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Aircraft carrier captain lost his command because of “Catch-22” COVID-19 dilemma (posted April 7, 2020 UTC)

Acting Navy secretary hammers captain he relieved over coronavirus  (posted April 7, 2020 UTC)

The Asian Countries That Beat Covid-19 Have to Do It Again (posted April 7, 2020 UTC)

Acting Navy Secretary resigns after ousting captain, calling him “stupid” (posted April 8, 2020 UTC)

Brazil Cites Mythological Figure to Thank India for Supplying 'Game Changer' Drug Against COVID-19 (posted April 8, 2020 UTC)

What California is doing right in responding to the coronavirus pandemic (posted April 8, 2020 UTC)

The Reality of Covid-19 Is Hitting Teens Especially Hard (posted April 8, 2020 UTC)

Some Walmart, Costco, Target stores barred from selling nonessential items (posted April 9, 2020 UTC)

9 Amazon Workers Describe the Daily Risks They Face in the Pandemic (posted April 10, 2020 UTC)

Melinda Gates on our new normal after the coronavirus: 'Our psyches are going to be permanently changed' (posted April 11, 2020 UTC)

New York Times' coronavirus report outlines how Trump 'could have seen what was coming' (posted April 11, 2020 UTC)

Here's how hospitals are celebrating when a Covid-19 patient is released (posted April 12, 2020 UTC)

Trump retweets call to fire Fauci amid coronavirus criticism (posted April 13, 2020 UTC)

Nearly 30% of Americans believe coronavirus was made in a lab, Pew poll shows (posted April 13, 2020 UTC)

Yet Another Consequence of the Pandemic: More Plastic Waste (posted April 13, 2020 UTC)

John Conway, inventor of the Game of Life, has died of COVID-19 (posted April 14, 2020 UTC)

U.S. Diplomats Warned about Safety Risks in Wuhan Labs Studying Bats Two Years before Coronavirus Outbreak (posted April 14, 2020 UTC)

Rockefeller plan details government takeover through pandemic martial law (posted April 14, 2020 UTC)

Immunity passports aren’t a good way out of the coronavirus crisis (posted April 14, 2020 UTC)

New model looks at what might happen if SARS-CoV-2 is here to stay (posted April 15, 2020 UTC

What Does Covid-19 Do to Your Brain? (posted April 15, 2020 UTC)

Sorry, Immunity to Covid-19 Won't Be Like a Superpower (posted April16, 2020 UTC)

How the anti-vaccine community is responding to COVID-19 (posted April 17, 2020 UTC)  

Covid-19 Does Not Discriminate by Body Weight (posted April 17, 2020 UTC)

Coronavirus: China's Wuhan city revises up death toll by 1,290 - a 50% increase (posted April 18, 2020 UTC)

Why COVID-19 may attack the body differently than we think (posted April 18, 2020 UTC)

Why The WHO Faked A Pandemic (posted April 18, 2020 UTC)

The trial of Elizabeth Holmes has been pushed back due to the pandemic (posted April 18, 2020 UTC)

Instagram founders launch website to track the spread of Covid-19 (posted April 20, 2020 UTC)

France says no evidence Covid-19 linked to Wuhan research lab set up with French help (posted April 21, 2020 UTC)

Missouri sues China over coronavirus, claims nation “lied to the world” (posted April 23, 2020 UTC)

As more studies roll in, little evidence that hydroxychloroquine works (posted April 23, 2020 UTC)

The value of lives saved by social distancing outweighs the costs (posted April 23, 2020 UTC)

Microbiologist claims the coronavirus was man-made in Wuhan lab (posted April 23, 2020 UTC)

What Did U.S. Intel Really Know About the ‘Chinese’ Virus?(posted April 24, 2020 UTC)

Unproven Coronavirus Therapy Proves Cash Cow for Shadow Pharmacies (posted April 24, 2020 UTC)

Experts demolish studies suggesting COVID-19 is no worse than flu (posted April 24, 2020 UTC)

(more to go here)

No one knows when the COVID-19 pandemic will end (posted April 29, 2020 UTC)

Planes Are Still Flying, but Covid-19 Recovery Will Be Tough (posted April 29, 2020 UTC)

Wuhan shows the world that the end of lockdown is just the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis (posted May 1, 202 UTC)

Chinese state media releases animated propaganda video mocking US coronavirus response (posted May 2, 2020 UTC)

White House Will Release ‘Conclusive’ Evidence Coronavirus Originated In Wuhan Lab, Trump Says (posted May 4, 2020 UTC)

Coronavirus researcher nearing 'very significant findings' dead in apparent murder-suicide (posted May 5, 2020 UTC)

‘Slow to act’: Ousted vaccine director claims White House ignored virus warnings (posted May 5, 2020 UTC)

We don’t know yet whether a mutation has made SARS-CoV-2 more infectious (posted May 6, 2020 UTC)

(more to go here)

COVID-19 resurges in reopened countries; Wuhan sees first cluster in a month (posted May 13, 2020 UTC)

"This virus may never go away," WHO says (posted May 13, 2020 UTC)

Why Has Covid-19 Hit Seniors So Hard?  (posted May14, 2020 UTC)

COVID-19 linked to 30-fold increase in rare childhood inflammatory disease (posted May 15, 2020 UTC)


(Last updated 7 am May 16, 2020 UTC+10)

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Aircraft carrier captain lost his command because of “Catch-22” COVID-19 dilemma

Navy Secretary: "We... expect more from the Commanding Officers of our aircraft carriers."

Captain Brett Crozier addresses the crew of the aircraft carrier USS <em>Theodore Roosevelt</em> on November 1, 2019.
Enlarge / Captain Brett Crozier addresses the crew of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt on November 1, 2019.

There has been a great deal of outrage expressed over acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly’s decision to “relieve” Captain Brett Crozier of his command over the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt after Crozier raised the alarm over a COVID-19 outbreak aboard his ship. Crozier’s letter was leaked to the San Francisco Chronicle, and Modly called the letter "poor judgement" by Crozier.


Modly had said on April 1 that Crozier’s actions "would absolutely not result in any type of retaliation," stressing the need for commanding officers to be candid about their concerns. But that was apparently an April Fool’s prank, as Modly moved the next day to dismiss Crozier because he had gone outside the chain of command.


There are two schools of thought on Crozier’s dismissal. The Navy’s official position is that Crozier stepped out of line by blasting a letter to "20 or 30" people in the Navy, didn’t walk down the passageway to go through his direct superior to elevate the request, and created unneeded panic. His own crew and many observers not hampered by their office believe that Crozier did the right thing and that the Navy—and the Trump administration—are shooting the messenger of bad news.


Meanwhile, President Trump has blamed Crozier for exposing his crew to COVID-19 by making a port visit in Vietnam—a port visit that, given the logistics and diplomacy connected to a visit by a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, would need to have been directed at a fairly high level within the Department of Defense, in coordination with other parts of the Trump administration. And Crozier has now tested positive for COVID-19 himself.


Close quarters

Crozier’s letter laid out the problem distinctly in its opening:

If required the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT would embark all assigned Sailors, set sail, and be ready to fight and beat any adversary that dares challenge the US or our allies. The virus would certainly have an impact, but in combat we are willing to take certain risks that are not acceptable in peacetime. However, we are not at war, and therefore cannot allow a single Sailor to perish as a result of this pandemic unnecessarily. Decisive action is required now in order to comply with CDC and NAVADMIN 083/20 guidance [the Navy-wide instruction issued on COVID-19] and prevent tragic outcomes.

Crozier cited some of the conclusions about the spread of COVID-19 aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship in urging for putting the majority of the crew ashore. An aircraft carrier is an even more conducive environment for the spread of a pathogen than a cruise ship. Fully crewed, the Roosevelt is home to over 5,000 sailors and airmen, who live literally stacked on top of each other—sleeping in “racks,” often stacked three high, with dozens of people per berthing compartment, and working and living in spaces and passageways so narrow that "social distancing" is impossible.


As Crozier said in his letter, "Due to the close quarters required on a warship and the current number of positive cases, every single Sailor, regardless of rank, on board the TR must be considered 'close contact' [based on the Navy’s administrative guidance on COVID-19]." That meant that the entire crew should technically be under isolation or quarantine for 14 days or more—requiring that they be quartered in single-person barracks or hotel rooms with individual bathrooms. That obviously cannot happen aboard ship. And as a result, Crozier wrote, “The spread of the disease is ongoing and accelerating.”According to individuals familiar with what’s going on within the Navy, Crozier had made multiple requests for resources to move more people off the ship. But the Navy’s response had focused on testing crewmembers rather than isolating them—the Roosevelt is currently in Guam, and off-ship quarters are in short



Crozier was concerned that the crew wasn’t being moved off quickly enough—which prompted him to write the letter. As nimble as modern aircraft carriers may be, it takes a while to turn the entire Navy around to deal with something the scale of COVID-19.


The problem with Crozier’s letter, according to Modly, is that he never informed his direct boss—Carrier Strike Group Commander Rear Admiral Stuart Baker, who was aboard the Roosevelt and “right down the passageway from him”—that he was going to send it. The letter "was sent outside the chain of command, at the same time the rest of the Navy was fully responding," Modly said. "Worse, the Captain’s actions made his Sailors, their families, and many in the public believe that his letter was the only reason help from our larger Navy family was forthcoming, which was hardly the case."

Typical US Navy crew accommodations.
Enlarge / Typical US Navy crew accommodations.
Robert A. Sabo / Getty Images

One neck to choke

Commanding officers and other people in positions of leadership within the military are relieved of duty with a frequency most people aren’t aware of. Generally speaking, if something goes wrong on a ship—regardless of whether the commanding officer played a direct role in it—the captain gets fired, whether he was asleep in his cabin at the time or not. Captains can delegate authority to those below them in the chain of command, but they cannot delegate responsibility.


However, the call to fire a CO is usually made within the military leadership directly above them and almost never escalated to the level of the Secretary of the Navy or Secretary of Defense. CNN reports that the Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday and other senior Navy leaders also advised Modly against relieving Crozier of command before an investigation was conducted. Clearly, these are unusual times.


Modly has his job because his predecessor was fired for what Secretary of Defense Mark Esper saw as "poor judgement" in his handling of the case of SEAL Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher—a case that President Donald Trump openly interfered in. And regardless of the decidedly non-partisan nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Navy’s management of it has become a very political issue.


Then again, aircraft carriers are very political—they are different commands from the rest of the fleet. Carriers are the very center of the Navy’s power-projection capabilities and the nuclear-powered fulcrum upon which the Navy’s warfighting doctrine is built. Commanding a carrier is generally seen as the last stop before promotion to flag rank in the career path of Navy aviation and surface warfare officers.

The aircraft carrier USS <em>Theodore Roosevelt</em> arriving at Pearl Harbor in 2018.
Enlarge / The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt arriving at Pearl Harbor in 2018.
Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images

And Modly did not make the decision without input from the whole of Crozier’s chain of command. Modly said on April 2 that conversations with senior Navy officers, and with Crozier himself, led him to the conclusion that "Captain Crozier had allowed the complexity of his challenge with COVID breakout on the ship to overwhelm his ability to act professionally, when acting professionally was what was needed most... We do, and we should, expect more from the Commanding Officers of our aircraft carriers."


While Modly said he believed Crozier did what he thought was in the best interests of the safety and well-being of his crew, his letter "did the opposite," causing panic, raising "concerns about the operational capabilities and operational security of the ship that could have emboldened our adversaries to seek advantage," and undermining the authority of those above him in the chain of command "who had been moving and adjusting as rapidly as possible to get him the help he needed."

Who’s overreacting?

In other words, Crozier did what he should have done, but what he did was wrong. It’s the kind of Catch-22 that has ended many a military career.


I’ve spoken to many people who have served in the Navy and other services, and the concerns expressed about Crozier’s firing are basically two-fold. The first is that relieving him sends the exact opposite message to commanding officers—and all officers, in fact—across the military than what Modly stated earlier in the week: that the letter was the right thing to do and that commanding officers need to be candid with their superiors about what they see as problems.


The second is that Modly and the Navy had a lot of other things they could have done short of relieving Crozier in the midst of a health crisis aboard his ship. Was his sense of urgency for his crew really unprofessional? It’s not clear who leaked Crozier’s letter to the media, but it’s unlikely it was Crozier himself. And given this administration’s direct interference in the Navy over the past year, it’s hard to say what “professionalism” is at this point.


Crozier’s crew certainly seems to think that he did the right thing.


Updated to include relevant information reported by CNN.



Source: Aircraft carrier captain lost his command because of “Catch-22” COVID-19 dilemma (Ars Technica) 

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Acting Navy secretary hammers captain he relieved over coronavirus

The popular Captain Crozier has now tested positive for the virus.

Image of a man gesturing.
Enlarge / WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 21: Acting US Navy Secretary Thomas Modly.

There were two major developments in the saga of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which saw its captain relieved of command after an email leaked in which he argued that he needed more assistance in dealing with a coronavirus outbreak among his crew. The first is that the former captain, Brett Crozier, has now had a positive test result for coronavirus. According to The New York Times' sources, Crozier had already been experiencing symptoms when he was removed from command. In that, he joins at least 155 members of his crew, based on numbers provided by the Department of Defense on Sunday.


The second is that the man who relieved him, Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly, visited the Theodore Roosevelt to give a talk that was sent over the ship's intercom system to the entire crew. In it, Modly blasted Captain Crozier, telling the crew he "put you at great risk." Modly said that the former captain's actions caused problems for the Navy staff that was caring for sick crew members, as well as for the government of Guam, where the ship is currently docked. "Think about that when you cheer the man off the ship who exposed you to that," Modly told the crew.


"I understand that you love the guy," Modly said, speaking of the captain's warm send-off. "It's good that you love him, but you're not required to love him." Instead, he reminded the crew that their duty was to the Navy and the US public.


As for Crozier, Modly suggested that he should have known that the email he wrote would have ended up being made public. Since Crozier wrote it anyway, either "he didn't think that information was gonna get out into the public in this information age we live in ... [so] he was too naive or too stupid to be the commanding officer of a ship like this," or "he did it on purpose." Modly also took some shots at the people who reported on it, saying, "the media has an agenda, and the agenda they have depends on which side of the political aisle they sit." He also warned the crew that the media was out to get them: "They use [information like this] to divide us. They use it to embarrass the Navy."


But US citizens weren't the only targets of Modly's ire. He reserved a fair bit for China as well: "One of the things about his email that bothered me the most was saying we're not at war. We're not technically at war. But let me tell you something—the only reason we're dealing with this right now is because of a big, authoritarian regime called China [that] was not forthcoming about what was happening with this virus. And they put the world at risk to protect themselves and to protect their reputation."


A reporter for Foreign Policy has since heard from Navy officials indicating that the remarks were intended to be private. But, to borrow Modly's own phrasing, he would have to be naive or stupid to assume the speech would remain private. Our military expert Sean Gallagher indicated that the ship's intercom would also reach workers on the dock, which would likely include civilians. But civilians don't seem to have been necessary. CNN, which reported that senior Navy leaders opposed Crozier's firing, also indicated that it received copies from "multiple Navy officials."


So, it's worth considering what Modly might hope to accomplish by demonizing the media and potentially antagonizing China for seemingly no reason. It's notable that both of these themes have made regular appearances in recent media campaigns of supporters of President Trump, the man who placed Modly in his acting position. It could be an effort to ensure that Trump retains him in this position.



Source: Acting Navy secretary hammers captain he relieved over coronavirus (Ars Technica)  

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The Asian Countries That Beat Covid-19 Have to Do It Again

Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan had flattened the curve. Then travelers from the US and Europe began reimporting the virus.
Photograph: Stefan Irvine/Getty Images

On any digital dashboard tracking the spread of Covid-19, on any graphic comparing country-by-country case curves or death tolls, they were the champs. Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea—leaders there saw what was headed their way from China in the early days of the new coronavirus, before it became a pandemic. They remembered what happened two decades ago with SARS: People died, economies suffered. So they locked down their immigration hardest and soonest, deployed public health workers to follow up contacts of cases, got their hospitals shored up, and started publishing clear and consistent information and data. They flattened their curves before the rest of the world understood there would be curves to flatten. But in recent weeks, those curves have taken another chilling turn. The numbers of new cases in these places are creeping upward.


Hong Kong’s slow and steady case count started going up on March 18, and took an 84-case jump on March 28. After months of new cases barely brushing double digits, Singapore’s count jumped by 47 on March 16, and since then the city-state has had three days with more than 70 new cases each. Taiwan’s new-cases-in-a-day peaked at 5 in late January … and then jumped into the high 20s per day in, again, mid-March. South Korea had 86 new cases on April 3.


These new case numbers are still low, especially compared with the United States, which had 983 new cases on March 16 and 29,874 new cases on April 2 … or Italy, which (hopefully) peaked on March 21 with 6,557 new cases. What’s alarming about the numbers of new cases in the would-be success-story locations is that they’re happening at all—that the numbers were going down, and now they’re creeping up. From the outside, that looks like a worst-case scenario: the return of the disease after a country eases off the measures to combat it. But that appearance is deceiving. The bad new numbers come from somewhere else—literally. And that might have lessons for the next phase of the pandemic in the US.


The real problem is that viruses don’t know what a border is. These countries are experiencing “reimportation” of the disease, infections that are the result of inbound travelers from places that aren’t winning their fight against Covid-19.


All these countries are, after all, on the same planet. In Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan, a few earlier cases from China made it through the barrier and got into the community. That resulted, throughout February, in community infections, or “unlinked local cases.” Those were worrying, but the overall spread was still slow—until the pandemic went transnational, and boomeranged back around. “There were just a small number, and then they kind of disappeared,” says Ben Cowling, an epidemiologist at the University of Hong Kong. “But at the end of February and early March we started to get more imported cases from Europe. Hong Kong got a lot from Europe, the US, and other parts of the world, and Taiwan got a lot from the US.”


Those all led to a bunch of new unlinked local cases, and the numbers started going up again. In Taiwan, for example, “they prolonged the winter break for kids by 10 days so they could prepare kids to go back to school with masks. A lot of people went to Europe for vacation, and they came back with it,” says Jason Wang, director of the Center for Policy Outcomes and Prevention at Stanford University School of Medicine and an author of a paper on Taiwan’s early successes. “We did stop all the flights from China before the WHO said we should. But then after we did that, we didn’t do too much. So it was brewing in the community, and now we have community spread. And then people started to come back from Europe, and we didn’t even think about that.”


Until then, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan had all been able to maintain diligent containment within their own borders, following every infection—or nearly every infection, as it turned out—back through its chain of contacts and isolating all those people from the general population. Taiwan had linked its immigration database to its national health system. Singapore had instituted harsh fines for anyone breaking social distancing and published detailed data on every case and cluster. “The problem is, you don’t pick up every single person, especially when the people with mild symptoms know if they get tested they’re going to be isolated, and their friends and family are going to be isolated,” says Cowling. “There’s a disincentive.” That’s especially bad with Covid-19, which seems to spread in part because of a few days of pre-symptomatic infectiousness before the onset of heavy illness.


Other nations couldn’t hold containment, or didn’t try. In Europe and the United States, governments dithered about whether and when to institute draconian but necessary measures like social distancing, school closures, and shelter-in-place orders. Now those same governments and public health researchers have to figure out how long to maintain them. They’re destructive to people’s psyches and the economy, but letting people swirl back into close contact with one another allows the disease to spread again.


In epidemiological terms, this tension is about taking control of what’s called the reproductive number, the number of people a contagious person goes on to infect. At the top of the curve in Wuhan, where Covid-19 started to spread, that number was something like 2 or 2.5—as it might now be in parts of the US and Europe. After the Chinese government quarantined Wuhan and forced everyone to stay home, it went down to perhaps as low as 0.3. In China, those rules went into effect in January; the government may lift them this week.


The virus’s apparent return will spur different kinds of containment measures in different places. Hong Kong’s were already strict, though they’d relaxed somewhat in the first weeks of March. Now, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Taiwan have all instituted even stricter social distancing rules and immigration controls. Nationals who are allowed in can expect 14-day quarantines, in Hong Kong and Singapore monitored by smartphone app, though those apps’ efficacy may be doubtful. (Singapore’s numbers do seem to look better since officials started quarantining everyone coming in, rather than people from specific countries.) Singapore is also closing all schools and most workplaces.


Despite the resurgences, these places are all still roughly in the containment phase of dealing with the pandemic, tracing individual cases and contacts—or some transitional phase that combines containment and the next step, mitigation, including social distancing measures, school and workplace closures, and canceling mass gatherings. The US and Europe are well into mitigation, riding the exponential curve upward. “Right now they’re in different parts of the graph,” Wang says. “When it’s near the peak, and you have to manage it, you start to do as much of the mitigation strategy as possible, so you flatten the curve. Then you try to wait and see where you are, and if you lift it too early, you get a resurgence.”


For the US, that’s a scary warning. The peak numbers could be terrifying, and they’ll certainly vary across hot spots. But once the peak is passed? Hundreds of millions of people can’t stay socially distanced forever. Despite the new cases, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are still keeping their reproductive numbers around 1—a slow enough spread to follow cases and contain flare-ups. “That may be the long-term strategy for the US and Europe,” Cowling says. “There’s two approaches, maybe. One is test, test, test. Identify cases, isolate them, stop transmission of them into the community. But it’s always difficult to catch every infection, especially the mild ones. So the other approach that is necessary, really important, is to maintain some social distancing.”


The nice thing about this goal—get that number hovering down to 1—is that it might actually make for a more pleasant country. Schools could reopen, but only with better ventilation and smaller class sizes. Polling places for the election would have to be plentiful enough, and big enough, to give everyone room and make sure they aren’t packed into queues. Stores and restaurants could reopen. People’s work hours would have to be flexible enough that offices and factories wouldn’t be packed, and commute times would be smeared out to prevent crowded buses and subways. A good blood test for Covid-19 antibodies could determine who’s immune and could help everyone else get back to a more normal life.


“For the second wave, what we would like to happen is, if there is a growth, it’s much slower,” Cowling says. “Coronavirus is not going away. We’re not going to eliminate it. We’re going to have to face the prospect that it is always going to be around, but hopefully in small numbers until we can identify an effective treatment or vaccine.” It’s a hopeful idea—that doing all the things that slow the virus enough for a public health system to fight it also builds a world even better than the one everyone fled.



WIRED is providing free access to stories about public health and how to protect yourself during the coronavirus pandemic. Sign up for our Coronavirus Update newsletter for the latest updates, and subscribe to support our journalism.



Source: The Asian Countries That Beat Covid-19 Have to Do It Again (Wired)

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Acting Navy Secretary resigns after ousting captain, calling him “stupid”

Modly's public condemnation of Crozier over the weekend drew immediate backlash.

A serious man in a suit looks ashamed.
Enlarge / Thomas Modly, now the former acting secretary of the Navy, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019.

Acting Secretary of the Navy Thomas Modly resigned today amid blowback for his handling of a coronavirus outbreak aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the subsequent removal of its captain from command.

Modly offered his resignation earlier Tuesday, Politico reported, and Tuesday afternoon The Wall Street Journal was first to report that Acting Undersecretary of the Army James McPherson would supplant Modly in the role.


Modly relieved Captain Brett Crozier of his command on April 2, after the San Francisco Chronicle published a four-page letter Crozier had written to military officials asking for resources to protect his crew from a COVID-19 outbreak on board the ship.


"This will require a political solution but it is the right thing to do," Crozier wrote at the time. "We are not at war. Sailors do not need to die. If we do not act now, we are failing to properly take care of our most trusted asset—our Sailors." At least 230 crew members aboard the aircraft carrier have tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of today, and Crozier himself was already experiencing symptoms and received a positive diagnosis shortly after leaving the ship.

In addition to relieving Crozier—a popular captain—of his command, Modly took the fairly extraordinary step of going to the ship in person to excoriate Crozier to his crew. Modly flew 7,900 miles each way from Washington, DC, to Guam to visit the ship over the weekend to deliver his remarks.


In his speech, Modly told the crew that Crozier was "too naive or too stupid to be the commanding officer of a ship like this," based on the letter. He also took potshots at media who reported the contents of the letter and the subsequent firing, adding, "the media has [sic] an agenda, and the agenda they have depends on which side of the political aisle they sit."


Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Monday told Modly to apologize for his remarks. Modly, facing criticism from the House Armed Services Committee, issued that apology Monday.


In that apology, he wrote:

We pick our carrier commanding officers with great care. Captain Crozier is smart and passionate. I believe, precisely because he is not naive and stupid, that he sent his alarming email with the intention of getting it into the public domain in an effort to draw public attention to the situation on his ship. I apologize for any confusion this choice of words may have caused.

By then, however, President Donald Trump had said he "may just get involved" in the situation. Many voices from the other side of the aisle, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were also calling for Modly's removal by today.



Source: Acting Navy Secretary resigns after ousting captain, calling him “stupid” (Ars Technica)  

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Brazil Cites Mythological Figure to Thank India for Supplying 'Game Changer' Drug Against COVID-19


New Delhi (Sputnik): While celebrating the birthday of Lord Hanuman on Wednesday, Hindus are worshipping the god considered as a “saviour from crisis (Sankat Mochan)”.


They are praying to the Hanuman (Monkey God) to help the world get through tough times and protect lives from the pandemic.


A day after India lifted an export ban on anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has penned a letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.


The Brazilian president cited the mythological character Hanuman (Monkey god), whose birthday Hindus are celebrating on Wednesday, while expressing gratitude to India for the gesture. 



Chinese medical experts arrive in Myanmar to aid coronavirus epidemic response


A team of Chinese medical experts have landed at Myanmar's Yangon International Airport around 10:30 a.m. local time. They will stay in Myanmar for 15 days to share coronavirus epidemic control and prevention experiences and work with the country's health commission.


The medical team comprises of 12 experts in areas of medicine including respiratory, infectious disease, severe illness, nursing, testing and Traditional Chinese Medicine. The team also brought with them supplies for epidemic control weighing 5.3 tons, including 8,500 N95 medical masks, 60,000 disposable medical masks, 5,500 protective gowns and coronavirus nucleic acid testing kits.


Myanmar's Minister of Health and Sports Myint Htwe and the Chinese ambassador to Myanmar Chen Hai welcomed the team. Htwe said that it was a big success that China was able to quickly contain the COVID-19 epidemic and Myanmar should learn from China's experience. 



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The Reality of Covid-19 Is Hitting Teens Especially Hard

The pandemic has been emotionally devastating for us adults, but its impact on teenagers is arguably far greater.
Photograph: Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images 

Just a few weeks ago, the conversation in my household revolved around one thing: Where my daughter was going to college. She’s a senior in high school, high-achieving, and very driven. We spent the fall slaving over college essays and applications, 11 in total. The wait to hear from the schools she applied to was agonizing for her, and even though today’s college admissions messaging is fully electronic, she would even bring in the mail at the end of each day—otherwise unheard of in our household—to see if there was something from a school waiting for her.


Now all we talk about is Covid-19.


The coronapocalypse has been devastating for us adults, but its impact on teenagers is arguably far greater. At age 48, I’ve seen a fair number of society’s ups and downs. I was born during Watergate, panicked about nuclear holocaust thanks to The Day After as a tween, and watched the first Gulf War unfold on the televisions in my college’s student union. Sure, I wasn’t standing in bread lines or facing the firebombing of my city, but the last 48 years have had their share of tragedy and upheaval.


Zoe was born in 2002, a year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Things were looking up at the time, and they’ve stayed pretty rosy by comparison. Yes, we had the invasion of Iraq, the spike in school shootings, climate change, the 2008 housing crisis, and #MeToo, but we also had an unprecedented explosion in both creativity and commerce. All of the tech services we now love, from Facebook to Netflix, got started in these years. Barack Obama was president—for eight years. The iPhone was invented, and they got Osama bin Laden.


Even the election of Donald Trump couldn’t take much of the shine off the last two decades. As of 2019, our “Goldilocks economy” was seeing the lowest level of unemployment since 1969, minimal inflation, and a stock market at its all-time high. Not only was Zoe going to college, we were going to be able to pay for it and she was going to be able to get a job when she graduated.


In the space of a few weeks, none of those things are certain any more, and it’s hitting her hard.


Everyone has had to abruptly adapt to “the new normal,” and my initial thought was that kids would take it all in stride. My daughter spends the vast majority of her free time in her room, on her bed, staring at her phone. Would shelter-in-place be any different, aside from not going to school for a few hours a day?


It is, and the impact on Zoe has been profound. She was devastated by the news, and she recently—after more than two weeks into stay-at-home restrictions—spoke to me about the ups and downs (mostly downs) of the experience. “I’m trying to deal with the fact that my high school career is over,” she says. “Losing track and field, prom, and graduation sucks. And there’s no way to cope with it because I’m just never going to get to do those things. It feels like the last four years of hard work have been for nothing.”


I was suddenly facing the reality that not only were teens ill-equipped for this crisis, they’re actually in a much worse position than adults. There’s science behind this idea, as Psychology Today writer Christine L. Carter notes: “Teenagers and college students have amplified innate, developmental motivations that make them hard to isolate at home. The hormonal changes that come with puberty conspire with adolescent social dynamics to make them highly attuned to social status and peer group.”


Plus, they can’t even drink.


I spoke to nearly a dozen high school students from all over the country and they overwhelmingly echoed the above sentiments. They were taking it in stride to varying degrees, but many were fatalistic about the future. They mourn the losses of (in order of increasing importance) prom, school groups, sports, and graduation. They hang out on video apps and social media with their friends, but they miss seeing them in person. And they miss the ritual of going to class and hanging out with people they’ve known for years, even if they’ve never been close friends.


Here’s some select commentary.


“When you’re in school you only think about going home,” says Emma (17, Novato, California, a classmate of Zoe’s), “and now that you’re home, going to school is all you want to do.”


Jackson (16, Greenville, South Carolina) misses other rituals. “I miss sitting down in a restaurant with my family, which we used to do every Friday night,” he says. “I just didn’t realize how much I’d miss ‘normal life.’”


Zia (16, Denver), a junior who has yet to take any of her college entrance exams, characterizes her mental condition as “stressed” and “getting worse every day” as the crisis shows no signs of abatement.


Kam (17, New York) says he’s keeping busy at home but, as a graduating senior, is “kind of freaked out about going to college after this. I’m an only child going from living with no one to living in a dorm.”


These are all common sentiments. A new study polled students aged 13 to 25 about their current mood, and the top three results were “frustrated” (54 percent), “nervous” (49 percent), and “disconnected” (40 percent). Teens are anxious, they are upset, and they are nostalgic … for February 2020.


But most of all, they are bored. God, how teens are bored. Many schools have hastily implemented online learning, but teens widely dismiss it as ineffective, at least for now. “Online schooling is mostly a joke,” Zoe says, “just to say that we ‘did school.’ I do maybe 30 minutes of work a day now. The Zoom chats are super unproductive, just a waste of time.”


Without hours and hours of daily structure, teens are left to fill virtually the entire day alone, and technology is not providing the answer. Netflix and Xbox can only get you so far.


Every teen I spoke to cited how crushingly bored they had become in just a few days. Aiden (16, Alamo, California) says the boredom is causing him to “go crazy.” Jackson in South Carolina says: “It’s so bad it can disrupt my sleeping. If this lasts a lot longer, everyone will be so bored. We’re going to have to come up with a new way to do things.”


There’s a lot of denial in the mix as well, though that is probably not unique to teens. The “taking it one day at a time” metaphor was also well-cited in my conversations.


So how do you help a teen cope? My personal experience would suggest you can’t, that you are best off staying out of a teen’s way, but Ryan Fedoroff, National Director of Education at Newport Academy, a mental health treatment center for teens and young adults, offers some tips. She says, “Be compassionate and truly listen to your child when they speak about their worries and the fact that they are upset with activities being canceled. It’s important to validate their feelings during this time, even if they are disappointed and sad. Ask your child how you can support them through this time. It is important to not try and solve their problems when they are upset. Just show compassion, validate, and be present.”


She also notes, and this is important, that kids watch adults for psychological cues. “If you are obsessively and overtly worried about coronavirus, or continuously mentioning how upset you are that their activities are canceled, your kids will likely have anxiety about it too. We all need to vent, but try to do it in a private place where your children can’t hear you.”


Fedoroff also suggests trying to create as much structure as possible in a teen’s life: family meals, workouts, and reasonable “virtual learning time.” (Khan Academy is still an awesome online tool.) If graduation is canceled, you can have one at home on Zoom. Good news: Your kid is the valedictorian and gets to make a speech! Remember, this is an event that will define a teen’s outlook for the rest of their life, a virtual 9/11 for Gen-Z. Positivity is unilaterally a good thing wherever you can find it.


Zoe does have a glimmer of optimism and hope underneath it all, as most teens do, as we all do. “I’m still hopeful that this is temporary,” she says. “I’m not ready to give up the last three months of school, the last three months of being a kid. I want to prepare for the worst, but that’s not me. If I think that way, I’ll fall apart.”


Really, she just wants a little more time, a few weeks to finish her high school career strong and officially close the book on her adolescence. More than prom, more than graduation, more than a medal in track, it’s clear there’s one thing she wants more than anything: the chance to say goodbye.



Source: The Reality of Covid-19 Is Hitting Teens Especially Hard (Wired)

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They have been knowing a virus like this was coming again since 1918... the world is just lucky ir is not as bad at the  Spanish flu pandemic was. 

Also please note IT IS NOT JUST the MILITARY  knowing. Every single doctor in the world knew at some point there would be another pandemic hinting the world hard like this and it nothing to do with military minds or conspiracies of one country trying to destroy their enemies. Can you imagine the response the USA would give it ever became apparent ANY country ever unleashed this on purpose... Don't kid yourself, you know big country ending bombs would be dropped until that country literally ceased to exist.

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Coronavirus spread in UK is a ‘crime’ as NHS had 4 years to prepare for pandemic – John Pilger


Award-winning journalist John Pilger has revealed that the NHS staged an exercise in London in 2016 which proved it was unable to cope with a pandemic like Covid-19, but its findings were suppressed.


Speaking to RT’s Going Underground, Pilger said that back in 2016, the UK government ran a drill in London that showed the health service was incapable of dealing with an outbreak.


He described the failure as a “crime” and told host Afshin Rattansi that the findings from the exercise, titled Cygnus, had been concealed by the government.


“The result of the drill was that the health service was overwhelmed, there weren’t enough beds, there weren’t enough ventilators, there weren’t enough clinicians in the right places. The whole system, which had been battered by cuts and privatization for years, failed," he said.


The journalist explained that the NHS had been “devastated” by the Tory-led government's decision to bring in the Health and Social Care Act in 2012.


scathing comments come a day after the UK recorded its most deaths in a single day since the crisis began. The 854 fatalities took the total to 6,159.


Projections by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation in Seattle, US, warned that the UK could become the European country worst-hit by Covid-19, possibly accounting for 40 percent of the continent’s deaths.


The documentary film maker, whose most recent works include ‘The Dirty War on the NHS,’ also blasted successive British governments since the 1980s for slashing NHS funding and pursuing a policy of privatization by “stealth.”




quadruple oops

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Does positive mean what we want?

Does negative mean what we don't want?


Coronavirus breaks all rules and leaves us perplexed.

Yet, we make new rules on the fly.


What was wrong with things as they were in the forum?


It's best to save our energy from trivial matters so that we may use our energies in what really matters to us and helps us in our practical day-to-day lives (-ve and +ve). 


If this post is considered a negative post, then it belongs here.  If it's considered a positive comment, which is the intent, then it doesn't belong here. Endless dilemmas ...  😉  Endless rules.  🙃   Futile desire to change.  😉


Try to be safe and help in anyways we can.  





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Dutch Navy submarine aborts North Sea training due to Covid-19 outbreak onboard



Another submarine is quarantined: nowhere is out-of-reach of Covid-19


Edited by rasbridge
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4 hours ago, aum said:

Does positive mean what we want?

Does negative mean what we don't want?


The first post answers your questions.

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42 minutes ago, Karlston said:

The first post answers your questions.

Yes, I had read those answers before asking my two (quoted) rhetorical questions.


Thanks @Karlston for your good work!





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Some Walmart, Costco, Target stores barred from selling nonessential items


Local governments around the US are starting to take more draconian measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus by banning "essential" stores such as grocery chains or big-box


retailers from selling nonessential items such as clothing and electronics.


These stores, which have been allowed to stay open during state lockdowns across the US because they are deemed as "essential" businesses by selling groceries or offering pharmacy


services, for example, are now required by law in some parts of the US to remove any nonessential items from their stores or rope off areas of the store so that customers are unable to


access these products.


The state of Vermont is among those clamping down on this. At the end of March, the state governor issued an executive order banning big-box stores from selling nonessential items.



"Large 'big box' retailers generate significant shopping traffic by virtue of their size and the variety of goods offered in a single location," Vermont's Agency of Commerce and Community


Development Secretary Lindsay Kurrle said in a statement to the press at the time.


She added: "This volume of shopping traffic significantly increases the risk of further spread of this dangerous virus to Vermonters and the viability of Vermont's health care system. We are


directing these stores to put public health first and help us reduce the number of shoppers."


The only way that customers can shop for these nonessential items is by using online delivery services or curbside pickup.



The board of commissioners in Howard County, Indiana enforced a similar rule earlier in March, which also prevented any businesses in the area that were deemed to be "essential" from


selling nonessential items.


In a press release announcing the news, the board said that it had received complaints from other businesses, which had been forced to close as they sold mostly nonessential items, that


it was unfair for stores to continue selling these products.


Retail workers in the area also complained that customers were congregating in stores and browsing nonessential goods because they were "bored at home," thus filling up the aisles and


putting these workers at greater risk.


There have been reports elsewhere of other counties putting similar rules into play.


While some shoppers have taken a dislike to these new restrictions, others are applauding the change and are encouraging other local governments to do the same.



Edited by flash13
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Just my opinion: I think ammo and guns are non-essential. you can't go hunting or recreational shooting. I am not anti-gun, but i'm pretty sure bullets can't kill viruses.

Edited by ghost
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16 hours ago, ghost said:

Just my opinion: I think ammo and guns are non-essential. you can't go hunting or recreational shooting. I am not anti-gun, but i'm pretty sure bullets can't kill viruses.

I grew up with friends who only consumed meat from animals they hunted and killed. 


Personally, when I was young, my family was pretty self-sufficient as we grew and preserved all of the vegetables we consumed.  And, we raised beef and chickens.  Additionally, we hunted and fished.  So, I understand where food comes from and what it takes to produce it.  Based upon my experience, I understand that for many people, guns and ammo (for hunting) is necessary for their survival.

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17 hours ago, ghost said:

i'm pretty sure bullets can't kill viruses

Let's see if this pandemic-virus can kill guns?  Or not?


Probably not.  Unfortunately it kills humans, however.



Edited by aum
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6 minutes ago, rasbridge said:

... guns and ammo (for hunting) is necessary for their survival.

Yeah.  So also virii like their survival.  Killers, killing, and killed is part of this universe.  Even suns, stars, and galaxies are subjected to the law of what-is-born-dies also.

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  • Karlston changed the title to Coronavirus (COVID-19) General News Collection & Resources
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