Amid such hard times, we’d like to briefly interrupt your daily news with a video showing adorable koalas being released back into the wild after being rescued from the fires in Australia. Enjoy! 🌱🐨💕 pic.twitter.com/38TJoriG9o
This interview with Kevin Lin explains how medical personnel in Wuhan, China sounded the alarm in late December as the coronavirus began to spread. After an initial period of denial and scapegoating, Chinese leaders took decisive actions to contain the virus, even as some of those actions produced unintended consequences. As Covid-19 deaths spike around the world, China faces a potential resurgence of the pandemic and a mounting ecomonic crisis that will test the Communist Party. And although civil society in mainland China and street protests in Hong Kong have been quashed, the crisis may open a path for labor, feminist, and democratic organizing to spread among the youth, even as nationalist tensions rise between the US and China.
Kevin Lin is an activist and researcher in the Chinese labor movement and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America’s International Committee. He is a contributor to Jacobin,Labor…
The scene where 80,000 N95 face masks were confiscated during an FBI raid at a warehouse in New Jersey. Christopher Sadowski
The scene where 80,000 N95 face masks were confiscated during an FBI raid at a warehouse in New Jersey. Christopher Sadowski
The scene where 80,000 N95 face masks were confiscated during an FBI raid at a warehouse in New Jersey. Christopher Sadowski
The scene where 80,000 N95 face masks were confiscated during an FBI raid at a warehouse in New Jersey. Christopher Sadowski
The scene where 80,000 N95 face masks were confiscated during an FBI raid at a warehouse in New Jersey. Christopher Sadowski
A Brooklyn man claiming to be infected with the coronavirus coughed on FBI agents who were investigating him for hoarding medical supplies, the US Attorney’s Office said Monday.
Baruch Feldheim, 43, is facing charges of assault and making false statements to the feds on Sunday outside his Borough Park home where he allegedly peddled and stored massive amounts of N95 respirator masks, federal officials said.
Feldheim is also accused of price-gouging. On March 18, he’s suspected of selling a New Jersey doctor about 1,000 of the masks for $12,000, a markup of roughly 700 percent, authorities said.
The accused fraudster also directed another doctor to an Irvington, NJ, auto repair shop to pick up another order. There, the doctor reported to investigators that Feldheim was allegedly hoarding enough medical supplies “to outfit an entire hospital.”
The materials included hand sanitizers, Clorox wipes, chemical cleaning agents and surgical supplies.
By last Monday, Feldheim was operating from his Brooklyn home, offering to push surgical gowns to a nurse, the feds said.
Two days later, the suspected hoarder received a gigantic shipment at his home of about eight pallets of face masks.
FBI agents then staked out his house, first noticing empty boxes of N95 masks outside.
On Sunday, they said they witnessed “multiple instances” of people approaching Feldheim’s residence and walking away with what appeared to be medical supplies.
The agents confronted Feldheim outside his house, keeping a safe social distance over coronavirus fears.
“When the agents were within four to five feet of him, Feldheim allegedly coughed in their direction without covering his mouth,” the US attorney’s release said. “At that point, Feldheim told the FBI agents that that he had the Coronavirus,” the statement said.
Feldheim then allegedly lied to FBI agents regarding his possession and sale of medical supplies.
He falsely told the agents that he worked for a company that bought and sold PPE and that he never took physical custody of the materials.
Following Feldheim’s arrest, the FBI on Monday night raided a warehouse on Pennsylvania Avenue in an industrial section of Linden, NJ, that housed Feldhim’s suspected stash of 80,000 masks, a source said.
Mask-wearing agents and other workers placed the eight pallets of medical supplies into a box truck.
The arrest comes after President Trump claimed that some medical supplies were being swiped from New York City hospitals, which Mayor Bill de Blasio dismissed as insulting.
The Comprehensive Timeline of China’s COVID-19 Lies | National Review By Jim Geraghty March 23, 2020 9:13 AM 16-21 minutes
On today’s menu: a day-by-day, month-by-month breakdown of China’s coronavirus coverup and the irreparable damage it has caused around the globe. The Timeline of a Viral Ticking Time Bomb The story of the coronavirus pandemic is still being written. But at this early date, we can see all kinds of moments where different decisions could have lessened the severity of the outbreak we are currently enduring. You have probably heard variations of: “Chinese authorities denied that the virus could be transferred from human to human until it was too late.”
What you have probably not heard is how emphatically, loudly, and repeatedly the Chinese government insisted human transmission was impossible, long after doctors in Wuhan had concluded human transmission was ongoing — and how the World Health Organization assented to that conclusion, despite the suspicions of other outside health experts. Clearly, the U.S. government’s response to this threat was not nearly robust enough, and not enacted anywhere near quickly enough. Most European governments weren’t prepared either. Few governments around the world were or are prepared for the scale of the danger. We can only wonder whether accurate and timely information from China would have altered the way the U.S. government, the American people, and the world prepared for the oncoming danger of infection.
Some point in late 2019: The coronavirus jumps from some animal species to a human being. The best guess at this point is that it happened at a Chinese “wet market.”
December 6: According to a study in The Lancet, the symptom onset date of the first patient identified was “Dec 1, 2019 . . . 5 days after illness onset, his wife, a 53-year-old woman who had no known history of exposure to the market, also presented with pneumonia and was hospitalized in the isolation ward.” In other words, as early as the second week of December, Wuhan doctors were finding cases that indicated the virus was spreading from one human to another.
December 21: Wuhan doctors begin to notice a “cluster of pneumonia cases with an unknown cause.” December 25: Chinese medical staff in two hospitals in Wuhan are suspected of contracting viral pneumonia and are quarantined. This is additional strong evidence of human-to-human transmission. Sometime in “Late December”: Wuhan hospitals notice “an exponential increase” in the number of cases that cannot be linked back to the Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market, according to the New England Journal of Medicine. December 30: Dr. Li Wenliang sent a message to a group of other doctors warning them about a possible outbreak of an illness that resembled severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), urging them to take protective measures against infection.
December 31: The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission declares, “The investigation so far has not found any obvious human-to-human transmission and no medical staff infection.” This is the opposite of the belief of the doctors working on patients in Wuhan, and two doctors were already suspected of contracting the virus. Three weeks after doctors first started noticing the cases, China contacts the World Health Organization. Tao Lina, a public-health expert and former official with Shanghai’s center for disease control and prevention, tells the South China Morning Post, “I think we are [now] quite capable of killing it in the beginning phase, given China’s disease control system, emergency handling capacity and clinical medicine support.”
January 1: The Wuhan Public Security Bureau issued summons to Dr. Li Wenliang, accusing him of “spreading rumors.” Two days later, at a police station, Dr. Li signed a statement acknowledging his “misdemeanor” and promising not to commit further “unlawful acts.” Seven other people are arrested on similar charges and their fate is unknown. Also that day, “after several batches of genome sequence results had been returned to hospitals and submitted to health authorities, an employee of one genomics company received a phone call from an official at the Hubei Provincial Health Commission, ordering the company to stop testing samples from Wuhan related to the new disease and destroy all existing samples.”
According to a New York Times study of cellphone data from China, 175,000 people leave Wuhan that day. According to global travel data research firm OAG, 21 countries have direct flights to Wuhan. In the first quarter of 2019 for comparison, 13,267 air passengers traveled from Wuhan, China, to destinations in the United States, or about 4,422 per month. The U.S. government would not bar foreign nationals who had traveled to China from entering the country for another month.
January 2: One study of patients in Wuhan can only connect 27 of 41 infected patients to exposure to the Huanan seafood market — indicating human-to-human transmission away from the market. A report written later that month concludes, “evidence so far indicates human transmission for 2019-nCoV. We are concerned that 2019-nCoV could have acquired the ability for efficient human transmission.” Also on this day, the Wuhan Institute of Virology completed mapped the genome of the virus. The Chinese government would not announce that breakthrough for another week.
January 3: The Chinese government continued efforts to suppress all information about the virus: “China’s National Health Commission, the nation’s top health authority, ordered institutions not to publish any information related to the unknown disease, and ordered labs to transfer any samples they had to designated testing institutions, or to destroy them.” Roughly one month after the first cases in Wuhan, the United States government is notified. Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gets initial reports about a new coronavirus from Chinese colleagues, according to Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar. Azar, who helped manage the response at HHS to earlier SARS and anthrax outbreaks, told his chief of staff to make sure the National Security Council was informed. Also on this day, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission released another statement, repeating, “As of now, preliminary investigations have shown no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission and no medical staff infections.” January 4: While Chinese authorities continued to insist that the virus could not spread from one person to another, doctors outside that country weren’t so convinced. The head of the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Infection, Ho Pak-leung, warned that “the city should implement the strictest possible monitoring system for a mystery new viral pneumonia that has infected dozens of people on the mainland, as it is highly possible that the illness is spreading from human to human.”
January 5: The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission put out a statement with updated numbers of cases but repeated, “preliminary investigations have shown no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission and no medical staff infections.” January 6: The New York Times publishes its first report about the virus, declaring that “59 people in the central city of Wuhan have been sickened by a pneumonia-like illness.” That first report included these comments: Wang Linfa, an expert on emerging infectious diseases at the Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore, said he was frustrated that scientists in China were not allowed to speak to him about the outbreak. Dr. Wang said, however, that he thought the virus was likely not spreading from humans to humans because health workers had not contracted the disease. “We should not go into panic mode,” he said. Don’t get too mad at Wang Linfa; he was making that assessment based upon the inaccurate information Chinese government was telling the world. Also that day, the CDC “issued a level 1 travel watch — the lowest of its three levels — for China’s outbreak. It said the cause and the transmission mode aren’t yet known, and it advised travelers to Wuhan to avoid living or dead animals, animal markets, and contact with sick people.” Also that day, the CDC offered to send a team to China to assist with the investigation. The Chinese government declined, but a WHO team that included two Americans would visit February 16. January 8: Chinese medical authorities claim to have identified the virus. Those authorities claim and Western media continue to repeat, “there is no evidence that the new virus is readily spread by humans, which would make it particularly dangerous, and it has not been tied to any deaths.” The official statement from the World Health Organization declares, “Preliminary identification of a novel virus in a short period of time is a notable achievement and demonstrates China’s increased capacity to manage new outbreaks . . . WHO does not recommend any specific measures for travelers. WHO advises against the application of any travel or trade restrictions on China based on the information currently available.”
January 10: After unknowingly treating a patient with the Wuhan coronavirus, Dr. Li Wenliang started coughing and developed a fever. He was hospitalized on January 12. In the following days, Li’s condition deteriorated so badly that he was admitted to the intensive care unit and given oxygen support. The New York Times quotes the Wuhan City Health Commission’s declaration that “there is no evidence the virus can spread among humans.” Chinese doctors continued to find transmission among family members, contradicting the official statements from the city health commission. January 11: The Wuhan City Health Commission issues an update declaring, “All 739 close contacts, including 419 medical staff, have undergone medical observation and no related cases have been found . . . No new cases have been detected since January 3, 2020.
At present, no medical staff infections have been found, and no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission has been found.” They issue a Q&A sheet later that day reemphasizing that “most of the unexplained viral pneumonia cases in Wuhan this time have a history of exposure to the South China seafood market. No clear evidence of human-to-human transmission has been found.” Also on this day, political leaders in Hubei province, which includes Wuhan, began their regional meeting. The coronavirus was not mentioned over four days of meetings. January 13: Authorities in Thailand detected the virus in a 61-year-old Chinese woman who was visiting from Wuhan, the first case outside of China. “Thailand’s Ministry of Public Health, said the woman had not visited the Wuhan seafood market, and had come down with a fever on Jan. 5. However, the doctor said, the woman had visited a different, smaller market in Wuhan, in which live and freshly slaughtered animals were also sold.” January 14: Wuhan city health authorities release another statement declaring, “Among the close contacts, no related cases were found.” Wuhan doctors have known this was false since early December, from the first victim and his wife, who did not visit the market. The World Health Organization echoes China’s assessment: “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China.” This is five or six weeks after the first evidence of human-to-human transmission in Wuhan. January 15: Japan reported its first case of coronavirus. Japan’s Health Ministry said the patient had not visited any seafood markets in China, adding that “it is possible that the patient had close contact with an unknown patient with lung inflammation while in China.” The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission begins to change its statements, now declaring, “Existing survey results show that clear human-to-human evidence has not been found, and the possibility of limited human-to-human transmission cannot be ruled out, but the risk of continued human-to-human transmission is low.” Recall Wuhan hospitals concluded human-to-human transmission was occurring three weeks earlier. A statement the next day backtracks on the possibility of human transmission, saying only, “Among the close contacts, no related cases were found.”
January 17: The CDC and the Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and Border Protection announce that travelers from Wuhan to the United States will undergo entry screening for symptoms associated with 2019-nCoV at three U.S. airports that receive most of the travelers from Wuhan, China: San Francisco, New York (JFK), and Los Angeles airports. The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission’s daily update declares, “A total of 763 close contacts have been tracked, 665 medical observations have been lifted, and 98 people are still receiving medical observations. Among the close contacts, no related cases were found.” January 18: HHS Secretary Azar has his first discussion about the virus with President Trump. Unnamed “senior administration officials” told the Washington Post that “the president interjected to ask about vaping and when flavored vaping products would be back on the market.” Despite the fact that Wuhan doctors know the virus is contagious, city authorities allow 40,000 families to gather and share home-cooked food in a Lunar New Year banquet.
January 19: The Chinese National Health Commission declares the virus “still preventable and controllable.” The World Health Organization updates its statement, declaring, “Not enough is known to draw definitive conclusions about how it is transmitted, the clinical features of the disease, the extent to which it has spread, or its source, which remains unknown.”
January 20: The Wuhan Municipal Health Commission declares for the last time in its daily bulletin, “no related cases were found among the close contacts.” That day, the head of China’s national health commission team investigating the outbreak, confirmed that two cases of infection in China’s Guangdong province had been caused by human-to-human transmission and medical staff had been infected. Also on this date, the Wuhan Evening News newspaper, the largest newspaper in the city, mentions the virus on the front page for the first time since January 5.
January 21: The CDC announced the first U.S. case of a the coronavirus in a Snohomish County, Wash., resident who returning from China six days earlier. By this point, millions of people have left Wuhan, carrying the virus all around China and into other countries. January 22: WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus continued to praise China’s handling of the outbreak. “I was very impressed by the detail and depth of China’s presentation. I also appreciate the cooperation of China’s Minister of Health, who I have spoken with directly during the last few days and weeks. His leadership and the intervention of President Xi and Premier Li have been invaluable, and all the measures they have taken to respond to the outbreak.” In the preceding days, a WHO delegation conducted a field visit to Wuhan. They concluded, “deployment of the new test kit nationally suggests that human-to-human transmission is taking place in Wuhan.” The delegation reports, “their counterparts agreed close attention should be paid to hand and respiratory hygiene, food safety and avoiding mass gatherings where possible.” At a meeting of the WHO Emergency Committee, panel members express “divergent views on whether this event constitutes a “Public Health Emergency of International Concern’ or not. At that time, the advice was that the event did not constitute a PHEIC.” President Trump, in an interview with CNBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, declared, “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”
January 23: Chinese authorities announce their first steps for a quarantine of Wuhan. By this point, millions have already visited the city and left it during the Lunar New Year celebrations. Singapore and Vietnam report their first cases, and by now an unknown but significant number of Chinese citizens have traveled abroad as asymptomatic, oblivious carriers.
January 24: Vietnam reports person-to-person transmission, and Japan, South Korea, and the U.S report their second cases. The second case is in Chicago. Within two days, new cases are reported in Los Angeles, Orange County, and Arizona. The virus is in now in several locations in the United States, and the odds of preventing an outbreak are dwindling to zero.
On February 1, Dr. Li Wenliang tested positive for coronavirus. He died from it six days later. One final note: On February 4, Mayor of Florence Dario Nardella urged residents to hug Chinese people to encourage them in the fight against the novel coronavirus. Meanwhile, a member of Associazione Unione Giovani Italo Cinesi, a Chinese society in Italy aimed at promoting friendship between people in the two countries, called for respect for novel coronavirus patients during a street demonstration. “I’m not a virus. I’m a human. Eradicate the prejudice.”
ADDENDUM: We’ll get back to regular politics soon enough. In the meantime, note that Bernie Sanders held a virtual campaign event Sunday night “from Vermont, railing against the ongoing Senate coronavirus rescue bill. He skipped a key procedural vote on that bill.”
If someone in your home is sick—whether confirmed or suspected to be COVID-19—that doesn’t mean all members of the household will get sick. There are still things that everyone in a home can do that may help reduce risk of transmission. Anna C. Sick-Samuels and Raphael P. Viscidi, from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine offered some guidance on the most important things to do—and how the equation changes if one of your family members is in a high-risk category.
3 Things to Know Risk-Reducing Behavior Matters Most often, the virus will spread through very close contacts with people who are sick with symptoms or from touching your face or mouth with contaminated hands. So, risk-reducing behaviors are the most important priority. That means encouraging more rigorous and frequent handwashing—especially when entering or leaving the house and after using the bathroom; avoiding touching faces; coughing or sneezing into our elbows; and throwing away used tissues.
Spring Cleaning Could Save Lives Regardless of whether or not anyone in the household is sick, everyone should be stepping up hygiene. It’s also a good idea to disinfect frequently touched surfaces like door knobs and light switches. A CDC how-to guide gives tips on how to clean everything from carpets to laundry, what solutions to use, and specific precautions to take.
If someone in the house is sick, give them a separate, lined trash can if possible, and use gloves or wash hands after handling the trash. Increasing ventilation by opening windows and adjusting air conditioning could help, too. A Little Distance Could Keep You Healthy People should try to keep some physical distance—ideally 6 feet apart—between a sick person and other household members, when feasible. If it’s possible to relocate a high-risk or sick person to a separate room or even another home, that could help. But that isn’t practical or possible for everyone. If you don’t live in a mansion—or can’t give someone their own room and bathroom—don’t despair. What’s really important are the behaviors. Remember, too, that if one member is in a high-risk category (e.g. older people and those with significant underlying conditions), that calls for heightened vigilance.
Healthy household members should behave as though they pose a significant risk to more vulnerable members even before anyone is sick, according to a CDC guide with infection control strategies tailored to a variety of settings and situations.
Anna C. Sick-Samuels, MD, MPH, is an instructor of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and associate hospital epidemiologist for Johns Hopkins Hospital. Raphael P. Viscidi, MD, is a virologist and professor of pediatrics and oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is on faculty at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Republican Wisconsin Rep. Bryan Steil introduced a bill Friday to rescind the $25 million for the Kennedy Center that was included in the $2 trillion coronavirus package, as they have laid off musicians.
Steil’s bill, which has 15 cosponsors including House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, would pull the $25 million for the Kennedy Center. According to Steil, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was likely the one who had the idea for the funding for the Kennedy Center in the first place.
In a phone call with the Daily Caller, Steil said “So we were negotiating this bill. Nancy Pelosi holds up getting relief to Americans to try to get this and other things in the bill. And so the day that the House passed this bill, I drove from Janesville, Wisconsin, to Washington, D.C. to be there.”
“I spoke on the bill, spoke about how I thought the funding for the Kennedy Center was inappropriate. And then before I left Washington, D.C. to drive back home, the day we passed the bill, I dropped this bill into the hopper and introduced it to start day one. The moment after we passed a bill to begin the work of improving it and getting out of the bill, inappropriate funding. A handful of days later, after this passes and you find out that the Kennedy Center is laying people off. That’s almost the icing on the cake,” Steil continued.
“Nancy Pelosi literally held the bill up for days to get her pet projects… Interesting she’d use the choice of words, ‘fiddlers,’ because it was the fiddlers, the violin players, all the musicians at the Kennedy Center that got laid off,” Scalise said Monday night on Fox News.
Republican congressional candidate Bryan Steil speaks at a rally on August 13, 2018 in Burlington, Wisconsin. Steil is running in the GOP primary for retiring Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s seat in congress. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
“The Covid-19 Advisory Committee was broadsided today during our conversation with [Kennedy Center President] Deborah Rutter,” the email states. “Ms. Rutter abruptly informed us today that the last paycheck for all musicians and librarians will be April 3 and that we will not be paid again until the Center reopens.”
Health experts tell us to wash our hands often. But depending on the way we dry them, we could be defeating the purpose altogether. TOLEDO, Ohio — Health experts have been telling us the best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is by washing our hands. Soap, warm water, 20 seconds, move on. You know the drill when it comes to cleaning your hands, but you may be surprised to learn what could happen when you dry them. One viewer sent in a question asking if public, automatic hand dryers are a public health hazard during the coronavirus pandemic. Our sources include research from the American Society for Microbiology as well as ProMedica Dr. Brian Kaminski, who takes many of his cues from the World Health Organization. WTOL WTOL “Paper towels generally do the best job in terms of transmitting pathogens on to other surfaces or around the bathroom and then eventually on to other people,” Dr. Kaminski said. “So they (World Health Organization) recommend against hand dryers. The theory there is that you put your hands under forced heat and that blows some particles around. If your hands are still moist, that’s going to blow droplets around, it’s going to deposit those droplets onto other surfaces.” That’s right in line with data from a 2018 report from the American Society for Microbiology. WTOL The group’s research discovered “many kinds of bacteria…can be deposited on hands exposed to bathroom hand dryers and that spores could be dispersed throughout buildings and deposited on hands by hand dryers.” That means YES, you can, in theory, contract COVID-19 — and other illnesses — if you use an automatic hand dryer. So follow doctors’ orders and use some paper towels instead.
This is a frightening time in America and it is wise for everyone to remain calm and take the precautions advised by the Centers For Disease Control. -Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. -If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. -Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. -Avoid close contact with people who are sick -Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick. -Stay home if you are sick, except to get medical care. Learn what to do if you are sick. -Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow. -Throw used tissues in the trash. -Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
-If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick. -If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
-Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. -If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. -To disinfect: Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work. Use disinfectants appropriate for the surface.
-Options include: Diluting your household bleach. To make a bleach solution, mix: -5 tablespoons (1/3rd cup) bleach per gallon of water OR 4 teaspoons bleach per quart of water Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation.
Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.
Alcohol solutions. Ensure solution has at least 70% alcohol. Other common EPA-registered household disinfectants. Products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens pdf icon[7 pages]external icon claims are expected to be effective against COVID-19 based on data for harder to kill viruses. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products (e.g., concentration, application method and contact time, etc.).
The desert tortoise is losing ground to off-road vehicles, development, disease, drought and animal grazing. (Kurt Moses/National Park Service) The desert tortoise is losing ground to off-road vehicles, development, disease, drought and animal grazing. (Kurt Moses/National Park Service) March 25, 2020 MOJAVE DESERT, Calif. — The desert tortoise is dangerously close to extinction in California, according to a petition filed this week by conservation groups. Advocates are asking the California Fish and Game Commission to upgrade the species’ status from threatened to endangered. Pamela Flick, California program director for Defenders of Wildlife, said California’s state reptile may move slowly but its decline in the wild has been a lot faster. “Adult tortoise population numbers have dropped by over 50% in some recovery areas just since 2004,” she said, “and by as much as 80% to 90% in some habitat since approximately 1980.” Research has shown the animals are falling victim to a variety of threats including uncontrolled off-road vehicle use, livestock grazing on wildlands, the spread of contagious disease, disruption from highway and utility projects, and extended droughts likely associated with climate change. Flick said inadequate protective measures taken over the past few decades have failed. “Despite 30 years of federal and state protections as a threatened species,” she said, “the desert tortoise is closer to extinction than it was in 1990 when it was first listed.” Last year, the Trump administration moved to relax restrictions on off-road vehicles on federal land in the California desert, and has signaled plans to loosen them even further by amending the Obama-era Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. If the commission accepts the petition, it would trigger a 12-month review of the tortoise’s threatened status. More information is online at defenders.org.
Disclosure: Defenders of Wildlife contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Endangered Species & Wildlife, Energy Policy, Public Lands/Wilderness. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here. Suzanne Potter, Public News Service – CA
buzzfeed.com 49 Games You Can Play With Only Two People Melanie Aman BuzzFeed Staff 17-21 minutes We hope you love the products we recommend! Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.
1. A traditional game of Scrabble to test your word-making abilities. You’d better have a dictionary nearby because you’re gonna need it. Barnes & Noble Get it from Barnes & Noble for $14.95.
2. Or a Harry Potter Scrabble if that’s more your cup of tea. It follows most of the rules as an old-school Scrabble game but spells, potion names, characters from the series, and wizarding locations all count as words. Bed Bath & Beyond Promising review: “The cards used in association with this game make it quite fun. Even if you are not a Harry Potter pro, the cards shake the game up. From switching tile racks to backwards spelling, this game was worth the premium price.” —Drew Get it from Bed Bath & Beyond for $29.99.
3. A beautiful set of dice for Yatzy — another traditional game (except this version’s gotten a bit of a face-lift) that’ll have you pulling out your lucky rabbit’s foot before each roll. West Elm Get it from West Elm for $9.99.
4. Mancala because I am about to crush you with colorful glass stones. I take Mancala very seriously if you couldn’t tell. JOANN Get it from JOANN for $9.74.
5. Monopoly Fortnite so you can boogie bomb the millennials or Gen Z’ers in this battle royale version of classic Monopoly. It has many of the same elements as the video game: Tilted Towers, loot chests, the storm, and even the battle bus. So, where we dropping boys? JCPenney Promising review: “Really enjoy playing this game. My kids love this game. Would play it every day if they could.” —MsDivaD1 Get it from JCPenney for $19.99
. 6. Connect 4 Shots to put your years of beer pong experience to use. It’s just like regular Connect 4 except you have to bounce your colored balls from the table to the slots. JCPenney Get it from JCPenney for $19.99.
7. A magnetic chess set if you’re getting ~board~ with other games. REI Promising review: “Awesome ‘take it anywhere with you’ type of game especially for camping and backpacking trips. The magnetic top and pieces rock.” —Suep G Get it from REI for $14.95.
8. A fun game of checkers that’ll no doubt bring out your competitive side.
WoodenChessDirect / Etsy 9. Or, Chinese checkers for testing your tactical skills. Can you get all your colored pegs to the opposite side of the board? AmaWoodShop / Etsy
10. Cribbage because now is the perfect time to finally learn how to play. And once you get going, a game will only take you ~30 minutes so you can try plenty of times. REI Promising review: “The cards and pegs fit nicely in the board and it has its own little pack for easy storage. Lightweight and doesn’t take up much space. A good time for any situation.” —Mandingo05 Get it from REI for $16.95.
11. Jenga so you can get your daily adrenaline rush as you remove a block and hope your giant tower doesn’t come crumbling down. Barnes & Noble Get it from Barnes & Noble for $16.95.
12. Or Jenga Throw ‘n Go to add another element of surprise to your game. The roll of a dice determines which color block you have to remove. Wayfair Promising review: “Lots of fun and addictive. The die makes it more interesting and eventually more difficult as the tower gets taller and harder to pull certain color blocks. So much fun!” —Patricia Get it from Wayfair for $27.50.
If you’re practicing social distancing and at a high risk of contracting the coronavirus, or just don’t feel comfortable going to the market right now, there are a handful of awesome delivery services that will deliver a meal kits and groceries right to your door.
Please read tips and related information in the comments at the end of the article.
“And then there is this little-known fact: Some Chinese researchers are in the habit of selling their laboratory animals to street vendors after they have finished experimenting on them.” -NEW YORK POST
Justin Goodman Vice President White Coat Waste Project
P.S. EMERGENCY PETITION: taxpayers like you should NEVER be forced to pay off China’s worst animal testing labs. And you shouldn’t be forced to pay for China’s lab animal round ups in dog and cat meat “wet markets.” Please sign and share our new petition if you agree.
When it comes to housecleaning, here’s how to tackle the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. These are strange times, and when times are strange, the internet does what it is so uniquely good at: It spreads a lot of misinformation. Recently we’ve seen all kinds of far-fetched claims about how to kill the virus responsible for COVID-19 – some of them so dangerous that we’re not even going to repeat them here. Suffice to say, people are panicking and hungry for ways to protect themselves. Fair enough. But we thought it would be prudent to take a look at some of the things proven to be effective for destroying the new coronavirus at home.
The Centers for Disease Control notes that current evidence suggests that the virus may “remain viable for hours to days on surfaces made from a variety of materials.” They add, “Cleaning of visibly dirty surfaces followed by disinfection is a best practice measure for prevention of COVID-19 and other viral respiratory illnesses in households and community settings.”
Fortunately, the Environmental Protection Agency tells us that coronaviruses are some of the easiest types of viruses to kill. “It has an envelope around it that allows it to merge with other cells to infect them,” Stephen Thomas, M.D., chief of infectious diseases and director of global health at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, tells Consumer Reports.
“If you disrupt that coating, the virus can’t do its job.” The difference between cleaning and disinfecting Cleaning is the removal of germs and dirt from a surface. It does not kill germs, but removing them depletes their numbers and thus lowers the risk of spreading infection. Disinfecting means using chemicals to kill germs on a surface. Unlike cleaning, disinfecting does not remove dirt or germs. By cleaning first and then disinfecting, the risk of spreading infection can be lowered. Surfaces should be cleaned using detergent or soap and water – and allowed to dry for at least 10 minutes – prior to disinfecting. General tips for cleaning and disinfecting households If anyone is coming in and out of the house, routine cleaning of frequently touched surfaces is warranted, these include tables, doorknobs, light switches, handles, desks, toilets, faucets, sinks, et cetera.
The CDC recommends household cleaners and EPA-registered disinfectants that are appropriate for the surface. Be sure to read and follow instructions for safe and effective use, and pay heed to those instruction, for example, wearing gloves and making sure there is sufficient ventilation. If your household is home to someone suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19, please see cleaning instructions included in the CDC’s recommended precautions for household members, intimate partners, and caregivers. Products that can kill the coronavirus Soap and water Hand sanitizer could practically be a new form of currency at this point, but do not overlook the wonders of good old soap. “It isn’t possible to disinfect every surface you touch throughout your day,” says Thomas. “The planet is covered with bacteria and viruses, and we’re constantly in contact with these surfaces, so hand-washing is still your best defense against COVID-19.” Perry Santanachote writes in Consumer Reports that the action of scrubbing with soap and water can break that aforementioned protective envelope. “Scrub like you’ve got sticky stuff on the surface and you really need to get it off,” says organic chemist Richard Sachleben.
Isopropyl alcohol The CDC notes that alcohol solutions with at least 70 percent alcohol should be effective against coronavirus. Apply undiluted alcohol and let it sit on the surface for at least 30 seconds to disinfect. Note that it may discolor some plastic surfaces.
But NOT vodka Despite what some are suggesting, an 80-proof product is only 40 percent ethyl alcohol, compared with the 70 percent required to kill the coronavirus.
NOT distilled white vinegar While vinegar may be a TreeHugger favorite, there is no evidence that it is effective in killing the coronavirus.
Hydrogen peroxide Santanachote reports that as per the CDC, household hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) can kill rhinovirus (the dreaded virus that causes the common cold). “Rhinovirus is more difficult to destroy than coronaviruses, so hydrogen peroxide should be able to break down coronavirus in less time,” he writes, recommending that it can be poured undiluted in a spray bottle and used from there; just be sure to let it sit on the surface for one minute before wiping. It should be OK on metal surfaces, but can discolor fabric. “It’s great for getting into hard-to-reach crevices,” Sachleben says. “You can pour it on the area and you don’t have to wipe it off because it essentially decomposes into oxygen and water.”
Common commercial disinfectants The CDS has a list of products with EPA-approved emerging viral pathogens claims that are expected to be effective against COVID-19. They have not specifically been tested against SARS-CoV-2, the cause of COVID-19, but they are expected to be effective based on demonstrated efficacy against harder-to-kill viruses. Some of these look pretty intense and would be my last resort, but then again, I am not living in a household with someone who is infected. As always, use caution and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for all cleaning and disinfection products.
Bleach You may have a no-bleach household, like many of us TreeHuggers, but if there were a time to break the no-bleach rules, this might be it for some. The CDC notes that “unexpired household bleach will be effective against coronaviruses when properly diluted.” As per CDC instructions, make a bleach solution by mixing five tablespoons (1/3 cup) bleach per gallon of water or four teaspoons bleach per quart of water. Keep in mind: Follow manufacturer’s instructions for application and proper ventilation. Check to ensure the product is not past its expiration date. Never mix household bleach with ammonia or any other cleanser. Do not keep the solution for longer than a day. Precautions when using bleach The federally funded clinical and educational center, Western States Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit at UC San Francisco, has a great information sheet on using bleach. Among other things, they note: Bleach can irritate the skin and eyes. Exposure to bleach can make asthma worse in people who already have asthma. Mixing bleach with other chemicals containing ammonia, quaternary ammonium compounds (found in other disinfectants), vinegar or other acids can create a toxic gas. Bleach corrodes many metals. It should never be used on stainless steel, aluminum, copper, brass, marble, or granite. Bleach is neutralized by dirt and other organic material, so it isn’t very effective when used on a surface that hasn’t been cleaned.
A note on wearing gloves And lastly, make sure you are following good glove protocol. The CDC recommends wearing disposable gloves when cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and to discard them after each cleaning. But since disposable things break our TreeHugger hearts, we will also note that the CDC gives advice for reusable gloves, recommending that they “should be dedicated for cleaning and disinfection of surfaces for COVID-19 and should not be used for other purposes.” And always remember to clean hands immediately after gloves are removed. Also see: Laundry in a time of COVID-19 See more on cleaning and disinfecting from the CDC here, and for more COVID-19 coverage, see related stories below. When it comes to housecleaning, here’s how to tackle the virus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.
gardeningknowhow.com Toilet Paper Substitutes: Plants You Can Use As Toilet Paper 3-4 minutes Toilet paper is something most of us take for granted, but what if there was a shortage?
Ever considered what you would do in the absence of this most standard of daily needs? Well, perhaps you could grow your own toilet paper. That’s right! Many plants are useful as a substitute for this hygiene product. Leaves for toilet paper are often more soothing, softer, and as an added bonus, compostable and sustainable. Can You Grow Your Own Toilet Paper? Certain situations can cause toilet paper woes, so it’s best to be prepared. Few things are worse than being shy on some comforting tissue after you do your duty. Good news! You can use plants as toilet paper should the situation call for it. Learn which plants you can use as toilet paper and get growing so you’re never caught short. Toilet paper has only been standard for about a century, but humans had to use something to wipe up. The wealthy used fabric and washed themselves, but everyone else used what was at hand, which in most cases turned out to be plants. Toilet paper substitutes are something you should think about. Why? Imagine a world without toilet paper. It’s not a pretty thought but you can be prepared by growing your own. These plants aren’t flushable but can be buried to compost naturally. In some cases, using leaves for toilet paper is better for the environment and your bum. What Plants Can You Use as Toilet Paper? Following in our ancestor’s footsteps, plant leaves are useful, easy to grow, readily available, and practically free. Plant leaves with a fuzzy texture are particularly delightful. The towering mullein plant (Verbascum thapsis) is a biennial that produces popcorn-like yellow flowers in its second year, but has furry leaves in spring through fall. Similarly, lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina) has large leaves soft as a rabbit (or lamb’s ear), and the plant comes back every year. Thimbleberry isn’t quite as fuzzy, but the overall texture is soft and the leaves are as large as an adult’s hand, so you only need one or two to get the job done. Some other options for toilet paper from the garden are: Common Mallow Indian Coleus Pink Wild Pear (tropical hydrangea) Large Leaf Aster Blue Spur Flower Tips on Using Plants as Toilet Paper While the listed plants are generally non-toxic, some people may be sensitive. Before you try the leaves on your bottom, swipe the leaf across your hand or wrist and wait 24 hours. If no reaction occurs, the leaf will be safe to use on more sensitive areas. Because many of these plants lose their leaves in winter, you will have to harvest and stockpile for the cold season. The leaves can be dried flat and stored for future use. The amount of absorbency may be affected a bit, but once the leaf touches its target, the moisture there will reconstitute the foliage.
(UnitedVoice.com) – The coronavirus pandemic has raised a lot of questions over the past few months but none has been more absurd than: Do I have enough toilet paper to last me through this crisis? As crazy as it may seem, suppliers around the world can’t keep up with local demand as people stampede their way through store aisles panic buying up as much toilet paper as they possibly can. Most of the fear and panic comes as local, state, and federal authorities are asking folks to stay home to help stop the spread of this deadly disease. And for some people, it seems the thought of running out of toilet paper during a mandatory quarantine is just too overwhelming. Recently, a video of a Florida couple buying up all the toilet paper in the store was shared on the internet.
This is happening in stores all across the world as people fear for the worst. To help stop the “toilet paper madness of 2020,” a London-based student and software developer, Ben Sassoon, and artist Sam Harris created the site howmuchtoiletpaper.com to help calculate how long your current stash of toilet paper will last and how much toilet paper you’ll actually need to endure a mandated quarantine. The site says it’s also making a plea for people to stop panic buying saying, “Not everyone is able to get to a store and stock up on toilet roll. Don’t be selfish.” It’s never been a more important time for human beings to remain united as the nation struggles in a time of crisis. Buying up more than your fair share of essential supplies is wrong and plain selfish. Be kind, be caring, and remember…we’re all in this together. Copyright 2020, UnitedVoice.com
"All truth passes through three stages: first, it is ridiculed; second, it is violently opposed; and third, it is accepted as self-evident." - Arthur Schopenhauer (1788 – 1860). "There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily" - George Washington letter to Edmund Randolph — 1795. Going beyond the MSM idealogical opinion/bias and their low information infotainment tabloid reality show news with a distractional superficial focus on entertainment, sensationalism, emotionalism and partisan activist opinion/commentary reporting - this blogs goal is to, in some small way, put a plug in the broken dam of truth and save as many as possible from the consequences—temporal and eternal. "The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those who speak it." - George Orwell