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Vesper
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The corona crisis will define our era

Karin Pettersson writes that the pandemic has highlighted the frailties of a short-sighted and hyper-individualistic social system.

https://www.socialeurope.eu/the-corona-crisis-will-define-our-era

Mike Pence bowed his head in prayer. Around him in the White House, some of the world’s most prominent scientists were gathered.

It was February 26th when the US vice-president and the scientists united in prayer, for—or, rather, against—the coronavirus epidemic. As governor of Indiana, Pence had made a name for himself driving drastic cuts in public-health funding and access to HIV-testing. This contributed to one of the largest outbreaks of the infection ever in his home state.

Since the 2016 elections, the administration of Donald Trump has slashed federal funding for pandemic prevention. The president has banned the country’s leading experts from public comment. All communication is by way of Pence.

The pair are holding science to ransom. It is a profoundly degrading and depressing sight.

The question is how Trump’s propaganda machine will deal with the situation if, or when, 200,000 Americans die from the virus? Will Fox News claim the infection was spread by immigrants?

The big one

This is the big one, this is the great crisis, the Financial Times writes. I am convinced that 2020 is a year that will define our era. One can compare it with the 2008 financial crisis. That led to recession and mass unemployment, but not to the death of hundreds of thousands.

In Sweden, the situation is getting more serious by the day, according to the Public Health Agency. But it inspires trust that the response is managed by experts, not by religious fanatics or politicians short-sightedly craving maximum public attention. And that management is being publicly scrutinised, questioned and discussed, as it should.

Yet this is still merely the beginning. First, the crisis arrives. Then comes the grief. Then comes the time for reflection.

Strong state

Already however, we know this: this type of disease cannot be efficiently fought at an individual level, but only as a society. It requires preparation, co-ordination, planning and the ability to make rapid decisions and scale up efforts. A strong state.

But nor is government enough. The situation demands personal responsibility, a sense of duty, concern for one’s neighbour. If you do not belong to a risk group, your responsibility is not so much to protect yourself but to take care to protect others, even if that pushes you towards personal discomforts.

Yet what will you do if you simply cannot afford to stay at home? If you are illegally in Sweden (say), hiding from the authorities, or a ‘gig’ worker without regular salary in the US, living from hand to mouth? Sustaining health as a public good becomes impossible at a certain level of inequality and insecurity.

Bizarre times

This problem can be reduced neither to ethical virtues nor to a need for investments. What can be said, though, is that the crisis puts the flaws of our short-sighted, exploitative, hyper-individualistic times in glaring focus. Our bizarre era, where we pretend that we do not all connect, and that what I do does not actually affect your future.

At a global level we have underinvested for decades in research on infectious diseases and pandemics. Such investment does not produce fast profits and rising share prices for the medical companies, which much prefer to invest in research on heart disease, dealing with anxiety and erectile boosters. Public-health investments are not commercially viable in late capitalism.

This is just one example of the vulnerabilities we expose ourselves to. Economists call it ‘market failure’. That expression says it all, really.

The 2008 financial crisis did not lead to any reassessment. Quite the contrary. No one knows what conclusions we will draw this time around, at an individual and collective level. I wonder if young people might come to think that authoritarian China dealt with the crisis better than the US—the land of the free.

Driving forces

I lie awake at night and various scenarios play out in my head. People in overcrowded hospital corridors, crashing stock markets. But, mostly, I think of my parents and friends in the risk group—people I immediately care about.

One cannot protect oneself against new diseases. What can be done is to mitigate and manage probable and possible events. The threat of pandemics—and the fact that we are quickly moving towards the so-called tipping points of the climate crisis—is well known. But the driving forces behind the short-sightedness of our economic and political system are so powerful that even known risks are impossible to manage.

The cash must keep flowing, quarter by quarter. Until the crash comes.

 

This article is a joint publication by Social Europe and IPS-Journal. A Swedish version appeared in Aftonbladet

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Guys, i just want to say, take care of yourselves and your families during this horrible pandemic, stay safe always and God bless you all. Hug 🙏💪👊

Strange times. We've surrendered our liberty and freedom to the State. Parliament has disappeared. All private enterprise has been Nationalised. Movement controlled. All our freedom just given up with

In the US people queue up to buy guns. In the Netherlands thousands of people were today queueing to buy weed before all coffee shops (and restaurants, cafes etc.) closed down at 6pm and will remain s

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France is closing its borders

Macron: "We're at war"

France Placed in Full Lockdown Mode For Two Weeks to Battle Coronavirus

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/france-placed-full-lockdown-two-193034368.html

France has been placed in full lockdown mode by its government, following similar coronavirus measures taken by neighboring Spain and Italy.

Starting on Tuesday at noon, individuals will be obligated to stay home — except to got out to buy food or medicine — for a duration of two weeks, said Macron in a televised speech Monday evening.

He added that people who won’t abide by the new guidelines will be fined. All borders of Europe will also be closed beginning Tuesday at noon.The lockdown could be extended beyond the initial two weeks, as the government will regularly consult with scientists and doctors specialised in treating coronavirus.

“We’re at war,” said Macron, who previously called coronavirus “the biggest health crisis that France has known in a century.” The French leader repeated that the country was “at war” with the virus six times throughout the speech. Macron also said the second round of the municipal elections will be postponed.

To date, France has 6,012 cases of coronavirus, 127 deaths and 400 people in critical condition as of Monday. France is among the hardest hit countries in Europe, along with Italy, Germany and Spain.

Within the last few days, the government also closed down schools, daycares and universities, as well stores, restaurants, and movie theaters in order to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Since Sunday, only stores of first necessities, such as pharmacies, grocery stores, gas stations, banks and newspaper stands have been allowed to remain open.

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Italy on Monday reported 349 new deaths from coronavirus, raising the death toll to 2158

12% rise in cases, almost 28,000 now


Italy: Coronavirus death toll now tops 2,000

https://www.aa.com.tr/en/health/italy-coronavirus-death-toll-now-tops-2-000/1768270


https://gisanddata.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

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Coronavirus Australia: Queensland researchers find ‘cure’, want drug trial

https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/health/health-problems/coronavirus-australia-queensland-researchers-find-cure-want-drug-trial/news-story/93e7656da0cff4fc4d2c5e51706accb5

A team of Australian researchers say they’ve found a cure for the novel coronavirus and hope to have patients enrolled in a nationwide trial by the end of the month.
University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research director Professor David Paterson told news.com.au today they have seen two drugs used to treat other conditions wipe out the virus in test tubes.

He said one of the medications, given to some of the first people to test positive for COVID-19 in Australia, had already resulted in “disappearance of the virus” and complete recovery from the infection.
Prof Paterson, who is also an infectious disease physician at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, said it wasn’t a stretch to label the drugs “a treatment or a cure”.

“It’s a potentially effective treatment,” he said.

“Patients would end up with no viable coronavirus in their system at all after the end of therapy.”

The drugs are both already registered and available in Australia.

“What we want to do at the moment is a large clinical trial across Australia, looking at 50 hospitals, and what we’re going to compare is one drug, versus another drug, versus the combination of the two drugs,” Prof Paterson said.

Given their history, researchers have a “long experience of them being very well tolerated” and there are no unexpected side effects.

“We’re not on a flat foot, we can sort of move ahead very rapidly with enrolling Australians in this trial,” Prof Paterson said.

“It’s the question we all have – we know it’s coming now, what is the best way to treat it?”

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9 hours ago, BlueLion. said:

Nothing sells newspapers like fear. 

 

Let's all go to the Winchester... 

Does it need to effect your personal life before you stop implying or telling people COVID-19 isn’t serious FFS?

I am sick and tired of hearing ignorant statements like this.

The only thing the media is doing wrong is them being racist calling it the Chinese Virus or the Communist Coronavirus.

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4 hours ago, Mana said:

Does it need to effect your personal life before you stop implying or telling people COVID-19 isn’t serious FFS?

I am sick and tired of hearing ignorant statements like this.

The only thing the media is doing wrong is them being racist calling it the Chinese Virus or the Communist Coronavirus.

several weeks ago we had only a few dozens cases and no deaths

15 days ago we had less than 200 cases

6 days ago we had our first death

now (this is not counting today's numbers) this is where we are at

we have basically STOPPED testing (our government is fucked up on this whole thing, due to bullshit ultra left PC dross over the (what else for Sweden, ugh) immigration/refugee politics and a few mad as ass cunts at the top of healthcare food chain)

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15 hours ago, Vesper said:

Biggest DJIA point drop in history today

was over 3000 down (reallllly tanked as Trump was speaking at a presser the last hour), pipped up last minute)

it probably crashes under the the 20,000 point barrier support level tomorrow or within a few days if it has a dead cat bounce tomorrow

Trump looked UTTERLY clueless, he is lashing out at the US governors, aides are saying he like a prowling rabid bear (bear is apropos as the markets are in a massive bearish mood) in a perma-rage

I can but imagine the amount of Adderall the fucker is snorting :blink:

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I think for long term I will start buying some in my 401. 

I been waiting for an opportunity like this since 08 crisis. One thing you learn about that is that for long term you buy when there's blood in the street. 

 

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46 minutes ago, 11Drogba said:

Nouriel Roubini: If the government doesn't give $1k to every American, we'll have riots in the streets and people looting stores.

Nonsense, this is not socialism. 

Socialism is a failure, if not go ask our friends at Venezuela! 

Anyhow this virus will soon be resolved. But economy will bounce thanks to the FED with lowering rates and QE. 

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12 minutes ago, ZAPHOD2319 said:

Where's muh check!

You won't get one.

Mnuchin: Someone making a million dollars doesn't need a thousand dollar check.

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10 hours ago, Mana said:

Does it need to effect your personal life before you stop implying or telling people COVID-19 isn’t serious FFS?

I am sick and tired of hearing ignorant statements like this.

The only thing the media is doing wrong is them being racist calling it the Chinese Virus or the Communist Coronavirus.

Exactly, it's like our generation totally ignores the elderly (our parents, grandparents) and sick. I am not worried at all for myself, but I am worried for my mom. Inb4 the "it's like flu" argument: Is it better to have one deadly virus spreading, two, three, four? I think the answer is obvious. The world is doing the right thing trying to totally eradicate it before we start annually adding coronavirus deaths to influenza deaths statistics. Plus, since it's new to human organisms, it has a chance of mutating to something worse over time.

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