Roundup #197

New Events

Covid-19 Dashboard: 512k known cases, 21k+ deaths – Johns HopkinsNYT Tracker

North Africa / Warring States

Libya civil war undampened by coronavirus – major escalation happening

Boko Haram kills 92 Chad soldiers in 7-hour attack – “sign of jihadists growing power in area”

Egypt / Sudan

Egypt forces journalist to leave after coronavirus story – Link 
… in lots of places, work that ends up criticizing the government will likely land people in trouble …

Egypt initiates nationwide virus curfew – Link

Covid-19 threatens South Sudan’s at risk populations – Link

Nigeria

Nigeria: Coronavirus cases rising rapidly – Link

Ethiopia / Horn / East Africa

Uganda’s army has been deployed against the locust invasion – Link 
… billions of locusts in 8 countries in East Africa …

Locust hatchlings in Kenya pose threat to crops – Link

Southern Africa

Mozambique jihadists capture strategic port 
… “biggest prize in 30-month long insurgency” …

Central Asia / Caucasus

Azerbaijan: President suggests coronavirus may require a crackdown on opposition 
… several governments may take the virus as an opportunity …

Saudi / Israel / Lebanon / Syria / Gulf

Saudi initiates nationwide virus curfew – Link

Israel’s synagogues close for the first time, due to virus – Link 
… Al-Aqsa mosque closed to Muslim worshippers – “bitter decision” – Link

West Asia / Turkey / Jordan

Plan to feed Jordanians under curfew “sows chaos” – Link

Over 1,000 Algerians left stranded in Istanbul airport over virus restrictions – Link

Turkey considers full lockdown – Link

Iran/Iraq

Iran releases 1/3 of Christian prisoners due to virus concerns – Link 
… will restrict travel to help fight coronavirus – Link

Afghanistan / Pakistan / Pashto

“As if Afghans didn’t have enough trouble, now comes the pandemic” – Link

“God will protect us”: coronavirus spreads through already struggling Pakistan – Link 
… Many within clerical establishment refused to help… refused to limit mosque gatherings… brought together 150,000 clerics from around the world in a religious gathering that helped spread the virus … 
… military stepped in and deployed across the country to enforce a lockdown …

Pakistani doctors decry shortages as nation nears lockdown – Link

Trump says “Taliban could possibly seize power after the US leaves” – Link

India

Announces 21-day lockdown for everyone: stay in your homes

Anti-viral effort hampered by lack of testing – Link 
… expect 300 to 500 million infections in India, 1 to 2 million deaths over a 1-year period …

India’s poorest fear “hunger may kill us before coronavirus” – Link

1.8m monitored due to symptoms 
… low testing, virus in all provinces, highest number of cases in Maharashtra and Kerala 
… this will be a massive event in India. The “lockdown” is for everyone to stay in their home for 21 days, not leaving even for things like work or groceries. I cannot see how this will be remotely possible. And I cannot imagine how this virus can be contained. I think it is far more likely India will see a “total infection scenario” – a horrific possibility. Without adequate medical infrastructure, with so many having underlying medical problems, a casualty rate of 4 to 5% of all infected (at a minimum) is a significant probability. Think through the ramifications of this.

India sources have sent me pics of people standing in line for vegetables, reports of police beating people out and about (along with video, also mainstream media reports), people being quarantined, lots of politically-motivated activity in the local setting.

India’s health system is not prepared – an analysis

World’s “back office” rushes to stay online in the midst of India lockdown 
… “the millions who staff the back offices of Wall Street banks”… 
… “work outsourced by firms from airlines to insurers”…

Kashmiris face deepening discrimination – Link

China

Temporary ban on foreigners entering China, to prevent second wave – Link

US-China tensions hit new high – virus blame game, journalist expulsions, trade war… 
… US drawdown of diplomats cripples ties 
… emptying embassies, consulates has reduced contact opportunities

Taiwan / Mongolia / Macau / Hong Kong

Hong Kong bars non residents and bans alcohol sales in restaurants, bars

Japan

Japan’s success has puzzled the world: is its luck running out? 
… cases spiked this week, leading to fears that limited testing means many cases are going undetected …

To no one’s surprise, Olympics postponed.

Koreas

North Korea swallows its pride and asks for help – Link 
… “secretly asked for international help as the pandemic threatens to cripple its fragile healthcare system…”

Southeast Asia

Cambodia’s PM hints at state of emergency as cases trend up – Link

Migrant laborers from Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia head home from Thailand after virus lockdown – Link

Myanmar in denial with zero Covid-19 claim – Link

Rohingya camps a Covid-19 time bomb – Link

Thailand: 80,000+ flee Bangkok for hometowns, rural provinces, using buses – Link

Travelers from 11 countries required to present health certificates before boarding airplanes to Thailand – Link 
… includes US, UK, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Japan

North America

USA: “As offerings dwindle, some churches fear for their future” – Link

Spit on, yelled at, attacked: Chinese-Americans fear for their safety – Isaiah 1:17

New Data

Global workforce could lose $1.7 trillion in income this year – Link

Over a billion students are out of school – Link 
… an idea for distance ministry: running tutorial classes via Facebook Live, Zoom, etc.

US: As offerings dwindle, some churches fear for their future – Link

New Longreads

In Africa, social distancing is a privilege few can afford

Coronavirus is advancing in poor countries, and the prognosis is troubling – Link

Coronavirus refugees: world’s most vulnerable brace for the virus – Link

Some good quick tips on “work in the time of coronavirus” – Link 
… we are sheltering in place, and this has led to having to etch out boundaries at home … 
… finding quiet zones is necessary. Also, cutting off work at the end of the day …

Also: “How to work from home” from Quartz – Link 
… six very good concepts/values to apply …

NYT video of 72 hours in an emergency room – Link 
… this is how a Western world situation looks like when it’s overwhelmed. Think about how a non-Western, poor country will look …

The Coronavirus could reshape the global order – Link 
… China is maneuvering for international leadership as the US falters …

In a pandemic, religion can be a balm and a risk – Link 
… Good piece, looks at all the major religions and some of the challenges they face …

“Virus rebels from France to Florida flout lockdown practices” Link

“There’s plenty of food in the world, just not where it’s needed” – Link 
… some of the visible issues (eg food, TP) in the pandemic are logistical, and will get sorted …

Churches holding drive in services – Link 
… just can’t give up that corporate worship thing …

New Technology

“The remote VC pitch” has some tips that would be useful for remote fundraising – Link

Be wary of “zoombombing” – rise in trolling, graphic content – Link

Dyson designed new ventilator, to make 15,000 for the pandemic fight – Link

Governments increasingly using cellphone location data to manage virus – Link

Taiwan’s new “electronic fence” for quarantines leads wave of virus monitoring – Link 
… crises always lead to advances in tech, and movement surveillance is taking a leap forward … 
… could be coupled with advances in AI in distinguishing the meaning of movement …

Hong Kong is also using “geofencing” to enable quarantines – Link

As Coronavirus surveillance escalates, personal privacy plummets – Link 
… “Tracking entire populations to combat the pandemic now could open the doors to more invasive forms of government snooping later” …

Major streaming services cutting stream quality to ease networks – Link 
… shows just how much bandwidth these services consume …

AI tech takes over Youtube policing as Covid-19 empties Google office – Link

I’m also thinking about all those articles I read about outsourcing Facebook moderation etc to India…