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Four months after the first cases of coronavirus were recorded and three months after total quarantine was declared in Wuhan, the Chinese authorities changed the status of the city from closed to open to the public. However, the metropolis, apparently, it will take more time for the city to return to normal life - consumer activity is at zero, and there will probably be no foreign investors for several more years.
In Wuhan, a Chinese metropolis with a population of 12 million people, where coronavirus cases were first recorded in December 2019, quarantine is officially canceled on Wednesday, April 8. Trains will start to run from the city and it will be possible to fly by plane, intercity automobile communication will be restored. But this will not mean a return to normal, Bloomberg reports.
Despite the fact that now the number of new infections per day does not exceed 30 compared to several thousand in February, the shock from the epidemic still persists, and the fear of the second wave does not allow businesses to resume work at “pre-virus” levels. Fears are fueled by the fact that cases of infection in people who do not have symptoms of the disease are still being detected in the city. It is such asymptomatic cases that played a huge role in the spread of the epidemic. “Silent carriers,” up to a third of those whose tests tested positive for coronavirus, wrote the South China Morning Post in late March, citing Chinese government data. At the same time, Chinese doctors claim that an asymptomatic patient can infect a maximum of one person.
"Before and after"
Wuhan is the center of one of the most important industrial regions of China, Hubei Province. Before the outbreak, the provincial GDP was expected to grow by 7.5–7.8% in 2020. The city’s attractiveness for doing business has grown rapidly - according to the report of the Milken Institute for 2019, Wuhan ranked 9th in terms of aggregate economic indicators among all Chinese cities, rising seven lines in a year. Business in the city ranged from biomedicine and chip manufacturing to auto parts. Coronavirus delivered a painful blow to all of this.
In February alone, Hubei’s domestic regional product fell by at least 50%, and budget lost about $ 1 billion, estimates Chen Bo, an economics professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan.
Shopping centers in Wuhan reopened, but they are mostly empty, most people are still too scared to go shopping for non-essential items. “I'm happy if no one comes in,” admits sales assistant at Calvin Klein's store at Wuhan International Plaza. “It's safer.” Typically, customers left 20,000 yuan (about $ 3,000) in the store over the weekend, and there were only two purchases in the week that passed since the store opened after the outbreak on March 30.
Such sentiments are ubiquitous. For example, in order to maintain a distance between sellers in shops and buyers, real walls are build in the city - 2 meters in height.
The movement of residents remains under tight control, and officials are on high alert for an outbreak. The Chinese government tracks residents through QR codes embedded in Alipay payment system and Wechat social network. Each application user automatically receives their health status at midnight - green, yellow or red - depending on their location, basic health information and travel history. Only those with a green code can leave their apartments and go to work. It is easy to lose the color of the code necessary for movement: it is enough to visit a shopping center, where later a case of infection with coronavirus will be revealed — then the green color turns yellow and implies self-isolation of the house.
Xiaomi Corp. employees who return to work are instructed not to enter the office elevator for more than five people each. At the same time, you can only stand in the elevator in accordance with special marks on the floor.
Five-star hotels are up and running again, but the buffet has been reduced to a few basic dishes, packed in individual disposable containers.
Li Jing, 33, who provides visitors with apartments, admits that Wuhan is now “clearly not the place people choose to visit first.” To lure guests, before each check-in, Lee will carry out a three-hour disinfection and expand the menu of services for guests. However, he admits that his apartments may be vacant for several weeks and even months.
Investors will not come
Officially, the plants in Wuhan can already resume work, but people are not in a hurry to return to jobs, and the supply chain must now be reorganized. One of the largest factories in Wuhan is the joint production of Peugeot cars by the PSA Group and the Chinese Dongfeng Motor Group. Machine assembly has resumed, but employees indicate that supply chains are intermittent. According to one of the plant’s managers, Mei Yunfeng, many of the company's suppliers have not yet returned to the same level as business as ussual.
“The outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic destroyed Wuhan’s plans to integrate more tightly into the global supply chain,” said Professor Chen from Huazhong University. The implications for tourism and foreign investment will continue for a long time. Chen points out that after the outbreak of SARS in 2003, foreign direct investment in Guangdong, where the epidemic began, stopped for two to three years. “The same thing will happen to Wuhan,” he is pessimistic. “Investors will be careful, fearing new outbreaks of the disease, in addition, it will seem to them that the city is poorly managed.”
If you come out of the coronavirus epidemic without a new skill, you have wasted your most valuable time. We always hear people saying they do not have time to study, to exercise, to eat healthily, to spend more time with the family… and now, when they have all the time at their fingertips, they start to blame on emotional distress associated with the lockdown.
While the situation is indeed very difficult, with 1.4 million people infected with COVID-19, over 75.000 confirmed deaths and with many people losing their jobs, it can have an emotional effect on each of us.
Unfortunately, many people will feel more isolated, will get confronted with sickness, face relationship issues,... if not all at once.
So, while there are some things which are out of our control and we must stay at home during the epidemic, why not use this time to your advantage and learn a new skill. You need to ask yourself this question: “What do want to become after the epidemic will end?”.
Once you have answered these questions, bellow is a list of top resources you can use to learn a new skill. Starting with a graphic designer, digital marketing, web developer, accountant or new leadership skills, Bemorepanda has collected a compilation of 5 sources that will help you to achieve this goal:
1. Udemy - is one of the largest online learning destinations that helps students, businesses, and governments gain the skills they need to compete in today’s economy. More than 50 million students are mastering new skills from expert instructors teaching over 150,000 online courses in topics from programming and data science to leadership and team building. The company is privately owned and headquartered in San Francisco with offices in Denver, Brazil, India, Ireland, and Turkey.
2. Lynda.com – Lynda is part of LinkedIn, which is a leading online learning company that helps anyone learn business, technology and creative skills to achieve personal and professional goals. Through individual, government, corporate and academic subscriptions, members have access to the video library of engaging, top-quality courses taught by recognized industry experts – more than 5,700 courses and 255,000 video tutorials across mobile and desktop. It strives to help employees find passion and purpose.
3. Udacity - Udacity’s mission is to power careers through tech education. Every industry is being impacted by modern technology. As companies everywhere adapt and transform their businesses, they’re looking to hire people with the tech skills to match their goals. The company works with the world’s technology leaders to teach these critical tech skills through a powerful and flexible digital education platform.
4. Coursera - Coursera was founded by two computer science professors at Stanford with a vision of providing life-transforming learning experiences to anyone across the globe. It is the world’s largest online learning platform for higher education. 190 of the world's top universities and industry educators partner with Coursera to offer courses, Specializations, and degrees that empower over 43 million learners around the world to achieve their career goals. 2,000 companies trust our enterprise platform Coursera for Business to transform their talent. Coursera for Government equips government employees and citizens with in-demand skills to build a competitive workforce.
5. Codecademy - Headquartered in New York City, the company is committed to teaching people the skills they need to upgrade their careers, educate a richly diverse demographic of users with their products. Software is disrupting every major industry, and creating millions of new technology jobs that companies are eager to fill. This is the skills gap which Codecademy is willing to address.
So, next time you wonder how to spend your time during the epidemic lockdown, use any of these resources to learn something new. Now is the best time.
Attempts to seize the territories of other planets cannot set states on fruitful interaction. This opinion was expressed on Tuesday by the Deputy Director General of Roscosmos for International Cooperation, Sergey Savelyev, commenting on a decree signed yesterday by US President Donald Trump in support of the commercial development of resources on the Moon by the United States.
"Attempts to expropriate outer space and aggressive plans to actually seize territories of other planets hardly set the countries to fruitful cooperation," Saveliev said.
He recalled that there were examples in history when one country decided to start seizing territories in its interests. “Everyone remembers what came of it,” Saveliev added.
On April 6, Trump signed a decree on the right of the United States to commercialize resources on the Moon and other celestial bodies. The document states that US citizens should have the right to conduct commercial research, to extract and use resources in outer space in accordance with applicable law.
In turn, the General Director of Roscosmos Dmitry Rogozin on his Twitter page stated that the two decrees signed by Trump “on the actual assignment of the moon and other celestial bodies to the United States” and on the state of emergency in the United States due to coronavirus can be related. “We are trying to understand how these decrees are interconnected,” he wrote.
At the same time, space is considered as a legally and physically unique space that the United States does not consider to be in the public domain. Thus, Washington does not recognize the agreement adopted by the UN General Assembly in 1979 on the activities of states on the moon and other celestial bodies, Gazeta.ru writes. The document states that the exploration and use of the satellite is the property of all mankind and is carried out in the interests of the world community, and the states involved in the exploration of the moon should cooperate and provide mutual assistance to each other.
Roscosmos, also known as the Roscosmos State Corporation for Space Activities, is the coordinating hub for space activities in Russia. It performs numerous civilian activities (including Earth monitoring and the astronaut program) and coordinates with the Defense Ministry of the Russian Federation for military launches.
Pets dispel loneliness and anxiety, bring joy and maintain the well-being of those around them, many studies show, and not under normal circumstances, but in the isolation required during this period to limit the spread of coronavirus, they prove to be more than that.
After craving for a pet, Barney, the cavalier King Charles spaniel, could not have arrived at a better moment, says Marie Brown. “We picked him up the day before lockdown. The timing is a godsend.”
The puppy has helped her children, aged 12 and 15, adjust to life at home in Sevenoaks, Kent, without school, sport or much of a social life.
"I brought Barney home the day before the isolation was imposed. It was a perfect timing, "a woman confessed to The Guardian.
Barney is a king charles spaniel knight, and after a few years when the woman's two 12- and 15-year-olds insisted on a puppy, he entered their lives. Barney now helps them adapt to life in self-isolation, without school, without too many outdoor activities and without social life.
"Certainly Barney makes us less stressed and raises our morale," says the woman. He borrowed his neighbors' dog Somewhere in north London, Honey, a two-year-old cockapoo, smiles on the lips of a doctor struggling to withstand the crisis of coronavirus. "When my husband enters the house, she is there, waiting for him at the door. The next moment, he is on the floor and playing with Honey.
You can see how stress and fatigue and anxiety disappear, ”says a woman living in Highgate, London.
He borrowed his neighbors' dog
Somewhere in north London, Honey, a two-year-old cockapoo, smiles on the lips of a doctor struggling to resist the coronavirus crisis.
"When my husband comes into the house, she is there, waiting for him at the door. The next moment, he is on the floor and playing with Honey. You see how stress and fatigue and anxiety go away, ”says a woman living in Highgate, London.
Someone else borrowed his dog, a griffin brussels named Loki, to the neighbors, "for their own good and his."
"We remember that life goes on"
"He is very sociable and cannot understand how he went from being treated like a star to seeing me and my husband daily," says Loki's mistress. "We are reminded that life goes on" Belle and Little Tyke, two London cats, are a comfort to a mother and her 11-year-old son living in Birmingham.
"We realized that when it all goes wrong, it is very nice to have them near us - we are reminded that life goes on," says the owner of the two cats.
The kid confesses that every time he feels worried or sad, he takes Little Tyke in his arms and immediately feels better.
The 18-reptile boy
Not only dogs and cats can be perfect pets. An 18-year-old from Wales says his reptiles have helped him overcome anxiety and depression.
It has 18 animals, including turtles, snakes and lizards. His favorite is Lily, a nine-month-old Argentine lizard.
"I have a special connection with her. I put my hand on the floor and run at me like a puppy, ”says the young man, for the British newspaper.
Animal adoptions in the UK have increased
Animal shelters have seen an increase in the number of adoptions in recent weeks, although most of them have been closed to the public.
"A dog is for life, not just for isolation", draws attention to Dogs Trust, the NGO that launched the famous slogan "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas" / "A dog is for life, not just for Christmas ”.
Not only people are bored during the lockdown. Two Pandas have been trying to mate for 10 years and only after the zoo has been quarantined, they finaly did it
In Hong Kong's Ocean Park, the 14-year-old pandas Yin Yin and Le Le mated. This is the first success in 10 years, according to the zoo website.
"The successful natural mating process today is extremely exciting for all of us, as the chance of pregnancy via natural mating is higher than by artificial insemination," Michael Boos, executive director for zoological operations and conservation at Ocean Park.
Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the park has been closed to visitors since late January.
From the end of March, Yin Yin began to spend more time playing in the water, while Le Le left traces of smells around his habitat and everywhere looked for her smell. This behavior is consistent with the usual behavior during the breeding season, which occurs once a year from March to May. With a change in hormone levels at Yin Yin, the Park’s veterinary team that looked after the animals confirms that giant pandas have entered the breeding season this year, the report said.
The giant male and female pandas reach puberty from seven and five years old, respectively. Yin Yin and Le Le arrived in Hong Kong in 2007 and since 2010 they tried to mate, but they did not succeed, since it is difficult for pandas to breed in captivity. By the way, the probability of pregnancy with natural mating is higher than with artificial insemination.
If successful, signs of pregnancy, including hormonal fluctuations in the level and behavioral changes, can be observed already at the end of June, although there is always the possibility that Yin Yin may experience pseudo-pregnancy. “We hope this year to bring great news about pregnancy to Hong Kong and make an additional contribution to the conservation of this vulnerable species,” said Michael Boos, Executive Director of Zoological Operations and Conservation at Ocean Park.
The gestation period for giant pandas ranges from 72 to 324 days. Pregnancy can only be confirmed 14-17 days before birth using ultrasound scanning.
Meanwhile, a camel Sema was born in the Kharkov zoo. Now Semyon Aleksandrovich is already 10 days old, he was born with a weight of 38 kilograms and 90 centimeters. The camel Alexandrovich continues to grow as it is breast-fed. He will drink his mother’s milk for at least another six months, or even a half, after which he will switch to the usual camel meal: hay, grass, carrots, beets and bran.
Experts believe that the situation with the coronavirus epidemic in Belarus is at the point where an urgent decision is needed. The number of cases began to increase by 30-40% per day.
The population of Belarus begins to complain against the fact that the country's president, Alexander Lukashenko, does not introduce any quarantine measures in the country, but, on the contrary, practically denies the existence of an epidemic. Residents made a petition calling on the authorities to quarantine. It has already been signed by more than 150 thousand people.
Moreover, the son of a resident of Polotsk, who died of pneumonia, Lidia Matveeva, who was diagnosed with a coronavirus, wrote a statement to the police demanding to institute criminal proceedings against the president, Alexander Lukashenko.
Economist Aleksnadr Rogers believes that it is too early to talk about the alarming situation, Lukashenko still has time to maneuver.
Here the situation is not simple: Alexander Grigorievich is a stubborn man, if he has decided something, he will not give up. So I'm not sure that he will make another decision. But, on the other hand, it’s also impossible to say exactly how much sick, the tests in Belarus are few, the influx of patients, a certain critical mass is also not observed, and the statement to the police is, excuse me, a cry of the soul, one can only sympathize with a person, - says Rogers.
The expert noted that, according to rumors, an epidemic has been going on in Belarus for a long time, and the death toll is increasing, they just make doctors hide everything, but it is not possible to verify the plausibility of such statements.
Alexander Lukashenko himself laughs at the quarantine question, saying that you can enter quarantine in 24 hours, but "who will feed us" or that "cows on a remote place do not milk."
Political analyst Dmitry Rodionov believes that he has no other option.
Lukashenko will pull to the very last. It’s hard to say where the hell is, when he realizes that you can’t do without quarantine. He may try to hide it, somehow manipulate data, but corpses are corpses. You can’t hide them, ”says Rodionov. - This is a double-edged sword: Russia can survive the quarantine - we have reserves, but Belarus has a small economy, and the country is not rich. You look at America, there over a month already ten million have lost their jobs. And in Belarus, and 100 thousand unemployed enough to start a crisis.
Rodionov believes that the key to this pandemic is the very free manipulation of the number of deaths. On the one hand, it is possible to call all victims of the coronavirus its victims, on the other hand, the death toll from the virus can be underestimated in the same way, transferring death to other causes. Whether Lukashenko adheres to one of these strategies, time will tell.
Dmitry Rodionov noted that elections will be held in Belarus this August, so the absence of economic disruptions is one of the priorities of domestic Belarusian policy.
It cannot be said when Lukashenko will change his attitude towards the epidemic and whether it will, however, most likely, in April it will become clear how the epidemic will go across Belarus. So, Russia should also be ready for such a development of events, since Belarus, despite the specific relations in the field of hydrocarbons, remains our main ally and brotherly country, ”he added.
The publicist Anatoly Wasserman, on the contrary, believes that it makes no sense to cheat with numbers, since the result will be exactly the opposite.
- To hide such things is more expensive. When they try to hide something, they distort the picture for themselves, which means they do not have the information necessary for making decisions. By the way, historians therefore trust the documents of internal reporting more. I note that many quarantine measures in Belarus have been taken for a long time. Borders are controlled by neighbors, even with Russia, transit flows have been supervised from the very beginning, much is already being done.
Also, according to him, there is no consensus among epidemiologists on which system to combat this infection is the best. So Belarusians could experiment.