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Flashermac

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Everything posted by Flashermac

  1. Where did you go? Reports are that Chaengwattana is packed. I was going to go in to get a letter of residence to renew my drivng licence next month, but I decided not to. https://www.bangkokpost.com/learning/easy/1886870/immigration-looks-to-cut-crowding#cxrecs_s p.s. I've never been able to get the on-line 90-day report to work for me. (I'm good to May, when visa renewal also comes up. )
  2. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Strange ... I was in my local Tops grocery yesterday, shelves full and no shortage of anything. The small food stalls have all had to close (no more fried dishes, somtam, ice cream etc), but that is the only thing unusual. A few days before that I was at The Mall in Ngamwongwan (Nonthaburi). No signs of any panic buying any many restaurants still open (take out only).
  3. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Coronavirus Could Be a 'Chimera' of Two Different Viruses, Genome Analysis Suggests Alexandre Hassanin, The Conversation 24 March 2020 In the space of a few weeks, we have all learned a lot about COVID-19 and the virus that causes it: SARS-CoV-2. But there have also been a lot of rumours. And while the number of scientific articles on this virus is increasing, there are still many grey areas as to its origins. In which animal species did it occur? A bat, a pangolin or another wild species? Where does it come from? From a cave or a forest in the Chinese province of Hubei, or elsewhere? In December 2019, 27 of the first 41 people hospitalised (66 percent) passed through a market located in the heart of Wuhan city in Hubei province. But, according to a study conducted at Wuhan Hospital, the very first human case identified did not frequent this market. Instead, a molecular dating estimate based on the SARS-CoV-2 genomic sequences indicates an origin in November. This raises questions about the link between this COVID-19 epidemic and wildlife. Genomic data The SARS-CoV-2 genome was rapidly sequenced by Chinese researchers. It is an RNA molecule of about 30,000 bases containing 15 genes, including the S gene which codes for a protein located on the surface of the viral envelope (for comparison, our genome is in the form of a double helix of DNA about 3 billion bases in size and contains about 30,000 genes). Comparative genomic analyses have shown that SARS-CoV-2 belongs to the group of Betacoronaviruses and that it is very close to SARS-CoV, responsible for an epidemic of acute pneumonia which appeared in November 2002 in the Chinese province of Guangdong and then spread to 29 countries in 2003. A total of 8,098 cases were recorded, including 774 deaths. It is known that bats of the genus Rhinolophus (potentially several cave species) were the reservoir of this virus and that a small carnivore, the palm civet (Paguma larvata), may have served as an intermediate host between bats and the first human cases. Since then, many Betacoronaviruses have been discovered, mainly in bats, but also in humans. For example, RaTG13, isolated from a bat of the species Rhinolophus affinis collected in China's Yunan Province, has recently been described as very similar to SARS-CoV-2, with genome sequences identical to 96 percent. These results indicate that bats, and in particular species of the genus Rhinolophus, constitute the reservoir of the SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 viruses. But how do you define a reservoir? A reservoir is one or several animal species that are not or not very sensitive to the virus, which will naturally host one or several viruses. The absence of symptoms of the disease is explained by the effectiveness of their immune system, which allows them to fight against too much viral proliferation. Recombination mechanism On 7 February, 2020, we learned that a virus even closer to SARS-CoV-2 had been discovered in pangolin. With 99 percent of genomic concordance reported, this suggested a more likely reservoir than bats. However, a recent study under review shows that the genome of the coronavirus isolated from the Malaysian pangolin (Manis javanica) is less similar to SARS-Cov-2, with only 90 percent of genomic concordance. This would indicate that the virus isolated in the pangolin is not responsible for the COVID-19 epidemic currently raging. However, the coronavirus isolated from pangolin is similar at 99 percent in a specific region of the S protein, which corresponds to the 74 amino acids involved in the ACE (Angiotensin Converting Enzyme 2) receptor binding domain, the one that allows the virus to enter human cells to infect them. By contrast, the virus RaTG13 isolated from bat R. affinis is highly divergent in this specific region (only 77 percent of similarity). This means that the coronavirus isolated from pangolin is capable of entering human cells whereas the one isolated from bat R. affinis is not. In addition, these genomic comparisons suggest that the SARS-Cov-2 virus is the result of a recombination between two different viruses, one close to RaTG13 and the other closer to the pangolin virus. In other words, it is a chimera between two pre-existing viruses. This recombination mechanism had already been described in coronaviruses, in particular to explain the origin of SARS-CoV. It is important to know that recombination results in a new virus potentially capable of infecting a new host species. For recombination to occur, the two divergent viruses must have infected the same organism simultaneously. Two questions remain unanswered: in which organism did this recombination occur? (a bat, a pangolin or another species?) And above all, under what conditions did this recombination take place? Alexandre Hassanin, Maître de Conférences (HDR) à Sorbonne Université, ISYEB - Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité (CNRS, MNHN, SU, EPHE, UA), Muséum national d'histoire naturelle https://www.sciencealert.com/genome-analysis-of-the-coronavirus-suggests-two-viruses-may-have-combined/amp?fbclid=IwAR1hjJqsvRAyl5xYI2rgPIuCE4SxPTVaRh4nuVxqU4qXN8sxDoOvqrP9n3Y
  4. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Cleaner hands, bluer skies: what has coronavirus done for us? TOKYO - Deaths, economic meltdown and a planet on lockdown: the coronavirus pandemic has brought us waves of bad news, but squint and you might just see a few bright spots. From better hygiene that has reduced other infectious diseases to people reaching out as they self-isolate, here are some slivers of silver linings during a bleak moment. - Wash your hands! - The message from health professionals has been clear from the start of the outbreak: wash your hands. Everyone from celebrities to politicians has had a go at demonstrating correct technique -- including singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to make sure you scrub long enough, and hand sanitiser has flown off the shelves. All that extra hygiene appears to be paying off, at least in some countries, including Japan, where the number of flu cases appears to be sharply down. Japan recorded 7.21 million cases by early March -- usually around the peak of the flu season that runs until May. That was far below figures for previous years, including the 21.04 million infections seen during the 2017/18 season. "We estimate that one of the reasons behind it is that people are now much more aware about the need to wash hands... given the spread of the new coronavirus," Japanese health ministry official Daisha Inoue told AFP. - Carbon curbs - Factory shutdowns, travel bans and a squeeze on demand spell economic disaster, but it isn't all bad news for the environment. In the four weeks to March 1, China's CO2 emissions fell 200 million tonnes, or 25 percent, compared to the same period last year, according to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air. That's a decline equivalent to annual CO2 emissions from Argentina, Egypt or Vietnam. The slowdown in China also saw coal consumption at power plants there down 36 percent, and the use of oil at refineries drop by nearly as much. Air travel is also grinding to a virtual halt, achieving at least a short-term drop-off in emissions from a highly polluting industry. And there have been other environmental benefits, including crystal-clear waters in Venice canals usually choked with tourist-laden boats. Unfortunately, experts say the cleaner air may be short-lived. Once the health crisis is over, experts expect countries will double down to try to make up for lost time, with climate change concerns likely to be sidelined in a race to recover economic growth. - Save the pangolins - The source of the coronavirus remains in question, but early tracking focused on a market in China's Wuhan where a variety of live wildlife was on sale for consumption. A number of animals, including bats and the highly endangered pangolin, have been identified as possible culprits for the virus. As a result, China in February declared an immediate and "comprehensive" ban on the trade and consumption of wild animals that was welcomed by environmentalists. Beijing implemented similar measures following the SARS outbreak in the early 2000s, but the trade and consumption of wild animals, including bats and snakes, made a comeback. This time the ban is permanent, raising hopes that it could end the local trade in wildlife. "I do think the government has seen the toll it takes on national economy and society is much bigger than the benefit that wild-eating business brings," said Jeff He, China director at the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Reports linking the virus to the pangolin have also scared off would-be consumers of the scaly mammals elsewhere, with bushmeat vendors in Gabon reporting a plunge in sales. - Apart, together - One of the most difficult aspects of the stringent lockdowns imposed to slow the spread of the virus has been loneliness, with families and friends forced to endure weeks or even months apart. But some people have found the measures are creating a sense of community spirit, and prompting them to make more of an effort to check in with family and reconnect with friends. In Colombia, where a nearly three-week period of self-isolation is now in place, 43-year-old Andrea Uribe has organised everything from group exercise classes to family talent shows using video messaging programmes including Zoom. "I have called my parents more often, I have talked to friends that I usually don't talk to... I have organised Zoom meetings with friends in multiple countries," Uribe, who works in development, told AFP. "It is wonderful to be forced to be there for one another. It has made me more creative. It just shows that we need to be present in people's lives." https://www.bangkokpost.com/world/1886110/cleaner-hands-bluer-skies-what-has-coronavirus-done-for-us-#cxrecs_s
  5. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    5 Great Toilet Paper Recipes For Idiots Who Forgot To Buy Food  https://www.theshovel.com.au/2020/03/08/5-great-toilet-paper-recipes/
  6. https://www.bangkokpost.com/vdo/thailand/1884755/quiet-night-in-bangkok Bangkok’s usually bustling nightlife is replaced by closed doors and deserted streets after all entertainment facilities were ordered closed as part of the measures to control the coronavirus spread. (Video by Jetjaras Na Ranong)
  7. Buddhists have no prayers, since they have no divinity to pray to. All they do is chant the Buddha's teachings over and over. That should do wonders, really!
  8. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Blame for Wuhan virus lies squarely with CCP Coronavirus crisis is Chinese Communist Party’s fault and it must pay for consequences By David Spencer, Taiwan News, Contributing Writer KAOHSIUNG (Taiwan News) — The hashtag "China lied, people died" has been trending around the world over the past few days as people come to terms with the colossal impact the Wuhan coronavirus is having on everyone’s lives. It has sparked a hugely emotional response. The Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) left-leaning supporters have immediately played the race card and accused anyone who dares to criticize China of being racist. The CCP has leaped on this too, as its propaganda machine has gone into overdrive to try and deflect blame over the pandemic. From ludicrous conspiracies about the virus being released in Wuhan by the U.S. military to videos of people dressed in doctor’s uniforms pulling off their masks, there is no level the CCP won’t stoop to in order to convince the world this is not their fault. At the same time, the CCP has begun promoting the fallacy of China’s efforts to tackle the virus as being a great sacrifice on behalf of the world and suggesting we should be grateful. It has also pulled in the leaders of those countries and organizations that pay homage to Beijing. Various world leaders have stood up to proclaim the virus "no-one’s fault," saying we should focus on finding a solution rather than a cause. The World Health Organization (WHO) seems more bothered about Wuhan coronavirus "stigmatizing" China than the fact it is killing thousands of people around the world. This is the same WHO that, at the behest of Beijing, insisted travel bans and restrictions were not necessary as coronavirus ripped through China. This advice played a big role in the virus being allowed to spread internationally. Yet the discredited WHO Secretary-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, mysteriously remains in office and, for some reason, the world continues to listen to his flawed advice. While WHO has undoubtedly helped coronavirus spread through its kowtowing to Beijing, responsibility for it lies elsewhere. Wuhan coronavirus began in China and it spread because of the culture of corruption that the CCP has engrained into Chinese society. Responsibility for the coronavirus crisis lies with one organization, the CCP. It was the CCP that silenced doctors and other whistleblowers that first spoke out about Wuhan coronavirus as far back as September 2019 according to some internal CCP documents. It was the CCP that destroyed samples and in doing so stopped medical professionals getting an early understanding of how contagious the virus was, information that could have stopped it in its tracks. It was the CCP that refused international help in the early stages of the outbreak and refused to let WHO or other international observers into Wuhan and other infected areas. It was the CCP that covered up the outbreak by faking death and infection numbers. It was the CCP that chose to censor the internet to remove all truthful accounts of life inside coronavirus-ravaged China and continues to do so to prevent the truth from getting out. It is the CCP that continues to spread fake news and propaganda about the coronavirus outbreak making it harder to tackle its spread. It is the CCP and no-one else, that is responsible for Wuhan coronavirus sweeping the world. Let’s summarize briefly what they are responsible for. At the time of writing, there are 284,013 cases globally and 11,848 deaths. We know the data coming out of China is fake and other countries are only recording a fraction of the actual number of cases because of testing limitations, so the true numbers are likely to be significantly higher. Certainly, when the virus begins to take hold in under-developed parts of the world like Africa and Central America, the number of cases and deaths is likely to grow substantially. The CCP is to blame for these deaths. Wuhan coronavirus is affecting everyone. Workplaces and schools are closed across the globe, economies are in free-fall, and travel is all but impossible. Life as we know it has ground to a halt, the world is on its knees, and no-one can say for sure when it will start up again. The CCP is to blame for this. Yet still, the propaganda goes on. China has got the disease under control, we are told in obedient media outlets. China is showing us how to beat back the epidemic. Last week, international media reported as fact CCP claims to have zero new cases in a day for the first time. At a time when Wuhan coronavirus is rampaging around the globe, for the country of origin, with a population of 1.3 billion people, to make such an outlandish claim is utterly absurd, yet Western media lapped it up. CCP propaganda is working and in many media outlets, far from being the villain, China is being portrayed as the knight in shining armor that will show the rest of the world how to beat Wuhan coronavirus. We must not accept these lies and we must not fall for this deceit. This is a CCP virus that ultimately will be defeated by Western medicine. When this happens, the CCP must face the consequences for the death and disruption it has caused. It should pay the price both financially and politically for the mess it has caused. This situation must never be allowed to happen again and there is only one sure-fire way to ensure that is the case. The CCP must be dismantled and freedom and transparency finally delivered to the world’s most populous nation. https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3902009?fbclid=IwAR17Tt6mc02L2p24973dk3PtIW7LoeDZD70aiGw_7n9O42T4mp6C0lm77QE
  9. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Nothing to worry about!
  10. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    China reports it is being reinfected by Chinese returning from Europe.
  11. Flashermac

    Laos

    Anypne suspected of having the virus simply disappears. That's the way things are done in the Lao PDR.
  12. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Don't know, but I rode the MRT last Saturday. The number of passengers was maybe less than usual, but not very much. I saw only two Thais without a mask, both young guys who acted as if they were immune to everything.
  13. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Still only one death inThailand, and the poor guy had already been hit with dengue fever. (Second time I had dengue, you could have knocked me over with a feather.) Is it the heat or something that keeps it from being as lethal here? Italy is being clobbered by it. Meanwhile ... Coronavirus: Robots use light beams to zap hospital viruses https://www.bbc.com/news/business-51914722
  14. Down the soi, just past Nana Plaza
  15. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Go-go restaurants, a new Pattaya feature ... also go-go barber shops, groceries etc.
  16. Flashermac

    Straya

    Outrageous': Qantas criticised for standing down 20,000 workers without pay Unions have demanded that any future government bailout of the airlines include money to pay workers after Australia’s national carrier, Qantas, said it will stand down two-thirds of its 30,000-strong workforce without pay and end international flights. Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce said the standdowns were needed to survive the biggest crisis aviation has ever been through, but union leaders slammed the move for robbing from workers’ futures to prop up the airline. Joyce said it was “survival of the fittest” in the airline industry due to the coronavirus pandemic, and “lots of airlines are going to go under”. “Qantas will not be one of them,” he said. “One of the things we are working on is making sure we are last man standing.” The decision comes despite a $715m rescue package for the Australian airline sector, unveiled by the government on Wednesday. ... The Australian Manufacturing Workers’ Union national assistant secretary Glenn Thompson called on Qantas to bring forward maintenance work and give workers who are stood down 14 days special paid leave. “Big companies with deep pockets like Qantas must support their workers in these uncertain times by providing two weeks special leave at the beginning of the standdown period,” he said. Dan Walton, the national secretary of the biggest union at Qantas, the Australian Workers’ Union, said workers needed to be supported at least until May.. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/19/coronavirus-qantas-and-jetstar-to-suspend-international-flights-and-stand-down-20000-workers "Let them eat cake!" https://asia.nikkei.com/Editor-s-Picks/China-up-close/Campaign-to-thank-Xi-Jinping-flatly-rejected-by-Wuhan-citizens?utm_source=paid.outbrain.com&utm_campaign=BA TH&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=E15-1&dicbo=v1-c0ee0cbb6263d6306376ddd13731e71d-00280e9c9208103b82992e13a5e43683ac-gzswknjwmjrtqljvmq4weljumzrdcllbge3tkllcmfrtcnzsmi2wmnrsha
  17. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Prayut order the entertainment orders in Bangkok to close for two weeks, but he didn't say anything about Pattaya.
  18. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Tracking the infections on a map ... https://covidtracker.5lab.co/?fbclid=IwAR1bAH4qDAZtWkdh2MVwAiFmow9lAtRFg78vPSZKr76__ezADDlBNwYHTyk
  19. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    Haven't they always placed profit before human lives? If anything, they now may just be more open about it. p.s. The US Peace Corps is freaking out, ordering all volunteers to come home. Come home ... how? At least leave the PC folks alone in Thailand, which has had only 1 death in 69,000,000 people, rather than sending them through airports and flying them many hours to the US. Would you feel safer living in a quiet village in say Roi Et or Yasothorn, or spending time at airports in Thailand and Japan? p.p.s. China told the Peace Corps vols to pack up and get. They were flown to Bangkok at short notice (3 days maybe?) and PC put them up in a hotel while trying to figure out how to send them home. From what I hear, the China vols are really pissed off at the PRC government, though my big question is why the hell there were PC vols in China. It's hardly a poor developing country.
  20. Flashermac

    The Covid-19 thread

    "“If you aren’t sick, please don’t get tests because it’s useless and wastes money." Exactly. Why should he even have to tell this to people?
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