Tag Archives: COVID-19

Growing Number of COVID-19 Cases in Wisconsin Fuels National Demands for Vote-by-Mail

“Congress is running out of time to ensure that the chaos that happened in Wisconsin doesn’t unfold on a national scale come November.”

By Jessica Corbett, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-27-2020

Photo: Don Moynihan/flickr

The increasing number of COVID-19 cases among people who voted in-person for Wisconsin’s April 7 election is fueling demands for Congress to help fund the implementation of expanded vote-by-mail provisions in every state for the rest of this year, particularly for the nation’s general election scheduled for November.

“So far, 36 people who tested COVID-19 positive after April 9 have reported that they voted in person or worked the polls on election day,” Jennifer Miller, a spokeswoman for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, told Politico Monday As the outlet reported: Continue reading

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Earth Day 2020: Hope Gardens for your future

 

During WWII, America united in the war effort. We had a unified voice in all things that would help win against an enemy that most Americans would not see personally. Children rushed to dump the contents of their piggy banks because we needed copper for bullets. Women became workers that built ships, tanks and airplanes for the war and we celebrated Rosie the Riveter. We planted Victory Gardens and encouraged food preservation through canning because tin was needed for the war and workers were needed for the war effort. In 1942, roughly 15 million families planted victory gardens; by 1944, an estimated 20 million victory gardens produced roughly 8 million tons of food—which was the equivalent of more than 40 percent of all the fresh fruits and vegetables consumed in the United States.

Key to America’s survival in the homeland was the national push for Victory Gardens; symbolizing independence and American’s ability to adapt. Those who did not garden were left at the mercy of survival solely by governmental rations of food, long bread lines and ration stamps. Those who planted Victory Gardens had the needed food to continue working as the nation struggled toward victory. Only two of these original Victory Gardens survive to today. One is located at the Richard D. Parker Memorial Victory Gardens in Boston’s Fenway and the other is the Dowling Community Gardens in Minneapolis.

Jump forward to today. We are once again fighting an enemy we can not see with our only defense being equipment and supplies that are hard to come by. Our meat processing facilities are threatened by outbreaks while our grocery stores can not keep enough stock on hand to meet the needs of everyone eating at home. Production in the United States has always focused on two separate markets; the consumer market and the commercial market. There is no adaptability between the two systems that have been specialized to specific markets. Packaging, size, quality, preparation, transportation and pricing all affect these two separate supply chains.

The problem is compounded by extreme weather associated with climate change. The western United States in undergoing a drought that makes the Dust Bowl of the 40’s appear meaningless. Bee and pollinator populations continue to plummet after the current Administration approved broad, expansive insecticides that are known to kill bee and pollinator populations.

Absent a federal response that meets the gravity of the moment, we are left to figure out how we are going to move forward with hope for our families and our future. Your grandmother would most likely encourage you to plant a garden to supplement your food needs for the short term. Chances are, she did it when your parents were young.

In a space of 20 x 30 feet (600 square feet), you can grow enough food to feed two adults for close to 8 months. If your family is larger, you can use more space to grow your Hope Garden. There is a plethora of information available online. Your county extension office, local DNR or any Master Gardener site can also assist you.

Preservation of food has come a long way since 1943. Options now include traditional canning, freezing or dehydration. All are effective and fairly simple to accomplish even at beginning levels. Fresh apple pie in the dead of winter is as American as pot roast with potatoes, gravy and a side or two of garden vegetables. Home made jelly on a slice of home-baked bread still warm from the oven has a certain nostalgia that is hard to beat. Sweet corn in January that tastes like it was picked yesterday is beyond rewarding.

This is the time to make your decision. This is the time to remove the sod from the space you want to garden in, so you are not fighting weeds and grasses among your vegetables. This is the time to choose vegetables based on your family’s preferences and source seeds or bedding plants to get the most from your growing season.

Yes, gardening is a commitment. So is marriage, being a parent or having a career. But food is essential to survival. Being totally dependent on others for your food places you and those you provide for at risk. Reduce your risk by realizing you can do this, you can have hope, and you can have a Hope Garden to gain that edge up in what appears to be a crumbling system whose consequences are not fully understood yet.

 

 

 

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The Covid-19 Timeline Trump Does Not Want You To See

In order to understand how the COVID-19 virus has spread so far across the American landscape, one must study the timeline. In science, this is called looking at the model. We’ve heard a lot about looking at models – but this is the one you are not supposed to notice.

You are not supposed to see a clear pattern of first denial, then feigned victory. You are not supposed to see the total lack of leadership, the inability to use resources to solve problems, even lacking the ability to admit the destruction this virus could cause was grossly underestimated.

So here we are, America. Our health care system is failing with health care professionals becoming sick because they are unable to get the personal protective equipment they need that is mandated. Our food supply is at risk as workers are either afraid or too sick to plant, harvest or process our food. Small businesses in rural communities will never reopen, further damaging the farmer and small towns across rural America. And come November, we are supposed to believe “he” alone has saved us from a fate worse than death – not allowing him to have things his way. What makes you sickest? This “model” or COVID-19?

Dec 18th – House Impeaches Trump

Jan 8th – First CDC warning

Jan 9th – Trump campaign rally

Jan 14th – Trump campaign rally

Jan 16h – House sends impeachment articles to Senate

Jan 18th – Trump golfs Jan 19th – Trump golfs

Jan 20th – first case of corona virus in the US, Washington State.

Jan 22nd – “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”

Jan 24th – Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion.

Jan 28th – Trump campaign rally

Jan 30th – Trump campaign rally

Feb 1st – Trump golfs

Feb 2nd – “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

Feb 5th – Senate votes to acquit. Then takes a five-day weekend.

Feb. 10th – Trump’s new budget plan is released, including $844 billion in cuts to health care and related research over a decade

Feb 10th – Trump campaign rally

Feb 12th – Dow Jones closes at an all time high of 29,551.42

Feb 15th – Trump golfs

Feb 19th – Trump campaign rally

Feb 20th – Trump campaign rally

Feb 21st – Trump campaign rally

Feb 24th – “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

Feb 25th – “CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”

Feb 25th – “I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”

Feb 26th – “The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”

Feb 26th – “We’re going very substantially down, not up.” Also “This is a flu. This is like a flu”; “Now, you treat this like a flu”; “It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.”

February 27th: – “One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”

Feb 28th – “We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn’t be ordering unless it was something like this. But we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”

Feb 28th – Trump campaign rally

March 2nd – “You take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”

March 2nd – “A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”

March 4th –  “If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”

March 5th – “I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”

March 5th – “The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”

March 6th – “I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”

March 6th – “Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”

March 6th – “I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”

March 6th – “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”

March 7th – Trump golfs

March 8th – Trump golfs

March 8th – “We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.”

March 9th – “This blindsided the world.”

March 13th – [Declared state of emergency]

March 17th – “This is a pandemic,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

March 18th – “It’s not racist at all. No. Not at all. It comes from China. That’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate.”

Mar 19th – “We’re not a shipping clerk.” Trump tells governors to step up their efforts to get medical supplies from the open market, while FEMA begins seizing the orders states place.

March 23th- Dow Jones closes at 18,591.93

March 25th – 3.3 million Americans file for unemployment.

March 30th – Dow Jones closes at 21,917.16

March 31st – Frank Gabrin becomes the first ER doctor in the US to die from COVID-19

April 1st – Over 4,000+ Americans have died from the corona virus.

April 2nd – 6.6 million Americans file for unemployment.

April 3rd – Secret Service signs “emergency order” for golf carts at Trump’s Virginia Golf Club location

April 6th – The Trump administration quietly invoked the Defense Production Act to force medical suppliers in Texas and Colorado to sell to it first — ahead of states, hospitals or foreign countries.

April 8th – The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, citing a need to focus on the COVID-19 pandemic, temporarily halts some efforts to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in overpayments made to Medicare Advantage health plans.

April 9th – Another 6.6 million file for unemployment.

April 13th – White House Coronavirus Task Force briefing devolves into disinformation and defense of Trump’s actions.

April 13th – USA leads the world while testing less than 1% of the population. At press time, the US have tested only 2,935,006 people. Of those, 582,607 are diagnosed with COVID-19. 23,628 Americans are dead. Only 44,261 have recovered.

April 13th – Capt. Brett Crozier is in quarantine after testing positive for the coronavirus. Over 580 of the USS Theodore Roosevelt’s crew of 4,800 tested positive as of Sunday, according to the Navy. Nearly 4,000 of the crew members have since evacuated the ship into Guam, where many of them are under quarantine in hotels. Today, one of the sailors died.

Editor’s Note: In order to best understand the fray between reality and Trump’s view, please read this and this.

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Former OSHA Officials Voice Alarm as Trump Tells Corporations They Don’t Have to Record Coronavirus Cases Among Their Workers

“If you work in a grocery store or factory then sorry, the coronavirus cases there probably aren’t being reported.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-12-2020

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci, Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue are among those attending a bill signing ceremony in the Oval Office of the White House on March 27, 2020 in Washington, D.C. Photo: White House/flickr

President Donald Trump’s Labor Department has quietly issued guidance informing most employers in the United States that they will not be required to record and report coronavirus cases among their workers because doing so would supposedly constitute an excessive burden on companies.

The new rules, released Friday by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), were met with alarm by public health experts and former Labor Department officials who said the new rules are an absurd attack on transparency that could further endanger frontline workers. Continue reading

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Older Americans are risking coronavirus exposure to get their medications

A new survey finds that, when it comes to medication, many older adults plan to keep going to the pharmacy as they always have. Braulio Jatar/Echoes Wire/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Sarah Vordenberg, University of Michigan and Brian J. Zikmund-Fisher, University of Michigan

It’s been nearly a month since the U.S. government began urging older Americans to stay home to avoid exposure to the new coronavirus. That means many older adults may be running out of their usual 30-day supplies of medication.

As the pandemic continues to spread, they increasingly face a difficult challenge: how to get the medications they need without putting themselves at risk.

As health services researchers at the University of Michigan, we recently conducted a national survey to see how Americans over age 65 were responding to that dilemma. The results should be a call to action, both for older adults and for those who care about them. Continue reading

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“We Are Undervalued’: Target Delivery Workers to Walk Off Job in Demand for Better Treatment Amid Outbreak

“We are exposing ourselves to great risk so others don’t have to. During these uncertain times, Shipt must not put profits before people.”

By for Common Dreams. Published 4-6-2020

Photo: Wonderlane/flickr

Joining a nationwide wave of employee-led direct action during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, gig workers at the Target-owned grocery delivery service Shipt plan to walk off the job Tuesday and not return until the company provides them with two weeks of paid sick leave, hazard pay, and personal protective equipment.

“On Tuesday, April 7th, Shipt workers will walk off until our demands are met,” the group of Shipt workers that organized the walkout wrote in a Medium post Monday. “We call on customers, in a showing of solidarity, to boycott Shipt on Friday, April 10th.” Continue reading

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A small trial finds that hydroxychloroquine is not effective for treating coronavirus

A trial of an anti-malaria drug in France found different results from a similar study last month. Liliboas / Getty Images

Katherine Seley-Radtke, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

On Saturday the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of two antimalarial drugs, hydroxychloroquine and a related medication, chloroquine, for emergency use to treat COVID-19. The drugs were touted by President Trump as a “game changer” for COVID-19.

However, a study just published in a French medical journal provides new evidence that hydroxychloroquine does not appear to help the immune system clear the coronavirus from the body. The study comes on the heels of two others – one in France and one in China – that reported some benefits in the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin for COVID-19 patients who didn’t have severe symptoms of the virus. Continue reading

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‘A Harrowing Warning’ to All as Hungary Hands Far-Right Leader Dictatorial Powers Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

“We could have a parallel epidemic of authoritarian and repressive measures following close if not on the heels of a health epidemic.”

By Jake Johnson, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-30-2020

Viktor Orban. Photo: European Parliament/flickr/CC

Human rights groups and activists issued dire warnings about the state of democracy in Hungary—and the rest of the world—after the nation’s parliament on Monday approved a sweeping emergency law handing far-right Prime Minister Viktor Orbán dictatorial powers as the European country battles the coronavirus pandemic.

The new law indefinitely suspends elections and parliament, imposes up to five years in prison for anyone who intentionally spreads what the government classifies as misinformation, and gives Orbán the authority to suspend laws by decree as he works to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. The law easily passed Hungary’s parliament, which is dominated by Orbán’s far-right Fidesz party, by a vote of 137 to 53. Continue reading

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With a Quarter of the World’s Population Under US Sanctions, Countries Appeal to UN to Intervene

Eight countries, representing around one-quarter of all humanity, say that Washington’s actions are undermining their response to the COVID–19 pandemic sweeping the planet.

By Alan Macleod. Published 3-27-2020 by MintPress News

The governments of China, Cuba, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, Syria, and Venezuela – all under sanctions from the United States – sent a joint statement to the United Nations Secretary-General, the UN’s High Commissioner on Human Rights and the Director-General of the World Health Organization calling for an end to the unilateral American economic blockade, as they are, “illegal and blatantly violate international law and the charter of the United Nations.”

The eight countries, representing around one-quarter of humanity, say that Washington’s actions are undermining their response to the COVID–19 pandemic sweeping the planet. “The destructive impact of said measures at the national level, plus their extraterritorial implication, together with the phenomenon of over-compliance and the fear for ‘secondary sanctions,’ hinder the ability of national governments” in procuring even basic medical equipment and supplies, including coronavirus test kits and medicine. It is a “hard if not impossible deed for those countries who are currently facing the application of unilateral coercive measures,” to cope, they conclude. Continue reading

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‘This Is a Massive Scandal’: Trump FDA Grants Drug Company Exclusive Claim on Promising Coronavirus Drug

“It is insane and unacceptable,” said Bernie Sanders. “We will not tolerate profiteering. Any treatment or vaccine must be made free for all.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 3-24-2020

Coronavirus. Photo: CDC

As healthcare providers across the U.S. desperately attempt to treat a rapidly growing number of patients with the coronavirus, a pharmaceutical company with ties to the Trump administration has been granted exclusive status for a drug it is developing to treat the illness—a potential windfall for the company that could put the medication out of reach for many Americans.

As The Intercept reported Monday, the Food and Drug Administration granted Gilead Sciences “orphan” drug status for remdesivir, one of several drugs being tested as potential treatments for the coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19. The designation is generally reserved for drugs that treat rare illnesses affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans—but companies can be eligible if the designation, as in this case of a rapidly spreading virus, is made before a disease spreads beyond that limit. Continue reading

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