Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Posts

OMG...check out this advice. Where and how your BC tax dollars are being spent !!

Steps to protect yourself during sex 

Here are some ways to lower the chances of being exposed to COVID-19 during sex with others:

  • Ask your partner(s) if they’re feeling unwell or have any  symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Consider keeping contact information for your partner(s) so that you can reach them if one of you develops symptoms.
  • Before and after sex:
    • Wash your body with soap and water.
    • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Wash sex toys thoroughly per the manufacturer’s instructions. Most, but not all, can be cleaned with mild unscented soap and water. Do not share them with multiple partners.
  • Wear a face covering or mask. Heavy breathing during sex can create more droplets that may transmit COVID-19.
  • Avoid or limit kissing and saliva exchange.
  • Choose sexual positions that limit face-to-face contact.
  • Use barriers, like walls (e.g., glory holes), that allow for sexual contact but prevent close face-to-face contact.
  • Using condoms, lubricant, and dental dams may help to further reduce the chances by minimizing contact with saliva, semen, feces, blood and/or internal genitalia/vaginal fluids during sex.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

China, Germany Suffer Alarming Jump In New COVID-19 Cases As "Second Wave" Spreads: Live Updates



  • China reports another 105 new cases
  • Hong Kong suffers new COVID record
  • Japan reports another 1,200+ cases
  • Melbourne suffers new record
  • Germany sees cases at 6 week high
  • Dutch gov't declines to advise face mask wearing
  • Local lockdowns reported in parts of UK
  • Poland suffers new daily record

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Links to the scientific reports are in the article...

Family The Novel Coronavirus Belongs To Has Been Lurking In Bats For Decades

The family of SARS-CoV-2, the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic, has been lurking in the bat caves of China for decades and most likely includes other relatives that could infect humans. That’s according to a new study published in the journal Nature Microbiology this week.

An international team of scientists from the UK, Belgium, China, and the US traced the evolutionary history of SARS-CoV-2 by studying genetically related coronaviruses found in bats and pangolins. Understanding the evolutionary origins of the novel coronavirus can be fiddly as they undergo a process known as recombination, in which two different viruses both infect the same host cell and interact during replication, resulting in genetic material being swapped. This means their genome does not have a straight-forward lineage and can come from multiple sources. 

According to the new findings, the lineage of viruses to which SARS-CoV-2 belongs to genetically is split between related bat coronaviruses that diverged in 1948, 1969, and 1982. One of these divergences, in 1969, eventually gave rise to RaTG13, a coronavirus that's 96.1 percent genetically similar to SARS-CoV-2. Researchers first identified this virus in 2013 after sampling a horseshoe bat in China’s Yunnan province.

Another key feature analyzed by the researchers was the receptor-binding domain (RBD) on the virus’ spike protein, an important part of the virus that's effectively the “key” used by the pathogen to recognize and enter host cells. The researchers found that SARS-CoV-2 and its relatives — such as RaTG13 and a pangolin virus sampled in Guangdong in 2019, Pangolin-2019 — all share a similar RBD and spike protein. However, these features do not appear to be the product of recombination. This suggests the protein and its RBD are an ancestral trait of the lineage leading to SARS-CoV-2, RaTG13, and Pangolin-2019.

It also hints that there could be other members of this family that are capable of infecting humans.

“This means that other viruses that are capable of infecting humans are circulating in horseshoe bats in China,” David L Robertson, study author and professor of computational virology at MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research, explained in a statement.

The findings also throw doubt on the theory that pangolins, scaly-skinned mammals from Asia and Africa, were the intermediary animal that harbored the virus before it jumped to humans. Previous research suggested SARS-CoV-2’s RBD sequence was more similar to pangolin viruses than RaTG13. However, the team found there was no evidence that pangolins helped to arm SARS-CoV-2 with the RBD during its evolutionary history. Although pangolins may have played a role in the transmission to humans, they are unlikely to be the chief intermediate host for the virus.

The study also highlights a final damning question: if these potentially deadly viruses have been circulating in bats for decades, then why did the Covid-19 pandemic catch the world off guard? To protect against the next coronavirus pandemic, the study authors say their findings further highlight how the world must carry out more research and surveillance to identify novel pathogens.

“We were too late in responding to the initial SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, but this will not be our last coronavirus pandemic. A much more comprehensive and real-time surveillance system needs to be put in place to catch viruses like this when case numbers are still in the double digits,” added Maciej Boni, study author and associate professor of biology at Penn State University.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Six months into the pandemic, the United States continues to suffer the worst outbreak of COVID-19 in the developed world. Considerable blame belongs to a federal response that offloaded responsibility for the crucial task of testing to the states. The irony is that, after assembling the team that came up with an aggressive and ambitious national testing plan, Kushner then appears to have decided, for reasons that remain murky, to scrap its proposal. Today, as governors and mayors scramble to stamp out epidemics plaguing their populations, philanthropists at the Rockefeller Foundation are working to fill the void and organize enough testing to bring the nationwide epidemic under control.

Inside the White House, over much of March and early April, Kushner’s handpicked group of young business associates, which included a former college roommate, teamed up with several top experts from the diagnostic-testing industry. Together, they hammered out the outline of a national testing strategy. The group—working night and day, using the encrypted platform WhatsApp—emerged with a detailed plan.

Rather than have states fight each other for scarce diagnostic tests and limited lab capacity, the plan would have set up a system of national oversight and coordination to surge supplies, allocate test kits, lift regulatory and contractual roadblocks, and establish a widespread virus surveillance system by the fall, to help pinpoint subsequent outbreaks.

The solutions it proposed weren’t rocket science—or even comparable to the dauntingly complex undertaking of developing a new vaccine. Any national plan to address testing deficits would likely be more on the level of “replicating UPS for an industry,” said Dr. Mike Pellini, the managing partner of Section 32, a technology and health care venture capital fund. “Imagine if UPS or FedEx didn’t have infrastructure to connect all the dots. It would be complete chaos.”

The plan crafted at the White House, then, set out to connect the dots. Some of those who worked on the plan were told that it would be presented to President Trump and likely announced in the Rose Garden in early April. “I was beyond optimistic,” said one participant. “My understanding was that the final document would make its way to the president over that weekend” and would result in a “significant announcement.”

But no nationally coordinated testing strategy was ever announced. The plan, according to the participant, “just went poof into thin air.

They saw themselves as the “A-team of people who get shît done,”

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


In bid to reduce COVID-19 risk, Ottawa will require all Alaskan travellers through B.C. to provide exit date

Ian Bailey


UPDATED JULY 30 2020, 10:09PM

Canada is cracking down on U.S. citizens passing through British Columbia to Alaska with newly announced rules that include travellers having to display signs in their vehicles identifying themselves as Americans and naming a date for their exit from Canadian territory.

The new rules take effect on Friday.

“These measures are put in place to further reduce the the risk of introduction of COVID-19 cases and to minimize the amount of time that in-transit travellers are in Canada,” the Canada Border Services Agency said in a statement Thursday in announcing the new rules.

B.C. Premier John Horgan, who has advocated for keeping the Canada-U.S. border closed during the pandemic and expressed concerns about Alaskan-bound travellers lingering in B.C., welcomed the new measures.

“We look forward to the day when our borders are open and we can welcome travellers from all over, but we aren’t there yet. These enhanced measures will ensure those travelling to Alaska take the fastest route possible with minimal contact in communities that are working hard to contain COVID-19,” Mr. Horgan said in a statement.

Dr. Bonnie Henry, the B.C. Health Officer, also said she was pleased with the new policy. “I think that’s great. That’s a really helpful step,” she told a daily COVID-19 briefing.

Although the Canada-U.S. border was closed to most travel on March 21, Americans travelling for what have been deemed essential reasons can cross.

Under the rules announced Thursday and aimed at travel to and from Alaska, in-transit foreign nationals must enter Canada at one of five identified CBSA ports of entry – three in B.C., one in Saskatchewan and one in Alberta – and are limited to the most direct route north to their exit while avoiding all national parks, leisure sites and tourism activities.

Before entering the United States, the travellers must report to the nearest CBSA point of exit to confirm they are departing Canada.

En route, travellers are to display an issued vehicle “hang tag” on their rear-view mirror that show they are transiting, and the date of their exit from Canada, while the back of the tag will feature conditions imposed upon entry and public-health tips.

The measures also apply to foreign nationals travelling through Canada from Alaska.

According to a statement from the spokesperson for the federal Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, travellers who fail to exit Canada as scheduled would be the subject of a follow-up investigation by the enforcement and intelligence operations division of the CBSA. A traveller could be removed, and be issued a one-year exclusion order.

Discretionary and optional travel across the Canada-U.S. border remains banned.

Staff Sergeant Janelle Shoihet of the British Columbia division of the RCMP said, in a statement, that the new tags will help Mounties determine why American travellers are in Canada, and whether they are required to be travelling directly to Alaska.

She said that if a traveller is found to be contravening the Quarantine Act requirements, the RCMP could issue a $1,000 violation ticket. Staff-Sgt. Shoihet said, so far during the pandemic, six violation tickets have been issued in B.C. for failure to comply. However, she said she did not know the nationality of those ticketed.

Last Sunday, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced the highest number of new COVID-19 cases in the state to date – a total 231 newly diagnosed individuals in the state, which is home to about 731,000 people. The agency linked the case count to widespread community transmission from social gatherings, several seafood industry outbreaks and a backlog of test results that have entered the system.

The commissioner for the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services warned that the surge had to be stopped, noting daily cases over 100 will soon diminish hospital bed capacity.

As of Wednesday, there were 84 new resident cases and 36 non-resident cases. A spokesman for the Alaska Governor was unavailable for comment on Canada’s new measures.

We have a weekly Western Canada newsletter written by our B.C. and Alberta bureau chiefs, providing a comprehensive package of the news you need to know about the region and its place in the issues facing Canada. Sign up today.





Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites Alert - 20200802

Victoria increases coronavirus lockdowns, declares ‘state of disaster’

Premier Daniel Andrews has placed Victoria in stage four lockdown. Photo: AAP Photo: AAP

Josh Butler Political Editor


Tweet Share Reddit Pin Email

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has bowed to the realities of his state’s spiralling coronavirus infections and introduced the nation’s toughest lockdown restrictions.

More important announcements are on the way for Victoria on Monday also, with Mr Andrews saying incoming rules for specific industries will force some businesses to close, and others to slow down operations.

The state recorded 671 new cases on Sunday, and seven more elderly Victorians have died.

Six of the fatalities were connected to virus outbreaks in aged-care homes.

On Sunday, Mr Andrews declared a “state of disaster” will be in place from 6pm and metro areas will be put under stage four lockdown restrictions, including a strict night-time curfew.

“Absolutely straight up … if we don’t make these changes we are not going to get through this,” he said.

Victorian students will return to “flexible and remote learning” from Wednesday, with a pupil-free day declared for Tuesday.

Statement on Melbourne moving to Stage 4 restrictions:

— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 2, 2020

Mr Andrews said the advice had been that if the government did not change tactics now, Victoria would continue to see cases growing and would need to be under the current rules until Christmas.

Instead, a tougher stage four lockdown will be in place for six weeks.

“Six weeks versus a slower strategy … that takes up to six months, I’m not prepared to accept that,” Mr Andrews said.

These are very significant steps – they’re not taken lightly.’’

Victoria’s chief health officer Brett Sutton was asked if a further six-week lockdown would be enough to curb the state’s issues.

“I hope so. It is entirely contingent on everyone in Victoria to make sure it is enough,” he said.

“If we do the things we know work … six weeks should be enough.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison posted a message to his Facebook and Instagram accounts on Sunday night that “today is a tough day for Victorians”.

“Australians all around the country are backing you in, because we all know for Australia to succeed, we need Victoria to get through this,” he posted.

Mr Andrews has been under mounting pressure to further lock down Victoria as the previous stay-home orders and mandatory face mask restrictions fail to curb the steepening curve of new infections.

The Premier confirmed stage four lockdown restrictions for metro areas would include stopping people going further than five kilometres from their homes and limiting exercise to one hour per day.

Only one person per household will be allowed to go shopping.

From 8pm on Sunday, a curfew will exist in metropolitan Melbourne.

People will only be allowed out of home between 8pm and 5am to go to work, or give and receive care.

“Going to a mate’s place, going and visiting friends, being out and about for no good reason … that will spread the virus,” Mr Andrews said.

From midnight on Wednesday, regional areas will be moved to stage three.

“We cannot let this virus tear through regional aged care in the way it has with private-sector aged care in Melbourne,” Mr Andrews said.

“We cannot let it mean more Victorians in hospital beds. More Victorians hooked up to machines just to breathe.

And more Victorians – more grandparents, parents, sons, daughters, partners and loved ones – choked to death by an invisible enemy.’’

It means non-essential businesses such as restaurants, gyms and bars must close from midnight on Wednesday.

The new stage four lockdown restrictions for Melbourne include:

  • From Sunday, an 8pm-5am curfew in Melbourne. “The only reasons to leave home during these hours will be work, medical care and caregiving,” Mr Andrews said

  • People will be limited to staying within five kilometres of their home

  • Only one person, per household, per day will be allowed to go shopping

  • Exercise will be limited to a maximum of one hour per day and no more than five kilometres from your home, with a group size limited to a maximum of two – “you and one other person – whether you live with them or not.”

  • TAFE and uni study must be done remotely

  • From Wednesday at 11.59pm, weddings in Melbourne cannot occur.

From 11.59pm on Wednesday, regional Victoria is also returning to its stage three ‘stay home’ orders, meaning people must remain in their house unless going out for essential shopping, care and caregiving, daily exercise, and work or study.

Regional businesses will also be affected, with food businesses restricted to delivery and takeaway.

Beauty and personal services, entertainment and cultural venues, and community sport will have to close.

Statement on regional Victoria moving to Stage 3 restrictions:

— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 2, 2020

Mr Andrews said Mitchell Shire, which was previously linked with the Melbourne restrictions, will now be classed among the rules for regional Victoria.

Melbourne was placed into lockdown for a second time on July 9, as cases began to balloon.

It was hoped the new restrictions would help flatten the curve of new cases, but even after the mandatory masks order, Victoria’s numbers continued to grow, with several days of more than 600 new cases in the past week.

Mr Andrews and Prime Minister Scott Morrison had flagged last week that tougher rules were on the way for Victoria, when the Premier said Melbourne was already at “essentially stage four”.

Mask orders in Victoria have not been enough to slow the virus spread yet. Photo: AAP

Mr Andrews said on Saturday he was worried about potential “mystery cases” of community transmission in Victoria, above and beyond what was being detected in tests and official data.

“That is in some respect our biggest challenge,” he said.

Earlier, a senior federal cabinet minister said the Morrison government is “absolutely” behind Victoria in imposing the stricter restrictions.

“We’re working collaboratively and closely with them as they seek to address this second wave,” federal Education Minister Dan Tehan told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda.

“We’ll continue to offer as much support as we can and work with the Victorian state government.”

The new rules come as authorities remain enraged over numerous examples of people blatantly flouting COVID rules.

Police said they had fined Victorians found driving far from home, who have given unacceptable excuses such as needing to buy McDonald’s or get fresh air hundreds of kilometres away.

In response to a growing number of infections outside Melbourne, Victorians in some regional shires were barred from having people over to their houses from midnight on Thursday last week.

And masks are mandatory for all Victorians – not just those in Mitchell Shire and Melbourne – from Sunday night.

The Premier has been pleading for workers to stay home if they are sick, pointing to outbreaks being directly linked to workplaces.

Unions and the federal Labor opposition have been calling for paid pandemic leave to be supplied by the federal government, to help encourage people to stay home if they are unwell or isolating while waiting for a test result.

Watch The News in 90 Seconds

View Full Video

Trending Now

How the 5G coronavirus conspiracy theory is making some sick: Study

Federal government support for Victoria as hard lockdown looms

The biggest threat to Australia: What Trump is prepared to do for re-election


News Coronavirus

6:00am, Aug 2, 2020 Updated: 10:40am, Aug 2

Federal government support for Victoria as hard lockdown looms

Australian Defence Force personnel at the Epping Gardens aged care facility in the Melbourne. Photo: Getty

The New Daily @TheNewDailyAU


Tweet Share Reddit Pin Email

Victorians are on the brink of an extreme lockdown amid rising numbers of untraceable “mystery” COVID-19 cases and anger at blatant disobedience.

The state’s cases rose by 397 on Saturday – with 49 of those from no known source – bringing suspected community transmission to nearly 2000 cases.

Total fatalities rose to 201 on Saturday following the deaths of a man and two women aged in their 80s and 90s.

A senior federal cabinet minister says the Morrison government is “absolutely” behind Victoria should it impose even stricter restrictions.

“We’re working collaboratively and closely with them as they seek to address this second wave,” federal Education Minister Dan Tehan, and himself a Victorian, told Sky News’ Sunday Agenda.

“We’ll continue to offer as much support as we can and work with the Victorian state government.”

Premier Daniel Andrews is expected to announce new restrictions as early as Sunday, believing they could be a “circuit breaker” for rising cases.

NSW recorded its first death in more than a month amid 17 new infections while Queensland’s latest case has been linked to the three women who returned infected from Victoria.

In Victoria, wearing masks will be compulsory right across the state from midnight Sunday.

The tighter lockdown restrictions are anticipated to lead to a massive economic shutdown, with all but essential businesses told to close.

Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton confirmed discussions were underway about a harder lockdown as authorities met on Saturday night to discuss the next step to curb Victoria’s high daily infections.

Under possible New Zealand-style restrictions, only supermarkets, pharmacies and service stations would be allowed to operate.

Schools would go back to remote learning and residents’ movements would be strictly limited.

Experts spent the weekend analysing infection data from the first half of Victoria’s six-week lockdown, with Premier Daniel Andrews saying further restrictions could be a “circuit breaker” to hundreds of daily infections.

A man is fined by Victoria Police for refusing to wear a face mask. Photo: Getty

Mr Andrews expressed frustration at people disregarding existing public health orders, including positive cases who weren’t home when defence force members came knocking.

One person was fined on Saturday for leaving Melbourne to drive to Wodonga for a hamburger while another tried to drive from Werribee to Springvale – opposite sides of Melbourne – for groceries.

Further fines were issued to a Victorian who was caught driving from Melbourne to Ballarat for “fresh air”, a group who hosted an AirBnB party, patrons and staff of a brothel that had continued operations and a man who drove from Thornbury to Werribee to get a haircut from his favourite barber.

The aged care crisis continues in Victoria with 1008 active cases currently linked to the sector. Photo: Getty

Mr Andrews said the time for warnings had passed and a “much bigger fine” through the courts was being considered as an alternative to on-the-spot fines.

The premier said one of the biggest concerns was tracing community transmission, particularly in relation to the growing number of infections from an unknown source.

“We can’t be certain there’s not even further community transmission, even more mystery cases out there,” he said.

“That is in some respect our biggest challenge.”

NSW first new death

NSW has confirmed its first coronavirus-related death in more than a month as authorities seek to suppress a number of growing clusters.

The state had 17 new cases on Saturday, coinciding with the closure of several Sydney venues for deep cleaning and contact tracing after being linked to coronavirus. At least one of the 17 new cases has no known source of infection.

An 83-year-old man connected to the Crossroads Hotel cluster in southwest Sydney died on Saturday morning, taking the NSW death toll to 52.

It was the first coronavirus-related death confirmed by NSW Health since late June.

Meanwhile a NSW duo has been arrested after entering South Australia after they were turned back.

The 25-year-old man and 20-year-old woman tried to cross the border at Pinnaroo on Thursday, claiming they were headed interstate to sell a dog.

They were refused entry and turned back to NSW, but police stopped their NSW-registered car in the Adelaide suburb of Kilburn on Saturday afternoon.

The pair were charged with breaching COVID-19 directions and have been denied bail ahead of a court appearance on Monday.

NSW Health’s Dr Jeremy McAnulty said most cases in the past week have been associated with local clusters and close contacts of known cases.

However seven cases were of unknown origin.

“These unlinked cases have been in people from southwestern Sydney, western Sydney, southeastern Sydney and Sydney local health districts.”

Public health officials watch over as members of the Muslim community wait in line to celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha at the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque in Sydney. Photo: AAP

The Thai Rock Wetherill Park cluster is nearing 100 COVID-19 cases, while the cluster in Potts Point has reached 24 and the funeral events cluster sits at 25.

A popular venue on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, meanwhile, was on Saturday forced to shut after hosting a COVID-positive patron on the afternoon of July 24.

The Bavarian in Manly underwent deep cleaning and reopened to the public on Saturday afternoon. Patrons on the afternoon of July 24 should monitor for respiratory symptoms.

The Harpoon & Hotel Harry in Surry Hills, Matinee Coffee in Marrickville and Tan Viet in Cabramatta are among other venues required to undertake deep cleaning in recent days.

Harris Farm Market in Leichhardt and Darlo Bar in Darlinghurst also on Friday confirmed they were frequented on July 26 by COVID-positive people and have undergone deep cleaning.

Qld infection nursing home link

Diana Lasu (left) and Olivia Winnie Muranga (right) are under police investigation.

Queensland’s latest case of COVID-19, confirmed on Saturday, is a woman who may have been infectious while working at a Brisbane nursing home.

The facility at Pinjarra Hills in Brisbane’s west had already been locked down and staff and residents are being tested after the woman’s husband tested COVID-positive on Friday.

The case has been linked to the women who flouted quarantine after a trip to Melbourne, roaming across Brisbane while possibly infected.

The sunshine state on Saturday imposed tighter border restrictions, adding visitors from greater Sydney to the banned list, along with all people from Victoria.

Adelaide is set to receive 170 people on Saturday on a repatriation flight from India, with all going into hotel quarantine. Officials are expecting at least some to have COVID-19.

South Australia also recorded a new case of COVID-19 on Saturday – a man aged in his 20s who had returned from interstate and has been in quarantine.

The Northern Territory has reported one new case of coronavirus – a woman who travelled from Melbourne.

Doctors’ safety plea

Victorian anaesthetists are calling for ‘fit testing’ of personal protective equipment, citing concerns that not enough is being done to protect health workers from coronavirus.

Three doctors are reportedly among those in intensive care as the state struggles to contain the virus.

And as hospitalisations grow in the state, the level of infection risk and the effectiveness of PPE is worrying many.

Anaesthetists are commonly called on to intubate patients needing help to breathe, and so they are among those face-to-face with the most severe COVID-19 cases.

The Australian Society of Anaesthetists says it has made “numerous approaches” to federal and state health departments asking that fit-testing of PPE become mandatory in all hospitals.

Fit testing involves checking whether airborne particles can penetrate an N95 mask and other safety gear.

One method involves spraying a solution at the face, which if able to be smelled or tasted, means the mask has failed.

Melbourne anaesthetist Bob Cox said the astronaut-like suits worn by overseas doctors are better because they don’t obstruct vision and are more comfortable.

“At the moment we’re using equipment that is totally disposable but it has its limitations in that it may not be as safe,” Dr Cox said.

“To have doctors ending up in intensive care on ventilators is not good, let alone anyone else.”

-with AAP

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this