First Covid-19 Found in Remote Pacific Island Nation

Photo from Google Images

Vanuatu is a remote island nation in the pacific, one of the few places in the world untouched by the coronavirus. That is until this week, when a 23-year-old man returned from a travel to the U.S. tested positive while quarantining back home. He had flown back to Vanuatu on November 4 and was asymptomatic.

The health ministry confirmed that physical distancing and personal protection measures were applied and maintained during the flight, arrival, and during transport to and during registration at the quarantine facility. The man will remain in isolation until health clearance is given.

As of now, the coronavirus is active in 217 countries and territories, with 51 million cases of Covid-19 worldwide. More than 1.3 million have died from the virus since December 2019, when China reported its first case.

Vanuatu had been lucky until now, mostly thanks to its geographic location. Its closest neighbor, Australia, is more than 1000 miles from Australia and Vanuatu itself is made up of many tiny islands.

If a cluster is found within the general population, the health ministry will likely implement travel restriction and implement mask use in those with Covid-19 symptoms.

Coree ILBO/CoreeDaily.com copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

90% Efficacy in Pfizer’s Covid Vaccine

Photo from Google Images

In the trial volunteers without evidence of prior infection of the virus, results from an interim analysis of a phase 3 study demonstrated 90% effectiveness. BTN162b2 is a messenger RNA-based vaccine candidate requiring 2 doses. Global phase 3 clinical trial began on July 27 and enrolled 43,538 participants to date, with 42% of enrollees having racial and ethically diverse backgrounds.

38,955 trial volunteers received the second dose of either vaccine or placebo by November 8, and an independent data monitoring committee (DMC) found the vaccine efficacy rate at above 90% 7 days after the second dose. This means protection was achieved 28 das after the first vaccine dose.

This vaccine has been developed on the genetic strategy, meaning that it introduces the gene that codes for the coronavirus spike protein into the cell. The cells will make the spike protein, which the immune system will recognize and create antibodies for.

About 94 people did get sick, but in general, the 90% effectiveness is a positive news.

So far, there has not been any serious safety concerns.

The study plants to continue to collect safety and efficacy data as planned, and companies plan to apply to the FDA for emergency use authorization soon after the required safety milestone is achieved.

However, the administering of this vaccine may prove to be a challenge, as the vaccine must be shipped and stored at -70 to -80 degrees celsius, meaning the product would have to be shipped on dry ice.

While this is good news, even if everything is done as scheduled, to include Americans being vaccinated later this year, it would still be many more months before there is widespread vaccination in the country.

It is still imperative that Americans use masks, contact tracing, social distancing, and hand washing to keep themselves safe.

Coree ILBO/CoreeDaily.com copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Virtual Cults and Their Believers

Photo from Google Images

QAnon is a virtual cult that began in late 2017, with a fundamental belief that Pres. Trump is a hero in a fight against the “deep state” and the evil of Democratic politicians and celebrities who abuse children. “Q” in QAnon indicates someone in the US government with insider knowledge of these governmental evils.

It is unclear as to how many people are part of this cult, but QAnon-related Facebook pages and groups based outside of the US are continuing to increase, with at least 12.8 million interactions from January 2020 to September, according to CNN.

QAnon is a weird mix of cult and conspiracy theory, but ultimately, it continues to branch off of a central worldview, which includes the whole assumption of the Democratic Party worshipping Satan, JFK Jr. having faked his death to escape deep state, and even false ideas regarding the 5G infrastructure and even the very dangerous idea that COVID-19 pandemic is a ploy to monitor private citizens.

The last is particularly harmful, but QAnon has no known leadership structure, and no true way to contain it.

The fact that Pres. Trump had won the 2016 election had a profound effect globally, it turns out, as a former QAnon believer explained, no major media outlet had predicted his win, and that had proven to him that most of these media outlets were not correct. Alex Jones, Infowars exposed some to QAnon theories. Those who are obsessed with QAnon would oftentimes only want to talk about QAnon theories, which makes offline life very difficult.

People are likely to seek out conspiracy theories in times of crises, say experts. With the 2016 US election and the ensuing chaos that seemed to be the Trump presidency, followed by the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, many people are feeling exactly that.

As conspiracy theories often blame some unknown party as orchestrating and controlling all aspects of one’s perceived reality, it can provide those unsettled by the chaos, some leverage to hold onto, even if dangerous.

In May 2019, FBI released a bulletin warning that conspiracy theorists like QAnon could “very likely” motivate criminal and sometimes violent activity in the US especially because of the extent and the content of the materials.

Modern social networks have made QAnon possible faster, as any misinformation can get in the mainstream quickly through platforms like Twitter. Reddit has banned the QAnon subreddit, and Twitter has removed 7,000 QAnon-associated accounts. Facebook is planning to ban QAnon-related pages, and YouTube will remove QAnon-related materials off of its website.

However, it is an enormous task given the widespread reach of QAnon globally.

Some are smart enough to notice the logical flaws of these conspiracy theories, others are not. Those who do, might be able to leave QAnon, and some are active on r/Qult_Headquarters to point out logical flaws in the conspiracies proposed by “Q.”

Since QAnon essentially fights against “facts,” this is not the way to solve the QAnon problem. It seems that to dissolve the dangerous entity known as QAnon, people must use empathy and sympathy and remind people that QAnon is essentially not a productive or helpful force in their lives.

Coree ILBO/CoreeDaily.com copyright (c) 2013-2020, All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Microsoft 365 Goes Down affecting Multiple Continents

On September 28, 2020, around 6 PM EST, those using Microsoft 365 and Outlook services observed difficulty logging into its services.

The outage was attributed to a recent change to Microsoft and Microsoft reverted to an older version to mitigate the impact of the outage. Unfortunately, approximately one hour after spotting the possible issue, Microsoft tweeted that the it was not seeing an increase in successful connections after rolling back the recent change.

Microsoft then rerouted the traffic to its alternative infrastructure while continuing to investigate. This outage may have shown the dangers of relying solely on one contractor for major government services such as 911, which also complained of difficulty of logging into Microsoft administrative services.

As of 8 PM, Microsoft seems to have become accessible to a limited extent, although still not fully operational.

Anyone impacted can stay updated on its twitter page:

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

No More Gasoline Car Sales by 2035, says Governor of California

Gov. Gavin Newsom of California signed an executive order on Wednesday, banning the sale of new gas cars and trucks after 2035. Gas cars and trucks may be owned and sold on the used car market, however.

The governor is also calling for the end of petroleum fracking, but unlike his gas-car ban, decided to leave the this matter to the California legislature.

As wildfires become an yearly event in California (and much of the west coast), Newsom wants to become more aggressive in fighting anti-climate matters; however, it has not been so successful as the Trump administration had sought to revoke California’s authority to mandate zero-emission vehicles. The matter landed in court.

According to the state statistics, transportation is the state’s biggest and rising source of emissions.

Although zero-emission vehicles have been on the incline, they still only accounted for less than 8 percent of all new cars sold in California in 2019.

Institute for Energy Research, a think tank that sides with the fossil fuel industry, called out the Governor’s act as silly, stating that driving cars is not what causes forest fires or makes them worse. The spokesperson also stated that while the zero-emission cars might not have emissions while being driven, it still requires fossil fuel usage at the power plant.

This however, will provide much needed data on whether zero-emission cars can truly decrease the tremendous carbon footprint environmental pundits have been arguing.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Trump Promises New Supreme Court Nominee by End of Week

(Photo from Google Images)

When Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away past weekend, much of the nation mourned her death.

With the election looming so close, many of the Democratic Party members oppose the nomination and the appointment of a new Supreme Court justice.

However, Pres. Trump has promised to come up with a nominee for consideration by the end of the week, and the Republican members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have agreed to evaluate the nominee.

However, Iowa Republican senator Chuck Grassley, a former Judiciary Committee chairman stated that while he would review the nominee, the confirmation process should be up to the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Judiciary Committee Chairman, Lindsey Graham.

They have both said the Senate should vote on Trump’s nominee.

Democrats criticize McConnell for deciding to push through Trump’s nominee less than 2 months before the election, especially when McConnell had blocked then-President Obama’s nominee Merrick Garland in 2016 after the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in 2016, more than 9 months before that year’s presidential election.

Democrats need at least 4 GOP senators to side with them to delay the confirmation.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Hurricane Sally Hits Gulf Coast and Florida, bringing deadly alligators and poisonous snakes out into the residences

Photo from Google Images

Category 2 Hurricane Sally hit the Gulf coast, and the Florida panhandle.  She came with massive floods, and along the outlines of at least 600,000 power lines, over the 10 to 12 foot alligators appeared in residence area.

Sally is certainly weakening as it moves up northeast, but it certainly will leave its impact on the south.

According to CBS affiliate WKRG, a residence at Alabama found huge alligators swimming at her yard after Sally made landfall on Wednesday.

“We have been surrounded by water, alligators and poisonous snakes,” she wrote on her Facebook.

All the wild poisonous animals came out to avoid the storm and hunt, but this is now causing issues for residents. Therefore, people are advised not to go near water.

Fire ant bites especially can be very painful, and take tediously long healing procedure with swelling skin and bones. Fire ants live very long lives, surviving harsh environments even during Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

2020 is turning out to be a devastating year with no respite: west burns, south is flooding, and the north experienced the highest deaths from the coronavirus.

Thankfully, fall is coming, and with that, 2020 will slowly wind down. Please stay safe and healthy.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

UN PEACEKOR Hosts The 1st Global Virtual Forum Amidst Covid-19 Pandemic

On September 16, UN PEACEKOR (Chairman Dug-Ryong Kim) held the global meeting through Zoom and Youtube live for the first time ever in history due to coronavirus pandemic.

This forum was held by foreign compatriots from around the world with different time zones on the actual conditions and prospects of North Korea’s three sufferings (sanctions, corona, flood damage), and where to find clues for the recovery of South-North relations in this difficult situation. We had time to express each other’s opinions using the internet space as a place.

The forum was hosted by Jun-Hyuk Huh, Secretary General of UNPEACEKOR, and led to discussions by Yong-Han Choi, head of the National Security Strategy Research Institute, Jong-Cheol Park, a Research Fellow at the Institute for Unification, Yoo-seok Jeong, a senior research fellow at the Northeast Asia Research Center at Export-Import Bank of Korea, and Dae-jin Jeong, a professor at Ajou University.

The chairman of the organization stated that despite US’ distraction during a presidential election year, and North Korea focusing on its internal structure, there is still tremendous responsibility to bring to awareness, the importance of restarting the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

The members of the forum focused heavily on the kind of development necessary in North Korea, and talked about the impact of Covid-19 on both the social and economic infrastructure of China and North Korea, but also how this could require heavier interest by South Korea or the US to improve relationship with North Korea, especially in the area of trade.

The forum garnered much interest, as almost 400 people tuned in to watch the forum.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Is ICE Performing hysterectomies on immigrants?

On Tuesday, light allegations accused ICE’s Irwin County Detention center in Georgia of performing mass hysterectomies, refusing to test detainees for Covid-19, and shredding medical records.

Follow-up news conference in Atlanta however, has not helped substantiate the story, as the whistleblower’s attorney refused to release the full statement made, and the whistleblowing nurse herself did not take any questions.

The whistleblower is a nurse who had been working full-time as a licensed practice nurse at the immigration detention center until July, when she was demoted.

That being said, the nurse stated that she did not actually know if the women that underwent hysterectomy operations actually consented or not. She simply stated that, “everybody [the doctor] sees has a hysterectomy — just about everybody.”

At the press conference, however, the nurse mostly focused on improper Covid-19 violations rather than on hysterectomy allegation.  The complaint states that the nurse was demoted after missing work with coronavirus symptoms.

The agency, while it is taking the allegations seriously, also stated that unsubstantiated statements should be treated as such. This is an ongoing investigation.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

Covid-19 Survivors’ Lungs Likely to Recover over Time, study says

Among concern regarding Covid-19 were multi-organ inflammation, damage, and failure. For example, many as 35% of those testing positive for Covid-19 showed heart inflammation.

However, there is some good news regarding Covid-19 recovery: a new study from University Clinic in Innsbruck, Austria showed that a vast majority of hospitalized Covid-19 patients showed lung damage 6 weeks after discharge, but this proportion dropped significantly after 12 weeks, indicating that the lungs are able to self-repair.

The 86-patient analysis showed that 6 weeks after discharge, approximately 47% of patients struggled with shortness of breath, with 15% struggling with coughing.  However, by 12 weeks, only 39% of patients still experienced shortness of breath, while 15% continued to cough.

12-weeks were chosen due to the newness of the Covid-19, and the lack of data on how long the diseased lungs would react to other infections. Research is ongoing, with data expected at 24-weeks.

The relationship between Covid-19 and the heart was not covered by this research.

While the research was limited by the small patient cohort (only 86 patient pool), and while it is still unclear as to what happens with residual lung lesions, Judith Loffler-Ragg, MD from University Clinic in Innsbruck stated, “… there is resolution of so-called damage.”

It is one silver lining in the cloud storm of the year that has been so very difficult for so many people.

코리일보/COREEDAILY

Coree ILBO copyright © 2013-2020. All rights reserved.

This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.