Airlines facing huge COVID-related cost increases at Cleveland Hopkins airportAirlines facing huge COVID-related cost increases at Cleveland Hopkins airport
TAFC: BLAME IT ALL ON COVID. This is just the beginning.
Costs per passenger rising $10-12 dollars to start? Or more? If they don’t get public funding? Is this going to start looking like public housing? I’m not sure where the article was going with this except to warn the public that costs will be rising – dramatically.
Chances are, they’ll start with a small rise in fares. But then you begin getting charged for all the baggage or maybe they’ll even start weighing you and the baggage, then it goes up $30-40 dollars for the skinny people – just to be fair and not make the fat people angry, and on and on until only the people with large incomes will be able to fly; everyone else takes the rails, bus or car.
All the wealthy people will foot the high cost bills of flying, get plenty of leg space, in fact they’ll be able to get rid of some seats to accommodate social distancing. They’ll get great meals, and the carriers will be called Privilege Flights. Yeah, “It’s been a privilege to fly with you!”
“Let’s do it again, real soon, okay? Bring a friend with deep pockets. You know how we love pockets, the deeper the better.”
Free vaccinations too. Maybe a swag bag. And roll out a red carpet – in fact change all the carpet to red inside the plane. Guzzy it up.
I thought the airlines already got a huge bailout with the first allocation from CORONA give-aways. No? A $25 billion dollar bailout in 2020? What did they do with all that money?
People talk about a billion dollars like it’s a drop in the bucket. Like it’s a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket, done extra-crispy.
What happens to all those investment dollars? How does accepting money from the government in the form of a bailout affect stock prices of airlines? Are people getting rich off of the bailouts, when they sell their stock, leaving the airlines without any money? How does that work? Does the bailout money get factored in? The public deserves to know.
How could a runway cost $645 million dollars two decades ago, that they’re still paying for? It’s practically a billion dollars for a runway at a minor airport. Something must be wrong with that figure. What banks are getting rich off of the interest on THOSE loans? I hope they’re at least Cleveland-based.
An investigation is warranted. Too big to fail usually means too big to be investigated and prosecuted for mismanagement of funds. Cleveland has a big corruption problem, so I’d start there.
Cleveland airport is small in comparison to other cities. People leave Cleveland, they don’t come here to live and work unless it’s for the government – generally. Is there going to be a big government expansion?
So what’s the rush to expand the airport when they haven’t paid for the last upgrades from two decades ago?
The thought of free money is burning a hole in their pocket.
Is this article a prelude advertisement for a new airport?
BLAME IT ALL ON COVID. In two years, COVID may be reduced to the common cold.
Then they’ll say, did we really need all of this?
Updated Feb 24, 2021; Posted Feb 24, 2021
Airlines operating at Cleveland Hopkins are facing a steep increase in airport fees due to the pandemic. The Plain Dealer
By Susan Glaser, cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio — The cost to airlines operating at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport skyrocketed last year, a function of the huge drop in passenger numbers and the facility’s high debt.
The loss of revenue in parking, food and beverage, retail and other non-aeronautical areas has to be made up somewhere – and the airlines are bearing the brunt of it, said Airport Director Robert Kennedy, in a discussion with Cleveland City Council’s Finance Committee this week.
The extra cost to the airlines couldn’t come at a worse time – as carriers are dealing with catastrophic financial issues of their own because of the coronavirus pandemic, and as the city gears up to ask them for a huge sum to build a new terminal in the years to come.
“This is going to be a difficult discussion over the next couple of years,” said Kennedy.
The airport’s budget – projected to be $151.5 million in 2021 – must be balanced without any city tax dollars. Revenues come from both the airlines, in landing and other fees, and non-airline areas, including rent, parking and other sources.
In recent years, airport officials have worked to decrease the costs to airlines of operating at Cleveland Hopkins, by increasing parking and passenger drop-off fees, for example, with the goal of making the facility more competitive as it vies for new service.
The airlines funded 46% of the airport’s costs in 2019. In 2021, the airlines’ costs to operate in Cleveland will increase by $21 million and make up 66% of the airport’s revenue, according to city figures.
The airport did receive $46 million in federal stimulus money in 2020, and is expected to receive another $9.7 million in 2021, but it’s not enough to stem the losses from the steep drop in passengers.
Airport officials project that 5.2 million passengers will travel through Cleveland Hopkins in 2021, a 48% decrease from 2019 numbers.
Industry analyst Robert Mann said Cleveland isn’t facing this financial crisis in isolation. “It’s an industry-wide problem,” said Mann, noting that the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates three of the nation’s largest airports, recently asked the federal government for $3 billion to help make up revenue shortfalls.
He added, “Airlines aren’t in a mood to see increases on anything.”
At the same time, there’s only so much that airports can do to reduce expenses. “You have to maintain the ramps and the runways,” said Mann, principal at R.W. Mann & Co. in New York. “And you really don’t save very much by mothballing a terminal.”
In 2020, Hopkins’ cost per enplanement – that’s the average cost per passenger that an airline pays to operate at an airport – was projected to be $12. Instead, it was nearly $32, and is expected to be even higher in 2021.
Other airports in Cleveland’s competitive set – Columbus, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and others – also will see per-passenger costs increase, but are expected to top out at $10 to $15, according to Kennedy. “We are damaging our competitiveness,” he said. “This is what drives airlines elsewhere.”
Part of the reason for Cleveland’s high costs is the airport’s large debt, much of which stems from the construction of a new runway nearly two decades ago. At $645 million in 2019, Cleveland’s debt is significantly higher than Columbus’ $172 million, and Pittsburgh’s $43 million.
Payment on the airport’s debt in 2021 is expected to be more than $65 million – that’s 43% of the airport’s $151.5 million budget.
TAFC: BLAME IT ALL ON COVID. This is just the beginning.
How China Could Change the World By Taking Meat Off the Menu
Fri, January 22, 2021, 3:10 PM
A customer tucks into a meat-free banquet at Green Common café in Shanghai on Jan. 13
Credit – Xiaopeng Yuan for TIME
It’s lunchtime in Shanghai’s leafy former French Concession, and every table is crammed at David Yeung’s new café and grocery, Green Common. Office workers and shoppers huddled against the January chill are wolfing down plates of katsu curry, noodles and spicy dumplings.
For Yeung, the popularity of his first outlet on the Chinese mainland is a source of considerable pride, given that its doors opened barely two weeks earlier. But he’s more pleased by its other distinction: no animal products grace the menu at all. Instead, plant-based alternative proteins, sourced from China, Korea and the U.S., are used in these traditionally meat-based dishes. “The idea is to showcase some of the best products from around the world so that people can enjoy a mind-blowing vegan meal,” says Yeung, who is also the founder of the Hong Kong plant-based protein firm OmniFoods.
The buzz around Green Common is another sign that China is on the cusp of a plant-based-protein revolution that has investors as well as diners licking their lips. China came by its love of meat only recently; in the 1960s, the average Chinese person consumed less than 5 kg of meat annually. But as in comes soared following Deng Xiaoping’s market-driven “reform and opening” of the late 1970s, consumption rose to 20 kg per capita by the late 1980s and has now reached 63 kg. Today, China consumes 28% of the world’s meat, including half of all pork.
But as in rapidly modernizing societies everywhere, today’s Chinese are embracing healthier lifestyles, not least following health crises like the coronavirus pandemic and African swine fever (ASF), which wiped out half of China’s hog herd between 2018 and 2019.
China’s market for plant-based meat substitutes was estimated at $910 million in 2018—compared with $684 million in the U.S.—and is projected to grow 20% to 25% annually. KFC has begun selling plant-based chicken nuggets. Yeung’s pork substitute OmniPork is now on the menu across China at thousands of Taco Bell and Starbucks branches, where it is used to make everything from tacos to salads.
Competitor Z-Rou—rou is Mandarin for meat—is offered by supermarkets, restaurants and two dozen school canteens.
The implications could be transformative not just for China but also for the world. More than any other nation, China has the ability to leverage economies of scale. It has done so many times before: some of China’s richest entrepreneurs positioned themselves at the vanguard of breakthrough technology slated to receive huge state backing, such as solar panels, mobile payments and electric vehicles.
Li Hejun, dubbed the nation’s solar-panel king, rose to become China’s richest man in 2015 with a fortune worth $30 billion by riding a wave of renewable-energy subsidies that also caused prices to plummet and spurred widespread their adoption. State backing for AI unveiled in 2016 helped spawn top tech firms including TikTok parent ByteDance, the world’s most valuable unicorn, worth some $100 billion.
Could the state do the same for meatless meat? Just as international food conglomerates like Nestlé, Unilever and Cargill are plowing millions into plant-based protein, Chinese competitors are jostling for market share in anticipation of huge state contracts and government perks like tax breaks and free factory space.
David Ettinger, a partner at Keller and Heckman LLP’s Shanghai office, says now is “the most exciting time” of his two decades specializing in food law: “Rather than managing things, I think China will let the industry lead.”
The largest impact may be not on the economy but on the environment. China has already pledged to see carbon emissions peak by 2030 and make the world’s worst polluter carbon-neutral by 2060. As livestock farming produces 20% to 50% of all man-made greenhouse gases, finding alternative protein sources is crucial to meeting these targets. Halving China’s animal-agriculture sector could result in a 1 billion metric-ton reduction of CO2 emissions.
Crucially, state action could have real consequences—China’s authoritarian system enables it to dictate commercial priorities and consumer behavior across its 1.4 billion population. While Donald Trump disparaged global warming as “an expensive hoax,” Joe Biden has called it “an existential threat.”
Whether the superpowers can work together on this issue may ultimately define whether the world can meet its emissions targets over the next decade. “You can’t do anything on climate change unless you bring China with you,” says professor Nick Bisley, dean of humanities and social sciences at Australia’s La Trobe University.
The ripple effects would be felt globally. Apart from reducing carbon emissions, water consumption and the risk of zoonotic pathogens entering the human population, switching to plant-based protein can help safeguard rain forests cleared for the cultivation of animal feed and protect people against the heart disease, cancer and diabetes associated with heavy meat consumption.
There’s still some way to go before China eagerly embraces novel proteins. The higher cost and un-familiar taste of meat substitutes may prove to be obstacles to turning plant-based protein into an everyday staple across the world’s largest population. Regulators also need to give the industry sufficient room to flourish.
But entrepreneurs like Yeung say it’s getting easier to make a case to bureaucrats and consumers alike. “After the last few years, it’s no secret that meat production is infinitely risky,” he says. “Disease and extreme climate issues are sadly not going to change unless we make a change first.”
Until recently, the primary motivation for people to shun meat was concern for animal welfare. Not anymore. Today, broader concerns about the environment and health are energizing millennials and Gen Z globally to embrace flexitarian lifestyles, where animal products are purged from diets at least some of the time. As in the U.S., China’s cosmopolitan cities are leading the way. In 2008, just 5% of Hong Kongers classified themselves as vegan or flexitarian, according to a Hong Kong Vegetarian Society survey. Today, it’s 40%.
Following the coronavirus outbreak, which was first detected in China, governments and consumers around the world are more cognizant of the swelling risks posed by industrial farming and reliance on imported food. But COVID-19 wasn’t the only, or even the first, alarm bell.
The ASF outbreak that decimated China’s pig population in 2019 resulted in national pork output hitting a 16-year low. In December, Japan suffered its worst avian flu outbreak on record, which led to the culling of 5 million chickens. Vince Lu, the founder of Beijing-based alternative-protein firm Zhenmeat, says the pandemic, the trade war and environmental degradation are galvanizing interest in plant-based proteins.
“China urgently needs an alternative meat supply,” he says. “It’s about national security.”
Chinese consumers have turned plant-based meat alternatives into a $910 million industry and growingXiaopeng Yuan for TIME
Signs are building that the state will put its weight behind plant-based meat.
China’s government has published guidelines to cut meat consumption in half by 2030 to reduce pollution and combat obesity. In August, President Xi Jinping launched a “clean plate campaign,” calling food waste “shocking and distressing” and highlighting the need to “maintain a sense of crisis about food security” in China.
For David Laris, an Australian celebrity chef and environmentalist who has had restaurants in New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai and London, “It’s just a matter of time before Xi says we’ve all got to eat less meat in a big way.”
Culturally, the Chinese are perhaps better placed to embrace plant-based protein than Americans indoctrinated by a powerful meat lobby and a founding myth built around cowboys and beef ranches. (Even so, many Americans are fast changing their eating habits; alternative milks like soy, oat and almond accounted for less than 1% of the overall U.S. market a decade ago. Now it’s 12% and growing.)
In China, by contrast, “mock meat” has been popular with Buddhists, who often do not eat meat, since the Tang dynasty, with tofu a substitute for fish and taro for shrimp. Fried dough sticks dunked in soy milk—records of which date back 1,000 years—remain a popular breakfast across the Middle Kingdom. Vegetarian restaurants are commonplace near Buddhist temples and shrines.
Every Chinese supermarket stocks a dazzling array of bean curd and substitute meat products made with gluten.
This kind of familiarity is helping plant-based protein go beyond the purview of “tree huggers,” as Yeung puts it.
In January, Chinese fried-chicken franchise Dicos—a KFC rival and one of China’s top three fast-food chains—swapped the real egg in all its breakfast sandwiches with an alternative derived from mung beans made by California-based Eat Just.
At the BrewDog pub in Shanghai, customers quaff craft porters and pilsners over games of shuffleboard while ordering nachos and burgers from a menu that proudly offers both meat- and plant-based options. “Around 30% of sales today are plant-based,” says general manager Gabriel Wang.
Eat Just CEO Josh Tetrick, who recently opened his first foreign office in Shanghai, predicts that by 2030 the majority of eggs, chicken, pork and beef consumed by urban Chinese won’t require animal ingredients. “It’s going to happen a lot faster than people realize, and Asia will lead the way,” he says.
But popularizing plant-based meat beyond China’s cities might be a greater challenge. Government guidelines promoting plant-based proteins for factory canteens and school cafeterias would play an enormous part in reducing costs and raising public awareness. Some private schools are already electing to feed students with meat alternatives; for example, Dulwich College high school in
Shanghai serves weekly meals prepared with Z-Rou. But as budgets for lunches in government-run schools stand around 7 rmb ($1.08) per student, state intervention in the form of subsidies and mandatory quotas may be necessary to make plant-based options feasible across the board. Given the potential size of school contracts, this could be transformative—and also familiarize the next generation with meat alternatives. “If we want to win a customer for life, students are a great place to start,” says Z-Rou founder Frank Yao.
The fact that plant-based proteins are currently priced considerably higher than their animal equivalents is an undeniable hurdle for notoriously thrifty Chinese consumers. Yet this is expected to change as competition and scale drive down costs.
Moreover, snowballing agricultural crises like avian flu and ASF can make meat prices extremely erratic. Pork prices more than doubled in China in 2019 following an ASF outbreak, making it extremely difficult for restaurateurs to both keep customers smiling and turn a profit. That plant-based proteins are largely immune to such fluctuations—and help mitigate disease outbreaks that cause spikes in meat prices—is a huge boon across the industry.
The biggest barrier to plant-based meats might be its most elemental: taste. While the industry has come on by leaps and bounds over recent years, elderly Chinese so obsessed with freshness that they trawl wet markets that sell meat and fish could prove a stumbling block to widespread adoption of processed, packaged alternatives.
That will change over generations, for sure, although now the race is on to engineer plant-based meat products specifically to Chinese tastes. Whereas the popularity of ground beef in the West makes it the obvious starting point, Chinese diners typically have far wider tastes, including meatballs for hot pot, filling for dumplings or strips of meat for stir-fries. Zhenmeat is even working on a plant-based shrimp substitute. “Right now, the technology’s not ready for plant protein to make the texture of a chunk or slice of meat,” says Zhenmeat’s Lu. “It will require investment and patience.”
Still, the technology is so undeveloped that there is endless potential to improve taste and cut costs. There are existing protein-synthesis techniques—incorporating fermentation, micro-algae and insects—used in cosmetics, biomedicine or industry processes that could potentially be repurposed for food.
“We’re starting from scratch here,” says Yao of Z-Rou. “So why can’t China create brands and have a seat on the table for what the future of food is going to be?”
Albert Tseng, co-founder of impact investment firm Dao Foods, is backing 30 startups that focus on the Chinese plant-based-protein market, including established player Starfield.
One venture is utilizing cell-based meat, or animal protein grown in a laboratory. Although more controversial than synthesizing meat from everyday plant materials like soy or wheat, the technology is growing fast. In 2017, China signed a $300 million deal to import cultured-meat technology from Israel.
At last year’s Two Sessions annual parliament, Sun Baoguo, president of the Beijing Technology and Business University, argued cell-based meat alternatives were a matter of “strategic importance” to “guarantee China’s future meat supply.” For Tseng, “there are the talent, resources and capital in China to really build this industry.”
It’s already happening elsewhere. In November, Eat Just, the maker of Just Egg, became the first firm anywhere to receive regulatory approval for selling cultivated meat, after being given the green light in Singapore for its lab-grown chicken.
With the coronavirus galvanizing anxiety over the fragility of food supply chains, the tiny city-state has set ambitious new targets to produce 30% of its food domestically by 2030. But given that less than 1% of Singapore’s 270-sq.-mi. area is agricultural land, innovations like vertical farming and cellular meat will be key. Many other governments are becoming more accepting of alternatives.
“In places like China and Singapore, there’s less of a fixation about what happened yesterday and more on what makes sense for today and tomorrow,” says Tetrick.
There would be losers in a major shift toward meat alternatives. Beyond the disruption to China’s $82 billion meat market, there’s also the fact that 60% of soy grown across the world is currently shipped to China, mainly for animal feed.
The success of plant-based protein may decimate crop demand and prices worldwide, upending markets and roiling politics. The question for all, says Yeung, “is do the collective wins outweigh the losses?”
Given the weight of scientific evidence, it’s growing ever harder to justify eating meat as simply a personal choice. Much like smoking in public, Yeung says, eating steak and bacon every day has collateral environmental impact that jeopardizes the future of everyone.
China, like the world, is waking up to the risks of asking our planet to support 7.7 billion people as well as 677 million pigs, 1.5 billion cattle, 1 billion sheep and 23 billion chickens. “The reality is that industrial livestock farming isn’t sustainable,” says Yeung. “We don’t have a choice. We have to change.”
With reporting by Madeline Roache/London
This appears in the February 1, 2021 issue of TIME.
GMO boosters suffer logic bypass in using COVID vaccines to promote GMO deregulation
Authors arguing for deregulation of GM crops and foods fail to mention that vaccines are tightly regulated – scientist
Earlier this month we published an article reporting how pro-GMO spin doctors are using COVID-19 vaccines to promote GM crops. Examples of this phenomenon are now coming thick and fast, with the latest being published in a peer-reviewed journal. But that doesn’t make it any less fatuous than the other examples. And notably, many COVID vaccines are not genetically engineered at all.
So the authors have to fudge the issue by using vague wording.
In the new article in EuroChoices, a journal focusing on agricultural and food issues, agricultural economist Justus Wesseler and life sciences professor Kai Purnhagen cite “the contribution of biotechnologies to the creation of a vaccine” for COVID-19 to argue for a weakening of the EU’s GMO regulations. They argue that this will allow the “potential” of GMOs, and in particular new GM techniques such as gene editing, to be realised.
Their article is titled, in hope, “COVID-19: A game changer in GMO regulation?”
Dr Judy Carman, epidemiologist, biochemist, and director of the Institute of Health and Environmental Research in South Australia, took issue with their argument.
She commented, “It seems that the authors would like to hitch a ride on the roll-out of the vaccines for COVID-19, in order to push an agenda for GM crops. I’m sure we are going to see a lot more of this argument in the future.
“However, my concern about GM crops has always been their lack of safety testing.
“The authors are conveniently forgetting that the vaccines were safety tested on animals, then went through Phases I, II and III of human clinical trials to determine safety, and are undergoing post-vaccination monitoring for safety (Phase IV), whereas those who make GM crops have no intention of putting their crops through any of that, because, based on a series of assumptions rather than evidence, these crops are apparently so safe, they don’t need such testing.
“So in my view, if they want to argue that their crops are as safe as these vaccines, they can first safety test them like these vaccines, publish the evidence in peer-reviewed scientific journals for us all to see, and then go through the kind of regulatory process that the vaccines have gone through.
“Instead, they want their GM crops to avoid safety testing and be deregulated.”
Clearly these GMO boosters have suffered a logic bypass in attempting to exploit people’s fear of COVID-19 to justify allowing untested GMOs into our food supply.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are chemically synthesised mRNA and lack the “organism” status required to constitute a GMO; the AstraZeneca and Russian vaccines are GMO.
Frozen Vaccines for cattle – they do it with other vaccines, for other cow diseases, but are not yet doing it with coronacovid19
TAGS: ANIMAL HEALTHVACCINES Chances are, when you purchased a new refrigerator for the house, you moved the old one to the barn. Problem is, in addition to being worn out, these
Clint Peck Contributing editor | Jan 01, 2007
Chances are, when you purchased a new refrigerator for the house, you moved the old one to the barn. Problem is, in addition to being worn out, these old units can be very inefficient compared to modern refrigerators. They freeze items placed near the rear element; in the summer, they barely keep cool because the doors don’t seal well.
Freezing is one of the worst events that can happen to livestock pharmaceutical products. It’s something that can easily happen to everything in the old ‘fridge over a large part of the country during the winter.
“Improperly stored vaccines are a leading cause of immune response failure,” he says. “Not only can this mean money down the drain, but when we use these improperly stored vaccines, we get a false sense of security that our cattle are protected.”
Most labels suggest storing vaccines between 35°F and 45°F….
Humans are animals, so the virus jumped from animal to animal! Have they started testing cows, pigs, lambs, chickens and all the animals the world eats yet?
No, because there’s no science to warrant it.
If it can spread rapidly from human animal to human animal and from non-human animal to human animal, then we need to look at all the non-human animals we eat and see if the virus jumped from non-human animal to non-human animal. Of course it did. Just like it jumped from human animal to human animal. You don’t need a degree in how to raise animals for slaughter to figure that out.
The slaughter industries and governments around the globe are blocking it. That’s a lot of power invested in keeping silent about the food the world eats.
Cattle are given vaccines against other viruses, so we know they can catch viruses. From whom, what animal, do these cows catch these viruses? And do they pass them into the food you eat?
Well yes, if they’re infected and you eat an infected animal. So why so slow to focus on the animals we eat as being carriers and spreaders? Why would they be given vaccines if they can’t spread viruses?
MONEY TAKES THE PLACE OF SCIENCE when someone says there’s no science to back the claim. There’s no science, because there was no testing. And even if they’re pressured to test, they’ll conduct the research in such a way as to obtain the results they seek = no connection.
Animal exploiting industries are the foundation of the world economies. Mess with those economies by messing with the animals they use to support those economies and the people who drive to protect those economies will mess with you.
Beginning Thursday 19 November 2020 an 8 PM to 5 AM curfew will take effect and last 21 days.
The purpose is to slow the spread of the corona/covid-19 virus.
The decision was based on a continuing increase in virus cases per day, with the last day before it was half over, registering at over 7000 new cases – that’s in less than one day in the state of Ohio.
I don’t know what reasoning they used to determine that a curfew during the sleeping hours of most people would have much of an impact on the spread of the disease.
I’m comfortable calling it a disease, since many people experience long term symptoms even long after the virus is supposedly gone – some of them debilitating.
And I’m not sure how it will affect air travel in and out of Ohio if it will at all.
Grocery stores and pharmacies will be open past curfew. Restaurants and bars can stay open past 10 PM for take out food and drink. Delivery services will be operational during that time.
Governor DeWine laid it out this way: As the number of virus cases increase, including those people who don’t show symptoms but can still infect other people, the number of people whose paths you might cross who have the virus will increase commensurately, putting everybody at a higher risk.
By putting a curfew into affect for 7 hours per day, it shortens the window where people can go about their business, meaning a greater number of people will be corralled into a shorter time span, which will increase their risk of contracting the virus by the sheer numbers of exposure. It’s like concentrating the ‘spread’ effect into fewer hours with the same number of people.
Given that reality I’m guessing that the curfew measures taken, although not effective, will startle many people into taking this virus and the spread of it more seriously than before, which will result in more mask-wearing, and distancing.
Nothing really has been shut down yet, and nobody wants to see that happen, so wear your mask, don’t gather with friends and family over the holidays, or if you do, save the hugging for some other time – and don’t drink out of other people’s glasses.
“There are many dynamics in cattle slaughter markets in the fourth quarter that will determine total slaughter for the year. Current estimates are for total annual 2020 cattle slaughter to be down roughly 2.5% year over year.”
I’m looking for much higher numbers. The impact in my view has been minimal. Those numbers don’t look like a mega-sized wrench to me. I’m looking for high double digit percentages. It’ll pick up. The slaughter isn’t going to end slowly. All the indicators are there. Conversions needed to be in place yesterday and taking place now. Stalling and praying won’t change the universe swing. I have to tell ya, I love the swing.
Cattle slaughter dynamics show what a year it’s been
COVID-19 threw a mega-sized wrench into the machinations of the cattle market. Here’s how that played out for harvest numbers.
Oct 15, 2020Source: Oklahoma State University
It’s become almost a cliché: 2020 is a year like none other in almost every way. For beef producers, that’s played out in every sector and every market. Throw in a drought, hurricanes, wildfires and who knows what’s next and beef producers seem to be challenged in every way imaginable.
One area where 2020 has left its large footprints is in cattle slaughter. According to Derrell Peel, year-to-date cattle slaughter through the week ending Sept. 26, 2020 was down 3.6% year over year. This includes a 4.2% decrease in steer and heifer slaughter; a 1.2% decrease in total cow slaughter; and a 3.7% decrease in bull slaughter so far this year. “Varying slaughter patterns across different cattle classes make it difficult to project where slaughter will end up as the year closes out,” notes Peel, Extension livestock marketing economist at Oklahoma State University.
The biggest component of cattle slaughter is steer slaughter, which is down 4.3% year over year through late September. “Through March, prior to COVID-19 impacts, steer slaughter was up 5.1% year over year. By the end of May, the cumulative steer slaughter for the year to date was down 7.2% before slowly recovering through the summer and early fall,” Peel says.
Steer slaughter in August and September has been up 2.2% year over year. Steer slaughter is projected to increase 3- 3.5% year over year in the fourth quarter leading to an annual total down roughly 2.5% compared to last year, he says.
Heifer harvest followed a similar pattern. “In the first half of the year, cumulative heifer slaughter was down 5.1%. In the third quarter of the year, heifer slaughter was down 1.8% year over year, leading to the current year-to-date decrease of 3.9% year over year. Peel projects heifer slaughter to be down 2.0 – 2.5% year over year in the fourth quarter. “This would result in an annual heifer slaughter total down roughly 3.5% compared to 2019,” he says.
“Beef cow slaughter is up 2.7% for the year to date as of late September. At the end of the first quarter, cumulative beef cow slaughter was nearly 11% higher year over year,” he says. By the end of the second quarter, cumulative beef cow slaughter had decreased to roughly 3.5% higher than the previous year.
The year-over-year increase slowed more in the third quarter with beef cow slaughter in August and September unchanged from last year. Beef cow slaughter is projected to be roughly 2% above year-ago levels in the fourth quarter, leading to an annual total beef cow slaughter roughly 2.5% higher year over year, Peel says.
“Dairy cow slaughter has decreased sharply since June, leading to a year-to-date decrease of 4.9% in late September. The year over year decrease in dairy cow slaughter since late May has been nearly 9%. The rate of decrease is expected to slow in the fourth quarter and may be down roughly 3%. Total annual dairy cow slaughter is expected to be down about 4.5% year over year,” he notes.
“There are many dynamics in cattle slaughter markets in the fourth quarter that will determine total slaughter for the year. Current estimates are for total annual 2020 cattle slaughter to be down roughly 2.5% year over year.”
Further, Peel expects carcass weights for steers and heifers to finish the year at record-large levels, with steer carcasses exceeding 900 pounds for the first time. “Lower cattle slaughter and larger carcass weights are projected to result in total beef production close to unchanged from last year. Total 2020 commercial beef production is projected to be 27.1 – 27.3 billion pounds.”
Source: Oklahoma State University Cow-Calf Corner newsletter, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.
If it can be spread by a dollar bill and a credit card it can be spread by food. Especially if the animal you ate had the virus.
Why aren’t all slaughterhouses aka meat processing plants testing the flesh and blood of every animal slaughtered?
Since when is WebMD an expert on all matters food related? Doctors know nothing about food or nutrition.
WebMD now makes erroneous claims that CC Virus cannot be spread by food. Wuhan Markets in China dispel that lie. Even in Cleveland, poop is being tested for the virus at the sewer plant, since sewer water is purified into Cleveland’s drinking water.
If the virus is in the poop it was in the stomach and in the mouth. That means it was in the food that you ate.
The one thing most people have in common is they all eat animal products. Even vegans are not immune since food processing plants and restaurants process and serve food that is both animal based and animal-free.
To keep the slaughterhouses operating false information is being released to the public so the populace will keep eating diseased animals. Nursing homes, schools, prisons and anyone who depends on government issued foods are all at risk of eating the diseased flesh and blood of animals.
Nutrients enter the blood stream from the food we eat. So can viruses do the same. It is irresponsible and reckless telling people their food is safe when there is no evidence that it is.
That’s my view and I’m sticking with it. My restaurant days are over until they stop pushing dead diseased carcasses onto patrons like drug dealers push drugs onto addicts, and transform all restaurants into animal-free establishments. That’s the only way they can safely claim to be clean.
How much disinfectant does it take to neutralize or kill the CC Virus in our drinking water supply? The CDC said that even if our poop (and I’m assuming also urine) contains the virus, then it wouldn’t make our drinking water unsafe, because there is already disinfectants in our water.
I’m not talking bottled water.
I’m not comfortable with the CDC response. I want more detail. Everybody deserves more detail.
Why should we trust government with our well-being?
How much disinfectant is in our drinking water and how do we know if it actually will kill the virus? Who did the test? I want the results.
The CDC responses are too general and focus too much on blind trust. They don’t get blind trust anymore. They violated that trust. They’re too political.
How’s Flint Michigan doing?
Give us the facts. Now. Not in a documentary five years from now.
Wearing a protective facial mask, some will claim, doesn’t block the ability of the virus to enter the organism.
That is correct. If the air current is conducive to entry, the virus can find an opening.
Ever drop a screw and go looking for it where it fell, according to your location and the sound of it hitting the floor? You look everywhere, scour the floor, starting inward and moving outward, scanning with your palm, only to find it in a tiny crevice halfway across the room, and you wonder how the heck did it get there? It seems as if it looks for the most remote hiding place just so you can’t find it.
Actually the process of how it got there is the route of least resistance. All objects and motions conform to that same rule, unless manipulated by another source.
Although a mask will not totally block the entry of the virus if the virus is in your personal space, it won’t spend too much time trying, unless you’re in a closed environment such as a closet, cubicle, vehicle, elevator or other closed space, and given that the virus enters that space.
In a forced choice environment the virus becomes frenetic and seeks the quickest and easiest route to achieve entry. This virus is impatient. It doesn’t stand around waiting for opportunity; it seeks it out.
Wear your mask and definitely keep it on when in enclosed spaces. I’ve seen many people get off an elevator with their mask under their chin or hanging from their ear.
The mask acts like a manipulator by putting up an air block to your mouth and nose. Even with your mouth open and breathing under the mask, it’s not as easy for the virus to enter, so the virus looks for an easier target and route.
Your mask is a tool of resistance. It is not a measure of compliance.
April 23, 2020 — We have underestimated and misunderstood COVID-19 since it first appeared. And as we learn more, it’s clear that COVID-19 can be more than just a respiratory disease. It’s joined the ranks of other “great imitators” — diseases that can look like almost any condition.
It can be a gastrointestinal disease causing only diarrhea and abdominal pain. It can cause symptoms that may be confused with a cold or the flu. It can cause pinkeye, a runny nose, loss of taste and smell, muscle aches, fatigue, diarrhea, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, whole-body rashes, and areas of swelling and redness in just a few spots.
In a more severe disease, doctors have also reported people having heart rhythm problems, heart failure, kidney damage, confusion, headaches, seizures, Guillain-Barre syndrome, and fainting spells, along with new sugar control problems.
It’s not just a fever and coughing, leading to shortness of breath, like everyone thought at first.
This makes it incredibly difficult to diagnose and even harder to treat.
“This is a disease progression we have never seen for any infection that I can think of, and I’ve been doing this for a couple of decades,” says Joseph Vinetz, MD, an infectious disease specialist at Yale School of Medicine.
How It Invades
When viral particles land in our eyes, nose, or mouth, “spike proteins” on the virus connect with a specific receptor, known as ACE2, on the surface of our cells, allowing entry. ACE2 receptors make a great target because they are found in organs throughout our bodies. Once the virus enters, it turns the cell into a factory, making millions and millions of copies of itself — which can then be breathed or coughed out to infect others.
In order to evade early detection, the coronavirus uses multiple tools to prevent the infected cells from calling out for help. The virus snips off distress signal proteins that cells make when they are under attack. It also destroys antiviral commands inside the infected cell. This gives the virus much more time to make copies of itself and infect surrounding areas before it is identified as an invader. This is part of the reason why the virus spreads before immune responses, like fever, begin.
Many with mild or no symptoms are able to fend off the virus before it gets worse. These people may have symptoms only in the upper airway, at the site where they were first infected. But when someone’s body can’t destroy the virus at its entry point, viral particles march deeper into the body. The virus seems to take a few paths from there, either setting up camp in the lungs, fighting its way into the digestive tract, or doing some combination of both.
“There’s clearly a respiratory syndrome, and that’s why people end up in the hospital. Some people get a gastrointestinal illness with diarrhea, maybe some abdominal pain, which may or may not be associated with a respiratory illness,” says Vinetz.
Once the virus is deeply embedded in the body, it begins to cause more severe disease. This is where direct attack on other organs that have ACE2 receptors can occur, including heart muscle, kidneys, blood vessels, the liver, and potentially the central nervous system. This may be one reason for the vast array of symptoms COVID-19 can cause.
“It’s highly unlikely that any other organs can be affected through direct invasion without severe disease,” Vinetz adds.
The brain and nerves may also fall prey to direct attack. Kenneth Tyler, MD, chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, cautions that direct central nervous system (CNS) attack is still being worked out at this time. There are many routes a virus could take to invade the CNS. One somewhat disputed view is that the loss of smell could indicate that the nerve responsible for smell is infected and can carry the virus into the CNS, including the brain. “This can be shown to occur in experimental models with non-human coronaviruses and is a potential route of invasion for some other viruses. However, there is no evidence to date establishing that this actually occurs with SARS-CoV-2,” the official name of the virus that causes COVID-19.
Early findings, including those from autopsy and biopsy reports, show that viral particles can be found not only in the nasal passages and throat, but also in tears, stool, the kidneys, liver, pancreas, and heart. One case report found evidence of viral particles in the fluid around the brain in a patient with meningitis.
Collateral Damage That Kills
Severe damage to the lungs may be one trigger that activates and overstimulates the immune system through a barrage of signaling chemicals, known as cytokines.
The flood of these chemicals can set off what is referred to as a “cytokine storm.” This is a complex interplay of chemicals that can cause blood pressure to drop, attract more killer immune and inflammatory cells, and lead to even more injury within the lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain. Some researchers say cytokine storms may be the cause of sudden decompensation, leading to critical illness in COVID-19 patients.
A new finding suggests there may be another deadly culprit. Many doctors are discovering that abnormal clotting, known as thrombosis, may also play a major role in lethal COVID-19. Doctors are seeing clots everywhere: large-vessel clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the legs and pulmonary emboli (PE) in the lungs; clots in arteries, causing strokes; and small clots in tiny blood vessels in organs throughout the body. Early autopsy results are also showing widely scattered clots in multiple organs.
Adam Cuker, MD, a hematologist at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania who specializes in clotting disorders, says these clots are happening at high rates even when patients are on blood thinners for clot prevention. In one study from the Netherlands, 31% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 got clots while on blood thinners.
Cuker says that “new studies validate what we have all been seeing with our eyes, which is that ‘boy, it seems that these patients are clotting a lot.’ … And it could be that the rate of thrombotic events are even higher than we truly recognize.” Though the reason for the clotting is still not clear, it seems to be playing a much larger role in death than previously understood.
Beyond the collateral damage from cytokine storms and clotting, other things like low blood pressure that comes from a severe illness, low oxygen levels, ventilator use, and drug treatments themselves can all harm organs throughout the body, including the heart, kidneys, liver, brain, and other organs.
Even though researchers are learning more each day about the virus and how and where it attacks the body, treatment geared toward these targets also pose significant problems. Many drugs come with a risk of destroying the delicate balance that allows the body to help fight the disease or to manage inflammation.
The ACE2 receptor that the virus uses to enter cells is a key player in lowering inflammation and reducing blood pressure. Targeting or blocking this receptor as a treatment strategy to prevent viral entry into cells may actually worsen blood pressure, increase the risk of heart failure and kidney injury, and increase inflammation that may worsen lung injury.
Drugs that target the immune response to lower the risk of a cytokine storm may also tamp down the immune response, making it hard to kill off the virus over the long run.
Using medicines to prevent clotting may end up causing severe bleeding. Cuker points out that “we don’t have a good read on bleeding … we have limited evidence about the clotting risk … we have zero evidence on bleeding risk in these patients, and it’s a real priority to understand this risk, especially because one of our strategies to treat the clotting is stepping up intensity the of anti-coagulation.”
Timing is likely to be key in treatment strategies. For example, patients may need a drug to boost the immune system early on in the disease, and then one to tamp it down if the disease progresses and cytokine markers begin to rise.
Just the Tip of the Iceberg
Cuker says that what we know about clotting and almost everything else when it comes to COVID-19 “is just the tip of the iceberg.”
Sanober Amin, MD, PhD, a dermatologist in Texas, agrees. She’s been tracking the wide variety of skin findings that dermatologists across the world have been noting on social media.
She recently posted images on social media that show the wide variety of skin findings she has been seeing and hearing about. Her post received a massive response. Amin says that “dermatologists from around the world, from Turkey to France to Canada to the U.S., are sharing information about rashes that they’ve observed in people with COVID-19.”
Some rashes seem to be consistent with what’s called a viral exanthema, which is a term for a general rash that can happen with almost any virus. But, Amin says, “some skin findings are more consistent with superficial clotting in blood vessels close to the skin.”This is what some have started to call “ COVID toes,” also called pernio. Dermatologists are seeing more cases of these small clots in toes and fingers, especially in children.It’s hard to know which skin conditions are related to COVID-19 because a lot of people without “typical” symptoms are not being tested, Amin says. Researchers will still need to work out which symptoms may be caused by the virus and which may just be unrelated early findings.
For now, much of the information we have about the symptoms of COVID-19 come from hospitalized patients who are very sick by the time they seek care and may not be able to share information about the early signs and symptoms they may have had.
Because of the lag in testing in the U.S., we still don’t know the full extent of what mild and moderate versions of the disease look like, or what effects the disease has on people who have many symptoms but aren’t quite sick enough to be hospitalized.
One open question is what the long-term effects may be for survivors. What does life look like after being on a ventilator or suddenly needing dialysis? Will we see decreases in heart, lung, and kidney function that is long-lasting and permanent, or will patients eventually recover?
We also don’t know how people will clear infections. If the new coronavirus ends up being an acute infection, like other coronaviruses, most recovered people should develop at least a short-term immunity. It’s also possible that the virus may persist as a latent infection, like chickenpox, lying dormant in the body, only to re-emerge periodically as shingles does, or become a chronic infection, like hepatitis B, living within the body for a sustained period of time, causing long-term damage.
“It’s definitely going to be an acute infection … there’s no way it’s going to be latent or chronic, no way … I think so … we’ll see,” Vinetz says.
Q. “Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be spread through drinking water?
The COVID-19 virus has not been detected in drinking water. Conventional water treatment methods that use filtration and disinfection, such as those in most municipal drinking water systems, should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19.”
Evidently the disinfection of our drinking water kills the virus, which means it’s in it, otherwise they wouldn’t say it hasn’t been detected, but the disinfectant kills it. So we all have disinfected water running through our systems.
Q. “Can the virus that causes COVID-19 be found in feces?”
The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in the feces of some patients diagnosed with COVID-19. However, it is unclear whether the virus found in feces may be capable of causing COVID-19.
There has not been any confirmed report of the virus spreading from feces to a person. Scientists also do not know how much risk there is that the virus could be spread from the feces of an infected person to another person. However, they think this risk is low based on data from previous outbreaks of diseases caused by related coronaviruses, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS).
“Can the COVID-19 virus spread through sewage systems?”
The virus that causes COVID-19 has been found in untreated wastewater. Researchers do not know whether this virus can cause disease if a person is exposed to untreated wastewater or sewerage systems. There is no evidence to date that this has occurred. At this time, the risk of transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 through properly designed and maintained sewerage systems is thought to be low.
Governor Michael DeWine of Ohio recently floated the idea of requiring those who drink alcohol to also order food.
TA-FC ClipBoard: When the bars and restaurants reopened after the viral shutdown, I was surprised that the regulars still came in and spent the same amount of time as before the viral shutdown – most of them are single. That made it difficult for other patrons to get served given the distance rule.
Although the regulars often take food home with them, they sit and drink for about four hours. Some have to be driven home by staff or other kindly patrons. They’re so drunk they can hardly walk much less talk or eat.
So if you require DRINK AND DINE, then be clear about take out. People will reheat the food when they get home; they don’t care how long it sets on the bar waiting.
The bartenders tolerate it for tips. It seems to me though that four hours isn’t going to result in a bigger tip than two hours. But what do I know except my observations.
When someone is so drunk they poop on the seat and floor where they sit, and the employees have to clean it up, something is very wrong with the workings of that establishment.
It seems that where police officers or FBI or CIA or other government employees hang, those establishments aren’t held to the same standards as other establishments. They need to be.
I agree that if the state is trying to keep open bars and restaurants, by discouraging the people who drink for hours at a time, or the younger crowd who most often stand as they’re looking for hook ups, it’s probably a good idea to DRINK AND DINE ONLY.
DRINK AND DINE OR NO SERVICE. Most customers who eat and drink, do it and leave, they don’t hang around.
However, people will find a way around the rule by ordering a bag of chips or a side of fries to keep in front of four people pretending to snack on them.
It seems during this viral outbreak that a lot of people strategize on how they can legally, so to speak, break the rules. It seems almost instinctual the way they do it. We don’t see all the people who stay home, but it’s surely a whole lot more than go out.
The problem arises when a few go out and return to their homes and jobs to infect everybody with the virus that they got from hanging out.
Remember that drinkers are impaired, so when making rules that apply to them, one must consider their impairment and willingness to break rules that are harmful to themselves and others.
What rules will they obey? From my observations I’d say none.
You’d have to pay them and they’d still find a way to break them. Maybe one day of compliance and that’s all they can think or talk about. Not even a full day. Then it’s a little compliance. Wear the mask over your chin or on top of your head, or pull it down when you talk.
There are no rules they won’t break. However, if the management or owner thinks the rules are ridiculous, they set the tone.
Restaurants and bars are unique in that once you’re in, the mask comes off to eat and drink, and pretty much stays off till you leave.
The problem I encountered was people approaching to talk without the mask and getting way too close for comfort. Add to that the racial tensions in an environment of distancing and people’s actions get misunderstood, mostly because they’re in an environment with impaired people.
There was a rule about menus. They had to be paper, disposable. Well I saw some, but they clearly weren’t disposable, and still other establishments flagrantly ignored it. In the beginning the plastic menus would be swiped with cleaner, but it didn’t take long before no one did it. The appearance was there – the bottles and cloths.
As an afterthought and in the spirit of levity, I’d say hire all the people who find ways to skirt the rules while staying inside the boundaries whereby if they ever ended up in court they’d win. They must share some quality that some employers may find useful. Put them to work and shut the bars and restaurants a little longer.
The ones who stayed closed when others opened were the smartest. Look at what they’re doing and how they’re getting along.
The people doing the best jobs are the grocery stores. Lots of new hires don’t want to obey the rules, but when it’s mandatory, it gives the owners more power over noncompliance.
I think that’s the key, if it’s law they’ll do it.
People are CC Virused out. A spike doesn’t mean anything at this late stage of circulating misinformation for political purposes. Everything is either proTrump or anti Trump.
There’s too much variation among states regarding rules of the virus, compliance and non-compliance. Doing what’s best for your state doesn’t seem to be working to the benefit of the people in those states. Sure it’s the people’s fault, but there is simply too much conflicting information out there.
Attacking people for wearing a mask? Being called a racist for social distancing? Why are some groups more compliant?
The governor of New York sent virus-recovering people into nursing homes. If they were not contagious, then they should have been sent home. Seniors are at the greatest risk, yet they’re turning senior residences into public housing, which takes all ages, which puts seniors at risk – a high risk. It’s the younger ones who aren’t wearing the masks.
Make the masks mandatory statewide. Employers need to supply the masks; they’re not doing it. Only some.
Close restaurants and bars for six weeks. Reassess. What did they do wrong? How will they improve when they reopen this time?
This isn’t a game.
Selling drugs out of restaurants and bars needs to stop. Find another place, where people don’t gather. They take over the place. It puts everybody on edge and they push people out who have a right to be there.
Bartenders and waiters set the tone for the customers. They want tips, so they bend the rules.
A strain of the coronavirus imported from Europe is most likely to blame for the outbreak in Beijing, WHO believes
email@example.com (Sophia Ankel)
The virus sequence seen in the recent outbreak in Beijing is most likely related to the European strain, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Michael Ryan, who is the WHO’s executive director of the Health Emergencies Program, said: “What it’s saying most likely is that the disease was probably imported from outside Beijing at some point.”
One CDC official said that while the virus strain is from Europe, it seems to be an older version of what is currently spreading across the continent.
More than 200 new cases of the virus have been reported in the Chinese capital since June 11. Officials are trying to clamp down on the outbreak as much as possible, testing 2.3 million people so far.
World Health Organization (WHO) officials have said the coronavirus sequence in the latest Beijing outbreak is most likely related to the European strain.
Speaking at a press conference on Friday, WHO’s executive director of the Health Emergencies Program, Dr. Michael Ryan, said the outbreak in Beijing appears to be a human-to-human transmission and not another cross-species infection.
How we know the COVID-19 coronavirus wasn’t made in a lab
COVID-19 myths have spread just about as quickly as the disease itself. One myth in particular just won’t go away… that this virus is a man-made bioweapon. But by using the virus’ genetic sequence scientists have been able to debunk this myth once and for all.
“What it’s saying most likely is that the disease was probably imported from outside Beijing at some point,” Ryan said, adding that “establishing when that happened and how long the chain of transmission is important.”
CDC official Zhang Yong said that while the virus strain is from Europe, it seems to be an older version of what is currently spreading across the continent.
Zhang said of the data: “According to preliminary genomic and epidemiological study results, the virus is from Europe, but is different from the virus currently spreading in Europe. It’s older than the virus currently spreading in Europe.”
Experts believe that imported frozen foods used at the wholesale market could have been contaminated with the virus during packaging or transportation, according to Sky News.
Yang Zhanqiu, deputy director of the pathogen biology department at Wuhan University, told the Global Times: “In regard to the route of virus transmission into Beijing from Europe, if confirmed, it is likely the virus remained in imported frozen food where it lurked in dark and humid environment and then exposed to local visitors to the market,”
There were more than 200 new cases of the virus reported in the Chinese capital since June 11.
Many meat processing plants are closing due to the rapid spread of coronavirus through those factories.
It’s been commonly reported that the workers at these animal processing plants infected each other. But how do we know that the animal meat itself didn’t contain the coronavirus, and through handling of the meat infected the workers?
How many live animals have been tested for coronavirus and how many tests have been done on the raw meat after slaughter?
A lot of blood splattering occurs during the slaughter process, directly exposing the workers to blood thus cells. The raw meat hangs in the air, increasing the risk of the air-borne potential of the coronavirus via flesh as well as blood if these animals are infected.
The flesh is moist and the blood is exposed on the flesh. In humans, exposure to the actual blood is not required to contract the virus, because the living, breathing organism can pass the virus to others via coughing or sneezing or touching their drippings from mucous membranes of the eyes, nose and/or mouth.
Even if wearing gloves, coats and masks, air-borne particles can reach the workers, especially in ventilated areas creating air currents.
Who cleans the blood from the floors and the utensils and the machinery and the assembly lines?
It’s hard to imagine that those white coats don’t get soiled with blood. Even the coverings of surgeons and operating room personnel get soiled. Ever see a butcher’s white coat?
Nobody talks about transmission of the virus via blood – even in humans. Why not? Perhaps the connection would steer humans away from eating the flesh and the blood. Better to focus on coughing and sneezing? After all, dead animals can’t cough or sneeze.
I wonder if a dead human with coronavirus were covered in blood, if those handling the body would regard themselves as safe?
During the proliferation of the HIV virus years ago, first responders to an accident suddenly began wearing gloves for protection. In fact, all healthcare workers did – even though it was considered a sexually transmitted disease.
It’s time to start testing animals before they reach the processing plants for the coronavirus – en masse – as well as those already slaughtered and hanging in coolers waiting to be processed further.
TA-FC ClipBoard: I’m all for better work conditions for all people, no matter their economic status. I live in a senior residence that recently was converted to public housing to justify, in part, all the non-seniors living here. That being said, I am a senior in the lower economic group, told to shelter in place, yet I still need groceries.
If I thought a delivery person was risking their life by shopping for me (as indicated in this article), I would have found another way – and I did by doing my own local shopping – at risk to me, not everybody else. I wore protective gear, everybody else didn’t.
Seniors, the most at risk during the coronavirus crisis, were not handed our sanitizer and face masks – the government via management of this facility just told us to stay home and NO ONLINE SHOPPING, since they didn’t want delivery people in the building who could be carrying coronavirus with them in addition to our packages. All essential packages were to be funneled through the office.
By the way, I found my own hand sanitizer and used a scarf for a face mask and I already had disposable gloves on hand, which I also used.
There’s a wholesale/retail food store a couple blocks away. I went to their website and saw they delivered. Free delivery. So why not, since I was purchasing large cans (106 oz.) and wouldn’t be able to carry them home.
I placed my order. I gave my phone number, since the pass card mechanism in the front of the building was dismantled not allowing anyone to use the front entrance. The delivery person texted me when they were approaching.
I met the delivery person at the side entrance. If I hadn’t been there, they would have left, since we discovered that many people didn’t know how to use the buzzer system, so didn’t. Maybe they couldn’t read English. Steve even said it was confusing.
Two boxes were brought in. I was given a receipt that was from the store. Around $88.00. The standard tip was almost $5.00. I didn’t add to it. I took the cans out of the box, put them in a cart and took them upstairs.
When I placed the order, I was asked whether I wanted substitutions if the store was out of a particular product. It gave boxes for me to check if I did. There were no boxes to check if I didn’t, so I left them blank. The reason I didn’t want substitutions is that I don’t eat animal products and I didn’t want to risk a substitution that may contain animal.
Well, they substituted. Luckily the subs didn’t contain animal products, but still, they shouldn’t have subbed.
I ordered a large (106 oz.) can of Bush’s Vegetarian Bean Pot. It wasn’t in the box, yet online it claimed I received it. The receipt claimed I received a store brand of baked beans, which I didn’t.
When I compared the store receipt the delivery person handed me, to the receipt sent to me by the delivery person via email, there was an increase from 50 cents to a dollar plus over the store receipt price.
In addition to the automatic tip (I always tip and always tip well, no matter my personal financial circumstance), there was a service fee and a delivery fee – each was in the close to 5 dollar range.
As it turns out free delivery was only for specific brand items if I bought that particular brand in bulk – so the advertising was misleading. Also, when I went to the store’s website that said they delivered, I had no idea that INSTACART wasn’t them.
Each time I went back to the website to try to chat with someone or to ask questions there was no means, except to rate by stars my experience. I didn’t do that. I wanted to tell someone I was charged for two items I didn’t receive and that some items were subbed when I didn’t check the sub boxes.
In their policy section it explained the part of the uptick in individual items. Okay, now that’s explained. I had to do a lot of reading. They should tell you up front that they’re essentially acting as a convenience store – they buy items at grocery stores then resell them to the public at higher prices.
Their policy explains how to contact them with concerns, yet every time I clicked the link, the delivery person’s face would pop up for me to pick a ratings star. It was like Facebook, when you have an issue, they don’t get back, but claim your input will help them to provide better service. But even Facebook allows you to write your concern, not just rate by stars.
I finally gave up on it – decided to absorb the twenty or so dollars I was overcharged – and decided never to use INSTACART again.
Richard Zitrin, a lecturer on ethics at UC Hastings law school in San Francisco, told me [David Lazarus] it’s neither unethical nor immoral to hire others to perform tasks we may view as unpleasant or even dangerous.
“But it’s important to recognize the lack of equality among members of society,” he said, noting that the people who can afford to use delivery services may enjoy economic advantages that delivery workers do not share.“
I take issue with Richard Zitrin who would even raise the questions of morality and ethics of ordering groceries from a store that says they deliver.
I further take issue with Richard Zitrin’s elitist attitude toward people who order groceries from stores that deliver – saying that we can afford to use delivery services and enjoy economic advantages that delivery people don’t share. That sounded like he was shaming people who use delivery services, because they in his view have economic advantages the delivery people don’t have.
I wonder if that includes stealing – is it morally and ethically acceptable to steal a few items from each customer, as long as the delivery people don’t speak much English or are assumed to be in a low income bracket because they’re delivering groceries? Does that apply to pizza delivery people too? How about restaurant delivery people? Do they work just for tips? The article didn’t address the service fee and delivery fee, nor the convenience store status.
Is INSTACART licensed as a convenience store? Because that’s what they are.
So, to get my order delivered I paid close to $15.00 for someone to drive a block and drop them at the side entrance. Still, I’m not complaining about that. What they should do is be up front about the costs and how they’re calculated. Seniors are easy targets for fraud. And for sure they should have a link on their website to contact someone when the order delivered isn’t accurate.
There were two delivery people in the car. The woman got out and carried the boxes one at a time to the door. The man stayed in the car.
When I started emptying the boxes, all of a sudden I looked up and the man was there close – staring at me straight in the eyes with a scorn – as he asked if I wanted to tip them. I explained that I already tipped on the website when I ordered.
Like I said, I support worker rights – across the board, but this pity article was over-the-top.
Back to Richard Zitrin. If I have to take into consideration all the social issues of the day every time I shop for something, I’ll stop shopping. My life is already over-run and over-worked with social issues.
Maybe Richard should have included all low income people, including seniors who basically were required to get their groceries via delivery, rather than go out and risk getting coronavirus from people who didn’t take seriously their vulnerability. The delivery people could have worn a scarf over their mouths; they didn’t. They could have kept at a distance; they didn’t. Instead, especially the man, got in very close – too close for my comfort.
To David Lazarus: Outsourcing my coronavirus risk? Okay, I get it. That’s a catchy title. But what does it mean? I hire someone to get my groceries for me. Well, not really. Many stores before the virus crisis hit already delivered. Dropping goods off at the door isn’t much of a risk. These same delivery people of whom you speak shop for themselves in these same stores without any thought to risk – otherwise they’d be wearing protection.
There aren’t many old-timer delivery people – though I have seen a few UBER drivers of senior age or near senior age, who were either retired or supplementing income. It’s unfortunate that this article without anybody even saying it, made a comparison between delivery people and fruit/vegetable/tobacco pickers/slaughterhouse workers as “jobs nobody else wants”.
So what the essay is really saying is that immigrants, especially recent immigrants who may not have the skills nor the fluency in English to obtain a job that required skill and fluency to perform it well, should be subsided by privileged people who can afford to have their groceries delivered. How so? With large tips? How large? The people I know who work at taverns, restaurants and bars in Cleveland get a fairly low base pay, because they get tips.
The minimum tip at least for me was near $5.00. That’s automatic without having to give good service. Even if I had given a $20.00 tip in addition to the $15.00 service/delivery/tip fees, how much money can this delivery person make a day? The article didn’t speak to wage. So I don’t know what the wage is. But, say the delivery person delivers to ten people a day, that’s $25.00 x 10 = $250.00 a day plus wages.
If they get $5.00 per person (meaning no added tip) that = $50.00 a day plus wages.
Who, on an $88.00 order plus $15.00 of fees, is going to give in addition $20.00? Once maybe. But not on a regular basis.
If the point of this article was to make people think of inequality by shaming them, thus making them feel badly, don’t you think people have enough to feel badly about, without you seeking to make people feel even more uncomfortable?
Frankly, I choose not to stay around people who intentionally seek to make others feel uncomfortable. It’s a sadistic strategy.
At this point you’re probably thinking maybe this article reached the wrong person – 1 in how many even read it? But I had already had the experience with INSTACART before I saw the article in my email inbox.
Perhaps you could have stuck with employee conditions, rather than dump it all on the shoulders of people you wrongly assumed to be privileged.
Yeah, I’m outsourcing my coronavirus risks. Sounds like I’m a company unto myself making executive decisions on who gets sick and/or dies and who doesn’t.
Way over the top. It’s too easy to shame the fruit-eater instead going after the companies that employ the fruit-pickers.
It’s like shaming the drug-users rather than going after the drug cartels.
April 6, 2020
I’m Business columnist David Lazarus, with a look today at the way consumers are outsourcing their coronavirus risk.
These are boom times for delivery services. Amazon, FedEx, UPS — they’re all reporting huge increases in deliveries as consumers navigate the stay-at-home pandemic with online orders for everything from food and household staples to upgrades for home-entertainment systems.Amazon says it’s hiring 100,000 more workers to keep up with demand. Record downloads are being logged for grocery-delivery apps.
And that brings us to an intriguing moral and economic issue. Just as many consumers have outsourced their driving to Uber and Lyft, and their pickup of to-go restaurant orders to Grubhub, DoorDash and Postmates, they’re outsourcing the risk of venturing to the supermarket to Instacart and similar services that fill shopping carts on customers’ behalf. Instacart said last month that its sales growth rate had increased by as much as 20 times in California and other hard-hit states as a result of the pandemic.
The company’s founder and chief executive, Apoorva Mehta, said Instacart plans to hire 300,000 more shoppers to prowl supermarket aisles as proxies for anxious consumers.
“The last few weeks have been the busiest in Instacart’s history,” he said. “Today, the role we play and the responsibility we have takes on an entirely new meaning.”
Richard Zitrin, a lecturer on ethics at UC Hastings law school in San Francisco, told me it’s neither unethical nor immoral to hire others to perform tasks we may view as unpleasant or even dangerous.
“But it’s important to recognize the lack of equality among members of society,” he said, noting that the people who can afford to use delivery services may enjoy economic advantages that delivery workers do not share.“
Anyone who doesn’t recognize that reality is kidding themselves,” Zitrin said.
To be sure, the history of capitalism is the history of paying people to do tasks others don’t want to do. It can be argued that as long as people take on such work willingly, and are treated well and compensated fairly, there’s nothing inherently wrong with this.
That matter of fair compensation, though, is a topic for debate. How much of a premium should be charged when people literally may be putting their life on the line to get you groceries and toilet paper?
Some Instacart workers went on strike last week to seek improved conditions. Among other things, they’re asking for protective supplies such as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes, higher default tips and hazard pay.
The advocacy group Gig Workers Rising is seeking signatures for a petition calling on California policymakers to protect drivers and delivery folk. “By signing, you help to ensure workers have access to benefits like paid sick leave, disability, family leave and unemployment insurance,” the group says.
My wife and I have received one big delivery from Instacart since the pandemic erupted and we were very pleased with the service. We got most of what we wanted, and the woman who dropped our groceries at the front door couldn’t have been nicer.We thanked her profusely. And we tipped generously.
When you’re outsourcing risk, that’s the least you can do.
Medical experts suspect COVID-19 coronavirus capable of harming the brain
By Robert Higgs, cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio – Medical experts now suspect that COVID-19 coronavirus may do harm to the brain, in some cases, as well as the lungs.
Symptoms ranging from feeling lethargic and confused to more serious ailments, such as seizures, strokes and encephalitis have been observed in the United States and abroad.
Doctors are pretty sure the symptoms are either a direct result of the coronavirus, or a side effect of the virus working on other systems, but more research is needed to know conclusively.
“It’s just too new,” Dr. Lin Mei, director of the Cleveland Brain Health Initiative, a consortium of 500 medical professionals involved in brain research, told cleveland.com this week.
But concerns about the links between COVID-19 coronavirus and brain ailments are high enough that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list “new confusion or inability to arouse” as an emergency symptom that should prompt immediate medical attention.
A coronavirus can spread through the body several ways, Mei said. It may migrate through a narrow line of protective cells between the nasal cavity and the brain. Or it can circulate through the body if it gets into the bloodstream. And sometimes, the virus attaches itself to nerve terminals.
“Those nerves … transport the virus into the brain,” Mei said. “Every nerve comes out of a unique region of the brain.”
What’s not known, though, is exactly how COVID-19 interacts with the brain – whether directly or by affecting other systems in the body that affect the brain – and the extent of the damage it can do.
Is the virus capable of prompting a stroke, or is it driving up blood pressure that leads to a stroke?
Research to answer those questions likely will take some time, perhaps longer than this coronavirus outbreak lasts, said Mei, who chairs the department of neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University’s School of Medicine.
But a case of encephalitis in Detroit reported last week in the Journal of Radiology and some previous cases in the United States and overseas have medical experts concerned.
In Detroit, a 58-year-old woman who tested positive for the coronavirus developed a case of acute necrotizing encephalitis, or ANE, a central nervous infection that mostly afflicts young children.
It is believed to be the first published case highlighting the association between encephalitis and COVID-19, doctors at the Henry Ford Health System said.
“This is significant for all providers to be aware of and looking out for in patients who present with an altered level of consciousness,” Dr. Elissa Fory, a Henry Ford neurologist, said in a news release. “We need to be thinking of how we’re going to incorporate patients with severe neurological disease into our treatment paradigm. This complication is as devastating as severe lung disease.”
Have there been other cases?
In a case from Boca Raton, Florida, family members took a 74-year-old man who was feverish and short of breath to the hospital in early March, The New York Times reported. The man could not tell doctors his name or explain what was wrong. He had lost the ability to speak, was flailing his arms and legs and appeared to be having a seizure. The man tested positive for COVID-19 coronavirus.
Two recent studies suggest that patients with more severe cases are more likely to have brain ailments.
One, made available in February but not yet peer reviewed, found that 45% of patients with more severe cases of COVID-19 displayed neurologic symptoms such as acute cerebrovascular diseases and consciousness impairment.
The second, published in The BMJ in March, found disorders of consciousness were present in 22% of the diseased patients it studied, versus just 1% of recovered patients.
Both studies involved coronavirus cases from the Wuhan province of China.
Do other coronaviruses affect the brain?
A connection between coronaviruses – a group of viruses ranging from the common cold to SARS and COVID-19 — and brain ailments would not be new.
“People have known about this for a number of years,” Mei said. “No doubt, for other coronaviruses, the virus can be detected in the brain and neurons can be altered.”
Indeed, a study from 2000 published in the American Society for Microbiology’s Journal of Virology noted evidence of human coronavirus in human brain autopsy samples and a possible association with multiple sclerosis. That study urged more research.
Separate studies published in 2004 and 2005 examined the spread of coronavirus through the body among patients with severe acute respiratory syndrome, better known as SARS. Each of those studies found that coronavirus invading several organs, including the brain.
What is needed now?
More information, according to Dr. Sherry H-Y. Chou, a neurologist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.
“We absolutely need to have an information-finding mission, otherwise we’re flying blind,” Chou told The New York Times. “There’s no ventilator for the brain. If the lungs are broken, we can put the patient on a ventilator and hope for recovery. We don’t have that luxury with the brain.”
I did some rearranging of our living space and made a SANITIZING STATION near the front door.
SANI PROFESSIONAL wipes for all surfaces, including countertops, furniture, doors and handles, computers, phones and remotes.
Isopropyl alcohol in a spray bottle. Hand sanitizer in a pump bottle. hydrogen Peroxide in a spray bottle. WITCH HAZEL in a bottle – that contains 14% alcohol.
DISPOSABLE GLOVES. DISPOSABLE FACE MASKS.
PAPER TOWELS. NAPKINS. PAPER BAGS – lunch size.
Plastic grocery bags were once used to pick up dog poo, twist it, tie it and dump it in the trash. Now they’re banned in our county – and elsewhere across the land.
Now, I’ll use paper towels for pickup and a paper lunch bag to hold it, twist it, roll it, whatever, then dump it.
100 sterile masks won’t last long for two people, one of whom takes public transportation to an essential job.
When we run out, we’ll use cloth. I’m using mostly cloth now.
The government and a bunch of other self-serving people keep claiming a mask isn’t necessary. On Facebook, large numbers of people are making fun of anybody who wears a mask, humiliating and shaming them. This needs to stop.
Some expert claimed that wearing a mask if you are diseased will help stop the spread of the disease, but wearing a mask when you’re not diseased doesn’t prevent you from becoming diseased.
Now that’s just faulty mumbo jumbo logic. The government keeps saying the disease comes from the respiratory system – meaning open mouth and breathe and virus comes out if one has the virus. An unprotected person breathes the same air that an infected person breathed out, and in goes the virus.
Both parties need the mask to thwart the spread of the contagion. If the mask stops the contagion from leaving or entering the mouth or nose, that’s all one needs to know – whether one person has it, both people have it or neither has it.
If a person touches something that has the virus on it – like a dollar bill or a piece of fresh fruit – and then touches their own mucus membranes with that finger or thumb or…, the mask over the mouth and nose cannot prevent that particular mode of transition – finger to mouth, finger to nose, finger to eye etc. We wear gloves to keep the virus off our skin, and then remove and discard them when in a fairly safe place – home or after a procedure.
Consider this: Those dead and half dead animals at wet markets suspected of spreading the coronavirus COVID-19 didn’t cough or sneeze into a worker’s mouth or nose or air around the worker’s mouth or nose. That tiger who supposedly gave the same virus to a zookeeper did not cough or sneeze into the zookeepers mouth and nose air space.
Conclusion: The virus lives on the skin after butchering an animal with the virus. Gloves only work if the wearer of the gloves keeps their hands from touching at or near mucus membranes. Rubbing your bloody, sweaty brow on a shirt sleeve of blood with the virus attached to the blood, can easily get into the eye of the worker.
The virus lives on the skin after the skin comes into contact with a dollar bill or a piece of fruit as an example. If wearing a glove, the virus lives on the glove – not lives off of the glove. What happens next? You either practice proper glove protocol or not.
It is irresponsible for experts to mix facts about modes of transmission, that serve no purpose except to further confuse the populace. This isn’t a game of wits and who can fool the greatest number of people by playing with the language.
Lucky’s Market where we shop is limiting tofu to two per customer. All that really does is increase the number of store visits for people who use tofu as a staple protein in their diets.
If all the warehouses are full according to the government, then why not allow grocery stores to stock their coolers and shelves? What are they saving it for? Or are they already in food-rationing mode anticipating worse case scenarios?
Is FEMA doing another Katrina on all of us – saving product for other catastrophic events? FEMA has warehouses full of old product from years ago, that they decided to hoard, after people donated for Katrina victims.
And where are these so-called warehouses? In other countries? People deserve to know the reasoning behind the decisions being made on their behalf.
It seems that the government has locked down isopropyl alcohol. With bedbug season coming up, people need to be using alcohol to wipe down clothing, bags, anything on their person upon entering the house after being outside – especially those who take public transportation or go to the markets.
How about all those delivery vehicles and the people driving them? When bedbugs hit, they appear everywhere. Ambulances, taxis, buses, doctor offices, hospitals, stores and on and on. They go airborne with the air currents.
They don’t need wings to fly – as long as the air moves, they move with it. We were all told to use alcohol to kill them. Now what? They’ll tell us to use soap and water instead? If it worked, I would have been doing it.
So, if the warehouses are full of isopropyl alcohol, then why can’t We The People buy it? We’re not asking for a hand-out. We’ll pay, but not at gouging prices. I thought a law was passed prohibiting gouging?
What happened? The lawmakers passed it knowing they couldn’t enforce it – for the purpose of temporary appeasement? They didn’t really think that the gougers would self-regulate themselves did they? Now that would be naive. And stop telling us to use vodka instead. Is that recommendation coming from the liquor industry?
I have four bottles, but having to spray down my husband when he returns from essential work after being on public transportation, it won’t last long.
I have one hundred masks that just arrived. Those won’t last long either. The same with gloves. We’re going to run out.
It seems there are too many special interests being satisfied during this coronavirus crisis and too little being done for the populace. The rich people will get what they need and the rest of us are told to wash our hands instead.
When we get our government issued stimulus checks, are we going to be able to buy isopropyl alcohol, masks, gloves – the items that We The People need to help keep us safe?
Are vegans going to be able to buy vegan food, or is the slaughter industry driving some of these shortages, hoping that vegans will start eating the slaughtered victims again? Not this vegan, but I’m sure the animal-meat industry has already war-gamed that scenario in favor of themselves.
Open those warehouses the government keeps bragging are full and stock the shelves.
China is inching closer to the end of the legal human consumption of dog meat, multiple outlets report.
On Wednesday, the country’s Ministry of Agricultural and Rural Affairs announced that it would no longer classify dogs as livestock, meaning the animal can’t be bred for food, milk or fur, according to Reuters.
“As far as dogs are concerned, along with the progress of human civilization and the public concern and love for animal protection, dogs have been ‘specialized’ to become companion animals, and internationally are not considered to be livestock, and they will not be regulated as livestock in China,” read the notice, per the outlet.
Humane Society International estimates that some 10 million dogs and 4 million cats are killed in China every year for meat. A spokesperson for HSI told The Guardian that the policy is a potential “game-changer moment for animal welfare in China.”
“That signals a major shift, recognizing that most people in China don’t eat dogs and cats and want an end to the theft of their companion animals for a meat trade that only a small percentage of the population indulge in,” said the spokesperson.
Earlier this month, Shenzhen officially became the first city in China to ban the consumption of cat and dog meat, with the new law going into effect on May 1.
A recent ban on the consumption of specific wildlife meat in China is a response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic after some of the earliest infections were found in individuals who visited a wildlife market in Wuhan, China, according to TheNew York Times.
The Shenzhen government decided to extend the ban to cats and dogs as these pets “have established a much closer relationship with humans than all other animals,” according to BBC News. Additionally, “banning the consumption of dogs and cats and other pets is a common practice in developed countries and in Hong Kong and Taiwan.”
The proposed change will also fine Shenzhen restaurants found serving dog and cat meat.
Dog and cat meat consumption is not prevalent in many areas of China but is the most common in Shenzhen’s province of Guangdong and the neighboring province of Guangxi, which is home to the controversial Yulin Dog Meat Festival.
Covid-19 has shut down parts of the hyper-consolidated US meat industry
By Chase Purdy
Future of Food
How to feed everyone, without hurting the planet.
A Tyson-owned meat processing plant that churns out 2% of the US pork supply ground to a halt this week as workers became infected with Covid-19.
And that wasn’t the only meatpacking plant impacted by the spread of the novel coronavirus. JBS USA on March 31 said it hit pause on much of its work at a beef facility in Souderton, Pennsylvania and wouldn’t have it back online until mid-April. National Beef Packing on April 2 temporarily stopped slaughtering cattle at one of its plants in Tama, Iowa after a worker tested positive for the virus.
Plant closures are emblematic of a larger issue across the US food system, as farms and companies work to weather the storm of Covid-19. The health and safety of workers is paramount if food chains are to continue running smoothly—and workers’ perceived safety appears to vary across the industry.
In Greeley, Colorado, at least 830 JBS employees didn’t show up for work on March 30 after several employees tested positive for the virus. And in California, the United Farm Workers union has said that 77% of produce pickers in an informal poll reported daily routines hadn’t changed as a result of the virus.
Tyson claims that, in light of 24 positive cases for Covid-19 in its Columbus Junction, Iowa plant, it is being proactive about protecting workers before infections become apparent. That includes shutting the plant down for a full week. In a statement, the company said it is taking its employees’ temperatures every day. It says it has also increased cleaning and sanitizing at its plants, sometimes at the expense of a day’s work. At some plant locations it has set up tents as outdoor break rooms to allow for more effective social distancing.
Still, the stakes are high. The way the US meat industry is set up, with just a handful of plants churning out an outsized amount of the meat supply, disruption at a single plant can have a big ripple effect.
It wasn’t always like this. In 1967 there were 9,627 slaughterhouses in the US. Today there are just 1,100,reflective of massive consolidation across the meat industry. Of those, 215 large-scale operations run by a handful of multi-national companies supply the US with some 85% of its meat, according to Bloomberg.
For now, the supply of meat is steady. In fact, the biggest meatpackers have experienced substantial sales growth in retail because of the virus, as consumers rushed to stock up on food in preparation for prolonged periods at home. For pork and turkey, grocery sales in the middle of March more than doubled compared to the same period last year.
Still, industry analysts say the numbers in grocery stores won’t make up for substantial losses incurred by restaurant closures and hobbled food service companies. They point to chicken, the most popular animal protein product among US consumers, as a bellwether.
“Now that consumers and grocers have filled their freezers with chicken, the spike in demand from the grocery channel is starting to fade and is no longer sufficient to offset the 50% decline in demand in the restaurant channel,” Credit Suisse analysts wrote in a report this week. “This is a big change from the optimistic tone that we had heard from Sanderson and Tyson as recently as a week ago.”
On a global scale, economic weakness in nations around the world is contributing to a slump in US exports of meat—just as with dairy exports. Some financial analysts had expected chicken exports to grow by 20% in 2020, but because of economic problems in Vietnam, Philippines, and Kazakhstan, that growth hovered at about 3% by the end of January, according to Credit Suisse.
The message is clear whether you look at US meat through a global or national lens: If workers don’t feel safe, or aren’t protected from the virus, the food system won’t run smoothly. And since the US meat industry is so consolidated, problems at even a single plant can create big headaches.
TA-FC ClipBoard: Alright, so there are two experimental labs in Wuhan, China, a few miles from the diseased markets, that experiment with viruses, evidently the COVID-19 virus being one of them.
It is assumed that because the virus wasn’t altered in these labs that it leaked by accident aka poor safety procedures into a lab worker and then that lab worker, unwittingly infected other people.
The article doesn’t say from where or what source the lab retrieved the virus with the intent of studying/researching it.
Since Wuhan market sells warm/wet animals who have this virus, can it be assumed that the lab used said animals to procure the virus?
If the lab knew in advance of the infected animals at Wuhan market, why did the Chinese government allow these animals to be sold?
Once the lab is finished testing on the animal(s) who have deadly viruses or any other type of virus that the lab considers test-worthy, where do these animals get deposited? Back to the market? To be sold as food?
“Virus collection, culture, isolation, or animal infection at BSL-2 [moderate biosafety level] with a virus having the transmission characteristics of the outbreak virus would pose substantial risk of infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker, the public,” he said.
Again, where, when, how do the labs dispose of the animals infected?
It doesn’t appear to this writer to be coincidental, that these two labs researching viruses just happen to be within close proximity to where the viruses thrive in animals sold for food.
Where do they get the infected animals and where do they deposit them when finished? Answer those questions. The world deserves to know. I want to know.
My recommendation is to remove all living beings including humans from those market places and burn the markets to the ground. Make a big display of it so the world can see it. Otherwise, the world, including me, will stop purchasing any product that is Made In China. China’s economy will collapse.
There needs to be an end to markets that cause pandemics, wherever they are located. Are there wet/warm markets in the USA? In New York? How many Chinese or other Asian groups have contracted the coronavirus in New York City? Shut them down now, and don’t let them reopen.
It’s customary for Asian vendors and restaurants in the USA to purchase their products from Asian companies. Chinese and other Asian restaurants will go out of business.
No one will ever trust their product again. Even if it’s only plain rice they sell, that death connection will be hard to break in the psyche of future customers.
And who will trust the government, any government, when they say all food is safe coming from Asia?
No one, not even Asians. I won’t.
Why spend all that money on sanitizing product before it enters the USA? Go to the source and destroy it before it does any more harm.
Stop eating animals is the only long-term cure.
Boris Johnson’s government has considered the possibility that the coronavirus may have accidentally leaked from a Chinese lab
Adam Payne Apr 6, 2020, 7:50 AM
The UK government reportedly believes the coronavirus outbreak may have started in a Chinese laboratory.
Most experts believe the outbreak began when animals passed the virus to humans in China, specifically in or near a market in the city of Wuhan where live animals were sold.Some scientists, however, believe an accidental leak is a plausible alternative theory — and the Mail on Sunday said UK officials were not ruling it out.
A UK parliamentary committee last week accused the Chinese government of spreading disinformation about the origins of the virus.
“Perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan,” one UK government official told the Mail on Sunday.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
The UK government believes the novel coronavirus may have accidentally leaked from a laboratory in the Chinese city of Wuhan where scientists were researching viruses, according to a Mail on Sunday newspaper report.
Most experts believe the outbreak of the virus began with animals passing the disease to humans in or near a market in the Chinese city of Wuhan where live animals were sold.
The Mail on Sunday report, however, says that while officials in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government believe this is still the most likely explanation, it is “no longer being discounted” that a leak from a nearby laboratory actually caused the outbreak.
“There is a credible alternative view [to the zoonotic theory] based on the nature of the virus,” a member of the UK government’s emergency committee of senior officials, Cobra, told the newspaper. “Perhaps it is no coincidence that there is that laboratory in Wuhan. It is not discounted.”
There are two scientific labs close to Wuhan where scientists are believed to have been carrying out tests on viruses: the Institute of Virology and the Wuhan Center for Disease Control.
Both are within 10 miles of the animal market where the outbreak is widely believed to have started late last year.
Some scientists in the US believe an accidental laboratory leak is a plausible theory, The Washington Post columnist David Ignatius said last week.
One biologist Ignatius pointed to was Richard Ebright, a professor at Rutgers University’s Waksman Institute of Microbiology.
Ebright was quoted in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists as saying many of the scientists in Wuhan who had been researching viruses had only “minimal protections” against infection.
“Virus collection, culture, isolation, or animal infection at BSL-2 [moderate biosafety level] with a virus having the transmission characteristics of the outbreak virus would pose substantial risk of infection of a lab worker, and from the lab worker, the public,” he said.
He went on to say the evidence available left “a basis to rule out a lab construct, but no basis to rule out a lab accident.”
In other words, while the virus was not believed to have been created in a lab, it could have been studied in one and released in an accident.
Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/HandoutJohnson’s government has reportedly started to question the veracity of China’s statements regarding the coronavirus.
Last week it was reported that UK officials were furious with the Chinese state.
On March 29, the senior UK lawmaker Michael Gove told the BBC he was skeptical of China’s official virus numbers.
“The first case of coronavirus in China was established in December of last year, but it was also the case that some of the reporting from China was not clear about the scale, the nature, the infectiousness of this,” he said.
A report by the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee last week accused the Chinese government of spreading disinformation about the spread of the virus.
“Disinformation about COVID-19 has already cost lives,” the committee said.
“It is essential that the Government issues clear and transparent messages at home to confront and rebut disinformation spread by foreign powers.”
As China lifts its coronavirus lockdowns, authorities are using a color-coded health system to dictate where citizens can go.
Workers at essential businesses say they’re insulted by ‘pathetic’ rewards of pizza, free lunches, and candy, as they beg for sick leave and hazard pay.
The UK health system is so overwhelmed that a hospital is converting all its theaters for coronavirus patients, and nurses have panic attacks because they can’t cope with the stress.
Boris Johnson is in a ‘stable’ condition in intensive care and is not being treated with a ventilator.
A sailor onboard USNS Comfort, the Navy hospital ship in New York City, tested positive for the coronavirus.
China Bans Trade, Consumption of Wild Animals to Counter Virus
February 24, 2020, 4:52 AM EST
China’s top legislature imposed a total ban on trade and consumption of wild animals, according to state-run China Central Television, a move that aims to curb activities that scientists say may have caused the deadly coronavirus to jump from animals to humans.
The Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress took the decision at a meeting on Monday. The move should restrict trade and protect biodiversity, said Li Shuo, a senior global policy adviser at Greenpeace in Beijing
The coronavirus is proliferating globally, roiling markets and business, after originating in China where more than 77,000 people have been infected and over 2,500 have died.
The virus emerged in early December in Wuhan, an industrial city of 11 million in Hubei province, and early attention focused on a seafood market where live animals were sold, even though a third of the first 40 cases or so were found to have no link to it.
The process of ending trade and consumption “will be a challenging exercise,” said Li. Defining what wildlife is, whether Chinese medicines are included and what counts as illegal are some of the issues that need to be tackled, he said.
Seized pangolin scales in Hong Kong on Feb. 1.
Photographer: Anthony Wallace/AFP via Getty Images
According to the People’s Daily, wild animals covered by the ban include those that the Wildlife Protection Law and other laws prohibit people from eating, terrestrial wild animals that China protects as they have “important ecological, scientific and social value” as well as other terrestrial wild animals including those bred in captivity.
China issued a temporary ban on trading in wild animals shortly after the outbreak of the virus, and pressure has been mounting to make the prohibition permanent.
The existing Wildlife Protection Law bans the sale of food from endangered species, but doesn’t cover all wild animals. International animal rights groups have criticized the use of exotic animal parts such as tiger bones, bear gall and pangolin scales in traditional Chinese medicine.
Walk into a North American supermarket, and there are rows upon rows of frozen meat to choose from. In China, however, there’s a preference for freshly slaughtered pig, chicken and beef. And that desire for ‘warm meat’ is at the heart of a growing concern.
The recent Wuhan virus outbreak in China has been linked to a wet market in the eastern region of the country. The respiratory disease was transmitted from an animal to a human, but is now being passed between people.
But that’s just one virus spread through animals. And diseases such as avian flu in poultry and African Swine Flu (ASF) have been difficult to eradicate, as chickens and pigs are shipped from farmhouse to market on a daily basis.
Despite the risks, markets are central to Chinese life. While there are supermarkets stocked with frozen meat (which staff say is the same meat provided to vendors elsewhere), the customer flow is a trickle compared to the hustle and bustle of the so-called “wet markets.”
That’s partly because widespread refrigeration has only recently come to China. In some rural and lower income areas, fridges are still rare. Among older consumers who have grown up buying perishable food for daily use, shoppers say they can tell the quality of fresh meat by its smell, colour and texture.
Dirk Pfeiffer, a professor of veterinary medicine at City University in Hong Kong, says while trust is high for shoppers at wet markets, many customers still see supermarkets as alien and suspect.
Socializing is also part of the market experience.“I actually believe that it is an important thing for the older generation to go to the wet market and have a chat,” said Pfeiffer.
As fresh meat continues to be associated with viral outbreaks, though, how sustainable the appetite for wet markets may be is unclear.