COVID-19 Update 12, May 22

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Geronticide report: 23:00, May 19 – Canada deaths 6152, LTC resident deaths 5299 – 86.1%

Thanks to the Ontario Hospital Association for maintaining an up-to-date inventory of all the latest research and information on COVID-19 and making it readily available to the public at oha.com. The research is well organized into categories including among others: COVID-19 Immunity Research, The Social Determinants of Health and the COVID-19 Pandemic and International Innovative Approaches: Hospitals & Technology.

CBC, May 20: An opinion by Carol Liao, who is a second-generation Taiwanese Canadian and law professor at UBC.
* “Most of us are disgusted by overt acts of racism: death threats spray-painted on cultural sites; unprovoked physical and verbal attacks. The significant rise in hate crimes in Vancouver is akin to growing hostilities around the world where anti-Asian racism has ignited during this global pandemic. I now weigh the risk of a racist incident when deciding whether to go out for an errand.”

Gazeta Wyborcza, Warsaw, May 13, Piotr Żytnicki, Sylwia Sałwacka:
* “They beat, cough and spit. Racist incidents are on the rise during the epidemic. For the first time in Poland we are dealing with such a wave of hatred towards people of Asian origin. But not only towards them.
* A Pole of Chinese origin was beaten unconscious in Wrocław. In Poznań, unknown perpetrators broke the windows of a Filipino citizen with stones. TVN24 reported on this story. A few hours after the broadcast of the reportage, again at night, another attack took place.
* In Łuków, three elementary school students (aged between 10 and 14) attacked a woman of Vietnamese origin who had lived in Poland for 20 years. They shouted: “F**k off!”, “Get the f**k out of here you Chinese c**t”. They threw stones and garbage at her, spat at her, and one of them pushed her.
* But hostility and contempt also affect other groups: Jews, Ukrainians, Muslims, refugees, LGBT people.”

The Guardian, May 17, Shaun Walker: “Why leaders who want to be seen as strongmen are afraid to take Covid-19 safety precautions.
* Putin, Johnson, Bolsonaro and Trump: men too macho for masks … all have had one thing in common in their responses to coronavirus: a belief or suggestion, at least in the early stages, that taking personal protective measures against the virus is somehow unseemly and at odds with their macho political brands.
* Appearing to play it safe contradicts a core principle of masculinity: show no weakness,” according to Peter Glick, a scientist who has co-authored research on how so-called “masculinity contest culture” poisons work environments.
* In Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, perhaps Europe’s only genuine Covid-dissident leader, said, “It’s better to die standing than to live on your knees” when explaining why he was not introducing any restrictions to help prevent the spread.”

“71.3% probability that China is the Devil” reports a recently published study by researchers at the Institute for the Evaluation and Eradication of Evil at Florida’s Jesus Knows Best University, followed by “10.3% the Muslims, 8.2 % the Jews, 3.7% the Orientals, 3.1% the Homosexuals, 1.7% the Feminists, 0.8% the Asians, 0.6%, the Vegans, 0.3% the Communists.”

“BBC, May 18, Health workers face violent attacks in Mexico By Marcos González Díaz, Guadalajara:
* “Mexican nurse Ligia says that in 40 years of work, she has never witnessed such a poisonous reaction to health workers. While in many countries doctors and nurses are being praised for their work on the coronavirus front line, in Mexico dozens have been attacked.
* Ligia, 59, says that she has worked during the swine flu pandemic in 2009 and an outbreak of cholera in 2013, but some people are “behaving psychotically in response to this virus. It is terrible”.
* She was attacked on 8 April after leaving work in her hometown of Merida, Yucatan. Someone drove past her and threw hot coffee down her back. “Infected!” they yelled through the car window before speeding away. She says that luckily she was not badly injured but recognizes it could have been worse.
* As of 28 April, there have been at least 47 attacks against health workers, particularly nurses, in the country, the Mexican government says. And the authorities recognize the true figure may be higher…”

CNN, May 18: São Paulo, “As hospitals in Brazil teeter on the brink of collapse, Bolsonaro does pushups with supporters.
* The health care system in Brazil’s largest city is wavering on the brink of collapse and coronavirus deaths throughout the South American nation are soaring — but President Jair Bolsonaro nonetheless reveled in crowds of supporters on Sunday, joining yet anti-lockdown protest in Brasilia. With Brazil still approaching its peak of cases, São Paulo’s mayor warned that the health system could be overwhelmed very soon if residents don’t follow social distancing guidelines.”

The Guardian, May 20: “Florida scientist says she was fired for refusing to change Covid-19 data ‘to support reopen plan’.
* Dr Rebekah Jones says she was fired from Department of Health by the governor after protesting order to censor information. Jones, the architect and manager of the online dashboard held up by the White House in April as a model of transparency and integrity, said she was sidelined after protesting orders to censor some of the information it contained. And on Tuesday she claimed she was fired for refusing to “manually change data to drum up support for the plan to reopen.
* The controversy has parallels in Georgia, where the office of another Republican governor, Brian Kemp, was forced to apologise for presenting figures in that state’s public health database that falsely showed a downward trend in coronavirus cases.”

BBC, May 20: President Donald Trump argued that it is “a badge of honour” that the US has the world’s highest number of confirmed Covid-19 infections.”I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better,” he said at the White House.

“Stupid is as stupid does”, Forrest Gump

BBC Future Planet, May 20, by Alexander Matthews:
* “There has been a spike in poaching in many countries during lockdown – as well as being bad for wildlife, that raises our risk of exposure to new viruses. … in rural parts of poor countries, it means some people are being driven to extremes to support themselves…
* There have also been reports of a surge in bushmeat poaching in Kenya and other parts of Africa, as well as Cambodia, according to the non-profit Conservation International. In Africa’s rural areas, one driver of this surge is the challenge people are facing in finding their next meal.
* Continuing to trade and consume wild animals is ‘close to societal suicide.’ “

The Navajo Nation is a Native American territory of 71000 sq km occupying portions of Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. With 4253 cases and 146 deaths, the population of 175,000 has the infection rate of 24303/1M and the mortality rate of 834/1M.

As I had mentioned earlier, for economic and political reasons the reported numbers vary significantly across jurisdictions in the degree to which they under-estimate the actual rates.

While the curves in the table are all quite flat they tell very different stories depending on the stage of the pandemic. As well, each 1% increase in new infections rate means a potentially exponential increase in future cases. Canada’s % rate remains stubbornly flat as the mortality rate keeps going up with most of the victims from LTC institutions. The pandemic is raging across South America and Mexico, with Africa a week or two behind.

AP, Toronto, 9:30 AM, May 22


Andrew Pakula is a long time peace activist and has been a member of Science for Peace from the very beginning. He is a retired social research and management consultant with a background in social psychology.

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