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Showing posts from March 15, 2020

History in a Crisis — Lessons for Covid-19

The New England Journal of Medicine List of authors. David S. Jones, M.D., Ph.D. March 12, 2020 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2004361 ArticWriting in the heady days of new antibiotics and immunizations, esteemed microbiologists Macfarlane Burnet and David White predicted in 1972 that “the most likely forecast about the future of infectious diseases is that it will be very dull.” 1  They acknowledged that there was always a risk of “some wholly unexpected emergence of a new and dangerous infectious disease, but nothing of the sort has marked the last fifty years.” Epidemics, it seemed, were of interest only to historians. Times have changed. From herpes and legionnaires’ disease in the 1970s, to AIDS, Ebola, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and now Covid-19, contagious diseases continue to threaten and disrupt human populations. Historians, who never lost interest in epidemics, have much to offer. When asked to explain past events, historians are quick to assert the importance of conte

Why Sanatani India rocks?

I learnt the following after being in a lock down since last week: 1. Why the bathrooms and toilets were outside our houses and not inside. 2. Why we should not touch anything or anybody when we return from a barbershop or a funeral. You may return to normalcy only after having a bath immediately. 3. Why the footwear has to be kept outside the house and not inside. 4. Why we have to wash our hands and feet when we returned from schools or outside after playing.  5. Why a mandatory 10 days isolation / quarantine (especially at a birth or death) in traditional households. 6. Why the households must not cook if there's a dead body inside the house.   7. Why the washing of discarded clothes has to be done outside the house and not inside. 8. Why was it mandatory to be clean and have bath before cooking for the house. 9. Why once you have had bath, you were not supposed to physically touch those who did not. Maintaining physical hygiene, social distance and cleanliness were laughed at,

Corona virus : Irresponsible idiots galore in India

The Coronavirus will explode because India is full of irresponsible idiots who ask everything from the government but do nothing in return. This London returned Kolkata boy roamed around the city for two days, carrying the virus. He was asked to isolate himself and visit the hospital, but bureaucrat momma's son was too cool to listen to doctors. How many people this idiot alone might have infected is mind-boggling. And then, 160 people from Punjab who were asked to isolate themselves are now missing, unreachable, untraceable. People are running away from isolation centers. Some are complaining that they need better facilities, cleaner washrooms, and this-that. Hello? This is not your cousin's wedding. This is a national emergency. You are not a guest.  Your rich, privileged ass was brought down home by our government with great pain while many nations are happily leaving their citizens out. Any gratitude? Can't you just "adjust" for a few weeks? Go back to your fi

Virus Competition Is Wrecking China-U.S. Cooperation Hopes

ForeignPolicy.com Coronavirus efforts are a new battlefront—and Beijing is the only one in the game. BY   RICHARD FONTAINE   |   MARCH 20, 2020, 1:13 PM Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Jan. 28.  NAOHIKO HATTA - POOL/GETTY IMAGE As Washington shifted its worldview over the last several years to a sharp focus on China competition, even the most claw-bearing hawks generally left open the possibility of cooperation. Key transnational issues, such as climate change and nonproliferation, challenge all nations and require collaborative responses even among adversaries. While the United States and China compete fiercely, it previously seemed to most that enhanced rivalry should not preclude working together when interests dictated it. But amid an unprecedented crisis as the new coronavirus spreads, cooperation is the last thing o

We are all Stoics now

Asia Times The Philosophical Silk Road as celebrated at an Italian airport: a meeting of Chinese and Greek/Latin stoicism By  PEPE ESCOBAR MARCH 20, 2020 Asia Times Stoics would approve: Following a decree issued by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte on March 9, all commercial activities have been required to close after 6 pm with the exception of food shops. The squares of Italian cities have emptied; bars, restaurants, cafes and covered markets are now deserted. Movement is allowed only for business purposes and home deliveries and for close personal reasons. The streets are patrolled by police forces. This photo was taken at Piazza Capitaniato, Padua, on Monday. Photo: AFP / Roberto Silvino / NurPhoto Earlier this week a delegation of Chinese medics arrived at Malpensa airport near Milan from Shanghai on a special China Eastern flight carrying 400,000 masks and 17 tons of equipment. The salutation banner the visitors rolled out on the tarmac, in red and white, read, “We’re waves from the

Coronavirus Will Change the World Permanently. Here’s How.

Politico.com A crisis on this scale can reorder society in dramatic ways, for better or worse. Here are 34 big thinkers’ predictions for what’s to come. Illustration by DAQ By  POLITICO MAGAZINE 03/19/2020 07:30 PM ED Formany Americans right now, the scale of the coronavirus crisis calls to mind 9/11 or the 2008 financial crisis—events that reshaped society in lasting ways, from how we travel and buy homes, to the level of security and surveillance we’re accustomed to, and even to the language we use. Politico Magazine  surveyed more than 30 smart, macro thinkers this week, and they have some news for you: Buckle in. This could be bigger. Advertisement A global, novel virus that keeps us contained in our homes—maybe for months—is already reorienting our relationship to government, to the outside world, even to each other. Some changes these experts expect to see in the coming months or years might feel unfamiliar or unsettling: Will nations stay closed? Will touch become taboo? What wi

Battle is between humanity and a virus

You may have seen the viral videos of Europeans — first in Italy, then in Spain and beyond — singing and playing instruments from their balconies. 📌 _Quarantined city-dwellers have also come to their balconies at designated times — in France and a number of other European countries — to applaud the health care workers fighting the outbreak._ 📌 _In Rome (as seen above), people have stepped outside simply to spread the message that Italy stands together and "andrà tutto bene" — everything will be alright._ *It's a nice reminder that the current battle is between humanity and a virus. At least we're all on the same side.* Source: Axios

Where is Ram Madhav — the RSS pracharak who was Modi’s Man Friday not long ago

ThePrint.in BJP general secretary Ram Madhav no longer handles Modi's foreign tours. His involvement in BJP affairs in Northeast and J&K has also reduced. SHANKER ARNIMESH 26 September, 2019 BJP general secretary Ram Madhav| PTI New Delhi:  When Prime Minister Narendra Modi was with US President Donald Trump at the ‘Howdy Modi’ rally in Houston early this week, a BJP leader, once synonymous with the PM’s foreign trips, was conspicuous by his absence — RSS  pracharak  and BJP general secretary Ram Madhav. TV cameras in Houston even caught the presence of Vijay Chauthaiwale, the BJP’s foreign affairs cell chief who Madhav had combined with to play a key role in Modi’s early NRI outreach efforts. Madhav, however, was in Bengaluru at around the same time, explaining his party’s stand behind scrapping Article 370 for Jammu and Kashmir. If that wasn’t enough, Madhav, who is known to hobnob with diplomats from across the globe, has been missing from the BJP’s missions abroad. He was a