Showing posts with label COVD-19. Show all posts
Showing posts with label COVD-19. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

A Urgent Virtual Public Service Announcement: #COVID-19

As COVID-19 rages on World-Wide based on the latest from Johns Hopkins and the World Health Organization, our team decided to release this Virtual Public Service Annoucement on all our platforms  courtesy the CDC as we join in asking all to #WearAMaskToSaveALife.   

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Notations On Our World (Special Edition): As Our World Lives Through #LifeIntheTimeofCorona

The #COVID19 Pandemic has brought our World to a standstill.    Our team has been busy with updates on our Social Media Channels.   We decided to release this very crucial call to action here by the UN Secretary General that we joined as we commend the team at AVAAZ in helping to spread this word and we are pleased to join it as we say, 



Dear friends, the UN chief António Guterres has invited our movement to answer his call to action. Here it is:


Our world faces a common enemy: COVID-19.

The virus does not care about nationality or ethnicity, faction or faith. It attacks all, relentlessly.

Meanwhile, armed conflict rages on around the world.

The most vulnerable — women and children, people with disabilities, the marginalized and the displaced — pay the highest price.

They are also at the highest risk of suffering devastating losses from COVID-19.

Let’s not forget that in war-ravaged countries, health systems have collapsed.

Health professionals, already few in number, have often been targeted.

Refugees and others displaced by violent conflict are doubly vulnerable.

The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war.

That is why today, I am calling for an immediate global ceasefire in all corners of the world.

Join the call for an immediate global ceasefire.

It is time to put armed conflict on lockdown and focus together on the true fight of our lives.

To warring parties, I say:

Pull back from hostilities.

Put aside mistrust and animosity.

Silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes.

This is crucial…

To help create corridors for life-saving aid.

To open precious windows for diplomacy.

To bring hope to places among the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Let us take inspiration from coalitions and dialogue slowly taking shape among rival parties in some parts to enable joint approaches to COVID-19. But we need much more.

End the sickness of war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world.

It starts by stopping the fighting everywhere. Now.

That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.

- UN Secretary General António Guterres

Join the call for an immediate global ceasefire.


The fury of the virus illustrates the folly of war - UN Secretary General António Guterres 

Russia joins UN’s appeal for global ceasefire (Euractiv) 

Cameroon rebels declare coronavirus ceasefire (BBC) 

Given the gravity of the Covid-19 crisis, Avaaz is taking the unprecedented step of sharing a full statement of the UN Secretary General. You can also read his full statement here and his full virtual press conference here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Notations From the Grid (Special Edition): On #LifeIntheAgeofCorona ((Updates))

The War on Corona is continuing worldwide.   Our Hometown, Laguna Niguel, declared a local emergency yesterday and activated the local Emergency Operations Center.     Six Counties in Northern California declared a shelter-in-place order.    Our team has joined the local Second Harvest Food Bank on the Status of their efforts to be operational to support all Food Pantries throughout Orange County as Orange County ordered a shelter in Place Order & as this occurred:


U.S. stocks soared Tuesday as top government officials and legislators sought a $1 trillion stimulus package to counter the economic effects of the coronavirus, rebounding after the second-worst day for equities in history.
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Republican senators Tuesday to discuss a trillion-dollar package that would include sending checks directly to households.

Here is a sampling of the updates on developments around the World courtesy the team at The Financial Times and Resources For the Future:

Oil Markets in the Time of COVID-19, with Amy Myers Jaffe

In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Amy Myers Jaffe, director of the program on energy security and climate change at the Council on Foreign Relations. A leading expert on oil markets, Jaffe discusses how the coronavirus pandemic has rattled the market and sent oil prices plummeting. Unlike previous oil crises, where consumers could take advantage of low oil prices and spend more elsewhere in the economy, the coronavirus pandemic and its economic ramifications have left many Americans out of work and averse to travel. Fearing a prolonged economic crisis even if the coronavirus is contained, Jaffe contends that financial institutions should closely consider the long-term risks of low oil prices and plan to eventually address “systemic problems”—especially if companies struggle to make ends meet.
Listen Now

What is critical, also, is to start thinking about lessons learnt.   We commend the team led by Peter Diamandis in pulling these lessons from China as it has begun to "Flatten the Curve":   

(1) Fill the Skies With Drones

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Right now, drones above various parts of China are sharing information on loudspeakers, carrying signs with QR codes (for no-contact registration purposes), spraying disinfectant, delivering packages, and taking people’s temperatures.
To conduct temperature measurements, drones use infrared thermal imaging, which has not only proven more accurate than human-conducted readings, but also massively expedites the evacuation of community personnel. Simultaneously, drone readings have helped reduce close contact between community workers and residents, minimizing risk of secondary infection.
Shenzhen-based DJI has created a 10 million RMB fund to fight the Coronavirus, funding drone-enabled disinfection and protocols. Meanwhile, XAG — China’s No. 1 agriculture drone tech company — set up a 50 million RMB fund to use drones for disinfection in remote areas.
And in a surging nationwide effort, more and more Chinese towns have used plant protection drones to carry out disinfection operations during the outbreak. In Shandong province, for instance, villagers of Huji town used only two plant protection UAVs to disinfect about 480,000 square meters of the village in less than an afternoon.
But beyond agricultural uses, UAVs are now conducting unmanned delivery of medical supplies and the like. Having taken its maiden flight on February 6, a now routine drone flies to the center for disease control in Xinchang County, spanning the nation’s first anti-epidemic “urban air transport channel.”
Other unmanned delivery devices, such as in Wuhan, have transported medical supplies between JD logistics stations and local hospitals, avoiding vehicles and pedestrians in transit. And early on, Zhejiang Xinchang People's Hospital took the lead in using drones to transport samples for examination. Capable of automatically transporting up to 4kg of supplies between two unmanned stations without human operation, these drones tremendously reduce the risk of cross-infection.
How might our own local and state governments coordinate similar drone routes with hospitals, retirement homes, apartment buildings, aid centers, and others?

(2) Release the Robots

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Hospitals across Beijing, Zhejiang, Guangdong, Hubei and Hunan already have zero-contact distribution server robots.
Medical staff place items on robots, robots go to patients’ doors, and patients receive items contact-free. After completing a route, robots automatically return to the nurse’s station, where they are disinfected and continue delivery. In some hospitals, these robots can even provide contact-free delivery service to 20 wards, on average.
And in the F&B arena, robots and driverless vehicles are now servicing hospitals and communities alike with touch-free delivery of everything from coffee (Luckin’s “ruiji” machine) to fresh vegetables.
In the case of the latter, driverless cars now complete 24 deliveries every 30 minutes, greatly reducing the burden of front-line delivery staff.
Prompted by the outbreak, zero-contact distribution, self-driving freight, robo-taxis and other forms of autonomous navigation are now exploding business opportunities.

(3) Bring on the Biotech

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Already, one medical company (999) has released a new food line of “medicinal” noodles, touting immune-boosting ingredients, in an attempt to help stem vulnerability to infection.
Although in disparate industries, carmakers (BYD and Baojun) and iPhone manufacturers (Foxconn and Changying Precision) are churning out face masks faster than face mask manufacturers themselves.
Government and private sector capital is flooding biomedical services and medical technologies. A mere four days after the stock market opened this year, the biggest gainers were pharmaceutical businesses, medical device services, biological products and chemical pharmaceuticals — all up more than 10%.
Online consultations have gone from non-existent to the new norm.
According to Ali Health data, even prior to the end of January, total visitors to online free clinics exceeded 2.8 million, while servicing doctors surpassed 1,000. Meanwhile, online medical service platforms, such as Dingxiangyisheng (丁香医生), Haodaifuzaixian (好大夫在线), Pinganhaoyisheng (平安好医生) and Weiyi (微医), launched online diagnosis services for Coronavirus symptoms to avoid false-positive visits to hospitals.
Damo Academy, Alibaba’s future-driven research institute, can now test Coronavirus infection with AI analytics at a reported 96% accuracy rate by simply looking at a CT scan.
This new algorithm could tremendously alleviate pressure on hospitals, completing recognition processes in 20 seconds — far faster than the 5-15 minutes it takes a doctor to do the same.

(4) Virtual Classrooms (Keep the Kids at Home)

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More than 20 provinces, including Guangdong, Jiangsu and Henan, have now joined China’s “home-schooling” program, as over 10,000 primary and secondary schools and 5 million students attend classes via live streaming.
The boom in China’s virtual classrooms and online education has been utterly unprecedented, serving as an example the world can follow.
On February 7, China’s Ministry of Education shared instructions on the deployment of online teaching for students to resume classes from the safety of their homes, providing 24,000 online courses from more than 20 online platforms for FREE.
Meanwhile, this spring semester, 3,923 courses at Tsinghua University (China’s top STEM university) and 4,437 courses at Peking University (China’s top liberal arts college equivalent) will be taught through MOOCs, recorded courses, live streaming, and teleconferencing.
Countless online education companies are sharing free online courses for K-12 students, including Tencent Classroom, DingTalk, Zuoyebang, Yuanfudao, and VIPkid.
And while free education services help students, the EdTech business is booming.
In the long run, this surge in (what was at first interim) virtual education could dramatically change the face of K-12 and higher education, as penetration and conversation rates multiply.
More generally, OMO (online-merge-offline) environments will leap onto the scene, driving digitization, iteration speed, and operational efficiency of the education and professional training industries.
How will EdTech companies rise to this challenge in our own communities? Institutions? Universities? How will businesses seize this opportunity for a latent exploding market while serving the needs of millions?

(5) Remote Working (Keep Adults at Home, Too)

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Putting health and safety above mid-term economic growth, the world’s biggest remote work experiment has been unleashed by COVID-19.
On a recent earnings call, Alibaba CEO Daniel Zhang told investors that, while a tremendous challenge for society, Coronavirus also gives people a “chance to try a new way of living and new way of work.”
As Chinese New Year approached its end, Alibaba’s DingTalk app quickly became the most downloaded free iOS app in China, and has remained #1 for the last few weeks. On February 3rd alone, users from over 10 million corporations used DingTalk, now leveraging its team chat groups, org charts and teleconferencing features. Companies can also track attendance and overtime hours automatically through the app.
Tencent has also seen dramatic growth in demand for its work tools. Now among the top five most downloaded free iOS apps in China, WeChat Work and video-conferencing app Tencent Meeting are serving millions of firms.
After recording a tenfold increase on February 10th (when many companies and schools resumed work), WeChat Work is now used by over 2.5 million companies, covering 60 million corporate users.
Compared with their foreign peers, like Slack, Chinese apps have jumped on “China Speed” to meet the unique demands of Chinese employees.
Released by TikTok's parent company ByteDance, corporate messaging app Feishu (which offers file-sharing and document-editing capabilities) has now released a “health management” platform, allowing workers to log location and daily temperature.
Staying home and avoiding contact is crucial. And every person counts. But in the interim, our ability to build and iterate on fully digitized platforms for the future of work is a forced opportunity like no other. And as I’ve said before, never waste a crisis….

(6) Unmanned Retail (Minimize Human Interaction)

No-Contact Grocery StoresEnter next-gen e-commerce and unmanned retail.
After completion of the new Wuhan hospital, an unmanned supermarket was launched within a day.
Open 24/7, the supermarket touts self-service checkout (no receipts), and received over 200 customers on its opening day. While it was reported that Jack Ma’s original launch of an “unmanned supermarket” in 2017 lost him about 4 billion RMB since then, the concept has now hit perfect timing. And companies from Meituan and Ele me to KFC have launched “no-contact distribution” services one after the next amidst Coronavirus.
While China’s e-commerce ecosystem is already far ahead of the rest of the world, there are still numerous items people prefer to buy offline.
But post-outbreak in China, buying groceries online has also become the norm. China’s Sinopec petrol stations now sell no-contact groceries: buy online, and have groceries put directly into the trunk of your car. No need to leave the driver’s seat or even open the window.
What novel business platforms will allow us to revolutionize no-contact, autonomous retail?

(7) Make Your Cities Virus-Resistant

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China has charged full-force into building emergency centers (hospitals), locking down outbreak epicenters, and mobilizing resources over the last few months at ‘China Speed.’
Integrating drones, robots, e-commerce platforms and novel biotech (as discussed above), the smart city has become an integrated platform for defending society against Coronavirus’s spread.
China has also showcased an extraordinary example of mutual accountability between government and populace. We already caught a glimpse of this when China’s government constructed 2 hospitals in fewer than 10 days as millions watched a live-stream of real-time progress, keeping their government accountable to its promise.
While we have yet to see how 21st century smart cities serve as community defense mechanisms, their help in protecting against outbreak in China should spur capital investment and innovation across our own smart cities worldwide. (Already, the Chinese government predicts public and private investment of 500 billion RMB (US$74 billion) in the nation’s smart cities.)
Creating a network of real-time information, WeChat and Baidu Maps have released clinic information covering over 100 cities across China, and over 3,000 clinics. Patients can now find designated hospitals qualified to treat fever and Coronavirus on their phones, drastically reducing confusion and wait times.
Smart cities can be further integrated in response efforts through the use of big data and cloud computing.
Cities might be equipped with early-warning mechanisms to rapidly detect infection, notify communities, and stem spread before it begins.
Now the new normal in China, smart cities are becoming preventative tools, whereby everything is tracked and analyzed for rapid decision-making in real-time.


Friday, March 13, 2020

Notations the Grid (Special Friday Edition): On the #COVD-19 (#CORONAVIRUS) Watch

All levels of Government, NGO's and Faith-Based Organizations have been stepping up to fight the Corona Virus.   We have noted the following sampling for reference beginning with our hometown, Laguna Niguel as what the Politco noted late last night on the "Great American Shutdown" that we hereby note for reference below: 

POLITICO Nightly: Coronavirus Special Edition
THE WORLD'S LEADING ECONOMY is executing an unprecedented, emergency transformation of public life. In a single day, the MLB, NHL and MLS joined the NBA in suspending professional sports. The NCAA canceled March Madness and Little League put games on hold. Disneyland and Disney World are closing. Churches, concerts, theaters, parades, parks, zoos and museums are meeting the fate of conferences and conventions. School districts are joining universities to suspend teaching or shutter buildings. Businesses large and small from coast to coast are devising and implementing, on the fly, once-unimaginable plans to turn their workspaces into ghost towns.
America is shutting down to save itself.
After witnessing a fumbling federal government response for weeks, the nation's leaders at every other level are lurching into extreme action to halt the explosion of the novel coronavirus.
How the crisis ends is straightforward: Flatten the curve, by letting health authorities — among the few officials with credibility in this moment — take extreme action. End the panic, by keeping everyone sequestered. And quickly cushion the economy, by providing government support to offset the most sudden, far-reaching shock to hit a wide range of industries and workers. All of this will be necessary; none of it will be easy.
A DAY AFTER PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP delivered a rare Oval Office address to calm the public, investors assumed they're getting none of that and rendered a swift verdict: The stock market took its worst plunge since 1987's "Black Monday" crash, tumbling 10 percent in one day, despite emergency Fed action. And then it kept falling after hours.
Here's what to watch on Friday:
 Market meltdown. Another day like today will easily erase the last of the stock market gains posted since Donald Trump's inauguration in January 2017. Wall Street's most popular gauge of panic, the VIX, closed just above 75 — striking distance from the all-time high around 80 reached in 2008.
 Non-bailout bailout. Trump aides are rushing to design an emergency rescue for struggling industries.
— Where are the tests? The nation's top disease doc, Tony Fauci, admitted that the U.S. coronavirus-testing system is "failing" to deliver. The White House will have to change that to flatten the coronavirus curve.
— Deal or no deal. Trump's aides and Democratic lawmakers were talking into Thursday night — that's a good sign. Not a good sign: Republican lawmakers aren't on board. (It's like the fall of 2008 revisited.) An announcement could come early Friday.
 State of emergency. The Trump administration is moving toward a declaration under the Stafford Act that will deliver tens of billions of dollars in federal funding.
 Emergency in the states. Maryland and Ohio are shutting down their schools. (Belgium is shutting down schools, bars and restaurants.)
This time it's actual contagion — not just financial contagion — everyone's worried about. Take a spin through the biggest stories below and listen to the latest coronavirus episodes of POLITICO Dispatch, a new podcast from POLITICO's newsroom.


Update on the Coronavirus and Impact on Program Delivery

March 12, 2020

Officials at the California Department of Public Health announced new recommendations late Wednesday night to curtail the spread of COVID-19: large gatherings should be postponed or canceled across the state until at least the end of March.

The Orange County Council, including all of our properties, continues to monitor the evolving COVID-19 situation. Based on this new information, the Council will enforce the following guidelines effective immediately:

  • Council and District activities of 250 or more will be postponed and rescheduled for dates after March 31st. This includes District Camporees scheduled in March and programs at our four properties including Newport Sea Base and Irvine Ranch Outdoor Education Center.
  • Smaller events can proceed only if organizers can implement social distancing of 6 feet per person. If the social distance cannot be accommodated, meetings/activities must be postponed or cancelled. The use of conference calls is highly recommended. Advisers to District and Council meetings will contact their committees with instructions for meetings scheduled this month.
  • Roundtables will continue for March 12. Social Distancing will be enforced, and we strongly request any individual who feels sick to not attend.
  • Gatherings of individuals who are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 should be limited to no more than 10 people while also following social distancing guidelines.
  • Some charter partners and unit meeting locations have blocked access to their facilities for the time being. Please contact your location to verify access and timeline. The information from the State recommends limiting access until March 31st. Should your unit be blocked, we recommend that families continue to use their handbooks at home to continue the program and update their leaders on their progress.

Click here to view the guideline from the California Department of Health.

The Orange County Council is committed to providing a safe environment for our members and will continue to update you as information becomes available.


Fatwa on Congregations and COVID-19

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We Shall Overcome!!!