Buddhist Monks in Thailand Use YouTube to Make DIY Masks and Safety Equipment
Coronavirus: Wuhan lockdown ending after 76 days
The lockdown that served as a model for countries battling the coronavirus is set to end on Wednesday
China just lifted its lockdown on Wuhan
People return to Beijing from Wuhan as lockdown ends after weeks
Al Jazeera’s cameraman was stuck in Wuhan for 70 days. He tells the story of his journey back to Beijing.
China’s Virus Pandemic Epicenter Wuhan Ends 76-Day Lockdown
Buddhist organizations across the world have responded in a relatively consistent and conservative manner, moving quickly to cancel events or postpone them indefinitely.
We cannot account for human selfishness, irrationality, or error, which is present in all societies. However, the history of pandemics demonstrates that infrastructure has always been crucial to response and recovery. Not only technological and governmental, but civic, social, and cultural infrastructure. Among these “hard” factors are “soft” ones that are harder to quantify, such as kindness and social concern. The journal Scientific American points out: “As a species, we live and die by our social world and our extensive infrastructure—and there is no predicting what anybody needs in the face of total catastrophe. In contrast, the real crisis scenarios we’re likely to encounter require cooperation and, crucially, ‘flattening the curve’ of the crisis exactly so the more vulnerable can fare better, so that our infrastructure will be less stressed at any one time.” ( Scientific American ) The more we care about others, the more our responses to the coronavirus outbreak and similar emergencies will include others beyond our immediate family and friends.
We’re currently under “lockdown” in the UK, but still allowed out for specific reasons like shopping and exercise. People have been told they should maintain social distancing from other people when out, maintaining a separation of 2 metres. This is to reduce the spread of infection.
I’m finding this to be an interesting mindfulness practice, and have been pleasantly surprised that most people are managing to do this, most of the time. There’s a small minority who don’t, I’m trying not to get too irritated with those!
This is from Nick Cave in the most recent issue of The Red Hand Files (#91):
As for whether this is the last time we will hear a new Bob Dylan song. I certainly hope not. But perhaps there is some wisdom in treating all songs, or for that matter, all experiences, with a certain care and reverence, as if encountering these things for the last time. I say this not just in the light of the novel coronavirus, rather that it is an eloquent way to lead one’s life and to appreciate the here and now, by savouring it as if it were for the last time. To have a drink with a friend as if it were the last time, to eat with your family as it were the last time, to read to your child as if it were the last time, or indeed, to sit in the kitchen listening to a new Bob Dylan song as if it were the last time. It permeates all that we do with greater meaning, placing us within the present, our uncertain future, temporarily arrested.
OVER 500,000 HAVE RECOVERED FROM CORONAVIRUS ACROSS THE GLOBE
It sounds like social distancing will be necessary for an extended period, until a vaccine is hopefully available. Most people in the UK are still making the effort, and generally people are much more mindful around others, eg walking in the street, or in the supermarket - that’s good to see. There’s a minority who don’t get it, or can’t be bothered with the 2-metre separation. I stop and glare at people who get too close, which is quite effective.
I step back with an exaggeratedly scared expression on my face: freaks them out!
Well - truthfully - I did in week one. Then I relocated to the country where I commune only with kangaroos. They appear to understand all about corona virus and keep a very respectful distance of more than two metres.
This web-page briefly explains the Covid pandemic from global perspective, and offers long-term solution which is in harmony with the Buddha-Dhamma:
The Good News Coronavirus
The Covid-19 crisis points out, naturally, to a hopeless moment. There are so many negative aspects that we forget that there are amazing news: number of healed people, searches for a vaccine in an unprecedented speed, collaboration between international community and civil society, that is why we need to expand our point of view.
And that’s why “The Good News Coronavirus” was created: to be a light of hope to those who feel drowned in an ocean of bad news, in spite of being important to the pandemic preventions, cause nothing but anxiety and despair
Through this portal, the society will know that there is a world of possibilities and that the defeat of the coronavirus will be in history as the moment that we got connected and built a better future
“This portal has no political engagement whatsoever, nor any support coming from any government or his third parties, with its idealization and development being entitlement of members of the civil society”
The people of this group are in favor of social distancing as the best approach to fight the covid-19 and strongly advise that all the measures recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) are followed.
More than 1 million people have recovered globally from COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins data
More than 1 million have now recovered from coronavirus worldwide
I noticed recently the surreal news (to me) that one of America’s largest outbreaks is in my hometown, Marion, Ohio. I grew up in a working class housing tract just across the road from the prison in question, Marion Correctional Institution. About 80% of the inmates and 160 staff were infected by the time it was discovered.
The biggest problem we have in America is little national effort and political forces that prefer to do nothing and deflect responsibility. Testing is still limited to seriously ill or vulnerable people, and the outbreak has become nearly ubiquitous across the country. It seems we’re in for a long year.
The prevalence of Covid-19 in the United States is highly localized. If the United States was actually 50 different countries (as the 13 original states were prior to the Constitution), some of those states would be seen as having a much lower incidence of Covid-19 than many other countries in the world. This is actually the case in other countries as well. Covid-19 outbreaks are often confined to the so-called “hot spots” that have been written about in both the scientific community as well as the news media.
What explains the localized nature of Covid-19 outbreaks is probably a combination of factors having to do with the genetic structure of the virus itself as well as the living conditions and habits of human populations. Living in close quarters in urban areas with lots of opportunities for the virus to be spread obviously is a factor. However to the extent the virus has been found in disproportionately high rates in a few less densely-populated areas may have something to do with particularly virulent strains of the virus. I am not an epidemiologist, but my guess is that in the final analysis researchers will find that there are different strains of the virus which make it more communicable and cause more severe symptoms than other strains.
Speaking from my position as a political scientist, I would humbly suggest that political decision-making has played a relatively minor role except in those instances in which it was spectacularly bad. For example, the political decision in China to terminate the very early warning systems that the government put in place following the 2002 SARS outbreak will be seen by historians as a major factor in the pandemic. The mandate that nursing homes in New York admit Covid-19 patients without sufficient measures in place to protect other residents also was one of the disastrous political decisions that allowed the disease to spread.
Having said that, I am reluctant to render judgment on the quality of political oversight as a main determinant in the pandemic. Truth be said, Covid-19 is prevalent in almost every country in the world, despite very different political responses. The test of a hypothetical proposition is to see if there is any variance on the dependent variable on the basis of variance in the independent variable. In this case, governments have varied greatly in how they have handled the disease, and yet the results have largely not correlated with varied responses. Countries following the same policies have had different results, and countries following different policies have had the same results.
Instead, I would suggest that the localized nature of the pandemic has more to do with different strains of the virus and variations in living conditions. Obviously politics plays a role (see my comments above), but to try and make a blanket statement about the political system of the United States (or any other country for that matter) I think is a risky proposition.
What’s risky about it? It’s just an observation. We have a decentralized government and a dysfunctional political culture overrun by partisanship and misinformation in America. Those two things combined have hampered our ability to cope with an national epidemic.
It’s better to observe the general consensus among the experts in the field concerned to understand what is happening, which in this case is epidemiology and not political science. For instance, the genetic variations of COVID-19 thus far are reported to be negligible in terms of how it sickens people or the prospects of developing immunity or a vaccine. They don’t know that conclusively, of course, but the different strains that have been written about are minor variations so far. They are useful for understanding the history of the virus’s spread around the world, however, and researchers have been studying that.
The differences in infection rates for one state or another I would say is a matter of timing of its arrival and how much community spread happened prior to the imposition of stay at home orders, which then suppressed it’s spread. The New York area has been shown to have been infected weeks before the first cases were identified. So, they ended up with the highest infection rate in the country prior to when the stay at home orders were put in place and enforced. That’s the main reason why they have nearly a 1/3 of US fatalities.
What concerns me is that we have a national policy for the lifting of stay at home orders, which was sensible, but it’s being ignored by many states. Without an enforceable national policy, which is a political issue ultimately, that can’t be stopped.
People travel between states, and so when the epidemic recommences in those places, it will affect the rest of the country. We needed to use the time during the stay at home orders to put in place effective testing, contact tracing, and quarantine systems, but the national effort wasn’t there to support many states. This is what epidemiologists and many state governors have been telling us for a couple months.
I recently watched an excellent documentary about the Ebola virus. The explanations about how viruses, vectors and pandemics operate is really excellent, and is completely relatable to the current Covid 19 outbreak. It clarifies many current misconceptions.
It was on a paid documentary channel, but this is the source information. Well worth trying to watch if you are at all interested in this stuff