was ordered into quarantine for two weeks. With no weddings to make dresses for, she invested the time to make a “stylish and fun” mask for him – because “let’s face it, hospital masks have a depressing connotation.”While she was at it, she decided to make a matching mask for herself, and the couple posted photos on social media of themselves wearing the masks. Soon, people were contacting her, asking for masks as well – and the new venture was born.She has transformed the empty Coliseum into an impromptu mask factory, and demand is such that she is working with 10 seamstresses outside the facility. Her most in-demand masks? Animal prints – leopard and zebra – and sequins. Now, she says, “some of my brides and grooms are sending out announcements of their rescheduled weddings – ‘update the date’ notices – with a photo of them wearing my masks.” Another newly branded mask vendor is Stav Ofman, a 2018 graduate of Shenkar College (one of Israel’s most prestigious design schools). … “I created some crazy ones, which were one of a kind because I was using the scraps of leftover fabric. It started spreading by word of mouth among my friends here that I was making them – and I began getting requests.”The website for Ofman’s Savvy Masks – which come in three sizes, is slick and high concept. Each mask model has a name – “The Elle,” “The Cheetah Girl,” “The Black Panther” – with some featuring camouflage, stars and high-end embroidered designs. Now she is considering working on outfits to match the masks, or perhaps bathing suits. “A lot will depend on what the restrictions will be this summer,” she explains. “Where are people going to be allowed to go, and where will they be required to wear the masks?” Like Oz and Almqvist, Ofman is selling her masks in central Israel or letting her customers pick them up from her. However, she soon hopes to be able to begin selling more widely – in London and other locations. Almqvist, who has established clientele in Sweden and the United States – she has been doing sales events via Zoom – has already sold masks overseas. Another designer, Rachel Aharami, has created a niche within a niche: specialty cloth masks for children. … “I love working with kids,” she says. “I like to see their smiles, and they really appreciate things that are special – it’s really rewarding. … I’m making between 60 and 90 each week, and I expect to make more.” Aharami’s masks feature angels, rainbows, unicorns and hearts – and a line of bolder masks with comic prints…”Now I have teachers getting ready to go back and they are coming to me for adult-sized masks in kid-friendly material that are pretty and fun, so the kids won’t feel scared or sad,” Aharami reports. “If you’re going to have to wear a mask – it might as well be cheerful.”

Dr. Mengele is alive and well and living in the UK:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/09/nice-guidelines-coronavirus-pandemic-disabled

“…the British Medical Association (BMA) …suggests that in cases where ventilators are scarce, those facing poor prognosis could have the life-saving equipment taken away from them – even if their condition is improving – with younger and healthier patients given priority instead. We are already seeing this play out. Last week, one man tweeted that his brother, who lives in a care home with limited mobility and a cognitive disability, went to hospital with a chest infection but didn’t make “the pandemic-led prioritisation cut”. He died a week later.”

https://www.epilepsyscotland.org.uk/learning-disability-and-do-not-resuscitate-forms/

“Epilepsy Scotland has become aware of reports stating people in England and Wales with learning disability and autism had been “blanket” contacted by their GPs about filling out a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) form. At time of writing, Epilepsy Scotland has not been made aware of such cases in Scotland. However, it is important to stress this is a line that should not be crossed”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-52217868

“A GP surgery which said autistic adults should have plans to prevent them being resuscitated if they become critically ill has been criticised. Voyage Care, which cares for the group, was sent the letter by a surgery in Somerset amid the coronavirus crisis…The paperwork is known as a “do not resuscitate” (DNR) order or an advanced care plan.”

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