Florida Shuts Down Beach After Massive Beach Crowding

(Photo from Google Images)

During Mother’s Day Weekend, Naples decided to reopen the beach and chose to shut it down once more when it was reported that the amount of people that swarmed counted in the thousands, looking to be even more than the crowd normally gathered during Independence Day crowds in July.

After seeing the swam of people on Saturday, the city closed the beach down effective Sunday. Many city residents were happy to see the closure, as it seemed that many that came out to the beach were out oft owners, noted by evidence of love bugs on the cars, which isn’t possible when driving around Naples.

Naples plans to keep the beaches open during the week, but limit opening on the weekends.

Florida has begun reopening except in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, as majority of COVID-19 cases arise from those three counties.

Florida currently reports 40,596 cases and 1.721 deaths. It is unclear whether beach reopening might bring that number up quicker than forecasted or not.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

A Cup of Poem~~꽃은 피는데/ 김호천

꽃은 피는데

청곡 김호천

실바람에 실려 봄은 왔는데

홍매화 철쭉꽃 모란은 피는데

새들 날아와 꽃놀이 즐기는데

날 새기 전 지도 넘어 떠난 친구여!

** “실바람, 봄, 홍매화, 철쭉꽃, 모란, 새 ” 이들 모두 봄이다. 봄을 이루고 있는 구성 요소이며 또한 새로운 도착을 알리고 있다. 그러나 “날 새기 전” 세상 너머 떠나간 이도 있다. 이 시는 시작과 끝이 모두 봄에 있음을 은연중에 암시하고 있다. 우리는 봄을 그저 항상 느끼듯 새로이 당도한 시작만을 생각하는 경우가 있곤하지만 어쩌면 봄,여름, 가을, 겨울 사시 사철에 모든 만물이 나고짐을 반복하고 있는 것을 알 수 있다. 지도 밖으로 떠난 친구에 대한 슬픔과 아쉬움을 사단시로 표현한 시인의 마음이 깊이 와 닿는다.

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This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part with out the express written permission.

LG Chemical Plant in India Leaks Causing Massive Hospitalization

In the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, a chemical plant released toxic gas into the air, causing a massive evacuation in the city.

India’s Natural Disaster Response Force went in with hazmat suits and gas masks, while many of the city’s habitants were seen running away, carrying injured and unconscious over their shoulders, and covering their faces with makeshift face masks.

11 have been confirmed dead with hundreds more hospitalized in a village with 3,000 people.

Most of the dead were apparently driving or standing outside their homes before losing consciousness where they were, with three dead being children.

The gas was styrene, which is a flammable liquid used to make a variety of industrial products, including polystyrene, fiberglass, rubber, and latex. The gas was released into the factory’s chimney and was carried by the wind.

There are 10,000 people within the affected area.

It seems it could have been much worse, as the plant was planning to reopen after the coronavirus lockdown restrictions were lifted and was in the process of restarting the operations. Thus, it was during regular maintenance and gauging that they found a leak from a storage tank, where chemical was turned into a gas.

The plant was shut down within an hour, but it wasn’t fast enough; no alarm was raised upon the gas leakage. Nonetheless, it is not expected that the gas leak will be as bad as Bhopal disaster of 1984, which led to death of 4,000 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.

Preventing Smallpox Ver. 2.0 for Native Americans: Opinion

While the rest of the world keeps to social distancing and quarantines, there is a group of people who are most vulnerable to yet another epidemic.

The Native American communities across the country are facing surmounting dangers because of COVID-19. Many Native Americans struggle with poverty, high crime rates, and weak health. With 73 confirmed dead just in the Navajo Nation alone, the virus spreads especially fast amongst those who might have contacts with the criminal justice system.

Even during the 1918 influenza pandemic, the Native American tribes saw up to 4 times more severity in deaths and severity.

Now, Navajo Nation in the area around Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah, is facing more than 2,000 reported cases. Indian Health Service has reported a total of 4,000 confirmed cases among all Native American nations so far, and it is not limited to reservations.

Native Americans lack healthcare. The Federal government spends $12,744 on Medicare and $9,404 on Veteran health, but only $2,834 per person for Native Americans. This leaves Native Americans vulnerable simply due to lack of healthcare.

Up to 40% of Navajo homes still lack clean running water and reliable electricity. Some homes are overcrowded exposing vulnerable people to greater risk. Even those tribes that succeeded from businesses are struggling as due to social distancing and shutdowns; many Indian nations receive income through retail or services such as casinos. That is not possible this year.

Solutions include: donating to Native American philanthropic efforts, making sure Native Americans receive their CARES act funds, to make sure healthcare is provided to Native Americans, to hire a Native American leader to have a voice in the Coronavirus task force. FEMA should consider the danger of Native American nations’ exposure leading to General American population as well. Infrastructure update would be very helpful, as many students would not have access to tools necessary to maintain their academic status.

While Native American nations were devastated by past pandemics, this does not need to continue; we can and should make the effort to help them out this time.

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.

Fraud SBA Applicants to be prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department

Two men from New England are facing charges of attempting to defraud the government’s $660 billion SBA lending program, designed to help small businesses maintain workers on payroll. David Staveley from Massachusetts and David Butziger from Rhode Island are accused of trying to steal money from the Paycheck Protection Program, which is designed to provide low-interest loans that can be forgiven if certain criteria are met.

E-mail records show the two men contacting each other about creating fake loan applications and documents. The request was for half a million dollars to pay dozens of employees working at three different restaurants, but there were no employees, two of the three restaurants had closed before the Coronavirus pandemic even caused closures. The third was that of a restaurant Stavely did not have relationships with.

Butziger applied for a separate $105,000 loan for a company called “Dock Wireless,” a company that supposedly had a total of 7 employees. However, none of the people named in the application actually worked with Butziger.

Neither was granted a loan, but instead faces federal charges.

With frauds from 2008 Financial Crisis assistance programs as experience, the Justice Department and the US Attorney’s offices hope to minimize fraudulent activities as much as possible.  The US Justice Department reported working with banks, the Small Business Administration, and the Treasury Department. With the Coronavirus pandemic making grand juries and in-person interviews difficult, the Justice Department hopes that such aspects will be more readily available in the near future.

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.

Flint Security Guard Killed by Customer without Face Mask

At a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, a security guard was shot in the head by a customer, who was told to wear a face mask, currently a state mandate.

The shooter and second suspect remain at large, but witnesses told the police that the security guard had a verbal argument with a woman on wearing a face mask. Surveillance video confirms the incident.

Under Michigan state executive order, all retail employees and customers must wear a mask. The video showed that a woman left in an SUV after a verbal altercation, but then returned about 20 minutes later with 2 men, 1 who yelled at the security guard, and the other who shot the security guard.

It is a tragedy that could have been avoided had everyone been wearing masks. The coronavirus pandemic is serious, not because it has a low mortality rate, but because it has a high infection rate.

The people she brought back with her were her son and husband; now the entire family is at risk of criminal charges over a face mask.

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.

NYC Suspends 24Hrs Subway System for Disinfectant purpose

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo and NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city’s public transit system needed to be cleaned and disinfected due to COVID-19. Cuomo said, “They can disinfect all trains and buses every nights,” and “It can best be done by stopping train service from 1 am to 5 am every night.”

Cuomo added that the city’s public transit system will still provide buses and “dollar vans” at no cost to essential workers during those hours.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) runs the city’s public transit system, but this operation will be operated by the State, City, and the NYPD.

The subway system of the MTA operates 24 hour daily service. Some natural disasters halted its operation before.

Normally MTA cleans the subway cars every 72 hours, but it is to change to every single day from now on.

Cuomo added that NYPD and homeless outreach workers will cooperate to clear people out of the subway at 1 a.m.

Cuomo said disinfected cleaning will be done to interiors of the buses, subway cars and all of its subway area as well. Since the COVID-19 outbreak began, New York saw more than 164,000 cases, and some of the MTA workers have been infected by COVID-19 and died.

The MTA will disinfect the Metro North Line(MNL) and Long Island Rail Road(LIRR) too. These lines can be done without disruption to service, Cuomo added.

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.

Potential COVID-19 Cure Brings Light to the Stock Market

A small glimmer of hope appeared on Tuesday, when Gilead, supported by Dr. Anthony Fauci, announced optimism about remdesivir, an experimental drug designed to shorten the recovery period for COVID-19.

Fauci spoke at the White House, lauding the drug for showing clear-cut, significant, and positive effect in diminishing the time to recovery.

In response, the Dow, Nasdaq, and S&P 500 saw an immediate climb of 2-4%.

Although not a vaccine and still lacking some data in control group, former FDA commissioner is hopeful that while this may not get rid of COVID-19 completely, it will begin the process of applying more effective treatment.

There are still many concerns regarding the actual effectiveness of the drug, and there are such concerns; however, the market is hopeful for any advancement against COVID-19.

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.

Let them eat meat? Trump to order meat processing plants operating

On April 28, Pres. Trump announced that meat processing plants would stay open to prevent COVID-19 from impacting the national food supply under Defense Production Act.

Unions are fighting back, however, asserting the danger present to workers in keeping the plants open. Just as Smithfield in South Dakota recently closed due to infections, more than 20 meatpacking plants have closed temporarily due to the risk of keeping the plants open amidst the virus outbreak. Even open plants do not operate at full capacity due to sick workers or workers avoiding work to protect themselves.

United Food and Commercial Workers International Union represents 1.3 million food and retail workers. The Union stated that 20 food processing and meatpacking union workers have died from the virus, and that an estimated 6,500 have fallen sick or exposed to COVID.

The 15 largest pork-packing plants account for 60% of all pork processed in the US, and there has so far been a 25% reduction in pig slaughter capacity. As food concerns get serious, the White House is hoping to prevent shortage through the order.

However, the White House is in talks with the Labor Department to increase protection for meatpacking workers, for example, by preventing those over the age of 65 from leaving the home.

Although Trump promises safety to workers, Unions are skeptical. The Union wishes to compel companies to provide protective equipment, make daily testing available, and enforce physical distancing.

These workers often work in close proximity while slicing meat, which makes social distancing nearly impossible. While some companies use staggered breaks, changing start times, and checking workers’ temperatures, it is not enough, Unions warn.

Other companies, however, have seen workers walk off, as their policies force employees from leaving when complaining of symptoms or allowed return of employees even if they were sick after just 2-3 days.

Gov. Noem of South Dakota is an avid supporter of reopening plants, but given her track record of doing not much in protecting workers before the necessitated shutdown of the Smithfield plant, it is a question whether she would enact or enforce any worker-safety related laws.

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.

Fake COVID-19 Patient Zero Conspiracy Brings Death Threats and International Notoriety

As Internet becomes one of the main sources of news, it is starting to show how unconfirmed fast news can ruin real lives of people. A US army reservist and a mom of two in Virginia is one of the most recent victim of this tragic situation. Maatje Benassi lives in Fort Belvoir, and was a target of conspiracy theorists that zoned in on her and falsely accused her of being the COVID-19 “Patient Zero.”

This went viral in China and soon took over the Internet, as her name quickly became associated with “patient zero,” despite it not being true. Soon, youtube videos, WeChat, Weibo, Xigua (the latter three being Chinese social platforms) showed false claims and hatred from many people.

The only connection she has to Wuhan was in her October visit to Wuhan as part of Military World Games, where she ended up with a fractured rib and a concussion during a cycling competition; there were hundreds of other athletes that also partook in the competition, yet she was the only one identified.

She and her family now lives in fear, as her name continues to be associated with a wrongful claim of being “patient zero,” thanks to a American conspiracy theorizer George Webb, whose Youtube videos have 100,000 followers and 27 million views. He has no real evidence and claims to be an investigative reporter, although not actually being one. Nonetheless, the act has made her real life very difficult, as the Benassi family deals with real threats.

The only recourse is through civil litigation, yet the Benassis do not have the financial means to obtain an attorney for this purposes.

Times like these, it is important to always verify what is presented in the Internet and read with a critical mind; not all that is out there is true.

And sometimes, misuse of truth can lead to very real harm, as is for the real lives of the Benassi family.

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.