Stoic in the Time of a Pandemic: How Marcus Aurelius Can Help

“We live in perpetual denial of the self-evident fact we all die eventually.”

I find this is a very interesting fact!

O Society

An emperor died in a plague later named for him. His Meditations (PDF) show us a way to face fear, pain, anxiety, loss, and death today.

2789

by Donald Robertson edited by O Society April 25, 2020

Emperor Marcus Aurelius Antoninus is the last famous Stoic philosopher of antiquity. During the last 14 years of his life, he faced one of the worst plagues in European history. The epynomous Antonine Plague probably was caused by a strain of the smallpox virus, estimated to have killed up to 5 million people, possibly including Marcus himself.

From 166 to 180AD, repeated outbreaks occur throughout the known world. Roman historians describe the legions as devastated, entire towns and villages depopulated and going to ruin. Rome itself was affected badly, as carts leaving the city each day piled high with dead bodies.

In the middle of this plague, Marcus wrote a book -known today as…

View original post 861 more words

Why US outsourced bat virus research to Wuhan

“The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded bat-coronavirus research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China to the tune of US$3.7 million, a recent article in the British newspaper Daily Mail revealed.”
US$3.7 million, that much was funded by an US Institute for bat-coronavirus research in of all ploaces in Wuhan, China. Why on earth were they so interested in doing this, and why so few people seem to know about this or consider it to be unimportant?

The Most Revolutionary Act

By Christina LIN | Asia Times | April 22, 2020

The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded bat-coronavirus research in the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China to the tune of US$3.7 million, a recent article in the British newspaper Daily Mail revealed.

Back in October 2014, the US government had placed a federal moratorium on gain-of-function (GOF) research – altering natural pathogens to make them more deadly and infectious – as a result of rising fears about a possible pandemic caused by an accidental or deliberate release of these genetically engineered monster germs.

This was in part due to lab accidents at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in July 2014 that raised questions about biosafety at US high-containment labs.

At that time, the CDC had closed two labs and halted some biological shipments in the wake of several incidents in which highly pathogenic microbes were…

View original post 198 more words

How to get groceries without bringing home coronavirus On Coronacast

https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/coronacast/how-to-get-groceries-without-bringing-home-coronavirus/12134820

TRANSCRIPT:

Tegan Taylor: Hello, this is Coronacast, a podcast all about the coronavirus where we answer your questions. I’m ABC health reporter Tegan Taylor.

Norman Swan: And I’m physician and journalist Dr Norman Swan, presenter of ABC’s Health Report on Radio National.

Tegan Taylor: So, Norman, everyone has been really good at staying at home as much as possible, but one of the few things that we are able to do during this social distancing period is going out to the supermarket. So it’s no surprise we are getting lots of questions about how to stay safe at the shops. So we decided we’re going to do a whole episode on it today.

Norman Swan: Yes, because it’s our whole world, the supermarket.

Tegan Taylor: That’s right!

Norman Swan: So what are we starting with, Tegan?

Tegan Taylor: Let’s start with social distancing in the shops itself. How far should we be staying apart from other shoppers when we are at the supermarket?

Norman Swan: The rule for supermarkets is the same as the rule for everywhere else. You’ve really got to maintain about a two-metre difference, about six feet away from other people and you’ve just got to be tempted not to barrel up towards them, just keep back and think about that quite carefully and step back if other people are getting in your way, don’t get upset about it, just get out of the way. Social distancing is really important.

Tegan Taylor: What about with staff? You have to stand a bit closer than six feet from staff sometimes, and also should they be wearing masks and gloves and that sort of thing?

Norman Swan: We get a lot of questions about staff. So there’s two elements to staff, one is people at the tills, and increasingly in supermarkets you’re seeing those Perspex screens, which stop customers transmitting their droplets to the staff and staff transmitting their droplets to you, so you would assume that they are pretty effective.

And staff serving the shelves, there’s not a lot of advantage to gloves, we’ve spoken about this before. Gloves can give you a sense of invulnerability when in fact it’s not merited because if you touch a surface with gloves that’s infected with coronavirus, the gloves are going to get infected and you can pass it on to something else. So you’re much better, almost certainly, not to wear gloves in that situation and to just wash your hands regularly before and after you touch objects. So it does mean the staff need to be using hand sanitiser a lot.

Masks are controversial. The main reason for wearing masks in an environment of a supermarket is if you’re asymptomatic, you’re less likely to pass it on to other people. So it will be up to the policies of the supermarket or the person involved. It’s probably not going to make a huge amount of difference but if you choose to wear a mask, it will help.

Tegan Taylor: You mentioned shelves before, people stacking shelves and stuff, what are the chances of me as a shopper picking up coronavirus from a product that’s on a supermarket shelf?

Norman Swan: You’re much more likely to pick up coronavirus from coming close to somebody who is coughing or sneezing or breathing out the virus, from the droplets in the air rather than on surfaces. We have talked a lot about surfaces and you can get it from surfaces, but the reality is it’s a lower-risk situation than just the general close contact with somebody and sharing the air that they breathe. It sounds disgusting but it’s the way it is. So products from shelves, the risk is low, and simply if you observe hand hygiene, you take the products off the shelves, you put them in the trolley, and then you wash your hands or you use hand sanitiser, then that’s a pretty safe place to be. And most of the products on the shelves that you’re going to be buying are cardboard or paper, and the coronavirus doesn’t last that long on there, up to a day, but it decreases quite quickly. Products on the shelves are pretty safe, they are not entirely safe, but if you’re just prudent about hand hygiene, not touching your face when you’re shopping, that’s going to keep you pretty well protected.

Tegan Taylor: That actually leads really well into the next question which is from Jim. He’s 80, so obviously he’s in that higher age group, maybe a higher risk of having a bad outcome if he gets coronavirus. He’s got himself on the priority list for home deliveries, they are going to be left on the front porch. He is wondering whether he should be trying to sterilise any items. He’s got hand steriliser and some alcohol spray. Should he be spritzing his groceries before he brings them inside?

Norman Swan: I think, again, it’s a bit like the shopping situation where to be really prudent you might want to just leave the outside packaging outside and just take in the products themselves, even though that may be a little bit more laborious. And once you’ve done that, then it wouldn’t do any harm with plastic or steel, those hard surfaces, to spray it with isopropyl alcohol if you have it. That’s a way of ensuring the situation for yourself. If you want to dispose of the packaging itself then it would be pretty safe to go outside, put it in the bin and then wash your hands with soap and water afterwards. And again, after you’ve handled the products, soap and water afterwards just on your hands to actually make sure that you are protecting yourself.

Tegan Taylor: We’ve got Tricia asking about how to keep surfaces clean, especially at home, what the best concentration is for a bleach and water solution or should you just lather everything in soapsuds. What do we know?

Norman Swan: I think there is no question that the safest and simplest thing to use for surfaces is detergent. Detergent gets rid of this virus because it knocks off the fat around the virus and exposes it and the virus dies. So that’s the most effective thing. You can go to bleach and peroxide, but the problem with bleach is you’ve got to then get to the right concentration of sodium hypochlorite which is the active chemical in bleach, and the concentration is 0.1%. Not 1% but 0.1%. And you’re better Googling a calculator for bleach dilution because inevitably if I tell you how to dilute it, it’s going to get wrong and you’re going to make a mistake. But the key message here with bleach is if you’re dilating it yourself to 0.1%, you’ve got to be super careful and don’t add any other chemicals other than bleach. But detergent works well, so why bother with bleach is really what I think.

Tegan Taylor: What about washing other things, fruit and veg, should we be using detergent for that? Can you use hot water, should you use cold water? Help us!

Norman Swan: If only we really knew the answer to this question.

Tegan Taylor: Exactly.

Norman Swan: I think most people say the risk from fruit and veg is low and you should just wash it the way you would normally wash it, which is in cold water, thoroughly, and dry it off as you would normally dry it off. That is going to be fine. And the reality is by the time you get home, these surfaces that are organic, the virus may well not survive that long on them. And so the key here is just wash the way you would normally, the risk is extremely low, and you’re much better off having fresh fruit and vegetables than the small risk of catching coronavirus from them.

Tegan Taylor: The questions are coming thick and fast. I’ve got hot questions and cold questions for you. So, first of all…

Norman Swan: Let’s go hot.

Tegan Taylor: Let’s go hot first. Does boiling water kill the virus? If you poured boiling water on your car keys or something like that, would that kill it?

Norman Swan: Well, it would certainly kill your car keys. As we have just said, all you need is detergent. There is no question that cooking and high temperatures will kill this virus, but that doesn’t mean to say you want to douse everything in boiling water. That’s dangerous, you could scald yourself, you could scald the kids that are around, and you don’t need to do it. And it’s not going to convincingly catch all the virus. Because, just think about it, let’s imagine that you pour boiling water on packaging or something like that. At the point where you’re impacting the piece of cardboard or whatever, yes, there might not be very much coronavirus left, but there might be coronavirus down at the bottom that you haven’t actually dealt with. So you’re much better dealing with this with what we know, which is detergent, if you’re talking about surfaces, if you’re talking about cleaning products or alcohol, spraying 70% alcohol on it, that’s going to be much more effective and you’ll still be able to start the car in the morning.

Tegan Taylor: Okay, so now for my cold question. We’ve got Andrew asking about buying milk that goes in a fridge or things that are going in the freezer, frozen meats wrapped in plastic. Do we know about how much the virus survives at low temperatures?

Norman Swan: I think we can safely say that the virus will survive in the fridge and it probably will survive in the freezer as well. Not absolutely convincing evidence on that but the safe assumption to make is that it could survive both the fridge and the freezer. So it does mean that if you want to be really sure and you have a milk carton, then just get some detergent and wipe down the milk carton before you put it in the fridge, the same with a bottle of milk and so on. And then it’s unlikely that there is any virus on it at all. You probably just want to…I think just general hygiene, you probably just want to be cleaning the fridge frequently with detergent, so that you’re not leaving things lying around. And frozen meats, again, if it’s in a package, if you wipe the package with detergent before you put it in and then rinse that detergent off so that there’s not soap going around your freezer, then when you take it out there is not going to be any virus on it. But if you put it in without washing it and there was virus, then it probably will still be on it. So I think that you just need common sense there and treat each touch as a potentially risky touch and wash your hands before and afterwards.

Tegan Taylor: So we know that washing our hands is a really important part of stopping that virus getting into our faces which is how we get sick. Tony is asking; should he coat his hands in liquid antibacterial hand wash before he goes to the shops? Is there any value in this or does he need water to activate the soapiness?

Norman Swan: You need to actually create a soapy effect to get the surfactant going, the stuff that breaks down the fat. So just putting on the soap itself will get you some surfactant effect, but actually diluting it with water and getting some lather up is really what you want to see to kill the virus.

Tegan Taylor: So there’s the detergent itself and then there is also the actual rubbing that works together.

Norman Swan: The rubbing and the foaming are really important parts of it.

Tegan Taylor: Well, that’s it for Coronacast today. We are planning a mental health episode for next week, with special guest Ian Hickie, so if you have any questions related to mental health, jump on to abc.net.au/coronavirus, and just make sure to add the word Coronacast into your question so we can find it easily.

Norman Swan: And we’ll see you tomorrow. And tomorrow we’ll be publishing our social media myths episode, so subscribe and keep an eye out for that. See you then.

Tegan Taylor: See you later.

Michael Moore Presents: Planet of the Humans

“Michael Moore presents Planet of the Humans, a documentary that dares to say what no one else will this Earth Day — that we are losing the battle to stop climate change on planet earth because we are following leaders who have taken us down the wrong road — selling out the green movement to wealthy interests and corporate America. This film is the wake-up call to the reality we are afraid to face: that in the midst of a human-caused extinction event, the environmental movement’s answer is to push for techno-fixes and band-aids. It’s too little, too late. Removed from the debate is the only thing that MIGHT save us: getting a grip on our out-of-control human presence and consumption. Why is this not THE issue? Because that would be bad for profits, bad for business. Have we environmentalists fallen for illusions, “green” illusions, that are anything but green, because we’re scared that this is the end—and we’ve pinned all our hopes on biomass, wind turbines, and electric cars? No amount of batteries are going to save us, warns director Jeff Gibbs (lifelong environmentalist and co-producer of “Fahrenheit 9/11” and “Bowling for Columbine”). This urgent, must-see movie, a full-frontal assault on our sacred cows, is guaranteed to generate anger, debate, and, hopefully, a willingness to see our survival in a new way—before it’s too late. Featuring: Al Gore, Bill McKibben, Richard Branson, Robert F Kennedy Jr., Michael Bloomberg, Van Jones, Vinod Khosla, Koch Brothers, Vandana Shiva, General Motors, 350.org, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sierra Club, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Nature Conservancy, Elon Musk, Tesla. Music by: Radiohead, King Crimson, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Blank & Jones, If These Trees Could Talk, Valentina Lisitsa, Culprit 1, Patrick O’hearn, The Torquays, Nigel Stanford, and many more.”

Peter’s 80th Birthday in 2015 and Pauly the Car

https://berlioz1935.wordpress.com/2015/05/19/pauly-the-car/#comment-3458

This is what Peter wrote on the 19th May 2015:
“Last weekend was my 80th birthday and I had a really good time.”

And he says: “Our son Martin had even flown in from Melbourne for the weekend. He had to fly back on Sunday and we offered to take him back to the airport and take daughter Caroline home to Sydney.

The only way out from Wollongong, which is practically just a few meters above sea level, is up a steep road, Mount Ousley Road, across the Illawarra escarpment. It was only constructed during WWII by the Americans with their “can-do”  attitude.

While going up the steep hill, Caroline was driving,  the car seemed a bit sluggish. With four adult people on board, it did not seem unusual. But, we started to discuss the car’s age and Caroline suggested we could buy another car. Maybe not a new one, but at least a well preserved and reliable second-hand car.

Just seconds after discussing this, and not remembering Ilse’s advice,  the car showed severe signs of illness. It lost power and no amount of gear-shifting would help. Soon enough, belching smoke poured out everywhere and we feared the engine could blow up. Our car looked more like an old steam engine than a 21st Century automobile.  We decided to pull up at the turn-off to the Clive Bissell Drive where there is a convenient parking area. We thought of letting the car cool off and then continue.

Caroline did not trust “Pauly” anymore and rang a friend who lives in a neighbouring suburb. He came  and Martin made it, just in time, to the airport.”

https://auntyuta.com/2015/05/19/utas-diary-13/

In my Diary from 19th May 2015 I found the following pictures:

IMG_1561

IMG_0605

IMG_1562

IMG_1565

IMG_1563

IMG_1570

IMG_1571

IMG_1572

IMG_1573

IMG_1575

IMG_0607

IMG_0606

Big Meal for Peter at the German Club.
Big Meal for Peter at the German Club.

2015-05-16_19-27-26_919

Veal Schnitzel and dumplings for me.
Veal Schnitzel and dumplings for me.

Everyone could order what they felt like. For entrees there was Rollmops, or baked Camembert cheese or soup.
Most people got German beer from the tap. Ebony left soon after dinner with the two little darlings, our great-grandsons. There were later on 12 people left for the welcome drink, a nice sweet bubbly.

2015-05-16_20-45-10_610

2015-05-16_21-43-19_696

2015-05-16_20-45-26_245

2015-05-16_21-43-50_597

2015-05-16_21-45-15_987

2015-05-16_20-45-47_45

Thoughts on the 16th of May

This is what Peter (Berlioz) wrote seven years ago!

Berlioz1935's Blog

On this day, seventy-eight years ago, I was born in Berlin. This was such a long, long time ago!

The apartment building I grew up in The apartment building I grew up in

So much has happened during that time. That I’m still alive is a wonder. Before I was ten the biggest of wars dominated my life. I would say it has shaped me into the person I am today. I can’t run away from that legacy. Neither do I want to.

First the Poms, then the Yankees tried to bomb shit out of me. Many a times I was in an air raid shelter when the whole building was shaking. We heard the bombs whistling down on us and after a moments silence the mighty burst of an explosion nearby made us think there was an earthquake. But we survived the day and night bombing only to experience the roar of the artillery of the

View original post 1,013 more words

New South Wales Road Photo Gallery: National Route 1 (Mount Ousley Road)

http://www.expressway.online/oldsite/photogallery/roads/nsw/numbered/nr1/mtousleyrd/index.htm

Mount Ousley Road is the controlled access road that forms the link between the north and south sections of the F6 Southern Freeway. It also serves as the main route up/down the Illawarra Escarpment and the major entrance to Wollongong.

Mount Ousley Road was constructed as a defence route during the 1940’s to provide an easier route up and down the Illawarra Escarpment than the existing Bulli Pass and Mount Keira routes, and Mount Ousley Road was connected to the F6 at Gwynneville in March 1964.

Length:
16 km

 

BIG PHARMA: Pentagon Study Reveals Flu Shot Raises Risk of Coronavirus by 36% (…& Other Supporting Studies) – By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

I find this interesting!

RIELPOLITIK

Source – childrenshealthdefense.org

“…In their meta-analysis, the Cochrane researchers accused the CDC of deliberately misrepresenting the science in order to support their universal influenza vaccination recommendation. Nevertheless, CNN and other mainstream media outlets continually broadcast CDC pronouncements as gospel and, ironically, ridicules those of us who actually read the science as “purveyors of ‘vaccine misinformation”

Pentagon Study: Flu Shot Raises Risk of Coronavirus by 36% (and Other Supporting Studies) – By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.Chairman, Children’s Health Defense

On March 12th, 2020, Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta held a global town hall on “Corona Facts and Fears.” During the discussion, Anderson said to the viewing audience, “And, again, if you are concerned about coronavirus, and you haven’t gotten a flu shot…you should get a flu shot.”

Setting safety and efficacy of influenza vaccination aside, is Anderson’s claim that the flu shot will help people fight COVID-19 remotely true?…

View original post 524 more words

The Only Man Who Has a Clue

O Society

Cartier-BressonForbiddenCity1948

Henri Cartier-Bresson: A visitor to the Forbidden City, Beijing 1948

by Raúl Meijer edited by O Society April 16, 2020

Today, I’m going to try to show you how and why we know that in the case of a pandemic like the one we’re in, surrounded by doubts and uncertainties, there are still a series of measures that we can and, more importantly, must take. But also, how these measures are hardly ever taken, and if they are, not in the correct fashion. This has to date led us into a ton of preventable misery and death. If only we would listen. And there’s still more we can do to prevent more mayhem, there is at every step of the process.

It took me a while to get this together. But in the end I wound up with the only COVID19 analysis that makes sense. It doesn’t leave much room…

View original post 3,937 more words