Category Archives: World

Memories and emotions

I happened to find this youtube.

Laura Pausini is famous all over the world. But her memories makes me remember mine in Torino, where I landed 10 years old and lived for 9 years.

I grew up in that town but f I had to leave Torino 19 years old as a Italian young man born in Sweden but with a 100% Italian hearth.

Now I am back in Italy in our summer/vacation location, Lipari. It has always been my dream in Sweden to come back here where I were  almost every years since 1968 and my German mother later lived and died.

Sicily has suffered enough

As I wrote before, Sicily has been invaded several times from all kind of people, Arabs, Cartaginese, Normands, Spaniards, Greece and then abandoned by the Italian government to criminals and mafia to please Italian politicians. Now , for some reason, the Italian government let Sicily be invaded by Corona virus.

Is it maybe again a way to help the badly hit mafia? As Saviano wrote a few days ago, the mafia always find ways to earn money and eliminate enemies, now the Sicilians themselves,  where many have risked their lives and some died.

March 23 2020

March 29 2020

As you can see from this map from March 23, the East of Sicily with Messina and Catania is already the most hit by Corona.

I translated a article from Live 24.it for you to read:

The decrees of the Government and the Region ordinances do not hinder the continuous exodus to Sicily of people without thinking of the consequences seeking to return the island.
Last night, after the president of the Calabria Region has ordered the closure of the entrances in the provinces of Calabria, Villa San Giovanni the Calabrian ferry harbour were besieged with people coming from north Iraly,  only a few ferries depart daily, destined mostly to commuters working in the health sector that need to reach hospitals.
The Sivcilian Region president  Musumeci denounced yet another flaw in the system of control and accountability to the people asked: “You can not – he said in a post on Facebook – and I do not accept that to happen.
I asked the prefect to intervene immediately. There is a decree of the Minister of Infrastructure and the Minister of Health that prevents it.
he continued” I request that order is respected and that further checks are carried out on departure. The national government intervenes because we Sicilians are not cannon fodder!
In the light of the national measure, only commuters who perform public service such as health, armed forces and police can travel. That’s enough.
We are making huge sacrifices and we must give certainty to all citizens that this is followed with commitment. ” as health, armed forces and police.
That’s enough. We are making huge sacrifices and we must give certainty to all citizens that this phase is followed with commitment. “
Last night the same Musumeci had been at Messina for a Coronavirus on emergency summit, which was attended by the Prefect Maria Carmela Librizzi, the mayor Cateno De Luca, the heads of law enforcement and health Peloritane area agencies .In the seat of the prefecture, the governor explained all the measures already taken in the hospitals of the capital and the province of Messina to meet emergency and ongoing initiatives to counter a possible epidemic peak.read more at Live 24.it .Italian state railways continue to sell train tickets to Sicily. This must be stopped. Sicily can not afford more Corona cases.Please share. The world must know what the Italian government is doing with Sicily.Thank you for your attention

This is not the time to fight each other

BBC Hardtalk 10.30 interviewed Antonio Guterres secretary General of United Nations,

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/w3csy9fx

He says that the Covid-19 crisis is “a threat to the whole of humanity”

  1. We have had global terrorism
  2. We have had and still have a global climate challenge
  3. Now we have a global covid-19 crisis

This is not the time to fight each other
We need a concerted actions against global crisis

Only with solidarity we can fight global crisis

Antonio Guterres has just launched  a humanitarian appeal to raise fonds focused mainly on helping the 40 most vulnerable countries.

The global health system is as strong as the weakest health system in the world.

 

 

 

Sicily – a angry island.

I wrote some time ago about the Italian revolution. I will in this post set focus on Sicily.
Sicily has been invaded and controlled by Greece, Arabs, Cartago, Normands, Spain as documented by John Julius Norwich in his book “Sicily – a short history” and was later abandoned to criminals and mafia by the Italian State. John Julius Norwich wrote in his preface that the Sicilians are a sad people. I maybe understand why.
Now Sicily is under attack from Corona taken with people who thought Sicily is a good place to live in now.
We got a corona case on my neighbor island Salina, one with a young girl that couldn’t resist Sicilian nostalgy and remain in North Italy. Sicily has got several more corona cases, recently in nearby Milazzo and Barcellona.
 
 
The Mayor of MessinaC, has done and is having a strong fight to protect Sicily from Corona. Many illegals are taking the Ferry in Calabria to come to Messina and Sicily
The Italian ministry of interior said that all the cars embarking on the ferry are commuters that are allowed to come to Messina.
The mayor has documented several cases of people not allowed to take the ferry and that people are able to buy train tickets in Italy to come to Sicily.

The Mayor of Messina Cateno De Luca invited mayors form nearby municipalities to go to Villa San Giovanni (the Calabrian ferry harbour) to check were the people come from and why they want to go to Sicily.

 

Now 40 cars are blocked in Villa as not being allowed to take the Ferry. They have obviously been allowed to pass the Autostrada checkpoints in other northern  regions, Campania and others.

 

Now these 40 cars block trucks who deliver to Sicilian supermarkets food, water and other merchandise that Sicily needs.
It is not the best option to be a beautiful island in these pandemia days.
or
 
The Sicilian region president Musumeci said days ago, “we have won over mafiosi, we will also win over corona”. But this can not be done with a Italy that does not care about Sicily and apply laws and ordinances.
The Messina MayorCateno De Luca represents for me the Sicilian spirit, a angry Sicily rather than a sad one.
You may share my post to news or friends if you want.
Greetings from Lipari,
0 cases so far on our island, thanks among others to our good and caring Mayor Marco Giorgianni

please buy “Made in Italy”

Buy “made in Italy”.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs di Maio said one good thing tonight. I want to forward his message to you who are my friends here.

You know that many Italians who sell products and services that are not food, medicine etc, respect the safety restrictions closing their activities, to stay home.

As a example, Lipari and the Aeolian islands, depends 99% on tourism. The islands are suffering especially hard this pandemia as no tourists are allowed to come to the islands. Bars, restaurants and hotels are closed and empty.

For reasons you probably know, Italy had before this pandemia, a poor economy, reasons that many Italians are fighting, even risking their lives.

Italians take care of their elders, keeping them with their families. Italian families have paid hard for this love with a high mortality rate among elders. Life has been cruel to these now suffering families.

If you want to show solidarity with Italy, buy “Made in Italy” wherever you are. This will help to alleviate the economical damages for a badly hit country.

I kindly ask you to share my message.
Thank you.

Stellan, at home a week now.

Greeting from Lipari, Aeolian Islands

The Italian Revolution

 

Austria was the first country in Europe to stop people at the border, requesting health certificate from doctor. Austria declared Italy as a red zone. Italy has not declared itself as a  red zone. And Italy has become a example for the world, to write about and follow. 

Several countries now follow Italy flattening the corona peak, applying more severe rules to contain the spreading of Corona.

A reporter in Euronews said three days ago, that Italians are not known to follow rules. 

But why are they following rules now and how is this possible? How is it possible that a tactile people like the Italians, now avoid cheek kissing and hand shakes keeping security distances? 

The Euronews reporters answer was that the Italians now are scared for their health. I am not satisfied with that answer.

  • Why do many Italians not use the safety belt in their car if there is no police controls around? 
  • Why do Italians sitting behind in the car never wear belt in their car despite the fact that they risk the life and health of those sitting in front of them?
  • Why don’t Italians use helmets while taking a tour with the bycicle in town?
    (Only in Giro d’Italia you see helmets on Italians).
  • Why does pedestrians walk around during the night with dark clothing without reflexes so cars and scooters can see them. A priest was hit badly by a scooter a few years ago.  Despite that he didn’t talk about reflexes nor started to use these when he was up and going again.

 

To find a answer is not easy. I will look at a few factors that may explain this Italian revolution.

 

Punishments

Newspapers warn the Italians for punishment if they do not respect the new corona prevention laws. The treath of punishment is for sure important for some Italians. But i have not heard anyone saying “Go peacefully wherever you want as there is no police controls around!” something  i heard about using helmets on my scooter. I were warned once “Use the security belt in your car as they are checking this!”

Applying laws

If there is noone checking that the laws are followed, then laws are useless in Italy

January 16 2003 The Italians had a new law art 51 nr 3 . that said ” it is prohibited to smoke in closed public areas ”è vietato fumare nei locali chiusi, ad eccezione di quelli privati non aperti ad utenti o al pubblico;”). After a year you could travel by train and busses, go to restaurants and bars and you had no smoking people around at all, not even in the toilets. But really noone checked that this no smoke law was respected. At the airport in Catania, a proud young policemen smoked with the “no smoke” signal behind him. A few years later i were stoped by a airport officer as I took by mistake a vape from my a electronic cigar waiting for my luggage. When I said I were vaping, then he left with a “Ok!”

Italians themselves told each other to not smoke. 

Despite noone checked really that the no smoke law was respected, the Italians followed the new rule. So why does some rules need to be followed by punishment and others not?

information

What motivated Italians to stop smoking and to respect corona preventions instructions so fast may depend on all the information that they got about smoke related cancer maybe also theirown families and for the Corona issue, intensive information in TV, internet and other media.

Awareness

With all the information Italians got, they understand the risc of being infected by Corona virus. A neighbour of mine is even scared to go to the village, despite it is allowed for basic food or health shopping. We are instructed to stay at home as much as possible.

Catholic faith

I have thought about the fact that many Italians rely on the help of Saints. Saint Christoph is the saint that protect travelers in Neaple. In Sicily we have Saint Bartolo. Many go to church and pray for help by God or some saint. By going to mass every Sunday some may think that they are protected by God, so they do not need to protect themselves. Talking with Italians I have heard answers like “Well, the day when we die is decided by God”. This may be a cause of a lower awareness about risks and how to prevent these.
But this does not explain the great epidemy in the atheistic China.

Motivation

Caring about their own health and the health of the elders is indeed a important factor in Italy Families are used to take care of each other but it may not be the only reason. s I said above, people take big risks, traveling with car, scooter and walking around by night.

 

We have a Italian revolution going on. The circumstances are scaring, but what we are seeing now, is reassuring me that the Italians can do a lot to change their own lives and country. I think they are enough frustrated and motivated to do so, listening to all Italians who are angry about their own political and economical situation. The only thing is to find out how to change it. It is not enough to accuse at right and left like many do. Most Italians do not want a Mussolini back or a Xi Jinping and they do not need a dictator really.

the Italians must change their habits, pay taxes, be honest to be able request the same from politicians and public administrators who must take well care of the public resources.
“Menefreghismo” (“I dont_care_about_youism”) is a culture that has to be fighted here in Italy. The Corona experience shows that “menefreghismo”  is possible to overcome.

 

La mafia durante il fascismo dovette andare sottoterra e non poteva piu svolere le proprie attività

 

C’è bisogno di un Mussolini o di un Xi Jinping ?

A mio avviso no.

 

Due casi lo dimostrano.

Anni da In pochi mesi abbiamo smesso di fumare in luoghi pubblici, treni, aeroporti e stazioni. 16 gennaio 2003 n. 3 art. 51 ha stabilito che ” è vietato fumare nei locali chiusi, ad eccezione di quelli privati non aperti ad utenti o al pubblico;” L’ultimo che vidi infrangere questo divieto era un giovane poliziotto all’aeroporto di Catania che fumava davanti al cartello divieto di fumo nella sala attesa.

E ora vediamo un secondo miracolo italiano. Il rispetto delle regole is salute per contenere il Corona virus. 

L’Austria ha per primo ritenuto l’Italia come zona rossa chiudendo i suoi confini a tutti ad eccezione di chi aveva certificato medico. Ora ci siamo autodichiarati zona rossa. E il mondo ci guarda a bocca aperta come seguiamo i nuovi ordini.

 

Experiential learning about viruses

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INTRODUCTION

As for March 6, more than hundred thousand humans got infected by Corona. 148 died in Italy; France has 500 infected, second after Italy in Europe.

China and Italy was badly  hit first by this intelligent virus that has evolved to host unaware humans, keeping them  in good health so they can  “share”  the virus with others.

We know that RNA and DNA containing organisms are made to mutate and evolve. Beside of a biological evolution with acquired immunities, humanity is now in the middle of a cultural evolution learning about viral pathogens.

There is a concurrential conflict still going on between RNA carriers (bacteria and viruses) and DNA carriers (animals and humans)

Like police all over the world must continuously develop new technique to protect against hacker created codes, so must DNA Humanity fight against the evolution of RNA carriers.

With the contagiousness of Corona virus, the world is now learning by concrete experience, how to protect itself from “intelligent” viruses like this.

Humanity is lucky to have a virus that has a 1-3 % fatality rate.

We are in the middle of a Experiential learning process.

Lentiviruses that causes HIV had a combination of long incubation and high mortality but it spread mainly blood by blood which made it much easier to fight.

We must learn to protect ourselves from viruses that mutate to develope both spreading capacity and high mortality. In other words a virus that combines infectivity (like Corona) and mortality (like filoviruses that cause Ebola with viral hemorrhagic fever or  lentiviruses that causes human immunodeficiency (HIV)

I am not a virologist but I made my master in a clinical bacteriology lab (Inst för klinisk bakteriologi) in Göteborg making experiments 6 months with Salmonella typhimurium in a Morbus Chron research. So I studied basic virology. With this post I updated myself with new knowledges about virus and epidemiology.

INDEX

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Exponential learning

Katarina Chmolova Instructional Designer at OpenLearning, wrote a good post about this issue  

She writes among others:

“For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”
Aristotle, in Nichomachean Ethics 

Learning happens in so many different ways. Just like getting your driving licence, an effective learning process involves

  • motivation, information, reflection, thinking, experimenting,
  • and putting new ideas
  • and concepts into practice.

This is referred to as “experiential learning. One of the models of experiential learning was created and presented by David Kolb, an American educational theorist.” Read more in  www.classcentral.com

( Source: www.classcentral.com )

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RNA Evolution

I will here take a look at the most known viruses that are the results of a RNA evolution:

  • Bacteriophage
  • Arbovirus
  • Influenza viruses. “Flu viruses”
  • Filovirus “Ebolavirus”
  • Lentivirus “human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV)”
  • Polio
  • Enterovirus
  • Plasmids
  • Herpes simplex 2.
  • Hepatitis B
  • Rhinovirus “cold virus”
  • SARS virus
  • Corona virus

Bacteriophage

Bacteriophage virus does not infect eucaryote carrying animals like humans. But I include information about this virus as the lifecycle of Bacteriophage is a good example of how viruses replicates and infect. This is how a bacteriophage can look like:

Britannica writes that “Bacteriophage, also called phage or bacterial virus, any of a group of viruses that infect bacteria…. Thousands of varieties of phages exist, each of which may infect only one type or a few types of bacteria or archaea. Phages are classified in a number of virus families; some examples include Inoviridae, Microviridae, Rudiviridae, and Tectiviridae. Like all viruses, phages are simple organisms that consist of a core of genetic material (nucleic acid) surrounded by a protein capsid. The nucleic acid may be either DNA or RNA and may be double-stranded or single-stranded. “ read more in Britannica

Arbovirus

arbovirus is an acronym (arthropod-borne virus)

Any of a group of viruses that are transmitted by mosquitoes, ticks, or other arthropods. “  lexico.com

www.medicalnewstoday.com  writes:

“””There are many types of arboviruses. The different types of arbovirus are broken down into specific genera.

The three main genera for arboviruses that cause infections in humans are as follows:

  • flavivirus
  • togavirus
  • bunyavirus

Types of flavivirus include the following:

  • yellow fever
  • West Nile virus
  • Zika virus
  • dengue fever
  • Japanese encephalitis”

Read more at www.medicalnewstoday.com 

  • Mutation rate :
  • Average incubation time:
  • Transmission: mosquitos, ticks, or other arthropods.
  • Mortality rate:30% for JEV
  • Disease: Read above.

Influenza virus

There are several types of Influensaviruses: Influenzavirus A, Influenzavirus B, Influenzavirus C, Influenzavirus D

With Isavirus, Thogotovirus, and Quaranjavirus.  influenza viruses are part of the family Orthomyxoviridae.

September2019 the prevailing type was A(H1N1)pdm09

Filovirus

So far, three genera of this virus family have been identified: Cuevavirus, Marburgvirus and Ebolavirus. Structurally, filovirus virions (complete viral particles) may appear in several shapes, a biological features called pleomorphism.”   www.cdc.gov

Lentivirus

In the family of retroviruses there is the lentiviruses that causes HIV.

“Lentiviruses persist lifelong. This is a function both of their ability to integrate into the host chromosome and of their ability to evade host immunity. This ability to evade host immunity may be related both to the high mutation rates of these viruses, and to their ability to infect immune cells (macrophages, and in the case of HIV, T-cells).” ( ehs.stanford.edu/reference )

“Lentiviruses belong to the family retroviridae, subfamily Orthoretroviridae, genus Lentivirus, characterized for long incubation periods (lente-, Latin for “slow”). The virions (or virus particles) are enveloped, spherical and within a size range of 80-100 nm in diameter. Inside the envelope (a lipid membrane derived from portions of the host cell membranes (phospholipids and proteins), but include some viral glycoproteins) resides the nucleocapsids or core where the single strand of viral RNA is packaged. One of the most striking features of this virus, from the retroviridae family, is its ability to infect both dividing and non-dividing cells and its ability to integrate a significant amount of viral RNA into the DNA of the host cell, which qualifies them as one of the most efficient methods for gene delivery.” ( ki.se )

    •  

Retrovirus. Source: (Wiki )

 

Poliovirus

The scientific name is Enterovirus C.

“people can shed infectious viruses without having symptoms.” Read more at www.medicinenet.com

“Human enteroviruses are a genus in the family Picornaviridae (small positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses) that were originally classified or named as polioviruses, Coxsackie A viruses, Coxsackie B viruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses.” Read more at www.medicinenet.com

Enterovirus

“enteroviruses cause two main types of human disease, polio, and non-polio disease. …. Non-polio enteroviruses may cause a wide range of infections that overlap; for example…

enterovirus: aseptic meningitis with rash, conjunctivitis, hand, foot, and mouth disease (EV-71), paralysis (EV-71), myopericarditis

group A Coxsackie virus: flaccid paralysis, hand, foot, and mouth disease, hemorrhagic conjunctivitis, herpangina, aseptic meningitis (with or without rash)” Read more at www.medicinenet.com

  • Family: Picornaviridae
  • Mutation rate:
  • Average incubation time
  • Transmission:
  • Mortality rate

Plasmids

A plasmid is a small, circular, double-stranded DNA molecule that is distinct from a cell’s chromosomal DNA. Plasmids naturally exist in bacterial cells, and they also occur in some eukaryotes. Often, the genes carried in plasmids provide bacteria with genetic advantages, such as antibiotic resistance.” read more in www.nature.com

I added plasmids despite it is a DNA molecule as it is interesting in research and how our cells can be reprogrammed. The given “antibiotic resistance.” is also interesting. to foresee future threats.

Herpes simplex type 2

A herpes virus that causes genital herpes, which is characterized by sores in the genital area. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease. Read more at www.medicinenet.com

  • Family: Herpesviridae
  • Mutation rate:
  • Average incubation time: 3-6 days (2-12)
  • Transmission: sexual
  • Symptom: genital herpes, encephalitis
  • Mortality rate

Herpes Zoster

  • Family:
  • Mutation rate:
  • Average incubation time:
  • Transmission:
  • Symptom: Varicella
  • Mortality rate:

Hepatitis B

Approximately 2 billion individuals in the world have evidence of past or present hepatitis B, and 1.2 million people in the U.S. are chronically infected with hepatitis B. Read more at  www.medicinenet.com

  • Family: Hepadnaviridae
  • Mutation rate:
  • Average incubation time: 4 months, (1-6)
  • Transmission: sexual contact, blood
  • Symptom: cirrhosis or liver failure
  • Mortality rate:

Rhinovirus

“Human enteroviruses are a genus in the family Picornaviridae (small positive-sense single-stranded RNA viruses) that were originally classified or named as polioviruses, Coxsackie A viruses, Coxsackie B viruses, echoviruses, and enteroviruses. Rhinoviruses are included as enteroviruses by many researchers but not all.” Read more at www.medicinenet.com

SARS virus

French research has understood that there are two families of this Corona virus.

Corona virus

Since the first reports of novel pneumonia (COVID-19) in Wuhan, Hubei province, China, there has been considerable discussion on the origin of the causative virus, SARS-CoV-2 (also referred to as HCoV-19). Infections with SARS-CoV-2 are now widespread, and as of 11 March 2020, 121,564 cases have been confirmed in more than 110 countries, with 4,373 deaths.

SARS-CoV-2 is the seventh coronavirus known to infect humans; SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe disease, whereas HKU1, NL63, OC43 and 229E are associated with mild symptoms

Our analyses clearly show that SARS-CoV-2 is not a laboratory construct or a purposefully manipulated virus.(Read more at/Source: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-020-0820-9 )

“The new corona virus continues to spread despite significant measures taken by the authorities in China to stop the outbreak. However, this time the fast response coupled with increased knowledge about the nature of the virus means the world is better placed to handle the outbreak compared to 18 years ago when SARS caused widespread concern, says virus researcher Ali Mirazimi, adjunct professor at the Department of Laboratory Medicine at Karolinska Institutet.” ( news.ki.se )

A separate analysis by the team suggests that the L-type was derived from the older S-type. The first strain is likely to have emerged around the time the virus jumped from animals to humans. The second emerged soon after that, says the team. Both are involved in the current global outbreak. The fact that the L-type is more prevalent suggests that it is “more aggressive” than the S-type, the team say. Read more: www.newscientist.com/article

“We can fight Corona as a flue but it is not a flue” (Fabrizio Sala , vicepresident at Region Lombardia at Euronews March 11)

French research has understood that there are two families of this Corona virus.

Source: www.nytimes.com

 How corona hijacks a human cell. Read in www.nytimes.com

Read more at onlinelibrary.wiley.com

Family: Coronaviridae

 

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Epidemiology

I think that this youtube is a good presentation of epidemiology.

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Immunity

“It’s unclear whether people who recover from COVID-19 will be immune to reinfection from the coronavirus and, if so, how long that immunity will last.” Read more at www.npr.org

Incidence

Here is a chart with some virus incidences of selected upper respiratory tract infection pathogens. PIV = parainfluenza virus; RSV = respiratory syncytial virus; MPV = metapneumovirus; Group A Strept = group A streptococcus. “ Read more in  emedicine.medscape.com

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Myths

“Here at Live Science, we’ve compiled a list of the most pervasive myths about the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, the disease it causes, and explained why these rumors are misleading, or just plain wrong.” Read more at www.livescience.com

Here are the main titles in the article. I mark with text in bold for myth that may be interesting also for other viruses than Corona. read about these in www.livescience.com

  • Myth: Face masks can protect you from the virus
    “Standard surgical masks cannot protect you from SARS-CoV-2, as they are not designed to block out viral particles and do not lay flush to the face”
  • Myth: You’re waaaay less likely to get this than the flu 
  • Myth: The virus is just a mutated form of the common cold
  • Myth: The virus was probably made in a lab
  • Myth: Getting COVID-19 is a death sentence
  • Myth: Pets can spread the new coronavirus
  • Myth: Lockdowns or school closures won’t happen in the US
  • Myth: Kids can’t catch the coronavirus
    “when children become infected, they seem less likely to develop severe disease”
  • Myth: If you have coronavirus, “you’ll know”
    “early on, infected people may show no symptoms at all.” (ed. due to longer incubation time)
  • Myth: The coronavirus is less deadly than the flu
  • Myth: It’s not safe to receive a package from China
    “coronaviruses can stay on surfaces such as metal, glass or plastic for as long as nine days,”
  • Myth: You can get the coronavirus if you eat at Chinese restaurants in the US

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Prevention

prevention from common cold (Rhinovirus that belongs to the Picornaviridae) is good to practice for most viral infections.

“The common cold refers to a group of symptoms caused by viruses. Rhinoviruses cause the most cases of the common cold, and more than 200 different viruses have been identified that cause cold symptoms. Colds are most often transmitted from one person to another via the hands – for example, by shaking hands with a person who has a cold. Droplets containing the virus may be coughed or sneezed by an infected person into the air and inhaled by another. The virus may contaminate a surface such as a doorknob or countertop.” Read more at www.medicinenet.com

It says

1. Wash your hands often.
2. Avoid touching your face.
3. Don’t smoke
4. Use disposable items if a family member is infected.
5. Keep household surfaces clean.
6. Wash toys
7. Use paper towels
8. Throw tissues away after use
9. Maintain a healthy lifestyle
10. Control stress

Read more at www.medicinenet.com

Masks

Type of masks

From Repubblica about FFP2 and FFP3:

According to a Canadian study where hospital personel participated. 20% of those who used surgical masks got flue:

Il Tempo published this table about inhaling and exhaling data for different masks. No sources were given:

Mask effectivenes after wearing time

Searching with the words “Influence on BFE of wearing time of surgical masks”

You dont find masks to buy while many use masks the wrong way, when it is not necessary. Who has a good instruction on how to use masks. Read in www.who.int . Below are the recommendations given by www.who.int .

  • If you are healthy, you only need to wear a mask if you are taking care of a person with suspected 2019-nCoV infection.
  • Wear a mask if you are coughing or sneezing.
  • Masks are effective only when used in combination with frequent hand-cleaning with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • If you wear a mask, then you must know how to use it and dispose of it properly.

Sanitizers

Saanitizer liquids to protect surfaces are sold out in several countries. I found a site with a receipt (60% alcool, 40 % water or aloe gel solution)

www.businessinsider.com

says “Insider talked to Miryam Wahrman, a biology professor at William Paterson University and the author of “The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World,” about exactly how.

All you really need is alcohol, either isopropyl (rubbing) or ethyl (used in beer, wine, and spirits). As long as the solution is at least 60% alcohol, you can rub the liquid into your hands and let them air dry, then you’ll have effectively sanitized them.

“The bottom line is that alcohol is the active ingredient” in hand sanitizer, she said. 

To make the experience a little gentler on your skin, you can moisturize after the alcohol has dried. You can also add a few drops of aloe vera to the rubbing alcohol, but make sure the liquid is over 60% alcohol so that the aloe doesn’t dilute it too much.

“If you drop below 60%, the effectiveness drops very dramatically,” Wahrman said.

A simple recipe

I tried this recipe that makes my hand feel good after sanitizing
(I made 3 dl sanitizer).

  • 1/3 denaturated water with some hand moisture fro dry skin (glycerol or similar to be bought in farmacy)
    (e.g. 1 dl)
  • 2/3 96% alcohol
    (e.g. 2 dl)Calculated with 96% alcool you get a 0.96×2/3=64% sanitizer. You can therefore add some more if you want without passing 80%

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conclusions

 Noone can tell why Corona spread so easily in Italy and now is spreading very fast in France.

I have to hypothesis about this.

Unawareness and myths

Italians (like Frenchmen, have a deeply rooted tradition of accepting close physical relations. Cheek kissing each other among friends is tradition like in Russia. Hand shake is of course also tradition as everywhere in the world.

There is a widely spread myth that cold air is a pathogen that causes cold, bronchitis and pneumonia so people avoid having windows open in winter and often accept vicinity with others.

  • This myth is built in the word in several languages.
  • English: You get a cold if you are in a cold environment.
  • Italian: You get a raffreddore  if you are in a freddo environment.
  • German: You get a erkältung if you are in a kalt environment.
  • Swedish : You get a förkylning if you are in a kyld environment.

Despite many had bronchitis in January on the island of Lipari many were happily talking with each other in the small waiting rooms  wiitng for a   talk withe the  doctor of course with windows and door closed as it was cold outside (about 17 Celsius). the doctor warned them telling them to keep distances but noone moved out.

Italians are used to flu epidemias but I see there has been little knowledge about how influenzaviruses spread itself and how to protect yourself from it except by vaccination.

Believes in Saints

A friend joked about Corona that the Saint Bartolo may save us islanders from Corona. But that joke may reveal a untold tradition that praying enough to the right saint, you are safe. There are saints for all kind of problems. If you travel Saint Christopher may keep you alive. If you travel with boat then pray to Saint Bartolo. The Romans had many gods. The Italians have many saints giving them immunity from all kind of dangers.

I wonder if this make people less interested in other solutions or motivated to protect themselves.

With the corona epidemia in Italy, Italians are now learning a lot about how to prevent spreading of this virus. As even the Vatican that should be safe from all kind of disease, also has a corona case, Italians are learning that praying to saints does not help them. So they are now starting to be preventive, accepting that schools and other activities are closed and prohibited.

 

Language cultures

introduction

I read a splendid article in the Italian newspaper La Repubblica published January 10. As it is a translation of a article in EL PAIS written by ANTONIO MUÑOZ MOLINA I decided to look at the original article in Spanish to check the correctness in the Italian translation.

The title of the article is “En defensa de Greta”. It contains a interesting analysis of the Spanish and Italian culture and human attitude.

The article

Here is the Spanish English translation of some interesting parts:

It begins with:

“Greta Thunberg literally puts us face to face with our degree of personal responsibility to the great climate crisis which is already happening. She gives us the example of an activism……”

And now comes the view I am especially interested in:

“The people of my generation are politically educated in a world of  nice abstractions that did not need to transform into anything concrete in our daily lives.” 
“One said something and that was enough for something to become real instantly.”

<With the political and moral arrogance of that time we should have been vaccinated against this type of progressive heroism that consisted only of clouds of words destined to hide  behaviors that are often dirty. 

In Spanish: “hubiera debido vacunarnos contra ese tipo de heroísmos progresistas que consistían solo en nubes de palabras destinadas a envolver comportamientos con frecuencia canallescos.” Source: elpais.com )

“We have met incorruptible wrestlers who rode in rage if they were not housed in luxury hotels….”

I really like the description “clouds of words to  hide dirty  behaviors” as it is often seen among some upper class people in Italy that are proud of the Italian literal history and that don’t want to identiy themselves with the lower “ignorant” class.

Conclusions

A new era of politicians

Some politicians have changed their comunication strategy, using a less abstract language but being skilled in lying and scareing. It started in Italy with  Mussolini who inspired party leaders like Giorgio Almirante of “Movimento Sociale”, Berlusconi of “Forza Italia” and today Salvini (la Lega). as in USA with Donald Trump many other  populistic party leaders, often on the right wing attract voters with unmotivated fear and  dangereous lies.

Some politicians that are not able to answer embarassing questions either go back hinding themselves under the ususal cloud of words or do their best to deviate with others answers or….

In Malta we have seen the worst scenario with the killing of Daphne Anne Caruana Galizia 2 years ago, a killing that reminds of the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But many populist  leaders do not need to go so far, as they have cells (like ISIS cells) with fanatics that can act anytime.

The difference between these two classes of politicians

  • The “Cloud of word” politicians are difficult to understand and critizise. Burt they dont get the masses of voters neither.
  • The lying and treathening politicians on the other sider are dangereous as these attract easily many voters who do not have the possibility to check with reality.

Greta not only uses a language understandable for the masses but also shows how we can do to stop a climate change. Greta may become a raw non hyporit model for a new class of politicians that have a sincere will to change things without any hidden egosism

Asa friend of mine said “Politicians are schooled to talk but not to act.”

In Sweden we see many politicians who are able to use a understandable language but they still do not able to demarquerade the right wing Sverigedemokraterna (SD) lies and their spreading of unmotivated fear.

In Italy, I have not yet seen Italian politicians who are able to talk tot the people without falling into the old clouds (in Italian called politichese). It is a rooted instict to show intelligence and authoority by using difficult words and formulations. 

 

S Lucia

There are several nice traditions in Sweden. Today is the only day that all Swedes dedicate to a Italian saint, the Saint Lucia of Siracuse. In my school like all others, the school day starts with a Lucia walk and singing. I take the opportunity to share this for you. A Lucia event sent from a church in beautiful Gränna. Click on this link to see it.
https://www.svtplay.se/video/24823646/luciamorgon-fran-granna

. Have a good day. Greeting from a windy Aeolian island. I wish a nice Lucia day to all my Swedish friends.

Italian lack of punctuality

introduction

www.beyondtoscano.com/entertainment/italian-punctuality-reliably-unreliable-217/  writes this in the post “Italian punctuality: reliably unreliable”:

“Italian punctuality can at times feel like an oxymoron, even though to many Italians, unpunctuality is a constant annoyance.

In saying ‘sometime around’ many Italians are secretly implying a time you’re expected to arrive (9pm) while giving themselves a 15 window of time to arrive. with the Italian tendency to delay or push back deadlines, it could be later still. This habit seems more prevalent the further south in Italy you go, … “

www.italymagazine.com/forums/general-chat-about-italy/11522-italians-and-punctuality.html  is harder in its critics,  writing 

“Those of you who, like me, know a number of Italians, have probably realised that most have little or NO concept of time and punctuality,

The Italymagazine editor  continues with:

“But this seems to be an endemic part of the Italian make up. They never keep to time in their personal lives.”

I have done business with Italians since 1995. I agree with italymagazine especcially here in Sicily. I have always thought the Sicilians are slower less willing to stress because of the heat. I may be wrong.

I myself tend instead to come to meetings  before time to avoid the stress and prevent unexpected events that may delay me. I love walking slowly the last meters to destination especially with the Sicilian Summer heat. And I do not want others to loose their precious time. As John in the video I share below

“Time is the  most important human resource”. We dont live 400 years like Abraham.  Don’t we?

If i visit my doctor I am prepared for a waiting session as I know that a patients illness before me may require more time than expected by the doctor. I have experience of very long  waiting times in Swedish hospitals. So, when I visit a doctor I plan for a longer wait with a newspaper or spending the time planning the rest of my day or week or ejoying a talk with other patients.

I am trying to find a solution for unexpected waiting time. Shall I become a time robber coming late too? But as .beyondtoscano.com writes, Italians expect others to be punctual.

index

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Punctual people.

I like to listen to this Youtubeas he is making a little bit fun about himself.

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Time robbers

I dont find any site telling about lack of punctuality and time stealing. But I find a lot of sites telling about time robbers. The best slide i found was this:

But as you can see this table just list factors that steal time from you. But time robbers may be stealing your time because these factors steal time from them.

I presume that two factors are the main contributors of Italian lack of punctuality:

  1. poor planning
  2. Phone calls and Inability to say “no”
  3. Taking on to much and ineffective or lacking of delegation

1. I have noted that very few Italian may use a calendar, paperback nor digital. I have not met anyone using this technique.
2, When I had a meeting, if someone else called, I have never heard “Sorry I have a meeting now. can I call you back when I am ready?”

only once in my Italian experience, I  heard “Sorry for being late”

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How to stop being late

Maybe this video gives you a few hints

For me the most valuable tips are:

  1. Build margin in the calendar
  2. Cut off things
  3. Change your attitude having “no” as your defaults answer
  4.  
  5. Plan to be early and plan something enjoyable to do while you wait.
  6. Make deadlines non-negotiable
  7. Know you personality type.
    Psychologist Dr. Linda Sapadin identified four chronically late personality types:

    1. perfectionists should be optimalist instead
    2. dreamers are often overoptimistic with time.
    3. crisis makers should practice adrenalin sports instead.
    4. Defiers  who hates being told what to do  should instead  rebel against social norms that are actually harmful
  8. Sourcve;: www.realmenrealstyle.com/be-more-punctual/

Academic quarter

Perhaps the solution is the Swedish “akademisk kvart” (“Academic quarter” German “Akademisches Viertel”, Italian: “Quarto d’ora accademico”

I have found a Italian site about “Quarto d’ora accademico” in italianosemplicemente.com/2016/11/07/il-quarto-dora-accademico che tra l’altro dice degli italiani “non siamo in generale rigidi nel rispetto delle regole, almeno nelle regole dell’orario e della puntualità. Questa mancanza di capacità di stare alle regole, di stare nel “recinto” delle regole, se da una parte è una mancanza di rispetto verso chi invece le regole le rispetta, dall’altra ci dà probabilmente la capacità di stare al di fuori della logica comune, e questo porta l’italiano ad una maggiore creatività, una maggiore inventiva, una maggiore capacità di inventare e di lavorare con la fantasia. Questa ovviamente può essere una delle possibili interpretazioni, una delle tante.”

I reallt wonder if this time culture helps the Italians to become more creative “porta l’italiano ad una maggiore creatività“. Creativity depends on your time of relax. The Italian siesta and relax is I think a better space for creativity.

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How to deal with the Italian lack of Punctuality

the academic quarter was not permitted in compulsory school in Sweden. But this academic culture is maybe a solution. Shall I plan with coming sometime within 15 minutes? I don’t have a answer yet, how to deal with this issue.  I see however  no reason to come before as this would make me still more irritated if the others come late.

or like John says in his youtube above “I try to be less early”

I like the idea www.realmenrealstyle.com/be-more-punctual/ sugggests:

Plan to be early and plan something enjoyable to do while you wait.”

so If someone comes late I can go and take a cup of granita?