Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Crunching the covid-19 numbers

by Frank Schnittger Tue Apr 7th, 2020 at 10:18:47 PM EST


The data above for the 30 countries with most deaths is taken from RealClearPolitics at c. 21.00hrs GMT on 7/4/2020. For the first time, Realclearpolitics has added an additional column for the number of tests carried out. I have added three additional calculated columns- % positive tests, tests per million population, and population to identify how intensively each country is testing for Covid-19. Some of the numbers are surprising...


Since the start of the pandemic, different countries have pursued different testing strategies. Some tested only on admission to hospital. Some included testing of symptomatic health care professionals (although the UK originally had a quota of testing only 15% of symptomatic health care professionals, and I personally know a UK mid-wife who was symptomatic but never tested). Some tested widely in the community. Others attempted to test widely but had difficulty sourcing enough test kits and reagents for analysis.

Some followed up positive tests with contact tracing and others did not. Because of delays in testing and getting back test results Ireland did contact tracing on symptomatic cases even before a positive or negative result had been returned. Some countries didn't even test those that had died outside hospital, meaning that their deaths weren't necessarily recorded as Covid-19 related. Some countries didn't count deaths outside of hospital even if the deceased had tested positive. The deaths column in the table needs to be treated with some caution, therefore. Not all the figures are directly comparable.

The issue of testing and contact tracing became controversial in Ireland because of differences in the approach being taken between the UK (including Northern Ireland) and Ireland. Ireland went for the full WHO recommendation of testing and contact tracing as much as possible (constrained only by the availability of test kits and reagent for analysis) while the UK initially only tested on hospital admission and 15% of symptomatic health care staff and made no attempt at contact tracing.

While testing in the GB and N. Ireland has caught up somewhat since, it is still less than half the Irish rate - 4011 per Million population vs. 8754 per million. Deaths in the UK have also been over double the Irish rate, 92.6 per million vs. 43.3 per million population. As a result there is a danger that even if Ireland succeeds in suppressing the pandemic, reinfections could recur on an ongoing basis via |N. Ireland. There is not a lot of point in one country pursuing a very active suppression strategy, if your nearest neighbours don't...

Hence my letters to the editor published by of the Irish Independent and Belfast Telegraph to the effect that whereas N. Ireland in the person of Ian Paisley had pushed for an all-Ireland quarantine zone during the 2001 bovine foot and mouth disease epidemic, they didn't appear to be prepared to return the favour to the people of Ireland threatened by the higher rates of infection in the UK.

Thankfully the Chief Medical Officers of Ireland and Northern Ireland (and their respective administrations) have now agreed a Memorandum of understanding whereby their respective Covid-10 mitigation strategies will be subject to "greater cooperation" in the future. That agreement is not legally binding however, and comes a little late in the day. Nevertheless it is to be hoped that the issue will become less politicised in the future, especially when it comes to mooted tests on all travellers entering the island.

The larger issues stands however between other near neighbours in Europe. Germany and the Netherlands have similar overall death numbers despite having massively different populations. Germany has conducted 11075 tests per million population whereas the Netherlands has conducted only 5025. France, with a more than 6 times higher death rate that Germany, has conducted only 3348 tests per million. What is the point of Germany pursuing a massively greater testing regime if it could be subject to ongoing re-infections introduced via their neighbours once travel restrictions are lifted?

I will leave it to readers here to point out many other anomalies in the table above in the comments below, but two overall points need to be made:

  1. Countries which have followed the WHO mandated policy of widespread testing and contact tracing have been more successful in suppressing the pandemic. Although the findings are controversial, a University of Washington study has projected that the pandemic will cost 150,000 lives in Europe during the first wave of the pandemic, with 66,000 lives to be lost in the UK, 19,000 in Spain, 20,000 in Italy, 15,000 in France, and only 400 in Ireland. These are not trivial differences.

  2. We need to learn from what worked and didn't work in this pandemic and ensure there is a more coordinated response within the EU, and hopefully on the whole island of Ireland, in the future. EU member states badly need a centralised and harmonised EU public health policy and response capability so that future pandemics can be suppressed more effectively and consistently throughout the Union. Viruses do not respect borders. Public Health care, or at least pandemic avoidance and control must become an EU competency.

Display:
Trump threatens to withhold funds from `China-centric' WHO. No doubt that will play well with his base as they self-medicate with bleach and Chloroquine on Presidential advice...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 12:19:49 PM EST
It is worth bearing in mind that a test should not be required to ensure correct clinical treatment of a patient - which should be on the basis of clinical symptoms presenting at the time. The chief value of comprehensive testing is to assist in capacity planning, epidemiological research and contact tracing.

So if you are not going to bother with contact tracing - either because you are committed to the herd immunity approach or because you believe Covid-19 is rampant throughout the community in any case, tests become of somewhat academic value.

Some hospitals discourage staff testing as they know they will lose any staff testing positive for at least two weeks and thus may lose the capacity to operate at full capacity. The fact that this facilitates staff to staff and staff to patient transmission appears to be a secondary consideration - ppe (personal protective equipment) is never perfect and neither is adherence to the procedures required to robe and disrobe safely.

In Ireland the chief vectors of transmission appear to be hospitals and nursing homes with social distancing succeeding in reducing the numbers of new clusters elsewhere. So the advice is to avoid hospitalisation if at all possible, and don't get too old to look after yourself!

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 12:40:22 PM EST
Different morbidities can have similar symptoms but require very different treatments.

Treating symptoms is first aid. Often it helps. But if you don't understand the underlying condition you're going to miss treatment opportunities at best, while at worst you're in danger of making lethal mistakes.

CV-19 is different because there's no reliable treatment for now, so the only medical option is intensive first aid. But test/trace is still very, very important for controlling the spread.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 02:54:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Technically Covid-19 falls under the Bio-Hazard 4 protocols and hospital staff should be wearing full internal containment/barrier suits.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 11:37:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US is showing how difficult it is to run a centralized and harmonized public health policy in a federal system, and the EU is not even that centralized.
by asdf on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 02:27:49 PM EST
Especially if you have a mad administration and a disbanded pandemic national security team...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 02:50:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Don't you understand pandemic administration costs money?

Why are we trying to increase the burden on taxpayers with these wasteful and bureaucratic government handout programs?

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 02:56:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MUST CRUSH SOSHULIZM!!!!!
by rifek on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 03:41:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
To protect the wealth of the one percent.
by StillInTheWilderness on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 02:19:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
< waving> < wipes tears > < revisions >


U.S. coronavirus death projection lowered but official warns of 'second wave'

CENSUS2020 is going to be GREAT!!1!

by Cat on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 04:51:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
an inordinate number of authors, fractional persons, sampling error disclaimers

Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, "Hospitalization Rates and Characteristics of Patients Hospitalized with Laboratory-Confirmed Coronavirus Disease 2019 -- COVID-NET, 14 States, March 1-30, 2020," Early Release / April 8, 2020 / 69

< pick teeth, suck vigorously >

COVIDView: A Weekly Surveillance Summary of U.S. COVID-19 Activity, illustrated

kind of FluView-ish

by Cat on Thu Apr 9th, 2020 at 04:36:30 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Germany has a federal system too. And responsible for health are the states. That´s why we had different restrictions in different states in the beginning. By now they have managed to harmonize the rules.

On the other hand the de-centralized competencies perhaps helped the survival of more testing laboratories? And a few more people closer to the ground? They are partly state and partly district/county (?) responsibility.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 03:33:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]

"academic" ahh leadership

by Cat on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 03:37:50 PM EST
Now he's got six months to convert his enthusiastic supporters to, at least, Biden voters. Last time around he was sorely deficient in this area.
by asdf on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 05:45:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't see how the Dems won't get a lot fewer than last time and Sander's ability to sheepdog his supporters back into the fold is also strongly diminished. Let's see if those moderate anti Trump Republicans really exist.
by generic on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 06:28:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US electorate has a much better understanding of what a Trump presidency entails now than they did in November, 2016. Rachael Bitcofer is predicting that Trump will lose and that the Democrats will start election night with more than 270 sure votes before the polls close. Hope she is right. She predicted a large turnout.

A poll now shows Biden beating Trump in Florida. If Trump loses Florida it is virtually game over/landslide for the Democrats. But, of course, with Biden as POTUS we cannot expect too much change, regardless of what the electorate wants.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 06:56:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Honestly, I have to retract my earlier statement. Without the pandemic I would bet on a second Trump term without hesitation, but I don't think anyone can predict how this will turn out. As I wrote earlier, bungled catastrophes tend to work out OK for the incumbent in the good old USA and being a demented racist hasn't stopped anyone from getting a second term yet. So good news for Joe if he makes it. On the other hand, most of those catastrophes have been some mixture of fake and extremely localized and the only thing that didn't happen exclusively on the TV for most people, the Greta Recession, lead to a change of the guard.
by generic on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 07:14:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why is that Sanders' responsibility? Clinton didn't lift a finger (except the middle digit) to win over Sanders voters. If Biden can only offer being less insane than Trump he's not going to generate much enthusiasm.
by Andhakari on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 07:15:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bernie did what he could and Hillary and the DLC whiffed it.

Fact: not all Bernie supporters will vote for Biden.  That's just reality.  GOP knows this and will use it in a propaganda campaign to split off the more Left Wing/Progressive.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 11:40:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Never Biden. Republican in Dem clothing. and senile to boot!
by StillInTheWilderness on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 02:21:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Seriously?

I still don´t understand why CLinton thought it was a good idea to make paid speeches to Wallstreet banks after the financial crash.

by Detlef (Detlef1961_at_yahoo_dot_de) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 03:36:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
She wanted the money and didn't think her speeches would become public.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 04:06:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think there was anything damning in the content of those speeches. It was the fact that she got so much money for those platitudes that was the problem. You're suppose to deliver what Wall Street wants, and then get paid after leaving office, like Obama did. Clinton didn't seem to understand how corruption works.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 04:09:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 11:25:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A tale of two countries:

UK:

France:

Deaths in hospital UK: 7,097 (+938)
Deaths in hospital FR: 7,632 (+562)

Is is - sadly - not hard to predict that the number of C-19 deaths in the UK will exceed the numbers in France by tomorrow, and the gap will keep widening.

As noted, the numbers presented by J.Salomon do not include nursing homes; as of yesterday night, Tuesday 7, the number of deaths in nursing homes stood at 3,237 .

Are there any figures for nursing homes deaths in the UK?

by Bernard on Wed Apr 8th, 2020 at 07:00:33 PM EST
Numbers again, in France, as of 9 April:

Deaths in hospital: 8,044 (+412 in the last 24 hours)

Deaths in nursing homes: 4,166 since March 1st (+929 since the last incomplete count earlier this week)

Total deaths since the outbreak: 12,210

7,066 patients in ICU nationwide, 82 less  than yesterday, the first time this figure has ever decreased since the outbreak. At the beginning of the year, there were about 5,000 ICU beds in France; the capacity has been doubled to about 10,000.

by Bernard on Thu Apr 9th, 2020 at 07:56:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The French figures look bad at the moment because they are retrospectively adding in nursing home deaths much later than when they actually occurred.

As far as I know the UK figures still only include hospital deaths which means their situation is much worse than it appears from the figures.

So when will both countries include deaths in the community, and to what extent are deaths being excluded because no test was ever performed?

I think it will be some time before we get accurate counts for most countries, and then only by inference from a much higher than usual total death count in the population.

Already I see quite a few right wing commentators saying its only people in the 70+ age range who are dying, and they would have died sooner rather than later in any case.

Some are arguing that the shut down is crazy because people die in huge numbers all the time, and this is only a bump on that road. It's almost as if they regard this as a necessary cull of expensive to maintain and unproductive elderly people.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 9th, 2020 at 08:16:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Numbers for April 10 in France:

Deaths in hospital:  8,598 (+554 in the last 24 hours)

Deaths in nursing homes: 4,599 since March 1st (+433 in the last 24 hours)

Total deaths since the outbreak: 13,197

7,004 patients in ICU nationwide, the second day in a row that this figure is decreasing, which might be a sign, if a faint one, that the pressure on the health care system is slowly starting to ease.

The number of cases and ICU patients is much lower than the national average in the regions on the Atlantic seaboard, from Brittany to the Basque country. This prompted again a transfer of 48 ICU patients from the Paris region to the southwest towns of Bordeaux, La Rochelle, Poitiers etc.. using the famous "high-speed hospitals", TGV high-speed trains repurposed into high capacity ambulances.

Meanwhile in the UK:

Deaths in hospital: 8,958 (+980 in the last 24 hours)
No figures for care homes.

by Bernard on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 08:37:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
From my diary - Healthiest Generation Under Attack

Beyond the official RIVM death count, the real numbers more than doubles this false representation. Not causing fear... or saving a$$. Rutte & Co.

Mortality in NL Continuous to Rise | NL Times |

My earlier post ...

Lying Liars: Rutte, BoJo, Trump

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 08:53:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Ireland 54% of all deaths are in care homes, median age 80+, so we can only conclude that the real UK figures are at least double the official hospital death count, and even then only include those confirmed by a test to have died from the Corona Virus. It is a national scandal that they still continue with this undercount as the official figure. Don't people dying in nursing homes count for anything?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 11:45:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
For many years now a generational separation and conflict has been brewing ... with austerity measures after the financial crisis and the large inequality causing real income for the masses to fall behind. Politicians and even in tv commercials there was an underlying message of blame and envy of the older generation who were better positioned in pensions and sometimes in welfare from the state.

This I found to be emblematic, a letter to a Dutch newspaper in the hard hit South of Holland recently .... it loosened many tongues.

"Houdoe Mien, I'll be there shortly": the loss of hundreds of grandpas and grandmas | AD.nl |

    Opinion: Jacqueline Klaassen from Etten-Leur sent us a letter in response to the article about the couple Mien and Henk Van Lith who died from the consequences of the corona virus. Her letter sparked a storm of reactions. Ranging from indignation to readers who agree with her. We have collected all letters from the past week.

    Jacqueline's letter

    Children are more important
    "Goodbye Dad, Goodbye Mom, Goodbye Granddad, Goodbye Grandma."  Nice story though. But shall we stop pretending this is a terrible drama? Actually nice, isn't it? If you may go together at that age, after a relatively short illness? Rather write about all those children who are currently lagging behind in school, who are in potentially dangerous home situations, who are not getting enough exercise. About all people who cannot be treated in hospitals now. Or entrepreneurs who break down. I am very concerned. The remedy is many times worse than the disease. What if we don't build resistance to the possibly much worse second wave by sitting inside? What if that wave does hit our children? The schools are only closed due to social pressure. Where is the much needed counterweight? We sacrifice the future of our children for a large group that barely had a future.

* Houdoe is a local expression - meaning from Wikipedia.

Trump: 'We Can't Have the Cure Be Worse Than the Problem'
The Longhorn State - Bigger Than Trump's New York

Of course in The Netherlands the numbers of lives lost add up into the thousands, elderly dying in anguish with no medical staff like St. Thomas in London. St. Thomas the doubter. The grandmas and grandpas dying in loneliness, separated from their loved ones.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 03:12:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Longevity impact of Covid-19 on pension schemes and annuities

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 08:07:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am conflicted on this issue. In the 1960's and 1970's we had the counter culture which cast the younger generation against their parents. It was driven my resentment against the austerity of the 1950's, the Vietnam war, racism, civil rights, anti-Apartheid, anti-militarism and led to pacifism, flower power, recreational drugs and a cultural explosion in pop and rock music and many other art forms.

On the whole it was a very positive experience, but it also led to familial splits, estrangements, a social distancing were some parents/older people were identified with the enemy. They has come through an entirely different set of experiences - the Great depression, WWII, the holocaust, rationing - which had shaped their generation in a very different way.

I don't sense as much of an inter-generational divide this time around. There may be the occasional raves and youth protest parties like Podemos, but no international counter-culture like the last time around.  And this is despite this being possibly the first generation, in a long while, which may be poorer than their parents.

I'm not even sure about that latter point. Certainly inequality has been rising, encouraged by neo-liberal globalisation, privatisation and austerity, and most wealth is in the hands of the elderly. But younger people now take for granted what we couldn't even dream of - their own cars, smart phones, the internet, home entertainment systems and eating/drinking out regularly in a wide variety of cuisines when the chip shop was the height of our aspirations or affordability and a cheap Chinese meal was the height of exotica.

But overall I am driven my a sense that inter-generational relationships are better than they used to be, with older people more prepared to adapt, and younger people more prepared to make allowances. Maybe I am just very fortunate in that regard and the dominant experiences in other societies may be different.

Certainly I am struck by what seems to be a fracturing, atomisation, alienation, commodification, and distancing of relationships particularly in the USA, and perhaps being nationalist movements in Europe - to a degree even technology can't ameliorate. Trump seems to me to be leading a protest of the privileged and ageing against the diminution of their powers.

But I'm not sure. Your views are welcome...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 08:36:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
"Trump seems to me to be leading a protest  ..."

I will reply in full in a bit, but this really stung me.

Trump is not leading in anything, but was carried into the presidency and White House by a group op billionairs especially Robert Mercer with Steve Bannon, Breitbarth, SLC Group from UK, subsidiary Cambridge Analytics and Zuckerberg's Facebook. Trump is a AAA Class puppet of his masters. Do think of influence Adelson, Jared Kushner and the Jewish Nation led by Netanyahu.

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 11:00:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Numbers for April 11 in France:

Deaths in hospital:  8,951 (+353 in the last 24 hours)

Deaths in nursing homes: 4,889 since March 1st (+290 in the last 24 hours)

Total deaths (hospitals + nursing homes) since the outbreak: 13,840

6,883 patients in ICU nationwide (7004 yesterday), still decreasing for the third day in a row. "Flattening the curve" actually means that the "peak" is looking more like a plateau ("a high plateau" said a Health Ministry official).

In the UK:

Deaths in hospital: 9,875 (+917 in the last 24 hours)
No figures for care homes.

by Bernard on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 08:34:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, Trumpian ideas have reached the Dutch community and the National press is helping by broadcasting the idiotic speeches of Trump at the White House while downdressing the independent reporters. "You asked a nasty question ... you are from the Fake media, I win't give you an answer."

Translation: "The dry wood is cut down, perhaps a few months earlier than without a virus. Does anyone still in the prime of life have to sacrifice everything for that?"

As I commented earlier ... there is a strong undercurrent of a generational gap. Young people belief their income is insufficient to live happily and pension costs are eating up the government budget.

Demographics of the Baby Boomers ... building an economy of wealth ... who profited?

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Thu Apr 16th, 2020 at 07:37:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Timeline of all these issues varies, sometimes they intersect ...

"resentment against the austerity of the 1950's"

I grew up in the 1950s in Holland, a devastated country after WWII, rebuilding housing, industry of Rotterdam and manufacturing from Philips. Our family had nothing to spend, lived in poverty but there was no room for resentment. As kids we had a lot of fun, but no toys to play with or for intellectual development. Remember the 1953 storm and floods quite well. In 1957 my parents emigrated to the U.S.

Family: What do you mean, the good old days?

Austerity addicts: why is 1940s nostalgia all the rage?

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 08:33:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
After the victory over Germany, the allied nations participated in the Marshall Plan.

Living for five years under Nazi occupation, terror, torture, executions ... citizens of the Western nations wanted CHANGE. Roosevelt and Truman wanted colonialism to cease and urged the empire nations to set the colonies free. A major economic jolt to Europe at the time. The riches were pilfered for centuries from overseas territory.

The African Americans fought for their country and died. By returning, it was a matter of some years and they too wanted to be free as the white man. The great losses during the Vietnam War added further urgency. The Black men died, the White privileged studied in the university and got deferments.

Racism is the history of Slavery, Civil War and Ku Klux Klan

Civil Rights movement is about leadership of MLK and Black Power activism. The FBI countered and put the label of Communism on the movements.

How the Black Power Movement Influenced the Civil Rights Movement

Kicked Out of Olympics in 1968 for Racial Protest, Sprinters Smith and Carlos Now Going to Hall of Fame

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 08:53:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In the 1960s, there was a culmination of multiple events. After WWII, there is always an economic slowdown. The women who filled the jobs in the war industry as the men fought in the Pacific and overseas in North Africa and Europe, the elements of women power was set in stone. Barry Goldwater and the Conservative movement was a great failure in 1964. However, as the liberal and progressive movements took root in the 60s and 70s, the seeds of right-wing extremism were cultivated and bloomed during the Reagan Years and thereafter. A perfect counterrevolution and the American Catholic Church was a major stakeholder ... so very sad and a root cause of self-destruction.

So the South American countries, its people suffered from fascism ruled by US installed dictators. Death, torture, executions ... even missionaries belonging to progressive, social views to support a oppressed people. German boots of fascism worn by "educators" from the U.S. Army School of the Americas.

On Flower Power .. a countercultural movement:

'Homo Sovieticus' | The Economist - Nov. 2019 |

Some movements are quite universal and reached beyond Iron Curtains of Soviet dictatorship. Kennedy's Cultural Exchange and the power of music, American Rock & Roll ...

How the U.S. Used Jazz as a Cold War Secret Weapon | TIME |
A Brief History of Soviet Rock and Roll | The Atlantic |

Missing Reality ...

Shaping a New America : Flower Power

Like the UTOPIAN SOCIETIES of the 1840s, over 2000 rural communes formed during these turbulent times. Completely rejecting the capitalist system, many communes rotated duties, made their own laws, and elected their own leaders. Some were philosophically based, but others were influenced by new religions. Earth-centered religions, astrological beliefs, and Eastern faiths proliferated across American campuses. Some scholars labeled this trend as the THIRD GREAT AWAKENING.
Most communes, however, faced fates similar to their 19th century forebears. A charismatic leader would leave or the funds would become exhausted, and the commune would gradually dissolve.

One lasting change from the countercultural movement was in American diet. Health food stores sold wheat germ, yogurt, and granola, products completely foreign to the 1950s America.



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:20:26 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Last two topics follow tomorrow ... take care of your health and loved ones.

On a personal note ...

For all faiths, the Easter message is important beyond belief  

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:25:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The Paris riots of May 1968: How the frustrations of youth brought France to the brink of revolution | The Independent |

The French always celebrate 1 May with a few riots. They did so this year with added piquancy because it was the 50th anniversary of the famous "Mai 68" when, in the Latin Quarter of Paris, the Left Bank, the whole month was devoted to riotous assembly led by students. In contemplating these events, I recall Wordsworth's often quoted phrase: "Bliss it was in that dawn to be alive" - unless, of course, you were struck by a cobblestone hurled by a student demonstrator or soaked and knocked off balance by a police water cannon.

Presumably those who were demonstrating in Paris last Tuesday have now resumed their normal lives. The point about May 1968, however, is that they didn't go back to college or to work the next day, they carried on, some of them for the whole month. Why was that? After all, economic growth had been unusually strong, the country was calm, both politically and socially, inflation was weak, living standards had been rising and there was little unemployment.

Was it in a way a very 1960s thing? That question is prompted by a French historian of the period, Éric Alary, who observes that "May 68 is seen as a period when audacious moves seemed possible and during which society profoundly changed". For that is an accurate description of the nature of the 1960s, whether in Western Europe or in North America.

...
The intellectual gods of these 1960s students were Marx, Freud and Sartre, the French existentialist philosopher. In a famous passage, Sartre wrote that "God does not exist, and as a result man is forlorn, because neither within himself nor without does he find anything to cling to".

This struck home. For as Bob Dylan sang in 1965 - "How does it feel/How does it feel/To be on your own/With no direction home/Like a complete unknown/Like a rolling stone?"

1968 Paris student riots Europe, Amsterdam - Berlin; USA Berkeley
British Pathé : 1968 Student Protests

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 09:26:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Contemporary ...

Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone - the lyrics

    Once upon a time you dressed so fine
    You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didn't you?
    People'd call, say, "Beware doll, you're bound to fall"
    You thought they were all kiddin' you
    You used to laugh about
    Everybody that was hangin' out
    Now you don't talk so loud
    Now you don't seem so proud
    About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be without a home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    You've gone to the finest school all right, Miss Lonely
    But you know you only used to get juiced in it
    And nobody has ever taught you how to live on the street
    And now you find out you're gonna have to get used to it
    You said you'd never compromise
    With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
    He's not selling any alibis
    As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
    And ask him do you want to make a deal?

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    You never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns
    When they all come down and did tricks for you
    You never understood that it ain't no good
    You shouldn't let other people get your kicks for you
    You used to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat
    Who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat
    Ain't it hard when you discover that
    He really wasn't where it's at
    After he took from you everything he could steal.

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

    Princess on the steeple and all the pretty people
    They're drinkin', thinkin' that they got it made
    Exchanging all kinds of precious gifts and things
    But you'd better lift your diamond ring, you'd better pawn it babe
    You used to be so amused
    At Napoleon in rags and the language that he used
    Go to him now, he calls you, you can't refuse
    When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose
    You're invisible now, you got no secrets to conceal.

    How does it feel
    How does it feel
    To be on your own
    With no direction home
    Like a complete unknown
    Like a rolling stone?

Speaking of a "domino effect", not in SE Asia, but in the western world as the youth took to power and demanded more democracy in institutions!

Nixon Loses Face: The Kent State deadly shooting - May 4th, 1970

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 09:35:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Hague Carnegie Institute: Women and Peace

An exhibition about Bertha von Suttner, Aletta Jacobs and other women who have played a role in the (international) peace movement.

At the end of the 19th century, Bertha von Suttner was part of the international peace movement that pioneered the Peace Palace. Attention is also paid to women and Hague women from the Women's Peace Movement (1890-1920) and the Dutch Peace Movement.

See also my entry @BooMan ...

Women's Suffrage Archive Film Clip 1915

    Laura) Jane Addams (September 6, 1860-May 21, 1935) won worldwide recognition in the first third of the twentieth century as a pioneer social worker in America, as a feminist, and as an internationalist. She was born in Cedarville, Illinois, the eighth of nine children. Her father was a prosperous miller and local political leader who served for sixteen years as a state senator and fought as an officer in the Civil War; he was a friend of Abraham Lincoln whose letters to him began «My Dear Double D-'ed Addams».

    Miss Jane Addams of Chicago leads party of 39 women to attend peace meeting in The Hague



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 11:07:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Rocking Against the Right: Political Activism and Popular Music in West Germany, 1979-1980

In the 1970s there were many progressive think tanks on issues to advance peace in the world. In past decades, even renowned institutions changed to right-wing strongholds in promoting "self-defense" and complying with the Industrial-Military Complex led by the United States and its multi-billion weapons corporations who need profits to survive. The Fall of the Berlin Wall put the military industry at a cross-roads. Osama Bin Laden saved their a$$es. May the Saudi monarchy and Crown Prince Salman burn in hell till eternity! NATO needs to be cut back drastically! Mea Culpa by former NATO Head Jaap De Hoop Scheffer many years too late ...

Dutch Institute Clingendael was a founded in 1983 and its first director was Henk Neuman. A respectable person I was acquainted with. It was truly an think tank focused on promotion of peace in the world. In 1990 it changed when Joris Voorhoeve took over the reigns and funding came from the Dutch Government Foreign Affairs and Defence. Before the merger, Neuman was director of Netherlands Institute for Questions of Peace (NIVV).

US Foreign Policy from Crisis to Crisis
New American Century - A Balance of ME Failure

Related reading ...

Whatever Happened to Peace? Arms, Oil and War by Proxy  



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 11:16:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Once you're dead, you're pretty much irrelevant. If you are in a nursing home, you're pretty much next to dead.
Another unadvertised effect of neoliberalism: if ya ain't producing for the machine, ya may as well be dead.
by Andhakari on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 05:59:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Covid-19: keep your distance over Easter
A chara, - A university of Washington study has estimated that Covid-19 will cost 150,000 lives in Europe during the first wave of the pandemic, with 66,000 lives to be lost in the UK, 19,000 in Spain, 20,000 in Italy, 15,000 in France, and only 400 in Ireland based on the patterns of infection and fatality to date (Home News, Paul Cullen, April 8th).

I am aware that NPHET officials in Ireland have criticised the research as being unreliable, but it makes for sobering reading even if it is only half way accurate.

Two conclusions seem obvious: First, countries such as Ireland and Germany that have followed the WHO mandated policy of early implementation of social distancing rules and widespread testing and contact tracing have been more successful in suppressing the pandemic. We need to learn from what worked and didn't work in this pandemic and ensure there is a more co-ordinated response within the EU, and hopefully on the whole island of Ireland, in the future.

Second, EU member-states badly need a more centralised and harmonised EU public health policy and response capability so that future pandemics can be suppressed more effectively and consistently throughout the union. Viruses do not respect borders. Public health care, or at least pandemic avoidance and control, complete with the maintenance of strategic reserve stocks of key medicines and equipment, must become an EU competency. - Yours, etc,

FRANK SCHNITTGER,



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 9th, 2020 at 10:31:34 AM EST
Yer sounding like a federalist...
by asdf on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 02:31:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Is that a dirty word in the US right now?

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 05:23:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is in some quarters. But I was thinking of the EU version, where a strong central government is not yet part of the picture. My understanding is that there were a couple of big things that happened in US history that pushed us towards a strong central government.

First, before the current federal system, we had a confederation of strong state governments. Poor cooperation led to the change to the federal system.

Second, the federal government was still not very powerful until it was allowed to collect income tax in 1909. Since then the power of the states has been eroded despite the complaints of the "states' rights" crowd.

It seems to me that the EU is more like a confederation than a US-style federation.

by asdf on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 05:54:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Absolutely, and any further "transfer of sovereignty" from members to EU institutions requires a new Treaty, to be ratified by all - a most unlikely event in the current climate. Some limited further transfer may happen by "institutional creep" but nothing fundamental. That is why I suggested greater public health (or at least pandemic prevention and management) as possible less controversial area for further integration. There is already a European Medicines agency which coordinates certification of medicines. This could be extended to centralised procurement and distribution of strategic stocks of vaccines, medicines and equipment.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 08:47:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Faulty tests, red tape let coronavirus spread quietly for weeks in Washington, experts say | Seattle Times - March 3, 2020 |

Coronavirus Testing Delays Caused by Red Tape, Bureaucracy and Scorn for Private Companies | CATO |

Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.

by Oui on Thu Apr 9th, 2020 at 08:55:58 PM EST
Why the Wealthy Fear Pandemics - Walter Scheidel - NYT
The coronavirus, like other plagues before it, could shift the balance between rich and poor.

... The wealthy found some of these changes alarming. In the words of an anonymous English chronicler, "Such a shortage of laborers ensued that the humble turned up their noses at employment, and could scarcely be persuaded to serve the eminent for triple wages."

... But as successive waves of plague shrunk the work force, hired hands and tenants "took no notice of the king's command," ... "If anyone wanted to hire them he had to submit to their demands, for either his fruit and standing corn would be lost or he had to pander to the arrogance and greed of the workers."

... This altered the long-term economic outcomes for the entire region: Free labor and thriving cities drove modernization in western Europe, but in the eastern periphery, development fell behind.

... None of these stories had a happy ending for the masses. When population numbers recovered after the plague ... wages slid downward and elites were firmly back in control. Colonial Latin America went on to produce some of the most extreme inequalities on record. In most European societies, disparities in income and wealth rose for four centuries all the way up to the eve of World War I.

... The current crisis could prompt redistributive reforms akin to those triggered by the Great Depression and World War II, unless entrenched interests prove too powerful to overcome.

Steve Bannon reportedly dreams of white-nationalist, economic populism finally coming to fruition. But then again he dreamed of Republicans investing trillions in infrastructure and cementing their rule for 50 years. Godspeed America this is your last chance before descending into banana republic status.

Schengen is toast!
by epochepoque on Thu Apr 9th, 2020 at 09:46:10 PM EST
The plagues had another major impact. It gradually became clear that the petulance was spread by poor housing, sanitation, hygiene, and polluted water. But no one was safe from contagion, and so the health of the wealthy was dependent on the health of the general populace.

So there were massive structural reforms - sewers, clean water supplies, and medical advances based on science rather than superstition. These had to be made available to all to benefit the few. "Herd immunity" is only achieved if the vast majority are immunised. Health care was understood as a communal good.

But in more recent times, and especially in the USA, healthcare has come to be seen as a private good to be bought by those who can afford it - either directly or through insurance. Public healthcare, sanitation and clean water has been systematically defunded. The lack of adequate sick pay or social welfare forces the sick to go to work and spread contagion.

The rich will have to learn, all over again, that healthcare is a communal good. Your health is not safe unless every-ones health is safeguarded, and that requires good public healthcare and social welfare systems. Welcome to the late middle ages...

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Thu Apr 9th, 2020 at 10:11:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Too late!
by StillInTheWilderness on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 02:27:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]

Coronavirus rips through Navajo nation as officials scramble to respond

Largest Native American reservation in the US is facing an alarming spike in deaths


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 12:19:42 AM EST
Yeah, the Nations are going to be hit really, really, hard by the disease.

Not so much from the economic fallout.  They've been in a Depression since 1882 -- or there abouts.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 06:00:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A few of them bear some responsibility
The UFC is aiming to circumvent coronavirus lockdown restrictions by staging an event on an Indian reservation in California later this month, according to US media reports.

TheNew York Times reported that UFC chief Dana White planned to hold UFC 249 at the Tachi Palace Resort Casino in central California on April 18, sidestepping state guidelines that have brought sports to a standstill.

The casino -- which has been closed since March 20 because of the COVID-19 pandemic -- is on land belonging to the Tachi-Yokut Tribe.

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 06:08:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Maybe they'll invite just pale faces to attend...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 06:21:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ireland fiddles with government formation as world burns
Which images will linger in the mind when it's all over?

Donald Trump whipping up the MAGA crowds, dismissing the virus as a hoax perpetrated by the Democrats to unseat him, juxtaposed with refrigerated white lorries loaded with New Yorkers' bodies? The UK prime minister's enthusiastic endorsement of hand-shaking "continuously" amid No 10 discussions about "herd immunity"? Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro spreading such egregious misinformation that Twitter had to remove two of his tweets? Viktor Orban leading Hungary into dictatorship under cover of pandemic emergency measures? The video of a desperate Chinese doctor pleading to be heard alongside news of his death from the virus he tried to warn us about and the Chinese Communist Party's "solemn apology" to his family?

How much will we remember of this queasy sense of a deeply fragmented world, of market-obsessed, climate-denying, libertarian culture warriors taking the hilarious "stick it to the libtards/sheeple" line well beyond a joke? Will we remember EU leaders continuing to bicker uselessly over eurobonds - reviving the tiring old crash-era battle about pooling liability versus "negative incentives"? Argentina slipping into another technical default? Vultures circling over corpses on the streets of Guayaquil, the Ecuadorean gateway to the Galapagos? The despair of African health officials over the almost total absence of ventilators?



Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 12:54:33 AM EST
Raw data from:  here.

Snapshot of US Pandemic by the Numbers

Total Cases:  478,366

Total Resolved Cases: 44,090

Total Recovered: 26,163

Total Deaths:  17,927

Total Resolved Cases x Death Rate = 17,927

Death Rate: ~40.6% (rounded)

Check: 44,090 x 40.6% = 17,900 (close enough)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 06:02:19 PM EST
confirmed case fatality rate (the statistic normally quoted) is 3.75%. Compares to Italy and UK (worst in world) of 12%+ and German 2.2% (best among the high case number countries).

What this indicates is:

  1. The USA is still at an earlier stage in the pandemic, and
  2. Hospitals in most parts of the US (excepting NYC of course) have not yet been over-run and can still provide appropriate care.
  3. USA (after a slow start) has been testing more widely - not just hospital admissions - also confirmed by mid-range positive test % of 19% and mid-range 6260 tests per million pop.


Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 06:17:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]


Diversity is the key to economic and political evolution.
by Cat on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 07:20:40 PM EST
We had no choice. New cases and deaths have plateaued but there is no clear sign of the infection rate declining. Emergency departments are busy but generally not full and emergency extended capacity has not yet had to be used, but medics are still worried about a surge next week. Increasing numbers of medics are also sick or self isolating so the decision made itself, really. However for the first time there is some talk of a graduated return to "normality" from May onwards.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Fri Apr 10th, 2020 at 08:05:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What rates of hospitalization, fatalities, workload of medical caregivers, etc. are going to be the operational target for the next two years while a vaccine is, perhaps, developed and tested?
by asdf on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 02:35:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Technically speaking a disease causing virus having no vaccine is a Biolevel 4 Hazard.  In labs people working with the virus would be wearing full body containment suits.

Opening up in May only means another wave of infections and death.

BUT having people die is more/better than actually addressing a failure of Neo-liberal Capitalism.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 02:52:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Neo-Liberal Capitalism morphing into Neo-Fascist Capitalism.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 03:12:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Fascism is good for the 1%.

Until they piss-off The Leader.  Then it's up against the wall time.  As the German 1% discovered.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 07:30:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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