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2020-2021 Corona Virus

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the week ending Sunday, April 25, 2021

State Total deaths Per 100K New deaths Per 100K 1-wk chg.
United States 572,510
172 4,972 1.5
Michigan 18,409
184 475 4.8
California 61,100
155 437 1.1
Florida 35,534
165 425 2.0
New York State 51,695
266 402 2.1
Texas 50,155
173 357 1.2
Pennsylvania 26,038
203 294 2.3
New Jersey 25,380
286 237 2.7
Georgia 19,975
188 217 2.0
Illinois 24,139
191 184 1.5
North Carolina 12,523
119 136 1.3
Ohio 19,122
164 131 1.1
Arizona 17,268
237 115 1.6
Kentucky 6,449
144 111 2.5
Virginia 10,691
125 110 1.3
Maryland 8,661
143 99 1.6
South Carolina 9,430
183 94 1.8
Tennessee 12,142
178 93 1.4
Massachusetts 17,550
255 88 1.3
Alabama 10,851
221 61 1.2
Minnesota 7,079
126 59 1.0
Puerto Rico 2,265
71 58 1.8
Nevada 5,422
176 57 1.9
Missouri 9,030
147 55 0.9
Louisiana 10,336
222 54 1.2
Colorado 6,384
111 54 0.9
Washington 5,434
71 54 0.7
Wisconsin 7,473
128 53 0.9
Connecticut 8,047
226 52 1.5
Indiana 13,274
197 50 0.7
Iowa 5,927
188 46 1.5
West Virginia 2,821
157 36 2.0
Nebraska 2,242
116 29 1.5
Oregon 2,485
59 25 0.6
Arkansas 5,718
190 24 0.8
New Mexico 4,024
192 23 1.1
Mississippi 7,175
241 22 0.7
Oklahoma 6,716
170 19 0.5
Utah 2,182
68 18 0.6
Montana 1,563
146 17 1.6
Kansas 4,968
171 15 0.5
Delaware 1,616
166 14 1.4
New Hampshire 1,284
94 14 1.0
Idaho 2,031
114 14 0.8
Rhode Island 2,660
251 13 1.2
North Dakota 1,486
195 7 0.9
Maine 772
57 7 0.5
South Dakota 1,958
221 5 0.6
Hawaii 478
34 4 0.3
Washington, D.C. 1,099
156 3 0.4
Wyoming 705
122 2 0.3
Vermont 244
39 2 0.3
Alaska 334
46 0 0.0
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The New York Times

'This Is a Catastrophe.' In India, Illness Is Everywhere.
Jeffrey Gettleman  Tue, April 27, 2021, 2:32 PM
NEW DELHI — Crematories are so full of bodies, it’s as if a war just happened. Fires burn around the clock. Many places are holding mass cremations, dozens at a time, and at night, in certain areas of New Delhi, the sky glows.  Sickness and death are everywhere.

Dozens of houses in my neighborhood have sick people.

One of my colleagues is sick.

One of my son’s teachers is sick.

The neighbor two doors down, to the right of us: sick.

Two doors to the left: sick.

“I have no idea how I got it,” said a good friend who is now in the hospital. “You catch just a whiff of this…..” and then his voice trailed off, too sick to finish.  He barely got a bed. And the medicine his doctors say he needs is nowhere to be found in India.

I’m sitting in my apartment waiting to catch the disease. That’s what it feels like right now in New Delhi with the world’s worst coronavirus crisis advancing around us. It is out there, I am in here, and I feel like it’s only a matter of time before I, too, get sick. 

India is now recording more infections per day — as many as 350,000 — than any other country has since the pandemic began, and that’s just the official number, which most experts think is a vast underestimation.  New Delhi, India’s sprawling capital of 20 million, is suffering a calamitous surge. A few days ago, the positivity rate hit a staggering 36% — meaning more than one out of three people tested were infected. A month ago, it was less than 3%.

The infections have spread so fast that hospitals have been completely swamped. People are turned away by the thousands. Medicine is running out. So is lifesaving oxygen. The sick have been left stranded in interminable lines at hospital gates or at home, literally gasping for air.

Although New Delhi is locked down, the disease is still rampaging. Doctors across this city and some of Delhi’s top politicians are issuing desperate SOS calls to India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, on social media and on TV, begging for oxygen, medicine, help.  Experts had always warned that COVID-19 could wreak real havoc in India. This country is enormous — 1.4 billion people. And densely populated. And in many places, very poor.

What we’re witnessing is so different from last year, during India’s first wave. Then, it was the fear of the unknown. Now we know. We know the totality of the disease, the scale, the speed. We know the terrifying force of this second wave, hitting everyone at the same time.  What we had been fearing during last year’s first wave, and which never really materialized, is now happening in front of our eyes: a breakdown, a collapse, a realization that so many people will die.

As a foreign correspondent for nearly 20 years, I’ve covered combat zones, been kidnapped in Iraq and been thrown in jail in more than a few places.  This is unsettling in a different way. There’s no way of knowing if my two kids, wife or I will be among those who get a mild case and then bounce back to good health, or if we will get really sick.  And if we do get really sick, where will we go? ICUs are full. Gates to many hospitals have been closed. 

A new variant known here as “the double mutant” may be doing a lot of the damage. The science is still early but from what we know, this variant contains one mutation that may make the virus more contagious and another that may make it partially resistant to vaccines. Doctors are pretty scared. Some we have spoken to said they had been vaccinated twice and still got seriously ill, a very bad sign.  So what can you do?

I try to stay positive, believing that is one of the best immunity boosters, but I find myself drifting in a daze through the rooms of our apartment, listlessly opening cans of food and making meals for my kids, feeling like my mind and body are turning to mush. I’m afraid to check my phone and get another message about a friend who has deteriorated. Or worse. I’m sure millions of people have felt this way, but I’ve started imagining symptoms: Is my throat sore? What about that background headache? Is it worse today?

My part of town, South Delhi, is now hushed. Like many other places, we had a strict lockdown last year. But now doctors here are warning us that the virus is more contagious, and the chances of getting help are so much worse than they were during the first wave. So many of us are scared to step outside, like there’s some toxic gas we’re all afraid to breathe.

India is a story of scale, and it cuts both ways. It has a lot of people, a lot of needs and a lot of suffering. But it also has lot of technology, industrial capacity and resources, both human and material. I almost teared up the other night when the news showed an Indian Air Force jet load up with oxygen tanks from Singapore to bring to needy parts of the country. The government was essentially airlifting air.  However difficult and dangerous it feels in Delhi for all of us, it’s probably going to get worse. Epidemiologists say the numbers will keep climbing, to 500,000 reported cases a day nationwide and as many as 1 million Indians dead from COVID-19 by August.

It didn’t have to be like this.

India was doing well up until a few weeks ago, at least on the surface. It locked down, absorbed the first wave, then opened up. It maintained a low death rate (at least by official statistics). By winter, life in many respects had returned to something near normal.  I was out reporting in January and February, driving through towns in central India. No one — and I mean no one, including police officers — was wearing a mask. It was like the country had said to itself, while the second wave was looming: Don’t worry, we got this.  Few people feel that way now.

Modi remains popular among his base, but more people are blaming him for failing to prepare India for this surge and for holding packed political rallies in recent weeks where few precautions were enforced — possible superspreader events.  “Social distancing norms have gone for a complete toss,” one Delhi newscaster said the other day, during a broadcast of one of Modi’s rallies.

In India, as elsewhere, the wealthy can pad the blow of many crises. But this time it’s different.  A well-connected friend activated his entire network to help someone close to him, a young man with a bad case of COVID. My friend’s friend died. No amount of pull could get him into a hospital. There were just too many other sick people. “I tried everything in my power to get this guy a bed, and we couldn’t,” my friend said. “It’s chaos.”  His feelings were raw. “This is a catastrophe. This is murder.”

I take few risks except to get food for my family that can’t be delivered. I wear two masks and cut wide berths around as many people as I can.  But most days pass with the four of us marooned inside. We try to play games, we try not to talk about who just got sick or who’s racing around this besieged city looking for help they probably won’t find.  Sometimes we just sit quietly in the living room, looking out at the ficus and palm trees.  Through the open window, on long, still, hot afternoons, we can hear two things: Ambulances. And birdsong.

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:pray:   for my Compassion kids in India.  I won't ever hear from or about them again but.....I watched them grow up.  I was a part of their ability to get an education and a better existence for their families.  It's so hard to hear about this.....and know I'll never know on this planet....how they fared. 


MtRider  :pray: 

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That is a very similar story I read a few days back. They did say aid is pouring in from around the world. Even from Afghanistan. 


They recently celebrated Holi which didn't help them. 


Another event to watch for is Ramadan. It started April 13th, and will end May 13th. That could cause another wave especially in the Middle East. IMO



Mt Rider, you gave those kids such a wonderful head start in life. I'm sure they aren't living in poverty like so many in that country. Not with an education. An education doesn't protect you from Covid but being able to afford proper sanitation, nutrition and the knowledge of how important they are can make all the difference. Who knows, they might even be doctors themselves. Or live in a different country by now.     :pray:   :hug3:   :pray:   

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I recognize the feeling the writer has allowed us to see.  Because I am at risk I have been spending the last year or more hiding out from this unseen enemy that is Covid.  Very few people, even on Mrs. S, have seen this virus in the same way as I have, as the SHTF we've been preparing for.  I have and I've taken it seriously. I take it even more seriously now with the inconsistencies we have been given.  We have been told to stay home, hide out, wear a mask and social distance no matter where we were. Then we are told get the vaccine, it will stop this virus. Then we were told the vaccine didn't stop a person from getting it and from spreading it but it would keep a person from being really ill with it and the health system from being overwhelmed.  Then we are told if we are fully vaccinated we can hug our family if they are also fully vaccinated. Then we are told we can all get together outside in untold numbers if we've been fully vaccinated as the virus wasn't nearly as infectious outside as they'd thought.  And it's safe for our kids to go back to the classrooms at only a three foot distance and they too, even though they haven't been vaccinated can all be outside with others.  


When does it end, really end?  Was India told these same things? Was Brazil? Did they actually believe it was over and they could go back to normal? Do we?  Each country has had it's own peak and it's own ebb, each time a wave coming back in a different mutation. That's what viruses do to survive.  But what do we do to survive the virus?  Are we so desperate for life to go back to what WE want it to be that we'll blindly follow whichever 'guidelines' comes along as long as it suits our own ideals?  OR do we dig out our common sense and realize this virus, like all viruses, is not going away any time soon. It will change and evolve and eventually we'll need to learn to live in harmony with it. We may have to live a new normal life, one that can be just as fulfilling but one that is not nearly as carefree and careless. Would that be such a bad thing?   

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6 hours ago, Mother said:

When does it end, really end?

OR do we dig out our common sense and realize this virus, like all viruses, is not going away any time soon. It will change and evolve and eventually we'll need to learn to live in harmony with it. We may have to live a new normal life, one that can be just as fulfilling but one that is not nearly as carefree and careless. Would that be such a bad thing?   


It wouldn't be such a "bad thing" if the PTB would STOP trying to use the fear of this thing as a CONTROL method for the masses!

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12 minutes ago, Midnightmom said:

It wouldn't be such a "bad thing" if the PTB would STOP trying to use the fear of this thing as a CONTROL method for the masses!


Or if WE stop falling for it!

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Mother, I so agree with you.  It’s terrible how it is being used.


I, for one, won’t, can’t get the vaccine.  Too many allergies, and I have too many “underlying conditions” to be able to get it.  I wear my N95, with changeable filters, wash it every 2-3 days, and have several others I wear, if I know I am not going to be close to anyone.  I cannot and will not take a chance.  The positive part is, I haven’t gotten the regular, normal, annual flu that normally circulates.  Which reminds me, how much of the regular, annual, normal, flu is contributed, as Covid????  Has there been any numbers on the regular, normal, seasonal flu?  Where’s my tin foil hat?   There it is.... :tinfoilhatsmile:

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...Gupta and several other infectious disease experts said this week that a combination of political, biological, behavioral and meteorological factors led to the outbreak.

Parts of India, including New Delhi, the nation's capital with nearly 19 million residents, have lower humidity this time of year. The virus is known to spread better when the air is dry, likely contributing to the enormous spread there, said Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health in Providence, Rhode Island.

Holiday crowds also helped spread the virus. Authorities postponed the annual pilgrimage of Kumbh Mela by a month until mid-February, but more than 700,000 already had arrived on the banks of the Ganges River by mid-January, and millions more were expected through the end of this month.  "It's a huge gathering, and it's a very efficient way of spreading the virus to a large group of people," Jha said. "And then those people dispersed all across India and spread the virus all over the country."
Prime Minister Narendra Modi didn't want to jeopardize his popularity by banning the gathering, said Chunhuei Chi, professor of international health at Oregon State University and director of its Center for Global Health. "Even before the celebration cases were already rising, but since the holiday, cases have been rising exponentially," he said.  India also tried to ban criticism of government policies in social media, he said.

Then there are the variants. The B1.1.7 variant first seen in the U.K. is far more contagious than the original strain of the virus and may be helping to infect more people, Jha said.  Lack of surveillance has been a problem in India, he said, making it impossible to understand which variants are there and how far they've spread.

Though more surveillance would have been helpful to understanding the outbreak, that alone would not have prevented the tsunami of cases, Jha said. There was enough data without genetic surveillance by early to mid-March to indicate the outbreak was getting worse.  "There was plenty of information for action, and that didn't happen, so I don't know to what extent adding genomic surveillance data … would have moved the policy," he said.

In February, there were about 350,000 coronavirus cases in India and 2,670 deaths. So far this month, there have been more than 3 million cases, a ninefold increase, and 17,000 deaths, according to data Subramanian tracks at Harvard.  Models suggest India's caseload will not peak until mid-May, and it could be even longer if Indians fail totake measures now to reduce infections, Gupta said.   Roughly 10% of Indians have been vaccinated so far, she said, with large-scale production and distribution underway in a country well versed in running mass vaccination campaigns. On May 1, every adult will be eligible for a vaccine, she said.

But even at the current delivery rate of about 2 million shots a day, the population is so large it will take time to vaccinate enough people to help infection rates fall.  Some communities have imposed curfews, and others are considering movement restrictions. No one is expecting a national lockdown, but "in states that are facing unbelievable numbers, numbers you could not even imagine would occur, there has to be more thought to the lockdowns," Gupta said.  In the meantime, she said, more testing and high-quality masks are needed, along with spaces for sick people to isolate from healthy family members. Many people don't bother with masks, and even those who do often wear ones made of thin cloth that are not tight-fitting and are "not really an optimal barrier," she said. 

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I can't believe they are telling us here in the US we can gather outside as it's been shown the virus doesn't spread as much there as inside. Yet it seems when people gather outside there are still huge surges in infections.   


Humans are essentially herd animals and I can understand the need to be with others but it appears people all around the world have lost their common sense.  :misc-smiley-231:

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Depends on what the group is doing.  Mass singing, shouting, (or anything else that involves heavy breathing) or wiping sweat on each other is strongly discouraged.

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The Telegraph
Doctors Threatened By Government
Samaan Lateef Thu, April 29, 2021, 4:55 AM
A surge of Covid-19 in a bastion of support for the Indian prime minister has been met with cover-ups and intimidation as his party workers scramble to limit political damage from the crisis during local elections, doctors allege.  Doctors claim test results are being fudged, medical staff gagged and death tolls deliberately under-counted as the coronavirus begins to tear through Uttar Pradesh, a state ruled by the man predicted to be prime minister Narendra Modi's successor.

Yogi Adityanath, chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, is accused of using authoritarian tactics to suppress reporting of the scale of medical shortages as the pandemic takes hold among the state's 240m inhabitants.  Uttar Pradesh, which is home to over 200 million people, also has strong symbolic importance to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party as it contains some of the holiest sites in Hinduism, including Varanasi and Ayodhya.  An estimated 30 million people voted to elect local village leaders from 520,000 candidates in Uttar Pradesh on Thursday, with fears crowding at polling booths would worsen what has become India's fastest-growing state epidemic.

Uttar Pradesh is also predicted to overtake Maharashtra, the state home to Mumbai, for new daily cases by the end of April, according to an Indian government think tank. Uttar Pradesh, along with Bihar and Rajasthan, has seen the highest weekly growth in new cases.

One doctor, who works in the state's capital, Lucknow, estimated only one in every 20 Covid deaths were being officially recorded in the state. “Definitely, deaths are being undercounted,” the doctor told the Telegraph. “It is huge. It is deliberate so as to show less number of deaths so that image of the government is protected.  "You go anywhere, any locality, people are cremating or burying their dead. Covid deaths happening at home are not counted at all.”  Testing labs had also been told to sit on positive results to keep official figures down, he alleged.  “Obviously, there is a fear among the doctors,” he said. “The government will terminate doctors if they talk about the crisis. And Yogi is just trying to downplay the havoc that is there in Uttar Pradesh.”

Mr Adityanath earlier this week triggered panic after saying police could arrest individuals and hospitals reporting a shortage of medical oxygen or beds.  Police in the state also this week prosecuted a man who had used Twitter to plead for oxygen for an elderly relative. Shashank Yadav was accused of making misleading statements, even though his appeal simply read: “Need oxygen cylinder, ASAP.”  Mr Adityanath has insisted there is no shortage of oxygen or beds in the state, but the state will enter a full lockdown from Friday.

Another doctor in the state said the government was trying to hide the truth. “If the chief minister visits hospitals, he shall regret his comments that there is no shortage of oxygen,” said an officer in a private hospital in Lucknow, who wished to remain anonymous.  “He wants hospitals [to] hide the truth. He is least bothered about the people dying in hospitals and at homes.”

Reports of crematoriums overwhelmed by bodies have become increasingly at odds with official death tolls in the state.  On Tuesday this week the local government reported 39 deaths in Lucknow, despite a single crematorium in the city's Bhainsakund district reporting 60 Covid-19 cremations.  Bodies are allegedly lying for days in overwhelmed hospitals and there are long queues outside crematoriums in the state's major cities of Varanasi, Allahabad, and Kanpur.

In Agra, in the same state, the authorities were forced to deny accusations they had taken an oxygen cylinder from an 85-year-old woman, who later died, to give to a well-connected patient.  Cities including Delhi and Mumbai have so far borne the brunt of the pandemic in India, but the spread into more rural Uttar Pradesh would make it more difficult to count deaths, said Bhramar Mukherjee, professor of public health and epidemiology at the University of Michigan.  “It is spreading now in rural areas and that is where India has the weakest infrastructure of reporting of deaths. In big metropolitan areas, people die in hospitals, but in rural areas they die outside of hospitals and the number of those deaths is much higher in somewhere like Uttar Pradesh."

The state is hugely important to the ruling BJP in the local elections.  “It is one of the most demographically and politically heavyweight states, which has a huge parliamentary representation. Whoever gains political weight in Uttar Pradesh has a lot of say in the central government and that is why it is so important for the BJP and other political parties," said Avinash Paliwal, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at SOAS University of London.

Nationwide, India reported nearly 380,000 new infections on Thursday, and some 3,645 new deaths.  As pressure on Mr Modi mounted, Arundhati Roy, the Man-Booker winning author, said his government had failed. “Perhaps 'failed' is an inaccurate word, because what we are witnessing is not criminal negligence, but an outright crime against humanity," she wrote in the Guardian.

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So, to illustrate the numbers being much higher than reported in India, we have this article from India:

As Covid-19 reaches rural India, “people are dropping dead like flies”
By Arunabh Saikia & Utpal Pathak  April 29, 2021
On the evening of April 23, Dhanraj Singh, a 40-year blind man, arrived at the Sikanderpur community health centre in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Ballia district, complaining of breathlessness. Singh, a resident of the nearby Bansi Bazar village, was running a temperature too. According to the doctor who attended to him, Singh collapsed within “hardly five-seven minutes”. The body was handed over to the family.  In any case, the doctor said he would not have been able to help–the centre has no oxygen supplies, not even for emergencies.  Singh looked like a “suspected Covid case”, but the doctor said he had no way to be sure. The centre has inexplicably stopped testing for a month.  “What can we say, we want to test but we can’t, it is an administrative decision,” said the doctor, who did not want to be identified. “We send people to the block primary health centre where testing is still happening, that is around 5 km-6 km away. It is a tragedy that we are such a big centre and yet we do not test in these times.

The Sikanderpur community health centre caters to almost 200 villages in the area.

Despite the lack of testing, it seems fairly clear that Covid-19 is sweeping through the towns and villages of Ballia, a district bordering Bihar. Even Ballia’s chief medical officer Rajendra Prasad admitted as much. “The spread is a little too much this time,” he said. “The rural areas are not spared.”

Uttar Pradesh started experiencing a surge in the first week of April with the number of cases exploding beginning the second week. On April 8, the state reported 8,490 new cases, crossing the previous peak of 7,016 cases registered in September 2020. However, half of these 8,490 confirmed cases were limited to the four districts of Lucknow, Prayagraj, Kanpur and Varanasi.  But things have grown worse from there. On April 25, the state reported nearly 38,000 cases. As of April 27 morning, the state has over 300,00 active cases. Experts say the true numbers are likely to be much higher given the state’s lackadaisical testing.

More ominously, the virus is no longer restricted to urban centres. The beleaguered health infrastructure of rural Uttar Pradesh, which recently saw migrants return home from city hotspots to vote in the panchayat elections, is already overwhelmed, conversations with people, doctors and administrators in multiple districts suggest.

“Gasping for breath”

“People are dropping dead like flies,” said Imran Ahmed.  A local activist from Ballia’s Sikanderpur, he has been helping people get access to oxygen, but rarely with any success. “All their family members have the same story to share: they develop a fever and then all of a sudden they are gasping for breath, but there is no oxygen anywhere.”  The doctor at the Sikanderpur community health centre confirmed as much. “Our daily patient load is 200-250 patients per day and 90% of the cases come with problems of cough, fever and breathlessness,” he said. “The more severe cases who need oxygen, there are eight-ten everyday, we refer to the district hospital.”

But there is no guarantee of oxygen in Uttar Pradesh’s district hospitals either, as Shivakant Pal of Sitapur’s Babupurwa village found out on April 24.  Pal’s mother Ramdevi Pal, 42, had been running a fever since April 20, but that morning she was struggling to breathe.  The family hired an autorickshaw and took her to a nearby private hospital where the doctor asked them to rush to the district hospital located some 30 km away. Ramdevi Pal’s oxygen saturation level had dropped to 35%, the ideal level being above 95%.  There, Shivakant Pal counted 72 beds–and one oxygen cylinder. His mother did not get any oxygen from it. She died gasping for breath at around 6.30 pm.  “During the time we were there, at least five people died apart from my mother in the hospital, all of whom had come looking for oxygen. I saw with my own eyes,” said 20-year-old Pal. Officially, Sitapur did not report a single Covid-19 death that day.

That’s because, like Dhanraj Singh of Balia, Ramdevi Pal had never been tested for Covid-19.  Sitapur’s chief medical officer was not available for comment. A person in her office said she was in a meeting and there was “no problem” as such in the district. 

[photo] Ramdevi Pal died gasping for breath in the Sitapur district hospital. She was never tested for Covid-19.
Desperate for oxygen
Uttar Pradesh’s chief minister Adityanath has repeatedly claimed that there was no shortage of oxygen in the state and even threatened to seize the property of those spreading “rumours” and trying to “spoil the atmosphere.”  Yet, accounts from across the state suggest it is facing a severe oxygen crisis.

For instance, when Sanjay Kushwaha, a resident of a village near the Indo-Nepal border, took his 35-year-old breathless elder brother Manoj Kushwaha to the Kushinagar district hospital on April 18, the doctors administered an injection, but no oxygen. Nor was a Covid-19 test done, Sanjay Kushwaha said, as it was a Sunday. “His condition was not improving so we moved him to a private hospital,” he added. His brother was immediately put on oxygen at the private hospital, but a Covid-test was not done there either, according to Sanjay Kushwaha.  Manoj Kushwaha stayed on oxygen support for four days at the private hospital—but after that it too ran out of oxygen. “We were told to arrange our own cylinder because the hospital’s stocks had run out,” said Sanjay Kushwaha.  On April 24, the private hospital asked the family to transfer Manoj Kushwaha to the tertiary-care BRD Medical College in Gorakhpur, which according to Sanjay Khushawa refused to admit him. “They told us they are not taking in patients from private [hospitals],” he said.  Manoj Kushwaha was brought back to the Kushinagar district hospital, where died on April 25, bereft of any oxygen support.

Kushinagar’s chief medical officer did not respond to repeated calls seeking comment.
[photo] Sanjay Kushwaha, struggling to breathe, died without oxygen support at the Kushanagar district hospital.
‘Arrange your own cylinder’
It is the same story across districts: hospitals are asking relatives to get their own oxygen cylinders.  In Bahraich, when Akshay Srivastava’s mother’s oxygen levels dropped, the family managed to get a cylinder, but under tragic circumstances. An acquaintance, whom the cylinder was meant for, died the previous night. “Well, I don’t know whether there is an oxygen shortage or not, but I can tell you that we entered the district hospital with our own cylinder,” said Srivastava.  On Sunday evening, the family was struggling to get a refill–the district hospital authorities had told them they could not help since all the oxygen was earmarked for the Covid ward and Srivastava’s mother’s Covid test was still pending.  Srivastava’s mother has since been shifted to a Covid ward where family members said the hospital was administering her oxygen.

Bahracih’s chief medical officer Rajesh Mohan Srivastava said there were ample critical care beds in the district. “Our positivity rate is 1.5%,” he said. “People are getting whatever they want.”

But few other officials and doctors in the state seem to share that optimism. A senior official in the state’s health department based in one of the eastern districts, currently down with Covid-19 along with the rest of his family, said he was thanking his stars no one in the family needed oxygen yet.  “It is all about chance, in all probability I could not have managed too,” he said.

Deaths in the villages
Professor Gopal Nath heads the Virus Research and Diagnostic Lab at the Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University, expressed a grim view of the situation. “The community spread is so bad in the villages that people don’t know what to do or where to go,” he said. “Also, testing such huge numbers is difficult because where is the health staff to collect so many samples. To meet the current demand, we need ten times more staff.”  Nath who hails from a village on the Jaunpur-Varanasi border said he shuddered at the prospect of going there anytime soon. “We have done massive blunders,” he said. “The gram panchayat elections should have been postponed because not only did it see big gatherings, the elections have so much prestige attached to them that people from cities came home to vote carrying the virus with them.”

A four-phase panchayat election that began on April 15 is currently underway in Uttar Pradesh. The Allahabad high court refused to postpone it, despite an unprecedented Covid-19 surge in the state.

Nath’s fears about a surge in the wake of the elections seem to be well-founded. Situated on the outskirts of Varanasi town, Ramna was of late seeing four-five deaths each day, of people showing Covid-like symptoms, said Amit Patel whose wife is the elected head of the village  “Last night three people died in my village,” Patel told Scroll.in on Monday. “None of them were tested.”

The primary health centre at Ramna is neither testing people for the virus nor treating people with symptoms. Currently, it is only administering Covid-19 vaccines.

Varanasi’s chief medical officer was not available for comment. A representative from his office said he was attending the funeral of his father who died late Monday evening. The representative, however, did say that the “situation was extremely bad in the district.” “Probably the worst in the whole of Uttar Pradesh,” he said.

In adjoining Chandauli, the District Combined Hospital at Chakia, which serves a largely rural population, is predictably getting overwhelmed. The hospital has 50 critical care beds reserved for Covid patients. “Last year, at any point of time, a maximum of 13-14 beds were occupied,” said Usha Yadav who till recently headed the facility. “Now my staff tells me there are 100 patients with makeshift beds everywhere. So you can imagine what the situation is.”

The burst of cases in the mofussil districts has meant additional pressure on already overburdened health facilities in urban centres like Lucknow. “It is not like we are dealing with patients just from Lucknow–people from the villages are now flooding our hospital,” said Madhulika Singh, who owns a private hospital and a medical college in the city “From Faizabad, Gonda, Raebareli, Basti, Ambedkar Nagar, everyone is coming to Lucknow. There just aren’t enough hospitals there.”

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Four people with the Indian variant have been identified in Vietnam.  Forty-one people with the Indian variant have been identified in Israel, four of whom had been vaccinated, five of whom were too young to vaccinate, one of whom had already had Covid.  132 cases in the UK as of April 22, so probably much higher now

Some references to cases in Greece, Singapore and New Zealand, Japan, a passing note about Switzerland and about a total of 20 countries having been infected--all without numbers-- and since we know Covid loves dry, we can expect there's transmission to Egypt by now even if it hasn't hit the news.  India to Egypt is direct and quick.  Euphrasyne knows what I mean.  From Egypt there's a dry wind across all of North Africa and Southwest Asia. 

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Countries reporting the most new infections each day, based on the latest 7-day average reported
INDIA      357,040

BRAZIL     60,386

USA          51,546

TURKEY   41,045

FRANCE   26,255


the most deaths
INDIA         3,059   (more likely, the number is between ten thousand and twenty-one thousand per day)

BRAZIL      2,526

USA              695


IRAN             426



USA data:

Vaccine doses given on 7-day avg: 2,630,407
(maybe about 43% of the population has had at least one dose, ~29% fully vaccinated)

New cases  7-day avg: 51,546
New deaths  7-day avg: 695
Currently hospitalized  7-day avg: 39,196

New cases fell 16% last week to about 409,000, the biggest drop since February.  Deaths fell below 5,000 per week for the first time since October.

Michigan has the most infections per capita, but new infections fell 29% last week. New cases also fell by 20% or more in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the states with the next thickest rates of infection. 

Rising rates of infections show in 12 states, but only look worrisome in Tennessee, Oregon and Arizona.

Edited by Ambergris
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Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths  in the United States — 2019–2020 Influenza Season | CDCFluView Summary ending on January 2, 2021 | CDCThe red line above is the one to pay attention to.  It's the deaths of lung and heart/lung collapse.  It's where any fudge-factor would work from.


FluView Summary ending on October 3, 2020 | CDCTwindemic' Averted: Not Much Flu In Mass., And Record Low Rates Across The  Nation | CommonHealth

The red triangles are flu.

Edited by Ambergris
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India is one of the few large countries we didn't work in in the communications field. Our Indian coworkers told us to stay away. First, we were a risk to them because we were Caucasian. Riots come from nowhere and we would be dead before 'law enforcement' could arrive. If we were yanked out 'alive' we would be escorted to jail to wait the 'sorting out' of the situation. We would die of either starvation or disease. They also went on to say there is little infrastructure except for cell phones in most areas. Non-existent power outside cities, non-existent healthcare outside cities, masses of people living on top of one another. Little regard to life and countless Indians live day-to-day on food for that very day. It's a whole new definition to 'give us this day our daily bread.'


We really do not understand the concept of living day to day just to exist. Never seeing a doctor or a dentist. The MSM has no idea how the Indians actually live outside of a three star hotel. Unless you're 'boots on the ground', Indian can not be defined by the outside world. I'm surprised this disaster hasn't happened more in the African countries, too. When healthcare workers have to walk for days to outlying villages because there are no roads, it is a country that will not be adequately vaccinated.   <_<

India electrical power.jpg

trains in India.jpg

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Public hospitals are free but overcrowded and undersupplied.  That's where private hospitals come into the picture.  Also, the phrase "daily carnage on Mumbai roads" is, I am told, all too accurate.  They don't use lines or signals.   It's a free-for-all.  And the social structure is authoritarian and getting worse.  A friend of mine was advised by her mother that it was time to come home and arrange her daughters' marriages.  She promptly applied for (and received, luckily for us) US citizenship.

Edited by Ambergris
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Homesteader, I've seen those kind of pictures and a whole lot more. I'm interested in other cultures and read about them and watch documentaries about them. Some probably bias some maybe not. But I do believe everything you are saying. 


Most Americans have no concept of how some of these third world countries operate. We only know our standard of what a hospital is. In most third world country hospitals, there is no food delivered to a patient. The families are expected to bring all the meals to the patient. They are also expected to provide all of their daily care. Beds are right beside each other in big wards. They remind me of the pictures we saw of hospital units back during WWI. Except not nearly so clean. Hospitals in India are mostly to receive medicines and mostly through an IV. Or for giving birth, if you are lucky. That is in 'good' times. I can only imagine how it is over there now.  :(

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So-called vaccination is not the answer. There are medicines that are proven to either prevent or shorten the duration of the virus but for some diabolic reason this so called dangerous vaccination is being purported to be the answer, even though it is not the answer.

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"One in five deaths are medically reported..." in India in normal times, according to Indian medical journals.

"One in twenty cases" of Covid is estimated to be counted officially in India per the Indian medical establishment.

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Vaccination is not the answer, but it can hold back the tsunami until a better answer can be found.  There isn't a better answer available yet.

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20 minutes ago, Ambergris said:

There isn't a better answer available yet.


None available or is it that there's not one that will earn anyone enough money to make it worth their while to push it?  I'm not saying this in a derogatory way but in a logical one.   Corporations, and that includes pharmaceutical ones, are rarely a not for profit organization.  They are in it to make money for their stockholders.  Stockholders 'invest' in a company to bring them a return on their investment. The company, in turn, wants to keep their stockholders happy so they will not take their money out of the company and put it somewhere it WILL earn money.  There are many types of investors including countries like the US.  The truth is that most 'investors' put their money into what will give them a return either monetarily or for some other gain (such as favor or power).   


If there are already medicines available for treating this virus then it would be up to us ask for them to be used.  Unfortunately most doctors are held under certain constraints either by insurance companies or by regulations and might not be willing to work with a person unless they are shown it is effective.  Remember also that doctors usually work FOR a company that wants to keep it's investors happy and make money.  I know that seems unfair but if it is it's up to 'us' to change things. We really do vote with our money. 


With the slowing of demand for the vaccine it appears people ARE voting.  





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