Daily Archives: March 21, 2020

Midwest Girds for Floods While under Corona Lockdown | Climate Denial Crock of the Week

Climate change is a threat multiplier.

Buzzfeed:

As an upsurge in coronavirus infections stretches thin the capacity of health care workers and emergency managers nationwide, the Midwest is bracing for another battle: a potentially devastating flood season.

“The current situation with COVID-19 presents us a fight on two fronts: one front, we have the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and on the other, what promises to be a very active spring 2020 flood season,” Sharon Broome, mayor of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said on a press call Thursday.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration this week released its spring flood projections, predicting moderate to severe flooding in 23 states. The greatest risk for “major and moderate flood conditions,” federal experts say, is along parts of the Mississippi River basin.

For local leaders in the Midwest, this situation is offering a crash course in how to plan and respond to multiple types of disasters simultaneously. And in a warming world, overlapping and compounding disasters will likely be the new normal. Human-caused climate change is already increasing the intensity and likelihood of certain extreme weather events, including heavy rain and related flooding in the middle of the country.

“We’re good at responding when a disaster stares us in the face,” Kris Johnson, deputy director at the Nature Conservancy, told BuzzFeed News. “But we’re really not good at thinking about what can we do now to mitigate and dampen the potential impacts and increase our ability to be resilient to future impacts, whether they are public health–related or whether they are flooding.”

According to Broome, a network of regional mayors has been preparing for possible flooding for weeks, coordinating with each other, the Red Cross, Congress, and federal agencies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency. But the pandemic is complicating matters, requiring more virtual coordination and forcing planners to update response and recovery protocols to take into account the specific threats of the pandemic.

“I think we can anticipate that as we move forward, we will see more burnout for our first responders, greater depletions of our supplies, and greater demand for more recovery money,” said Alice Hill, a climate fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who has also studied pandemics.

…(read more).

Facts Tell: Exposing Western media’s double standards on COVID-19


CGTN

Mar 20, 2020

The coronavirus is now officially a pandemic, steadily spreading around the world. Many governments around the world have decided to follow suit with Italy for example locking down the entire country. As restrictions on people’s movement were enforced across the globe, police in Madrid used drones to broadcast audio messages asking the public to stay indoors, just like China did weeks ago in a move that was called “bizarre” by many Western media outlets.

What works against the virus?

CGTN

Mar 19, 2020

March 19 marked the first time that China has recorded zero new domestic cases of COVID-19 since the country implemented strict and sweeping quarantine measures to contain the spread of the virus. Decisive measures bring China one step closer to the end of the battle against the new coronavirus. Meanwhile, every country is now testing its own approach to beat this common enemy.

What Coronavirus Symptoms Look Like, Day By Day

Science Insider

Mar 18, 2020

MORE COVID-19 COVERAGE:
Why The 2019 Novel Coronavirus Is So Hard To Stop https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DiF9K…
Pathologists Debunk 13 Coronavirus Myths https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGtRg…
What It’s Like To Travel During The Coronavirus Outbreak https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AmhO…

Chinese virus? Experts condemn racial stigmatization


New China TV

Mar 21, 2020

A “Chinese virus”? The labeling of novel #coronavirus by some U.S. politicians is condemned as racial stigmatization. #COVID19

U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic – The Washington Post

By Shane Harris, Greg Miller, Josh Dawsey and Ellen Nakashima

March 20, 2020 at 8:10 p.m. EDT

U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.

The intelligence reports didn’t predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take, issues outside the purview of the intelligence agencies. But they did track the spread of the virus in China, and later in other countries, and warned that Chinese officials appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak.

Taken together, the reports and warnings painted an early picture of a virus that showed the characteristics of a globe-encircling pandemic that could require governments to take swift actions to contain it. But despite that constant flow of reporting, Trump continued publicly and privately to play down the threat the virus posed to Americans. Lawmakers, too, did not grapple with the virus in earnest until this month, as officials scrambled to keep citizens in their homes and hospitals braced for a surge in patients suffering from covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.

…(read more).

Was COVID-19 always the ‘Chinese Virus’ to Trump?


CGTN

Mar 21, 2020
Since March 17, U.S. President Donald Trump has repeatedly called the new coronavirus “the Chinese virus,” despite a torrent of criticism. But was the COVID-19 always the “Chinese virus” to Trump?

Long-running patterns | US accuses Russia, China & Iran of disinformation over Covid-19

RT

Mar 21, 2020

US secretary of state has accused several countries, including Russia, of spreading disinformation about the Covid-19 pandemic. Pompeo also joined in Trump’s the blame game, accusing China of putting lives at risk.

Coronavirus: UK government urges responsible shopping – BBC News

How close are we to a vaccine?;
One in five Americans told to stay home;
UK shoppers told to buy responsibly;
Are UK death predictions accurate?;
Five reasons to find hope;
Last night of the pubs

What did we learn from latest UK briefing?

Environment,

Food and Rural Affairs Secretary George Eustice has urged Britons to stop panic buying – saying there is more than enough food for everyone.

  • Mr Eustice urged people to be responsible when they shop but stopped short of saying rationing would be needed to keep shelves stocked
  • The British Retail Consortium’s Helen Dickinson said retailers would implement policies that would make the most difference to the vulnerable
  • NHS England’s Stephen Powis said shoppers should think of NHS staff before buying more than they need

Coronavirus Could Overwhelm U.S. Without Urgent Action, Estimates Say – The New York Times

20200321-NYT

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The coronavirus has infected far more people in the United States than testing has shown so far, and stringent measures to limit social contact in parts of the country not yet seeing many cases are needed to significantly stem the tide of illness and death in the coming months.

Those are the conclusions of Columbia University researchers who used a New York Times database of known cases and Census Bureau transportation data to model how the outbreak could evolve based on what is known about the virus. The estimates are inherently uncertain, and they could change as America adopts unprecedented measures to control the outbreak.

But they offer a stark warning: Even if the country cut its rate of transmission in half — a tall order — some 650,000 people might become infected in the next two months.

The growth is driven by Americans with mild symptoms who are carrying and spreading the virus without being aware that they have it, the researchers say. The number of undetected cases — 11 times more than has been officially reported, they estimate — reflects how far behind the United States has fallen in testing for the virus.

New York City, Seattle, Boston and parts of California already have such large outbreaks that they will probably see significant growth even after taking extraordinary measures over the past week, the researchers say. New York City’s outbreak, the nation’s largest, grew to more than 4,000 known cases on Friday and is likely to increase many times over even in a favorable scenario.

…(read more).

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