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Thread: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Wuhan Pneumonia

  1. #271
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    I predicted this 12 years ago when I started this thread...

    ...but I didn't foresee it happening this way.

    It's Official: China Overtakes North America as World's Biggest Box Office in 2020
    9:43 PM PDT 10/18/2020 by Patrick Brzeski


    Courtesy of Beijing Culture
    'My People, My Homeland'


    As the American entertainment industry ponders whether the pandemic has done permanent damage to moviegoing, China's theaters have returned to strong earnings.
    China is officially home to the world's biggest movie box office.

    Movie ticket sales in China for 2020 climbed to $1.988 billion on Sunday, surpassing North America's total of $1.937 billion, according to data from Artisan Gateway. The gap is expected to widen considerably by year's end.

    Analysts have long predicted that the world's most populous country would one day top the global charts. But the results still represent a historic sea change: North America has been the global box office's center of gravity since the dawn of the motion picture business.

    It only took a pandemic to accelerate the transition.

    Thanks to China's effective containment of COVID-19, the country’s tens of thousands of theaters are operating at 75 percent of usual seating capacity, while filmgoers are demonstrating little hesitation about returning to the multiplex.

    During the recent weeklong National Day holiday, running Oct. 1-8, China's cinemas sold $586 million worth of tickets. Local blockbuster My People, My Homeland brought in $19.1 million over just the past weekend, lifting its total earnings to $360 million after 18 days. China also has produced the world's biggest hit of 2020, WWII epic The Eight Hundred, with $460 million and counting. (Hollywood's biggest global earner this year is Sony's Bad Boys for Life at $426.5 million.)

    The state of the North American box office, meanwhile, could scarcely be more dire. With theaters in many major markets still closed due to the United States' dangerously high COVID-19 infection rates, much of the industry's chatter has turned to the question of whether the damage done to the domestic theatrical film model might become permanent.

    The major studios have postponed all of their biggest tentpole releases — such as Marvel's Black Widow and the James Bond film No Time to Die — until at least early 2021. AMC Theatres, North America's largest cinema chain, warned last week that it could run out of cash by the end of this year.

    Liam Neeson's action flick Honest Thief, from Open Road, topped the North American box office over the past frame with just $3.7 million — results that were considered respectable given the state of cinemas.

    Some industry insiders also worry that escalating political turmoil between Washington and Beijing could soon undercut Hollywood's longterm foothold in China, the one market where sales are again strong.

    In the seemingly distant days of 2019, North America was still on top with combined annual tickets sales of $11.4 billion, with China trailing in second place at $9.2 billion. China's 2020 win comes with a COVID-19 asterisk — the question is whether the new order will prove permanent.

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  2. #272
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    What will Chinatown look like after the pandemic ends?

    There's an embedded vid but it says exactly what this article says.

    'It's a disaster:' SF Chinatown merchants, denied loans, speak out after 100-year-old staple forced to close
    This comes as news that Far East Café, a staple in Chinatown for more than a hundred years, announced they will close next week.
    By J.R. Stone
    Tuesday, December 22, 2020 11:17PM

    Business owners in San Francisco's Chinatown are speaking out, demanding that the city do more to help them. This comes as news that Far East Café, a staple in Chinatown for more than a hundred years, announced they will close next week.

    SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Business owners in San Francisco's Chinatown are speaking out, demanding that the city do more to help them.

    This comes as news that Far East Café, a staple in Chinatown for more than a hundred years, announced they will close next week amid the coronavirus crisis.

    "That's really sad to see that Far East is closing because it's one of the best restaurants in Chinatown," says Domingo Ortiz who works nearby.

    And there is a fear in this neighborhood that more businesses will close if help doesn't come soon.

    "For Rent" and "For Sale" signs already sit in the windows of vacant storefronts in the once-bustling area.

    Denis Xenos, the owner of Denis' Country Kitchen in Lodi, California, claims to have found a loophole to legally keep his small business open against the state's stay-at-home order during the coronavirus pandemic.

    Sam Chen of Magical Ice Cream tried for a small business loan, but was denied.

    "I do try like four times but I couldn't get it," says Chen.

    Those across the street at New Age Camera tried for a loan. They were denied as well.

    "Over here it is a disaster," says Ortiz.

    Eva Lee of the Chinatown Merchants Association says city leaders need to help fight for these businesses by helping with grants and loans, or work to partner them with big companies.

    "What do we want our city to look like? Are we going to be like a typical suburbia with just Targets and big stores left? Is that what we want? The fabric of our city is being torn apart right now," says Lee.

    And as the city landscape changes, lawmakers in Washington D.C. are arguing about whether to give $600 or $2,000 to individuals.

    It's money that wouldn't go to businesses, but would go to those who work in these locations and are barely getting by.

    "Like I told my wife last night, anything the amount helps even if it's 600 dollars," says Ortiz.
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  3. #273
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    Thai herbal treatment

    Will there be anti-herbalists like the anti-vaxxers?

    Thailand Clears Use of Herbal Medicine for Covid-19 Treatment
    By Suttinee Yuvejwattana
    December 29, 2020, 10:02 PM PST

    Thailand’s health ministry approved the use of a herbal plant extract to treat early stages of Covid-19 as a pilot program amid a flareup in the coronavirus outbreak in the Southeast Asian nation.

    Andrographis Paniculata, commonly known as green chiretta, will serve as an alternative treatment to reduce the severity of the outbreak and cut treatment costs, the ministry said in a statement Wednesday. The treatment will be available in five state-owned hospital initially, it said.

    Thailand reported 250 new cases on Wednesday, taking the nation’s total to almost 7,000, and a government official said the rate of increase in local transmissions was alarming and urged people to stay at home to prevent the virus from spreading further. The government has also banned large gatherings in high-risk areas, said Taweesilp Witsanuyotin, a spokesperson for the national Covid-19 response center.

    The herbal treatment will be on a voluntary basis for those in the 18-60 age group with minor symptoms and should be within 72 hours of confirming infections
    The extract from the plant, known as Fah Talai Jone in Thai, can curb virus and reduce severity of inflammation, ministry says citing studies
    Human trials showed patient conditions improved within three days of the treatment without side effects if the medicine is administered within 72 hours of testing positive
    Separately, Thai Food and Drug Administration said it’s ready to register Covid-19 vaccines
    FDA has opened special channel for the registration to ensure speedy process
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  4. #274
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    Our newest article - Free from KungFuMagazine.com

    "In China, COVID-19 has been contained for a long time now" READ Rebuilding the Northern Shaolin Temple: Part 17: Beijing Shaolin Wushu School Meets North Shaolin Monastery on Panshan by Greg Brundage



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  5. #275
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    Hkiff

    Jan 12, 2021 10:20pm PT
    Hong Kong Film Festival Makes Plans for Hybrid Edition


    By Patrick Frater


    Courtesy of Celestial Tiger Entertainment
    The Hong Kong International Film Festival, delayed last year by the coronavirus outbreak, has announced plans to return to its normal Springtime slot. But with a lingering virus impact, the 2021 edition will be a hybrid, combining both in-theatre and online screenings and audience-engagement events.

    Executive director Albert Lee said that a hybrid 45th edition would allow audiences to connect through an online platform without sacrificing the irreplaceable big-screen cinematic experience. The event will run for 12 days, April 1-12, 2021.

    Selectors expect to have confirmed the full program by the end of February. They have scheduled a line-up announcement for March 9, 2021.

    “The COVID-19 pandemic severely disrupted the international film festival circuit last year. Many festivals, including our very own HKIFF44, were either cancelled or forced to move online,” said Lee.

    “With the pandemic showing few signs of abating, we recognize the proactive need to confront the challenges by adding an online component to our festival for the first time.” Besides screenings, the festival will offer online streaming of some of the seminars, post-screening talks, and other events.

    “The HKIFF Society will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation closely and comply with every health measure mandated by the government. Public safety remains our paramount concern,” Lee said.

    The Hong Kong FilMart and Hong Kong Asia Film Financing Forum, which sometimes overlap with the festival, will this year both be held earlier, in March. An all-digital FilMart will run March 15-18, 2021, and HAF operate March 15-17, 2021.

    Hong Kong has endured several surges of the virus over the past year. The current fourth wave is the most serious in terms of infections, but has caused relatively fewer deaths. Cinemas and most entertainment facilities in the city are currently shut.

    A total of 612 cases was recorded in the 14 days from Dec. 29, 2020 to Jan. 11, 2021, including 555 local cases, of which 173 were from unknown sources. Since the beginning of the outbreak, Hong Kong has recorded 9,344 infections and 160 fatalities.
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  6. #276
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    reclosed

    Culture China 19:43, 13-Jan-2021
    Kung fu shrine Shaolin Temple and other temples close again amid COVID-19
    CGTN


    China's kung fu shrine Shaolin Temple at Songshan Mountain in central China's Henan Province has again closed its door since Wednesday amid COVID-19 concerns as its neighboring province Hebei is facing a new wave of infections and has reported more than 300 new cases since January 2.

    The management committee of the Songshan Scenic Area, where the temple is located, announced on Tuesday that public visits to Shaolin Temple and other religious places in the area would be suspended from January 13 until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    According to the announcement, other scenic spots in the area, including Songyang Academy, Luya Waterfall and Songyue Pagoda, are still open with stern epidemic control measures in place.

    Visitors are required to wear masks, scan the "health code" and get their body temperature checked before entering the scenic area.


    White Horse Temple in Luoyang, Henan Province, China. /CFP

    Other famous ancient temples in Henan, such as the White Horse Temple in Luoyang City and Daxiangguo Temple in Kaifeng, also followed suits to close their doors suspending public religious activities from Wednesday to prevent mass gatherings and cross infections.

    The move came as multiple cities in China have reported new COVID-19 cases related to public gatherings over the past weeks.

    The world-famous Shaolin Temple, like many other scenic spots and cultural sites in China, closed in late January 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19. The 1,500-year-old temple then reopened to the public last June after the five-month closure.

    (Cover: Shaolin Temple is located at Songshan Mountain in central China's Henan Province. /CFP)
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  7. #277
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    Chinatown blues

    CORONAVIRUS CALIFORNIA
    San Francisco's Chinatown clings to hope amid COVID-19 pandemic

    Small businesses and restaurants in the historic neighborhood are banding together. But they need your help.
    By Lauren Gee
    Monday, January 18, 2021 5:15PM

    San Francisco's Chinatown was one of the first neighborhoods to feel the impact of the coronavirus pandemic so we visited the neighborhood to see how businesses are surviving.

    SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- If you've ever been to San Francisco's Chinatown on any weekday afternoon, pre-pandemic, you'd be struck by the vitality of the community. Residents weaving through the tourists, the sound of children throwing poppers onto the ground, workers unloading boxes of fresh produce onto crowded sidewalks while locals compete to find the best deals.

    Now, many businesses in America's oldest Chinatown are at risk of closing. We spent a day in Chinatown to find out how the neighborhood is really doing.

    Our day started as we emerged from the underground parking lot at Portsmouth Square where we were first shocked to see dozens of people.

    It wasn't the normal sight of seniors huddling together playing cards and chess, or dancers practicing their Chinese fan dance routine. Instead, it was a sea of people wearing face masks and shields as they waited to get a COVID-19 test.

    Grant Avenue, Chinatown's most popular corridor for tourists, was empty. Entire blocks of businesses were adorned with closed signs, colorful toys inside souvenir shops were locked behind metal gates and the red lanterns dangling in the wind were the only moving objects in sight.

    "It feels depressed, you know, I mean, if there's no other way to describe it, it feels depressed and it doesn't feel like Chinatown," Malcolm Yeung, executive director of Chinatown Community Development Center, explained.

    San Francisco was one of the first cities in the nation to implement the shutdown, which prompted empty streets across town, but Chinatown Merchants Association's Advisor Betty Louie believes the neighborhood was hit even earlier because of xenophobia.

    What started as attacks, to empty stores, then a major decline in tourism, it has been a detrimental year for the community, Malcolm Yeung explained.

    "Even back then (pre-pandemic), I would say we have about 930 storefronts in Chinatown. I would be surprised if even 150 were operational right now," he added.


    Since the pandemic started, Eastern Bakery owner Orlando Kuan has moved his pastries outside for people to see on Grant Avenue.
    KGO-TV

    We spotted Eastern Bakery owner Orlando Kuan sitting on a plastic fold-out chair under his shop's awning with a table of freshly-baked treats.

    "Chinatown is almost dead," he explained.

    Even as the oldest bakery in Chinatown, Kuan says he lost at least 70% of sales since the shutdown started. It's his loyal customers who rave about the bakery's coffee crunch cake, moon cakes and Smackles (crispy savory cookies) that keep him going.

    "It's nothing like before," Yeung said. "I think that Chinatown and particularly Grant Avenue is like a ghost town right now."

    To prove just how empty the neighborhood is, we went to the most crowded shop we could think of -- Chinatown's iconic Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. The storefront is tucked in an alley, but you can't miss it because on any afternoon, you'd smell the sweet scent of cookies and see visitors lining out the door waiting to squeeze through for a peek at how fortune cookies are made. This time, we missed the alley and the store was empty.

    "It's just terrible, miserable and we have no business," Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company owner Kevin Chan explained.

    Now, Chan says he can't even afford to turn his machine on because no one is buying his fortune cookies. Since the pandemic, Chan says he's lucky to see 10 customers per day -- they're all local.


    "This business is 15 years here. I can't afford to shut it down because it's a legacy," said Kevin Chan, owner of Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory in San Francisco's Chinatown.
    KGO-TV

    As we walked through the streets with Chinatown's Community Director Malcolm Yeung, we realized the neighborhood wasn't all that quiet. Shopkeepers shouted to one another from across the street, locals who recognized Yeung exchanged their greetings and, he pointed out a silver lining amid the pandemic -- community.

    Following the announcement of one of Chinatown's oldest and most iconic restaurants permanently closing, the community's resilience was on full display.

    Since the shutdown of indoor dining, Far East Cafe's 100-year-old hand-carved wooden chandeliers, prohibition-era dining booths and lazy Susan's have been collecting dust. Owner Bill Lee and his daughter, Kathy Lee, described how strange it was to stand in a dark space that was once a hub for family banquets, wedding celebrations and huge association gatherings. Bill Lee shared that he has less than 30 orders a day and the latest ban on outdoor dining was "the nail on the coffin."

    Longtime customers, neighboring business owners and even Supervisor Aaron Peskin plead with Lee to hold off on closing so they could secure $1.9 million, a relief package that would fund CCDC's Feed and Fuel Chinatown program, which pays local restaurants to make meals for neighbors living in single-room-occupancy hotels.

    Business owners in San Francisco's Chinatown are speaking out, demanding that the city do more to help them. This comes as news that Far East Café, a staple in Chinatown for more than a hundred years, announced they will close next week.

    The Lees said they're taking a break and hope the wait will give them time to reboot and figure out how to continue moving forward. "The community, they support us 100%."

    "I think the pandemic has really brought us much closer together," Merchant Association Advisor Betty Louie said. "We're all helping each other as much as possible."

    The closed streets program was another way the neighborhood was able to connect with one another and boost business. Louie is optimistic that the program brings a newfound perspective to the area and entices new businesses with lowered rent.

    As Lunar New Year soon approaches, the CCDC's executive director said it's going to be devastating since no parades or street festivals are scheduled. Chinatown businesses generate up to a third of their annual revenue during the holiday. "That's why the help from the city, the donors, from whoever....to keep the restaurants open, the immigrants employed is more critical now than ever," Yeung said.

    "The only way we'll survive is to have people come and support our small businesses and they won't know what it's like if they don't come and visit and they'll be pleasantly surprised," Louie adds.

    Louie was right -- we were prepared to see closed storefronts and quiet streets, but what we didn't expect to find was the generosity and resilience of business owners who refused to give up. Though Chinatown may look like a ghost town, the community is coming together and most importantly, clinging to hope.

    "When Chinatown reopens for business, it will be a great place to come."

    To help donate to Feed and Fuel Chinatown program, click here.

    Treat yourself during quarantine with Eastern Bakery's homemade pastries, artisan chocolates from Jades Chocolate, or delicious fortune cookies from Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company.

    ABC7 News' Alix Martichoux contributed to this report.
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  8. #278
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    Coronavirus (COVID-19) Wuhan Pneumonia

    I met Paul. Subitai introduced me. He was the first UFC fighter that I met in person (aside from Subitai of course). He was feckin huge.

    Paul Varelans, UFC pioneer, dies at 51 after COVID-19 battle
    By Dan Martin January 17, 2021 | 12:45pm | Updated



    Paul Varelans, an Alaska native nicknamed “The Polar Bear” at 6-foot-8 and 300 pounds, was diagnosed last month. His death was confirmed by MMA Junkie and the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

    The 51-year-old Varelans had been in a medically induced coma.

    His UFC career began in 1995 and he reached the final of the UFC 7 tournament in Buffalo. His last fight was in 1998. Varelans also played college football at San Jose State.

    Even before his COVID digansosis last month, Varelans chronicled his battle online.

    “I have never felt so sick in my life, going to get tested today,” he wrote on Dec. 10.

    He later announced his positive diagnosis, saying “[I] feel like hell.”

    “Best way I can compare the feel of COVID-19 in my experience is, it’s like fighting a guy who specializes in kidney punches,” Varelans wrote in mid-December. “They never stop coming.”

    He was soon placed in a coma.
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  9. #279
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    Wuhan No-monia

    Wuhan returns to normal as world still battling pandemic
    By EMILY WANG FUJIYAMA
    yesterday


    Residents practice tai chi at a park in Wuhan in central China's Hubei Province on Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021. A year after it was locked down to contain the spread of coronavirus, the central Chinese city of Wuhan has largely returned to normal, even as China continues to battle outbreaks elsewhere in the country. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

    WUHAN, China (AP) — A year ago, a notice sent to smartphones in Wuhan at 2 a.m. announced the world’s first coronavirus lockdown, bringing the bustling central Chinese industrial and transport center to a virtual standstill almost overnight. It would last 76 days.

    Early Saturday morning, however, residents of the city where the virus was first detected were jogging and practicing tai chi in a fog-shrouded park beside the mighty Yangtze River.

    Life has largely returned to normal in the city of 11 million, even as the rest of the world grapples with the spread of the virus’ more contagious variants. Efforts to vaccinate people for COVID-19 have been frustrated by disarray and limited supplies in some places. The scourge has killed more than 2 million people worldwide.

    Traffic was light in Wuhan but there was no sign of the barriers that a year ago isolated neighborhoods, prevented movement around the city and confined people to their housing compounds and even apartments.

    Wuhan accounted for the bulk of China’s 4,635 deaths from COVID-19, a number that has largely stayed static for months. The city has been largely free of further outbreaks since the lockdown was lifted on April 8, but questions persist as to where the virus originated and whether Wuhan and Chinese authorities acted fast enough and with sufficient transparency to allow the world to prepare for a pandemic that has sickened more than 98 million.

    Wuhan has been praised for its sacrifice in the service of the nation, turning it into a sort of Stalingrad in China’s war against the virus, commemorated in books, documentaries, TV shows and florid panegyrics from officials including head of state and leader of the Communist Party Xi Jinping.

    “We think Wuhan is a heroic city. After all, it stopped its economy to help China deal with the pandemic. This is a noble act,” said resident Chen Jiali, 24, who works at an internet shopping company.

    China on Saturday announced another 107 cases, bringing its total since the start of the pandemic to 88,911. Of those, the northern province of Heilongjiang accounted for the largest number at 56. Beijing and the eastern financial hub of Shanghai both reported three new cases amid mass testing and lockdowns of hospitals and housing units linked to recent outbreaks.

    Authorities are wary of the potential for a new surge surrounding next month’s Lunar New Year holiday and are telling people not to travel and to avoid gatherings as much as possible. Schools are being let out a week early and many have already shifted to online classes. Mask wearing remains virtually universal indoors and on public transport. Mobile phone apps are used to trace people’s movements and prove they are both virus-free and have not been to areas where suspected cases have been found.

    Since the end of the lockdown, Wuhan has largely been spared further outbreaks, something residents such as chemistry teacher Yao Dongyu attribute to heightened awareness resulting from the traumatic experience of last year.

    “At that time, people were very nervous, but the government gave us huge support. It was a very powerful guarantee, so we got through this together,” said Yao, 24. “Since Wuhan people went through the pandemic, they’ve done better in personal precautions than people in other regions.”

    China has doggedly defended its actions in the early days of the outbreak, saying it helped buy time for the rest of the world while pushing fringe theories that the virus was brought to the city from outside China, possibly from a laboratory in the U.S.

    After months of negotiations, China finally gave permission last week for the World Health Organization to send a team of international experts to begin investigating the virus’ origins. They are currently undergoing two weeks of quarantine.

    A panel of experts commissioned by the WHO criticized China and other countries this week for not moving to stem the initial outbreak earlier, prompting Beijing to concede it could have done better.

    Meanwhile, in Hong Kong in southern China, thousands of residents were locked down Saturday in an unprecedented move to contain a worsening outbreak in the city.

    Hong Kong has been grappling to contain a fresh wave of the coronavirus since November. More than 4,300 cases have been recorded in the last two months, making up nearly 40% of the city’s total.

    Authorities said in a statement that an area comprising 16 buildings in the working-class Yau Tsim Mong district will be locked down until all residents have been tested.
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