In November 2017, Smithsonian magazine article published the article “Is China Ground Zero for a Future Pandemic?” Usually I’d to defer Betteridge’s law of headlines, an adage that states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” But let’s see what we were told:
At least two flu pandemics in the past century—in 1957 and 1968—originated in the Middle Kingdom and were triggered by avian viruses that evolved to become easily transmissible between humans. Although health authorities have increasingly tried to ban the practice, millions of live birds are still kept, sold and slaughtered in crowded markets each year. In a study published in January, researchers in China concluded that these markets were a “main source of H7N9 transmission by way of human-poultry contact and avian-related environmental exposures”…
China is uniquely positioned to create a novel flu virus that kills people. On Chinese farms, people, poultry and other livestock often live in close proximity. Pigs can be infected by both bird flu and human flu viruses, becoming potent “mixing vessels” that allow genetic material from each to combine and possibly form new and deadly strains. The public’s taste for freshly killed meat, and the conditions at live markets, create ample opportunity for humans to come in contact with these new mutations….
Despite such shortcomings, Western experts say Chinese officials have come a long way since their wobbly handling of the 2002 outbreak of SARS, the severe respiratory disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus; Chinese apparatchiks initially tried to cover up the epidemic, creating a worldwide scandal.
Do we trust China over coronavirus?
No need for police to follow smoke signals. The barbecuers are pretty easy to spot:
Meanwhile… in Peckham, London:
To the Bronx Zoo in New York City, where a tiger has tested positive for Coronavirus. Yeah,. How come they test tigers before humans? This news comes from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which operates the zoo, and announced the sick tigers tory in a press release. “Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for COVID-19. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover,” the WCS said in a statement.
How did they get it? “Our cats were infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms,” the statement adds.
The advice is to avoid tigers in New York. And if you’re in Wuhan, make sure they’re cooked through.
“I want to take this opportunity to issue a public apology for the choices I made last week,” says Manchester City and England footballer Kyle Walker. “I understand that my position as a professional footballer brings the responsibility of being a role model.” No, Kyle, it really doesn’t. Your responsibility is to your employer and maybe your children, more of whom later.
Walker guffed out that apology after the Sun reported he’d allegedly hired two prostitutes to service him and a pal in his rented home a day before telling others how to fight the coronavirus. “Stay indoors, keep washing your hands, keep following the protocols and just protect the NHS,” said Walker. “It’s been tough, but first and foremost, we have to think about other people’s health and protecting the elderly and family members that can spread it.”
If Kyle is the role model he claims to be, right now thousands of his fans are pulling on gold-coloured Shine condoms and paying £2,200 in cash for on-the-clock sex with “classy” escort Louise McNamara, 21, and “a 24-year-old Brazilian call girl”. Although prices for both might have increased now they have scored a celebrity endorsement, men who wash their hands like Kyle and look to him for moral and medical guidance will be cracking open their piggybanks and gilding their knobs. Says Louise: “I didn’t know who he was at the time. But I took a few photos of him.” Thoughtfully, she shares them in the Sun.
Other things you can do to be like “role model” Kyle Walker, are, as the Sun also reports, to “split from long-term girlfriend Annie Kilner” after getting “model Lauryn Goodman pregnant”. Kyle is father to Annie’s three sons. He’s their role model.
Her Majesty the Queen says to endure the coronavirus crisis we need “self-discipline and resolve”. Prince Andrew, how has been self-isolating from Royal duties and the FBI leads by example.
“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” says Her Maj. “A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all. And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.”
Anyone feeling trapped, vulnerable and isolated should not try to track down Andrew for company, should he be staying on a billionaire’s private island, which he isn’t, and call 0800PrincessDiana and ask for Squidgy.
When police approached Marie Dinou, 41, and asked her why she was at Newcastle Central Station “loitering between platforms” she didn’t want to speak with them. They wanted her name, address and reasons for travel. She was not obliged to tell them anything. But the police do not listen. They tell. So they arrested her and carted her off to the station.
Charged with an offence under the Coronavirus Act 2020, meant to deal with “potentially infectious persons”, a non-infected Marie Dinou was summoned to appear at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court. She refused to leave her cell, where she’d been held for 48 hours. A district judge thought it legal, fair and proper to fine Dinou £660 and order her to pay a £66 victim surcharge and £85 in costs. “Defendant refuses to identify herself, sent back to cells and proved in absence,” runs the ruling.
“Officers approached Dinou and engaged with her in an attempt to understand her reasons for essential travel, but following several more attempts by officers to explain and encourage she refused to speak to officers,” says a spokesperson for British Transport Police. “Having explored all options, Dinou was arrested on suspicion of breaching the restrictions imposed under the Coronavirus Act 2020.”
Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan chimed: “Enforcement of any sort under the new regulations really is a last resort, especially arrest. In this case, officers tried their upmost best to engage with Dinou. I can assure you we would much rather not have to take such action. We strongly urge the public to do the right thing and help us save lives by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus.”
Dinou. Not Ms Dinou. Respect is a two-way street. But the law is clear.
British Transport Police (BTP) now realise they made an error. In cahoots with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) they “established that Marie Dinou was charged under the incorrect section of the Coronavirus Act 2020”. In other words: she was doing nothing wrong, had done nothing wrong but was nicked, judged and fined. “Having reassessed the matter, BTP will not pursue any alternative prosecution,” a spokesperson tells the Indy.
Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock goes on the record: “There will be understandable concern that our interpretation of this new legislation has r esulted in an ineffective prosecution.This was in circumstances where officers were properly dealing with someone who was behaving suspiciously in the station, and who staff believed to be travelling without a valid ticket. Officers were rightfully challenging her unnecessary travel. Regardless, we fully accept that this shouldn’t have happened and we apologise. It is highly unusual that a case can pass through a number of controls in the criminal justice process and fail in this way.”
“Regardless…” Marie Dinou committed no offence. The police nicked her for a crime that does not exist. But “regardless…” says the copper. Carry on regardless…
When Prince Charles opened the Nightingale Hospital in London that will deal with coronavirus patients Richard Little noticed something behind him. There on the dressing table was a framed photo of a ghost. Or is it a smudge? What or who is it?
Richard and Twitter got to work:
The Trump administration has changed the language on the ‘Strategic National Stockpile’ on an HHS website. The Public Health Emergency squad is underfunded. What they previously told you about things before coronavirus happened was wishful at best and bullshit at worst:
Eddie Large died “with” Coronavirus, says the BBC. The entertainer, one half of the Little and Large comedy duo, contracted the virus in hospital. He had been suffering with heart failure. So how does the Mirror report on the death of the 78-year-old? Not well. Eddie Large’s death is presented as part of the “Coronavirus Crisis”. “Eddie’s heart wasn’t strong enough to fight the virus.” But the virus didn’t kill him.
Eddie Large was not killed by Covid-19. Well, not unless you read about his death in the Mirror:
The Mail says Eddie Large “death in hospital from coronavirus while being treated for heart failure”. It adds: “Mr Large, who was famous for his singing and impressions, is the most famous Briton to be killed by coronavirus, which has now claimed almost 3,000 lives in the UK with deaths hitting 500-a-day.” Deep into the story we’re told: “The father of three had a successful heart transplant in 2003 – but it appears that the organ began to fail before his death, leading to his hospital admission in Bristol.”
The Sun notes: “The comedian had been suffering with heart failure and contracted the deadly virus in hospital.” To say nothing of heart failure being deadly, which it doesn’t.
Eddie Large’s son, Ryan McGinnis, wrote on Facebook:
“It is with great sadness that Mum and I need to announce that my dad passed away in the early hours of this morning. He had been suffering with heart failure and unfortunately, whilst in hospital, contracted the coronavirus, which his heart was sadly not strong enough to fight. Dad had fought bravely for so long. Due to this horrible disease we had been unable to visit him at the hospital but all of the family and close friends spoke to him every day. We will miss him terribly and we are so proud of everything he achieved in his career with Syd and know that he was much loved by the millions that watched them each week.”
Eddie Large: Edward Hugh McGinnis (25 June 1941 – 2 April 2020).
Formula 1 action figure Bernie Ecclestone is to be a father again at just 89 years young. Is he doing it to distract attention for the fact that his wife is so much teller than he is? People will talk about the age and the baby but not the height. Should size even matter? Of course not. But you noticed it, all the same. There is certain comic element to Bernie being towered over by the willowy Fabian Flosi, 44. We give the ages – and can gasp at the gap – but not the height difference, which is more obvious.
In North London, the Royal Free London hospitals – the Royal Free Hospital, Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital – need your help. The Royal Free Charity has become the Royal Free Charity Covid-19 Emergency Fund to support NHS staff through the crisis. Clapping your hands for the NHS is all well and good but money is better.
Many of the staff at the three hospitals are now caring for patients with coronavirus, or are dealing with patients who are not unwell with the virus but still desperately need their help. Resources are stretched to the limit and they’re working under the most extreme pressure. It’s not just affected doctors and nurses; everyone, from ICU and the wards, to the porters, cleaners and support staff, is playing a role in the fight against the virus. As we all know, the situation is going to get even worse before things start to improve.
The aim is to get a complete support service in place as soon as possible. This will include the provision of care packages at the end of a very long shift, to psychological support and the creation of physical respite spaces, all of which have been suggested by staff. Every penny raises will make a real difference to their lives.
Please make a donation here.
Hermann Göring wrote the forward to a puppy training manual you can buy on Amazon. Sections are not dedicated to knowing Jews by their scent, teaching your dog to raise a front right leg and going vegetarian. There is, however, lots about obeying orders. The JC reports that shopper Lorraine Phipps bought the Puppy Training manual from Amazon unaware that it contains a eulogy on Adolf Hitler printed inside, namely Adolf Hitler, 1931-1935: Pictures from the Life of the Führer with a forward by Hermann Göring.
“I bought a purported puppy training book from Amazon on March 2,” says Lorraine. “When my husband and I went to read it, despite the cover being as expected, it was actually a reprinting of a 1936 pro-Nazi propaganda book.” She wants Amazon to remove the “awful and misleading item from their listings”. Amazon says they are “investigating”.
Elsewhere you can buy Pictures from the Life of the Führer – without the Puppy Training cover. It is “one of the crowning popular propaganda achievements which helped consolidate Hitler’s hold on power, this book had sold millions of copies by 1940 and was one of those specifically ordered destroyed by the Allied occupation forces after 1945”.
Meanwhile… Somewhere in a German bunker a Nazi is teaching other recreational Herrenvolk to ‘Stay’, ‘Beg’ and ‘Play Dead’.
Kate Winslet is well placed to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic. As Sky News tells it, Winslet starred in the film Contagion about a hypothetical virus outbreak. All of you who think EastEnders is a fly-on-the-wall documentary about London life stay tuned. After this look out for Winslet telling us to maintain a youthful complexion into your second century of living (see the Titanic CCTV footage from 1912).
People have been grateful for Kate’s expertise and selfness willingness to educate:
It’s not a Sky News production. GQ explains:
In addition to [Matt] Damon and Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, and Jennifer Ehle have also filmed PSAs, which were made with the help of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns teamed up with the school’s Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology who also served as an advisor for the chillingly realistic 2011 movie.
“The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University reached out to the cast and asked us if we’d have a virtual reunion and do some PSAs,” Damon explains. “Everything you’re going to hear from us has been vetted by public health experts and scientists.”
It’s only real if a famous face says it is.
In times of crisis what the world needs are for the rich and stupid to survive the coronavirus cull on the poor and serving. When the pandemic is over, these so-called escape communities will emerge from their hiding places to do battle for global supremacy with survivalists, the people paid to wash their retreats and lions. First one who knows how to make a fire from bank notes wins the planet:
Said one hermit: come friendly bombs.
US televangelist Kenneth Copeland will slay the coronavirus by channelling God’s powers. It’s the smackdown we’ve been waiting for:
Here’s Kenneth explaining why God made private jets:
Parody dies a little more as Donald Trump hails coronavirus as a ratings hit. This is not from a spoof account. I checked:
Four newspapers lead with the death of Dr Amgad El-Hawrani, an NHS and private earth nose and throat consultant who was infected with coronavirus before he died. All newspapers call him Dr Amged El-Hawrani, even though the NHS knew him as Dr Amgad El Hawrani. This is his profile on the NHS website:
Having renamed the doctor – although a filing at companies house does give his name Amged El-Hawrani – the papers tell the story of how a talented man at the top of his field came to die at just 55 years old. The Times leads with news what he picked up an infection from a patient.
So Dr El-Hawrani picked up Covid-19 virus from a patient. Fact. Well, no. It’s just a maybe. After the headline news has grabbed your eyeballs, the Times tells its readers:
A consultant ear, nose and throat specialist has become the first frontline hospital worker to die in the fight against Covid-19 after seemingly contracting the virus from his patients.
So he could have come into contact with the disease anywhere. We’re looking at likelihood not facts.
Amged El-Hawrani, 55, died on Saturday night at Leicester Royal Infirmary after testing positive for the virus and being treated on a ventilator for the past two weeks.
We do not know where Dr El-Hawrani caught Covid-19. But the story is out there that he caught it on a ward as he worked for the NHS. The headlines suggest that much. We hear an opinion:
The death of Amged El-Hawrani, 55, an ear, nose and throat specialist, marks a sad moment in Britain’s fight against coronavirus but is a familiar story in countries around the world (Kat Lay writes).
In China, Iran and Italy doctors from his specialty seem to have been particularly likely to become hospital in-patients or even die from the virus. Another ENT consultant, in Sheffield, is said to be improving after receiving critical care. The nature of ENT doctors’ work means they have to get close to patients’ faces — and coronavirus spreads through droplets from sufferers’ noses or mouths. This means that specialists are particularly likely to be exposed. Research suggests that those exposed to a higher initial “dose” of the virus are more likely to suffer a severe form of the disease.
The Mirror calls Dr El-Hawrani a hero and links his death to a demand for more protective kit.
Ear, nose and throat specialist Dr El-Harwani, who died on Saturday, is understood to have contracted the virus several weeks ago.
Understood by whom? We’re not told. We do not know where the doctor caught the virus. Low down the front-page story, the Mirror concedes: “It is not known how Dr El-Hawrani contracted Covid-19.” But that fact comes after readers are told:
NHS England described Dr El-Hawrani as the first practising hospital doctor to die of the virus…
Might he have caught the disease elsewhere? Did he travel overseas recently? We’re not told.
As worrying footage of a nurse working in a coronavirus ward wearing only basic protection was passed to the Mirror, the Doctors’ Association UK said it was “deeply saddened” by Dr El-Hawrani’s death.
And it urged the Government to make a priority of “protecting the lives of the life-savers”.
The facts are thin. But that does not stop the Mirror from spreading anxiety. Aren’t things safer than they were several weeks ago when Dr El-Hawrani caught the disease now that the country is under lockdown, patients are being tested for Covid-19 and awareness is growing? It’s not ideal, of course, this is dangerous work – and medics come into contact with sick people every day of their working lives in GP surgeries and hospitals. But without facts media should be cautious about using a man’s death for any narrative purpose other than to mourn it and empathise with his family’s loss.
The Guardian reports:
A 55-year-old hospital consultant has died of coronavirus, underlining the danger to frontline NHS workers.
It’s horrible news. But we do not know how Dr El-Hawrani caught the disease.
Did Dr El-Hawrani take on private patients? If he did, as many consultants do, might he have contracted the coronavirus working with them and not on the “frontline” for the NHS? But the media narrative has not time to entertain that possibility:
Did he only work for the NHS? No papers mention that Dr El-Hawrani also worked in private medicine.
About Private Healthcare UK
Private Healthcare UK was established in 1996 and helps patients to find information about private medical treatment, hospitals, clinics, doctors, specialists and health insurance.
And there’s BUPA – “A leading international healthcare group, we run care homes, health centres, dental centres and hospitals, offer personal and company health insurance and provide workplace health services, health assessments and chronic disease management services including health coaching.” In short: private healthcare.
Such are the facts.
When Dr Amgad El-Hawrani died the media went into overdrive. Dr El-Hawrani, 55, was an NHS ear, nose and throat consultant at Derby and Burton hospitals. He died last night at Leicester Royal Infirmary. He had tested positive for coronavirus Covid-19. Thoughts should be with his loved ones. But big media has a narrative.
Sky News says he “died after testing positive for coronavirus”. No mention is made of any other health concerns Dr El-Hawrani might have suffered. The Independent says: “NHS England has said the 55-year-old was the first front-line worker to die in the fight against Covid-19.” ITV makes the link between his profession and the illness explicit: “Consultant, 55, dies after testing positive for coronavirus.” He was, says the Leicester Mercury, “the first hospital worker to be killed by Covid-19 in this country”. But we do not know how or where he contracted the disease nor if his work was linked to his getting it and dying. Was he tested because he was a hospital patient or a hospital worker? Did he die with the disease or from it? Did work with private patients contribute to his death?
Only the Mirror says the doctor’s efforts in fighting coronavirus contributed to his death. But not one other publication says the same, which is unusual, especially given how when one paper breaks a story the others rush to copy it, as with the tragic case of Chloe Middleton. Says the Mirror:
An NHS consultant who contracted coronavirus while on the frontlines of the battle against the virus has died in hospital at the age of just 55.
These are worrying times for NHS workers and all medial professional whose jobs bring them into contact with very ill people. Some circumspection is required if anxiety is not to spread.
Oh, and according to the NHS, it is Dr Amgad El Hawrani nor Amged, as every single mainstream newspaper’s website reported it as:
Such are the facts…
British police in Derbyshire remain a few steps behind their Hong Kong counterparts in the rush to curtail civil liberties and hard-won freedoms as humanity faces Covid-19.
A tweet from Hong Kong’s finest tells citizens that sedition will not be tolerated. You will closed down should you be found guilty of “seditious intention”. Free thought or ideas will be not be tolerated.
Let’s be vigilant and not let the State use the coronavirus horror to stymie the people.
This May 16, a crescent moon beneath Venus And Jupiter will form a smiley face in the sky. The occultation, says ABS-CBN News, will only be visible from the USA and Canada.
As Donald Trump outdoes god by bringing not one man back from the dead but the entire country – making the divine’s Good Friday into Trump’s Great Friday – Hilary Clinton, the politician he beat to become President uses the coronavirus for her own ends. She tweets: “He did promise ‘America First’.” The US now “leads the world in Coronavirus cases”, says the New York Times. People are ill, anxious and dying. Clinton snipes and tries to score cheap points. Trump v Clinton really was the nadir in US politics.
When Chloe Middleton died, the Guardian described her as “the UK’s youngest coronavirus victim”. Well, not quite, because the the paper added: “her family believe.” The paper today says the young woman’s death “has not been recorded in the official toll because of confusion about how she died, the Guardian can reveal.” Last week, Chloe Middleton suffered a heart attack. Soon after her arrival at Sough’s Wexham Park hospital she was pronounced dead. Having been told Miss Middleton had a cough, a coroner suggested her death was related to coronavirus Covid-19. But the hospital says that is wrong. She had not rested positive for the virus.
An NHS source is quoted. “They [her family] have been given the information officially from the coroner that this is [a] Covid death. And that’s their understanding of it.”
Reporting was dire. The BBC was quick off the mark. A young woman, a private individual who died far too young, became evidence of something to worry all younger people. The BBC notes in its story: “There have been concerns that younger people were ignoring warnings over its spread, believing the contagion was only a danger to the elderly.” They’re worried. So facts matter. The Times added:
Her shattered parents made a note about their loss on Facebook. Media read it and reported it. This was in The Times:
The death of Chloe Middleton, a healthy 21-year-old, prompted her mother to warn that the illness was not something that young people could shrug off.
Diane Middleton wrote on Facebook: “To all the people out there that think it’s just a virus, please think again. [I am] speaking from a personal experience — this so-called virus has taken the life of my daughter.”
Miss Middleton is thought to have died on March 19 and is the youngest victim of the virus in Britain to be named.
The family had heard the mis-diagnosis from the coroner and understandably took it as true. They wanted to prevent more deaths and suffering. The media didn’t bother to check. Chloe’s Middleton’s mother wrote on Facebook:
“To all the people out there that think it’s just a virus, please think again. [I am] speaking from a personal experience — this so-called virus has taken the life of my daughter.”
No fact checking. And once one big news organ says it’s a fact, the others pile in:
Often, we do not know we are ill until we get pain, trauma and the resultant diagnosis. For media to react with such haste and disregard for facts is lamentable. That they did so in the tragic story of a young woman and a devastated family reeling from her loss is hideous.
People are dying from coronavirus but facts do not tell us how many die because of the virus or with the virus. Circumspection is required if the media is worth a damn.
Derbyshire Police have published footage from their drone cam of people walking their dogs and hiking in the Peak District.
As Derbyshire Police shame people for exercising and not breaking the law miles from urban areas, we wonder if they’ve seen footage (aka: TV news) of life in London, where people are still riding the Tube (message to Derbyshire’s brain’s trust police: it’s a train system that runs underground; yeah – for real!).
Stop Press: Derbyshire police guidance:
Members of the public should only leave their homes for the following reasons:
shopping for basic necessities
for one form of exercise a day
for any medical need
to travel to and from work when “absolutely necessary”
List of approved exercises on application but are thought to include: flying drones, chasing wrong ‘uns and staring at people.
Hashtags, candlelit vigils and songs cannot defeat Coronavirus. We need to do more. So join the March To Stop The Spread this April 1. Join thousands of activists in cities across the world and harness the power of other grassroots movements like Stop The War, #bringbackourgirls and Bollocks To Brexit. Standing shoulder to shoulder we can beat it.
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