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Thread: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Wuhan Pneumonia

  1. #301
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    I could fill this thread with so much news...

    I'm on a lot of Asian news feeds and am getting inundated with news related to this.

    Coronavirus Living
    Morning Mix
    An Asian American chef slammed Texas for lifting its mask mandate. Then racist graffiti hit his shop.


    A ramen restaurant in San Antonio is vandalized after its owner appeared on TV criticizing the order by Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to end the state's mask mandate. (Mike Nguyen)
    By Andrea Salcedo
    March 15, 2021 at 4:08 a.m. PDT
    When Mike Nguyen found the racist slurs covering his restaurant’s windows and patio tables on Sunday, he said he immediately knew the cause. One message spray painted on the front door of his San Antonio ramen shop particularly stood out: “No masks.”

    Ever since Nguyen, 33, went on national TV last week to condemn Gov. Greg Abbott (R) for lifting the state’s mask mandate, the Asian American chef and owner was flooded with death threats, one-star online reviews and harassing messages, Nguyen told The Washington Post.

    “I definitely know 100 percent it had something to do with the interview,” Nguyen said. “When you first see it, you’re kind of shocked, and then you realize this is real. Then, anger took over. I was so mad I ended up pacing back and forth trying to wrap my head around this.”

    Three Asian American medical providers on the front lines spoke with The Post about the racial discrimination they faced early in the pandemic. (Allie Caren/The Washington Post)
    As Texas and Mississippi move to open ‘100%’ and lift mask mandates, health officials warn: ‘It’s still too early’

    The incident appears to combine two disturbing national trends: A backlash to mask mandates that has often turned violent and destructive, and a surge of racist attacks and threats against Asian Americans, which some advocates tie to former president Donald Trump’s anti-China rhetoric over the pandemic.

    Among the terms spray painted in red on Nguyen’s windows on Sunday was the phrase “Kung flu,” a racist slur that Trump helped popularize during his campaign rallies and other appearances.

    Local officials swiftly denounced the vandalism, while police have opened an investigation.

    “Thank you to all the neighbors who showed up to help & proved that we’re better than this one hateful act,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg tweeted Sunday. “We must work together to eradicate racism from our city.”

    For the past two years, Nguyen, a California native who moved to San Antonio in 2016, has owned the Noodle Tree restaurant, which sits across from the University of Texas at San Antonio’s campus. Nguyen is undergoing treatment for lymphoma, his second bout with cancer.

    The condition forced Nguyen, who is immunocompromised, to close his restaurant for six months last year. So even though Abbott ended Texas’s statewide mask mandate last week — a move opposed by public health officials — Nguyen still requires all indoor customers to wear masks when they are not eating.

    Hours before he appeared Wednesday on CNN’s “The Newsroom,” Nguyen pondered whether denouncing Abbott’s decision would be worth the backlash he would likely court. But he decided he needed to speak out.

    “It needed to be said,” Nguyen wrote Wednesday on the restaurant’s Instagram account.

    On air with CNN’s Poppy Harlow and Jim Sciutto, Nguyen accused the governor of placing him and millions of Texans at risk by lifting the mandate.

    ‘Masks required’ signs are coming down after Texas, Mississippi lift coronavirus restrictions

    “His decision to drop the mask mandate is selfish and cowardly. There’s no reason to do it,” Nguyen told CNN. “A lot of us feel like he’s putting a lot of us in danger.”

    Near the end of the almost six-minute segment, Nguyen said the recent rise of violent attacks and harassment against Asian Americans posed additional concerns for him and his business.

    “Since I’m an Asian American, we’ve seen a lot of attacks against Asian Americans and that’s a huge concern for me,” Nguyen said. “We see all these incidents of that and this is an opportunity. It opens up that opportunity.”

    On Sunday, Nguyen woke up to messages alerting him that his restaurant had been covered with graffiti. When he got to the store, he counted at least seven spray painted phrases, including one urging him to “Go back 2 China” and another one reading “Hope u die.”

    “They did it on the windows where everybody who drives could see it,” Nguyen told The Post.

    Nguyen called San Antonio police, who photographed the damage and filed an incident report.

    Nguyen said he was so rattled by the vandalism that he wasn’t sure whether he should open for business. But after asking his staff whether they still felt comfortable showing up for work, Nguyen decided he would open an hour later than usual.

    “We all decided whatever their motive was, we weren’t going to let them win,” Nguyen said.

    Nguyen said he believes the incident was a hate crime, given the language used in the graffiti, and he urged police to investigate it as such.

    By the time his first customer arrived to pick up her food, Nguyen, bucket and sponge in hand, was just beginning to scrub the graffiti on the patio tables. “She said, ‘If you have another sponge I’d love to help,’ ” Nguyen recalled.

    About a dozen other strangers who had heard the news later showed up with cleaning supplies and paint remover. By the end of the day, the storefront was clean again.

    “Something like that, it’s very touching and very moving because my day started off with a lot of anger, hostility and I was hurt by this,” Nguyen told The Post. “And to see the support and the love of the community, it kind of helps you heal a little. San Antonians and Texans will not tolerate this.”

    Updated March 10, 2021
    More on anti-Asian hate crimes:
    Trends: Targeting Asians | Victim voices | Online racism | Elderly Asians | Underreporting | Declining businesses | Asian students missing from classrooms | Negative views on the rise

    Andrea Salcedo
    Andrea Salcedo is a reporter on The Washington Post's Morning Mix team. Before joining The Post in 2020, she covered breaking news and features for the New York Times metro desk. Follow
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  2. #302
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    featherweight title defense postponed due to covid

    Mixed Martial Arts: Volkanovski tests positive for COVID-19, UFC title defence postponed

    Sat, March 20, 2021, 11:33 PM·1 min read

    FILE PHOTO: MMA: UFC Fight Island-UFC 251


    (Reuters) - Alexander Volkanovski's featherweight title defence against Brian Ortega at UFC 260 has been postponed after the Australian said on Sunday he tested positive for COVID-19.

    Volkanovski's fight with Ortega, originally scheduled to be the co-main event on March 27 in Las Vegas, will be rescheduled due to COVID-19 protocols. The UFC is yet to announce a new date for the bout.

    Volkanovski, 32, said he tested negative before leaving Australia and before entering the UFC bubble but returned a positive result in the latest round of testing.

    "So devastated to share that I've tested positive for COVID-19 and my fight is off and will be rescheduled," he tweeted https://twitter.com/alexvolkanovski/...68080592986119.

    "We have worked so hard getting ready for this fight and I'm absolutely gutted this has happened. We followed every policy and process to remain COVID free but it wasn't meant to be this time."

    Volkanovski (22-1) has been the featherweight champion since he defeated Max Holloway at UFC 245 in December 2019. He also beat the Hawaiian in a rematch at UFC 251 in July 2020.

    (Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)
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  3. #303
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    I'm on a lot of Asian news feeds and am getting inundated with news related to this.



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  4. #304
    Quote Originally Posted by highlypotion View Post
    I am sick of wearing a useless mask!
    Don't let your vaccine give you false self confidence, or you will be one of these:

    Urban Dictionary Word of the Day
    vaxhole
    One who has been fully vaccinated for the COVID-19 virus and brags about it.
    Two weeks after the second shot and that vaxhole is posting selfies from a Cancun bar.

  5. #305
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    North Korea is out

    Tokyo Olympic Games 2020
    North Korea pulls out of Tokyo Olympics, citing coronavirus fears
    With the Games just months away, the regime’s sports ministry says it wants to protect athletes from the ‘global health crisis’


    North Korea will not attend the forthcoming Olympic Games in Tokyo, Pyongyang’s sports ministry said on Tuesday, citing the risks of coronavirus infection. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
    Helen Sullivan and agencies
    @helenrsullivan
    Tue 6 Apr 2021 03.12 EDT

    North Korea’s sports ministry said on Tuesday that it will not participate in the Tokyo Olympics this year to protect its athletes amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    The decision was made at a meeting of North Korea’s Olympic committee, including its sports minister Kim Il guk, on 25 March the ministry said on its website, called Joson Sports. “The committee decided not to join the 32nd Olympics Games to protect athletes from the global health crisis caused by the coronavirus,” it said.

    The meeting also discussed ways to develop professional sports technologies, earn medals at international competitions and promote public sports activities over the next five years, the ministry said.

    North Korea has one of the world’s strictest quarantine regimes, despite the government’s denial that any cases have been detected in the country.

    The measures have allowed the government to increase its control over daily life to levels similar to the famine years of the 1990s, according to analysts.

    Outsiders doubt whether the country has escaped the pandemic entirely, given its poor health infrastructure and a porous border it shares with China, its economic lifeline.

    Describing its anti-virus efforts as a “matter of national existence”, North Korea has severely limited cross-border traffic, banned tourists, jetted out diplomats and quarantined tens of thousands of people who have shown symptoms.

    Japan’s prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has previously said he expected to invite US president Joe Biden to the Olympics and was willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un or his powerful sister, Kim Yo-jong, if either attended the Games. Suga, however, did not say if he would invite either of them.

    South Korea‘s Unification Ministry on Tuesday expressed regret at the North’s decision, saying it had hoped the Tokyo Olympics would provide an opportunity to improve inter-Korean relations, which have declined amid a stalemate in wider nuclear negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang.

    Japan’s Olympic minister, Tamayo Marukawa, said she was still confirming details and couldn’t immediately comment on the pullout decision.

    North Korea sent 22 athletes to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, along with government officials, performance artists, journalists and a 230-member cheering group.

    The contingent included Kim Yo-jong, a move that helped it initiate diplomacy with South Korea and the US. That diplomacy has stalled since and North Korea‘s decision to sit out the Tokyo Olympics is a setback for hopes to revive it.

    The Olympics are hugely unpopular in Japan, with up to 80% of Japanese wanting the Games cancelled or postponed again. The games were originally scheduled to take place in 2020 but were postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year, the government announced that it would ban overseas spectators.

    With just over 100 days to go, Japanese health authorities are concerned that variants of the coronavirus are driving a nascent fourth wave.

    The variants appear to be more infectious and may be resistant to vaccines, which are still not widely available in Japan. Osaka is the worst-affected city. Infections there hit fresh records last week, prompting the regional government to start targeted lockdown measures for one month from Monday.

    A mutant Covid variant first discovered in Britain has taken hold in the Osaka region, spreading faster and filling up hospital beds with more serious cases than the original virus, according to Koji Wada, a government adviser on the pandemic.

    “The fourth wave is going to be larger,” said Wada, a professor at Tokyo’s International University of Health and Welfare. “We need to start to discuss how we could utilise these targeted measures for the Tokyo area.”

    Osaka city cancelled Olympic Torch relay events there, but the Japanese prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, has insisted Japan will carry out the Games as scheduled. Suga said on Sunday that measures employed in the Osaka area could be expanded to Tokyo and elsewhere if needed.

    In response to the announcement from North Korea, a spokesperson for the Australian Olympic Committee told the Guardian it was “continuing its detailed preparations to send the Australian Olympic Team to the Tokyo Olympic Games” and that it had “full confidence” in the efforts of organisers “to deliver the Games with athlete safety as the highest priority”.

    There were 249 new infections in Tokyo on Monday, still well below the peak of over 2,500 in January. In Osaka, the tally was 341, down from a record 666 cases on Saturday. Japan has confirmed a total of nearly nearly 490,000 infections since the start of the pandemic, according to the Johns Hopkins University tracker. The death toll stands at 9,227.
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  6. #306
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    Imprudent

    With 100 days until the Tokyo Olympics, Japan has vaccinated less than 1% of its population. That's a problem
    By Blake Essig, Emiko Jozuka and Ben Westcott, CNN

    Updated 5:28 AM ET, Wed April 14, 2021
    Tokyo (CNN)When 2020 Tokyo Olympics volunteers have in recent weeks asked officials how they'll be protected from Covid-19, given the foreign athletes pouring into Japan for the event and the country's low vaccination rate, the answer has been simple.
    They'll be given a small bottle of hand sanitizer and two masks each.
    "They don't talk about vaccines, they don't even talk about us being tested," said German volunteer Barbara Holthus, who is director of Sophia University's German Institute for Japanese Studies, in Tokyo.
    With 100 days to go until the Games, already postponed a year due to the coronavirus pandemic, questions remain over how Tokyo can hold a massive sporting event and keep volunteers, athletes, officials -- and the Japanese public -- safe from Covid-19.
    That concern has been amplified by Japan's battle with a looming fourth wave. The country passed 500,000 total coronavirus cases on Saturday, and some prefectures are again tightening their Covid-19 restrictions as daily infections grow. Hideaki Oka, a professor at Saitama Medical University, said Japan may not be able to contain the latest wave before the Games begin on July 23.
    While Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga reiterated Monday his pledge to secure 100 million vaccine doses by the end of June, so far Japan has only vaccinated about 1.1 million of its 126 million people -- less than 1% of the population. Only 0.4% have received two doses.
    Holthus said supporting the Games was meant to be a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity. "But now it's just a really dangerous experience," she said.
    In a statement to CNN, Tokyo 2020 organizers said they were preparing to hold "a safe and secure Games without presuming there will be a vaccine and even without vaccines."
    "On the other hand, we hope that vaccines will be properly administered at home and abroad and that the infection will, therefore, be reduced as a whole," the statement said.

    A man wearing a protective mask to help curb the spread of the coronavirus walks near advertisement for Tokyo 2020 Olympics at an underpass Tuesday, April 6, in Tokyo.

    Slow vaccine rollout
    With a $25 billion Olympics to host, arguably no country in Asia had more incentive than Japan to get its Covid-19 cases under control and vaccinate its population.
    Yet Japanese regulators were slow to approve Covid-19 vaccines, compared to other governments, taking more than two months to allow the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Its rollout did not begin until February, and senior citizens only began to receive their doses on April 12, according to Kyodo News.
    Experts said part of the delay was due to official caution designed to avoid the vaccine skepticism that has damaged previous vaccination efforts in Japan. Either way, that approach has left Japan lagging other Asian nations, such as China, which has administered 171 million vaccinations, and India, which has given out 108 million doses.
    "They say elderly citizens are supposed to have a vaccination by June, but in reality, even medical staff who is treating Covid hasn't got vaccinated yet," said Oka from Saitama Medical University, adding he didn't believe the June vaccination target would be met.
    Oka said the government should prioritize vaccinating all athletes entering the country for the Games, but the Japanese government has resisted this approach, after media reports that Olympians would be prioritized sparked a social media backlash in Japan.
    Beijing had offered to provide vaccines for all athletes in the 2020 Olympics but Tokyo turned down the offer, saying no Chinese-made options were yet authorized for use in Japan.
    International spectators have been banned from the Games to try to lower the risk of Covid-19 spreading at the event. But more than 11,000 athletes from over 200 countries are expected to participate.
    Without plans to vaccinate athletes, the tens of thousands of volunteers taking part stand little chance of protection.
    Holthus said Tokyo 2020 President Hashimoto Seiko told volunteers during a Zoom call she was relying "on your smile" to make the Olympics a success -- a particularly jarring claim because they would all be wearing masks.
    "(We were told) 'Your smile is going to make the Olympics exist' and you wonder, are you kidding me?" said Holthus, who is scheduled to volunteer as a ticket collector.
    One volunteer, who attended an 80-minute lecture on infectious disease control for Games volunteers, said a top Japanese expert in infectious diseases told them they shouldn't count on being vaccinated ahead of the event.
    "(He said) unless you are elderly there won't be enough time for ordinary people to get vaccinated," said the volunteer, who asked to remain anonymous to avoid being excluded from her role in the Olympics. She said she felt angry and scared after the presentation.
    The volunteer, who had taken part in previous Olympics, said she was considering dropping out unless all volunteers were vaccinated. "Not doing so is showing reckless disregard for our lives, and the optimal safe environment that Japan as a host country is obligated to provide," she said.
    Tokyo 2020 didn't respond to questions on the content of the presentation given to volunteers.

    Questions over athletes
    Even countries with almost no infections have struggled to hold major sporting events during the pandemic.
    In January, some players arriving in Melbourne for the Australian Open tennis tournament complained on social media about the strict health screening measures they encountered. At one point, spectators were banned for several days amid a small Covid-19 outbreak in the city.
    For Japan, where there were 2,112 new cases on Tuesday, it is going to be a bigger challenge.
    International participants will need a negative Covid-19 test within 72 hours before they travel to Japan, where they will be retested, according to the Tokyo 2020 Playbook released by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on February 21.
    But according to the IOC document, athletes will not be required to quarantine for 14 days after arriving in Japan, unless they have breached the country's Covid-19 precautions or potentially been exposed to the virus.
    During the Games, participants will be "tested for Covid-19 at different intervals," and all athletes and visitors will be assigned a "Covid-19 Liaison Officer."
    International guests have been asked to only leave their accommodation to "go to official Games venues and limited additional locations," a list of which will be released in the second playbook, due to publish this month.
    Hugs and high-fives are to be avoided and no public transport should be used. A face mask must be worn at all times.
    Tokyo 2020 organizers did not respond to questions on how social distancing measures would be maintained at the Olympic village.
    continued next post
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  7. #307
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    continued from previous post

    An Olympic super-spreader event?
    While athletes in the Olympic village will have all tested negative before arriving in Japan, they will inevitably come in contact with tens of thousands of untested volunteers who will be shuttling between the Olympic venues and their homes.
    The Tokyo 2020 website said volunteers should take public transport to Olympic venues when they are volunteering. In Tokyo on Tuesday there were 510 new confirmed cases of Covid-19.
    In a statement to CNN, Tokyo 2020 said it had published a leaflet informing volunteers about Covid-19 countermeasures, including mask wearing, washing hands and keeping a safe distance from others.
    In response to a question on whether any Tokyo 2020 events would be postponed due to Covid, the statement said that the situation was "changing every moment."
    Holthus said in addition to the hand sanitizer and two face masks, Games officials had offered volunteers a "health condition diary" in which they could record their own health status.
    "It's going to be concentrated groups of people from all over the world, mixing together. What if there is a cluster that develops in one of the Olympic venues? What if it comes from one of us?" she said.
    Oka, the Saitama Medical University professor, shared the volunteers' concerns, saying the Games could enable the spread of dangerous Covid-19 variants not only through Japan, but around the world.
    Oka said he was also concerned Japan's already stretched hospital system wouldn't be able to cope if there was a sudden influx of athletes and volunteers infected with the virus. "As an infectious disease specialist, I cannot approve of holding the Games in a situation where not enough vaccinations has been made and enough countermeasures put in place," he said.
    In a statement to CNN, the Tokyo 2020 organizing body said it had "high hopes" the Covid-19 situation in Japan would improve ahead of the Olympics. "We will continue to work closely with these parties as we prepare to deliver a safe and secure Games this summer," the statement said.
    Olympics volunteer Philbert Ono said he trusted the government and the IOC to keep the athletes and volunteers safe.
    "The Japanese, they love to witness history. And you know this Olympics is very, very much a historical Olympics ... this is going to be a very different Olympics. And that's another thing I'm looking forward to," he said. "I just want to see how they do it."
    But Holthus said she didn't believe the Games should go ahead with the current state of preparation, which was a "recipe for a super spreader event."
    "We can't even yet imagine how bad it could be," she said. "But the damage will be done once the Games are being held. There's no turning that back once everybody flies in."

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  8. #308
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Fingers crossed! This Olympic is one of a kind if ever this will push through.

  9. #309
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    Flow Academy

    Changed the locks.

    Interior Health shuts down non-compliant Kelowna martial arts studio
    Winston Szeto 1 day ago
    Kelowna, B.C., martial arts studio Flow Academy was forcefully shut down by the Interior Health authority on Tuesday due to non-compliance with public health orders.© Brady Strachan/CBC Kelowna, B.C., martial arts studio Flow Academy was forcefully shut down by the Interior Health authority on Tuesday due to non-compliance with public health orders.
    The Interior Health authority has taken the unusual step of forcibly closing a Kelowna, B.C., martial arts studio for flouting public health orders.

    On Tuesday, Interior Health officers — accompanied by the City of Kelowna staff and RCMP — changed the locks of Flow Academy at 1151 Sutherland Avenue.

    The health authority says it took aggressive measures to close the premises because owner Tonya Aguiar ignored provincial health orders against indoor group exercises.

    Flow Academy provides classes such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu, kickboxing, yoga and meditation.

    In February, Aguiar was ticketed for interfering with health officers' inspection of the premises and was ordered by the health authority to stop hosting indoor group activities.

    Interior Health's chief medical health officer Dr. Albert de Villiers said the authority issued a closure order on April 20, but the studio ignored it and kept operating.

    "We still saw people coming and going and they were contravening the gathering order and … the closure order," de Villiers told CBC's Brady Strachan.

    "Unfortunately, [we] had to change their locks because there was nothing else we could do at that point."

    "This is the first time I actually had to go this far in changing locks and spending a lot of time to actually do this," de Villiers said. "It's the first time we've done that, and hopefully [it's] the last time."

    CBC News has reached out to Aguiar by email but hasn't heard back.

    Last month, Flow Academy announced on its website that it wouldn't take new membership applications from anyone who had taken a COVID-19 vaccine, inaccurately characterizing the vaccines as dangerous and a liability concern.

    Interior Health's closure notice posted on Flow Academy's door says the business failed to follow the authority's closure order issued on April 20.© Brady Strachan/CBC Interior Health's closure notice posted on Flow Academy's door says the business failed to follow the authority's closure order issued on April 20.
    Although the announcement was removed, de Villiers said he's troubled by the misinformation about coronavirus vaccines being spread in the local community.

    "It's always concerning to us because unfortunately … the public will actually believe and act on that [misinformation] as well, and then they might put other people at risk," he said.

    Flow Academy, which has been operating without a business licence since February, submitted an application for one but was turned down by the city due to non-compliance with provincial health orders.

    The City of Kelowna's risk manager Lance Kayfish said the city issued four violation tickets totalling $4,000 to Flow Academy for an unlicensed operation and failing to permit city inspections.

    "It [the amount of tickets issued] is quite unusual," Kayfish said.

    Group indoor fitness activities in gyms, yoga studios and other spaces are currently prohibited. The order is valid until May 25.
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    I'm not sure why Gwyneth news is so fascinating here...

    ...hold the phone. Quinoa whiskey?

    Gwyneth Paltrow drank whiskey ‘every night’ during COVID-19 lockdown
    By Jesse O’NeillMay 9, 2021 | 12:28am

    Gwyneth Paltrow went "totally off the rails" in quarantine.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

    The actress, who is well known for her wellness and lifestyle brand Goop, concocted a lot of quinoa whiskey cocktails to help her get through the lockdown, according to The Mirror.

    “I was drinking seven nights a week and making pasta and eating bread. I went totally off the rails,” Paltrow, 48, said, according to the article.

    “I mean, who drinks multiple drinks seven nights a week? Like that’s not healthy. I love whiskey and I make this fantastic drink called the Buster Paltrow, which I named after my grandfather who loved whiskey sours,” the actress reportedly continued.

    “And it’s this great quinoa whiskey from this distillery in Tennessee with maple syrup and lemon juice. It’s just heaven. I would have two of those every night of quarantine.”

    Paltrow said she did not get “like, black-out” drunk, but was hankering for cigarettes during her nightly imbibing.

    “I miss it,” she said of her former smoking habit, according to the British tabloid.

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    So many questions...

    MAY 11, 20218:28 PMUPDATED 3 HOURS AGO
    US athletics team cancels pre-Olympics camp in Japan-local government
    By Eimi Yamamitsu, Sakura Murakami

    5 MIN READ

    TOKYO (Reuters) -The United States’ track and field team has cancelled its pre-Olympics training camp in Japan out of concerns for safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic, local authorities announced on Wednesday, raising more questions about the holding of the Games.


    FILE PHOTO: The logo of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, is seen through signboards, at Tokyo Metropolitan Government Office building in Tokyo, Japan January 22, 2021. REUTERS/Issei Kato/File Photo
    The team was set to train in Chiba, the prefecture neighbouring Tokyo, leading up to the summer Games, but cancelled “out of concerns for their athletes’ safety”, according to a statement from the Chiba administration.

    There was no immediate comment from USA Track and Field.

    “It is a shame they have decided to cancel, but I believe they made the best decision possible in the current situation,” Chiba governor Toshihito Kumagai said in the statement.

    With less than three months to go before the Games begin on July 23, Japan is battling a surge in coronavirus infections, and a majority of the population wants them cancelled or postponed for a second time.

    Public concerns have also caused angst among sponsors, with a top executive of one, Toyota Motor Corp, saying company officials felt “conflicted” over the desire to see the Olympics succeed and public concerns about holding the event during a pandemic. “As sponsors, it breaks our heart to see public discontent aimed at athletes,” the automaker’s operating officer, Jun Nagata, told an earnings briefing on Wednesday.

    “To be honest, we are conflicted every day over what the best course of action is.”

    Criticism has also been levelled at athletes, with some social media users calling on them to step down from competing.

    “I personally can’t stand that the criticism and calls to cancel or boycott the Olympics are being aimed at the athletes themselves,” said Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee president Seiko Hashimoto at a news conference held on Wednesday evening.

    “It strengthens my resolve to ensure we have the proper measures in place to make the Olympics safe for athletes,” she added.

    SLOW VACCINATIONS To forestall a virus outbreak during the event, Japan is preparing to offer vaccinations to about 2,500 Olympic and Paralympic athletes and support staff, using donated shots.

    However, just 2.6% of the population has been vaccinated, and reports last month of priority for athletes spurred criticism on social media amid public anger over the slow pace of the inoculation campaign.

    “Our officials are saying we’ll make sure we don’t cause trouble for the overall population,” said Miho Kuroda of the Japan Paralympic Committee.

    The Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper said vaccinations could start as early as June, but officials said the timing and details, such as who would give the inoculations, remain unclear.

    Last week, Pfizer Inc and its German partner BioNTech SE said they would donate vaccine doses to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to help inoculate athletes and their delegations to both Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    Japan has only approved the Pfizer vaccine, though approval for others is imminent. Vaccinations have also been slowed by supply issues and rules that only doctors or nurses can give the shots, although dentists received permission last month.

    The IOC, organisers in Japan and the government have repeatedly vowed to hold the Games as scheduled until Aug. 8, despite rampant criticism.

    The governor of Ibaraki prefecture, which is to host some Olympic soccer events, said a further postponement or outright cancellation should be considered if the pandemic worsened.

    “I don’t think we can gain the understanding of the international community, let alone Japan, if we were to host the Olympics in the midst of a medical collapse,” Governor Kazuhiko Ooigawa told reporters on Tuesday.

    The New York Times newspaper featured an opinion piece on Tuesday titled, “A sports event shouldn’t be a superspreader”, adding to the calls for cancellation.

    “It’s time to listen to science and halt the dangerous charade,” the author, political scientist and former soccer player, Jules Boykoff, said.

    Japan has escaped the worst of the pandemic, but 11,000 people have died and the medical system has been severely stretched by the latest surge, with 925 new infections on Tuesday in Tokyo, the capital.

    Reporting by Elaine Lies, Eimi Yamamitsu, Sakura Murakami and Chang-ran Kim; Writing by Elaine Lies and Sakura Murakami; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Raju Gopalakrishnan, William Maclean
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  12. #312
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    80% oppose

    Japan
    Tokyo Olympics: more than 80% of Japanese oppose hosting Games – poll
    Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency on Friday as the nation battles a fourth wave of Covid infections

    Passersby wearing protective face masks walk near a countdown clock of Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games that have been postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus disease

    More than 80% of Japanese people oppose hosting the Olympics this year, a poll published on Monday showed, with just under 10 weeks until the Tokyo Games.

    The latest survey comes after Japan expanded a coronavirus state of emergency on Friday as the nation battles a fourth wave of virus infections.

    The surge has put pressure on the country’s healthcare system, with medical professionals repeatedly warning about shortages and burnout.

    The weekend survey by the Asahi Shimbun daily found 43% of respondents want the Games cancelled, and 40% want a further postponement.

    Those figures are up from 35% who backed cancellation in a survey by the paper a month ago, and 34% who wanted a further delay.

    Only 14% support holding the Games this summer as scheduled, down from 28%, according to the poll of 1,527 replies from 3,191 telephone calls.

    If the Games do go ahead, 59% of respondents said they want no spectators, with 33% backing lower fan numbers and 3% a regular capacity Games.

    For months, polling has found a majority in Japan oppose holding the Games this summer. A separate poll by Kyodo News published on Sunday showed 59.7% of respondents back cancellation, though further postponement was not listed as an option.

    Olympic organisers says tough anti-virus measures, including regular testing of athletes and a ban on overseas fans, will keep the Games safe. But the Kyodo poll found 87.7% of respondents worry that an influx of athletes and staff members from abroad may spread the virus.

    Japan has seen a smaller virus outbreak than many countries, with fewer than 11,500 deaths so far. But the government has come under pressure for a comparatively slow vaccine rollout.

    The Kyodo poll found 85% of respondents considered the rollout slow, with 71.5 percent unhappy with the government’s handling of the pandemic.


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  13. #313
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    Our newest web article

    The Cost of Covid. READ Closing Doors, Open Arms: Part 1 by Kurtis Fujita



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  14. #314
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    I'm taking the '2020' off the title of the Tokyo Olympics thread

    ...not going to replace it with '2021' yet. We'll just wait and see.

    MAY 20, 20214:13 PM UPDATED 13 HOURS AGO
    Olympics-Most Japan firms say Games should be cancelled or postponed
    By Tetsushi Kajimoto

    3 MIN READ


    TOKYO (Reuters) -Nearly 70% of Japanese firms want the Tokyo Olympics either cancelled or postponed, a Reuters survey found, underscoring concerns that the Games will increase coronavirus infections at a time when the medical system is under heavy strain.


    FILE PHOTO: The giant Olympic rings are seen behind Japan's national flag amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at the waterfront area at Odaiba Marine Park in Tokyo, Japan August 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon/File Photo
    With just nine weeks to go before the Games, states of emergency have been imposed in much of Japan until the end of the month to counter a spike in infections that has resulted in a shortage of medical staff and hospital beds in some areas.

    The country’s vaccination programme has also been particularly slow, with just 4% of the population inoculated, the lowest rate among the Group of Seven nations.

    The Corporate Survey, conducted May 6-17, showed 37% of firms were in favour of cancellation, while 32% want a postponement.

    In particular, those calling for a cancellation have increased from February when the same questions were asked in the monthly survey. Then, 29% were keen on a cancellation while 36% favoured a delay.

    “There’s no way that the Olympics can go ahead under the current circumstances,” a manager at a metals firm wrote in the survey.

    “Nothing the government does seems to be well-planned. All it appears to be doing is spreading anxiety.”

    The results of the survey are roughly in line with public opinion polls.

    Many Tokyo residents say, however, they are conflicted about holding the Games.

    “Variant strains could enter, creating a terrible situation,” said Keiko Yamamura, a 58-year old yoga instructor. “But when I think of the athletes who have worked so hard, I’d like to let them do it.”

    The government and International Olympic Committee have repeatedly said the Games will go ahead. About 70% of the 10,500 athletes due to attend have already qualified.

    If the Games, which have already been postponed by a year, were cancelled, a quarter of the firms expect big economic losses. But nearly 60% said economic losses would be limited while another 13% said they expect economic losses to be relatively small.

    The survey, conducted for Reuters by Nikkei Research, canvassed some 480 large and midsize non-financial companies, of which about 230 answered questions on the Olympics. Respondents participate in the survey on condition of anonymity.

    Reporting by Tetsushi Kajimoto; Editing by Edwina Gibbs
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  15. #315
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    Kung Flu

    Trump SUED for Saying ‘China Virus’, ‘Kung Flu’ While He Was in Office
    Carl Samson
    2 hours ago

    Former President Donald Trump is reportedly being sued for his repeated use of “China virus” — among other phrases — in reference to COVID-19 while he was still in office.

    Anti-China rhetoric: Blaming China for “unleashing” the coronavirus, Trump routinely used terms such as “Chinese virus,” “Wuhan virus” and “Kung Flu” during his term, arguing that it is “not racist” to refer to the pathogen’s geographic origin.

    Trump accused China of withholding vital information about the coronavirus, a claim corroborated by U.S. intelligence reports of officials in Wuhan keeping the threat under wraps for weeks.

    Li Wenliang, the Chinese doctor regarded as the “Wuhan whistleblower” — and who subsequently died from COVID-19 himself — was summoned to a police station for “spreading rumors online” and was forced to admit “illegal behavior.”

    A group of international scientists previously shot down rumors of COVID-19 originating in a Wuhan laboratory, but a new group recently published a letter stating that “theories of accidental release from a lab and zoonotic spillover both remain viable.”

    In a tweet last March, Trump called for the protection of Asian Americans — saying COVID-19 “is NOT their fault in any way, shape or form” — but continued to use controversial terms anyway, which were parroted by other Republican politicians.

    The World Health Organization has advised against attaching locations or ethnicity to COVID-19, saying the official name was “deliberately chosen to avoid stigmatization.”

    Who’s suing: Trump is reportedly being sued by the Chinese American Civil Rights Coalition (CACRC) for defamation and infliction of emotional distress.

    The organization claims that Trump’s use of those terms contributed to the surge of violence against Chinese and other Asian Americans, according to TMZ, which obtained a copy of the suit.

    They also said the former president should not have used “Chinese virus,” since “it’s not entirely clear where the virus actually originated,” TMZ noted.

    The CACRC wants Trump to give every Asian American $1 for an estimated total of $22.9 million, which will be used to build a museum showcasing the history and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to the U.S.

    Trump, who has launched his own communications platform, has not responded to the news of the suit.


    Featured Image via Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)
    $1? srsly?

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