From New Zealand to France: The Face of the Future: Warlords By John Steele

     New Zealand is close enough, and culturally similar enough for the problem of gangs to erupt here in Oz as well, as economic collapse will breed desperate and violent people.
  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/23/gangs-of-new-zealand-explosion-of-violence-prompts-fears-police-have-lost-control

“Gangs have existed for decades in New Zealand; their members are a common sight on the country’s roads and truck stops, immediately identifiable in patched vests and riding oversized motorcycles. But years of low-key activity has been shattered by recent wars between rival gangs, and police in the worst-affected parts of the country – on the east coast of the North Island – are wondering just how, and if, they can ever be brought under control again.

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Corpses on Ice By Peter Ewer

     Just be glad for small mercies, my dear old mother used to say, when we faced some misery. It can always get worse, so be humble and don’t tempt fate. Was she seeing Spain, in the future, that is, Spain today in the plague years?
  https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/03/spain-makeshift-ice-rink-morgue-takes-delivery-corpses-200324115155671.html

“The first hearse arrived on Tuesday at Madrid's ice rink, hastily transformed into a makeshift mortuary as Spanish authorities scrambled to deal with a rising death toll from the coronavirus. Spain is Europe's second-hardest hit country after Italy, with 2,696 deaths and nearly 40,000 confirmed cases after 6,600 cases and more than 500 deaths were reported overnight, the sharpest daily increase since the start of the crisis. Approximately 14 percent of infections are among health workers. Authorities said on Monday facilities could not cope and agreed to transform the Palacio de Hielo mall, home to an Olympic-sized ice rink, into a morgue. Footage from Reuters TV showed vehicles at the building cordoned off by police officers in masks. The military disinfected 179 nursing homes on Monday and plan to clean another 96 on Tuesday, officials said.”

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The Question of Chloroquine By Mrs Vera West

     President Trump thinks that the drug chloroquine may be a game changer in the coronavirus pandemic. But the false news media said that Trump was responsible for a man who died from self-medication of the alleged drug, when in fact the man died because he ingested fish tank cleaner, a fair bit of difference, not that the mainstream liars care that much, as long as the mud sticks for a moment:
  https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/03/fake-news-hacks-claim-man-died-after-ingesting-chloroquine-because-of-trump-leaves-out-the-fact-he-actually-drank-fish-tank-cleaner/

“Late last week President Donald Trump announced a new medical treatment that includes malaria drug chloroquine and Z-pac cocktail to battle the coronavirus. There are three international studies that show the combination is very effective in treating the coronavirus and also acts as a prophylactic. We reported on the success of Chloroquine earlier today and this week. The propagandists in the media however are desperate to make President Trump look like a murdering liar so they spread one of the biggest hoaxes yet in the Coronavirus news cycle. On Monday it was reported that a 68-year-old man died after ingesting chloroquine. Only he didn’t ingest chloroquine — he drank fish tank cleaner and poisoned himself to death. But the media ran with the lie anyway, because orange man bad.”

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Coronavirus and Sober Mathematics By Brian Simpson

     There is a sober, or I would say, a grim mathematics, to the coronavirus pandemic. Take lockdowns for example. I was in town today and it was as sparse as on Good Friday, or shall we call our days, “Bad Fridays”? Businesses shut, few people working. This is less than a week …  what will things be like with a full six months or year of this? Lock downs of Western countries are hard enough, but what about locking down the vast population of India:
  https://www.zerohedge.com/health/heres-what-21-day-lockdown-indias-13bn-people-looks

“Or rather we should ask whether this is even possible, given that as of the first night following Prime Minister Narendra Modi announcing in a televised address the immediate lockdown which orders some one-fifth of the world's population to 'stay indoors' it looks like the authorities will have serious enforcement issues on their hands in the coming Even his word choice left little ambiguity: “To save India and every Indian, there will be a total ban on venturing out,” Modi said Tuesday.days. Technically the order begins Wednesday, but it still set off a panic as anxious throngs descended on shopping markets, causing police to in some cases intervene and attempt to disperse the swelling crowds. Modi said in his speech the 'alternative' to not shutting the country down would ultimately set back the economy back 21 years, while also acknowledging India will take a big hit anyway, while pledging to inject $2 billion into country's vulnerable health care system.”

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Social Distancing and Racism? By Peter Ewer

     If you are worried about death and social doom in the current corona-crisis, then think again, because the real concern, as always, is racism, white racism. Yeah:
  https://www.newframe.com/far-right-uses-coronavirus-to-scapegoat-refugees/

“The global explosion of the coronavirus has dramatically brought about fresh challenges for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. With countries adopting strict measures to contain this pandemic, including rigid border controls, the outbreak will not only have a huge impact on those driven out by crisis situations but is also likely to create another refugee tragedy, worse than what has been experienced before. The global response to the spread of the virus formally known as Covid-19 amid the ongoing refugee crisis has been shaped by the complexity of national political interests, hardened immigration policies and border sovereignty. Xenophobic rhetoric about how migrants and refugees are potential carriers of the deadly virus and pose a health threat has already become a central theme for right-wing populists in Europe, who advocate for cracking down on immigration. And many far-right nationalists are making unverified assertions that African migrants brought the virus to the continent.”

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Uncle Len’s Great Coronapocalpyse Adventures By Uncle Len, Man of the Plague

     Well, there you go, all those people doing bootcamp, if they break the social distancing rules, well the police are going to swat you, and rightly so. But, why should there be bootcamps at all, forms of exercise  torture? If gyms can be shut down because some big guy can be shedding viruses like cats shed fur, all over the place, then shut them down too. And what is it, 10 people max at a funeral, and 5 for a wedding? Where did they pull these numbers from? Surely these are high risk places, since wedding involve people getting pretty close together, and funerals, well someone is dead anyway, which is hardly a good start. So, shut them down too!
  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8149837/Bootcamp-trainers-face-5000-fines-clients-1000-ignore-social-distancing-rules.html?ito=push-notification&ci=11304&si=1326534

     Yes, this is truly a fantastic time for your resident shed-dwelling hobo writer, who has suffered from social coronavirus all of his life. Social distancing is what I have lived with as people avoid me like the …  plague! And soon everyone is going to be like Uncle Len because stage three social distancing is coming soon:
  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8149263/What-level-three-restrictions-involve.html?ito=push-notification&ci=11306&si=1326534

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Depressionary Economic Crash By James Reed

     The Great Depression 2.0 is a coming, and we all need to move to level three of preparation, that is for the economic crash:
  https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/peter-schiff-covid-19-exposing-truth-about-economy
  https://schiffgold.com/peters-podcast/peter-schiff-coronavirus-is-exposing-the-truth-about-the-economy/
  https://www.zerohedge.com/economics/chances-greater-depression-are-increasing-day-warns-drdoom
  https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/coronavirus-greater-great-depression-by-nouriel-roubini-2020-03

“The shock to the global economy from COVID-19 has been both faster and more severe than the 2008 global financial crisis (GFC) and even the Great Depression. In those two previous episodes, stock markets collapsed by 50% or more, credit markets froze up, massive bankruptcies followed, unemployment rates soared above 10%, and GDP contracted at an annualized rate of 10% or more. But all of this took around three years to play out. In the current crisis, similarly dire macroeconomic and financial outcomes have materialized in three weeks.

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No Discrimination Says Madonna By Brian Simpson

     Ageing boomer pop singer, attention-seeker and globalist, anti-Trumper, Madonna has given another diatribe in support of her world view, saying that the coronavirus makes us all equal. What, there is epidemiological evidence that the virus kills more men than women, but I guess that is not what concerns her being a hyper-feminist:
  https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2020/03/22/madonna-says-coronavirus-made-us-all-equal-in-nude-psa/

“Just as the city of Los Angeles announced plans to move thousands of homeless people into recreation centers, sitting nude in a bathtub full of rose peddles in her million dollar mansion, Madonna said “what’s terrible” and “what’s wonderful” about the coronavirus is that “it’s made us all equal in many ways.” “That’s the thing about COVID-19. It doesn’t care how smart you are, where you live, how old you are, what amazing stories you can tell. It’s the great equalizer and what’s terrible about is it what’s great about it,” Madonna said. “What’s terrible about it is that it’s made us all equal in many ways and what’s wonderful about is, is that it’s made us all equal in many ways.” “Like I used to say at the end of human nature every night, if the ship goes down, we’re all going down together,” the Grammy-winner said, captioning her tweet “No-Discrimination- Covid-19.” It was only a few days ago that the world was witness to a stumbling and spinning Madonna putting on a Coronavirus concert from her bathroom, reimagining her hit “Vogue” to include lyrics about eating fried fish.”

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Unprecedented Foreign Espionage Threat? By James Reed

     Now who could be posing an “unprecedented foreign espionage threat” to little old Asianised Australia?
  https://www.reuters.com/article/us-australia-security/australia-under-unprecedented-threat-from-foreign-interference-spy-chief-idUSKCN20I1CY

“Australia is under an “unprecedented” threat of foreign espionage and interference, one of the country’s most senior spy chiefs said in a rare speech, citing the case of a “sleeper agent” who spent years building business links. Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) Director-General Mike Burgess said several nations were working hard to influence lawmakers, government officials, media figures, business leaders and academics. “The level of threat we face from foreign espionage and interference activities is currently unprecedented,” Burgess said at ASIO headquarters in Canberra on Monday evening as he unveiled the agency’s annual threat assessment. “It is higher now, than it was at the height of the Cold War.” Burgess did not identify the countries infiltrating Australia, a staunch ally of the United States, though analysts said it was a thinly veiled outing of China. “It’s very reasonable to assume that China was the country in question,” said Rory Medcalf, head of the National Security College, Australian National University. ASIO is Australia’s domestic intelligence agency. Reuters reported in September that Australia’s intelligence agencies concluded China was responsible for a cyber-attack on the Australian parliament and three largest political parties just months before a general election in May 2019. China, which is Australia’s largest trading partner, has denied responsibility for the attack. Australia decided not to reveal the identity of the attackers in order to protect its trading relationship with China, sources familiar with the decision told Reuters in September. “I don’t care what country it is we’re talking about, whether it’s China or Russia or Iran - if people pose a threat to our country, they will be dealt with according to the level of that threat,” Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told reporters in Canberra on Tuesday when asked about China.”

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Unemployment to be Greater than Great Depression By Bruce Bennett

     What was the unemployment rate during the Great Depression? Before I looked it up, I thought, yeah, about 30 percent, or higher. Way off: the rate ranges from 14 % to 24.9 % at the height. But, the coming Great Depression 2.0 will be 30 % and rising:
  https://www.thebalance.com/unemployment-rate-by-year-3305506
  https://thehill.com/policy/finance/economy/488924-st-louis-fed-chair-says-us-unemployment-rate-could-hit-30-percent

“Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said that the U.S. unemployment rate could reach 30 percent in the second quarter because of the coronavirus pandemic, Bloomberg News reported Sunday. Bullard also said a 50 percent reduction in gross domestic product is possible in the second quarter given the shutdown of business throughout much of the country, which is only expected to increase. He suggested this would all result in a $2.5 trillion loss in income, and that a huge stimulus would be needed to make up for it. Bullard's outlook is more dire than other estimates, though Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told GOP senators during a private meeting this week that it was possible unemployment could reach 20 percent. He later clarified that he was not making an estimate and that he though actions being taken by the government could help the situation. Lawmakers in the House and Senate are struggling to reach a deal on a huge economic stimulus package. Democrats have raised objection about the measure largely drafted by Republicans, arguing not enough of the benefits would reach workers and families most in need. Bullard said the Federal Reserve was considering a number of actions to help the economy. “Everything is on the table,” he said, referring to the Fed’s potential actions for additional lending programs. Bullard encouraged an aggressive government response, which could lead to the third quarter being a “transitional quarter” and the fourth quarter and first quarter of next year as potential “boom quarters.” He added that the government’s priority should be to help American workers and businesses across industries, so companies and industries don’t fall into the cracks. “It is totally stupid to lose a major industry because of a virus,” he said, according to the news outlet. “Why would you want to do that?” Bullard’s comments follow the worst stocks week since 2008, with massive drops in the Dow Jones Industrial Average.” 

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Bringing On Economic Collapse; Debt Jubilee? By James Reed

     It is fast becoming mainstream that we are seeing another Great Depression, the exception being that there is now a social welfare net to break people’s fall a little bit, so that they do not die immediately from their economic fall, but perhaps from starvation waiting on the streets to get in the doors of Centrelink, which has become life itself:
  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8140855/Queues-people-line-stress-outside-Sydney-Centrelink-office.html?ito=push-notification&ci=11130&si=1326534

     It has been suggested that a debt jubilee is the only way of preventing this Great Depression:
  https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/21/debt-jubilee-is-only-way-avoid-depression/

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Did God Just Speak? By Mrs Vera West

     Will this be another, what was his name case? Epstein, now I remember, but the MSM has forgotten:
  https://pagesix.com/2020/03/22/harvey-weinstein-tests-positive-for-coronavirus-report-says/?_ga=2.9493237.1971282481.1584917532-1895132077.1565563639

“Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the coronavirus in prison — and most likely contracted the disease at Rikers Island, an official briefed on the matter told The Post on Sunday. Weinstein, 68, is being held in isolation at the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo, where he tested positive on Saturday, the official said. The state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision wouldn’t confirm or deny Weinstein’s condition, citing federal health-care privacy law, but said that two inmates at Wende had the coronavirus. Weinstein — who was sentenced earlier this month to 23 years in prison for sexually assaulting two women — is believed to have been infected at Rikers, where he was briefly locked up before being transferred to Wende on Wednesday, the official said. New York City has experienced the nation’s largest jailhouse outbreak of coronavirus, with at least 38 inmates — including at Rikers — testing positive, the Associated Press reported Sunday.”

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Emptying the Jails??? Next, the Roaming Gangs of Zombie Mutant Bikers (ZMB)! By John Steele

     There is beginning a trend in the West of emptying jails, because, well, the poor dears might catch the bug. This started in the US, and now is being called for here in Oz:
  https://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-20/calls-for-australian-prisoners-to-be-released-due-to-coronavirus/12074182?pfmredir=sm&fbclid=IwAR0-OsTSBu6HExHQN6f5X4LA9K-wgA1yI9gKZX8fPIizIw2-_SWFT7ZZvc4

“Lawyers and prisoner advocates are calling for measures to reduce the nation's prison population — including releasing inmates early and loosening conditions for bail — in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.
•    The measures include releasing inmates who are elderly, unwell or who are likely to be released in the next six months.
•    The concern is that prisons will become coronavirus hotspots leading to inmate deaths, riots and further spread into the community
•    The Victorian Government says that processes are already in place for dealing with communicable diseases in custody
A group of more than 370 lawyers, academics and advocates Friday released an open letter which calls on Australian governments to follow the lead of jurisdictions such as Ireland, the United States, Iran and the United Kingdom, where authorities have either released prisoners or flagged it as a possibility in response to the pandemic.
The letter stated that during disease outbreaks, prisons — where people live in close quarters and are often unwell — can become a breeding ground for viruses which spread to the community.
It calls on state and territory governments to support bail and non-custodial penalties for all defendants who did not present a very high risk that could not be managed in the community.
It also calls for the early release of prisoners, including those at high risk of harm from COVID-19 and those detained for summary offences.

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Letter to the Editor - The Virus Slowdown was Successful

25 March 2020

The Virus Slowdown was Successful

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The Challenge of Dawa By Peter West

     There is a new book by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Dutch critic of Islam, The Challenge of Dawa. The book argues that Islam has a political ideology, and outlines what the West needs to do to survive. I will not be buying her book, as we journalists are all too poor to buy anything, but, not to cry too much in our empty beer mugs and soup bowls, I found a summary of the book by the author herself, so you don’t have to read the book either unless you really want to. Just prepare, as these are wild times, and some food trumps reading material:
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx2hEc7Dlcg
  https://www.hoover.org/research/challenge-dawa-political-islam-ideology-and-movement-and-how-counter-it

“Speaking in Youngstown, Ohio, on August 15, 2016, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gave a speech on what he unequivocally referred to as “radical Islam.” He declared: Nor can we let the hateful ideology of radical Islam—its oppression of women, gays, children, and nonbelievers—be allowed to reside or spread within our own countries . . . [W]-e must use ideological warfare as well. Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of radical Islam. Our administration will be a friend to all moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, and will amplify their voices. Since Mr. Trump’s election victory and inauguration as president, much attention has been focused on hurried and probably temporary restrictions on refugees, visitors, and immigrants from a number of majority-Muslim countries. Almost no attention has been paid to the broader goals outlined in the Youngstown speech. I argue that the speech heralded a paradigm shift away from President Obama’s doctrine of focusing solely on the violence committed by “extremists” to a more comprehensive approach that seeks to undermine, degrade, and ultimately defeat political Islam (or Islamism) as an ideology and a movement seeking to infiltrate and undermine our free society. A narrow focus on Islamist violence had the effect of restricting our options only to tools such as military intervention, electronic surveillance, and the criminal justice system. This approach has proved both costly and ineffective. Moving beyond the controversy over his executive order on immigration, President Trump now has the chance to broaden our strategy. Instead of “combating violent extremism,” his administration needs to redefine the threat posed by political Islam by recognizing it as an ideology that is fundamentally incompatible with our freedoms and a movement that is working insidiously but effectively to achieve its stated utopia.

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China Moves to Secure Global Dominance By James Reed

     This is a line of inquiry that we should keep or eyes on, the rewriting of history by China and its servants:
  https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6143711080001

“China’s “dishonesty and negligence” unleashed COVID-19 on the rest of the world, Outsiders Host Rita Panahi says. Ms Panahi questioned the decision of China to “destroy evidence” when it became clear there was an outbreak on their hands. “China's initial cover-up included destroying lab samples that established in December the cause of unexplained viral infections in the Hubei province,” she said. “How many lives would have been saved if China had listened to experts instead of silencing them?” Ms Panahi said it was imperative we do not allow China to rewrite history as it emerges from the other side of the crisis. “The Chinese communist regime has through its ineptitude, dishonesty and negligence unleashed a virus that will leave tens of thousands dead and likely cause a global recession,” he said. “We must not allow this totalitarian regime to re-write history.”

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The Politically Correct 007 By Peter Ewer

     I once loved the James Bond character, but with Daniel Craig, that took a dive, as we saw the new politically correct Bond, so distant from Sean Connery, that it might as well be another world, which it is. But, what is the guy like in real life? Worse.
  https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-8135603/Bond-star-Daniel-Craig-insists-wont-leave-125-million-fortune-children.html

“Daniel Craig has insisted he won't be giving a penny of his £125million fortune to his children because he believes 'inheritance is distasteful.' The James Bond actor, 52, revealed his 'philosophy is to get rid of it or give it away before you go' and says he has no plans on passing down his wealth to his daughters, including the two-year-old he shares with wife Rachel Weisz, 50. In a new interview, the 007 star, said: 'I don't want to leave great sums to the next generation' – after earning a reported £18million for his final James Bond film, No Time to Die. Speaking to Saga magazine, he continued: 'I think inheritance is quite distasteful. My philosophy is to get rid of it or give it away before you go.' Daniel is a father to daughter Ella, 28, who he shares with ex-wife Fiona Loudon, 51, and a child whose name hasn't been confirmed with current partner Rachel.”

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From “Coronapocalpyse” to Communism By Paul Walker

     I have assembled below a mass of articles and news items which I think have a common thread. Rather than put extracts from all of them, I think that the URLs are pretty self-explanatory. We have the new social distance rules, that have closed down gyms, restaurants, you name it.  I was told off by an ethnic gentleman in the post office today for being a few nanometres too close. Soon people will be carrying tape measures, and electron microscopes, to settle disputes, and in America, guns, of course. This social distancing stuff is right throughout the West, with Germany, for example going to the next step and banning public meetings of two or more people. Question, will this eventually apply in private households and make sex impossible? This a restriction on civil liberties greater than anything ever seen before in the modern West, and the powers that be want even more power, and more social control, with no public debate, it just happens:
  https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/doj-seeks-new-emergency-powers-amid-coronavirus-pandemic/ar-BB11vJvl?ocid=spartandhp

“The Justice Department has quietly asked Congress for the ability to ask chief judges to detain people indefinitely without trial during emergencies — part of a push for new powers that comes as the coronavirus spreads through the United States. Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted. POLITICO also reviewed and previously reported on documents seeking the authority to extend deadlines on merger reviews and prosecutions. A Justice Department spokesperson declined to comment on the documents. The move has tapped into a broader fear among civil liberties advocates and Donald Trump’s critics — that the president will use a moment of crisis to push for controversial policy changes. Already, he has cited the pandemic as a reason for heightening border restrictions and restricting asylum claims. He has also pushed for further tax cuts as the economy withers, arguing that it would soften the financial blow to Americans. And even without policy changes, Trump has vast emergency powers that he could legally deploy right now to try and slow the coronavirus outbreak. The DOJ requests — which are unlikely to make it through a Democratic-led House — span several stages of the legal process, from initial arrest to how cases are processed and investigated. In one of the documents, the department proposed that Congress grant the attorney general power to ask the chief judge of any district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation.”

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The Killing of Cash By James Reed

     This is disturbing. This morning I read that one big supermarket was not taking cash for payments, for fear of the corona bug being on the money, but when I hobbled to the store, that policy was dropped, why, I do not know, perhaps an act of God? Yes, this was never a problem before with poo getting on the money  and they did not care then, but I suppose this is different, eh?
  https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-20/will-coronavirus-kill-off-cash-in-australia/12065860

“The coronavirus pandemic has spread to many aspects of life. But one of its early and unexpected impacts seems to be on cash — or, more specifically, cash transactions. Though it does not reference cash specifically, Department of Health advice says the COVID-19 virus can spread through "touching objects that have cough or sneeze droplets from an infected person" on them. So when managers of The Knox cafe, in suburban Canberra, met to discuss how to protect staff and improve hygiene, refusing coins and banknotes was one of their first decisions. "We've stopped using keep cups and we've stopped cash transactions," front-of-house manager Madeleine Clarke said. "Our boss wants us to minimise hand-to-hand interactions and, obviously, cash carries a lot of germs." Peter Barclay, who runs city pub King O'Malleys, has started to ask drinkers to do the same. "Already, very few people use cash in the economy … it's probably 10 to 15 per cent of our patrons," he said. "When they come to the bar, we just say, 'Look, do you have a credit card?'" These cases are not isolated. Merchants across the country are responding to the COVID-19 crisis by avoiding touching money. Others, such as McDonald's restaurants, still accept coins and banknotes, but instruct staff to wear gloves while doing so. A spokesperson for McDonald's said the chain had also advised employees how to give and take coins from customers in a way that minimised contact.”

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Made in China, Too By Brian Simpson

     Comparisons have been made with the present coronavirus pandemic, and the 1918 pandemic. But really the present situation does not compare to what happened then, where corpses were put out in the street, in some parts of the world much like rubbish is put out today. And, both were from China, even though the 1918 flu is called the “Spanish flu”:
  https://thehill.com/changing-america/opinion/488429-the-1918-spanish-flu-ravaged-the-world-what-can-it-teach-us-about
  https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/1/140123-spanish-flu-1918-china-origins-pandemic-science-health/

“For decades, scientists have debated where in the world the pandemic started, variously pinpointing its origins in France, China, the American Midwest, and beyond. Without a clear location, scientists have lacked a complete picture of the conditions that bred the disease and factors that might lead to similar outbreaks in the future. The deadly "Spanish flu" claimed more lives than World War I, which ended the same year the pandemic struck. Now, new research is placing the flu's emergence in a forgotten episode of World War I: the shipment of Chinese laborers across Canada in sealed train cars. Historian Mark Humphries of Canada's Memorial University of Newfoundland says that newly unearthed records confirm that one of the side stories of the war—the mobilization of 96,000 Chinese laborers to work behind the British and French lines on World War I's Western Front—may have been the source of the pandemic. Writing in the January issue of the journal War in History, Humphries acknowledges that his hypothesis awaits confirmation by viral samples from flu victims. Such evidence would tie the disease's origin to one location. But some other historians already find his argument convincing. "This is about as close to a smoking gun as a historian is going to get," says historian James Higgins, who lectures at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and who has researched the 1918 spread of the pandemic in the United States. "These records answer a lot of questions about the pandemic."

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