Sunday, April 19, 2020

Fewer meetings, more toilet lids: What workplaces will look like after lockdowns

People should be prepared for a "new normal" when they finally go back to work, say experts.

18 April, 2020

WASHINGTON — Around the world countries are hitting their coronavirus peaks and starting to grapple with questions about when and how to reopen their economies.

But those people fortunate enough to have not lost their jobs should be prepared for a "new normal" when they finally go back to work, say experts.

Here is a preview of what to expect.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

How thousands of Chinese gently mourn a virus whistleblower

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Dr Li Wenliang tried to warn his country but was silenced. Now its traumatised people visit his spirit online, telling his silent social media account about their fears and dreams.

18 April, 2020

NEW YORK — Dr Li Wenliang tried to warn his country but was silenced. Now its traumatised people visit his spirit online, telling his silent social media account about their fears and dreams.

They come to say “good morning” and “good night.” They tell him that spring has arrived and that the cherry blossoms are blooming. They share that they are falling in love, falling out of love or getting divorced. They send him photos of fried chicken drumsticks, his favorite snack.

They whisper that they miss him.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Coronavirus - aftermath (When humans have been wiped out)

So this is not the aftermath of the Covid19 pandemic.

Not yet anyway.

But as humans ceased their activities, withdraw from overt economic activities, and leave streets quiet and empty, nature, who is said to abhor a vacuum, began to reclaim the land.

In Nara, the scared deers have always been well fed by curious and captivated tourists. But there are no tourists in Nara now.

And the deers have been driven by hunger to leave the park and explore the human town of Nara.




Exclusive: Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong Speaks Candidly with TIME

[Note: This is a Time interview from 2015, after the passing of Lee Kuan Yew.]


Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addresses the nation about the passing of his father, Singapore's founder Lee Kuan Yew, during a live broadcast on Monday, March 23, 2015, in Singapore
Terence Tan—AP

By Hannah Beech
Zoher Abdoolcarim

July 23, 2015


As Singapore gears up to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its independence, the city-state once dismissed as a “little red dot” at the midpoint of regional maps now serves as the epicenter of Asian-style development. By combining Confucian values with state-sponsored capitalism, Singapore in little more than a generation moved “from third world to first,” as a memoir of founding father Lee Kuan Yew puts it.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

He Could Have Seen What Was Coming: Behind Trump’s Failure on the Virus

An examination reveals the president was warned about the potential for a pandemic but that internal divisions, lack of planning and his faith in his own instincts led to a halting response.
“Nobody knew there would be a pandemic or epidemic of this proportion,” President Trump said last month. He has repeatedly said that no one could have seen the effects of the coronavirus coming.

By Eric Lipton, David E. Sanger, Maggie Haberman, Michael D. Shear, Mark Mazzetti and Julian E. Barnes

April 11, 2020

WASHINGTON — “Any way you cut it, this is going to be bad,” a senior medical adviser at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Carter Mecher, wrote on the night of Jan. 28, in an email to a group of public health experts scattered around the government and universities. “The projected size of the outbreak already seems hard to believe.”

A week after the first coronavirus case had been identified in the United States, and six long weeks before President Trump finally took aggressive action to confront the danger the nation was facing — a pandemic that is now forecast to take tens of thousands of American lives — Dr. Mecher was urging the upper ranks of the nation’s public health bureaucracy to wake up and prepare for the possibility of far more drastic action.

“You guys made fun of me screaming to close the schools,” he wrote to the group, which called itself “Red Dawn,” an inside joke based on the 1984 movie about a band of Americans trying to save the country after a foreign invasion. “Now I’m screaming, close the colleges and universities.”

His was hardly a lone voice. Throughout January, as Mr. Trump repeatedly played down the seriousness of the virus and focused on other issues, an array of figures inside his government — from top White House advisers to experts deep in the cabinet departments and intelligence agencies — identified the threat, sounded alarms and made clear the need for aggressive action.

US sailor from coronavirus-hit aircraft carrier dies after contracting virus



14 April, 2020

WASHINGTON — A US Navy sailor died on Monday (April 13) after contracting the coronavirus aboard the US aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt, whose captain was fired after warning his crew would die unnecessarily unless strong action was taken.

The sailor, the first active-duty US servicemember to die from coronavirus complications, was admitted to intensive care on April 9 after being found unresponsive in his quarters. The sailor had tested positive exactly two weeks ago on March 30, the Navy said.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Commentary: The great coronavirus pandemic will lead to another - of unemployment

By Pavlina R Tcherneva

26 Mar 2020


NEW YORK CITY: The fallout from the coronavirus pandemic will be nothing like that of the 2008 financial crisis, nor will a V-shaped recovery be achieved through conventional stimulus – not even through truly massive conventional stimulus.

The world is at war with COVID-19, and in wartime, civilian production grinds to a halt and the only work that is needed is for the war effort itself.

Moreover, a recession is sadly necessary to stop the spread of this virus. In the United States, over 50 per cent of jobs are at risk from layoffs, furloughs, reduced pay, and lost hours.

Virtually every sector of the economy stands to lose a large chunk of its business, household incomes will be devastated, and spending by consumers and firms will rapidly decline.

The manufacturing collapse has already begun; the service economy, which employs 80 per cent of all workers, will be next.

One pandemic thus will lead to another – of unemployment. The avalanche of layoffs will bring a wave of defaults, bankruptcies, and depressed profits.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Coronavirus Singapore: 100 to 1,000 infections in one month. What happened?

Despite the city state’s strict contact-tracing, quarantining and travel restrictions, a second wave of infections from returning residents and local transmissions saw cases spike from 100 to 1,000 in one month
Experts say people need to take social distancing more seriously

Kok Xinghui

3 Apr, 2020


What a difference a month can make. At the beginning of March, Singapore had just over 100 coronavirus infections and countries across the world looked to the Southeast Asian city state for inspiration. Its aggressive contact tracing, strict quarantine procedures and measured travel restrictions received praise, as did its world-leading testing rates (as of March 25 it had carried out 6,800 tests per million people, more than other ‘leaders’ such as South Korea at 6,500 and Taiwan, at 1,000).

Indeed, if anything there may have been a touch of envy overseas at how this small but efficient country was managing to keep infections so low, even while keeping its schools and malls open and enjoying a semblance of normal life.


Fast forward to Wednesday, April 1, when Singapore passed the psychologically significant mark of 1,000 infections, and the picture wasn’t quite so rosy.

Scared but desperate, Thai sex workers forced to the street

Red-light districts from Bangkok to Pattaya have gone quiet with night clubs and massage parlours closed and tourists blocked from entering the country.

05 Apr 2020


BANGKOK: A shutdown to contain the coronavirus has killed Thailand's party scene and forced sex workers like Pim out of bars and onto desolate streets. She's scared but desperately needs customers to pay her rent.

Red-light districts from Bangkok to Pattaya have gone quiet with night clubs and massage parlours closed and tourists blocked from entering the country.
That has left an estimated 300,000 sex workers out of a job, pressing some onto the streets where the risks are sharpened by the pandemic.

"I'm afraid of the virus but I need to find customers so I can pay for my room and food," Pim, a 32-year-old transgender sex worker, told AFP in an area of Bangkok where previously bawdy neon-lit bars and brothels have gone dark.

Since Friday, Thais have been under a 10pm to 4am curfew. Bars and eat-in restaurants closed several days earlier.