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US News The Problem With Being ‘at War’ With the Coronavirus

12:45  31 march  2020
12:45  31 march  2020 Source:   msn.com

Hundreds dead in Iran after consuming methanol thinking it was coronavirus protection

  Hundreds dead in Iran after consuming methanol thinking it was coronavirus protection More than 300 people have died and a further 1,000 have fallen ill in Iran after consuming methanol in the belief that it will protect them against the coronavirus, according to local media. Fake remedies have spread across Iranian social media, with methanol simply the latest supposed cure. As an Islamic nation, the consumption of alcohol is banned, but bootleggers have distributed industrial alcohol.

The coronavirus COVID-19 is affecting 199 countries and territories around the world and 2 international conveyances: the Diamond Princess The discrepancy with the official numbers (which are lower for both counts) can be explained with a lag in reporting affecting the national aggregate.

The problem with the coronavirus is that we are not yet absolutely sure whether it is more like SARS, highly contagious and lethal, or like seasonal influenza, contagious and unpleasant but rarely fatal. Right now it appears to be closer to influenza (which is from a different family of viruses).

a screenshot of a video game © Paul Spella / The Atlantic

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

If curbing the spread of the coronavirus is akin to being “at war,” then it is unlike any war the world has ever fought.

Still, the irregularity of this particular fight hasn’t stopped leaders from invoking wartime imagery. In China, where the outbreak began earlier this year, Xi Jinping vowed to wage a “people’s war” on the coronavirus. As the disease spread across the globe, the battle allusions followed. France’s Emmanuel Macron declared the country at war with an “invisible, elusive” enemy. Italy’s special commissioner for the coronavirus emergency said the country must equip itself for a “war economy.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Britons that theirs was a fight in which each and every citizen was “directly enlisted.” In the United States, Donald Trump refashioned himself as a “wartime president.”

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  Girl, 12, youngest to die with coronavirus in Europe A 12-year-old Belgian girl has become the youngest known person in Europe to die after contracting coronavirus. Authorities said the child was by far the youngest among more than 700 victims in Belgium.National crisis centre spokesman Emmanuel Andre said it is "an emotionally difficult moment, because it involves a child, and it has also upset the medical and scientific community".He added: "We are thinking of her family and friends. It is an event that is very rare, but one which upsets us greatly.

NATO had been preparing to stage its biggest military exercise in decades when it encountered a foe it was not apparently ready to face – coronavirus . A large-scale exercise with the pompous name 'Defender Europe 2020' was expected to become the Alliance's biggest in a quarter of a century.

The government had been urged to do more for families, workers and tenants affected by coronavirus . Mr Johnson said it will bring forward legislation to protect private renters from eviction, but will also avoid "pass[ing] on the problem " by "taking steps to protect other actors in the economy".

By choosing to frame the pandemic in military terms, governments are clearly trying to communicate the gravity of this public-health crisis—one that requires the type of state intervention and personal sacrifice most nations haven’t experienced in peacetime. But drawing this imperfect parallel can have the unintended consequence of causing fear and panic too. One look at the barren supermarket shelves and the surge in U.S. firearm sales suggests that it may have already had that impact. If the aim of such imagery is to compel the public to act in the national interest, framing this crisis in war terms may achieve just the opposite. In this “war,” after all, most people aren’t being asked to mobilize; they are being asked to stay home.

Coronavirus: Closure of bars and pubs in Hong Kong

 Coronavirus: Closure of bars and pubs in Hong Kong HEALTH-CORONAVIRUS-HONG-KONG: Coronavirus: Closure of bars and pubs in Hong Kong © Reuters / TYRONE SIU CORONAVIRUS: CLOSURE OF BARS AND PUBS IN HONG KONG HONG KONG (Reuters) - Hong Kong authorities have closed pubs and bars for two weeks from Friday as part of tougher social distancing measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus. Any violation of the new measures may be punished with a penalty of up to six months' imprisonment and a fine of more than 6,000 dollars.

Zhao is not the only high-profile political figure to voice suspicions about the timing of the Games and the introduction of the coronavirus in Wuhan. So far, the problem with all of those theories, blaming both animals and humans, is that no direct causal proof has been established, while the

“The big problem that we have had is the availability of testing and that has been much discussed. Only now are we making testing for coronavirus more widely available throughout the country. That has held us back very substantially,” Schaffner told RT.

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The last time the world faced a pandemic of this scale, it was in the middle of an actual war. The Spanish flu appeared during the waning months of World War I, before quickly spreading around the world, infecting a third of the global population and killing tens of millions of people. Unlike with the current pandemic, invoking wartime imagery wasn’t necessary to spur action against the Spanish flu. By that point in the war, “everyone had already been making all these sacrifices,” Mark Honigsbaum, a medical historian and the author of The Pandemic Century, told me, noting that many countries were already united against a common enemy, Germany, “before this unseen enemy, the Spanish flu, came along.”

Coronavirus: "Kill them", says the Filipino president about violators

 Coronavirus: SANTE-CORONAVIRUS-PHILIPPINES: Coronavirus: "Kill them", says the Filipino president about violators © Reuters / ATHIT PERAWONGMETHA CORONAVIRUS: " KILL THEM, "SAYS PHILIPPIN PRESIDENT ABOUT OFFENDERS MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has warned violators of containment measures to stem the spread of the coronavirus that they may be killed by gunfire, and declared that any ill-treatment of medical personnel was a serious crime which would not be tolerated.

people that are being shot senselessly because we ' re going to need those beds for people infected with the coronavirus . US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which handles deportations of foreign nationals, said on Wednesday it would postpone most arrests during the coronavirus crisis.

As we battle the coronavirus pandemic, and heads of state declare that we are “ at war ” with this contagion, the same dichotomy applies. But there are several major problems with subsuming the especially vulnerable within the policies now applied to all.

There is a long history of world leaders framing fights against disease within the context of war. From Richard Nixon’s “war on cancer” to the “Ebola wars,” politicians have invoked battle analogies to communicate the seriousness of an issue and galvanize a national response. (The same can be said for matters that have nothing to do with disease, such as Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty and the global War on Terror.)

Gallery: Earth's slumber - bustling tourist attractions deserted (Photos)

In some ways, these wartime metaphors make sense. John Baugh, a linguist at Washington University in St. Louis, told me that when politicians and health officials invoke this language, it’s often because “they feel that the public has not yet taken the problem seriously,” an issue that, until very recently, was almost certainly the case with the coronavirus pandemic. Many countries were slow to figure out how best to respond to the crisis, while large swaths of their populations openly flouted social-distancing guidance. When the severity finally began to sink in, world leaders seized on terms such as battle plan, enemy, and frontline as a means of waking people up to the urgency of the situation and fostering a sense of solidarity.

In pictures: Coronavirus outbreak (Photos)

But while wartime imagery can promote national cohesion, it can also breed fear, which can in turn drive anxiety and panic. The myriad changes being made to wage this “war”—including enforced lockdowns, closures of schools and businesses, and the postponement of major events, such as elections—and the looming prospect of a global recession has not only created uncertainty, but stripped many people of any sense of control. One of the most visible ways this fear has manifested has been in the increasing prevalence of empty supermarkets—a by-product of what appeared to be a surge in panic-buying that made newly precious commodities such as hand sanitizer, face masks, and toilet paper scarce or, in some cases, prohibitively expensive. (Other items, such as illicit drugs and firearms, experienced a similar increase in demand.) In this case, evoking war didn’t just alert people to the severity of the situation. For some of the most vulnerable members of society, including the elderly and health-care workers, it made the crisis much, much worse.

Is this really a war? © Getty Is this really a war?   The Problem With Being ‘at War’ With the Coronavirus © Getty

Another problem with using battle analogies is that they aren’t particularly well suited for telling people what not to do. “War metaphors call for mobilization, for action, for doing something,” Veronika Koller, a linguist at Lancaster University in England, told me. In this pandemic, governments are asking people to do the opposite: to forego normal routines and avoid going outside. Put simply, to do nothing.

War metaphors also tend to be, well, metaphorical. They lack precision and clarity, both of which are in desperately short supply right now. In Britain, where the response to the coronavirus outbreak was slow and ill-defined, Johnson’s announcement that the country would be put on a wartime footing didn’t explain what that actually meant. “From a linguistic point of view, it’s still not clear,” Koller said in reference to the prime minister’s televised address last week announcing further restrictions as part of a nationwide lockdown. When it comes to what Britons should or shouldn’t do, Koller added, “there are still lots of modifiers in there, like if possible and ideally or only if necessary. And that muddies the message.”

War is also, by its very nature, divisive—which is not particularly helpful amid a crisis that requires global cooperation. These divisions have already begun playing out among people, most notably with the rise of xenophobia against East Asian communities and those perceived to be likely carriers of the virus. But they have started to appear at the diplomatic level too, in the form of a blame game between the U.S. and China over which country is responsible for the pandemic.

If wartime terminology isn’t suitable for explaining a pandemic, then what is? When I put this question to Koller, she said there probably isn’t just one correct framing or metaphor. Rather, “it’s about finding a balance between galvanizing people and making them aware that they have to take this seriously and ... not sending them into complete panic.”

Some leaders have already demonstrated ways of reframing the pandemic that are less likely to spur panic. In Denmark, Queen Margrethe II likened the virus to a “dangerous guest,” and urged Danes to “show our togetherness by keeping apart.”

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization, invoked perhaps the one thing that is better than any war at rallying nations: sport. “You can’t win a football game only by defending,” he wrote on Twitter. “You have to attack as well.”

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

Coronavirus: in contact with a doctor who tested positive, Angela Merkel goes into quarantine .
© AFP (archives) German Chancellor Angela Merkel has decided to quarantine herself immediately after being in contact with a doctor who tested positive for coronavirus. The German Chancellor has "decided to go into quarantine immediately" after being in contact Friday with a doctor who tested positive for coronavirus, announced Sunday the spokesman for the German government.

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