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Praying for you daughter and her team.

The FDA has given compounding pharmacies around here permission to make hand sanitizer, so that is another potential source for everyone. The batch I got was much more expensive, a spray instead of a gel, with an expiration date, but available. It also had to be delivered somewhere that could accept hazardous materials, like a residence.

In 2017 we had major fires in our area and the smoke was real thick, so I bought some N-95 masks.  I was taking inventory of my stocks yesterday trying to figure out what I need.  Since my wife and I do not go out it was time to do something with them.  I have a friend who is a nurse at one of our local hospitals who has been desperate for masks.  She works in the heart unit and these surgeries have not stopped.  So all the excess went to them .  Not looking for accolades, our medical professionals are hurting for supplies so I challenge you to take a look at what you have and what you need and please donate.  When things die down you can replace them.  I find if I go out when I am done I put my mask on the dashboard in the sun to let it bake.  After a couple days there is should be good but I still handle it appropriately.   This way I will be able to reuse it.

My wife's brother, who lives on the other end of the state, called last night that his best friend, a minister,  had died of covid.

60+ yoa, no known health issues, was hospitalized and  being considered for release when he took a downturn and died.

The new normal isn't going to look like the old normal.

Wishing everyone here and their loved ones kick this thing like a stolen football.

 

 

My Windows laptop stopped proper starting, only with nothing external attached and WIN +F8 pressed fast enough it started  after a few tries, so I made a backup (no,  don't bitch! The last backup was from 2 days ago and only a few files were worked on in between). With all "usual"  electronic shops in shutdown and not wanting to buy online and wait for delivery, luckily I had a 20% and a 10% off coupon for one item each valid till today from the METRO market, so I went there shopping.

It is nice if you are able to pull a few 500 € notes from your stash by the way and not to have relay on your credit... 

Observation: Normaly they have a good stock of electronics, not the largest selection but solid, now with lots of people forced into home office (and a lot of them required to use own equipment) it was sparse. In most cases only the display piece was available, in this times of COVID-19 for obviously reasons I did not want a machine that who knows has already finger fucked with in the last days. So no Intel i7 processor as I wanted, but a  fast AMD one.  20% off 790 € is nice by the way and soothes the pain to need a new computer after only 3 1/2  years of service - I checked - bought it mid 2016.   

But have not set it up now, typing this on my trusty 27# i-Mac (and if I have not to have a WIN machine for several applications, I had bit the bullet and bought an 2020 MacBook Pro 16#!)

Already there in the Market of cause I strolled through the isles "hunting and gathering" ...

Still large gaps on the shelves !!! Even as a wholesale market they restricted the amount to buy for several things as wheat for example, and also TP.  The pasta shelves were even more "looted" than at my last visit, also canned soups, soaps, TP and paper tissue. and prices on lots of goods have risen sharply. Not to be called usury, but in part nearly that as to 20% or so.  

The 10% coupon I burned on a 6 case of a better Chianti from their Wine Humidor, for shit and giggles I bought a small bag of fava beans. So if the next person "jokes" he will come to my place if things go really southwards,  I can let loose an other Hannibal Lector's line as in "fava beans and a nice Chianti I already have, ... you bring your liver..."  

With all the restaurants they cater to in shut down now, vegetables, fruit and meat were plenty and to normal prices, I stocked up with this for me and my parents. Also Brazilian limes, different nuts and seeds and dried fruits. 

More customers today wore masks and gloves than the week before. 

Tomorrow I will be in my "normal" Super Market, for some things I don't want to buy in bulk... I am looking forward to a comparison.

Last edited by Community Member

Don't talk to me about computers. The work PC (issued from a client but I don't need it much) went into bitlocker recovery. Stupid ass company can't handle recovery remote, so I have to drive an hour to reset it. But, offices are closed. 

And, the macbook pro went poof, out of the blue. Took it, tediously, to Microcenter because Apple stores are closed so instead of a clever drop off/mail in system, just fuck off and go elsewhere. Dead. Mainboard. $600 to repair, but an update promised any time now, so, I had them (they were baffled) do the warranty replacement of the keyboard on the dead computer and when done with other crises will eBay it, wait. 

Hoping the iMac stays up, as that's the only real computer I have left to do this, and you know I guess work, on. 

Malpaso posted:
rdouglas posted:

  I find if I go out when I am done I put my mask on the dashboard in the sun to let it bake.  After a couple days there is should be good but I still handle it appropriately.   This way I will be able to reuse it.

Curious about this. I was under the impression that UV does not penetrate glass. Can someone with science clarify please?

UVA and UVB, 

UVB is blocked (sun burn rays) but UVA is "visible light" and thus, obviously, penetrates. Various windows and glass have UV indexes on the amount they let through called transmission.

I know this because I recently upgraded my house windows. On the "morning side" I had 90% transmission glass to "warm up the house" in the morning but 90%+ blocking glass on the "sunset side" to avoid cooking certain rooms.

Which "UV<ab>" kills viruses ... I have no idea. So it will come down to if viruses are killed by UVA/UVB or both. I'm pretty sure direct sunlight kills all viruses which contains UVA and UVB.

Malpaso posted:
rdouglas posted:

  I find if I go out when I am done I put my mask on the dashboard in the sun to let it bake.  After a couple days there is should be good but I still handle it appropriately.   This way I will be able to reuse it.

Curious about this. I was under the impression that UV does not penetrate glass. Can someone with science clarify please?

Most standard optical type glass (borosilicate and soda lime) has a cut off around 350nm or so.  It trails off a bit due to science nerd things.

Peak “germicidal” wavelength is UV around 264nm for trashing nucleic acid damage.  So your windshield glass isn’t going to cut it.  The inside your car temps of car, if you live in a hot place, might be close, but I haven’t seen an official number for this yet.  Heard 70C float around which should be 155-160F or so.

viking_overlord posted:

Which "UV<ab>" kills viruses ... I have no idea. So it will come down to if viruses are killed by UVA/UVB or both. I'm pretty sure direct sunlight kills all viruses which contains UVA and UVB.

UVB and UVC are best.  You get a good deal of interactions between the light and the carbon=carbon and carbon=oxygen bonds in organics.  

UVA doesn’t do as much until you get to the lower wavelengths of UVA where you have more energy.  Keep in mind it’s a spectrum.  So UVA and UVB around 315nm are going to behave about the same.

UVvis posted:
viking_overlord posted:

Which "UV<ab>" kills viruses ... I have no idea. So it will come down to if viruses are killed by UVA/UVB or both. I'm pretty sure direct sunlight kills all viruses which contains UVA and UVB.

UVB and UVC are best.  You get a good deal of interactions between the light and the carbon=carbon and carbon=oxygen bonds in organics.  

UVA doesn’t do as much until you get to the lower wavelengths of UVA where you have more energy.  Keep in mind it’s a spectrum.  So UVA and UVB around 315nm are going to behave about the same.

well ... fuck. there it is ....  

davidwords posted:

Praying for you daughter and her team.

The FDA has given compounding pharmacies around here permission to make hand sanitizer, so that is another potential source for everyone. The batch I got was much more expensive, a spray instead of a gel, with an expiration date, but available. It also had to be delivered somewhere that could accept hazardous materials, like a residence.

Moonshine Distillery near the hospital I work at started making hand sanitizer & giving it to local medical offices.

Debating where to post this. On Feb 25th, I was made aware of a CDC conference call with the WA State Dept of Public Health that occurred on Feb 21st.  I assume every other state had similar conference calls with other CDC representatives around that time. In short, CDC warned the states that what we see happening today would happen. Yes, the President was at that point trying to clumsily reassure the nation? I guess? Or reacting reflexively to the constant attacks on him and his presidency. So, he was saying "nothing to see here" in public. The administration was at the same time privately communicating with the states. I am surprised this has not been widely talked about. I've seen nothing of these CDC conference calls in the press.

One of my co-workers took notes when we learned of this. Our command staff was brought into the loop and it jump started our department's preparation. Because this information was side-loaded, I was reluctant to just post it on the forums for fear of spreading misinformation and being a bad LF citizen. 

IMO the states were warned by the US gov't on Feb 21st of what was coming. Should have acted without waiting for national stockpiles, federal declarations, etc. Anyway, here are the notes from the call I was on, where someone present on the CDC conference call gave us the heads up:

Background: Our Psychologist is a member of a Strike Force Team for the State of Washington. This team is activated in cases of emergency to support the State of Washington Department of Health and the CDC. She was on a conference call on 2/21/20 headed by the CDC.

Situation: The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is spreading faster than is being generally reported. The virus has been seen on all continents except Antarctica. There is reason to believe that China is still under-reporting the numbers infected. Elsewhere it is the same, for instance Iran has likely under-reported it’s numbers by about 20,000. The virus is spreading very fast. The reported cases in one country (Singapore?) went from 51 to 1,100 in 24 hours. COVID-19 is spread by both “droplet transmission” through sneezing and coughing, and by direct contact. A US soldier in South Korea tested positive after visiting other locations prior to being diagnosed. More reported cases in the military are expected.

 COVID-19 has a longer incubation period than previously reported. The longest confirmed thus far for this virus has been 29 days. Many individuals that have the virus are largely a-symptomatic. That is, they show little or no disease symptoms for extended timeframes even though they ‘have the virus’. The CDC has confirmed that a person without symptoms can transmit the disease.

Currently there are 700 possible cases of the virus being tracked in Washington. However, there is no way to confirm that number because our supply of test kits are contaminated. We are awaiting new test kits.  

Persons age 65 and older, small children, and people with diabetes are the most at risk of dying from COVID-19.

The mortality rate for COVID-19 is about 2%. That is 20 – 30 times worse than the flu. Current projections are that 40% to 70% of the world population will contract COVID-19. If the lowest most likely number (40%) contract the disease, and the 2% mortality rate is accurate, then that will mean over [redacted for bad math] deaths worldwide. That will overtax our available healthcare resources. It will mean a massive number of people will need ventilators and other care. The economic impact will be vast as supply chains are disrupted.

Currently there is no cure for COVID-19. An available vaccine is at least weeks or months away. We can only comfort and care for the infected that show symptoms. One of the biggest risks for our medical staff working in close proximity to infected patients appears to be that the virus has been found to attach to hair follicles. There are reports of medical staff in China shaving their heads to lower the risk of transmission.

Going forward: The CDC appears to be waiting until COVID-19 is declared a Pandemic before they suggest more drastic measures. It is currently classified as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). Likely beginning in mid-March the CDC will begin recommending Americans implement ‘voluntary isolation’ in place. This means that individuals will be encouraged to stay isolated in their homes for 2 or even up to 6 weeks. If more vulnerable individuals are in the home, then this shelter in place will mean if a member of the family leaves, they should not return home.

Businesses will be requested to seek out telecommuting options for employees. Large gathering events will be postponed or cancelled.

For first responders: consider more telephonic interactions with public; meet public outdoors instead of inside; postpone non-essential operations; be cautious of contact with others back at Precinct.

For all: wash hands vigorously and regularly; use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not feasible (60% + alcohol sanitizer is best); stockpile necessary goods for extended shelter in place at home; masks help you prevent transmission when you are already infected, but are of minimal help to prevent infection.

Like I've stated before, I already have food storage and am a medium-prepper. Upon receipt of this information I went shopping the very next day before the crush began.

Whether the President ordered/knew the CDC was issuing this warning, or whether they were doing their own thing without the boss, the states cannot say they didn't get some guidance, IMO.

 

Last edited by Community Member
Maskirovka posted:

Yes, the President was at that point trying to clumsily reassure the nation? I guess? Or reacting reflexively to the constant attacks on him and his presidency. So, he was saying "nothing to see here" in public. The administration was at the same time privately communicating with the states. I am surprised this has not been widely talked about. I've seen nothing of these CDC conference calls in the press.

If a competent assessment, autopsy if you will, is ever done by an entity as centered and with the least bias possible it will be quite interesting to see what impacts the impeachment hearings and the negatively slanted media coverage had on the processing and decision making part of the administration's response - and that is regardless of one's view on the current admin.

Erick posted:
Maskirovka posted:

Yes, the President was at that point trying to clumsily reassure the nation? I guess? Or reacting reflexively to the constant attacks on him and his presidency. So, he was saying "nothing to see here" in public. The administration was at the same time privately communicating with the states. I am surprised this has not been widely talked about. I've seen nothing of these CDC conference calls in the press.

If a competent assessment, autopsy if you will, is ever done by an entity as centered and with the least bias possible it will be quite interesting to see what impacts the impeachment hearings and the negatively slanted media coverage had on the processing and decision making part of the administration's response - and that is regardless of one's view on the current admin.

Absolutely. And there is very much blame to go around. Many countries, many states in the USA. Much dropped balls. If this is hung around Trump's neck, there had better be others.

I hope people in general will take this catastrophe (economic, societal, and public health) as an expensive lesson in "the only one watching out for you is you."

ALDI hauls pasta with chartered trains direct from Italy

More than 75,000 packages of penne, a quarter of a million packages of spaghetti: Because people in Germany are currently stocking up on pasta, Aldi is now importing the goods from Italy by train.

Germans like to hamster a lot in the corona crisis - and not only toilet paper is very popular. Noodles are also in greater demand than usual at the moment. To ensure supplies, discounter Aldi and DB Schenker's logistics subsidiary DB now collect pasta from Italy on a special train.

"In a first delivery, several special trains have already brought over 60,000 parcels of Fusilli, more than 75,000 parcels of Penne and well over a quarter of a million parcels of spaghetti from Italy to Nuremberg," says a message from the discounter.

In total, Schenker delivered more than 200 tons of pasta in around 300 pallets. Trucks delivered the packages from branches to branches in southern Germany from Nuremberg.

According to Aldi, durable foods such as pasta are in high demand in the coronavirus crisis. At the same time, it had become more difficult to transport the goods to Germany. "Because transports to Italy are currently declining, trucks and trains are missing there to be loaded for the way back." With the alternative now created, we are no longer dependent on just one carrier and can react flexibly to bottlenecks.

Another delivery with more than 250 pallets is already on the way, according to the announcement. Discussions between Aldi and Schenker are currently underway as to whether there will be such special trains on a regular basis in the future, said a spokesman for the logistics company.

###

As a market-leader among the food-discounter here in Germany they have the "might" to do so (as long as there is stock of pasta in Italy)!

Before my regular EDEKA supermarket was a long line today, looked rather long because of "social distancing", maybe 30 or so customers, over 100 or so meters, so I drove on singing out loud: 

Foxtrott

Uniform

Charly

Kilo

 

Yankee

Oscar

Uniform !!! 

Stopped at a nearby small butcher shop, there was just one customer in front of me, got nearly all I really needed there and it was not that much more expensive. Normally - If I work regular times - he is already closed in the evening, so I can't buy there that often. 

So much about one do not need "hamstering" and can buy all stuff all times!

<start singing the Foxtrott ..... again>

And also know your neighborhood and its shops well!  

Today's update from Johns Hopkins ...
April 3, 2020
EPI UPDATE The WHO COVID-19 Situation Report for April 2 reported 896,450 confirmed COVID-19 cases (72,839 new) and 45,526 deaths (4,924 new) globally. If the recent trend continues, the official count could reach 1 million cases in the next 2 days and 50,000 deaths by tomorrow. The WHO Situation Report includes a link to recent guidance regarding the “growing number of falsified medical products that claim to prevent, detect, treat or cure COVID-19.” Yesterday’s COVID-19 briefing included mention of several of these types of products in the United States, but they are a global issue. The Situation Report also includes an overview of the WHO’s current understanding of SARS-CoV-2 transmission routes, including symptomatic and pre-symptomatic cases as well as asymptomatic infections.
The Russian Ministry of Health reported a total of 4,149 cases (601 new), an increase of 17% from the previous day and more than double the number reported on March 30. Iran reported 53,183 confirmed cases of COVID-19 (2,715 new), including 3,294 deaths (134 new). Iran’s COVID-19 reported incidence is growing steadily. Pakistan reported 2,450 confirmed cases on April 3 (159 new). Despite the growing epidemic in neighboring Iran and concerns about a major epidemic in Pakistan, the data do not yet indicate that is occurring.
Spain continues to report high daily incidence, with another 7,472 new cases reported today—32,515 new cases since March 31. Spain is now reporting a total of 117,710 cases and 10,935 deaths, which overtakes Italy for the second most cases, behind only the United States. Italy’s recent decline in daily incidence continues, reporting only 4,668 new cases in the past 24 hours (115,242 total cases); however, Italy still remains as the country with the most deaths (13,915).
The US CDC reported 213,144 cases (27,043 new) and 4,513 deaths (910 new) on April 2, continuing its accelerating trajectory. Of these cases, fewer than 2% have an identified exposure—travel-related or close contact of a known case. As of yesterday, 10 states have reported more than 5,000 cases (2 new), and 26 states have reported widespread community transmission (1 new). The Johns Hopkins CSSE dashboard is reporting 245,658 US cases and 6,058 deaths as of 10:45am on April 3.
US CDC UPDATED GUIDANCE The US CDC published updated versions yesterday for a broad scope of COVID-19 guidance and information. More than 20 COVID-19 pages on the CDC website received updates, including interim guidance for collecting and processing clinical specimens, handling the bodies of deceased persons under investigation (PUIs), operating schools and childcare centers, and infection control for COVID-19 patients. The CDC also published updated information for vulnerable populations, including individuals with asthma and pregnant women, as well as updated information on caring for COVID-19 patients at home.
Notably, the CDC updated its information regarding SARS-CoV-2 transmission. In the previous iteration of this information, the CDC noted that individuals not currently experiencing symptoms could potentially transmit the infection to others, citing anecdotal reports, but this was not thought to be a main driver of disease spread. The current guidance reflects growing evidence that transmission by asymptomatic individuals—including during the incubation period before symptoms present and by infected individuals that never develop symptoms—is possible, based on “recent studies” demonstrating this capability. Additionally, the updated information removes a previous reference to “affected geographic areas” and acknowledges widespread community transmission in the United States and states that SARS-CoV-2 is transmitting more readily than influenza.
The CDC also made substantial updates to guidance regarding how to optimize the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). Previously, the page simply included links to guidance for individual types of PPE and other products, such as ventilators. The new site adds high-level recommendations for healthcare facilities regarding the current state of shortages for a broad scope of products. The CDC recommends that “all U.S. healthcare facilities should begin using PPE contingency strategies now” in recognition of ongoing shortages across the country. Additionally, the CDC notes that “healthcare facilities experiencing PPE shortages may need to consider crisis capacity strategies”—including reusing PPE and cancelling elective clinical services—and instructs healthcare facilities to develop these plans in advance, including identifying alternative approaches in the event that PPE is unavailable from commercial sources.
DEFENSE PRODUCTION ACT Yesterday, US President Donald Trump invoked the Defense Production Act (DPA) twice, in order to secure production respirators and mechanical ventilators to support the COVID-19 response. President Trump invoked the DPA to increase the production of mechanical ventilators from 6 companies and again to ensure the supply of N95 respirators from 3M. Since initially authorizing the use of the DPA in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, President Trump has invoked it sparingly, prompting criticism over his seeming reluctance to use the Act to increase the availability of critical supplies and equipment that are in short supply nationwide, control prices of supplies and equipment in high demand, and coordinate national allocation.
TEMPORARY HOSPITALS Reports continue about the construction of temporary hospital facilities across the country, including retrofitting existing buildings, such as the Javits Convention Center in New York, or field hospitals, such as the one established in Central Park. On the West Coast, the US Army is establishing a 250-bed field hospital in Seattle, at the CenturyLink Event Center. Like many similar facilities in the United States, this hospital is not intended to treat COVID-19 patients. Rather, it will provide care for other conditions in an effort to make additional capacity available in the local health system for COVID-19 patients. This was the initial plan for the Javits Convention Center facility, but this recently changed to permit the admission of COVID-19 patients. Similar provisions may be implemented at similar facilities in Louisiana and Texas.
Multiple media reports indicate that the hospital ships USNS Comfort and Mercy—currently providing support to the New York and California COVID-19 responses, respectively—have treated very few patients. According to one report, the Comfort has treated 20 patients and the Mercy has treated 15, as of yesterday afternoon. One of the principal challenges appears to be strict limitations regarding the patients that the ships can accept. In particular, it is being widely reported that there are 49 medical conditions, including COVID-19, that the hospital ships will not accept (however, we have been unable to locate the list of specific conditions). Additionally, patients cannot be brought directly to the ships, requiring preliminary evaluation, including SARS-CoV-2 testing, at a local hospital before they can be transported to the ship. As noted above, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo received permission from President Trump to allow COVID-19 patients to be admitted to the temporary hospital established at the Javits Convention Center, but the policy remains in place for the Comfort.
DEATHS IN ECUADOR Reports are emerging that Ecuador is struggling to handle the bodies of suspected COVID-19 victims in Guayaquil, the country’s largest city. Reportedly, citizens under restrictive social distancing measures have been unable to obtain care for family members sick with the disease, and the police have been assigned to retrieve the bodies of COVID-19 victims who die outside of hospitals. Delays in retrieving some of the bodies have reportedly led families to place them outside on the sidewalk and in the street while they await pickup. One Ecuadorian official commented that the police “went from taking away 30 deceased per day to 150” in just a 3-day period, on top of those handled by traditional means such as funeral homes. The Ecuadorian Ministry of Health reports 3,163 confirmed cases and only 120 deaths; however, multiple media reports indicate that Ecuador has struggled to increase testing capacity and that the official data likely underestimates the actual state of the epidemic.
SURGICAL MASKS A collaboration between researchers at the WHO Collaborating Center for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control at The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong hospitals, and Harvard University studied the impact of surgical masks on the transmission of respiratory viruses, including coronaviruses, when used by symptomatic individuals. The study, published in Nature Medicine, found that surgical masks reduced the emission of droplets and aerosols exhaled by symptomatic patients. The masks resulted in a significant reduction in coronavirus detected in aerosols and a “trend toward reduced detection” for respiratory droplets (i.e., observed reduction, but not statistically significant). Conversely, the study found a significant reduction in influenza detected in respiratory droplets, but no significant reduction for aerosols. The coronavirus in this study was a “seasonal” coronavirus, as opposed to SARS-CoV-2, but it provides further support for guidance that encourages symptomatic individuals to wear masks to reduce transmission.
US AIRCRAFT CARRIER CAPTAIN FIRED We reported several days ago on the growing COVID-19 outbreak on the USS Theodore Roosevelt and Captain Brett Crozier’s letter to senior US Department of Defense leadership calling for additional support to ensure the health and safety of the 5,000 Sailors and Marines onboard. It was reported yesterday that the US Navy relieved Captain Crozier of his command as a result of the letter. The Defense Department is no longer publishing official COVID-19 data for individual units or commands; however, the outbreak was reported to be 114 cases yesterday, and the majority of the crew is scheduled to be disembarked from the ship this week. A smaller contingent will remain onboard to continue necessary operations.
EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTION OF A COVID-19 VACCINE As vaccine candidates are rapidly evaluated for SARS-CoV-2, determination of how vaccine supply can be equitably and effectively distributed when it becomes available will be critical to containing the COVID-19 pandemic. A report published in the Harvard Business Review—co-authored by Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, and senior faculty at Harvard Medical School—details the importance of properly allocating available vaccine, rather than based solely on the ability to pay for them. The authors argue that, considering the global impact and tremendous scale of the pandemic, it will be critical to allocate vaccine strategically to ensure the biggest impact, particularly early on, when there will be limited supply of vaccine available. Funding will be needed to ensure that the vaccine is accessible to lower-resourced settings, which will not be as readily able to purchase vaccine as wealthier countries. Additionally, allocation decisions should consider the protection of healthcare workers to ensure both continued care for COVID-19 patients and the conduct of vaccination operations worldwide. Additionally, displaced and mobile populations (eg, migrants, refugees) may be challenging to reach, as many do not have formal identification paperwork or fixed locations. Data and other technological solutions can provide situational awareness in areas where there is a lack of individual-level health data, and international coordination will be paramount to achieving global protection via a COVID-19 vaccine. 
US UNEMPLOYMENT We reported yesterday on US Department of Labor data that showed a dramatic increase in the number of unemployment claims filed nationwide. Today, the Labor Department published its monthly “jobs report” for March, which presents additional data regarding the recent increase in unemployment. Nationally, the number of jobs decreased by more than 700,000—a stark contrast to the 273,000 jobs gained in the February report—and the unemployment rate jumped from a 50-year low of 3.5% to 4.4%, the highest since 2017. The data included in this report only cover February 12 through March 12, which does not account for recent business closures and layoffs resulting from social distancing measures implemented over the past several weeks. Some estimates forecast that the national unemployment rate could exceed 10% in the near future.
UK “IMMUNITY PASSPORTS” Yesterday, the United Kingdom’s Minister of Health, Matt Hancock, outlined the roadmap for the UK to move beyond the current restrictive social distancing measures. The plan includes 5 pillars: scale up diagnostic testing to 25,000 per day for government and hospital laboratories; increase access to commercial diagnostic testing for healthcare workers and other critical infrastructure; develop and deploy serological tests to identify past infections and immunity; improve surveillance to improve situational awareness and support vaccine and therapeutic development; and develop a nationwide mass testing capacity. The plan also includes an effort to utilize serological tests to identify those with immunity, which can allow them to return to normal activity. This status will reportedly be documented in “immunity passports” to demonstrate their status.
GOOGLE COMMUNITY MOBILITY PLATFORM Through the use of platforms such as Google Maps, Google has created aggregate mobility reports for a number of countries and regions around the world. These data enable the visualization of the changes in population movement over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, which can provide insight into the role of social distancing efforts and other impacts of the pandemic on population movement. Google states that the data includes sufficient resolution to illustrate “the change in visits to places like grocery stores and parks.”

 

COVID-19 - the pandemic and its impact on security policy

from the German Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies, I didn't know of it till now, it has an English name, but publishes only in German  and this paper was made up by one author only... and has no earth shattering new insights, but for discussion I translated a few pieces  about preparation on a state level and international security issues...

(The GIDS examines problems and phenomena that are decisive for Germany's security policy strategy and thus creates the basis for advising decision-makers in the Bundeswehr and the Federal Government.

The GIDS is a cooperation project between the Bundeswehr Command and Staff College and the Helmut Schmidt University / University of the Bundeswehr Hamburg. The GIDS research and advisory work thus combines scientific excellence with military expertise.)

h ttps://gids-hamburg.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/GIDSstatement2020_1_Rogg_COVID19.pdf

 

Matthias Rogg, COVID-19 – die Pandemie und ihre Auswirkungen auf die Sicherheitspolitik, #GIDSstatement 1/2020, Hamburg.

GIDS
German Institute for Defence and Strategic Studies Führungsakademie der Bundeswehr Manteuffelstraße 20 · 22587 Hamburg
Tel.: +49 (0)40 8667 6801
buero@gids-hamburg.de · www.gids-hamburg.de

COVID-19 - the pandemic and its impact on security policy

Autor: Oberst [Colonel] i.G. [on General Staff duty ] Prof. Matthias Rogg

(He is Professor of Modern and "Modernest" History at the University of the Federal Armed Forces in Hamburg since 2013, making him the first active Bundeswehr soldier to receive a professorship outside of the medical service.
His dissertation  was "
on the image of the soldier in the 16th century"  - I have to look into this...)

[...]

Germany's strategic strength in the crisis
Without wanting to talk down the challenges of general government action, the corona crisis affects Germany under comparatively favorable conditions. Germany is facing only one crisis at the moment: we have no extreme weather conditions, no floods, no government crisis - on the contrary: we have a stable, experienced and, above all, capable government that is enjoying great trust right now. In addition, Germany can rely on a functioning administration, an excellent health system and, last but not least, excellent social systems. The worldwide unique instrument of short-time work alone helps the economy enormously. Unlike in many countries, including the western world, the public sector coffers are full. With good reason, our country enjoys the highest credit rating on the international financial markets and therefore has financial opportunities that now enable quick and effective action. Germany is strategically well positioned here.

COVID-19 reveals Germany's strategic deficits
Regardless of these favorable general conditions, the crisis increasingly reveals the lack of substantial, actually legally prescribed resources at the level of local authorities and the federal states as well as the lack of strategic reserves in terms of personnel, materials and infrastructure at the federal level (Bayer 2020). For generations, people have not felt so vulnerable. The shortages of vital goods in the healthcare sector (medication, protective equipment, etc.) suddenly show us how dependent we are on global supply chains, even for products that should not be an issue for an industrialized nation that is admired worldwide. The question of what, and not least, who is systemically important in a crisis, is becoming the first thing that many people are aware of. Government regulation and resilience building are suddenly in demand again in the health care system, although last year there were discussions about the closure of half of all German clinics for efficiency reasons (Böcken 2019). In order to regain strategic autonomy, in future more attention must be paid to the diversity of the suppliers, to stocks and the avoidance of redundancies. The management of certain resources, the importance of which often only becomes clear in the course of a crisis, must be recognized earlier and managed centrally. The German Bundestag military commissioner, Hans-Peter Bartels, summed up the dilemma: “Having is better than needing” (Varwick 2020: 5).
Since the end of compulsory military service, the Bundeswehr has had very little strategic personnel. The commitment of our reservists is showing itself again in these days, but in the end the support services provided by the Bundeswehr are limited due to its focus on foreign missions as well as national and alliance defense. The resulting effects on health systems and civilian aid organizations, which have benefited from community service for decades, can be seen more than clearly - we urgently need these highly committed young people in the armed forces and especially in the social and health systems! In addition, the gradual reductions in the armed forces over the past 30 years and the not always understandable decisions with different deployment concepts have led to the dissolution of numerous properties. We now lack this infrastructure in the area, which, due to its design, would be ideal for setting up emergency shelters or for isolation. We already experienced these deficits painfully while coping with the refugees in 2015 and we are now faced with similar problems again. In the end, the fixed costs for maintaining a strategic reserve, be it in terms of personnel or material, could turn out to be far lower than the immediate costs and, above all, the resulting costs that arise in a crisis. Germany urgently needs to improve here!

[...]

COVID-19 opens new windows in security policy
How the European Union, which is already badly hit, will get out of this crisis is a question that is not (yet) on the agenda. When Germany takes over the presidency of the EU Council Presidency in the second half of the year, COVID-19 will probably continue to be the dominant issue - and expectations, especially for Germany, are likely to be immense. This is particularly true for the member states Italy and Spain that look into the abyss. The fact that these (and not only these), after EU members had rejected calls for help, security competitors - if not opponents to our western system - such as China and Russia, had to be requested for material help in the crisis and received it immediately, shows not only how desperate the situation is . Italy, which only recently wanted to demonstrate a substantial contribution to the NATO major maneuver “Defender Europe 2020”, is now grateful for material and personal help against the virus from Moscow (Ivits 2020). With this coup, Russia is not only relying on demonstrating its political strength and ability to act to the world. The Kremlin is also hoping to ease the tense relationship with NATO and perhaps even build a bridge that could ease sanctions.

Further examples show that the corona virus has another (security policy) force that is not destructive, but does the opposite. All over the world, security policy has started to move and things that were not believed to be possible suddenly, seem doable now. Under the conditions of natural disasters, it has been shown time and again that parties in a conflict are looking for ways of working together, agreeing to ceasefires or offering their societies opportunities to breathe (Kreutz 2012). The tsunami in December 2004, for example, opened a dialogue between the Aceh rebels and the Indonesian government that was not previously thought possible (Garrigues 2020). In the Corona crisis, Venezuela and Colombia, the United States' closest ally in the region, are beginning to explore ways of working together to fight the pandemic through the Pan American Health Organization. In Libya, international actors have started negotiations on a "corona ceasefire" (Garrigues 2020). Qatar and Kuwait followed shortly after the United Arab Emirates began to support their “arch enemy” Iran in the fight against COVID-19 with medical aid. In the Philippines, President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered a one-month ceasefire in the fight against the communist rebels so that the armed forces (sic!) can concentrate more on fighting the virus (International Crisis Group 2020: 13). And even the United States has sent first aid to the breakaway region of Abkhazia, despite the longstanding conflict with Russia. Without euphoria and with the necessary sobriety, one can say that there is currently movement in some conflicts that seemed to be cemented. The scope that opens up here should be carefully observed and used by German foreign and security policy.

COVID-19 as a fire accelerator in crises and conflicts
Despite these encouraging signals for positive changes, the view in this country remains focused on the western world. However, the unforeseeable consequences of an expansion of the pandemic in regions that are volatile in terms of security policy (Barakat 2020) could hardly be more dramatic and exacerbate the crisis in Germany in a way that was previously unimaginable. Despite the scarce resources already mentioned, responsible strategic and political thinking and acting also requires this aspect to be taken into account (N. Müller 2020). Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, has once again urged Germany's responsibility and interest in Africa, especially now in the COVID 19 pandemic. The current crisis teaches: “We have to check our supply chains thoroughly so that our supplies are not only crisis-proof but also pathogen-free.” (G. Müller 2020). The situation in many countries is much more explosive. None other than the President of the International Red Cross Committee, Peter Maurer, warned that the lack of basic medical care in the many conflict zones around the world is a frighteningly open gateway for COVID-19 (Maurer 2020).

It is obvious that the previously low number of registrations from Africa and the Middle East can be attributed to completely inadequate tests because most countries only have a rudimentary medical infrastructure. The African countries should not be underestimated - not least because they have far more experience with pandemics. Nonetheless, the urban centers are particularly threatened here, since an outbreak of the virus would very likely cause an unstoppable catastrophe there. Soberly, the question is not whether, but when it happens and where it starts. The course of the Ebola epidemic has clearly shown that fragile states with little trust in the population in government action are additionally undermining countermeasures of any kind.

Experts from the “International Crisis Group” rate the threat to northwestern Syria with the Idlib region and Yemen as particularly high (International Crisis Group 2020: 2–3). The world's refugee camps are a hotspot: not only Moria in Lesbos, which has almost been forgotten, but also the camps in the Gaza Strip or a million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh. Where the borders were closed to people fleeing, such as Brazil and Colombia vis-à-vis Venezuela, the potential for violence increases. The ongoing travel restrictions, which often apply indiscriminately to humanitarian workers, make it all the more difficult to organize aid on the ground and gain a reliable picture of the situation. If the humanitarian catastrophe of an outbreak of a virus in a crowded refugee camp were not big enough, it would be hard to imagine how the local security forces would react and what this would mean for political stability in regions that were already unstable.

After all, the corona virus acts like a toxic accelerator for authoritarian states. The recent measures taken by the Hungarian government, pseudo-legitimized by the corona crisis, to call out an emergency right indefinitely, are particularly reminiscent of the “Empowerment Act” in Germany and thus the darkest chapter in our history (Löwenstein 2020). Further examples from China, Algeria and Russia show that with reference to COVID-19 the rights of the opposition there are restricted even more (International Crisis Group 2020: 7). It is also possible, as the International Crisis Group convincingly notes, that COVID-19 could encourage governments to venture into foreign policy adventures in the shadow of the crisis and in anticipation of the inability of the international community to act (International Crisis Group 2020: 10 ).

No matter how the economically weak countries in the Middle East and Africa, shaken by crises, orient themselves politically: they are particularly at risk from the pandemic, have little chance of effective crisis management and are likely to be politically much more difficult after a pandemic , economically and socially consolidate. It takes little imagination to imagine that COVID-19 can act like a polyvalent fire accelerator.

Seven theses and recommendations for action on COVID-19 from a security perspective
The world is in an existential struggle that feels like war to many - even if so far the weapons are silent. We are still primarily concerned with the medical challenges, the questions of when a life that we remember as normal is possible again and how the economic consequences can be mastered. All of this is important and the view of the closer private, possibly national circle is understandable, but should not obscure the view of international developments. But the pandemic also has a security dimension, the importance of which will only grow.

1. The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to open up opportunities for foreign and security policy because there is scope for action between the actors that was previously unthinkable. Here Germany should closely monitor and examine where it is helpful and also in its interest to weigh its international weight.

2. Learning with and from the crisis means “Global Health and Security” to pay more strategic attention in the future. The topic needs to be brought into the center of our attention from the margins: the focus of foreign and security policy and thus also of the armed forces.

3. Precisely because politicians in Germany repeatedly emphasize the importance of scientific expertise in a crisis, its causes and forms have to be examined using scientific methods - thoroughly and now. The Bundeswehr is challenged here with all the resources of its universities and scientific institutes. This includes, always in line with the requirements of a networked approach, the implementation of wargaming with decision-makers as well as the development and maintenance of scientifically based models under the conditions of a pandemic.

4. The emerging fields of tension in the complex network of health, economy and security show that new ethical answers must also be found for this problems.

5. An honest, empirical-critical analysis of the performance and scope of medical early warning systems, social resilience and the use of the Bundeswehr in the crisis is hardly less important.

6. We need an honest discussion about Germany's strategic reserves. The discussion must not end with purely material aspects such as supply chains, procurement processes and stockpiling. The subject of a mandatory year of service, which has been buried several times politically, is back on the agenda: if not now, when?

7. COVID-19 is a global challenge that can only be mastered globally and in a network. Germany, with its international reputation, is particularly challenged here in the area of foreign, security and development policy. Now it has to be seen whether the actors in our country are willing and able to think and act in a networked way. It is only a matter of time before the virus spreads to the world's miserable regions. Now there is still time to consider the consequences and possible reactions. We underestimated this virus in all respects when it broke out and should, no, not make the same mistake again!

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The used sources are mainly German so if interested look them up in the original paper, her only a few that were in English and may be of general interest....

Barakat, Mahmoud (2020), Conflict Region Vulnerable to COVID-19 Catastrophe, in: Anadolu Agency vom 28.03.2020, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/africa/conflict-re- gions-vulnerable-to-covid-19-catastrophe/1782833

Gannon, Megan (2018), An Unknown ‘Disease X’ Could Become an Epidemic. Can
We Find It Before It’s Too Late?, in: Livescience vom 18.10.2018, https://www. livescience.com/63862-disease-x-animal-source.html

Garrigues, Juan (2020), Conflict and Peace Scenarios in Time of COVID-19 (CIDOB Opini- on 618), https://www.cidob.org/en/publi...n_series/opinion/se- guridad_y_ politica_mundial/conflict_and_ peace_scenarios_in_times_of_covid_19

International Crisis Group (2020), Covid-19 and Conflict: Seven Trends to Watch (Crisis Group Special Briefing 4), New York/Brüssel, https://d2071andvip0wj.cloud- front.net/B004-covid-19-seven-trends.pdf

Kreutz, Joakim (2012), From Tremors to Talks: Do Natural Desasters Produce Ripe Moments for Resolving Separatist Conflicts?, in: International Interactions 38:4, S. 482–502.

Maurer, Peter (2020), COVID-19 Poses a Dramatic Threat to Life in Conflict Zones, in: World Economic Forum vom 27.03.20, https://www.weforum.org/agen- da/2020/03/covid-19-poses-a-dramatic-threat-to-life-in-conflict-zones/

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In Berlin the domestic violence is up 10 % according to the police reports, a help-phone line for this said 20% up. 

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h ttps://www.focus.de/finanzen/boerse/aus-angst-vor-engpaessen-auch-staaten-horten-jetzt-corona-bedroht-den-weltweiten-handel-mit-lebensmitteln_id_11834188.html

Export bans and restrictions could have an impact on global food trade.

"Bread, milk, cereals and meat should always be on Kazakh dining tables," says Baqyt Sultanow. The 48-year-old is Minister of Trade and Integration in Kazakhstan and sees the Corona crisis as a threat to his compatriots' food supplies. So he acted last week: Kazakhstan will no longer export agricultural products. Import duties have been suspended and the value added tax for food has been reduced.

Kazakhstan may not seem particularly important to us, but the Central Asian empire is important in international grain trade: According to data from the US Department of Agriculture, only twelve countries produced more grain last year. So the announcement is as important as if Norway announced it would stop exporting oil.
Vietnam, Serbia and Russia follow Kazakhstan's example
Especially since Kazakhstan is by no means an isolated case: many other countries have imposed similar restrictions. Vietnam issued an export ban on rice last week. The country wants to check whether it has enough reserves for its own population. Vietnam is the third largest rice exporter in the world, so even a week-long trade freeze is noticeable here. The test has not yet been completed, but the agricultural association announced in a statement that the reserves would be sufficient.

The trend is not limited to Asia. In Europe, for example, Serbia stopped exporting sunflower oil and other types of oil, while Russia wants to reassess the situation every week. In Africa, most recently, Morocco, Algeria and Turkey ordered grain abroad in large quantities to ensure supplies in the country. All three are among the largest importers of agricultural products in the world.

When states hoard, food is lacking elsewhere
And even major powers are affected: China, for example, is increasingly buying up grain and wheat from its own farmers this year. However, this is due to the fact that there was almost an undersupply in some parts of the country during the wedding of the Corona crisis in February. In addition, China bought tons of wheat and soybeans from the United States last week. However, the deal is still part of agreements that both countries reached in the trade dispute before the outbreak of the Corona crisis.

When some countries start hoarding food, other places are lacking: In the Philippines, for example, there are growing concerns that rice otherwise imported from Vietnam could become scarce. The stocks would currently last for two months. Time that Secretary of Agriculture William Dar plans to use to tap new sources from Southeast Asia. The rice could become scarce by July at the latest, feared Raul Montemayor, head of the farmers' association: "During this time, our own harvests are usually too low."

Analysts fear price spiral for food
The national solo efforts of some states are causing concern for global analysts: "It is already beginning and the quarantine regulations will certainly become even stricter," says Tim Benton of the London think tank Chatham House. His fear: If the corona circles worsened, more countries would hamper food - similar to the supermarket, there would be a global shortage on a larger scale.

In addition, the pandemic is disrupting food production and, above all, transportation. "In the worst case, governments have to start rationing food," says Ann Berg, a former trader in agricultural products and now a management consultant. It will most likely not be that bad, but the artificial shortage of supply could increase the prices of grain, meat and crops. This would incentivize states to hoard more of it for their poorer fellow citizens, which drives prices up further.

Governments are afraid of unrest
How sensitive people react to high food prices is repeatedly shown. They were one of the reasons for the Arab Spring after the financial crisis, they have brought down several governments in India since 1980 - another reason why states now prefer to hoard instead of risking unrest in the country when supplies are no longer optimal .
There is currently no need to worry: Food production is in good shape globally. No country would have to fear serious shortcomings. Earlier crises on the grain market, for example, were mostly triggered by capricious weather and natural disasters. "This is not the case now," says Maximo Torero, chief economist of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, "now would be the time for states to work together and coordinate."

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But what is about the huge locusts swarm in Africa? Are the locusts suddenly  eaten by the corona virus, or just out of sight of the MSM and their "experts" even one by the FAO? 

From a German news source on 3/26/2020I

... In East Africa, huge swarms of locusts threaten the livelihoods of millions of people. Particularly dramatic: The food supply is already critical in the affected countries - the World Food Organization FAO warns of starvation from the locust plague.... up to 25 Million people to starve...  There was also predicted a "second wave, later this year"  So what? Double Think at its finest? Or was the former locust plague just a little fear mongering to get more donations / funds?

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From all the coming economic trouble coming IMHO we see only the tip of the iceberg, in Germany with our relatively full coffer of money and credit worthiness and the instrument of short-time work, we are ahead of the coming tsunamy wave.

if we can really outrun it I have doubts. 

Lots of people are in debt or living from paycheck to paycheck, and 60% of normal may just - or even not - cover the usual fix costs, so more debt or hunger or both and for most of cause more frugal living.  No new phone every year, no new car now (the newest models are way too expensive with all the electronic gizmos installed, but small engines, so nobody wanted them really anyhow!) No travel for vacation in the foreseeable future with all the consume associated with it. The latest clothes trend? No money for that, have to buy food. Cruises anyone, really? Put 2 to 3.000 high risk (older)people in a petry dish and warm it up - see what will happen again!  

So life and society (as communal life) will change, with less free money available for lots of regular people. The proverbial one % does not count, even if they each buy one more mega yacht more or acquire a surplus Boing jet. The influx of economy will be still near zero.

The younger generation is not used to frugal living, people who were kids during WW2 are 80 now, the last (few) drafted conscripts in Germany are reaching 30 soon. The 1.5 million or more "refugees" only 50 % of them in a (mostly less good paid) job, what will they do if there is no, or at least less money to flow in their direction?  

Something what the Colonel Rogg did not mention -for reasons of "political correctness" I presume - because his paper is for getting more money for the Bundeswehr in the future, not being ostracised or even stripped from his position  for being "politically unreliable".  

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At least some fodder to think about - and prepare for...

 

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Reflection essay 04.05.2020

I haven't written one in aeons ...maybe it will clean up my mind a little bit...

In times of the "corona crisis", which has all political and media attention.

In fact it is just one more problem we have, but one that reinforces and / or speeds up other problems. Foreign immigration over the "refugee" and "asylum" track, with this more Islamization, the EU and the Euro crises, overpopulation, Chinese striving for world power over the permissive and weak  leftwing & greened  “western” world.
"Whitemans Guilt" or "German Responsibility" with the shortening of German history to the time of historical National Socialism ... or the time of colonization and the slave trade, and the -real-  atrocities of the same. Missing the fact that in Africa blacks enslaved the other blacks, sometimes even of their own tribe - but that was also what the Hessians and other early modern rulers did and sold the sons of their peasants to America as soldiers - and the Arabs did the trade and transport to the coast, to be loaded on ships for the triangle trade. They were either given absolution or do the left-wing stupid ideologues really believe that any wealthy southern plantation owners would have dragged their negroes out of the villages of Inner Africa themselves to their cotton fields in Louisiana?  And what about the North African Barbaresques on their raids from the Middle Ages to the 19th century white slaves for the farms and plantations robbed all over the European costs, to serve the Muslim upper class?  Forgiven, forgotten ..that is History, long long ago. "Refugees welcome" ??? Why not the same coin for everyone ???  Selective perception or "only" historically illiterate and ignorant?

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UVvis wrote of the Virus = software on a thumb drive. (waiting for a PC to infect it and someone has to plug it into a port for this to happen)

I see a virus as an idea, the idea of itself and the wish to  spread itself further on. It needs a host cell that can be infected by the idea, reproduces it many times and dies from it. If this chain is not broken, the host dies at some point and the idea (the virus) with him unless he jumps to a new - or a suitable host of another species -  host. It can also mutate more harmless or deadly in these processes.

It is the same with the left-green ideology, too. It has receptors on the surface that “dock” on the host - here the citizen. Be it sympathy "the poor refugees are drowning in the Mediterranean" or "for the children ..." fear "climate catastrophe" ... "Cheronbyl" or the wish "to be progressive" "not to be a NAZI". When the Politvisus has docked, the same thing happens as with the biological virus. The host becomes "sick" and so begins to spread the ideas, not allow critical questioning, the individual and with many of you, the society, become weak, which strengthens the virus and promotes its spread. Weak, cripple, in the end death....

We have seen it in every socialist state so far (maybe Red China is a special case, but they only replaced IMHO the "yellow " emperor  with a "red", and they have seen their empires  crumble again and again over their 3,000-year history, so it would only be for them business as usual with 100 years of chaos to be overcome.

But now with more than a billion hungry mouthes and nuclear weapons, so as the Chinese say „may you live in interesting times!" If they want to curse you.“.

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The Pandemic?  The important part in preparation is pre!  We see it on the personal, local and State level now.

Europe 2020 is when Turkey stops entry from Germany for security reasons.
The USA has declared a state of emergency , in Germany, such steps have so far been reserved for moral panics based on left-wing lies, such as the "climate crisis" and climate emergency, so in this state of mind idiotic green politicians fly into the southern seas,  to see the archipelagos go underwater for themselves... You can not make such shit up it is like toppling Guam by people. 

And if the bus has left the station, it is mostly futile to wave and run after it, so wait for the next one moving in your desired direction and get on it. That means lot´s of things will change, some will ride the top of the big waves to come and have fun, other will drown doing so. Wise people will try to move their boat out of the zone of the breaking waves to set sails after the storm, for their then desired destination.

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The inner yard…

In December 2018 I [Dushan Wenger a German Blogger]  wrote the "Song of the Inneryards". People should prepare practically and mentally to withdraw into the "inner courtyard". Some agreed with me. Others insulted me. - Simple question: Who is better prepared today?

[...]

This chess piece cannot help that it was put in the corner by stupid players! What is there left for the token to do to be a little more bearable with new pillows and some wallpaper - yes, maybe even nice and pleasant!

But Mr. Wenger, I (and we all) are not a chess piece that has to follow the rules, we are  free men, the captain of our souls and we can at least play out the hand of cards fate handed us!

The Roman Villa Rustica as a (more or less) save heaven within the dark forests of Germania, a beacon of civilization in the middle of the Barbaricum. The atrium in the middle with garden and fine pieces of art around.

So enjoy yourself and forget about the dangers outside??? What if the dangers come to you and scatch at your walls or doors with 20 men with a 1.000 pound cut down tree? What if they “only” devast your vegetable gardens outside, burn down your fields of grain, drive away your cattle?

 Even with well armed and experienced fighters, you may not defend your inner yard successfully over the longer term as the Alamo has taught us, you can make a good last stand and make your name hall through eternity, but not survive as a free man (maybe give up and get on that bus).

 A inner yard may be nice and usefull, but it is not the answer for our problems, they will sneak in, forcefully break into or at best don’t go away, a few may fade away, but other will come new instead.

 And for the whole inner yard thing, security may have been a welcomed second aspect, but primary this construction was to live "comfortably" in hot climates without electric AC. (Thinking of that, with all the Great transformation, Green economy at al  maybe still worth to have!)

 But not for security reasons, therefore I love the Spartans thinking more… To need no walls because the enemy fears to attack you.

Reach out, don’t wall yourself in (at least if no infectious disease is around), be proactive instead reactive, fight evil before it becomes to strong to fight with it at a good chance to win and survive.

 As my set time  ends...

Heraclitus is quoted to have written 2.500 years ago

 "Fire burns continuously and without interruption. It is always consuming fuel and always liberating smoke. Everything is either mounting upwards to serve as fuel, or sinking down wards after having nourished the flame. It follows that the whole of reality is like an ever-flowing stream, and that nothing is ever at rest for a moment. The substance of the things we see is in constant change. Even as we look at them, some of the stuff of which they are composed has already passed into something else, while fresh stuff has come into them from another source."

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I think I am smitten at the moment, with things that break at me. Today the accumulator of my electric toothbrush died...

The Mom and Pop Hardware-store just over the street at my place didn't have such e-toothbrushes (they are my fist point of contact in this scenarios, because if you are counting fuel and time, they are not more expensive than the larger shops, and they have good quality in tools and ironmongery and I want them to stay, nuts and bolts and so on you can buy even by the piece there). 

So up to the METRO again, holy Batman, still no TP, no kitchen paper only the most basic folded paper hand towels, but only one pack of 400 each customer!  

Less canned soup or stew, only the most   varieties left. Less canned fruit,  even less pasta than at my last visit, no raisins no dried fruit except dates and figs. Nuts parse, only  1kg bags of pistachios already pealed for 39,90€ were plenty...

Wheat flour gone,  except for 2  25kg bags. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh meat were plenty, also fresh fish and other seafood. I think they have longstanding agreement in this with their partners and with most restaurants closed it is less asked for merchandise in the moment. One kg of sugar still 1.09 €,   a pound of salt at 0.19€, given that it does not spoil if stored dry I stocked up!

I stocked also up for the coming easter days with my parents. We will have a "simplified" Coq au Vin  (from Chicken thighs because real rooster or even capons are hard to get and it is a long cook with their tough meat)  and also bought mutton meat and onions  for Greek Stifado  and some frozen lamb filet. So life will be good in times of corona.

And I really do not  get  the TP craze, have the sheeple all fallen back into their anal phase (according to Sigmund Freud) or do they think even if they have not food for 10 days they need shitting paper for 10 years... 

And only one cashier open to pay cash (in this instance I pay no attention to this, because all goods are booked on your customer entry card in any case, and you get rebate coupons according to your buyings) they had this even earlier but gave up on it a year ago. 

I think, I will call the Supermarket in the industrial quarter, if they are open on this easter Saturday? If not I think I make an other run to the METRO the day after tomorrow or Saturday to the other supermarket.  

ds posted:

...also up for the coming easter days with my parents. We will have a "simplified" Coq au Vin  (from Chicken thighs because real rooster or even capons are hard to get and it is a long cook with their tough meat)  and also bought mutton meat and onions  for Greek Stifado  and some frozen lamb filet. So life will be good in times of corona.

Yep, the oldest girl has whipped up some incredible meals out of just the long term storage supplies so we can minimize shopping. I am SO glad I didn't spend big money on MREs or backpacker rehydratables (just enough in case of evacuation)! Give a chef a good supply of the basics and means to cook them, and you're surviving in style!

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Linz posted:
ds posted:

Less canned soup or stew, only the most   varieties left.

I have to ask...?

You ask on your own peril...

Barring that taste is individual, for me (of the things there available I had tasted earlier)

The most awful with  is is a canned fish soup daring to name itself "a la Bouillabaisse"... but is instead of this delicacy only a bad fishy smelling and tasting water with little hard pieces of various (?)"fish". The only utility I see in this product, is for notgeile (is there even an english word for this? Most extreme horny? ) ugly perverts that can not persuade a real woman to let the water of her intimate douche plash into their face and mouth... this poor fellows can use a can of this product instead!

The next awful with is Echte Mockturtle Suppe, literally real fake turtle soup. A salty broth with tiny pieces of oxtail I presume and nothing else. If you have no heavy salted water to induce vomiting, drink this cold it should work.

Both are also expensive for what they are.

That brings us also to the third and larger group of  regular  or at least   products, for one the overpriced "developed by" add name of (former) prominent TV-chef products. Great cuisine relays on the preparation to the point of deliciousness just spiced up so the etheric oils evaporating to the nose and tasting buds of the customer served with the dish of yumminess just in time .... 

That is why it is so hard to prepare a lot of  "fine" cuisine in larger numbers or in advance as in: in flight meals on planes, Cruise ships or catering other large crowds, and to an extend - buffets or heavy crowded large restaurants. To try this yumminess in canned goods is totally in vain, better try to find the philosophers stone this goal will be easier to archive. For sure the TV-chefs know this too since the visited cooking school, so their trick is to at least taste different than the mass-produced staples of pea-, bean- and lentil soup, oxtail soup, ravioli to name a few staple products. So they taste at least "strange" and I prefer the "good & cheap originals" by Maggi, Erasco or Knorr or the other well known companies.  And you can cuisine them up for yourself [*]

With canned goods -for me at least- it is the price (cheap) 800ml lentil- or pea-soup 1,13€  on sale is one tasty meal in a pinch, for 35€ you have a meal a day for a whole month! The versatility (as in wieners, corned beef, Spam), long shelf life and it is fully cooked, so can be eaten cold out of the can "a la Mad Max" as I call it.

Also no extra water needed for the most products (a can of Spam without at least a bottle of water or two to drink may not be the best idea).

Is canned good only a healthy diet? Off cause not, my old Professor on this first long (6 month) field trip to Sudan in 1972  he fed on cans there first heavely, he got a bad case of scurvy including loosening his teeth. He than started to eat the local "round food" (millet pudding) occasionally with baboon meat  - no more health problems. So eat fresh at lest partly if ever possible. 

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[*] In my 12 years with the THW I was also the reserve driver for the "Gulaschkanone" (field kitchen) we prepared thousands of liter different soups (mostly pea soup) but on occasions also oxtail (very yummy but a hell of work - both because of the tail bones, goulash soup is way easier) even cooked mussels in wine for 100 people, that was also the only instance our "Gulaschkanone" recoiled  

On other occasions while "cooking on the move" (not suggested, but sometimes can not be avoided in real emergencies with a short reaction time) we were overtaken by miffed looking motorists, their wipers going with a good smear of pea soup on their windshield and splashes of it on their hood...

So there are some dishes that taste good, are (relatively) healthy and nutritious that can be made in large batches.  And taste and quality comes with an up price and also more labour and effort is needed. Prices varied from 4 DM  for 1 L digestable soup up to 10 DM per liter for 160 L total for a luxury soup with triple amount of meat and sausage in it. 

From that time..I give you.. canned pea or lentil- or bean soup  with wieners and swords and brilliants, if hungry I give it   even if not hungry it gets  a   for taste and one  for ease and quickness of preparation

can also be made with Ravioli (minus the wieners, at least for my tasting).

It  comes from the German Imperial army, minus the wieners, they used Erbwurst (a compressed cake from ground green peas, sadly production was stopped by Knorr a few years ago, after nearly 140 years in service). Was also popular with the Wehrmacht.

All you need for the modern adaptation is:

Streaky bacon, amount as you have or to your liking (100g per 800ml can is a good portion - if stuck in Operation Barbarossa dug in with your MG in Russian Winter double up if possible)

1 onion per 800ml can of soup

Can(s) of soup (preferred sort or what is at hand)

Can(s) of wieners, or frankfurters or krakauers, also one 400 g can per can of soup 

One pot large enough to hold all ingredients and stir without overflow (PRO tip a wider pot not to high is preferable over a tall one if cooking on open flame or on improvised devices), heat source capable to heat this mess up.

A knife and a cutting board (if you have non, use the bottom of your cooking pot if not to sooty or the inner side of the pot-lid or the bottom of the larger can)

Course of preparation:

Prepare bacon by cutting in little cubes, prepare Onion by cutting in rings 

Prepare heat source

give a little of the broth from the sausage can in pot, heat up, give bacon cubes in pot, stir, the hot liquid will melt some fat out of the bacon before evaporating, stir more, brown bacon to the point of your liking ad onions and stir more til the onions become glazed, ad half rest of the broth from sausage can, than empty soup can into pot.

Mostly a rest will hold on the bottom of the can, use the rest of the broth to lose it up by swirling in the can give this into pot.

Slice sausages into pieces of desired size give all into pot, stir till heated up enough, normally no cooking is needed. If you have give a little ground pepper into the pot to finish.

Enjoy 

Variations: If you have potatoes or vegetables make them into small cubes, boil in most of the broth of the sausages till done (5 to 10 minutes), if you like a thicker more stew like dish add instant mashed potato powder.

Last edited by Community Member
yakc130 posted:

And everyone needs to come together to let the Chicoms feel the heat for lying about what was going on with it. Regardless of whether it came out of a lab, or from a food market.

How different would things be if they had opened up about it, and accepted outside help?

Yeah... their pride, insularity, and natural commie desire to cover-shit-up has screwed all of us. 

ds posted:

 

Export bans and restrictions could have an impact on global food trade.

[...]
Governments are afraid of unrest
How sensitive people react to high food prices is repeatedly shown. They were one of the reasons for the Arab Spring after the financial crisis, they have brought down several governments in India since 1980 - another reason why states now prefer to hoard instead of risking unrest in the country when supplies are no longer optimal .
There is currently no need to worry: Food production is in good shape globally. No country would have to fear serious shortcomings. Earlier crises on the grain market, for example, were mostly triggered by capricious weather and natural disasters. "This is not the case now," says Maximo Torero, chief economist of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, "now would be the time for states to work together and coordinate."

###

But what is about the huge locusts swarm in Africa? Are the locusts suddenly  eaten by the corona virus, or just out of sight of the MSM and their "experts" even one by the FAO? 

From a German news source on 3/26/2020I

... In East Africa, huge swarms of locusts threaten the livelihoods of millions of people. Particularly dramatic: The food supply is already critical in the affected countries - the World Food Organization FAO warns of starvation from the locust plague.... up to 25 Million people to starve...  There was also predicted a "second wave, later this year"  So what? Double Think at its finest? Or was the former locust plague just a little fear mongering to get more donations / funds?

 

[...] 

  a little bit at least...

From today, and take it with a pebble of stone salt at least, because the (German) Churches are heavily involved with the care and foreign aid industry...

h ttps://www.faz.net/aktuell/gesellschaft/gesundheit/coronavirus/corona-warum-die-heuschreckenplage-in-afrika-schlimmer-wird-16714578/mitarbeiter-des-16714616.html#fotobox_1_6714578

Civil protection workers are fighting a swarm of desert locusts in Kenya.  (DPA press photo)

I would have subtitled it: Minion bureaucrats from the next larger city (according to their "well fedness" and clothing) stir op locusts for he photographer and enjoying the hell out of it. But I am a cynic and used to analyze and interpret pictures...

THREATENING FAMINE:
Only the grasshoppers are still mobile
BY THILO THIELKE, CAPE TOWN - UPDATED ON 04/07/2020 - 09:31 AM
(A Freelance reporter for Africa based in Cape Town)

A plague of locusts has raged in East Africa for months. The already catastrophic situation is now exacerbated by the corona virus.

The naked fear speaks from the email that the Berlin Mission from Ethiopia received. Orkaido Olte of the Mekane Yesus Church in the south of the country wrote that people could only hope  for "Heavenly support". He also sent two pictures to Germany: one shows countless desert grasshoppers on the ground, the second a tree infested with insects. "You can imagine what is left of the livelihoods of the farmers and shepherds afterwards." There is "panic in the country".

The countries of eastern Africa are at risk of starvation since huge swarms of locusts have invaded. The struggle against Corona is exacerbating the situation. In Ethiopia, Orkaido Olte writes, the government has now banned travel in the country. Since then, the squads trying to use pesticides to combat the insects have been unable to get to their locations. The insects multiply unchecked. The second generation could be 500 times the number of the first if it is not combated.

The voracious animals are mobile. Our hunters have not been so,  since corona fear paralyzed people. The locust invasion had begun in December. Huge swarms, some 40 by 60 kilometers in size, passed through Somalia and Ethiopia, spread to Kenya, reached the north of Tanzania, the east of Uganda and the south of South Sudan. They ate bare what was on their way and destroyed the harvest in a part of the world where many people had previously suffered from hunger.

The worst plague in 25 years

Eilish Zembilci, program coordinator for food security at the Washington Center for Strategic and International Studies, warns that "tens of millions of farmers in East Africa and South Asia" are currently affected by the locust plague. The flocks included hundreds of billions of animals, the worst haunt that East Africa has experienced in the past 25 years. The situation is already "extremely alarming" - "and the worst is yet to come".

Because many countries have closed their borders, pesticides are running out in East Africa. Cyril Ferrand of the United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization warns: "If we fail to fight the plague, 24 million people could soon have difficulties feeding their families." In South Africa are currently stuck the helicopters that are normally used against East Africa Locusts. In Kenya, there is still a curfew in the early hours of the morning, when the insects are the easiest to be destroyed. In addition, the pesticides are not on the list of goods that are considered indispensable in Kenya and can therefore still not be sold commercially. In the port of Mogadishu, a pesticide delivery was simply stopped.

implied: Because of the [nudge, nudge...man made] climate variations [at least they spared climate change]

###

The heaviest since 25 years... pulled up by the hair superlative for a relative normal occurrence! Yes, it sucks to be a farmer or cattle owner there now, but they should be used to this since pharaonic times at lest (before they started farming they maybe thought ... Grilled locust? Not bad at all! Crack open  and enjoy...) but with the increase of population and also livestock it may be worse now of cause.  But even 25 million people starve to death are horrible for the individual humans, but it would just flatten the curve of (over)population for Africa, not even making a dent in the graph for that year at a 2,6% rise and a population of one billion.  [Yes call me a cynic and racist white old asshole male if you like, it is still true and I am not willing to ignore this fact for political correctness! And the other fact is: If we (the EU) would import this 25 million "people in dire need" to fight overpopulation and overuse of the land there, it would only stall the problem for one year at the cost of probably destroying our whole societies of our continent in the longer run]

Last edited by Community Member
ds posted:
Linz posted:
ds posted:

Less canned soup or stew, only the most   varieties left.

I have to ask...?

You ask on your own peril...

Thanks.

I thought you may have been talking about Surströmming.

Oddly, hoarders/panic buyers here have ignored Spam, corned beef, corned mutton, tinned pea soup, tinned frankfurters, tinned Italian beans of all sorts, tinned mackerel in tomato soup, Indonesian dried fish, & most South African foods.

Last edited by Community Member

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