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News, observations, guesses January 26, 2022

January 25, 2022

Since March 2020 blog-posts have focused on the COVID pandemic, which threatens health and well-being of all humans. The possibly resulting miserable lives, the traumatic experiences and mental scars of millions if not billions could break society, leading to chaos, anarchy, and war.

Yet, the pandemic on the other hand impedes nature destroying industrial activities of humans, forces changed behaviors, enables redirections and paradigm changes.

World leaders in democratic and autocratic nations alike seized the opportunity to increase surveillance, weaken civil rights, and stifle dissent with censorship and coordinated media campaigns.

While they displayed a certain cleverness, even ingenuity by enacting these measures, they mostly failed miserably in their task of preventing infections, chronic illnesses, and deaths from COVID-19. It seems that they have used up all their intellectual capacity to grab power and defend it against competitors.

They appeared to be not only incompetent, but blatantly uneducated and uninformed.

And here we are, with politicians, pundits, scientists, influencers, and journalists telling us that the pandemic is practically over and “case numbers go into the right direction” (Fauci), while health services are at a breaking point, hospital stuff is exhausted and quitting, workers, still sick and shedding the virus, are sent back to their job to “keep the economy going.”

The pandemic is now an epidemic just like the flu (with 356,354,024 infections and 5,625,146 deaths); commentators see a silver lining in even the grimmest figures, and high-profile scientists declare the latest surge to be the last, quietly discarding previous predictions into their social media wastebaskets. Health agencies end daily case counts.

And yet, politicians, pundits, and scientists maybe realized in rare moments of self-awareness and self-reflexion that their performance was lacking (to say it mildly) and as they feared that the public could come to the same conclusion and eventually chase them away from the feeding troughs, they decided that the populace needs a distraction.

The distraction is War, of course. What could be more distractive than war?

Eternal scapegoat, arch enemy, and rogue nation Russia wants to invade Ukraine. 100,000 Russian troops are amassed at Ukraine’s borders, Kiev will be conquered, a puppet regime, led by Yevhen Murayev (who curiously is banned from Russia with his assets seized) will be installed.

Shiploads and planeloads of US arms worth billions of dollars are sent from the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia  to Ukraine. The US already has more than 150 military advisers in Ukraine, including Special Operations Forces, joining advisers from the UK, Canada, Lithuania, and Poland.

Back to the pandemic, which is now called an endemic.

The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control has advised countries to transition to more routine handling of COVID-19 after the acute phase of the pandemic is over. The agency said in a statement that more EU states in addition to Spain will want to adopt “a more long-term, sustainable surveillance approach.”

“Vaccine-acquired immunity, coupled with widespread infection, offers a chance to concentrate prevention efforts, testing, and illness-tracking resources on moderate to high-risk groups,” said Dr. Salvador Trenche, head of the Spanish Society of Family and Community Medicine, which has led the call for a new endemic response.

COVID-19 “must be treated like the rest of illnesses,” Trenche told The Associated Press, adding that “normalized attention” by health professionals would help reduce delays in treatment of problems not related to the coronavirus.

The public also needs to come to terms with the idea that some deaths from COVID-19 ”will be inevitable,” Tranche said.

Many countries, overwhelmed by the record number of omicron cases, are already giving up on massive testing and cutting quarantine times, especially for workers who show no more than cold-like symptoms. Since the beginning of the year, classes in Spanish schools stop only if major outbreaks occur, not with the first reported case as they used to.

To keep the economy running despite the exponential rise in infections, governments around the world are dismantling the most basic coronavirus protections. In Germany, the government has reduced the quarantine period to 10 days with a release option after just seven days, and even after five days for children and young people. Governments are limiting the use of PCR tests and end testing for asymptomatic people.

In disregard of the spin, the Omicron wave is still hitting with full force. In France, about 300,000 people are currently being confirmed infected every day, in Italy almost 200,000, and in Spain about 150,000. Germany and Britain have more than 100,000 daily cases. In Britain, the health system is on the verge of collapse.

The pandemic continues, but the media campaign works nevertheless. Approximately three-in-ten US-Americans in mid-2021 believed the pandemic was over. 45 percent acted as if the pandemic was over, saying in late 2021 that they felt “safe enough to carry out everyday life largely the way it was before the pandemic.” This was up from 36 percent in late August.

Feline news:

https://www.npr.org/2022/01/14/1072812001/cat-vitamix-blender-box-standoff
https://www.treehugger.com/pet-cats-map-owners-location-using-sound-cues-5215698
http://hatchingcatnyc.com/2022/01/22/dewey-dick-brooklyn-police-cat-mascots-liberty-avenue/

Against the odds:

https://thetricontinental.org/newsletterissue/plan-to-save-the-planet/
https://mronline.org/2022/01/19/one-foot-in-the-present-another-in-the-future-food-coops/
https://civileats.com/2022/01/21/a-return-to-native-agriculture/
https://www.treehugger.com/how-live-sustainably-2022-5216489

Environmental news:

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Argentina-Between-COVID-19-Blackouts-and-Heat-Wave-20220115-0001.html
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/16/toxic-reaction-how-to-clear-dangerous-pollutants-out-of-your-home
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/jan/18/chemical-pollution-has-passed-safe-limit-for-humanity-say-scientists
Frightening! Why is nothing done against this terminal threat? Are we humans really that stupid?
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/01/19/the-worlds-most-evil-company-may-lose-a-few-court-fights-but-will-keep-on-poisoning-and-killing-millions-of-people-with-its-carcinogenic-pesticide-roundup/
https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2022/01/un-report-the-worlds-farms-stretched-to-a-breaking-point/
https://news.mongabay.com/2022/01/pesticides-released-into-brazils-amazon-to-degrade-rainforest-and-facilitate-deforestation/

Economic news:

Strong demand for its jewelry and watches in the Americas and Europe helped quarterly sales at Cartier owner Richemont rise by nearly a third. Meanwhile, luxury brand Burberry said annual profit would beat market expectations as its full-price sales accelerated in the third quarter.

https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60015294
Wealth of world’s 10 richest men doubled in pandemic.
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/19/rentier-capitalism-and-class-warfare-in-kazakhstan/
https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/the-worlds-food-systems-are-in-crisis-and-big-agribusiness-is-at-its-heart/
https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/the-soya-curse-is-ukraine-facing-the-same-fate-as-the-amazon/

Pandemic news:

The new variant BA.2 was first identified in India and South Africa in late December 2021. It is a sub-variant, believed to have emerged from a mutation of Omicron (officially known as BA.1). Omicron itself was born from a mutation of Delta. Other sub-lineages have already been referenced, such as BA.3 or BB.2, but they have attracted less attention from epidemiologists because of the dramatic increase in cases of people who have contracted BA.2.

BA.2 possesses 80 to 90 mutations compared to 60 mutations of Omicron. It poses certain challenges to scientists, as it is not easy to track. In the UK, the way the tests are carried out does not allow us to distinguish between BA.2 and Delta.

BA2 has already been identified in 43 countries. It is believed to have become the most common variant in a number of countries, including India, Denmark, and Sweden. In Denmark, the number of daily cases of Covid-19 has started to rise again, just when the Danes thought they had already reached the peak. BA.2 has grown rapidly — it accounted for 20 percent of all COVID-19 cases in the last week of 2021, rising to 45 percent in the second week of 2022.

Very early observations from India and Denmark suggest there is no dramatic difference in severity compared to BA.1

The United Kingdom has sequenced 426 cases of the BA.2 sub-lineage and the UKHSA said that while there was uncertainty around the significance of the changes to the viral genome, early analysis suggested an increased growth rate compared to the original Omicron lineage, BA.1.

=========

US epidemiologist Eric Feigl-Ding issued a firm warning about the dangers of the policy of “living with the virus.” On Twitter, Feigl-Ding wrote: “#Omicron is a potentially really dangerous Trojan horse. It lulls people into complacency but eventually hits them hard with #LongCovid!!!

A study at Mainz University Hospital demonstrated the long-term effects the coronavirus can have on those infected, including children and adolescents. According to the study, up to 40 percent of people infected with SARS-CoV-2 will still suffer six months later from symptoms such as fatigue, disturbed sense of taste and smell, exhaustion, poor concentration, and poor performance.

According to preliminary research from Sweden, nearly half of those who became ill with Covid in the first wave of infections may have long-term and even permanent changes to their sense of smell.

Pediatricians in Australia say, that the indirect effects of the pandemic on children and adolescents are as substantial — if not more so — than the impact of being infected with Covid-19.

According to scientists at Imperial College London, after taking into account a host of factors Omicron was associated with somewhere between a 4.38 and 6.63-fold higher risk of reinfection, compared with Delta.

The team adds that this means protection against catching Covid arising from a previous infection within the past six months has fallen from about 85 percent before Omicron turned up to somewhere between 0 and 27 percent. The drop is not surprising given that Omicron has been found to have the ability to dodge the body’s immune responses to a significant degree.

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2022/01/14/UK-COVID-19-infectious-more-than-10-days-study/5321642177829/
Study finds that 1 in 10 people with COVID-19 remain infectious beyond 10 days, and some could remain so for as long as two months.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/covid-oxford-university-b1995706.html
https://www.studyfinds.org/covid-brain-damage-alzheimers/
https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2022/01/14/1072504127/fact-check-the-theory-that-sars-cov-2-is-becoming-milder
A questionable prediction: “All future surges of new variants will likely be less severe than Delta because people have acquired immunity by vaccination or infection.” And how long will this immunity last?
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jan/21/covid-reinfection-how-likely-are-you-to-catch-virus-multiple-times
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/01/15/hhhs-j15.html
https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1046853/technical-briefing-34-14-january-2022.pdf
Vaccine protection against mild disease has largely disappeared by 20 weeks after vaccination with a 2-dose primary course of vaccination. After a booster dose, protection initially increases to around 65 to 70 percent but drops to 45 – 50 percent from 10+ weeks. It is therefore likely that current vaccines offer limited long-term protection against infection or transmission.
https://asiatimes.com/2022/01/us-forces-in-japan-were-a-trojan-tank-for-covid
https://www.resumen-english.org/2022/01/the-fight-against-covid-19-the-example-of-cuba-venezuela-and-nicaragua/
https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/science.abm2052
Nervous system consequences of COVID-19.
https://www.rt.com/news/546851-vaccine-safety-data-transparency-criticism/
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/covid-19-finds-home-in-deer-where-it-can-mutate-into-a-new-variant
https://www.infectioncontroltoday.com/view/animal-farm-covid-19-doesn-t-need-humans-to-grow
https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2022/01/covid-the-narrative-is-crumbling.html
https://www.rt.com/russia/547239-us-vaccine-researcher-sputnik-pfizer-omicron/

Media, technology, and propaganda news:

https://www.nenroll-nenroll.com/greece-two-journalists-indicted-for-their-scoop-on-a-pharmaceutical/1646342022/
https://covertactionmagazine.com/2022/01/15/syrian-extremists-had-free-access-to-western-media-says-award-winning-syrian-photographer/
https://www.medialens.org/2022/save-the-bbc-in-whose-interests/
https://www.globalresearch.ca/5g-crimes-against-humanity/5767555
https://www.bbc.com/news/business-60067032
About people ditching their smartphones.

Imperial news:

At the present rate, US COVID-19 deaths will reach 900,000 this week, and will top one million before winter is over. The daily average of patients admitted to hospitals is 159,000, the highest level of the entire pandemic. The daily average death rate has reached 2,162, above the Delta peak in September, and headed towards the all-time high of last winter.

https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/01/18/pers-j18.html
COVID-19 nightmare.
https://www.science.org/content/article/u-s-science-no-longer-leads-world-here-s-how-top-advisers-say-nation-should-respond

Imperial conquest news:

https://www.resumen-english.org/2022/01/political-prisoners-in-cuba-and-in-the-united-states-facts-and-fiction-part-1/
https://www.resumen-english.org/2022/01/political-prisoners-in-cuba-and-in-the-united-states-facts-and-fiction-part-2/
https://www.resumen-english.org/2022/01/the-millions-of-us-dollars-to-destabilize-cuba/
https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2022/01/turkey-aims-keep-tensions-high-northeast-syria-through-targeted-killings
https://journal-neo.org/2022/01/21/is-perfidious-erdogan-destroying-russia-for-the-great-turan/
Ottoman Empire.
https://mronline.org/2022/01/18/defying-u-s-caesar-act-china-admits-syria-into-bri/
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/01/20/divisions-with-us-government-bidens-minor-incursion-remark-reveals-a-lot-about-his-teams-russia-strategy/
https://gowans.blog/2022/01/21/sense-and-nonsense-about-ukraine/
https://sputniknews.com/20220124/ex-un-expert-us-nato-narrative-of-russian-invasion-of-ukraine-has-turned-into-religious-dogma-1092470865.html
https://peoplesworld.org/article/the-west-not-russia-is-responsible-for-the-war-danger-in-ukraine/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/24/nato-as-religion/
https://mronline.org/2022/01/20/state-archive-glitch-reaffirms-israels-genocidal-intent/
Erez Israel.
https://www.juancole.com/2022/01/convention-demolishes-palestinian.html
https://www.rt.com/news/546477-palestine-israel-conflict-violence/

China news:

Chinese authorities have suspended 20 United Airlines, 10 American Airlines and 14 Delta Air Lines flights since December 31, after some passengers tested positive for COVID-19. US authorities in retaliation cut flights by four Chinese carriers

Before the recent cancellations, three US airlines and four Chinese carriers were operating about 20 flights a week between the countries, well below the figure of more than 100 per week before the pandemic.

In contrast to many European countries, there is no sign of easing restrictions in China, even if the incidence rate has been almost zero for months. Two major cities are currently in lockdown: Anyang with 5.5 million inhabitants and Yuzhou, which has a population of one million. The lockdown in Xi’an (13 million inhabitants) has been lifted.

In the capital Beijing, the 2 million residents of Fengtai district underwent testing following the discovery of more than three dozen cases. Targeted testing was being conducted at residential communities in six other districts.

The lockdowns are part of the country’s strict zero-COVID strategy. As soon as even a few cases emerge, entire cities are quarantined. All residents are tested and not allowed to leave their homes; close contacts of infected persons are forced to stay in quarantine hotels. China has a mandatory COVID contact tracing app. International air travel is still severely restricted, with arriving passengers forced to spend weeks in quarantine.

So far, China has officially recorded no more than about 100,000 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic — more people are infected in a single day in France, Spain, Germany, Britain, or Italy. Apart from the regional lockdowns, life in China has largely returned to normal. Nevertheless, the zero-COVID strategy is expected to remain in place at least until the Winter Olympics in Beijing in mid-March.

Olympics organizers say they have confirmed 78 cases of Covid-19 among 2,586 Games-related personnel entering China from 4 January to 22 January, with no cases among 171 athletes and team officials arriving in that period.

US agencies reportedly order WhatsApp to track groups of Chinese users.

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/01/address-chinese-president-xi-jinping-2022-world-economic-forum-virtual-session/
https://mronline.org/2022/01/13/why-the-anglosphere-is-united-in-an-anti-china-front/
https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2022/01/15/nyt–j15.html
The New York Times compares China’s Zero-COVID policies to the Holocaust. Must read!
https://fair.org/home/action-alert-nyts-china-covid-coverage-needs-to-acknowledge-reality/
https://chroniclesofhaiphong.substack.com/p/how-to-satisfy-the-american-empire
Smear the Left, Demonize China.
https://www.china-briefing.com/news/china-coronavirus-updates-latest-developments-business-advisory-part-2/
https://apnews.com/article/hong-kong-covid-hamsters-animals-75f2d3507bdb8255cd2aee79e962fc35
Why not just isolate them? These animals are living beings too and they should be treated with compassion and respect. Cats and dogs may be next. Some cats in China were already killed after their human host was infected, but until now it didn’t happen on a large scale.
https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/01/19/false-propaganda-against-china-excellent-xinjiang-health-statistics-vs-us-alliance-lies/
https://apnews.com/article/technology-business-china-russia-europe-120b7dedacd8d545bf4521a1948bc31e
If you can’t compete with them, smear and slander them.

Chinese media outlets publish propaganda just like Western media outlets, but they are more transparent and their information value is higher. There existed no Chinese equivalent to Edward Bernays PR or to the Hollywood dream machine who could have shaped Chinese media culture. Some examples:

https://www.globaltimes.cn
https://www.cgtn.com
https://english.news.cn/home.htm
http://en.people.cn

Armageddon news:

https://tomdispatch.com/only-fools-replay-doomsday/

Uncategorized news:

https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2022/01/19/the-globalization-of-human-rights-violations-the-right-to-live-a-dignified-and-decent-living/
https://www.localfutures.org/the-inner-dimension-of-climate-adaptation/
https://www.counterpunch.org/2022/01/21/the-unspoken-victims-of-covid-19/

New pictures from cat land:

2 comments

  1. […] News, observations, guesses January 26, 2022 — Mato’s Blog […]

    Like


  2. Beautiful photos, and they provide a lovely local contrast to the grim global news.

    Like



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