Saturday, May 30, 2020

Coronavirus News (126)

View image on Twitter
Gripped by disease, unemployment and outrage at the police, America plunges into crisis  A global pandemic has now killed more than 100,000 Americans and left 40 million unemployed in its wake. Protests — some of them violent — have once again erupted in spots across the country over police killings of black Americans. .........  “The threads of our civic life could start unraveling, because everybody’s living in a tinderbox” ...........  “People are seething about all kinds of things” ........ “There are major turning points and ruptures in history. . . . This is one of these moments, but we’ve not seen how it will fully play out.” ..........  some said the tumult, set in the broader context of the twin health and economic emergencies, could mark a rupture as dramatic as signature turning points in the country’s history, from the economic dislocation of the Great Depression to the social convulsions of 1968. ........ the past is filled with events whose outcomes have not been as sweeping as they seemed to portend ........ the European revolutions of 1848 — famously said to be the “turning point at which modern history failed to turn” — and Hurricane Katrina in 2005, which exposed lethal failures but did not cause political transformation. ...........  Floyd’s death followed the slaying of a black man, Ahmaud Arbery, who was jogging in Georgia, and a viral dust-up in New York’s Central Park when a white woman called the police on a black man there to bird-watch. ...........  A president’s impeachment, demonstrations over police killings and even global pandemics all have precedents. But their confluence in such a short span of time — under this president, who consistently pushes the boundaries of historic norms associated with his office — has exacerbated the nation’s sense of unease. .........  for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly ‘normal’ — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park. ........... Trump responded to the latest crisis Friday as he often does: by lashing out. .......   the unrest was a result of “generations of pain, of anguish” over racism in policing. ............  Trump, he said, seems to see the unrest as a potentially helpful “political issue,” if he can position himself as a law-and-order candidate cracking down on anarchy and possibly distract from the pandemic. ......... “Is this going to be the summer of covid-19? Or is this going to be the summer of urban unrest?” Brinkley said. “And Trump does not want it to be the summer of covid-19.” ..........  at a time when what is most needed is thoughtful, calm, deliberate leadership, we have the opposite 

Pandemic’s overall death toll in U.S. likely surpassed 100,000 weeks ago A state-by-state analysis shows that deaths officially attributed to covid- 19 only partially account for unusually high mortality during the pandemic ........ Between March 1 and May 9, the nation recorded an estimated 101,600 excess deaths, or deaths beyond the number that would normally be expected for that time of year .........   Allies of President Trump have claimed that the government tally is inflated, contending that it includes people with other medical conditions who would have died with or without an infection. ........  an examination of excess deaths by state paints a portrait of two Americas, one pummeled by the pandemic and the other only lightly scathed. ..........  the gap between excess deaths and official covid-19 tallies has been particularly pronounced in several states that currently have the least restrictive social distancing rules in place.  

South Korea closes schools again amid coronavirus spike, days after reopening School districts in the United States that have been closed for months are now trying to figure out when and how they can reopen safely. Some are watching how other countries are handling the reopening of schools, including South Korea, which has been successful in containing the spread of the virus. ............  After putting plastic barriers in many schools to separate students while they eat and learn, disinfecting, and other preventive steps, some schools began to open last week for the first time in several months ..........  But new clusters of the coronavirus have been identified in recent days, leading the government to close not only schools but also parks and museums — and people are being urged again not to gather in big numbers.   

Coronavirus News (125)

Pakistan locusts

राष्ट्रवादको ‘महामारी’ अघि राष्ट्रवाद कोरोना भाइरसभन्दा चर्को र खुङ्खार अवतारमा ताण्डवरत छ ।Trump announces unprecedented action against China announced a slew of retaliatory measures that will plunge US-China relations deeper into crisis. ........... decried the way Beijing has "raided our factories" and "gutted" American industry, casting Beijing as a central foil he will run against in the remaining months of his re-election campaign .........  the US will strip Hong Kong of the special policy measures on extradition, trade, travel and customs Washington had previously granted it. ............ the US would also take action on a number of other fronts, including barring "certain foreign nationals from China" from entering the US and sanctioning officials in China and Hong Kong for their direct or indirect role in "smothering" Hong Kong's freedoms. ........... "US-China relations are in full crisis," said Richard Fontaine, the CEO of the Center for a New American Security. "We've hit the floor and keep falling through it. Beijing will retaliate in response to the Hong Kong steps the administration takes, and then the ball will be back in the President's court. Things will get worse -- potentially much worse -- before they get any better." ..........  revoking Hong Kong's special status and extending Trump's tariffs to the enclave "would have very little immediate impact," given that in 2019, the US imported less than $5 billion of goods from Hong Kong that Trump could hit with new tariffs. ......  Beijing could strike back in ways that would hurt American businesses. .............  the State Department's travel advisory for Hong Kong will be revised "to reflect the increased danger of surveillance and punishment by the Chinese state security apparatus." ..........  "Beijing moving to end Hong Kong's separate political system should trigger an American response, including by terminating Hong Kong's special economic status. The administration has zigged and zagged on questions of democracy and human rights abroad and I'm glad it is standing up."  ..........  visa restrictions on Chinese graduate students and researchers could be among them. .................  Shortly after Trump's remarks, the White House issued a presidential proclamation suspending US entry for graduate and postgraduate students and researchers from China that takes effect at noon on Monday and remains in effect until it is terminated by the President. ............  In October 2019, the State Department began requiring Chinese diplomats posted in the US to report all their meetings with state and local officials, as well as visits to educational and research institutions. And in March, the State Department imposed caps on the number of Chinese nationals who may be employed at five Chinese media entities after designating them as foreign diplomatic missions as opposed to journalistic outlets.

Our Economy Was Just Blasted Years Into the Future The crisis is compressing and accelerating trends that would have taken decades to play out .......... Last week, Seidman Becker launched Clear into a brand new digital space — “touchless technology,” a play built around the fear that the coronavirus may lurk on any surface, anywhere. Against this threat, airports are deploying a new level of security including thermal cameras, all but assuring exceptionally long lines once people resume flying. ...........  hands-free navigation: Clear will upload its clients’ Covid-19 test results, ID, air tickets, credit card, and health quiz. This, along with iris and face scans, will allow them to pass through the new phalanx faster. .........  The concept is now spreading well beyond the airport. Clear, along with Swiftlane and Envoy, are among the companies that have begun to offer similar services to office buildings. They say the technology is deployable anywhere someone needs to prove identity or take out their wallet to pay, raising the specter of biometric entrance to many or most of the places people frequent. The possibilities are limitless. ...................... Big Tech companies were vacuuming up data from laptops, front doors, appliances, kitchens, living rooms, and smartphones and selling the resulting market intelligence for hundreds of billions of dollars a year. ...............  In this makeover, “touchless” becomes more like “wireless,” a benign appellation meant to milk the zeitgeist. ............. Covid-19 had enabled technology to leapfrog into an immediate future of touchless elevators, doors, and trash cans. ..........   In the 16th and 17th centuries, smallpox, measles, and other diseases brought by the Spanish wiped out up to 90% of the South and Central American population, utterly transforming the historic order. Conversely, the global flu pandemic of 1918 to 1919 appeared to establish no new norms .............  Rather, the approximately 50 million flu deaths seemed to blend into the general slaughter of World War I and go on to be all but forgotten until modern historians began to write about the calamity in the 1970s. .............  acceleration is a natural byproduct of crises like pandemics, which “tend to jolt the current system.” ........... Against the backdrop of a two-century period of faster and faster transformation, the coronavirus is compressing and further accelerating the arc of events. .............  look for one after the other to embrace lesser, limited autonomy such as lane changing, highway driving, and automatic parking. ............  A primary economic bright spot in 2019 was the lowest-paid tier of workers, whose wages rose by a dramatic 4.5% after decades of a shrinking share of the economic pie. Companies were snapping up some of the hardest-core unemployed — among them the long-time jobless, felons, and drug users, necessary because, with the unemployment rate at 3.6%, there was no one else to fill the jobs. ..................   42% of those laid off won’t get their jobs back. .........  The virus clearly changed consumer behavior; in just a few weeks, e-commerce achieved years of growth. .......... the opportunity for vulture investment firms .........   For years, trends have favored so-called “superstar companies” — Big Tech and other mega-businesses that typically attract the best research talent, buy up the most valuable new patents, and cut the most advantageous deals. The Covid-19 age is entrenching their dominance ...........  during the Great Depression, the most important inventions, regardless of the creator, ended up in the hands of the largest companies 

Katrina was disastrous for restaurants. The pandemic will be apocalyptic. I lived through one catastrophe for my industry. This one is worse. ............    Hurricane Katrina took everything away from me in one day almost 15 years ago .......  Opening day was a madhouse. Everyone was so happy to be back in a restaurant with full service, complete with wine and real glasses. I’ve never seen such joy and emotion in a restaurant dining room. People were crying. I’m choking up just writing this 15 years later. From that moment on, we were busier than we were before the storm. Six months later, I opened my second restaurant, and the business grew from there. ................   We started offering takeout and delivery but stopped after a week: Our guests weren’t observing social distancing, and no one was wearing a mask. We were also at what turned out to be the height of cases and deaths in the city then. We waited almost two weeks, and when we felt we had safe systems in place, we started up again. But takeout paid only 6 percent of our pre-pandemic business. ..........   the name of the game is survival. We are opening with skeleton crews. We are not going to make money, and we’ve spent all of our reserves. ...........  I find it appalling that the business interruption insurance I have being paying for the past 20 years is absolutely useless. We pay $40,000 to $50,000 a year for coverage to protect us if we’re forced to close. Like many restaurants, we have not received a dime, and it seems unlikely we will, because many insurance policies included loosely worded exemptions for viruses. ..............  My partner said at the start of this crisis: “Donald, you need to be more pessimistic.” 

Former CDC director says U.S. led the world before becoming a global health ‘laggard’    When Tom Frieden looks at the agency he once managed, he’s like a former coach of a championship team watching it suffer under a domineering, impetuous team owner. ..........   “Look at the U.S. role in HIV and malaria under George W. Bush. . . . Look at Ebola under President Obama. The U.S. was clearly the global leader,” he said during an interview. “Now, with covid-19, we’re a global laggard.” ...........  He’s particularly critical of a Trump administration strategy that sidelines the nation’s top public health agency by preventing it from communicating more directly and frequently with the public. ............   The federal response to the pandemic has been exceptionally poor for a country exceptionally rich in knowledge, innovation and resources. .........  In contrast, Frieden has high praise for Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, who drew Trump’s ire and right-wing fire for telling the truth. Her early and repeated warnings about the potential devastation of the coronavirus were bad news the president didn’t want. “She got it right,” Frieden said. “I mean, exactly right. At exactly the right time. In exactly the right words.”   

In Puerto Rico, an economic disaster looms amid fears of coronavirus  The bandaged safety net that has buoyed Puerto Ricans imperfectly in times of crisis has weakened for many during the pandemic. It has given way to new levels of scarcity on an island archipelago pummeled in recent years by hurricanes, earthquakes, political upheaval and bankruptcy. ............   Vázquez Garced’s stay-at-home policies curbed new infections without overwhelming Puerto Rico’s compromised health system. But an economic disaster is looming. ............   So many U.S. citizens in the territory applied for unemployment insurance in the past several weeks that the system collapsed, and applications had to be processed by hand. The government received more than 120,000 new applications for food stamps; 30 percent of applicants are still waiting to receive benefits, according to government data. About 1 in 5 residents have received stimulus checks, the government said, and the rest will not receive them until at least June. Meanwhile, food and utility costs are rising, and what was left of the middle class has been decimated. ............  They used a cannon to kill mosquitoes, taking a blanket approach, and shutting off the motors of the economy given their lack of capacity to carry out a more precise public health strategy ...........  “I never imagined having to do this at my age. I am a 45-year-old professional with a master’s degree and I should not have to ask for money from anyone,” Nolla said. “The last thing I want to do is depend on my family. I am blessed, but it’s humiliating.” ..........  “This is much worse than Maria.”  

'Many will starve': locusts devour crops and livelihoods in Pakistan Farmers faced with worst plague in recent history say they have been left to fend for themselves 

Coronavirus started spreading in the U.S. in January, CDC says By early February, there was "cryptic circulation" of the virus.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Coronavirus News (124)

GOP's no-mask caucus: 'Can you smell through that mask?' - CNNPolitics

GOP operatives worry Trump will lose both the presidency and Senate majority   "Put it this way, I am very glad my boss isn't on the ballot this cycle," said one high-ranking GOP Senate aide. ........ Trump's response to the pandemic and the subsequent economic fallout have significantly damaged his bid for a second term — and that the effects are starting to hurt Republicans more broadly. .......... the trend is bleeding into key Senate races. The GOP already had a difficult task of defending 23 Senate seats in 2020. The job of protecting its slim 3-seat majority has only gotten harder as the pandemic has unfolded. States like Arizona and North Carolina, once thought to be home to winnable Senate races now appear in jeopardy. .......... could be a wipeout for the GOP. ........ The broader fear among Republicans is that the election becomes a referendum on Trump's performance during the pandemic. Coupled with a cratered economy, the effect could be devastating by both depressing the Republican faithful and turning off swing voters. .......... "This is the one thing he (Trump) cannot change the subject on," said a Republican strategist. "This is not a political opponent, this is not going way and he has never had to deal with something like this." ...............  there is a serious worry about bleeding support from both seniors and self-described independent men. ......... GOP-held Senate seats in Georgia and Montana could be in trouble   

GOP's no-mask caucus: 'Can you smell through that mask?'   A contingent of House Republicans continues to defy the recommendations of public health experts and Congress' top physician to wear face coverings to limit the spread of Covid-19, refusing to wear them on the floor of the chamber, in the hallways of the Capitol or when chatting with aides and colleagues -- even when they're unable to maintain a social distance. ..........  "Can you smell through that mask?" Rep. Clay Higgins, a Republican of Louisiana, told CNN on Thursday. "Then you're not stopping any sort of a virus. It's part of the dehumanization of the children of God. You're participating in it by wearing a mask." ..............  "What you're wearing is a bacteria trap; it's not helping your health or anybody else's," said Higgins, who had just gotten off a cramped elevator with two other GOP members, none of whom were wearing masks. .................. Higgins' statement is not supported by the science. Smells do not carry viral particles. ....... Asked about Fauci's and Adams' recommendations to wear masks, Biggs said sarcastically: "Yeah, of course, see they've been right on everything, haven't they?" .........  People can catch coronavirus at any time, even immediately after testing negative. And people can spread the virus before they develop any symptoms. ............ "I wear it for the reason that I believe it is effective," Fauci said on CNN. "It is not 100% effective -- I mean, it's sort of respect for the other person and have that other person respect you. You wear a mask. They wear a mask. You protect each other." ............ And even though the government's top scientists have repeatedly briefed members of Congress, some Republicans seem to have misinterpreted what the science says. ............ Some Republicans seem to misunderstand the science. Rep. Ted Yoho, a Florida Republican, told CNN earlier this month that "there's just no need" to wear a mask, citing "herd immunity." The Florida Republican added: "Viruses do what viruses do," contending that the "only way you're going to get" immunity "is to get exposed." ............  "I have a different medical opinion," he said of wearing masks. ........... When Republican Rep. Greg Walden of Oregon, who was wearing a face covering, approached a maskless Scalise late last month, Walden said to him: "Nice mask." Scalise responded by pointing to his face: "I wear this for Halloween," prompting laughter from a handful of members surrounding them. ............. "It's harder to do with a mask," Scalise said of talking with his colleagues. "Also, it's better to talk in person than do it over the phone." ....... He added that sometimes he stays in the chamber rather than return to his office quickly, because he sees "someone on the floor and you have something to talk" about. "That's the best way to work through these issues."  

Coronavirus News (123)

Thinking About Flying? Here’s What You Need to Know Now Airplane travel is inching back, but staying safe remains a concern. Here’s how to think about approaching a trip. ........ From the curb to the plane, each portion of the journey has new rules and new things to think about. ............ you should carry — and use — a mask, wipes and hand sanitizer. ........ Some experts suggest wearing gloves ....... Most airlines suggest that travelers download their app for touchless boarding, which will minimize the number of times you have to hand over documents or touch screens. .........  touchless kiosks that allow customers to print bag tags using their own devices to scan a QR code. ......... Airports have been cleaning everything from the floors and surfaces to the air more rigorously. ........ not all airlines are serving food on flights, so you may want to bring your own food for the plane. ....... Do as much of the process on your airline’s app as you can. Bring hand sanitizer in case you need to hand over documents or your phone, or if you need to key anything in at a kiosk. Pay attention to the floor markers indicating the proper social distancing. Even though crowds have been thin, maintaining social distancing may be difficult, so wear your mask. .................. After scanning, you should hold your boarding pass up for an agent to inspect it. ........ If you have food, don’t put it into your carry on. Put it into a clear plastic bag and then put that bag into a bin. ...........  To reduce the number of things that go into the reusable plastic bins, put items, including belts, wallets, keys and phones, into your carry-on bags, rather than into a bin. ....... most airlines are asking passengers to wear masks to board and on flights. .......... airlines say they have stepped up the deep cleaning of planes, sometimes between every flight .........  On average, flights are carrying about 39 passengers, down from the first two months of the year, when flights were carrying about 85 to 100 passengers. ........  most flights — about 73 percent — are less than 50 percent full. How to build mental strength for endurance sports, from ultra running to mountaineering and ocean rowing You are not born mentally strong, but develop grit over time and you can increase that strength like any other muscle with practice ........ The unquantifiable quality of mental strength, or grit, is undeniably a component in endurance sports, and the longer you go, the more important it becomes. ........ To make a muscle stronger, you have to repeatedly put it under stress and push it to its maximum capacity. The same goes for the mind. You do not wake up mentally strong, you become mentally strong.......  Always finish what you set out to do ...... Quitting is a habit. If you practice completing your training, even when you want to quit, you will find it easier to finish your race or challenge even when your body screams to drop out. .......... you always need to finish your session, no matter what. .......  Train when you are mentally drained ......... sometimes you train for your heart, sometimes for your head. By training when you are low on mental energy, you will practice for the latter end of a race or challenge, when your mental stores are depleted. .........  plans long, tough training sessions for post-work on a Friday. The long week will have taken its toll, and all you want is a beer, a relax and a chance to recharge. This is the perfect time to get out and push your mind. ......... Get comfortable being uncomfortable  ....... Be mindful of past experience  ....... When you are in training, practice talking to yourself (even if it’s just in your head), with positive reinforcement and mantras. Have specific times you overcame adversity in your mental armoury, ready to deploy when you hit the pain cave. ......... Don’t beat yourself up ...... understand, internalise and remember what went right when you hit your goals and use that for fuel next time. When you come up short, draw a line under it, go and relax and have a beer.

Want the U.S. to Go Back to Work? Here's How The critical role of employers as America reopens ...........    despite our best efforts at prevention, infections will strike in the workplace. What should employers do then? ......... employers must take a comprehensive approach to COVID-19 that goes well beyond the current focus on workplace safety. .......... four key pillars: prevention, early detection and expedited testing, clinical support and recovery, and contact tracing and isolation. ........... How employees are managed across the virus's life cycle -- from symptom detection to diagnosis to management and recovery -- will have a material impact on the next wave of the pandemic. .......... the best way to achieve early detection is through on-site testing ......... Generalized fatigue and weakness, which can negatively impact employees' capacity to work, can persist after the infection has cleared. ...........  Success also requires that employers have high rates of engagement with employee communications. New policies won't have the intended impact if they don't drive timely changes in employee behavior. We recommend that employers create multiple channels for pandemic-related communications, such as dedicated email addresses or team work-space channels for COVID-19-related questions, and rigorously track open, click-through, and view rates to continuously iterate and improve their communications. 

Huge Study Throws Cold Water on Antimalarials for COVID-19 No support for continued use seen in analysis of 15,000 patients who got controversial drugs

Autopsies Turn Up Strange Feature of COVID-19 LungsStudy finds more thrombi and a new puzzle in the vessels

Masks and Morality ZDoggMD explains why COVID-19 is so divisive .......... family members are at each other's throats. Everyone online is hating everyone else. Are masks good or are they the devil? Is lockdown good? Is it a disaster? Does the economy matter? Do people matter? Is there a difference? All these questions we see all the time, it's polarized across the cable news networks, which are designed to polarize us, and in social media, which is designed to polarize us. ...........  how we can transcend this to actually be better citizens, more productive, less angry, and actually have debates instead of shutting down debates saying, OK, let's actually talk about this. Because we're all gonna assume that we're coming from a place where we wanna do good in the world. .......... you'll have psychopaths, you'll have extremists who are so entrenched that you cannot reach them. .........    "Elephant and Rider," elephant being our unconscious emotional mind and rider being our conscious strategizing, planning mind that's much smaller and newer to the scene. .......... humans are not rational creatures. We are emotional, moralizing creatures. ..........  so that we can understand why it is people go so nuts about the whole mask thing 

Trump is courting a landslide defeat US president’s bungled coronavirus response has alienated crucial older voters .......... Donald Trump’s 2016 victory caught most people by surprise, including him. ....... 
Mr Trump’s worsening odds can be gauged by his rising sense of panic. ....... Twice this year, including on Mother’s Day, Mr Trump tweeted more than 100 times when most of America was asleep. ........  I cannot find an example in any country, including the US, where an elected head of government has claimed their own system is rigged against them. ........ It is almost as hard to find instances of leaders trying to shrink voter turnout. ........ older voters are turned off by Mr Trump’s pandemic record. In late February, Mr Trump had a double-digit lead over Mr Biden among voters aged over 65. Average recent polls showed Mr Biden 10 points ahead. .........   Even deeply Republican Georgia and Texas show Mr Biden within striking distance. Were such numbers to hold in November, Mr Trump would lose by a landslide. .......  Two things could prevent this. The first is Mr Biden. The November election will be a referendum on Mr Trump. All Mr Biden need do is not interrupt the president while he is defeating himself.  ........... Mr Biden suffers from foot-in-mouth disease. So far the coronavirus is playing to Mr Biden’s advantage by keeping him off the hustings.  

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Coronavirus News (122)

A Brazilian man praying at the grave of his grandfather, who died  from Covid-19.

Coronavirus Spread Speeds Up, Even as Nations Reopen: Live Coverage In just the last week, even as come countries move to reopen, 700,000 new infections have been reported as the virus takes firmer hold in Latin America and the Middle East. ........  The pandemic is growing at a faster pace. .........  A new outbreak in South Korea has led to new restrictions. .......  It was only last Thursday that the world crossed the dispiriting threshold of 5 million cases, after it took nearly two weeks for a million more infections to become known. ......... Outbreaks have accelerated especially sharply in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, with caseloads doubling in some countries about every two weeks. On Tuesday, the World Health Organization said it considered the Americas to be the new epicenter of the pandemic. ........  case counts have lately been swelling in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. ....... even in some of the world’s hardest-hit cities, the vast majority of people remain vulnerable to the virus. .........  In the United States, where the virus death toll has surpassed 100,000, large-scale testing did not happen as the virus spread with ferocity from late January to early March. The result was a lost month, when the world’s richest country — armed with some of the best-trained scientists and infectious disease specialists — missed a chance to contain the virus’s spread. ..........   South Korea reduced one of the largest outbreaks outside China to a trickle through widespread testing and contact tracing. But recently dozens of new cases have raised fears that another wave of infections is imminent, and drawn calls for a new lockdown to be imposed. ........ “We’re all adults, we’re all responsible, we’re all aware of what’s going on,’’ Mr. Cassea added, describing the apérue and other acts of “civil disobedience” as a reaction to the government’s “catastrophic” handling of the epidemic. “Treating us like kids doesn’t work for long.” ......... People are allowed on “dynamic beaches,” meaning that they can’t sit, much less lie down. ....... “If we cannot contain this spread, we will have no option but to return to the social distancing,” Park Neung-hoo, South Korea’s health minister, said. ........ restrictive measures appear to bring the virus under control, then as the rules are eased, new outbreaks appear, forcing officials to take swift action again. .......   Mexico’s broken hospitals put patients and health workers at high risk. ............  Years of neglect had hobbled Mexico’s health care system, leaving it dangerously short of doctors, nurses and equipment to fight a virus that has overwhelmed far richer nations. Now, the pandemic is making matters even worse, sickening more than 11,300 health workers in the country — one of the highest rates in the world — and further depleting the thin ranks in hospitals. Some hospitals have lost half their workers to illness and absenteeism. Others are running low on basic equipment. ...........  “It’s not the virus that is killing them. It’s the lack of proper care.” Patients die because they are given the wrong medications or the wrong dose, health workers said. Protective gloves at some hospitals are so old that they crack the moment they’re slipped on, nurses said. 

Beijing's Hong Kong Move Will Ignite A Tussle With The US

  fighting buffalo | Two Buffalo Bulls Fighting (With images ...

I don't know if I would say Cold War. There is not going to be a repeat of the US-USSR. That was Cold War. But the US and China are economic rivals. And that rivalry will likely intensify after this move by Beijing. 

I don't think this is Beijing responding to the Hong Kong protests. I see this as Beijing reacting to the pandemic and how it is hammering the Chinese economy as every other economy. 

That also explains the border tensions in Ladakh.