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Friday, January 31, 2020

Africa’s Worst Locust Plague in Decades

Threatens Millions

U.N. sounds alarm as swarms consume crops in five countries and threaten to spread further

A Kenyan farmer tried to dispel desert locusts in a village east of Nairobi last week. The infestation in Kenya is the worst in 70 years. PHOTO: DAI KUROKAWA/SHUTTERSTOCK

In Kenya, police facing the country’s largest outbreak in 70 years have fired machine guns and tear gas into swarms in an effort to prevent them from consuming fields. Ethiopia is spraying pesticide from small planes to displace hovering throngs, though swarms have forced passenger jets in the region to make emergency landings.
In Eritrea and Djibouti, teams in the hundreds are chasing swarms with hand-held pesticide pumps and truck-mounted sprayers.

A farmer holds a desert locust in Kenya, around 120 miles east of Nairobi, on Jan. 24. PHOTO: DAI KUROKAWA/SHUTTERSTOCK
The rising number of desert locusts presents an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods in the Horn of Africa, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said on Wednesday.
“This has become a situation of international dimensions that threatens the food security of the entire subregion,” Qu Dongyu, director general of the FAO said last week.
Desert locusts—the most devastating of all locust species—can consume their weight in food each day. Swarms potentially containing hundreds of millions of insects each can travel over 90 miles a day; a swarm the size of Manhattan can consume as much food in a day as the population of the New York tri-state area, said FAO locust expert Keith Cressman. Some swarms are far bigger.

Widening Scourge

Desert locusts are breeding again in Africa, threatening more infestations

Note: As of December 2019
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization

If the outbreak isn’t controlled and conditions remain favorable for breeding, it could reach 30 countries in Africa and Asia, the U.N. said.
“This is a more serious emergency than we had earlier anticipated,” said Guleid Artan, the climate prediction director at East Africa’s Intergovernmental Authority on Development. “More locust swarms are entering northern Kenya daily and at this rate they could soon spread into Uganda and South Sudan.”
Extreme weather is behind the infestation, according to the U.N. East Africa experienced abnormally heavy rains late last year, flooding regions that are normally semiarid. Such conditions are favorable for locust breeding, which can grow substantially if not disrupted—a challenge in cash-strapped countries contending with insurgencies and other security challenges. Continued breeding in some areas is already deepening the crisis.
The U.N. estimates that 23.6 million people in the region are already facing food shortages due to rains, insecurity and now locust infestation. Some 8.4 million people in Ethiopia alone may need food aid because of crop losses from the locusts, the U.N. warned.

Contributing source:
Full article

Monday, January 27, 2020

Smuggled video from China 24 Jan

Smuggled video from China dated 24 Jan


A message from a Shanghai resident

The Coronavirus is no joke. I’m currently living in Shanghai. Population 24 million so far.   Name withheld.

All the videos and posts online (about dead bodies lying in hospital hallways and collapsing people and Wuhan being boxed in) aside as I can’t personally verify them and I don’t wish to fear monger; Instead I will talk about what I know and have seen myself or from my family.

Just a few minutes ago Shanghai announced the closure of all highways and roads leading in and out of the city.

Yesterday Beijing announced the closure of the city to some degree as well. These are the two biggest cities in China, and they’ve started to go into isolation. This has never happened in history ever.

The list of quarantined cities are growing every day, and currently over 60 million people have been quarantined in Central China. That’s almost 3 times the population of Australia.

On all the projections and data that I’ve seen. Shanghai is the next major city after Wuhan to have the most infected, with Beijing being second.

Shanghai hospitals are full to the brim with patients who have flu and cold symptoms – which are also coronavirus symptoms.  Multiple hospitals have actually closed and shut down due to the amount of patients.

My aunty came down with a fever a few days ago, and it took over 8 hours to see a doctor for a few minutes. The doctors refused to test her for the virus and only advised her to self isolate at home.

The government is refusing to diagnose the virus, so that the official count of infected and the death toll remains unknown. I am hearing that a lot of deaths are marked as pneumonia since the victim was never diagnosed positively for Coronavirus.

The streets in Shanghai are like a ghost town. Partly also because of CNY where most of the people leave the city.   In a few days, CNY will be ending and hundreds of millions of Chinese (mainly in China but also many that are abroad) will be travelling back to the cities where they work and live. This will be prime time for the virus to spread harder and stronger.

There is no vaccine, and the only effective treatments so far are IV drops, hormonal injections, and recently discovered that HIV drugs are effective as well.

The virus can spread, even from someone who is not displaying symptoms. So stay away from anyone who has recently been to China. The virus can enter through the eyes, nose and mouth. Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands. Bring antibacterial handwipes and handwash with you everywhere. Wear hospital grade surgical masks or N95 material masks with a respirator when going out to protect the mouth and nose. I also wear gloves to keep my hands clean in case I touch any infected surfaces.

Currently, all supplies are pretty much sold out all through China. Masks are impossible to get no matter which province you’re in. Hand sanitizer and the likes are rapidly dwindling. Goggles are also out as I haven’t been able to buy any   so I recommend people in Australia to start stocking up.

In Shanghai the infected count is way higher than official reports, simply judging by the number of people in the hospitals who are afraid they have the virus. All it takes is for a few of them to actually have the virus, to then cough on others or on a surface, and then suddenly a clean person who has a fever from the flu gets sick.

I have multiple friends and acquaintances who asked for leave from their jobs in Shanghai, been denied the leave, and just straight out quit their job. Schools are also shut until Feb 17th, and if the situation hasn’t improved I have no doubt the closure would be extended.

Do not trust any official reports from China on what the situation is like over here. Censorship is rampant. At first China claimed it was all under control. But just yesterday Xi Jinping himself admitted the virus was accelerating and China was in grave danger. It’s not good when even a communist government admits it is *&# ed.

Vaccines themselves take months to develop, and then months and years to test and manufacture and distribute. We cannot count on a vaccine if this breaks out globally. Hopefully better treatments will be discovered meanwhile though I am unsure how antibiotics affect the virus.

Confirmed cases in Australia were spread from travelers who entered the country on the 19th of January. That was a week ago. During that week, there would have been hundreds more flights from China which statistically speaking would definitely contain virus carriers. Maybe Australia’s healthcare is good and the virus won’t run rampant there like it did in China. But better to be prepared for the worst and hope for the best.

The virus has been closely compared to SARS in 2003. Since 2003 people travel a lot more, there are a lot more flights, and the world is just so unprepared for an epidemic right now. Moreover, SARS had an R0 of 2.5 (Every infected person infects 2.5 people) and Coronavirus is estimated to have an R0 of 3.8. The symptoms of SARS was also a lot more obvious. And most of the SARS infections came from a few superspreaders.

Coronavirus spreads strongly amongst anyone. The incubation period is longer, with reports saying 3 days to 14 days. During incubation it’s not infectious, but it gives time for the carriers to enter a clean corona-free society. Not every infected person will have a fever either. EDIT: Per a report by the Chinese Health Commission on Sunday, the virus IS infectious during incubation periods.

It’s worrying because there is nothing that China can do to contain the spread of the virus. The official death toll is growing daily and these are all eldery people. Which to me doesn’t mean only those with weak constitutions fall victim to the virus. These are still early days and I feel like the young and healthy just take longer to succumb to it.

By worrying I mean bloody scary. The situation here is in free fall and there’s nothing on the horizon that could possibly contain it.

Friends and family stay safe. If anyone has any questions about the situation in China just let me know.

EDIT: Many have asked for more information on the masks.  N95 disposable masks need changing every 4-6 hours of use.  Re-usable masks I would recommend also changing every 4-6 hours and washing it before using it again.  Smart usb-charging N95 masks should also need recharging every 4-6 hours.

Hospital surgical masks have to be worn with the blue side out and white side inwards. Blue is waterproof to prevent others coughing on you. White is absorbent so your coughs get absorbed. For this reason it’s good to change them every 4-6 hours as well

EDIT: According to a report by the Chinese National Health Commission, the virus is infectious during it’s incubation period which can last up to 14 days.

EDIT: A lot of people are informing me that this is nothing compared to influenza and the current flu season will kill a lot more. Let me help put this into perspective with some logic and common sense.

When influenza first hit the human population, there were no antibiotics for it, there was no vaccine. Guess how many people died in the first 6 months? Approximately 25 million people.

Coronavirus has JUST broken out, and ALREADY there are 50+ official deaths and numerous unrecorded ones. Influenza had no cure, no treatment, and 25 million died in 6 months. Coronavirus has a higher R0 rate, it has no cure, minimal treatment options, and definitely no vaccine. It causes pneumonia on top of the other influenza-like symptoms and it is a lot more stealthy. While we don’t have enough solid data to form a proper mortality rate for Coronavirus, these factors do mean there is a potential for just as many or more deaths as when influenza first broke out.

We DO have cures and treatments and vaccines for influenza but STILL tens of thousands of people die each year to influenza, despite having available treatments. This statistic just goes to show how deadly respiratory diseases are and how serious Coronavirus can be IF it breaks out. The statistic of more people dying from influenza does NOT make Coronavirus less deadly or severe, it makes it more deadly if anything!

#coronavirus #coronavirusoutbreak

Finally – Wuhan is apparently the world’s first smart city and there is much on social media about Bill Gates and vaccines and this virus.

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