OPINION: Trump’s Viral Circus

I read some place when you hire a clown, expect a circus..

An unidentified, but very clever person declared, “when you hire a clown, expect a circus.”

OPINION: Trump’s Viral Circus

By Trevor K. McNeil

A Question of Leadership.

Many American presidents have faced great obstacles. To their credit, most have risen to the occasion with some degree of grace and intelligence befitting the office. Most of the catastrophes have been military-and at times self-inflicted, such as Teddy Roosevelt’s half-cocked 1898 invasion of Spanish controlled Cuba. “Remember the Maine!” More recently, terrorism has been the challenge. After 9/11, somehow overnight, George W. Bush became a military genius. That genius led us into an unending conflict in the Middle East. Though, to his credit, he did better than most would have expected. Ulysses S. Grant, not widely known for his intelligence, statesmanship, or sobriety did attempt to rebuild the nation after the terror of the Civil War, and as expected, failed abysmally.

Guns and Ammo

Woodrow Wilson was fighting two wars, one against the Germans and one against the Spanish Flu.

Woodrow Wilson faced two enemies during WWI; the Germans and the Spanish Flu pandemic.

Sadly, Woodrow Wilson, simultaneously facing World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic resorted to lies and misinformation to tamper down public fears. God forbid anyone stop the production of guns and ammunition.  The 1918 experience of a rapidly spreading virus, and a government unprepared for the challenge, should be an eye opener. The COVID-19 outbreak has been compared to the Spanish Flu pandemic. If that proves correct we could be on the brink of total disaster. In fact, Wilson’s public response to Spanish Flu may prove sterling in comparison to Trump’s Coronavirus press briefings.

Wishful Thinking

In the case of president Trump, the lies come so fast and furious it is often hard to separate intent from stupidity. In an instance of whimsical optimism unseen outside of a Peter Pan production, Trump publicly suggested people should just “go to work”, and it will all miraculously “just go away.” Reporting indicates Trump was warned in early December 2019 that COVID-19 was as serious as it gets, and was headed like an armed missile directly at us.

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In Vietnam Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

An expats experience in Vietnam

In Vietnam:

During The COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Megan Rees

An Expat in Vietnam During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Back To Normal?

The clamoring sounds of drums and squawking horns filled the street, outside my window. I know what it means: a funeral.  I can see the family members and friends of the deceased all wearing white, parading behind this tragic tune.  It was a symbol to me, a sign that life in Hanoi, Vietnam, was starting to return to normal, or so I thought.

Lunar Festival

Tết, is the Vietnamese Lunar New Year. It is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture.  During the New Year festival it is normal to see Hanoi go from a busy, polluted city to a ghost town.  It is the time when the Vietnamese  pay respects to their ancestors, as well as welcoming the lunar New Year with family members. I love the city at this time of year.  Hanoi is vibrant and colorful, every space is decked out in multi-colored lights. People are happy. There are elaborate floral decorations with signs everywhere proclaiming, “Chúc mùng năm mới!” (Happy New Year).  Hanoi becomes festive and that warm holiday feeling fills the air.

A Slow Down

Then, the town gets quiet. Everything slows down. The typical commotion is muted. City streets are noticeably subdued and traffic is light.  It is a nice break from the usual hustle and bustle sounds of a rapidly developing metropolis.  The holiday itself was relaxing.  It is typical for families to come together over big meals to welcome the New Year. I had dinner on New Year’s Day with my adopted Vietnamese family; it was great for the world to stop for a while. It was exactly what I needed. But, there was an urgency, I needed to start working again.

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10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Coronavirus

10 Suggestions

By D. S. Mitchell

No Longer Just China

Concern about the coronavirus outbreak is rising. Stock markets are crashing, as the world anticipates a pandemic. If you worried about the coronavirus outbreak,  the World Health Organization on Friday offered some simple easy advice to help contain the spread of the disease. Over 83,000 people across the world are infected with coronavirus. The disease it causes COVID-19 has killed 2,800 people, as of this writing. Although most cases are still in China the World Health Organization has raised its global risk assessment to its highest level. At this writing more than 56 countries have reported cases. The disease is approaching pandemic status.

WHO Press Conference

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of WHO, said at the Friday press conference,  “We do not see evidence yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities. As long as that’s the case, we still have a chance of containing this virus, if robust action is taken to detect cases early, isolate and care for patients and trace contacts.”

New U.S. Cases

Since Ghebreyesus’ statement at least three new cases have been reported on the West Coast of the United States. Most new cases are the result of community based transmission. California, Oregon and Washington have each reported suspected cases of community based transmission increasing the level of concern among public health officials.

10 Ways To Protect Yourself From Coronavirus:

1. People should wash their hands regularly with soap and water, or clean them with an alcohol-based solution.

2. Disinfect surfaces like kitchens and work desks regularly.

3. Seek information on the situation from reliable sources, like a local or national public health agency, WHO or a local health case professional.

4. Anyone with a fever or cough should avoid traveling. If sickness starts while on a flight, tell the crew immediately.

5. Cough or sneeze into a sleeve or tissue. Throw the tissue away and wash hands.

7. If someone feels sick, they should stay home and contact a doctor or local health professional about the symptoms. Symptoms of the coronavirus typically include a fever and dry cough without a runny nose. Some even report stomach cramping and abdominal distress.

8. If a sick person does stay at home, they should eat and sleep separately from anyone else in the household. They should also use different utensils to eat.

9.) A person should seek care immediately if they develop shortness of breath.

10. WHO said it is “normal and understandable to feel anxious, especially if you live in a country or community that has been affected.” They tell people to work with community leaders to stay safe in workplace, school and church.

Hopefully these simple common sense behaviors will limit the spread of the disease. Stay safe. Stay tuned in.