A Quarantine Memo Part V: A New Normal

27th May 2020 Oslo

Well, we’re are here again. The world is still not back to standard settings and is work in progress. In some parts, that will never change, because we always need to aspire for greater and better things. Not only for ourselves, but for everyone else, also for the next generation to come. As we are leaving this world behind to them to pick up the pieces where we left off.

So, with that in mind. We are in these times seeing whose the leaders, whose the PR persons in-charge and who matters. Why do I say that? Well, the pandemic like the COVID-19 or the Coronavirus has uncovered the importances of several of functions of society. That has always been vital and had its place. However, now people are clapping for them, cheering them on and even praising their work. Before this, who would have been to pleasant to a shop-clerk? Who would have clapped for nurses and doctors? You would have avoided to do that, just like the plague. Ironically saying that.

We are now at a stage where there is configurations for a new normal. As there are no definite cure yet to the disease, which is still ravaging earth. There is still a steady stream of deaths occurring because of this. It is still spreading and not fully contained. Both because of lack of leadership, discipline and care. However, also because the lack of testing and tracing of it. This in the context of leaders whose reckless and whose self-centred to their position, instead of actually leading their respective nations.

That is why we’re at a stage, where the disease is still “on-the-loose”. There is still unanswered at what stage everywhere is. As there are so many uncertainties. Yes there are areas where there is getting no positive tests for a few weeks. However, this doesn’t change that their deaths worldwide and the curve is going down.

Still, we are risking a lot by re-opening a lot of places. When there been no en-mass testing. Neither been secured anti-body testing either. There are so many loose bottlenecks. That there is issues of what we are succeeding or not. It is true that many places the amount of cases is going down. However, behind the numbers are also the defaults, the ones who wasn’t tested and had symptoms early on and could spread it asymptomatic. That is why this is a grand issue and a disease that will linger on.

When the borders opens up and the travel will come back. Then there will be a surge, especially from places where the nations has been reluctant or haven’t tested on a grand scale. As there are possible a bigger spread than initially reported and the back-log will come at a later date. Just like the changes of numbers of COVID-19 deaths, as the way of announcing and testing of this haven’t always been as accurate. That is why these numbers has been revised and even more damaging than first reported.

Therefore, we are living in troubling times. Yes, this virus has shattered the global tourism industry, airline industry and closed ordinary life for a while. People are still in quarantine, are still Netflix and Home-Office. I am still on home-office, even as I know will travel to the office a few times a week, but not daily as before.

That’s why the new temporary new normal is coexisting now. As we awaits the trials, the tests and possible cure. There are few snakes-oil salesmen who tries to come with something, but these has not been proven. They are selling hope in a bottle and could just have sold a beer instead. The beer at least makes you happy a small moment. After that your giddy, but with a placebo your just getting hurt. When you figure it out doesn’t do it and hasn’t the effects to conquer this beast.

This is why we have to wait and live in this new normal. This semi-quarantined and home-based working life-style. Its fine for now, been months with this. Since Mid-March and we’re in the end of May.

2020 wasn’t as anticipated. No one foresaw this virus and its effects on life. We have lived through and have to carry on. There will be an aftermath, but what will happen with that is unknown. The leaders and representatives who didn’t act, who saw and didn’t follow the concerns early on. Should be questioned, the ones with intelligence and reports from China. They should be questioned and the late lockdowns needs inquiry into. However, expect that not to come from the ones in-charge, but opposition or outside forces pressuring it. Because, they will not take causalities or responsibility unless they get burned.

So, the rest of 2020 will be semi lockdown stage, will be COVID inspired and will have new regulations. Also, we just have to hope the 2nd wave won’t be a copy of the ones of the Spanish Flue in the early 1900s. Because, then were in for a devastating fall. A fall, that will make this spring and early summer look like a walk in the park. The sad thing about that, is that we have already to many deaths and people catching the disease in this wave. Because, we didn’t do enough collectively here on planet earth. Peace.

Opinion: The government have money [unless your not a priority]

Let me just say, that tonight, this evening I am tired of reading headlines from various of Republics and Countries where they state they don’t have funds for pledges nor supposed basics during this global pandemic. Yes an global pandemic of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus isn’t a planned affair, unless your a conspiracy theorist who makes up ghost stories out of thin air. The rest of us lives in reality and try to figure the best way out of this.

What is boring in these troubling times is when the state says they doesn’t funds for PPE, Masks, Medicine, Salaries for Front-Line workers and whatnot. It is just an endless stream of costs, payments, allocations and expenditure the state has to carry. The imports of sudden extra equipment, ventilators and such. By all means its an expensive enterprise to cover this and ensure enough of the basics. Still, if the people, the citizens and the well-being of them matters. Than this should be shielded first.

However a reason for the lack of funds is that the state hasn’t this as a priority. This isn’t their breadwinner, this isn’t their ballpark. No, this is a side-show, a show where donors, where foreign donations and other comes in to cover the basics and the needed cover. In sunny days this is usually enough, because the ones getting hurt isn’t an priority and the ones whose VIP gets treatment abroad anyway.

That is why the Health Care system isn’t fully functioning nor has the capacity it should have in consideration per capita. The lack of enough beds, ICUs and such are now a contrast to the amount people in the dominion. Therefore, the state has lost the battle, if it gets bad quickly. The state cannot assume they will get help from elsewhere. Since they are already hurting themselves and are damaged by the virus as well.

So in this regard, when the state is complaining and stating lack of funds for this now. Its all about priorities. These states usually has no issues getting loans, grants and donations to cover deficits. They have no issues getting loans and supplementary budgets to secure new revenue-streams in sunny days for infrastructure and development projects. However, securing the well-being of the citizens and their welfare. That is burden it cannot shelter. Not to the max, not to the appropriate levels. That is just to expensive. Unless, a drunk uncle, snappy-nephew or an in-law is kicking in some remitted funds to shelter its own family at family. That is how this goes.

The governments can run their coffers dry, they can create huge deficits in the times of needs. They can boost their stimulus and use the credit, the forecasted revenue and the sales of treasury bonds. All of that cover it in the future, as the government and state can in practicality never cease nor get bankrupt. That as a sovereign state and therefore, has more gains and possible future income to cover debt and deficits.

That is why in these times of need, the government can prove where their loyalty lies. Either its with their citizens or its with the corporate agenda. They can show that solving it and investing in the Health Care system matters.

We can see if it is a priority or just talk. We can see by the pounds sterling, the US dollars or whatever currency spent on it. That its a priority or not. If they priorities it, they are risking a bigger deficit for now. If not, they are shielding the hurt and hoping it just goes back to normal quick. Peace.

A Quarantine Memo Part III: It’s now modified (10.05.2020)

Kick in the door, waving the four-four

All you heard was Poppa don’t hit me no more

Kick in the door, waving the four-four

All you heard was Poppa don’t hit me no more” The Notorious B.I.G aka Biggie – ‘Kicking in the Door’ (1997).

Oslo, Norway 10th May 2020

Well, so here I am at this very moment preparing for yet another week with home office. Things are changing. In my home town they are serving beer and alcohol at the pubs, restaurants are slowly opening again. The normalcy is sort of returning, but with modifications. Less public transport, more home-office and adjustment in concern of cleaning of public spaces.

There are less death, less transmitted disease, the fear and worry of going to the grocery is sort of gone. Even if the knowledge that this could be a temporary state. Because, these sort of pandemics goes in cycles. Even we are going down on the curve as we speak. There is still a possibility of second wave, which can hit as hard or harder. Since people took it easy after the first measures and lockdowns.

We are not the only one, because the economy is the blessing that rules earth. “Cash Rules Everything Around Me, C.R.E.A.M Get the Money, Dollar Dollar Bill Y’All” (Wu Tang Clan). The words of the wordsmiths of Wu Tang still resonates with me too this day. With every living day on this earth, the addiction and the needs for currency gets ever so real.

That is why in the midst of a pandemic. Rising numbers of deaths. The still current escalations around us. Still governments tumbling to fix it. South Korea tried to re-open some functions, they closed them, when there cases connected them to them. They we’re open a hot minute before closing. Therefore, the project re-open needs to be done with care and consideration. Not only to the powerful dollar. That will not solve anything, maybe monetary liquidity of failing enterprises, but lives will be lost over the saving grace of silver coins.

We can wonder for ourselves, if the re-opening will be another social experiment. Where the state with an app and adjustments hopes that lesser people catches the sickness. Less people interact and uphold the social distance, washing of hands and such. Because, sooner or later these lessons might go astray. Since, there is no signs or effects in the open. As everything is normalizing. Has that been considered?

That is the risk of opening, even with the measures at hand. People will behave like people. That is just the way it is. This is the reality. We can hope that all the sanitizers, the cleanliness and all other efforts sticks until a vaccine is on the horizon. However, until then the reality needs to be caution. We have not been under lockdown, under self preserved quarantine for months and not ensured safety of more people. Neither, not having results of public change.

It is easy to forget, but for me… I have been stuck in my own home since mid-March. I am grateful to be as healthy as I went in. However, we can’t loose the end-game here. That we have remedy and cure, that he a fix for the issue. Because, right now, we are losing up for the mighty dollar and not because lives matters. Yes, these months has been a burden on companies, organizations and the state. But, money they can print new every single day, but, but a person only lives once.

That is why that unique person should be valued more than the currency. Yes, we all got to live, have a livelihood and a working society. However, for a short while trading away the perks, the benefits of 2020 and the socialization we are used too. Might do good, because we might extend someone’s life, who has medical conditions, which easily can harm that person even more if it gets COVID-19. That’s why its worth it and that’s the pivotal thing for the self-quarantine.

Not because the challenge was big for me or for anyone else sticking to home office. To not take public transport and follow advice. However, the greater good, the achievement of serving everyone as a citizen and as a person. Yes, it cost, but it is meagre compared to the ones whose really suffering. I just stayed in my home and only went to the grocery. This is nothing compared to others who fought in wars or faced starvation. We are lucky in that sense, that this was our way out of the pandemic for now. Because it could have been much worse.

We just have too see. Never give up and continue on. A luta Continua. Never give up. Never give in. Have hope for a better tomorrow and not let COVID-19 win. Peace.

NITA-U strengthens partnership with UNDP to promte e-commerce (08.05.2020)

Remarks by Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock: Release of the Updated COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan (07.05.2020)

A Quarantine Memo Part II (26.04.2020)

It’s about that time…

Well, we have gotten this far and still we’re far from over. If you think the sacrifice, the estimated time sitting on your coach revisiting movie classics, reading dusty books and dodging burnt bridges on Social Media will save your ass. Well, this hurdle will take more than that. Even you got more knowledge of binge watching, new shows and seen some low-budget TV shows made in their homes. Still, no reason to zappy. We are here for a reason, it is the COVID-19 season.

I have been in home-office since mid-March 2020 and will be too mid-June 2020. So, my time with this … is sort of only beginning. Washing my hands, social distancing and not seeing my colleges in the flesh, except on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. That is the life now. Nothing to blame, just life I guess. Just like, because of advice from authorities and the state. I’m not taking public transport. Only done it like two-three times over the last month to have a breather to the near mall. To also buy more needed gear to the home, than what I get at the local grocery.

Well, if your thinking I’m complaining. No, I am not. I’m just expressing my lifestyle. As I make the dinners for the wife, as she’s working in the store and I’m at home anyway. So, it feels like my duty to make the home shiny, as best to my ability. Therefore mixing between answering emails, calls and writing things for work. While washing dishes, cleaning floors and dusting. Also, thinking of what to make for dinner. It is life these days.

This quarantine has made life different. Reading the steady stats, seeing the curves. Seeing the amount of fatalities, the discredited groups of people taking up arms and battling the disease. The ones who are on the front-line now, but are not properly compensated. While the bailouts goes to the rich CEOs and the ones skimming the profits in non-crisis.

Well…

Some things never change, the richer get richer, while the peasants stays the pawns on the chess-set. The first ones to send in the battle and the first ones to sacrifice. That is just way it is. We are seeing industries are failing across the board. This because of the lockdowns, not only hotels, tourist hot-spots and whatnot. No, farmers are hurt, their produce is not getting sold. Oil is worthless, airlines broken down and so-on.

We don’t know how things will be post-COVID19, but know that the hardships isn’t over. After the shut-down, the lock-down and closure. The revamping systems, the needed stimulus and new features from the states is needed. Not more austerity, structural adjustment programs and whatnot. That will create more destruction, privatizations will only cuss out more funds from the states, instead of making real deep development. We should know this, but the politicians might trade away today with promises of changes in future. If not they are getting a cut, to cut and stifle the public. That is not new either, but they will rename a run-down car and say its like a 2021 Caddy fresh out the factory. We know the car doesn’t smell new or the engine is pumped. It just missing the ability to get the rain through the windows and clunky sounds from the doors. So, don’t try to sell us this.

This is just what I am thinking, as I am stuck in my home. Working, living and getting by. I am lucky to be in this position. I am blessed and I know it. However, we still need to question the powers to be. As much as we can. Peace.

A Quarantine Memo (13.04.2020)

It was bound to happen, at one point I had to write a piece like this. Just to clear my mind, as the reflections of my windows get boring. The COVID-19 Special Reports, the deaths, the recovered, the contagious disease continues to spread and I’m self-quarantined by the authorities and my employers. Well, that is all good for now, but it makes a brother reflect on life. As I have been in this state for 30 days or about a month.

I know we have seen pictures of P.Diddy, Puff Daddy or Diddy where he turns a lot older than he usually does. I am sure many more looks older now. Because, they don’t have the team around them to give them make-up and fresh new clothes straight from the factory.

However, for the most of us. The days goes in checking emails, the twitter feed and Facebook feed. Listening to the news, talking to the close family and friends. Keeping in touch and letting the day go by. While the numbers are rising. More death, more horror and a worry of a second wave. While states, nations and whatnot plans to open up. We are looking wonder, who will be caught in the second wave, as the old people’s home is so hardly hit in the first wave and God knows who will be next in line. As doctors, nurses and front-line workers are catching it or even in quarantine themselves.

This is not easy times. The mind rumbles. The questions remains, as we don’t have vaccine, nor any sufficient medicine to cure this disease. We can think that the spoils of the American President and other gutsy people has the tricks. But then again, we would fool ourselves or let us be fooled by another fool.

Just like the people hooked on the 5G thingy, that is the same peddlers who are selling vitamin-cures to heal your skull, your dildos and whatnot. The same folks who sold Pizzagate and went mayhem on Clinton’s emails. However, the same folks will not cry loud for the thousands of dead because of the lack of preparation and concern about the virus itself. That is just so rich.

The headlines, the drama and the diplomatic squabble are bound to happen. The lack of funds, the stolen allocated funds, the ghost foundations and everything is bound to happen. The ghost workers and the grand corruption, as there was no transparency with COVID-19 Funds. There was no clear oversight nor care to look over the transfers of funds. Only spending because there was a dire need, not even look into tenders or reasons for procurement of needed goods too.

It is all just clear magic, the magicians in office using the space to enrich themselves on a tragedy. The death, the failure of state and the lack of protocol. The staring darkness of it all. While we are told to be hopeful. Be giddy and be cautious. Wash our hands, social distance and listen to guidance. However, we should still be woke.

These people who has power, needs to be regulated and questioned. They shouldn’t automatically get a pass, because of a pandemic. Yes, there is need for new measures and security of life. That is understood. However, that doesn’t mean they have a “free for all” or can “burn bridges” to secure wealth for post-COVID. We all see that.

This is a quarantine memo. It doesn’t have any answers, but just thoughts. Which you can either take as good or dismiss. However, be woke, ask questions and ask yourself if you see it as right. But remember, common sense needs to be common. Peace.

The world is under lockdown… Part II

I wrote a piece on this on the 20th March, at that point I had a week under lockdown where I live. This is now further extended around the world. More and more nations have done this. Their borders are closed, airports closed, international flights close to zero and only needed transport across the world is happening.

The amounts of people who has catched the disease is above a 1,000,000 and rising amounts of confirmed deaths, which has been caused by this. The social distancing, the washing of hands and the lacking coverage of supplies for the Health Care Systems are striking everywhere.

The trading of the needed equipment is stretched. The US is blamed for blocking and taking goods from others like Canada, Barbados and United Kingdom. They are clearly selfish in this, as they have never been prepared for it and not followed the CDC in the various of states either. Therefore, the US is mismanaged from the top and the White House has acted irrationally in concern of this pandemic. The US should be careful to strike nations across with this, as this will be remembered and we shall not forget that the state who couldn’t salvage itself. Put more hurt on innocent people elsewhere.

The republics, kingdoms and nations are most in Lockdowns, National Emergencies and in State of Emergencies. As the public are in shelters, not allowed to walk out or travel. Expected to work from home and be careful of your movements. That is what most of the citizens of the world does. There are some who isn’t following their quarantines, that isn’t following their isolations and the self-quarantining of ourselves.

It is not like were enjoying weeks on ends inside our homes and not even crossing town to shops, restaurants, bakeries and cafe’s. While the Multi-National Companies are scrambling to find ways of triggering commerce and e-commerce especially. The companies are suddenly starting to produce health care equipment and needed things for the pandemic. That is not made out of donations, but of possible profits. That is the mere reality, unless the governments are using their powers to overpower them to produce it. If not, it is a motive to earn since the rest of the portfolio is struggling as the world is heading for a new recession.

We are home and not spending as normal, which we shouldn’t do anyway. All of that damage various of industries from clothing, tourism and whatnot. All of these is job-losses, lay-offs and while the CEOs and stakeholders has gained a lot of profits over the years. They suddenly need public money to bail them out and save their livelihoods. They didn’t save or think of a rainy-day, they are too big to fail. So, the states needs to save companies whose paid to much to the owners and their leadership, which is really insulting when they are barely giving higher pay or salaries to the ones making it possible to be profitable company in the sunshine days. Now that it rains, these folks needs the public coffers to cough up an umbrella, since they are getting wet without having invested in the needed gear to shield them from the rain.

Just as the lockdown made the Central Business Districts, as the workplaces into ghost-towns. The Zombie, post-Apocalyptic movie where just a few selected professions are still at work. This being cleaners, shop-clerks, nurses, doctors and whatnot else that let the community run smoothly. Many of these jobs are badly paid, they are risking a lot and still the big multi-national companies will not add hazard pay or anything else to safeguard their employees. This is showing the disgraceful side of this lockdown.

This lockdown is showing the ills of this world. The conspiracy theories, the ignorant folks who still goes en-mass to churches without considering the implications of doing so. God gave these people a thinking mind, can you please use it? I say it as fellow Christian, use your mind, be woke and “not be stupid, stupid” (Phillip DeFranco impression there).

As this lockdowns continues, the businesses are hurt. However, the bigger picture is the spread of disease to areas of the globe with less of function health care systems. Who are far behind from the European hospitals and American ones, who has certain features and also support network. Where the state has invested and built up a sort of measure for the public. They are on its knees and struggling because of the amount of sickness and needed care patients.

What I worry about is the Low-Developed Countries, the LDCs and whatever term you call it. Where the state has bigger entourages around the Presidency, cronyism and grand-corruption. Where the Health Care has been a back-burner, as the elites and high ranking officials could always pay off their salaries and off state budgets travel to another hemisphere to be treated for their illness. Therefore, the lack of investment will hurt this Republic’s as the citizens are catching the disease.

The lockdown might stop the spread, but the struggle of testing, affordability to get to the doctors and the ones who lacks funds to eat. They are usually living hand-to-mouth and suddenly has live in their own quarters without any direct help. The states might help with some items here and there. But that will run out at one point, unless they have a steady circle for the timeline of lockdown and plans of supplements. So, they can get the needed diet and shelter in this time of need. This means the running water, the wells, the sanitary or latrines, the steadiness of electricity and stop blackouts at this time.

It is o many pieces of this puzzle. We all have to en-mass together, we all have to show solidarity. However, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t question the powers to be and their bailouts. That we shouldn’t question the lack of proper planning nor acts in time. Not taking the warning signs and awaiting it to the shit hit the fan. That is what has been done and the lockdown undress the matters.

The Lockdown will reveal what matters, will reveal what priorities and what values that the leadership concern. The days and days on end at their homes, just buying groceries if you can. The rest are awaiting help, waving at neighbours, clapping for the great people at the frontline. However, we should do more than clap at them, but secure them and their families. Since we are all right now counting on them. This means they should be not only compensated monetarily, but also with all equipment without question. If the system does so, we can beat it quicker. As well as seeing that out leaders put good plans, plans with structures and funding for the post-Corona time too. That will come, but this is what we have now.

I am still under lockdown. Still home-office and awaiting orders of otherwise. I am hopeful, but also want to see the right things being done. We are a human and we do fail, now and then. That is why we have protocol, institutionalized the emergency procedures and trying to configure our means after that. If we don’t, than we doing hack-work and patchwork, which only will be guessing the steps ahead. Which will in the end only cause more harm and trouble, than actually listening to experts, to the professionals and the ones who is educated to work with this.

Salute you and yours. Be strong, be safe and continue to have faith in these darks days. After this rain, there will be sunshine again. Peace.

The world is under lockdown…

Who knew we would get here? And get here collectively together? It seems all nations, republics and rulers are disconnecting themselves from the world. Closing the schools, emptying the tourism industry and working from home.

So many countries are under lockdown, we are in our homes. Not walking out unless we need too. We are awaiting the next update, the next presser from local councils and the central governments. Schools, Universities, workplaces, churches and sporting events are all closed or suspended. We are supposed to be one meter away from each other. Wash our hands and be quarantined if we have a cough, fever or feeling ill. We are clearly making all metropolis across the world into ghost towns.

This is living in a science fiction novel. We are hiding from a deadly virus. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are able to break the neck of the airline industry. Make the hotels empty, make the offices in and around the central business district all closed. The banks needs revamped, so does so many other businesses. There is a social destruction, but also a bailout that the states trying to configure.

Laws are amended, the states are taking more power, as they need more modifications to able to close the space of civil society, take away powers from the citizens and also ability to fight this. They are even pursuing it for longer time than the possible crisis will last. From 6 months to two years depending on where.

The borders are shut, the warnings for travel abroad is everywhere. If you still travel from A to B. You will most likely be quarantined and not enjoy the place you travelled too. That is why the free movement of our globe is suspended. That is for a common good, but not something we could foresee for just a few months ago.

I don’t have the answers, because I myself is in a home-office, made a make shift office in the kitchen and not going to the office anymore. Which is weird. Staying home most of the time and worried about going out. While seeing pictures of empty streets and worry about the spread of the virus.

We just have to wait for the advice of the authorities and what they say to us. However, we shall not be muffled in a way that doesn’t make sense. Like if they try to misuse power or breach human rights, nor take away liberties and freedoms without giving it back to the citizens when its over. If not we, have to riot when this is over. Because, the state can do this now, but try to pull a wall over eyers is insane.

We have to show solidarity, we have to show restraint, but that doesn’t mean we cannot question when the measures are overstretched or taking ownership, which might imply that they want more power out of this. That is what people should think about, as quickly made laws and amendments are enacted, as some of this is done in the grandness of common good. Other things can be baked in to ensure more power, which the rulers and representatives doesn’t need, but grabs in the moment of fear and crisis.

Be woke, be aware, but still show solidarity. We are all in this lockdown, but still not fools. Peace.