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Thread: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Wuhan Pneumonia

  1. #286
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    Thought I posted this already

    Maybe I saw it in the news but it was too hard to copy&paste.

    Russian Hospital Uses Tai Chi for COVID-19 Rehab
    AvatarAlfredo Cuadros POSTED ON FEBRUARY 11, 2021


    MOSCOW, RUSSIA (AP)- –

    COVID-19 patients being treated at a temporary hospital in Moscow are being offered Tai Chi lessons as part of their rehabilitation process.

    The Krylatskoye Ice Palace, known for hosting international speed skating competitions, was changed into a temporary hospital in October 2020.

    It’s been offering patients lessons in the gentle Chinese martial art as a means to aid their recovery.

    The exercises get them moving, without putting their hearts under heavy strain, medics at the temporary COVID-19 hospital said.

    The number of new coronavirus infections reported by Russian authorities has been on the decline this month, dropping from up to 25,000 a day in early January to under 20,000 this week.

    Russia has reported over 3.9 million confirmed coronavirus cases and over 75,000 deaths in the pandemic.

    In December, Russian authorities launched a vaccination campaign with the domestically developed Sputnik V jab, that is still undergoing advanced trials to ensure its safety and effectiveness.


    This report was created with information provided by the Associated Press
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  2. #287
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    Last stand...

    THE LAST STAND OF S.F. CHINATOWN'S STORIED BANQUET HALLS
    These restaurants have been Chinatown’s heart and soul. What happens to S.F. if they disappear?
    By Melissa Hung | Feb. 14, 2021 | San Francisco Chronicle


    ON A SATURDAY AFTERNOON in late December, Bill Lee walks through his empty restaurant in Chinatown. Though the tables are draped with white tablecloths, the dining room functions more as a storage space. Wedged between tables are stacks of red-cushioned dining chairs. Signage, featuring large photos of the restaurant’s dishes, leans against a wall. A lone bottle of hand sanitizer sits on a dining table. A year ago, the scene looked very different — the chatter of locals and tourists filled the room as they feasted on Cantonese and Chinese American dishes.

    Opened in 1920 at 631 Grant Ave., Far East Cafe is one of San Francisco Chinatown’s oldest restaurants. Much of its decor remains unchanged from its early days: oil paintings depicting historical scenes from Guangdong (where many early Chinese immigrants hailed from), large hanging lanterns from the province, and a set of dark wood-paneled private booths behind red curtains. Buttons for summoning wait staff remain on the walls, though the bell system no longer works.

    Far East Cafe is also one of Chinatown’s last remaining large-scale banquet halls, serving as a gathering space for the neighborhood’s many family associations and civic organizations. The dwindling number of Chinatown banquet halls worries community leaders, who fear their loss could devastate the culture and traditions of a community already threatened by gentrification. Ten years ago, there were five: Empress of China, Far East Cafe, Four Seas, Gold Mountain, and New Asia Restaurant. Now, only Far East and New Asia remain.

    Lee, 77, who took over Far East in 1999 and added the second floor for banquets, is only the third owner — along with nine other shareholders — in its history. Over the years, thousands of banquets have taken place there. Lee had planned to throw his own event: a 100th anniversary celebration of the restaurant in the fall of 2020. But that was before the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdowns that began in March. Now, instead, sitting in the dim dining room, he contemplates shutting down Far East for good.

    “I tell you, I love this restaurant. I have never spent so much time in one place,” Lee says. “I spent 20 years for this restaurant.”


    Far East Cafe owner Bill Lee sits at the bar while his daughter Kathy Lee, the restaurant’s manager, makes him a drink. Far East Cafe is one of the few remaining banquet halls in S.F.’s Chinatown, but Lee is unsure how long he can keep it running. | Jessica Christian / The Chronicle
    While the entire restaurant industry is struggling for survival, the pandemic has hit especially hard in Chinatown, which saw business drop months before shelter-in-place began. Lee is down to four employees from the 50 or so full- and part-time staff he once employed. He has tried to make a go at outdoor dining. Volunteers had been putting finishing touches on a new parklet structure, painted red and trimmed in yellow to match the restaurant. But then the city halted outdoor dining on Dec. 6 in the midst of a coronavirus surge. Lee felt defeated. He didn’t want to close, but he was operating at a deep loss, even after he and his daughter Kathy Lee, the manager, stopped taking their salaries.

    Two weeks later, on Dec. 22, news broke that Far East would close permanently on Dec. 31. The next day Supervisor Aaron Peskin, who represents Chinatown, held a press conference in front of the restaurant, telling Lee that help was on the way. The week before, nine community organizations had written to Mayor London Breed, warning that the situation in Chinatown was dire and asking the city to provide millions in financial aid, as it had done for the Latino community. Peskin and Supervisor Sandra Lee Fewer introduced legislation proposing $1.9 million in relief for Chinatown restaurants. Peskin urged Lee to hang on. Lee shrugged his shoulders and seemed to laugh, perhaps wearily, from behind his face mask.

    But the speed of government bureaucracy is too slow for Lee. Nearly a month passed before the Board of Supervisors approved the legislation on Jan. 19, another month where he owed tens of thousands more dollars in rent, utilities and more. The city funds will help Chinatown restaurants, including Lee’s Far East, survive for a few months. But then what? Will enough people be vaccinated by then that COVID-19 infections slow sufficiently for businesses to reopen? Or will the situation worsen again?

    And there is a larger question: If the banquet halls go, what will become of Chinatown?
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    Clockwise from top left: Gogo Wu and Lillian Lin at the Chinese Real Estate Association of America Chinese New Year and Installation Banquet held at New Asia restaurant on February 21, 2020; Kuo Wah restaurant in San Francisco’s Chinatown in an undated photo; a Lunar New Year banquet held by the Chinatown Community Development Center (CCDC) that was attended by, from far right, future Vice President Kamala Harris, the Rev. Norman Fong of the CCDC, Jane Kim, David Chiu, Phil Ting, the late Jeff Adachi, the late Mayor Ed Lee, the late Rose Pak and CCDC founder Gordon Chin; an image from an old postcard showing the interior of the Empress of China, a banquet hall in San Francisco’s Chinatown. | Photos By Frank Jang And Chinatown Community Development Center
    HUNDREDS OF BANQUETS take place in San Francisco Chinatown every year — family association gatherings, weddings, red egg and ginger parties, political fundraisers and galas for nonprofits. More modest events might book a smaller banquet hall like Imperial Palace. But the big ones can fill up all 680 seats at Far East Cafe or the 1,000 at New Asia. (Back in the day, some banquets were so large that they filled multiple locations.) A Chinatown banquet, much like Chinatown itself, is a crowded affair, with guests seated snugly at 10-tops as waiters in white shirts and vests deploy platters upon platters across the dining room. The dishes are abundant; there is always food left over.

    The first quarter of the year is an especially busy time because of Chinese New Year, which typically occurs in late January or early February. Because there aren’t enough bookings available close to the holiday to accommodate everyone, New Year banquets can stretch into April and May. Reservations need to be made a year in advance, sometimes two.

    A Chinatown banquet is not just a party with a parade of family-style dishes. For a community that has endured segregation, racist immigration exclusion that kept families apart and threats of displacement, banquets are loud, bountiful, collective affirmations of community resilience.

    “This is a community that traditionally has been very close, very networked, and very organized in certain senses and I think that that connection has been one of the critical elements of why this community has been a successful immigrant gateway for so long,” says Malcolm Yeung, executive director of the Chinatown Community Development Center, one of the organizations that penned the letter to the city asking for help.

    Forced to fend for itself, Chinatown long ago established an ecosystem of mutual aid through its family and district associations and its social service and advocacy organizations — a network that still exists today. New immigrants know they can come to Chinatown for resources and opportunities. “All of that is based on the connection and cultural fabric that we’ve been able to weave in this community,” Yeung said. And community banquets are the primary mechanism for celebrating and maintaining those connections, he says.

    And while food is always important — each dish in a banquet is imbued with meaning — it’s not about the meal, but the whole experience of Chinatown. About being reminded, even if on a subconscious level, that this is where the community began.

    Chinatown banquets also showcase political empowerment. Laurene Wu McClain, 77, an attorney who grew up in Chinatown, attended banquets in the 1950s and ’60s with her father, the head of their family association and a co-founder of San Francisco’s Chinese Historical Society. She remembers fondly the sound of hundreds of people cracking open watermelon seeds with their teeth at the start of banquets, and the bottles of Belfast Sparkling Cider on every table.

    She also remembers how, against the backdrop of the Cold War, when relations between the U.S. and a newly communist China were antagonistic, the community courted politicians and government officials. Though most Chinese Americans were anti-communist, they feared they’d be viewed as the enemy and incarcerated, as Japanese Americans had been during World War II. They made outreach efforts to the wider American society through events like the Chinese New Year Parade and banquets.

    “Sometimes it was the first time anyone would have seen the Caucasian mayor of San Francisco or seen in person one of the members of the Board of Supervisors,” she says of guests at banquets. “That was part of the assimilation process, that, yes, we are our own ethnic group, but we do belong here. We belong here and we invite you to join us in our celebrations.”

    Today, many working-class families who started out in Chinatown have advanced to the middle class and live in the avenues or suburbs of the East Bay and Peninsula where there are newer, more spacious Chinese restaurants and 99 Ranch Markets with well-stocked aisles and hot deli counters. There’s less reason to come to Chinatown and hassle with parking just to buy groceries and a roast duck. Younger generations often prefer getting married in Napa rather than throwing a traditional Chinese wedding banquet.

    Yet banquets remain critical to the culture and plexus of Chinatown, connecting community members to the power brokers of the city — and to each other.

    “Chinatown is the social-political capital of the Chinese community,” says David Ho, 43, a political consultant. “People don’t go book tables in Cupertino and expect 1,000 Chinese to show up. That’s just not going to happen. First, they don’t have the facilities for it. Second, only Chinatown can get that kind of audience and attention from politicians.”

    Ho would know. As a Chinatown activist and a political consultant, he has thrown his share of banquets over the years.

    “It’s really about community coming together. It’s about seeing old friends and new friends, and a tie to where we came from, to the immigrant legacy,” says Mabel Teng, a community advocate and former San Francisco supervisor. “Some of us crossed the ocean five decades ago, but some crossed the Pacific five years ago, and we are a community of intergenerational legacy, and also intergenerational leadership.”

    After the pandemic ended banquets at the New Asia restaurant in S.F.’s Chinatown, its owner converted it into a neighborhood grocery store. | Jessica Christian / The Chronicle
    NEW ASIA RESTAURANT, established in 1987 at 772 Pacific Ave., is a newcomer compared to Far East Cafe, and looks it with its high ceiling, shiny gold pillars and multicolor strip lights. A pushcart-style dim sum parlor by day, it is Chinatown’s largest banquet hall. When banquets began being canceled over coronavirus concerns in January 2020, Hon So, the owner since 2000, grew so anxious he couldn’t sleep.

    So, 61, canceled any supply orders he could and stored what had already arrived in freezers. It would just be for a few months, he thought. In July, though, he had to throw it all out, trashing cases of shrimp, beef, chicken, an estimated $100,000 worth of food. Insurance would not cover the loss.

    “When I was throwing things out, I was thinking, what will I do in the immediate future? What do I do with a big place like this?” So says in Cantonese. “You have no income, but you still have your bills. The income is not just for me, but for my family, my workers. What can I do to yield income for everyone?”

    He thought about how in this new reality of the pandemic, people were lining up to buy groceries and cook at home.

    Over two weeks in July, with the help of friends, he cleared tables to make way for shelving and freezers. The next month, New Asia reopened as a grocery store, which allowed So to retain 10 to 15 jobs, a fraction of the 40- to 50-member staff he had before. New Asia’s proximity to Stockton Street, where many neighborhood markets are located, helped bring in foot traffic.

    On a recent Saturday, shoppers browsed the selection of produce, snacks and frozen foods. On the stage, two steps up from the dance floor, packages of toilet paper and rice noodles were stacked on repurposed dining tables. The character for double happiness, a symbol of marriage, was on the wall above them.

    “This is the only market with crystal lights,” So said wryly, referring to New Asia’s chandeliers.
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    Then: On Feb. 20, 2020, before S.F. announced shelter-in-place, New Asia restaurant in S.F.’s Chinatown was the scene of a typical busy banquet, in this case for the Coalition of Asian American Government Employees (CAAGE). The pandemic put an end to such gatherings. | Frank Jang

    Now: Shoppers browse the aisles inside the New Asia restaurant. in S.F.’s Chinatown neighborhood. As banquets were canceled at the start of the pandemic, New Asia’s owner converted the grand restaurant into a neighborhood grocery store. | Jessica Christian / The Chronicle
    Even if his market brings in enough to survive the pandemic, New Asia will be displaced for several years. In 2017, after much advocacy by the late Chinatown activist Rose Pak, the city bought the property to develop it into affordable housing. The plan is for the restaurant to return to the ground floor of a new building, but construction will take at least three years, and the process has barely begun. Proposals from developers were due to the city last month.

    Still, New Asia is the rare Chinatown banquet hall granted a possibility of return. Down the street, Meriwa is now medical offices. In 2016, Mister Jiu’s replaced Four Seas, a popular venue since the 1960s. A year later the food emporium China Live, which contains two restaurants (one with a $185 tasting menu), retail and a bar, opened in what was once Gold Mountain. Empress by Boon was slated to open in 2020 in the iconic Empress of China space, but the pandemic has put a pause on that.

    While these new upscale restaurants with Michelin stars and modern takes on Chinese cuisines add a culinary sheen to the neighborhood, they attract a different clientele: a monied crowd from outside who Uber in, eat and leave. They are out of range for residents and for community groups used to paying $40 to $80 a head for an eight-course banquet.

    To be sure, Chinatown has long courted visitors. In a segregated San Francisco, attracting visitors to the neighborhood was key for economic survival and tourism remains important. But a healthy Chinatown maintains a balance between businesses for visitors and its immigrant residents.

    “There’s room for Mister Jiu’s and China Live,” says Vincent Pan, 48, the co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. I know Pan well. We have collaborated on several projects, including on some work for his organization. “We support having a mix of high-end and hole-in-the wall mom-and-pops,” Pan says. “But the real risk is you lose this one piece and it’s hard to bring it back.”


    When the civil rights nonprofit learned that the Empress of China was closing in 2014, it hosted one last banquet that December just for the sake of it. It was one of the last, if not the very last, banquets at the Empress, says Pan.

    “We know from other North American Chinatowns, whether it’s Philadelphia or Manhattan, that there’s always a risk of being subsumed by the neighboring financial districts,” Pan says. “And one of the key anti-displacement strategies that has been effective is to have the Chinatowns serve as cultural anchors that bring in a diverse mix of economic support. Banquets are a flagship of that.”

    Banquet halls have played a core role in the Chinatown economy, from providing new immigrants with starter jobs to sourcing from local vendors. Far East Cafe partners with Charity Cultural Services Center to train and employ restaurant workers. Banquets summon the diaspora, whose members tend to make the most of their stop in Chinatown by doing some shopping.

    That’s why Chinatown leaders want to preserve the landmark Empress of China building for community access. When John Yee, a real estate investor, bought the six-story building in 2017, he alarmed many with his initial plans for tech offices. Though Yee grew up in Chinatown, he angered many in the community in 1999 when he tried to evict a building full of low-income tenants. Malcolm Yeung filed an appeal with the San Francisco Planning Department in an attempt to pressure Yee into discussions over the Empress. Yeung would like to see affordable community banquets return to the space, but Yee says the banquet prices Yeung wants are not feasible.

    On Jan. 27, Yeung’s appeal was denied in a 3-2 vote, resulting in another banquet hall lost to the community.

    The upstairs banquet hall of Far East Cafe in S.F.’s Chinatown is shuttered. Far East Cafe, which opened in 1920, is one of the few banquet halls remaining in Chinatown. | Jessica Christian / The Chronicle
    THE YEAR OF THE OX IS UPON US. Another Lunar New Year in a pandemic, another season of no banquets. Organizations like Chinese for Affirmative Action have held their annual galas on Zoom instead, delivering catered meals to re-create the experience of eating together. Without its usual gatherings, Chinatown has been eerily quiet for the past year. Even with sections of Grant Avenue closed to traffic on the weekends to encourage shopping, the streets are mostly empty, a whisper of the usual hustle.

    The question on the minds of many in Chinatown is what will be left when the pandemic finally ends and people come out of isolation clamoring to socialize?

    After Chinatown leaders asked the mayor for $11.5 million in financial aid, they met with city officials about reviving the Chinatown Community Development Center’s Feed + Fuel program in partnership with SF New Deal. The program, which ran in spring 2020, paid 34 Chinatown restaurants to cook meals for the neighborhood’s most vulnerable residents living in public housing and single-room occupancy hotels. These SRO residents share communal kitchens and bathrooms, which makes social distancing impossible.

    The center hopes that the $1.9 million relief ordinance, plus $500,000 from the Human Services Agency and $100,000 of the center’s own funds can eventually help 70 restaurants over an eight-week period. If the nonprofit can raise an additional $1 million from individuals and foundations, it will extend the program to 15 weeks.

    “People don’t go book tables in Cupertino and expect 1,000 Chinese to show up. That’s just not going to happen. First, they don’t have the facilities for it. Second, only Chinatown can get that kind of audience and attention from politicians.”
    DAVID HO, 43, A POLITICAL CONSULTANT

    Feed + Fuel 2.0 launched Jan. 18 with 10 restaurants. Far East Cafe, which participated in the first iteration, joined the new program on Jan. 25, cooking 300 meals a week for $3,000. Far East also participates in similar programs, but the money it receives from these programs doesn’t cover costs — not even close. Lee says he needs to bring in $4,000 a day to keep a restaurant as large as his afloat. One reason he’s been able to last this long is because of an understanding landlord, the Ying On Benevolent Association, of which he is a member.

    The family associations that own buildings in Chinatown are not interested in selling them, says Doug Mei, 40, a paramedic firefighter who grew up in a Chinatown SRO and who now works in the neighborhood fire station.

    “The reason why they keep them is so they can continue to take care of the new immigrants that come here and continue to carry on the legacy of all those who worked so hard to build this community for us,” he says.

    The city’s help is too little, too late, and Asian Americans have been forgotten, he says, a sentiment that many in Chinatown share. Where are the loan programs for Asian-owned small businesses, like those the city established for other minority communities, he asks. “We take so much pride as a city in how diverse we are. But we need to take action to preserve that diversity. It’s important that we protect every community and we give every community fair resources all around,” Mei says.

    Leaders worry about the elders who rely on dim sum parlors and banquets to stay active with friends. They worry that these restaurants will fade away like the neighborhood’s once-vibrant theaters.

    “There’s got to be some adverse impact on the psychology and well-being of the community,” says David Ho, the political consultant.
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    continued from previous post


    Far East Cafe owner Bill Lee poses for a portrait in the main dining room of Far East Cafe. “I tell you, I love this restaurant. I have never spent so much time in one place,” he said. | Jessica Christian / The Chronicle
    ON THE LAST SATURDAY IN JANUARY, after a week of stormy rains, the sun came out, bringing with it more foot traffic in Chinatown. Outdoor dining reopened and waitstaff wove through pedestrians on narrow sidewalks to take orders. Outside Far East Cafe, Mei and another volunteer worked on the restaurant’s parklet, cutting wood with a circular saw. Lee and his daughter Kathy, who is the restaurant’s manager, carted produce through the dining room into the kitchen.

    During a late lunch break, Lee recounted how Far East Cafe has given many new immigrants who didn’t know English their first jobs in the U.S. Back in 1967, he was that new immigrant. Closing the restaurant would hurt those who arrive in the future, but he wasn’t sure how long he could stay open. What was the point of working just to keep losing money?

    “It’s very difficult,” Lee said in a mix of Cantonese and English. “We really don’t want to close, but a fact is a fact. We don’t have money.”

    Melissa Hung is a Bay Area writer from Texas with ties to San Francisco Chinatown. Email: culture@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @melissahungtx

    This story was translated into Chinese for The Chronicle by Joyce Chen.
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    Fake Vax

    China arrests leader of fake vaccine scam
    Published20 hours ago
    China has vaccinated about 40 million people to date.
    China has arrested the leader of a multi-million dollar scam that passed off saline solution and mineral water as Covid-19 vaccines.

    The man, identified as Kong, had researched the packaging designs of real vaccines before making more than 58,000 of his own concoctions.

    A batch of the vaccines were smuggled overseas, but it is not known where they were sent to.

    Kong is among 70 people who have been arrested for similar crimes.

    The arrests, involving more than 20 cases, came as Beijing vowed to crack down on fraudulent vaccines.

    Even though most of the cases surfaced late last year, new details were released this week.

    According to a court ruling, Kong and his team made a profit of 18m yuan ($2.78m; £2m) by putting saline solution or mineral water in syringes and hawking them as Covid vaccines since August last year.

    A batch of 600 of these vaccines were sent to Hong Kong last November, before they were shipped abroad. The sales were made on the basis the vaccines were acquired via "internal channels" of genuine manufacturers.

    In other cases, counterfeit vaccines were sold at inflated prices in hospitals. Other criminals also conducted inoculation programmes of their own and had "village doctors" vaccinate people with fake jabs in their homes and cars.

    China's highest prosecuting body, the Supreme People's Procuratorate has urged regional agencies to cooperate with the police to curb such activities.

    Officials had hoped to administer 100 million Covid doses before the Lunar New Year last week, but have only vaccinated 40 million people so far. However, the country has largely managed to bring the pandemic under control with strict lockdown, testing and tracing measures.

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    potential boycott

    U.S.
    2022 Beijing Winter Olympics Boycott Looming From 'Genocide' and COVID
    BY SCOTT MCDONALD ON 2/16/21 AT 10:49 PM EST

    Politicians from two powerful western countries have begun initiating a boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing if the International Olympic Committee (IOC) does not move the Games to another country. It started with politicians in the United Kingdom, followed by one proposal in the United States Congress.

    So far, two major Olympic committees don't agree, saying they are against Olympic boycotts—regardless of the reason. The United States and Canadian Olympic committees have already said they do not support such boycotts.

    China has already spent billions in infrastructure, and the country hopes to use the Winter Olympics to coincide with the Chinese New Year in 2022. The two elements would allow China to showcase its centuries-long tradition along with state-of-the-art technology. Beijing would also become the first city to ever hold both the Summer Olympics (2008) and the Winter Olympics. Countries have held multiple Games, but a single city has never held both.

    However, other countries point toward China's recent controversies as a way to keep their athletes, coaches, fans and families from visiting China or any of the host cities near Beijing.

    Mike Waltz, a Republican representative from Florida, said Monday he doesn't believe the United States "cannot" in good conscience participate in the quadrennial Games hosted by a "brutal dictatorship." This follows British politicians supporting a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Games.

    Waltz filed a resolution urging the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) to "propose the transfer of the 2022 Winter Olympic Games to a site other than within the People's Republic of China." Should moving to another country not happen, then Waltz said the U.S. and other countries should "withdraw" from the 2022 Winter Olympics.

    The USOPC issued a statement on February 4 that said it was against a boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics. "We oppose Games boycotts because they have been shown to negatively impact athletes while not effectively addressing global issues. We believe the more effective course of action is for the governments of the world and China to engage directly on human rights and geopolitical issues."

    The resolution filed by Waltz says the Chinese Communist Party has extended "repressive policies through censorship, intimidation and the detention of individuals and groups for exercising their fundamental human rights, especially in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) and Hong Kong."

    The resolution also identifies mass internment camps, forced labor, efforts to intensify persecution of campaigns that bring religion into China and those under watchful control during the spread of COVID-19.

    "Hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics Games in the PRC, where organized atrocities in the XUAR are ongoing; where the freedoms of Hong Kong's citizens are being trampled; where the fundamental right to worship is brutally persecuted; and in the wake of the ongoing global devastation from COVID-19; would be immoral, unethical and wrong," the resolution states.


    People celebrate the one year countdown to the Olympics at Tiananmen Square on August 8, 2007 in Beijing, China. Various events are being held in the Chinese capital to celebrate the one-year countdown to the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympic Games today.
    PHOTO BY GUANG NIU/GETTY IMAGES

    Although the relationship between Washington and Beijing has splintered over the last several years, a U.S.-led boycott could drive an even bigger wedge between the two countries.

    Though the Summer Olympics have been boycotted before—notably by the U.S. in 1980 and the U.S.S.R. in 1984—a Winter Olympics boycott would be unprecedented. If other countries follow suit and also boycotted the 2022 Winter Games, it could have a crippling and embarrassing effect for Beijing, which is scheduled to become the only city to ever hold both a Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics. The 2008 Summer Olympics still have one of the most-memorable Opening Ceremonies that was held at the famous Beijing National Stadium, also known as the "Birds Nest."

    The 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics are scheduled to take place Feb. 4-20, 2022, in three different cities in northern China. Russia is not allowed to compete because of past doping allegations, which leaves countries mostly from the West. If the U.S. were to boycott, many European countries could follow the United States' lead.

    A multi-national boycott could have a ripple effect into China's economic forecast that could lead to a mammoth financial loss for the country. China has already built a high-speed rail line to connect Beijing to Yanqing and Zhangjiakou, which are the other two cities scheduled to host events for the 2022 Games.
    When will the call for a Kung Fu boycott happen?

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    prolly an anti-mask anti-vaxxer

    False COVID-19 information convinces mom, 4 kids to drink urine for 4 days
    By Jordan Smith Published 3 days ago HealthFOX TV Digital Team

    WESTMINSTER, United Kingdom - A mother trying to protect herself and her family from the novel coronavirus ended up being duped by false information that led her to drink her own urine.

    For four days, the British woman and her four children gulped down their own urine, believing it would protect them from COVID-19, according to a report by the City of Westminster.

    Urine is a waste product of the body. Its consumption is generally frowned upon in westernized medicine, according to a 2015 study conducted by the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology.

    Urine contains high concentrations of toxins and salt that the body has already rid itself of. Once outside of the body, urine quickly attracts more bacteria. Consuming it can cause a person harm.

    The British woman told officials she was convinced to drink her pee by a trusted friend or relative, who had served as the mom’s primary source of pandemic-related news.

    The mother said she puts her faith in natural cures. Even so, the medical community hasn’t yet recognized anything as a cure for COVID-19.

    To date, vaccines are the only thing clinically proven to prevent COVID-19 illness. But the mom cited a debunked conspiracy theory involving Bill and Melinda Gates when voicing her distrust of vaccines.

    Misinformation has proven to be a detriment to public health throughout the pandemic. Aside from drinking urine, many so-called cures or preventative measures have proven futile.

    One of the most notable false cures made headlines last spring when former President Donald Trump mused aloud about ingesting bleach to combat the virus.

    This prompted fierce backlash from health officials, political rivals and bleach manufacturers, but their efforts fell short.

    Just days later, officials began reporting cases of people drinking cleaning products in an attempt to protect themselves from the coronavirus.

    This story was reported from Atlanta.
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  9. #294
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    I'd take kimchee over bleach

    Gwyneth Paltrow ripped by health official for new-age advice to treat COVID
    By Lee BrownFebruary 25, 2021 | 7:48am

    Stephen Powis, the national medical director of England's National Health Service, said influencers like Gwyneth Paltrow have a "duty of responsibility" to share real science.
    Stephen Powis, the medical director of England's National Health Service, said influencers like Gwyneth Paltrow have a "duty of responsibility" to share real science.Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for goop

    Gwyneth Paltrow is being ripped by British health officials for pushing unscientific claims that “long COVID” can be treated by fasting, taking regular infrared saunas and eating lots of kimchi.

    The 48-year-old actress recently touted her new-age advice on her site Goop after revealing she caught COVID-19 “early on” and was left with “long-tail fatigue and brain fog.”

    She said a “functional medicine practitioner” put her on a “keto and plant-based” diet with kimchi and kombucha — and fasting until at least 11 a.m. each day.

    Professor Stephen Powis, the national medical director of England’s National Health Service, slammed the Oscar winner, saying influencers have a “duty of responsibility” to share real science.

    “In the last few days I see Gwyneth Paltrow is unfortunately suffering from the effects of COVID. We wish her well, but some of the solutions she’s recommending are really not the solutions we’d recommend in the NHS,” Powis told the BBC.

    “We need to take long COVID seriously and apply serious science. All influencers who use social media have a duty of responsibility and a duty of care around that.


    Paltrow claimed that fasting, taking regular infrared saunas and eating lots of kimchi can treat COVID-19.
    Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for Baby2Baby
    “Like the virus, misinformation carries across borders and it mutates and it evolves. So I think YouTube and other social media platforms have a real responsibility and opportunity here.”

    Paltrow, who said a test revealed she had “high levels of inflammation in my body,” also said she tries to enjoy an “infrared sauna as often as I can, all in service of healing.”

    In 2018, Goop agreed to pay a substantial settlement over unproven claims about the health benefits of the infamous vaginal eggs it was selling. It has also been investigated for pushing unscientific advice.
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  10. #295
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    Zen Tai Gong Immune Health Series

    There's a vid behind the link.

    DeRu Academy and the 999 Method with The Shaolin Institute of Mobile
    JOE EMER UPDATED 23 HRS AGO | POSTED ON FEB 24, 2021

    Shi Deru, a.k.a. Grandmaster Liu, joined us on Studio10 to talk about the DeRu Academy. They say it's a great way to work toward a health body and mind, especialy in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Below is information they provided:

    We are launching DeRu Academy at deruacademy.com worldwide online teaching and sharing in immune system revitalization.. in healthy body and mind, child character and leadership education.. as well as CEO Multi-Trillion educational training in both body and mind.

    That is part of a company associated with Shaolin Institute and DeRu Media.

    Our first program starts with breathing eco system.

    Zen Tai Gong Immune Health Series is a combined body-mind communication eco healing system with internal and external close communication, organization and integration, reprogramming and preparing a new self with new mindset for total conscious transformation.

    This free webinar seminar of vital importance that transforms life.. despair to actualization of new healthy life and vitality.

    That is Zen Tai Gong Immune Health Series – DeRu’s master key combination to unlock the gate of the natural flow of immune energy frequency ”

    DeRu’s Master key combination with 6 Modules to unlock the key to immune system:

    • Tai Gong Eco-Breathing System

    • DeRu Zen Tai Gong Meditation formula (without formula of your natural being )

    • Zen Tai Gong – Zen Tai Gong in Zen Tai (tapping cosmic consciousness) motion

    • Special preparation of the 7 colors of veggie cooking and DeRu smoothie making

    • Zen Tai Gong FengShui: changing environment will change the old illness conditioning

    • Character built with total freedom, triple “A” and grit

    Mission Impossible?

    It can become possible

    "When U.S. Marine Corp Officer Jake D.’s vehicle drove over an explosive device in Afghanistan, he looked down to see his legs almost completely severed below the knee. At that moment, he remembered a breathing exercise he had learned in a book for young officers. Thanks to that exercise, he was able to stay calm enough to check on his men, give orders to call for help, tourniquet his own legs, and remember to prop them up before falling unconscious. Later, he was told that had he not done so, he would have bled to death.

    LQC (Leaps of Quantum Consciousness)

    Zen Tai Gong Immune Health Series - DeRu's Master key combination to unlock the gate of natural flow of immune energy

    To makes that mission possible

    Zen Tai Gong Immune Health Series is a combined body-mind communication eco healing system with internal and external close communication, organization and integration, reprogramming and preparing a new self with new mindset for total conscious transformation. That transformation demands total detachments of the past minds, thoughts, emotions and memories …entering into a new realm of consciousness in quantum dimension, leaving Newtonian and Darwin’s material and conflicts world behind. That transformation is based on many factors of life from various spectrum of one’s living, from mind to body, from food to conscious and subconscious reprogramming, from totally changing the environments to totally changing the perception and conception.

    Decode the DNA of life immune energy frequency which will harmonize electromagnetic energy frequency of your life in coherence with the nature and conscious matrix of cosmos.

    That will change your incoherent state of mind and physical being, and of your consciousness, that will transform your life destiny. If you are or someone you know is in despair due to health, especially immunocompromised, immune system issues as serious as stage 4 cancer or any other immune diseases.

    This free webinar seminar of vital importance that transforms life despair to actualization of new healthy life and vitality.

    That is Zen Tai Gong Immune Health Series – DeRu’s master key combination to unlock the gate of the natural flow of immune energy frequency ”

    DeRu’s Master key combination with 6 Modules to unlock the key to immune system:

    • Tai Gong Eco-Breathing System

    • DeRu Zen Tai Gong Meditation formula (without formula of your natural being )

    • Zen Tai Gong – Zen Tai Gong in Zen Tai (tapping cosmic consciousness) motion

    • Special preparation of the 7 colors of veggie cooking and DeRu smoothie making

    • Zen Tai Gong FengShui: changing environment will change the old illness conditioning

    • Character built with total freedom, triple “A” and grit

    https://www.shaolin-world.net/mobilecampus/
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  11. #296
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    Alamo Drafthouse bankruptcy

    See RZA + Alamo Drafthouse introduce The Flying Guillotine | 360° Tour

    ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE CINEMA FILES FOR CHAPTER 11 BANKRUPTCY
    6 hours ago by: Gaius Bolling



    Texas-based theater chain, Alamo Drafthouse, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The filing comes along with an asset purchase agreement with Altamont Capital Partners, a previous investor in the company. A new backer, Fortress Investment Group, and its affiliates are also a part of the purchase agreement.

    Chapter 11 does sound like doom and gloom for the theater chain that became a big hit with moviegoers due to its focus on the movie fans and their dine-in service but this filing will give the chain the capital it needs to allow operations to run as normal as they emerge from the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like most exhibitors, Alamo Drafthouse locations were closed for months beginning last March.

    Alamo Drafthouse is headquartered in Austin, Texas, and runs roughly 40 locations with other prominent locations being Los Angeles, Brooklyn, and Northern Virginia. As part of the bankruptcy filing, Alama Drafthouse will close down a few underperforming locations and restructure their lease obligations. There is no word as of yet which locations will be closed due to the filing. Founder Tim League will remain involved with the company and among the lender group buying assets and Shelli Taylor, who will be assuming the role of CEO, had this to say about the latest turn of events:

    "Alamo Drafthouse had one of its most successful years in the company’s history in 2019 with the launch of its first Los Angeles theater and box office revenue that outperformed the rest of the industry. We’re excited to work with our partners at Altamont Capital Partners and Fortress Investment Group to continue on that path of growth on the other side of the pandemic, and we want to ensure the public that we expect no disruption to our business and no impact on franchise operations, employees and customers in our locations that are currently operating."
    The news about Alamo Drafthouse comes on the heels of what could be a return to semi-normal theater operations just around the corner. Shuttered theaters in New York City are set to reopen on March 5, 2021, and Los Angeles is reportedly mere weeks from announcing that their theaters will be reopening as well, albeit, at limited capacity. Many exhibitors believe that there will likely be a revival of moviegoing by the summer as vaccinations continue to increase. Oddly enough in Texas, where Alamo Drafthouse is headquartered, the mask mandate was just lifted and they reopening their state at 100 percent capacity.

    Alamo Drafthouse is known for its love for cinephiles and its focus on the pure theatrical experience. They have hosted numerous fan events that are movie-related and they are known for enforcing rules, such as "no talking", with a much stricter policy than other chains. I'm happy that this filing allows them to operate as normal but bummed for the underperforming locations that will have to close in the near future. There is the concern that the new partners involved may try to change things down the line but that's something we'll have to wait and see. The pandemic has certainly kneecapped the exhibition business but hopefully, all of these signs of reopening are an indication that they're coming out on the other side of it.
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  12. #297
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    Continuing on

    Far East Cafe owners decide to keep 100-year-old S.F. Chinatown restaurant alive

    Janelle Bitker
    March 3, 2021
    Updated: March 3, 2021 4:47 p.m.

    Far East Cafe owner Bill Lee poses for a portrait in one of the signature booths inside the main dining room of Far East Cafe in the Chinatown neighborhood of San Francisco, Calif. Thursday, January 28, 2021. Far East Cafe is one of two remaining banquet halls in Chinatown and is still being stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic with the threat of becoming extinct.Jessica Christian / The Chronicle

    Far East Cafe opens for indoor dining today and will expand its hours to five days a week, marking a return to form for San Francisco Chinatown’s 100-year-old banquet restaurant that nearly shut down at the end of 2020.

    The owners of Far East Cafe have officially decided to continue operating the restaurant, as first reported by Sing Tao Daily and confirmed to The Chronicle by the Chinatown Community Development Center. Of course, in the volatile restaurant industry there is no such thing as permanence, but it marks a quick and significant reversal for a restaurant that announced it would close in December.

    The restaurant will open indoors at 25% capacity in addition to offering outdoor dining and takeout for its generously portioned Cantonese and Chinese American dishes like wonton soup and egg foo young.

    As one of Chinatown’s last-remaining banquet halls, there was an outpour of community support for Far East Cafe when its pending closure was first reported. Individuals donated money. The restaurant started making meals for vulnerable neighbors through a new partnership between nonprofit S.F. New Deal and Chinatown Community Development Center, with $1.9 million in funding from the city. And the restaurant’s landlord offered 50% off of rent, in addition to six free months last year, according to Sing Tao Daily.



    Far East Cafe. Indoor dining, outdoor dining and takeout. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday-Sunday. 631 Grant Ave., San Francisco.
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  13. #298
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    I don't find this funny...

    ...okay, it's kinda funny.

    I thought this was an article on the Onion at first...

    OBJECT OF THE WEEK
    Fisher-Price Has Turned Our Remote Work Hell Into a Toy
    ”My Home Office” for kids lands somewhere between dark satire and a meme
    Rob Walker
    1 day ago·4 min read

    [IMG]https://miro.medium.com/max/1750/1*orTaFI6WoNu5wMxoKYYhTA.jpeg[/IMG]
    The text “Object of the Week” above the Fisher-Price My Home Office play set with a fake laptop, headset, latte cup, pretend phone, and “4 fabric ‘apps.’”
    Photo Illustration: Save As/Medium; Source: Fisher-Price
    Object of the Week is a column exploring the objects a culture obsesses over and what that reveals about us.
    Itlooks like a parody, and a rather dark one at that: The Fisher-Price My Home Office play set includes a fake laptop, headset, latte cup, pretend phone, and “4 fabric ‘apps’ that attach to computer screen to ‘work’ on different projects.” It’s intended for preschoolers, ages three and up. The obvious takeaway: Once upon a time, children might pretend to be an astronaut or a superhero before the educational system disabused them of all their dreams. Now, apparently, a toy inspired by the Covid-19 remote-work boom, which has converted so many homes into offices and schools, will teach them to just skip ahead and start fantasizing about a soul-draining life of Slack banter and Zoom meetings.
    This flew so close to satire that truth-on-the-internet arbiter Snopes.com weighed in on the matter, confirming that the eight-piece play set is perfectly real and carries a suggested price of $24.99. In fact, according to its Amazon listing, it’s been available since August. But it’s only in the past week that the kit seems to have made a splash on social media, where it was described as “bleak” and evidence that “we’re all living in hell now.”
    As Snopes pointed out, fake play set parodies are actually a meme-world trope: “In recent years, Fisher-Price toys have formed the basis of popular online parodies and pastiches, such as ‘Tiny Toker,’ which included toy marijuana paraphernalia, ‘My First Vape,’ and a ‘Happy Hour Playset,’ complete with toy stools, tiny beer bottles, and a kid-sized bar.”
    Another example: the (fake) “Fisher-Price Work From Home Playset,” which appears to have made the rounds in July. Allegedly aimed at kids ages three and up, it promised a pretend laptop, crying baby, an uncomfortable-looking kitchen table and chair, and a couple bottles of wine. “The perfect toy for 2020 doesn’t exist,” announced a meme-spreader site.
    Allegedly aimed at kids ages three and up, it promised a pretend laptop, crying baby, an uncomfortable-looking kitchen table and chair, and a couple bottles of wine.
    That was not true for long. The Toy Insider noted the popularity of the fake-product meme in mid-August and observed: “It’s funny because it reflects the strange limbo we’re living in right now — a pandemic-fueled era where home is work, home is school, and there really isn’t an ‘off switch’ anywhere to be found.” But then the publication revealed the plot twist: Life appeared to be imitating a rejected Black Mirror episode, and a real version of the same basic idea was now available for purchase.
    Sadly, it seems impossible, given the timing, that Fisher-Price literally got the idea from a meme. And it’s not clear how the design and specific components of the actual play set were directly shaped by and meant to respond to work-from-home pandemic culture. (Parent company Mattel did not respond to my inquiries.) Presumably the point is not, in reality, to train kids to join the boundaryless, claustrophobic delirium of the work-from-home, teach-from-home workforce. But what is the point?
    It turns out that, Twitter wits notwithstanding, a toy that seems like a set of grim training gear for a world without work/life boundaries does have its defenders. Kids love to pretend and enjoy imitating the adults in their lives, Motherly pointed out, and there are plenty of work-related play sets and toys already, so why not have one that normalizes the home office? Several commenters on the economics-focused Marginal Revolution blog made similar points: “Children process complex ideas through play,” one said.
    Perhaps part of what kids will learn here — and what I’m willing to bet not a few of them are observing firsthand — is how to totally blow off that spreadsheet, goof around, and enjoy some cute dogs every so often.
    Indeed, several reviews on Amazon — where the product has 3.9 out of five stars, based on about 600 ratings — note examples of kids already imitating remote-working parents, often wanting to poke at their actual laptops. (Most of the negative reviews are focused on the physical quality of the objects, not their sociological implications; also, the top positive review involves using the set to distract a cat.) In other words, maybe this toy merely responds to and formalizes, or just tries to cash in on, behavior that’s already happening anyway.
    That’s why my favorite detail of the play set is the image on the wood-block “phone,” which shows what appears to be a conference call among several dogs. Critics quote the first bit of Fisher-Price’s product description — “Better grab a latte to go, that report is due this morning” — as particularly depressing. But it’s worth considering the rest: “and there’s a call with the dog across the street after naptime.” Hey, now — that actually sounds like a pretty good agenda to me! The description adds: “Your preschooler is the boss of their own workstation at home, the local coffee shop, or the moon.”
    Perhaps part of what kids will learn here — and what I’m willing to bet not a few of them are observing firsthand — is how to totally blow off that spreadsheet, goof around, and enjoy some cute dogs every so often. By accident or intent, maybe Fisher-Price’s seemingly weird and dark toy also cues up some of the subversiveness that makes play valuable. If you’ve never learned how to spend some part of your work day on the moon, I recommend you give it a try. Ask a toddler for advice.
    Gene Ching
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