Mar 21, 2020

21 March

Mothers' & Spring day, government hypocrisy, Gaza prayers for the world, medical qualifications, and one way how to spend time productively by taking virtual tours of museums & sites....All below.

A big salute to all mothers on mothers’ day especially my mother and my wife and all the mothers especially in this first day of spring in Palestine (beautiful flowers in our museum garden). Mothers (and all women) are our salvation & our future especially in such bleak times. 

Our hearts  go  to all who lost loved ones  in this pandemic and to all who are suffering from it. Few are friends and acquaintances (and are receiving this since this is sent to all 50,000 plus emails), we share our love for all people. Particular worry for people in Italy and Iran: one person dies now in Iran every 10 minutes and one person in Italy dies every 2-3 minutes (and health services are at the brink of collapse).  We are  grateful to Venezuela and Cuba for sending doctors to Italy. We are grateful for the Italian young lady journalist who handed US Secretary of state Pompeo dog food telling him he could eat it and learn to have some loyalty. We are grateful for decent Arabs who show solidarity with Palestine and outrage at their governments’ acquiescence in handing Israeli intelligence agents  highly valuable medical supplies.

Some people said in response to my last message that we should not criticize governments and factions during this tough time and we should leave the criticism for the good time? The logic escapes me. It is precisely during difficult time that citizens are awakened and must hold them responsible. Pushing them now is certainly the most likely to help, Should Israelis not hold Netanyahu responsible for his racist remarks  about Arabs (continuing even in his daily “briefings”) or at least for his power grab shutting the court that was set to try him last week and closing the Knesset? Do you think our politicians are not taking advantage of this catastrophic situation to advance their narrow interests at the expense of people interest? Why do you thank Trump now holds a press conference daily when the first three years in office he barely appeared before press except for Fox News and the like (hate mongering media)?  And isn’t Trump & Netanyahu responsible for many deaths in besieged Iran, Venezuela and Gaza? Isn’t Mahmoud Abbas and Haniya responsible (Maybe not equally 80%/20%)since 2006 for the state of division afflicting Palestinian politics that cost us so much more suffering on the hands of the colonizers? And please do not tell me your political leader or congressperson is altruistic.

Other readers asked about my own qualifications to speak of medical and viral issues. For the record, I was professor in medical schools at famous universities (Tennessee, Duke, Yale) and am a medical geneticists who was director of medical labs in the past three decades. I also teach biotechnology now (including genetic engineering etc) and published over 150 scientific papers, a third of them medical.

Gaza residents prayed  Friday in mosques and tomorrow in churches for the rest of the world which has allowed and abetted blockade to continue. They hope the rest of the world having tasted on a small scale what Gaza endured for many years that we all show sympathy and solidarity and joint struggle against oppression.

Testimony of one Israeli veteran soldier on Gaza

And Yemen is like Gaza. (Must see) Atiaf Alwazir remarkable Tedx talk about YEMEN http://youtu.be/rkvTDM7ghEk

 Innovations inspired by Gaza

Time to spare sitting at home? Besides working and volunteering from home (contact us if you want ideas on how to help us http://palestinenature.org/volunteer :-) you can take these virtual tours of museums around the world (and soon we will have one for the Palestine Museum of Natural History)

Virtual dive in several ocen locations https://sanctuaries.noaa.gov/vr/
Street walk/graffiti exploration https://streetart.withgoogle.com/en/audio-tours
Nature walk virtual        
Google art and culture virtual tours 2500 museums https://artsandculture.google.com/project/street-view
Hermitage Museum, Russia https://youtu.be/49YeFsx1rIw

1 comment:

  1. Here in UK, we have a government that is either malevolent (wanting a cull of the elderly) or incompetent. Possibly both. But this government is composed of the offspring of England’s (mostly England) top families, who went to the best private schools and our top universities. Our PM had a stellar university career. How could they be incompetent?

    Whatever, the motivation, they ignored the scientific advice coming from Professor Neil Ferguson’s teams at Imperial college, one of the world’s absolute top epidemiology centres working with the World Health Organisation. As early as Mid-February, when we really could have stopped or slowed the virus, they were told that if they did not act immediately, 600,000 deaths were likely in UK. They did nothing except vague advice and platitudes.

    They ignored the increasingly strong calls from the WHO for immediate action. They ignored the beseeching of senior doctors in Italy, one holding back tears as he begged us to learn from their mistakes.

    By mid-March, our rulers were ‘advising’ people not to go to pubs, clubs and leisure centres, but no orders to close were given, and the consequences weren’t emphasised. People didn’t feel an immediate personal risk, so most continued as normal. The schools – always hotbeds of disease transmission - remained open – so why would it matter if the parents went out socialising?

    Many otherwise sensible people went to the pub last night for ‘a last drink with friends’ (finally the closure order has been given) and by their actions will have guaranteed that it will indeed be the last time some of those friends see each other.

    There is a theory that Johnson (the PM) and Co chose to follow the advice of a team of ‘nudge’ specialists rather than mainstream psychologists and public health experts. See https://thepsychologist.bps.org.uk/social-psychology-coronavirus-will-flies-save-us .
    Now schools have closed – far too late. The damage is done, the virus will be in every part of this country. We won’t be able to send the piles of dead in military convoys to regions better able to cope, as in Italy, because there won’t be such unaffected regions.

    One expert claims he told the government to order ventilators and Personal Protection Equipment as early as December. Nothing was done. Nor did they order COVID19 testing kits as advised. At the start of this week, two UK test kit manufacturers said they had had no NHS orders and were exporting all they could make. GPs and health workers are falling sick for lack of PPE made to WHP standards and aren’t tested to see if they have COVID-19 or a common cold.

    I’m unable to leave my home except in the dead of night, maybe for a year. Neighbours and community groups are doing a great job to help us get supplies, for now. The authorities have done nothing, though they are pouring huge sums of money into businesses.

    This is why I absolutely agree with Mazin. We should not give these politicians, or the system they serve, a free pass.

    The world will be different in 12 months’ time. We need to strain every sinew to make it move in a more equitable direction more favourable to the mass of people and those currently oppressed.

    There must be an accounting and it may need to be before democracy is restored, for those of us lucky enough to live in democratic countries (all elections are suspended her e– but not in US?). There will be more suppression of liberties before this is ‘over’.

    Conditions are going to get very tough for us. And much worse in developing countries where people cannot stay at home, because they may not have a tap in their crowded home. We are not ‘all in it together’. We will lose loved ones and friends. Not all of us will make it. And people want us to stop fighting for a better world now?

    If you got this far, I wish you and your families the best possible outcomes. And , as this piece in Ha’aretz by David Grossman says, look for hope and change. https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium.MAGAZINE-the-plague-is-a-formative-event-when-it-fades-new-possibilities-will-emerge-1.8687842

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