Driver hits 111mph on M58 then pulls over on hard shoulder for a cigarette
Give that man a medal. He’s clearly made of the right stuff. I did much the same thing on my way to funeral in a Ford Escort XR3i back in the late 1980s. Only I got up to 120 mph on the M4.
The Chinese Coronavirus crisis is now also becoming a political crisis.
Coronavirus death toll jumps to 80 as riot police are drafted to deal with trouble
Is this at all surprising? The response of the Chinese Communist Party to the epidemic has been draconian: some 14 large cities have been locked down, with nobody allowed to leave, trains and buses and airports not working, private car use forbidden.
But it seems that they locked the gate after the horse had bolted:
…about 5 million residents had already left Wuhan before the lockdown because of the deadly coronavirus epidemic and the Spring Festival holiday. As the SCMP reports, many of Wuhan’s residents had already left the city for the holiday, while others rushed out after the lockdown was announced on Wednesday night.
That means that half the residents of Wuhan (population 11 million) had already left the city. And since the new Coronavirus epidemic seems to have been under way since late December (if not earlier – 1st case was Dec 1 NOT Dec 31 so infected population may be much bigger), chances are that the virus is being spread all over China by the absent citizens of Wuhan. And in fact I’ve read that all regions of China, bar one (Tibet), have Coronavirus outbreaks.
The only conclusion would seem to be this: the Chinese government has lost control of the epidemic. They’ve been trying to catch up from the very beginning, and they never succeeded. And now their ineffective draconian measures are angering millions of their own people. So there’s now a political crisis very rapidly developing, with millions of Chinese losing faith in their own government, and starting to get very, very angry. It’s the sort of circumstance which could even see the fall of the government of (president-for-life, last I heard) Xi Jinping.
But it would seem to be a political crisis that is purely internal to China. For so far, while there are cases of Coronavirus infection popping up all over the world, there doesn’t seem to to have yet been a mass outbreak anywhere else other than in China. As the new cases outside China are identified, they are being isolated, and previous contacts of these cases traced. But for how long can this go on, if people start fleeing from a China which is descending very rapidly into chaos?
It’s approaching a circumstance where other nations – USA, Japan, Europe, Russia – should start considering airlifting drugs and food and other assistance into China, the planes stopping on the runways just long enough to unload, the ships unloading quickly in the ports before sailing away again. After all, it’s in nobody’s interest elsewhere in the world for China to descend into anarchy, if they don’t want to descend into anarchy themselves.
Also, as far as I can see, countries outside China have all been busy talking down the crisis, and congratulating themselves on their successful prevention measures. Their message is: “Everything is under control!” In fact, it borders on complacency.
As Brigitte has been pointing out, the WHO website has been carrying brief commentaries on Ebola, the New Coronavirus, and E-cigarettes, the longest of which was about e-cigarettes.
The piece about Coronavirus reads:
On 31 December 2019, WHO was alerted to several cases of pneumonia in Wuhan City, Hubei Province of China. The virus did not match any other known virus. This raised concern because when a virus is new, we do not know how it affects people.
One week later, on 7 January, Chinese authorities confirmed that they had identified a new virus. The new virus is a coronavirus, which is a family of viruses that include the common cold, and viruses such as SARS and MERS. This new virus was temporarily named “2019-nCoV.”
WHO has been working with Chinese authorities and global experts from the day we were informed, to learn more about the virus, how it affects the people who are sick with it, how they can be treated, and what countries can do to respond.
Because this is a coronavirus, which usually causes respiratory illness, WHO has advice to people on how to protect themselves and those around them from getting the disease.
This has not been updated at all in recent days. So effectively the WHO is still trying to find out more about the new virus, how it affects people, and how they can be treated.
The piece on Ebola was even shorter:
The Democratic Republic of the Congo is grappling with the world’s second largest Ebola epidemic on record, with more than 2200 lives lost and 3300 confirmed infections since the outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018. The outbreak is occurring in North Kivu and Ituri provinces. Neighbouring countries are taking steps to mitigate the risk of spread. The World Health Organization has more than 800 staff on the ground supporting the Government-led response together with national and international partners.
But it seems that if they didn’t know much about Ebola and Coronavirus, they knew plenty about e-cigarettes:
Are e-cigarettes and other vaping products dangerous?
There are many different types of e-cigarettes in use (also known as Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), with varying amounts of nicotine and harmful emissions.
ENDS emissions typically contain nicotine and other toxic substances that are harmful to both users and those exposed to the vapours secondhand. Some devices that claim to be nicotine-free have been found to contain nicotine.
There is no doubt that that they are harmful to health and are not safe, but it is too early to provide a clear answer on the long-term impact of using them or being exposed to them.
ENDS are particularly risky when used by adolescents. Nicotine is highly addictive and young people’s brains develop up to their mid-twenties. Exposure to nicotine can have long-lasting, damaging effects.
Young people who use ENDS are also more likely to use conventional cigarettes, cigars or hookahs.
ENDS increase the risk of heart disease and lung disorders. For pregnant women,
ENDS pose significant risks as they can damage the growing fetus.
ENDS also expose non-smokers and bystanders to nicotine and other harmful chemicals.
The liquid in ENDS can burn skin and rapidly cause nicotine poisoning if swallowed or absorbed through the skin. There is a risk of the devices leaking, or of children swallowing the liquid, and ENDS have been known to cause serious injuries through fires and explosions.
Do e-cigarettes (ENDS) cause lung injuries?
There is growing evidence to show that ENDS use could cause lung damage.
On 17 September 2019, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention activated an emergency investigation into links between ENDS use and lung injuries and deaths.
By 10 December 2019, the USA reported more than 2409 hospitalized cases and 52 confirmed deaths.
At least five other countries have initiated investigations to identify cases of lung injuries related to ENDS use.
This article was present yesterday, but has now been removed (new link). I don’t know much about vaping (I’m an old-fashioned smoker), but as far as I can see most of what’s been written here are lies. For example the vaping deaths in the USA were all due to non-standard THC (Cannabis) juices being vaped, not standard nicotine juices.
It probably doesn’t help that the (until recently) Executive Director of WHO’s Health Emergencies programme, Dr Peter Salama, died suddenly of a heart attack on Friday January 24, aged 51. But it rather looks as if the WHO is as much in chaos as the Chinese government.