Archive | June 22nd, 2020

We Hold This Truth to Be Self-Evident: It’s Happening Before Our Very Eyes

The man in the White House has taken all the necessary steps toward achieving the despot’s dream of dominance.

by: Bill Moyers

Police stand guard outside the White House as people gather to protest the killing of George Floyd on May 31, 2020. (Photo: Samuel Corum/AFP via Getty Images)

At 98, historian Bernard Weisberger has seen it all. Born in 1922, he grew up watching newsreels of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler as they rose to power in Europe. He vividly remembers Mussolini posturing to crowds from his balcony in Rome, chin outthrust, right arm extended. Nor has he forgotten Der Fuehrer’s raspy voice on radio, interrupted by cheers of “Heil Hitler,” full of menace even without pictures.

Fascist bullies and threats anger Bernie, and when America went to war to confront them, he interrupted his study of history to help make history by joining the army. He yearned to be an aviator but his eyesight was too poor. So he took a special course in Japanese at Columbia University and was sent as a translator to the China-Burma-India theater where Japanese warlords were out to conquer Asia. Bernie remembers them, too.

In time, we became colleagues on a series of broadcasts about the 20th century. As we compared the leadership of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Adolf Hitler in an episode titled The President and the Dictator, Bernie kept reminding the team that the most cunning demagogues “are never more than a few steps from becoming dictators.” Not surprisingly, the subject came up again when Trump was elected. No, we didn’t think he was Hitler, or the Republicans Nazis, but both of us acknowledged a deep unease over the vulnerabilities of democracy, which had led to Trump’s election in the first place. Inspired by Bernie and unnerved by Trump, I decided to take a deeper look at democracy under stress and began reading what is now more than a dozen books on Europe in the 1930s. The most recent is a compelling and chilling account of Hitler’s First Hundred Days, by the historian Peter Fritzsche – a familiar story revisited by the author with fresh verve and insight.

Hitler was a master of manipulation, using propaganda, violence, intimidation, showmanship, and spectacle — and above all, fear. By demonizing “the other” – Jews, social democrats and communists – Hitler won the hearts and minds of the masses, consolidating his power, and turning Germany into a one-party Nazi state.

I had just finished the book when I received a short email from Bernie, who had been watching on television the events following the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. He wrote, “All this open talk by Trump of dominance is pretty undisguised fascism. He’s inciting chaos to set the stage for the strong man to ‘rescue’ the nation.”

There was no doubt who would be Superman riding to America’s rescue. When Trump promised to end what he called “American carnage” – a crisis of “poverty in our inner cities, rusted-out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, crime and gangs and drugs” — he did not ask for our help. He did not ask that we put our faith in each other or in our democratic values or even in God. Donald J. Trump would be our savior, the new Messiah — because “I alone can fix it.”

Bernie’s note triggered a recollection, sending me across the room to retrieve from a file drawer an essay written two years ago in The New York Review of Books by the American legal scholar Cass Sunstein. Reviewing three new books about ordinary Germans and the Nazi regime, he concluded: “With our system of checks and balances, full-blown authoritarianism is unlikely to happen here.”

I had admired Sunstein’s work for years and found reassuring his judgment that the rule of law would check a would-be tyrant. But many found that assurance disquieting. One dissenter was Norman Ravitch, emeritus professor of history at the University of California, Riverside. Responding to Sunstein, he wrote: “The normal concern of people of all sorts with their daily lives, family, work, leisure, and so on indicates that only those in certain areas of work and life could possibly notice the slow but relentless advance of authoritarian and totalitarian policies by the government. The Nazis knew how to appeal to people who did not have the ideological concerns but only normal human concerns. They knew how to conceal their real goals and how to make passive individuals active supporters.”

So does Trump. He understands that most Americans are concerned with little more than the economy, health care and jobs. They respond positively to politicians who promise action on these priorities, whether or not they know if those promises will ever be fulfilled. Ravitch pointed out that like Hitler and like Mussolini, Trump knows how to appeal to a variety of concerns with promises that can be both attractive and contradictory. Because no population is educated enough, sensitive enough, or ethical enough to see through the deception, “the danger is very great indeed. It may in fact be one of the chief weaknesses of democracy that democracy can lead to tyranny just as well or perhaps even more than other political systems.”

Two years have passed since that exchange between scholars, and in those two years Trump has doubled down. This president is no friend of democracy.

He has declared himself above the law, preached insurrection by encouraging armed supporters to “liberate” states from the governance of duly elected officials, told police not to be “too nice” while doing their job, and gloated over the ability of the Secret Service to turn “vicious dogs” and “ominous weapons” loose on demonstrators — to “come down on them hard” if they get too “frisky.”

He has politicized the Department of Justice while remaking the judiciary in his image.

He has stifled investigations into his administration’s corruption, fired officials charged with holding federal agencies accountable to the public, and rewarded his donors and cronies with government contracts, subsidies, deregulations, and tax breaks.

He has maligned and mocked the disadvantaged, the disabled, and people of color.

He has sought to politicize the military, including in his entourage the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs (dressed in combat fatigues), as his orderlies unleashed chemical fumes on peaceful protesters – all so that the president could use them as stage props in a photo op, holding up a Bible in front of a historic church, just to make a dandy ad for his re-election campaign.

He has purged his own party of independent thinkers and turned it into a spineless, mindless cult while demonizing the opposition.

He has purloined religion for state and political ends.

He has desecrated the most revered symbols of Christian faith by converting them to partisan brands.  

He has recruited religious zealots for jobs in his administration, rewarding with government favors the electoral loyalty of their followers.

He has relentlessly attacked mainstream media as purveyors of “fake news” and “enemies of the people” while collaborating with a sycophantic right- wing media – including the Murdoch family’s Fox News — to flood the country with lies and propaganda.

He has maneuvered the morally hollow founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, into compromising the integrity of the most powerful media giant in the country by infusing it with partisan bias.

And because truth is the foe he most fears, he has banned it from his administration and his lips.  

Yes, Bernie, you are right: the man in the White House has taken all the necessary steps toward achieving the despot’s dream of dominance.

Can it happen here?

It is happening here.

Democracy in America has been a series of narrow escapes. We may be running out of luck, and no one is coming to save us. For that, we have only  ourselves.

Posted in USA, PoliticsComments Off on We Hold This Truth to Be Self-Evident: It’s Happening Before Our Very Eyes

Sanders Calls on Democrats to Embrace 8-Point Plan to End Police Brutality, Protect Communities

“We have got to act boldly to eradicate systemic racism and police violence. I am calling for sweeping policy reforms to protect people—particularly communities of color—who have suffered violence for far too long.”

by: Jake Johnson,

People hold banners during a protest over the death killing of George Floyd on June 2, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

As the nationwide uprising catalyzed by the police killing of George Floyd continues to bring hundreds of thousands of Americans into city streets around the U.S., Sen. Bernie Sanders is urging the Democratic leadership to embrace a slate of specific policy proposals aimed at mitigating the intertwined crises of systemic racism and unaccountable brutality by law enforcement.

“I am calling for sweeping policy reforms to protect people—particularly communities of color—who have suffered violence for far too long,” the Vermont senator wrote in a letter (pdf) to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Wednesday.

Sanders’ letter outlines eight policy proposals that the senator says would, if implemented, “contribute greatly to the eradication of police violence in this country.”

  • Amend federal civil rights laws to allow more effective prosecution of police misconduct by changing the standard from willfulness to recklessness;
  • Abolish “qualified immunity,” so police officers can be held civilly liable for abuses;
  • Prohibit the transfer of offensive military equipment to police departments;
  • Strip federal funds from departments that violate civil rights;
  • Create a federal model policing program that emphasizes de-escalation, non-lethal force and culturally competent policing in which access to federal funds depends upon the level of reform adopted. As part of this effort to modernize and humanize police departments we need to enhance the recruitment pool by ensuring that the resources are available to pay wages that will attract the top-tier officers we need to do the difficult work of policing;
  • Provide funding to states and municipalities to create civilian corps of unarmed first responders to supplement law enforcement, such as social workers, EMTs, and trained mental health professionals, who can handle order maintenance violations, mental health emergencies, and low-level conflicts to aid police officers;
  • Require agencies to make records of police misconduct publicly available;
  • Require all jurisdictions that receive federal grant funding to establish independent police conduct review boards that are broadly representative of the community and that have the authority to refer deaths that occur at the hands of police or in police custody to federal authorities for investigation. In addition, the boards would be authorized to report to federal authorities other types of abuses by police including patterns of misconduct. This would be supplemental to current federal authority to commence investigations. Clearly we need to enhance federal funding for such investigations.

“We have got to act boldly to eradicate systemic racism and police violence,” Sanders tweeted.

Bernie Sanders@SenSanders

We have got to act boldly to eradicate systemic racism and police violence. I am calling for sweeping policy reforms to protect people—particularly communities of color—who have suffered violence for far too long.

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Sanders’ proposals come as House and Senate Democrats are beginning to lay the groundwork for a legislative response to Floyd’s killing, which sparked mass demonstrations against police brutality and racism across the U.S. and around the world.

“House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has asked the Congressional Black Caucus to lead the process of drafting a legislative response to the protests that have swept the country following the death of George Floyd,” NPR reported Tuesday. “House Democrats are sorting through dozens of proposals to address policing issues, including excessive use of force and racial profiling.”

While some critics took issue with elements of Sanders’ proposed solutions—particularly the call to raise the pay of police officers—other policies in the platform have been embraced by national civil rights groups.

In a letter to congressional leaders of both parties on Monday, more than 400 civil rights organizations expressed support for a ban on the transfer of excess U.S. military equipment to local police departments and abolition of a longstanding legal doctrine giving police sweeping immunity from lawsuits, both of which Sanders embraced.

“Federal statutory reforms are urgently needed on a range of policing issues, including use of force, police accountability, racial profiling, militarization, data collection, and training,” the groups wrote. “These recent police killings of residents across the country are part of a longer history of fatal police killings against black people in America and require congressional action immediately.”

Posted in USA, Campaigns, Human RightsComments Off on Sanders Calls on Democrats to Embrace 8-Point Plan to End Police Brutality, Protect Communities

We Interrupt This Pandemic… With Demands for Justice and Healing

The call to “reopen” society isn’t just about stores and bars; it’s about reopening ourselves to the reality of a system that is built on racism, violence, and injustice.

by: Randall Amster

A protester wears a face mask displaying the words "I can't breathe" during a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park on June 3, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world. (Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

A protester wears a face mask displaying the words “I can’t breathe” during a Black Lives Matter protest in Hyde Park on June 3, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. The death of an African-American man, George Floyd, while in the custody of Minneapolis police has sparked protests across the United States, as well as demonstrations of solidarity in many countries around the world. (Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Remember the coronavirus? It dominated the news for three months, redefined every aspect of our daily lives, and killed over a hundred thousand in the US alone. It also further exposed the venality and the insanity of our current Administration, making this reality-show presidency seem even more surreal than it already had been. Long after immunities and vaccines have quelled the acute surge, people will still tell stories about the quarantine period(s), marking it as a generationally significant societal event.

But it turns out there are more pressing issues that have defined our politics and societies for centuries. Like a pandemic, these issues are punctuated by acute moments and spikes of fear; unlike a pandemic, they aren’t triggered by external conditions and microscopic occurrences. Rather, these are the things we do to ourselves, initiated and instantiated by human cultures, infusing our systems of governance and structures of power at the macroscopic scale. These core issues aren’t pandemic—they’re endemic.

“Maybe in some manner beyond mere quantification, the virus has further illuminated the ways in which we’re all at risk but how those risks are starkly distributed across society.”

We’ve tried to fashion names for these things: structural racism, police violence, economic inequality. Yet because they are endemic, naming them as such can make these issues appear compartmentalized, leading to calls for reforming particular sectors or remediating specific acts of abhorrent behavior. What feels different right now—prompted by the confluence of a pandemic, economic downturn, and yet another wave of horrific racial homicides—is an intensifying sense that the entire system itself is sick.

The uprisings and unrest in the wake of George Floyd’s murder have centered race issues in the discourse while tapping into an array of related crises. It seems as if there is an implicit recognition of the ways in which we are interconnected—again, perhaps spurred by months of pandemic lockdown—and how famous aphorisms like King’s “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” accurately describe our world. On some level we are all George Floyd, we all can’t breathe, and we all want justice.

Still, the deeper reality is that some of us are more like George Floyd and more impacted by the forces that killed him. Even in a pandemic that seems indiscriminate in terms of the lack of a viral intention, the negative impacts skew strongly toward individuals and communities that are already marginalized in our system. Preexisting factors of poor health, substandard housing, lower wages, environmental toxins, limited services, and policies of social and spatial containment have shaped rates of infection and death.

Maybe in some manner beyond mere quantification, the virus has further illuminated the ways in which we’re all at risk but how those risks are starkly distributed across society. Perhaps a few months of joint vulnerability and the realization of how precariously intertwined our lives are did something to change the equation in people’s minds. It could be that widespread economic effects have sparked renewed insight about how many of us are one crisis away from being on the wrong end of the meritocratic myth.

Or maybe it’s even simpler: months of social distance have made people long for getting back to their lives, only to be immediately confronted with an unvarnished reminder that “business as usual” includes racism, violence, and structural injustice. The call to “reopen” society isn’t just about stores and bars; it’s about reopening ourselves to the reality of a system that is built on racism, violence, and injustice. One can be victimized by this, or perpetuate it, or be complacent about it—or a combination of all the above.

Either way, this is the system that sustains us, and we’re all part of it. Life is filled with moments for choosing when to accommodate and when to resist, when to “go along to get along” and when to refuse to do so. It’s not an exact science or a totalizing litmus test, and the different ways people are situated influence how we meet such moments. In the larger scheme, though, looms the recognition of common purpose and social solidarity. And that may well be the most newsworthy and impactful revelation of all.

Posted in USA, Human Rights, PoliticsComments Off on We Interrupt This Pandemic… With Demands for Justice and Healing

Thousands more to go at Rolls Royce’s Derby plant

As more and more manufacturing jobs are being scrapped, workers are the victims of the downward spiral of capitalist crisis.

Proletarian writers

Having taken state bailout funds to ‘save’ 4,000 jobs, Rolls Royce has now laid off 3,375 workers in Britain.

Having secured government cash to put over 4,000 of its British employees on furlough, Rolls Royce is now planning to go ahead anyway and dump 3,375 of its workforce in east Derbyshire and Renfrewshire, dealing a further sickening blow to what little remains of the manufacturing life of Derby. This is part of a worldwide contraction, with Rolls Royce slashing 9,000 of its global workforce of 52,000.

The company exclusively blames the health emergency for this cull of jobs, and this clearly has a bearing on the timing of the announcement. However the underlying overproduction crisis had already pressured Rolls Royce into contracting its labour force, as Derby can well testify.

In 2018 it axed thousands of jobs at Derby’s civil aerospace site, shedding back office staff and middle managers, and now it’s back for more. The pandemic has been seized upon as a pretext to press on with cuts, conveniently presenting as an ‘act of God’ what is essentially a consequence of capitalist crisis, albeit aggravated by the pandemic.

If Rolls Royce is incapable of preserving and developing this manufacturing linchpin of the East Midlands, then let its Derby operation come under public ownership, if necessary repurposed to focus on the manufacture of products of genuine social need.

Posted in Campaigns, UKComments Off on Thousands more to go at Rolls Royce’s Derby plant

China and India Dialogue to End Border Dispute Peacefully

Soldiers from India and China meet at one of the border points, June 2020.

Tensions between China and India escalated after military troops from both countries became embroiled in skirmishes in early May.

China and India’s high-ranking military officials are holding a dialogue to solve the most recent confrontation between these nations over the Himalayan border region, after thousands of soldiers took up positions on both sides of the frontier.

RELATED:  China Delivers COVID-19 Aid to Sanctioned Syria

The dialogue between the world’s two most populous countries takes place at the Maldo border post, on the Royal Line of Control (RLC) that corresponds to China.

“This is an unprecedented dialogue. It is the first time that senior generals have tried to reach a common understanding of military matters,” the Northern Army’s former commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda said.

Over the past few weeks, the two countries had held unsuccessful local-level meetings to end the dispute.

Arab News@arabnews

#India, #China officials in discussions to break tense impasse on disputed Himalayan border.

Read more: https://arab.news/zchbp 

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Tensions between China and India escalated after military troops from both countries became embroiled in skirmishes in early May in the Himalayas, one of the world’s longest land borders.

Soldiers from both sides have clashed at least twice in Ladakh, an Indian-administered region that is part of Kashmir’s Himalayan territory.

In 1962, China and India faced each other in a month-long border war that left at least 10,000 soldiers dead.

Posted in China, IndiaComments Off on China and India Dialogue to End Border Dispute Peacefully

Russia Registers a New Drug to Treat COVID-19: ILSIRA

COVID-19 patient being treated in a hospital, Moscow, Russia, May 23, 2020.

It helps to avoid the cytokine storm that the new coronavirus causes in severe cases.

Russia’s Health Ministry Saturday reported that the biotech company BIOCAD has registered a second local drug to treat COVID-19.

RELATED: Russia: COVID Vaccine to Be Ready by June, Experts Say

The new preparation Levilimab, which will be marketed under the name ILSIRA, is an inhibitor of the interleukin-6 glycoprotein and allows it to contain the body’s immune response and avoid the cytokine storm that the new coronavirus causes in severe cases.

“The drug is recommended to treat seriously ill patients, when the so-called cytokine storm develops, the exaggerated inflammation due to the coronavirus that damages tissues and organs, particularly lung tissue,” the Health Ministry stated.

Initially developed to treat rheumatic arthritis, the ILSIRA was registered through a rapid procedure, which is a procedure contemplated for emergencies.

Jonas Jenssen@jenssen_jonas

#COVID19 #CORONAVIRUS #PANDEMIC
Last updated: Juni 6, 2020, 14:25 GMT#USA #Brazil #Russia #Spain #UK #India #Italy #Peru #Germany #Iran #Turkey #France #Chile #Mexico #SaudiArabia #Canada #Pakistan #China #Qatar #Bangladesh #Belgium #Belarus #Netherlands #Sweden #Ecuador

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“We will control the complications caused by COVID-19 and minimize serious sequelae,” BIOCAD CEO Dmitri Morozov said.

On May 31, the Russian Health Ministry registered the first antiviral drug to treat COVID-19, Afivavir, which was highly effective during clinical trials.

Avifavir, developed by the Russian Direct Investment Fund in partnership with ChemRar Group, “will be available to hospitals from June 11,” the Finacial News Herald reported.

So far, Russia has accumulated 458,698 COVID-19 cases and 5,725 deaths. Moscow, a 12-million-inhabitants city, is the main source of infection in the country, with 193,061 COVID-19 confirmed cases and 2,864 deaths.

Posted in Health, RussiaComments Off on Russia Registers a New Drug to Treat COVID-19: ILSIRA

Argentina Searches for COVID-19 Cases House-to-House

A homeless man sleeps next to a garbage container, Ricciardelli neighborhood, Buenos Aires, Argentina, June 5, 2020.

The 85 percent of infected people live in either the capital city or the Buenos Aires province.

Argentina’s health authorities launched a house-to-house operation to search for close contacts of coronavirus-infected persons in the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, the capital city that is the epicenter of the pandemic in this South American country.

RELATED: Argentina: ‘Not One Less’ Movement Reaches 5 Years of Struggle

The Strategic Field Coronavirus Testing Device (DETECTAR), which has been implemented for several weeks in vulnerable neighborhoods, will be extended to the rest of the city.

On Saturday, the operation began in Balvarena, Palermo, and Flores, the three neighborhoods with the highest number of infected people according to the latest records.

“Door-to-door, we seek to identify close contacts to test them and to mitigate the contagiousness of the virus,” the Health Strategies undersecretary Alejandro Costa said.

ParacotosWeb@ParacotosWeb

Los 10 países con más casos de #COVIDー19 en Suramérica

Total:1.080.943
1:Brasil-649.514
2:Perú-187.400
3:Chile-127.745
4:Ecuador-41.575
5:Colombia-36.635
6:Argentina-21.037
7:Bolivia-12.728
8:Venezuela-2.145
9:Paraguay-1.087
10:Uruguay-832#COVID19 #Covid_1915:16 PM – Jun 6, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacySee ParacotosWeb’s other Tweets

South America: the 10 countries with the highest number of COVID-19 cases.

So far, Argentina has 21,037 COVID-19 cases, 642 dead, and 6,180 patients recovered. The 85 percent of infected people live in either the capital city or the Buenos Aires province, where the national government ordered that the mandatory quarantine continues until June 28.

Starting next Monday, most Argentine provinces will begin a de-escalation of the quarantine and will enter a phase of mandatory social distancing.

Although many economic activities will resume, attendance at schools will continue to be suspended.

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Hay fever or Coronavirus: How to Tell the Difference in Your Symptoms

Because right now is prime time for pollen

BY: MINI SMITH

woman sneezing in bed with tissues

PEOPLEIMAGESGETTY IMAGES

It’s that time of year again: the days are getting longer, jackets are being shed and the sweet smell of almost-summer air lingers in the breeze – that, plus a load of pollen.

While regular hay fever sufferers may be ordinarily au fait with their seasonal sniffles, this year presents a challenge as you might be wondering if the symptoms you’re experiencing are, in fact, coronavirus.

As hayfever and Covid-19 can affect similar parts of your body, with the severity of both differing from person to person, you’d be forgiven for confusing one for the other – especially when the signs of coronavirus can sometimes be quite mild.

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To clear up the confusion and send you down the right (virtual) path when it comes to seeking treatment, we asked a GP and a leading allergy specialist to help you separate the two.

What is hay fever and what are the main symptoms?

While you may be well acquainted with the allergy meds aisle in Boots, it pays to know what’s actually going on in your body when pollen season arrives.

‘Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen and spores. It happens when the immune system mistakes these harmless airborne particles as a danger and launches a defence against them,’ says pollen and allergy expert Dr Jean Emberlin. ‘The body produces an antibody, Immunoglobin E (IgE), and histamine is released, which causes the typical symptoms.’

These typical symptoms of hay fever can include:

  • Sneezing
  • A tickly cough
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • Itchy, red or watery eyes
  • Itchy throat, mouth, nose or ears

According to Daniel Fenton, GP and Group Medical Director at London Doctor’s Clinic, more severe cases of hay fever can also affect your ability to focus and people often report ‘brain fog’, as well as headaches and fatigue.

Still waiting for your typical symptoms to strike? ‘The seasonal timing of symptoms depends on what people are allergic to,’ says Dr Emberlin. ‘Some people are allergic only to grass pollen but others may be allergic to several pollen types and possibly also to fungal spores and will have symptoms for many months.’

How do you tell the difference between hay fever and coronavirus?

According to Fenton and the NHS, the main symptoms of Covid-19 include:

  • A fever
  • A new, continuous cough
  • Tiredness
  • Aches and pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Some have reported diarrhoea and nausea

‘The [occasional] hay fever symptoms of headache and fatigue can cause confusion between hay fever and viral infections like influenza or coronavirus,’ says Fenton.

However, the two main symptoms of coronavirus are a high temperature and a new, continuous cough – Dr Emberlin points out that while a cough may be a symptom of hay fever, the allergy does not cause a high temperature and ‘most people do not feel unwell’.

Can you get hay fever even if you’re inside all day?

Despite now being allowed outside to exercise more than once a day, many of us will still be staying home where possible and continuing to work from home if we can. Which begs the question, why are you still sneezy?

‘Pollen particles can travel far and wide, therefore it is still possible to get hay fever indoors whilst we’re on lockdown,’ says Fenton. ‘Opening a window to get some fresh air is a great way to keep your home feeling fresh, but allows the small pollen particles to enter.’

Household members leaving to exercise or collect shopping are also likely to collect pollen particles from the outside, which can transfer to surfaces in the house and contribute to your symptoms.

To minimise hay fever triggers indoors, Dr Emberlin says it’s important to reduce the spread of pollen into your home. ‘Simple actions, such as keeping windows and doors closed as much as possible, using a draught excluder on a particularly draughty door, and washing laundry regularly to remove pollen and spores (but do not dry it outdoors), can help you keep on top of the pollen that may be coming indoors,’ she told Women’s Health.

Can you develop hay fever for the first time as an adult?

Unfortunately, it is definitely possible to feel the first onset of hay fever later in life, even if you’ve been sneeze-free up until now.

‘It is not unusual to develop hay fever in adulthood,’ says Fenton. ‘Essentially, our genetic makeup determines if we will be affected by certain allergens such as pollen – if you do have a susceptibility, then you may effectively develop symptoms at any time.’

According to Dr Emberlin, this is known as ‘late onset hay fever’ and it’s becoming more and more frequent in the UK and in many other countries across Europe. ‘There is no conclusive evidence to explain why it happens, but there are indications. For example, it has been reported to occur in some women after childbirth, perhaps because of hormonal changes,’ she told Women’s Health.

‘It has also been associated with changes in lifestyle, such as moving to a new area which may have different aeroallergens or air pollution levels, as well as changes in diet or changes in work which may alter stress levels.’

The climate crisis may also be to blame, Dr Emberlin explains. ‘Changes in some pollen seasons, such as becoming more severe or longer in an area due to climate change trends, may lead to exposure to more allergen and consequently to susceptible people reaching their trigger exposure thresholds and getting symptoms for the first time.’

5 ways to manage hay fever symptoms at home

If hay fever symptoms are getting in the way of your daily life, Fenton suggests trying out some of these tactics to keep them at bay. If you’ve tried them all and you’re still suffering, make sure to speak to your GP to explore other options that might be available.

1. Take an antihistamine

You may already have a go-to, but just in case you don’t – Fenton suggests stocking up on a good non-drowsy antihistamine to use during the day, such as Cetirizine, Loratadine or Fexofenadine.Allacan Cetirizine Hayfever Allergy Tablets, 3 Months SupplyAllacanamazon.co.uk£2.96SHOP NOW

‘If symptoms are bothersome at night, add in a sedative antihistamine like Piriton,’ he says. ‘It will help you to reduce symptoms and get a better night’s sleep.’

2. Try a steroid nasal spray

If your usual antihistamine doesn’t feel like enough, or your main symptoms include a runny nose or sneezing, a steroid nasal spray can be another great treatment option, suggests Fenton.

It’s important to remember that, unlike antihistamine tablets, the effects of a steroid nasal spray are cumulative, meaning they build up over the course of a few days – so don’t give up if you don’t feel the relief straight away.

If you suspect you might have coronavirus, do not use a steroid nasal spray, as it can make Covid-19 symptoms worse.

3. Use eye drops

Itchy or watery eyes are very common complaints among hay fever sufferers. An easy way to soothe them is by using eye drops.Opticrom Hayfever Eye Drops 10mlOpticromamazon.co.uk£5.70SHOP NOW

Pro tip: for extra relief, try storing your eye drops in the fridge – your peepers will thank you.

4. Have a ‘pollen-free room’

According to Fenton, just as important as medication are ‘common sense measures’ to limit your exposure to symptom-inducing pollen.

‘I advise having a “pollen-free room” – a room where clothes that have been worn outside are not kept, windows are shut and floors and soft furnishings are vacuumed regularly,’ he told Women’s Health.

He suggests making this room your bedroom, but vacuuming and damp dusting regularly around the entire house will help manage your symptoms throughout the day. Remember that pets can bring in pollen on their fur too, so wiping them down when they come indoors can help prevent pollen building up.

5. Shower before bed

It might be the season to switch up your shower routine, to ensure your bed stays clear of pollen and wash off any that’s stuck to your skin during the day.

As well as this, make sure to wash your hands regularly throughout the day to make sure you’re not unwillingly placing any pollen on your face – the same goes for preventing coronavirus spread, of course.

Still unsure if it’s coronavirus or hay fever? Here’s what to do

If you are still not sure about your symptoms, the safest thing to do is self-isolate for seven days, as the government advises anyone with suspected Covid-19.

According to Fenton, there is no harm in using antihistamines even if you think you have coronavirus. However, you must not take steroids (such as in a nasal spray) or other medicines that may affect your immune system, as this makes Covid-19 symptoms worse.

‘If your symptoms are getting worse or not improving then you must seek medical attention,’ says Fenton. ‘Call 111, or speak with your GP by telephone or video consultation. It is key to remember that not all symptoms are Covid-19 related, and if you feel unwell, you must not hesitate to take medical advice.’

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Rwanda: Robots Help Rwandan Health Workers Minimizing COVID-19 Risk

Robots were deployed in two medical facilities and Kigali´s airport from May 20, 2020

The humanoid machines were donated by the United Nations Development Programme

Robots are helping doctors and nurses to avoid contagion risk at the Kanyinya treatment facility, near Rwanda´s capital Kigali.

RELATED: Rwanda Honors Those Killed in Genocide 25 Years Ago

Frontline workers are using the machines to take temperatures and monitoring patients, sending messages to doctors, and helping the staff to appraise how effective their decision making is, which reduces the visits to bedsides doctors have to make.

The so called “zorabots” can screen between 50 to 150 people per minute, it can also deliver food and medicine, gather audio-visual data, and alert staff in case of emergency.

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) partnered with Rwanda´s Ministry of Information Communication Technology and Innovation to acquire and deploy five smart anti-epidemic robots for use in two COVID-19 treatment centers and at the Kigali International Airport.

InsideTelecom@insidetelecom_

#Robots recognized as a valuable asset keep COVID-19 under control and look after those infected with the virus. Read up on how robots are helping in the pandemic on #InsideTelecom. – https://www.insidetelecom.com/robots-help-fight-covid-19-2/ …Robots help fight COVID-19Robots are one group of workers on the frontline that have managed well though the pandemic. They are now recognised as an extremely valuable technology in the attempt to keep COVID-19 under control…insidetelecom.com26:00 PM – Jun 2, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacySee InsideTelecom’s other Tweets

According to UNDP Africa, this as an important moment to look for unconventional approaches and technologies to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Rwanda.

The country has 420 COVID-19 cases and only 2 deaths so far after the first case was reported in mid-March.

Using robots is the latest initiative implemented in Rwanda, where the government has eased the lockdown that had been in place for more than a month. Almost all sectors of the economy are opening in the country, under precautionary measures.

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Saint Kitts and NevisSt. Kitts and Nevis: Team Unity Leads as Vote Count Continues

St. Kitts and Nevis PM Timothy Harris in Brussels, Belgium, June 10, 2015.

Country’s polls opened Friday to decide the country’s mandate for the next 2020-2025 period.

Team Unity, the coalition led by Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Prime Minister Timothy Harris, has a large lead over Denzil Douglas’ opposition party, winning six out of 11 parliamentary seats so far during the general elections’ ongoing vote count.

RELATED:  Saint Kitts and Nevis General Elections Kicks Off

“Team Unity won enough seats to form a second term of government. Thank you for your support and trust. Our achievements in the first term have been recognized. We will deliver on them again in our second term,” Harris tweeted.

Preliminary results show that Douglas’ Saint Kitts and Nevis Labour Party (SKNLP) has won only one seat in parliament so far.

The counting of votes from the general elections held on Friday is still in progress, with two districts to be counted.

Although the Team Unity coalition is projected as the leader of the Caribbean country, it is yet to be seen whether Harris will remain in power or his party will select someone else to take over as Prime Minister.

Kevz Politics@KevzPolitics

#BREAKING – It is 1:21AM across SKN. We are projecting a LIKELY incumbent Team Unity Government – based on the returns received so far; however, due to the fact that Team Unity is a coalition, it remains to be seen whether or not PM Dr Timothy Harris will retain his position156:24 AM – Jun 6, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy15 people are talking about this

Polls opened Friday to decide the country’s mandate for the next 2020-2025 period. With the official results of these elections, the 11 seats in Parliament will be renewed, eight of them belonging to Saint Kitts Island and three to Nevis Island.

The elections took place with no setbacks and under strict health and hygiene measures, to avoid COVID-19’s new cases.

Nearly 48,000 people took part in the elections, attending by their free will to the 129 polling stations.

“Team Unity’s victory will be resounding,” Harris said Friday as he attended the polls.

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