Every day we hear about new deaths and a record number of cases. But we found some unusual angles to the story. For instance, a woman from Wuhan, China discusses how they handled the pandemic there, and how different societies have responded. But the news angle is that she had to go to Florida to become infected.
Xinyan Yu has been living in the U.S. and was shocked to see what happened in her home town of Wuhan.
When we ventured out to a popular ice cream shop, we were horrified that none of the customers waiting in line or the staff serving the scoops were wearing masks. Shortly after we flew back to D.C., my husband and I came down with the virus. . .
My mother is baffled by the U.S. pandemic response: “Americans just won’t listen,” she would tell me with frustration. She is used to seeing Chinese authorities aggressively stomp out every flare-up of the virus. In mid-May, Wuhan swabbed 9 million residents in a “10-day battle” in response to a handful of new cases. Recently. . .after [a woman received] positive test result. . .In six days, contact tracers in Beijing identified and quarantined all 292 people who had close contact with her for further testing.
Ms. Xinyan reported her infection, but no one here enforced the quarantine, no one asked whom she had seen recently. She notes that it’s the difference in cultures.
It’s the difference between collectivism and individualism: China is battling one pandemic, whereas each American state, community and person is fighting their own. . . In the context of a pandemic, freedom is inevitably a double-edged sword. It isn’t just a universal right, but also a social pact that works only if everyone is on board, careful not to infringe on others’ freedom with their choices.
It’s ironic that a native of Wuhan had to go to Florida to be infected with the virus.
Our next story is about a unique sales pitch. The country of Barbados, in the Caribbean, wants you to go there—for your own good! Other countries also want you to “commute” there.
This has been the year a virus shut down our globalized lives. . . But even as the pandemic continues to rage, the government of Barbados, a country in the eastern Caribbean, is sending a very different message: Come here, not just for a holiday, but for up to a year. Bring your laptop. Soak up the sun, the sea, the sand — and forget about the coronavirus. . .
Dubbed the “Barbados Welcome Stamp” and launching this week, the program will allow visitors to stay on the Caribbean island visa-free for up to one year. The aim is to attract remote workers, with a bill to be introduced in Parliament by the government that will remove the local income taxes that normally kick in after six months. . .
Barbados is not the only country trying to open up to laptop-toting foreigners. Estonia is to launch its own long-awaited “Digital Nomad” visa program in the coming months, and countries including Georgia, Germany and Costa Rica already have visa programs geared toward freelancers. . .
The number of applications for Portugal’s “golden visa” program — which allows residency in return for a real estate investment of $570,000 — in May 2020 was almost triple what it was the year before, according to data compiled by Arton Capital.
Meanwhile, Fox News reports that Russian hackers are trying to steal coronavirus vaccine research.
Russian cyber hackers are targeting organizations involved in coronavirus vaccine development, security officials in the U.S., United Kingdom and Canada claimed Thursday. . .
“It is completely unacceptable that the Russian Intelligence Services are targeting those working to combat the coronavirus pandemic,” U.K.’s Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said in a statement. “While others pursue their selfish interests with reckless behavior, the U.K. and its allies are getting on with the hard work of finding a vaccine and protecting global health.”. . .
The statement did not say whether Russian President Vladimir Putin knew about the vaccine research hacking, but British officials believe such intelligence would be highly prized.
And IndianExpress reports that women—in their bride gowns—are protesting that Covid-19 disrupted their wedding plans in Rome.
The unusual event, organised by an Italian wedding association, was called the ‘flashmob of the singles or unmarried ones’. Around 15 would-be-brides attended the event to put forward their demands.
According to the association, about 90 per cent of the ceremonies have been postponed to 2021 and around 500,000 workers in the sector were facing unemployment, reported Sky TG 24.
Apparently. . .”Heav’n has no Rage, like Love to Hatred turn’d, Nor Hell a Fury, like a Woman scorn’d.” in the 1697 play The Mourning Bride (Act III Scene 2) by William Congreve.
You may have heard about the coin shortage.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said on June 17: “The places where you go to give your coins and get credit, cash… those have not been working. Stores have been closed. So the whole system of flow has kind of come to a stop. We’re well aware of this.”
Stores like laundromats and gas stations have been particularly affected by the coin shortage. Some stores are asking customers to pay with the exact amount of cash, or use card so that they don’t have to give out the scarce amount of change they have. . .
To counteract the coin shortage, the Federal Reserve will work with the U.S. Mint to maximize coin production capacity and will encourage depository institutions to only order the coins they need in the short term to meet customer demand.
A more obvious answer is that people are sitting at home, instead of spending the coins they have sitting on their nightstand.
And, finally, Interesting Engineering tells us weird things people have said or done because of Covid-19.
1. THIS IRANIAN CLERIC RECKONS THAT APPLYING ESSENTIAL OILS TO YOUR ANUS WILL “CURE THE CORONAVIRUS”
2. THIS BROTHEL [IN VALENCIA,SPAIN) APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN A “HOTBED” FOR THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS
3. PEOPLE HAVE ACTUALLY STARTED SELLING CORONAVIRUS-THEMED ARTS AND CRAFTS ON ETSY
4. THIS INDIAN LEGISLATOR BELIEVES COW URINE IS AN IDEAL SOLUTION TO THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS
5. INDIAN POLITICIANS SEEM TO BE FULL OF IDEAS; COULD YOGA BE THE SOLUTION?
6. YET ANOTHER GUY IN INDIA WITH A POTENTIAL CORONAVIRUS CURE: COW POOP
7. CHINESE SHOPPERS ARE HUNTING PHARMACIES FOR SOMETHING CALLED “SHUANGHUANGLIAN”
8. GARLIC KILLS VAMPIRES AND THE CORONAVIRUS, APPARENTLY
9. GARLIC, NOT YOUR THING? WHY NOT TRY SMALL ONIONS?
10. DEAN KOONTZ PREDICTED THE VIRUS BACK IN THE 1980S
You’ll have to click the link to get more details. We’ll be out looking for cow poop.