Sunday 1 March 2020

Behold A Pale Horse! February 2020: The 2nd month of the most important decade in the history of the human race was like a roaring lion: Death, Disease and Disaster Dominate

Credit, Guardian

February 1st, 2020

If January was anything to go by 2020 is going to be a very rough ride and once again haunting news is headlining across the media about the coronavirus and its rapid spread around the world. Some of the articles are bewildering, some hard to believe others crude lies but never the less, whichever news site one visits, the headline is the coronavirus pandemic.
Today, in a new twist, Chinese health experts are warning the public that coronavirus patients can become reinfected, which is unusual for a virus. A report on Zero Hedge today, claimed the coronavirus contains "HIV insertions", stoking fears over the virus has been an artificially created bioweapon? As I mentioned earlier, some of the articles one reads are bewildering. The U.S. has declared the coronavirus a public health emergency after imposing quarantines. Coach drivers are seen transporting coronavirus evacuees in the UK without protection, the drivers will apparently be given two weeks off to 'self-isolate' but the government insists they did not need protective clothing, which sounds absolutely insane to me

Britain survived its first day outside the EU.

February the 2nd

The coronavirus is now causing global panic and not surprisingly, today the first death outside China belongs to the Philippines. A man who was in a stable condition prior to his death on 1 February. Meanwhile, Hong Kong medical workers voted to go on strike, calling for the government to close the border with mainland China. The death toll has now risen above 300 with 14,550 cases reported globally but estimates by the University of Hong Kong suggest the total number of cases could be far higher than the official figures. They are claiming an astonishing 75,000 plus people have been infected in the city of Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak according to the BBC. In another report, Professor Raina MacIntyre, of the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, says: ‘The effectiveness of the iconic surgical masks against airborne infections is low because they do not provide a seal around the face and do not have good filtration.’
And in a separate development, A city in China’s central Hunan province reported that it had culled almost 18,000 chickens after an outbreak of H5N1 bird flu, the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs said on its website. The statement didn’t say when the outbreak occurred, or when the cull happened. Hunan is next to Hubei, the epicentre of the separate coronavirus outbreak.

I did a check, January 2020, the first month of a new decade was quite a busy month, regarding the seismic and volcanic activity. 15 major quakes were recorded which is above average but no big deal, only 3 more than January 2019. The biggest being the magnitude 7.7 just north of Jamaica on the 28th. A total of 163 quakes were recorded between magnitude 5 to 5:9 range last month, compared to 159 in January 2019, so this year is slightly up so far but it is very early days of course.
I mentioned 7 volcano eruptions last month, however, The Smithsonian Institute website is showing 18 volcanoes erupting or showing activity at this very moment. However, according to the Smithsonian Institute there were NO confirmed eruptions in Jan 2019 and only 5 in February 2019. 
A state of emergency was declared today in Pakistan to tackle the biggest locust attack in decades. The insects are destroying crops in Punjab province. The Punjab province in Pakistan is the main region for agricultural production. Prime Minister Imran Khan approved a National Action Plan (NAP) that requires a sum of Rs 7.3 billion to overcome the crisis. Minister for National Food Security Khusro Bakhtiar informed the National Assembly about the gravity of the situation. Numerous desert locust swarms have been breeding in India, Iran and Pakistan since June 2019. And some have migrated to southern Iran where recent heavy rains have nurtured a breeding ground that could generate swarms in the spring. Egypt, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen are also seeing substantial breeding activity that could see locust bands expand into swarms in the coming months, FAO added. The agency concluded that it stands ready to leverage its expertise and facilitate a coordinated response.
Summer arrives early. The first day of extreme warmth of the new year was verified yesterday, on Saturday, Feb 1st. Several locations across the Mediterranean and the Balkans peaked into low 20 deg C, around 70 deg F, here on the Eastcoast of Europe some parts of Holland recorded 16 deg C, almost 61 deg F. Even southern Scandinavia and Denmark reached up to 11 deg C, 52 deg F. Spring weather across eastern Spain showed several locations pushing above 25  deg C, 77 deg F. Valencia peaked at 27 deg C, 81 deg F. It's not all about warmth, I understand that. Last week the West coast of the US and Canada endured torrential amounts of rain and snow. Record-breaking amounts of rain hit Northern Australia last week. Northern India, Pakistan and Afghanistan have had record amounts of snowfall and cold stretching back to December 2019.

February the 3rd

The latest figures issued today show 17,205 people are sick in China with the Coronavirus and 361 deaths fave been recorded. China accused the US of causing panic and 'spreading fear’ after President Trump imposed a travel ban to China for American citizens, also hundreds of hospital workers in Hong Kong have gone on strike, demanding the border with mainland China be completely closed to reduce the risk of the coronavirus spreading. In a twist which belongs in a sci-fi movie, videos are being been released showing drones, scolding bewildered citizens who have wondered outside during coronavirus lockdown. Another shocking revelation is victims are being refused funerals in the government's efforts to stop the virus spreading. Closer to home, in the UK, a desperate search is on the way for up to 480 Wuhan travellers who have been 'lost' in Britain. Officials are trying to trace 480 travellers from the coronavirus-hit city of Wuhan who arrived in the UK nine days ago and hasn’t been quarantined. It was also revealed today fears over the coronavirus have triggered a sharp fall in Chinese shares as markets reopened after the Lunar New Year holiday. $400 Billion was knocked off the value of Chinese stocks.

Somalia today becomes the first country in the Horn of Africa to declare a locust infestation sweeping the region as a national emergency and comes a day after Pakistan issued an emergency declaration. The country's Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement on Sunday claiming the explosion of locusts in Somalia is causing dire consequences for people and their livestock. The swarms are said to be uncommonly large consuming huge amounts of crops. 

After the loss of more than a billion animals during the unprecedented bushfires in January, tens of thousands of koalas among then, another 10,000, camels euthanised because of a lack of water you would imagine Australia would desperately trying to hang on to its vulnerable wildlife. Not the case, dozens of koalas have been found dead or injured at a timber plantation in the Australian state of Victoria, sparking an investigation by officials. After the trees were cut down some koalas had starved to death, overs were slaughtered by bulldozers. "People apparently witnessed the bulldozing of many dead koalas into slash piles," it said. The Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning said it was prepared to prosecute over the incident. 

Iran's leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has been caught with his trousers down again. According to the BBC, leaked remarks suggested Iran knew immediately that it had struck the plane. Ukrainian TV aired an exchange between air traffic control and a pilot who was landing as the jet crashed. The Iranian pilot allegedly states he saw a flash like a missile fire in the sky, and then an explosion. Iran initially denied responsibility for the downing on 8 January that killed 176, but Ukraine's president said the conversation proved the country knew the flight had been hit by a missile.
The first volcano eruption of February belongs to Japan when a volcano on an island in Kagoshima Prefecture erupted early Monday, the Meteorological Agency said, with no immediate reports of injuries. Pyroclastic flows observed there for the first time since Jan. 29 last year reached around 900 meters southwest of the crater, while ash and smoke rose to an altitude of some 7,000 meters after the 5:30 a.m. eruption of Mount Shindake on Kuchinoerabu Island, according to the agency.

Tons of fish have washed up dead on the shores of the Vermelho and Araguaia rivers, in Aruanã, in the interior of Goiás, Brazil. The Environment delegate, Luciano Carvalho, claimed tons had already been collected today.

February the 4th

According to my calculations, today is the 36th day of the Coronavirus outbreak, the death toll has risen to 426 as officials confirm more than 20,000 people worldwide have now come down with the illness. The Politburo today admitted shortcomings and deficiencies’ in their handling of the crisis. Heartbreaking stories are all over the media, however, one story I read today hit me hard. A disabled 16-year-old boy has died a week after his father and brother had been placed in quarantine. The boy is thought to have died of starvation. Meanwhile, websites and blogs are being shut down for spreading false and fake news concerning the coronavirus but quite frankly it’s the very organisations, claiming others are spreading fake news who are themselves feeding us, a never-ending diet of fake news and here is the latest fib to be leaked. In early January, authorities in the Chinese city of Wuhan were trying to keep news of a new coronavirus under wraps. When one doctor tried to warn fellow medics about the outbreak, the police paid him a visit and told him to stop spreading false rumours. It's a stunning insight into the botched response by local authorities in Wuhan in the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak according to the BBC. On 30 December he sent a message to fellow doctors in a chat group warning them about the outbreak and advising they wear protective clothing to avoid infection. What Dr Li didn't know then was that the disease that had been discovered was an entirely new coronavirus. Four days later he had a visit from officials from the Public Security Bureau who told him to sign a letter. In the letter, he was accused of "making false comments" that had "severely disturbed the social order". He was one of eight people who police said were being investigated for "spreading rumours". On 10 January he started coughing, the next day he had a fever and two days later he was in the hospital. His parents also fell ill and were taken to the hospital. It was 10 days later - on 20 January - that China declared the outbreak an emergency.

Spare a thought for East and Central Africa. The area has gone from record-breaking drought to record-breaking rainfall and Biblical sized locust plagues in jut three years. Rainfall in some parts has increased by an incredible 300% since last October.

Saudi Arabia today reported the death of hundreds of thousands of birds after an outbreak of the highly pathogenic H5N8 bird flu virus on a poultry farm, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). The outbreak, which occurred in the central Sudair region, killed 22,700 birds, the OIE said, citing a report from the Saudi agriculture ministry. Another 385,300 birds in the flock were slaughtered, it said.

February the 5th

Day 37 of the Coronavirus and expert, Shi Zengl claimed today, “nature is punishing the uncivilised habits and customs of humans and has nothing to do with a lab-leak.” She was defending the Wuhan Laboratory where she works after stories leaked onto the Internet claiming the virus had leaked from her lab at the end of December. Where is Xi Jinping? China’s iconic leader hasn't been seen publicly since the 28th of January, eight days ago. Another cruise -ship nightmare is unfolding in Japan where ten passengers on a liner were quarantined because they have coronavirus. They have been taken to hospital. The three and a half thousand passengers are on lockdown onboard the ship. A British traveller onboard revealed food is being rationed and alcohol is banned. The iconic airline, Cathay Pacific has asked its 27,000 employees to take three weeks of unpaid leave in the next few months as the Hong Kong airline is hit with economic woes due to the virus.
More and more extremely nutty weather is being reported from around our planet, only five weeks into the new year and it was warming enough for me to sit in my back garden catching some much-needed vitamin D today. Earlier, Denver’s 74 deg F, (23 deg C) was its warmest February day in almost 100 years but then the temperature dropped to below freezing and collected 5 inches of snow in just 24 hrs. A similar story happened in Tasmania, Australia. The temperature plummeted from 40 deg C, (104 deg F) to 1 deg C, (32 deg F) and snow in less than 24 hours. 10 inches of snow has been measured in Peacock, Texas today, with snow as far south as El Paso, Valencia, Spain, enjoyed an incredible 29.4 deg C, (85 deg F) yesterday, almost double the average temperatures for the time of the year and smashing the old record for February of 27 deg C, (80 deg F). While many other parts of Europe are enjoying summer temperatures. It isn’t going to last though. Another monster storm is rolling from the Atlantic this weekend. The latest in a long number of violent storms this winter in the Atlantic has been named Storm Ciara by the UK Met Office. Driven by a jet stream with winds of more than 200 mph over the North Atlantic, Ciara will smash into Ireland and the UK on Saturday night followed by parts of Northern France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Northern Germany and Denmark.

February the 6th

The first major quake of February belongs to Indonesia and a very deep one at that, (almost 600 km deep). The magnitude 6.2 struck 111 km Northeast of Ujungpangkah, Indonesia. Preliminary data suggest little or no damage is expected from this quake, according to USGS. Last nights quake is the 16th major quake (mag 6 or higher of 2020).

A disturbing report on the Taiwan News website today claimed Tencent, a multinational tech conglomerate, had reportedly listed figures for the coronavirus on Saturday showing that more than 154,000 were infected and a death toll of 24,589 - more than ten times and 80 times the official figures respectively. The figures posted included 79,808 suspected cases - four times the official numbers - and the number of cured cases as 269, rather than 351. The official figures released today show almost 30,000 infected in China, with 563 deaths, can we believe these numbers considering the leaked stories coming out of China? True death figures could be very alarming, with 70 million in lockdown. "It's very difficult to imagine how elderly citizens living alone and people with disabilities will get through this?” Already a young boy who was an invalid died of hunger after his father and brother had been quarantined at the hospital. How many old, frail or sick people living alone are dying from the virus, hunger or lack of medical supplies? The Chinese government announced today it will be cutting power to lifts in high-rise buildings to prevent people from going out, the old and frail will be prisoners in their own homes. A newborn baby, just 30 hours old has today become the youngest person diagnosed with the virus. 

A monster system, which has been named Storm Ciara by the U.K. Met Office, will arrive in Ireland and the U.K. with rain and strong winds Saturday night into Sunday. It is set to batter the UK, Northern and Central Europe into submission. The storm will be driven by a 200 miles per hour jet stream which will slam into Ireland and the UK on Saturday night.

The second major quake of today and February belongs to the Philippines.
A magnitude 6.0 struck 104km South East of Pondaguitan. Earlier the first major quake of February rattled Indonesia with a very deep, (almost 600 km deep) magnitude 6.2, 111 km North-East of Ujungpangkah, Indonesia. This afternoon's quake is the 17th major quake (mag 6 or higher) of 2020.

More sad news has leaked out of Wuhan this afternoon. The Chinese doctor who tried to issue the first warnings about the deadly coronavirus outbreak has died of the infection, Chinese media said. Li Wenliang was working as an ophthalmologist at Wuhan Central Hospital when he sent out a warning to fellow medics on 30 December. Apparently, he was visited by Police shortly afterwards who told him to stop spreading false news or face the consequences. Dr Li was seen as a hero in China for trying to alert the world of the dangerous coronavirus a full ten days before China admitted there was a problem. News of anger among the Chinese people against the communist leaders is being leaked out of the country.

Thousands of exotic birds found dead in north-east Iran. Upward of 10,000 birds have been found dead at the Miankaleh peninsula, situated on the Caspian Sea shore in north-east Iran, in recent days. According to Hossein-Ali Ebrahimi, head of Mazandaran province's department of environment, the corpses involve many different species, including greater flamingos, as well as ducks and grebes.

February the 7th

The sad death of a Chinese doctor who tried to warn about the coronavirus outbreak has sparked an unprecedented level of public anger and grief in China. Meanwhile, at least another 41 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the total number of cases on board to 61. In a new development, three people have contracted the virus, however, the three have had no previous links to the coronavirus. The total cases stand at 31,439 and the death toll climbs to 639 China is claiming the spread of the virus has peaked and is now slowing, we can only hope. Many news websites are asking the same question, “where is President Xi Jinping? The boss hasn’t been in public for a few days now.

Hundreds of thousands of bats have invaded the town of Ingham in Queensland, Australia. The bats thought to be in the hundreds of thousands are causing a stench and are actually the swarms are urinating on people beneath. The potential for another animal to human corona type virus is very worrying here especially if the bats are urinating on people. Still, in Australia, heavy rain across New South Wales is finally dampening the horrific bushfires, however, the rains are not coming without problems. The Bureau of Meteorology warns torrential rain of up to 200mm is possible overnight in the state's central coastal area. This could cause "potentially life-threatening" flash flooding and commuters are advised to delay non-essential travel in those areas, the bureau says. Up to 300 millimetres has been recorded in some parts of the north coast with similar totals expected in the Sydney basin by the end of the weekend, which for Sydney is the equivalent of nearly 3 times the average rainfall for February.

February the 8th

A coronavirus scare is developing in New Jersey. More than 4,000 passengers fled a Royal Caribbean liner in Bayonne, New Jersey, on Friday after their Caribbean cruise docked there amid a coronavirus scare four passengers were rushed to the hospital for testing. Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak is facing 'wartime conditions' as the global coronavirus deaths reach 724.  China’s Communist Party who faces recriminations over the virus have ordered Wuhan officials to round-up ALL suspected coronavirus patients and put them in quarantine camps The White House is said to be investigating whether the 2019-nCoV virus is “Bio-Engineered.”

2020 has broken many warm records already in 2020, especially in Europe, now Antarctica has gotten int the act. The continent saw a new temperature record of more than 18°C on Thursday. Speaking to journalists in Geneva, spokesperson Clare Nullis from the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), said that the record reading taken in the north of the continent would be considered unusual, even during the current warmer summer months.

February the 9th

Another lone wolf brings terror to the innocent. Thai officials said a soldier who went on a shooting rampage and killed at least 26  people and injured 42 others has been shot dead inside a mall in northeastern Thailand. Officials said the soldier angry over a financial dispute first killed two people and then went on a far bloodier rampage Saturday, shooting as he drove to a busy mall where shoppers fled in terror. Defense Ministry spokesman Lt. Gen. Kongcheep Tantrawanich said Sgt. Maj. Jakrapanth Thomma was behind the attack in Nakhon Ratchasima, a hub for Thailand's relatively poorer and rural northeastern region. Much of the shooting took place at Terminal 21 Korat. A video was taken outside the mall showed people diving for cover as shots rang out the mid-afternoon Saturday. Many were killed outside the mall, some in cars, others while walking.

Many Western people, including the media, governments and medical experts are now beginning to question the official narrative on the coronavirus. More than 30,000 confirmed cases another 30,000 suspected with more than 800 dead and more than 6,000 in serious condition, which is the official figures are being questioned today. Beijing has started rounding up sick people, however, leaked videos are showing hazmat suit-clad bullies type’s dragging people from their homes in a rough insensitive manner. China’s sixth-largest city, Chengdu, with a population of nearly 15 million was placed under lockdown today and breaches of quarantine measures punishable by 6 months in jail

February the 10th

Yesterday I went to the beach to take some footage of Storm Ciara but the wind was so strong, I didn’t step out of the car, it was horrendous. The storm-battered us all here in North-Western Europe which was surely the strongest storm in many years to hit this area, and we receive our fair share of winter storms, believe me. Gusts measuring more than 170 kilometres (106 miles) per hour were reported in Germany this morning. A British Airways Boeing 747 arrived almost 2 hours ahead of schedule and possibly set a new subsonic record during its New York to London trip during Storm Ciara. The plane was pushed along at more than 800mph, by the incredibly strong jet stream. 

And in a carbon copy of Storm Ciara, nearly 200,000 NSW households were left without power on Sunday as gale-force winds and flooding battered Australia’s bushfire weary state New South Wales. After months of heat, drought and bushfires New South Wales is now being battered by rain, wind and flooding which is plaguing the state. Sydney suffered the worst downpour in recent history. A severe weather warning for the entire coast of NSW remains in place today.

On doing some research of my own on the coronavirus today I stumbled onto a rare phenomenon on the Earthwindmap. Massive amounts of sulphur dioxide can be seen coming from Wuhan. There is no erupting volcano that I know, so sulphur dioxide can be coming from two things, a massive fire, (burning bodies?). Or the Rely+On Virkon disinfection they are spraying everywhere contains sulphur dioxide and I can’t find the ingredients used in the Rely+On Virkon disinfection. Suspected Cases (in China) climb to 23,589. Confirmed cases are at 40,171. And serious cases: 6,484. Deaths are at 908. Recovered 3,281. You need a real leap of faith to believe the tiny number of deaths among these figures. Meanwhile, Japan's health ministry says about 60 more people on a quarantined cruise ship have tested positive for a new virus. Professor Neil Ferguson today claimed, ”50,000 new cases a day in china with infections doubling every 5 days. He said the death rate is still unknown but is likely to peak in March. “The epidemic peak is still a month away from an it will be very hard to control this epidemic the same way we did with SARS 15-20 years ago.” “Cases are always underestimated, death delays are as long as three weeks.” “Reported deaths outside China are not reassuring because of delays, we still don’t know the full effects,” he said. And today, the World Health Organisation, (WHO) admitted we mat be only seeing the tip of the ice-berg. China food prices spike 20.6% in January

February the 11th

I awoke early this morning as the sound of heavy wind-gusts shaking the house, the West coast of Holland where I live was once again being battered by a storm. Yesterday's storm, Storm Ciara, had moved on and was now causing devastation in Eastern Europe, leaving Ireland, the UK and Northwestern Europe to pick up the pieces. The UK was drenched with 6 weeks of rain in just 24 hours. 15-meter, (50-feet waves battered Ireland and the UK. Network Rail, claimed thousands of engineers had "battled horrendous conditions" after the storm blew trees, sheds, roofs and even trampolines onto the tracks up and down the UK. The Mediterranean island of Corsica saw incredible winds reaching 200 kph, (124 mph).
A half a million people were without power throughout Europe, seven people had died with many more injured. However, for the battle-weary Irish and Brits, the story is not over. A new system is developing in the North Atlantic and is tracking eastwards towards the UK and Ireland over the coming days and is expected to smash to the north of Scotland on Saturday. The UK Met Office reported, over the weekend wind gusts will widely reach in excess of 50mph, even across some inland areas, with gusts of over 60mph possible over hills, coastal areas and exposed locations. While these winds have the potential to bring impacts they are not as strong as the gusts we saw last weekend with Storm Ciara when a gust of 97mph was recorded on the Isle of Wight. Heavy rain is also expected with the storm and with the already saturated ground, there is a risk of further flooding. Storm Dennis is expected to bring a range of impacts, including delays and cancellations to transport services, damage to power supplies and large coastal waves.

A map based on data from flight and cell phone data tracking by Southampton University researchers shows how around 60,000 people who left Wuhan after the coronavirus outbreak began but before the city was locked down have crisscrossed the globe showing the true seriousness of how a virus can travel around the world in a matter of days. In China, the official figures today revealed, 42,638 confirmed cases, 7,333 of them are in a serious condition, a further 21,675 are suspected cases. The death toll now stands at 1,016. An anomaly is showing in the official figures, confirmed cases have been steadily dropping for several days now, while deaths remain stable, how is that possible I ask my self? Meanwhile, the coronavirus 'could infect 60% of the global population if unchecked’ according to a prominent public health epidemiologist. An outspoken academic has blamed President Xi Jinping for the catastrophe' sweeping China. The very brave Xu Zhangrun says the culture of suppression and ‘systemic impotence’ have created a crisis that has killed more than 1,000 people. 

Winds close to the centre of newly formed Tropical Cyclone Uesi are estimated at 125kmh. according to the Vanuatu Met office. The system is moving slowly in a south-westerly direction at a slow speed of 12 kmh. The tropical cyclone is strengthening and could make landfall around Brisbane at the end of the week.

Another species was today declared as vulnerable. According to a new report, the number of chinstrap penguins in some colonies in Western Antarctica has fallen by as much as 77% since they were last surveyed in the 1970s, say scientists studying the impact of climate change on the remote region. The chinstrap penguin, named after the narrow black band under its head, inhabits the islands and shores of the Southern Pacific and Antarctic Oceans and feeds on krill. “The declines that we’ve seen are definitely dramatic,” said Steve Forrest, a conservation biologist who joined a team of scientists from the two U.S. universities of Stony Brook and Northeastern on an Antarctic expedition that has just ended. “Something is happening to the fundamental building blocks of the food chain here. We’ve got less food abundance that’s driving these populations down lower and lower over time and the question is, is that going to continue?” And in another report today, half of the one million animal and plant species on Earth facing extinction are insects, and their disappearance could be catastrophic for humankind, scientists have said in a "warning to humanity”. "The current insect extinction crisis is deeply worrying," said Pedro Cardoso, a biologist at the Finnish Museum of Natural History and lead author of a review study published Monday.

February the 12th 

The mass of news stories facing me this morning is overwhelming, how can I even keep up I ask myself. Just this week, hundreds of Google email weather and other alerts have landed in my in-tray, unopened simply because I haven’t had time to read them.

Today is day 44th day of  the coronavirus outbreak, it feels like it has been with us forever. The Chinese official figures are still showing a strange anomaly once again. Today, confirmed cases of 44,653, is showing a daily increase down to 4.7% and falling quickly. Seriously ill people are at 8,204, showing a slight increase! The number of deaths is at 1,113, which is stable. The question, how can serious cases show a small increase and deaths stable, when confirmed cases are dropping dramatically? Surely all three would drop dramatically? The coronavirus could kill 45 MILLION people and infect SIXTY PER CENT of the global population if it cannot be controlled, a top Hong Kong medical official claimed today. And another cruise ship carrying 2,257 passengers has hit the headlines after being  rejected by five ports and is running very low on food and freshwater. What must the people be going through, I ask myself?

Spare a thought for the Aussies. They can’t seem to catch a break in 2020.  After the horrendous bushfire crisis, which killed more than a billion animals, record-breaking heat, crippling drought and this month’s record-breaking rainfall bringing mass flooding, they are now facing another threat. Drinking water in Australia is scarce enough in most parts of the country but now the Aussies are facing another threat to their most precious commodity. According to, the fires torched 42,000 square miles countryside. Mudslides are now washing ash and debris into waterways. Some of the ash and debris contains toxic chemicals from the 3,000 homes which were destroyed in the fires, these homes hosted pollutants and chemicals which have found their way into the water system. The burned vegetation has released excessive nitrogen and phosphorus into the waterways which are causing toxic algae blooms.

An airline company in Norway, Widerøe has had to ground its flights because a low pressure system is so deep their small aircraft could not fly. Never before in the company’s 90-year history have they experienced this kind of weather. The air pressure dropped to a level not seen before. According to the Norwegian meteorological institute, the air pressure across major parts of the region was below 940 hectopascal, a level that makes flying unsafe. Earlier this month numerous stations recorded around 1050 mbar across southern England and Wales, almost up to 1049 mbar in southeast Ireland. Atmospheric pressure continued to rise across central Europe and the Balkans where 1047-1049 mbar was reported. These very high, near record-breaking values also across Europe brought summer weather to many parts, including Scandinavia. It is thought the unstable skittish jet stream is causing the extremes.

In the latest locust swarm update Uganda have scrambled to respond to the arrival of their biggest locust outbreak that parts of East Africa have seen in decades, while the United Nations warned Monday that “we simply cannot afford another major shock” to an already vulnerable region. An emergency government meeting hours after the locusts were spotted inside Uganda on Sunday decided to deploy military forces to help with ground-based pesticide spraying, while two planes for aerial spraying will arrive as soon as possible, a statement said. Aerial spraying is considered the only effective control. The swarms of billions of locusts have been destroying crops in Kenya, which hasn’t seen such an outbreak in 70 years, as well as Somalia and Ethiopia, which haven’t seen this in a quarter-century.

The late great Albert Einstein is thought to have once said. “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would only have four years of life left.” “No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” Bumblebees are nearing the brink of mass extinction due to climate change in North America and Europe. Warming temperature and increased precipitation are being blamed. A new study by Science, has found the chance of seeing a bumblebee in North America has declined by almost 50% in the last 25 years. And as temperatures continue to rise, (Europe had its hottest year in 2019) along with the increasing amounts of rainfall, (North America had its 2nd wettest year on record in 2019) populations will continue to decrease. Bumblebees are one of the worlds most efficient pollinators and are essential to agriculture.

February the 13th
Today is the deadliest day of the coronavirus outbreak so far. There has been a sharp increase in deaths and cases in Hubei Province.  Almost 60,000 cases have been reported, a huge increase of 34%,  more than 8,000 of the the poor souls are in a “serious"condition. 1,353 unfortunates have died. Meanwhile, Dale Fisher, a WHO official claimed yesterday, the outbreak is 'just getting started' outside of China and will strike EVERY country on the planet and he is confident every country will have infections. Japan has 44 more cases of the coronavirus on the now infamous quarantined ship, “The Diamond Princess.” The ship, which is still carrying more than 3,500 passengers and crew members, has 218 people infected from 713 people tested since the ship returned to the Yokohama Port on Feb. 3. Chinese officials, however, today claimed, (after deadliest day yet) the epidemic is experiencing a major slowdown, let us hope so.

The next massive low-pressure system, Storm Dennis hurtling toward the UK and Ireland. Named by the Met Office, the impacts from this low-pressure system will bring widespread strong winds and heavy rain to to an already drenched UK. The system has developed in the North Atlantic and is tracking eastwards towards the UK and Ireland over the coming days, passing to the north of Scotland on Saturday. 

We are shaking again! A powerful magnitude 7, earthquake, reduced to a mag 6.9 by USGS has rocked the Kuril'sk island in Russia. The major quake. Today's quake is the 5th major quake of February and the biggest of this month, so far and the total of major quakes recorded in 2020 so far has reached 20 with the mag 7.7 just north of Jamaica in January the biggest of the year so far. An interesting note, the area where today's powerful quake struck is in the same area where a massive low-pressure system driven storm has occurred in the last couple of days, coincidence?

February the 14th

Let me tell you, if you don’t put things in a box you will lose them, so I am going to “box” the weather from the first six weeks of 2020, just so you can see the bigger picture and see what is really going on, we never see data like this on the media. At this moment there are two huge extra-tropical cyclones fighting it out in the North Atlantic and one over the North Pacific. The two in the North Atlantic will merge and cause one massive low-pressure system to rival the biggest storms ever in the Atlantic, this is “Storm Dennis,” which will impact the UK and Ireland later this week, just a week after Storm Ciara delivered chaos to Ireland, Britain and Western Europe. Earlier this week, the air pressure dropped to such a level not seen before which actually grounding flights in Norway. Ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean is currently the highest it has been since 2010 with support from the strongest polar vortex on record, what is going on? Warming or cooling? 
Well let's flip poles shall we. Antarctica has recorded a new record temperature of 20.75 deg C, almost 70 deg F, breaking the barrier of 20 degrees for the first time on the continent and breaking the old record which was set last week. Today, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, (NOAA) claimed January 2020 was the warmest January ever recorded for our planet going back 141 years. January 2020 also marked the 44th consecutive January and the 421st consecutive month with temperatures, at least nominally, above the 20th-century average, however, not every scientist believes the official narrative but I’m not going to get into that now. 
Summer temperatures have been recorded throughout Europe. The past months have seen extraordinarily rough and mild weather in Europe, despite the storms. In January numerous stations recorded around 1050 mbar across southern England and Wales, very high, near record-breaking values. Earlier this month many parts of Europe enjoyed summer temps in mid-winter with the top prize going to Puerto De La Cruz, in Spain with a magnificent, 30 deg C, (86 deg F) and Valencia hitting 29.4 deg C, (85 deg F) almost double the average temperatures for the time of the year, smashing the old record of 27 deg C, (80 deg F). 
Across the pond, so far in 2020, over 5,500 daily warm records have been tied or set. For the first 40 days of the year, through Feb. 9, NOAA's Daily Weather Records website showed 2,421 daily record highs, meaning the highest temperature on record for a given location on that particular day, were tied or set in the U.S. Another 3,148 daily record-warm lows, meaning the warmest low temperature on a given day, were also tied or set so far this year, for a total of 5,569 daily warm records to start the year. By contrast, there were only 307 daily record lows and 481 daily record-cold highs tied or set during that same 40-day stretch. Warming has it: There’s your message, in a box!

February the 15th

I awoke this morning to the news of the first European death from Covid-19,  a Chinese visitor to France succumbed to the virus, last night. In China, with now more than 500 million people in lockdown, which is equivalent to the population of Europe the "official" figures are rising. 9,000 suspected cases, with 66,492 confirmed cases, an increase of 4.1%, 11,053 of which are in a serious condition. 1,523 unfortunates have died. Rumours and crazy stories are spreading faster than the actual virus and it is hard to find trustworthy news of the outbreak, China, not understandably are trying to play down the situation, however, with half billion people in lockdown that is a virtually impossible task. Other stories coming from the West are equally absurd.
According to a British scientist leading the coronavirus fight says it's 'not absurd' to forecast 400,000 UK fatalities as world-wide death toll surges past 1,500. Meanwhile, the Coronavirus panic along with African locust plague is sparking Bible apocalypse fears around the world. A Harvard professor is claiming up to 70% of the world population could become infected, while, a leading Hong Doctor has claimed the virus is nothing more than a rugged version of the common cold. 

Storm Dennis "The Menace," is rolling toward Ireland and the UK and will bring more flooding for the storm-weary Brits with another month's worth of rainfall this weekend accompanied with hurricane-force winds. According to Meteorologist Craig Ceecee, Storm Dennis is comparable to a category 5 hurricane, with winds approaching 160 mph, almost 260 kmh. Thousands of homes are in danger of being flooded in Ireland and the UK this weekend. The UK is preparing for the second weekend of weather disruption, as experts warn Storm Dennis could inflict more damage than Ciara, which flooded hundreds of homes last weekend. Dennis is actually two storm systems which have joined forces to make Dennis one of the strongest "Bomb Cyclone" ever seen in the North Atlantic. 

February the 16th

It is hard to imagine I know but just forty-seven evening ago most of the World was enjoying the new-year celebrations, toasting another year with our loved ones without a care in the world, how could we have imagined, a killer virus was spreading around China and probably the World at that very moment, just a month and half later, I feel like I have been reporting the coronavirus for ever. Today in China according to the National Health Commission of the People's Republic of China there are 8,228 suspected cases. 68,500 confirmed cases, which is a 3%increase, can we hope it’s slowing down? 11,272 people are in a critical condition, which is a 19.6% increase and rising. The death toll now stands at 1,665 people, (who should all be in our thoughts right now.) A further 70 people on the Diamond Princess cruise ship quarantined in Japan have tested positive for Covid-19, bringing the total to 355. The first coronavirus death outside Asia, is a Chinese tourist in France and with new cases in Japan, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia suggest there is no let-up in the outbreak. China on the other hand are trying to put a positive spin on the situation, they announced a drop in new cases for a third straight day. In another report an estimated 30,000 pets are at this moment abandoned in Wuhan.

As I write this update Storm Dennis is pounding Ireland and the UK, here on the West-coast of Holland incredible amounts of rain has been falling from the sky at a 45 deg angle hurried on by blustery winds, we here, have been lucky, we dodged a bullit today. Not so for Iceland, record wind gusts of 255 km/h, 159 mph) have been recorded in Iceland today just North of the capital Reykjavik. Storm Dennis, which has been labelled a “Bomb Cyclone” is now rivalling among the worst storms ever recorded in the North Atlantic. Already, the United Kingdom has received wind gusts as high as 90 mph and several inches of rain, a month’s rain is expected today.
February the 17th

The first thing I did this morning was look out of my bedroom window to see if my garden had suffered any damage from Storm Dennis, to my relief everything was fine, however the field behind my house was under water. Storm Dennis was the second, once in a lifetime storm to batter Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England in just one week. Storm Dennis was the second most intense Atlantic storm ever bringing massive flooding and hurricane-force winds. Many communities in the UK had to be evacuated while others were totally cut off by rising waters. The winds were incredible, gusting at more than 100 mph, (160 kmh). Another powerful storm is forming in the Atlantic as I type this report and is expected to hit the UK once again at the weekend. One months rain fell on many parts of the UK yesterday flooding more than a thousand homes and cutting off power to half a million people.

I have some more crazy weather for you! Six-metres of snow, yes, six metres, covered the Qarah Bolagh district in the northwestern province of West Azarbaijan, Iran, a provincial official claimed today. The heavy snowfall, which began on Saturday in Iran’s western and northwestern provinces, caused some roadblocks in the region. The snowstorm has been unprecedented in the region the official said. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is experiencing its coldest weather since 2016, meteorologists said Thursday, with overnight temperatures dropping below zero in the country’s north over the past two days. Temperature hits minus 5 deg C. In Tarif, on the border with Jordan, the temperature hit minus 5 deg C, (23 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the weather services.
In Baghdad the capitol of Iraq was carpeted in white for only its second snowfall in a century.
The Antarctic temperature was higher than Dubai and Tel Aviv after the continent recorded its record temperature of 20.75°C, (almost 70 deg F.) which was slightly higher than Dubai and a couple of degrees warmer than Tel Aviv.

Today, worldwide statistics, show a total confirmed cases rose yesterday by 2,008. The total overall confirmed cases weighed in at 71,331, while the  suspected cases were at 7,331. Cases of people in critical condition was10,644 and the number of deaths was 1,775 people,( who are in our thoughts): Death rate confirmed cases is at 2.49%, however, Prof, Neil Ferguson, a leading figure in the the coronavirus investigation in the UK estimates something in the order of 18% will die from the virus and not the official number of 2.49% because he says China are only testing the most severe cases for the virus. The Beijing-sponsored South China University of Technology concludes that 'the killer coronavirus probably originated from a laboratory in Wuhan, something The Big Wobble suggested nearly a month earlier here. On the 18th of January, we, (The Big Wobble) published the first estimates of the size of the coronavirus epidemic suggesting many more people had been infected than the official numbers at the time. Incredibly, it took the World Health Organisation (WHO), 12 more days before they declared the virus a public health emergency of international concern!

February the 18th

Today the Coronavirus, or Covid-19, which is its official name entered its fiftieth day. The official narrative from China’s Communist Party is positive, as you might expect however the rest of the world see the current situation in a different perspective. New confirmed cases yesterday amounted 1,888, The total confirmed cases overall is now at 73, 333, however, Prof, Neil Ferguson, the leading coronavirus investigator in the UK estimates the official death rate should be around 20% higher than China’s official number of 2.5% because only severely infected people are being treated in China, according to him, so, if we use his estimates nearly 150,000 people are infected. The death toll is now officially at 1,873 (A number which many experts outside of China are suspicious of), however, if we use Prof Neil Ferguson's estimates, the death toll would be nearing 30,000. There is today "unconfirmed" reports of a locust plague reaching coronavirus-hit China after wreaking havoc across Africa. Chilling footage has shown thousands of insects swarming the skies at a border in China. They reportedly come from a plague that has devastated east Africa in recent weeks, according to the Daily Star. China’s Communist Party have deleted another whistleblower Xu Zhiyong a prominent legal activist  has accused Mr Xi Jinping, the Chinese President of trying to cover up the coronavirus outbreak in central China and urging the President to resign. In a gruesome operation which has a “Black Death” ring to it, officials are going door to door in the city of 11 million to monitor peoples symptoms, I think they will find more than symptoms, the phrase, “ Bring Out You're Dead!” Springs to mind.

Ok, enough about the virus, there is plenty of other misery to tell you about. It is a growing theme of 2020 on both sides of the pond, floods, floods, floods! Days of heavy rain caused rivers and dams in Mississippi and Tennessee to rise, prompting evacuations and some flood rescues. Among the worst-hit areas in Jackson, Mississippi, where the Pearl River exceeded Major Flood stage and reached 36.67 feet on 17 February 2020, its third-highest level on record. The state government of Mississippi moved quickly in anticipation of the flooding and declared a state of emergency on 15 February. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves said: “This is a historic, unprecedented flood. With projections showing the potential of this being the 3rd worst flood in our state’s history, I’ve declared a state of emergency to deploy the necessary resources to take care of all Mississippians impacted…Protect yourself and your family — have a plan in place and evacuate if and when you are asked.” Did you notice, almost all these disasters I have reported in the first two months of 2020 are always, unprecedented, historic, record-breaking or never seen before, a sign of the times I guess.

February the 19th

The worst locust outbreak in nearly a hundred years is spreading fast The FAO yesterday announced South Sudan and Botswana, the first southern African nation, has been invaded by migratory locusts and in a separate, unconfirmed report another locust plague has reached the Western borders of coronavirus-hit China, the area of the plagues are vast and the numbers of countries now affected is enormous. It came like a thief in the night! A small plague was reported back in Jan 2019 ironically at the holiest site in Islam. The locusts were filmed swarming around the Great Mosque in Mecca, since then the plague has stretched from the Chinese border to South Africa, an incredible distance.

The Coronavirus seems to be slowing, well, that’s what the Chinese are saying. Yesterday, 1,888 new cases were confirmed. The total number of confirmed cases has risen to, 75,199. Critically ill cases have risen to 11,977. The death toll is 2,009 death at a rate of 2.67%. More than 7% of the world's population is quarantined. Meanwhile, new research shows the virus could linger on surfaces for up to nine days. 

Would you believe me if I told you yet another massive storm is taking aim for Ireland and the UK this weekend? Well, you should, the third North Atlantic extratropical cyclone in as many weeks is expected to hit Ireland and the UK on Saturday with more hurricane-force winds and more flooding. The two countries haven’t recovered from Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis. According to the BBC, flooded communities in England and Wales are expecting more heavy rain, adding to fears flood defences might not withstand still rising river levels from last weekend’s storm. About 1,400 homes and businesses have been affected by the floods in the wake of downpours brought by Storm Dennis. The Met Office has issued yellow weather warnings for rain over Wales and Yorkshire, beginning on Wednesday. Across the UK, around 140 flood warnings remain in place, including six severe - or "danger to life" - warnings.

February the 20th

Covid-19: Day 52: Feb 20th: Headlines

Worldwide Statistics: Yesterday, 1,749 cases. Total confirmed cases are now at 75,727. A further 5,248 are suspected cases. 12,000 are in critical condition and 2,128 deaths at 2.81%. China deploys 40 incinerators to Wuhan amid fears of coronavirus death toll 'cover-up' Chinese media reports that the mobile furnaces – used for burning animal carcasses and medical waste – have been shipped to the centre of the Covid-19 outbreak. Meanwhile, South Korean faces an 'unprecedented crisis' after a spike in cases. Chines people are turning to the internet for food supplies. In Iran, two people have died in hospital after being infected with the new coronavirus attending the holy Shi'ite city. The University of Medical Sciences said that this morning the two patients tested positive for the virus and subsequently died of respiratory disease. Two Diamond Princess passengers have died from the coronavirus, a Japanese man and a woman in their 80s are killed after being quarantined on 'virus factory’, amid fears for the 620 other people infected aboard. Fears are now mounting for the hundreds of passengers left, and those who have left the ship after testing negative.
February the 21st

Just seven weeks into 2020 and the disease and disasters hitting the planet is terrifying to say the least. The Coronavirus outbreak has thrown a wrench into the second biggest economy in the world, bringing the Chinese economy to its knees and dragging down global growth with it. The locust plagues are destroying crops and economies of the worlds poorest nations The African Swine Flu outbreak (“There just isn’t enough pork in the world to fill the gap.”) is pushing up food prices around the world. The Aussie bushfire outbreak saw an incredible 66% decrease in summer crop production down to just 878,000 tonnes, their biggest drop in living memory. Storm Ellen is likely to be the 4th "Once In A Life Time Storm" to hit Ireland and the UK in less than two months this weekend costing billions to the insurance companies. A new Avian Flu Virus has hit Europe, 200,000 birds are dead or culled in the first 2 weeks of 2020.

Here we go again! Covid-19: Day 53: Feb 21st: Headlines

Just in, a very scary100 new cases hits South Korea. Lebanon has its first case. Another 2 deaths in Iran amid claims of 13 new cases, Iranian health minister believes the virus has reached all cities in Iran. Total worldwide confirmed cases: 76,727. Suspected cases 5,206. Critical cases 11,633 and 2,247 deaths at a rate of 2.93% which has been steadily rising this week.
Authorities in Hubei province reported good news Thursday, there were only 349 new coronavirus cases the previous day, the lowest tally in weeks. The bad - and puzzling - news? Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, reported 615 new cases all by itself. Dozens of protesters in a Ukrainian town have attacked buses carrying evacuees from coronavirus-hit China. The evacuees were brought to the hospital in Novi Sanzhary, in the central Poltava region, where they will be held in quarantine for 14 days. The Coronavirus kills a young Wuhan doctor as hundreds are infected in China's prisons. Officials and state justice chief are fired as at least 500 cases have been confirmed in prisons in three provinces.

February the 22nd

A huge swarm of locusts stopped the traffic on a major highway in Bahrain today, as the insects entered the country on high winds, ironically coming back home to the region where the original plague began back in January 2019. In terrifying videos shown on YouTube how the insects landed on car windscreens as a large column flew overhead. The swarm is thought to have spread from Saudi Arabia, where they had been seen in regions including Riyadh, Mecca and Qassim.

Covid-19: Day 54: Feb 22nd: Summary

Latest worldwide statistics: 32 countries affected: Window of opportunity to contain the virus is closing, WHO: Virus explodes in South Korea, number of cases there quadrupled to more than 400. Total confirmed cases 77,812: Suspected cases 5,365: Cases of people in critical condition, 11,477. Total deaths 2,360 and death rate at 3.03% and climbing steadily. South Korea becomes the newest front in shifting virus outbreak. 
10 Italian towns are now in lockdown over the coronavirus fears. Iran confirms two more deaths, while many Western governments believe Tehran is hiding the true number of Iranians infected. Israel and Lebanon announce their first cases. Meanwhile, South Korea have opened up an investigation into a religious sect which is thought to be at the centre of the Korean outbreak. Patients and staff at a hospital near Daegu account for the bulk of 229 new cases as people linked to the controversial ‘sect’ are being investigated. A case study of a 20-year-old who infected relatives despite not showing signs of illness – and testing negative  has stoked global pandemic fears. 

February the 23rd

A powerful magnitude of 6.0  has struck Saray, Turkey according to USGS, which has killed more than 60 people.

A small plague of locusts first seen at the end of 2018 has now grown into billions in just over 12 months stretching from China and sweeping all the way through India, Pakistan, Arabia and the Middle East, into Northern Africa and down to Botswana in Southern Africa. On January the 11th, 2019, the holiest site in Islam was swarmed by a plague of locusts, forcing cleaners into action to drive the insects out. The Great Mosque in Mecca, which hosts millions of Muslim pilgrims every year and is the holiest site in Islam was the birthplace of a plague which in just over 12 months has grown into the biggest plague on record.

Covid-19: Day 55: Feb 23rd: Summary

Total confirmed cases today worldwide, 78,773. Suspected cases 5,365. People in critical condition, 11,477. Deaths, 2,461 at a rate of 3.12%. Football loving Italy has postponed its top-flight football matches as coronavirus kills two people in the north of the country, leading to lockdown in Lombardy with the residents of TWELVE towns told to stay indoors. The dramatic surge in UNTRACEABLE clusters of coronavirus cases around the world has sparked dire warnings from disease experts that 'containment methods are not going to work'.  A doomsday cult with an 'immortal' leader is at the heart of coronavirus outbreak. The Wuhan coronavirus designated as COVID-19 is spreading at an alarming speed across South Korea, with the bizarre doomsday cult supposedly at the centre of the outbreak. Alarm in the holy land after a visit by pilgrims with coronavirus. Fears of a potential local outbreak of the coronavirus after learning that South Korean pilgrims who had toured some of the holy land's most popular sites were later found to be carrying the virus. And is this the one we were warned about? The Coronavirus could well be ‘Disease X’ Health Experts have warned us about.

February the 24th

A massive sandstorm has turned Madeira and the Canary Islands daytime into dusk, disrupting all flights leaving or incoming to be cancelled, leaving thousands of European holidaymakers stranded. Spain's national weather service said winds of up to 120km/h (75mph) could buffet the Canaries through Monday. It is strong winds that have blasted the islands with a dense cloud of sand from the Saharan desert, some 500km (300 miles) across the Atlantic Ocean.

The homes and businesses flooded in the UK are now in the thousands after three once-in-a-lifetime storms have hit the UK in the first two months of 2020, with yet another storm rolling in from the Atlantic today. Almost 2,000 homes had been flooded by Storm Dennis more than a week ago, and the rain has been relentless since last October.

Flooding in Shrewsbury could reach its "highest ever" level and will close off the city centre today as another one month worth of rainfall is expected. The Met Office has today issued almost a hundred flood warnings and two hundred flood alerts, with some areas expecting another 50 mm of rain to an already soddened ground.

Covid-19: Day 56: Feb 24th: Summary

Total confirmed cases almost 80,000, with more than 11,000 in critical condition. 2,619 deaths and rising steadily at 3.3%. Panic hits Europe, Austria blocks ALL trains crossing the border after THREE people die and more than 150 fall ill in the outbreak in Italy with 12 towns put into lockdown. Xenophobia! A woman is savagely beaten in Birmingham ‘coronavirus rage’ attack after stepping in to defend her Chinese friend from racist abuse. North Korea quarantines foreigners: North Korea has quarantined 380 foreigners in a bid to stop the coronavirus from breaking out. Meanwhile in South Korean cases spiked to over 760 as Asian markets begin to jitter. Investors flee to safe havens like gold as China’s President Xi warns of virus impact on the world economy. Moscow targets Chinese with raids amid virus fears. Russian authorities are going to significant lengths to keep the virus in China from surfacing in Moscow. Oh, the irony! Could the 2020 (radiation infected) Tokyo Olympics be a victim of COVID-19?

February the 25th

A Disaster Waiting To Happen! Conflicting reports are coming from Iran as they "continue epidemic protocols to contain the virus" by not enforcing lockdowns or self-quarantine on people with symptoms! 

One Maine Theme In February: (Apart from the coronavirus and locusts plagues) Floods. Flooding around the world broke record after record during the 2nd month of 2020. February was the wettest month on record in the UK after floods have damaged thousands of homes just this month.

Covid-19: Day 57: Feb 25th: Headlines

Today, worldwide cases pass 80,000 with nearly 12,000 of them in critical condition. 2,701 deaths at a rate of 3.37%. Another 61 new cases in South Korea. 1,000 guests in a hotel in Tenerife quarantined. Iran in a panic: Countries imposing medical bans are murderers, Iran leader.  Meanwhile, Iran denies cover-up as death toll rises to 12: Lawyer, Ahmad Amirabadi-Farahani claims there had been 50 deaths in Qom alone. Global stocks are tanking as Asian shares extend massive losses after the Dow drops more than 1,000. South Korea is to test 200,000 sect members as pandemic fears hit markets, nation brings in ‘maximum measures’ to contain the outbreak at secretive church: Pandemic! Concerns mount that the spread of Covid-19 cannot be stopped as stock markets fall amid investor fears. Coronavirus outbreak is pandemic ‘in all but name’, says an expert. 

February the 26th

FAO appeals for urgent support to fight worsening Desert Locust upsurge in the Horn of Africa: Swarms have invaded the Persian Gulf and continue to breed in the Horn of Africa. The situation remains extremely alarming in the Horn of Africa, specifically Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia where widespread breeding is in progress and new swarms are expected to form in the coming weeks. In the past few days, there has been a significant movement of swarms over the Arabian Peninsula, unrelated to the Horn of Africa, that reached both sides of the Persian Gulf.

Covid-19: Day 58: Feb 26th: Headlines

A huge spike in countries affected yesterday, jumping from 31 to 41. Total confirmed cases worldwide at 81,016 of them, 8,552 are in a critical condition. Total fatalities are at 2,764 at a rate of 3.41%. Spike in spreads in European countries from visitors to Italy. Austria, Croatia and Switzerland said the cases involved people who had been to Italy, as did Algeria in Africa. The virus is spreading further as a WHO expert warns the world is 'not ready' for a pandemic. More cases in South Korea while the first suspected infection is recorded in Latin America. £100 billion is wiped off the UK’s FTSE as the outbreak spreads in Europe. Stock markets across Europe tumbled for a second straight session as Spain, Switzerland Croatia and Austria all confirmed their first cases of Covid-19. The UK Government report warns 500,000 may die in the UK amid 'explosion' of infections across Europe. Heads Up! The Arctic 'doomsday vault' stocks up on 60,000 more food seeds.

February the 27th

The flood situation in Greater Jakarta, Indonesia, has worsened, with disaster authorities reporting at least 30 people have now died since the current floods began on New Year's Eve. Flooding has been affected by parts of Greater Jakarta over the last few days. As of 25 February, Karawang Regency and East Jakarta were the worst-hit areas. BNPB said that, as of 27 February, a total of 35,891 people had been displaced in the Jakarta metropolitan area (known locally as Jabodetabek). The flooding started on New Year's Eve, almost 100,000 people were evacuated after flash-flooding killed up to 21 people in Indonesia's capital city Jakarta.

As the worst bushfire season ever recorded comes to an end in Australia the true extent of consumed forestry is found to be truly astonishing. Researchers at Western Sydney University’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment have analysed historic data on the extent of Australia’s extraordinary forest fires and found that the area burned in Australia during the 2019-2020 forest fires was an astounding 21%. Previous "major fire" seasons have historically been around 2% of Australian forests consumed by fire.

“We analysed the major forest biomes across Australia, Asia, Africa, Oceania and North and South Americas to determine the extent of annual areas burned by forest fires”, said Associate Professor Matthias Boer, lead author of the study and lead scientist of the NSW Bushfire Risk Management Research Hub node at Western Sydney University. “Forests in Australia and other continents have historically burned up to approximately 5% of the forest area each year, with higher percentages of 8-9% only recorded in small forest regions of Africa and Asia. Yet in Australia’s 2019/2020 season, this burned area jumped to 21% of the total forest area in a single season. “This is a globally unprecedented scale of burning, not observed in any other forest biome over the last 20 years”, Associate Professor Boer said.

Covid-19: Day 59: Feb 27th: Headlines
Countries affected now 48. Total confirmed cases worldwide 82,162 of which 8,346 are in a critical condition. Death toll 2,772 at a rate of 3.37%. Italy now has 400 cases - a 25% surge in a day. Cases and deaths are also up in China, although mainly in Hubei. Conflict of interests? Trump says US risk 'very low' as Australian PM warns pandemic is 'upon us'. NHS at breaking point, UK Government, patients could be denied life-saving care if virus overwhelms NHS hospitals. Senior doctors criticise government's 'dishonest spin' over the ability of NHS to cope with a severe pandemic outbreak. The UK. Government ‘fears 80% of the country could be infected’, as deadly outbreak sweeps Europe amid looming pandemic, act as if the virus is going to show up tomorrow. You’re in an interconnected world’, governments told. Set to drop around 400 points following the report of the first US coronavirus case of unknown origin. Respirators selling for $10,000 on E Bay.

February the 28th

The North Atlantic Strikes Again! Storm Jorge follows Storm Brendan, Ciara and Dennis to batter Ireland and the UK for the 4th time in than 2 months with thousands of houses flooded or in danger of being flooded from heavy rain. Here comes the next North Atlantic massive storm. Storm Jorge follows Storm Brendan, Ciara and Dennis to batter Ireland and the UK for the 4th time in less than 2 months with thousands of houses flooded or in danger of being flooded from heavy rain in the last few days, in what has become another disastrous winter for the Brits. (These floods and storms have become commonplace in the UK in recent years)

Covid-19: Day 60: Feb 28th: Summary

A huge spike in countries affected now at 56. Total confirmed cases 83,376. Cases in critical condition 7,952 with the death toll now at, 2,859 at a rate of 3.43%. Stock markets across the globe are suffering their worst week since the global financial crisis of 2008.  The DOW suffers its biggest single-day drop in history. Low-income Americans most at risk of coronavirus, experts say. Without guaranteed paid sick leave, or the option to work from home, many recommended precautions do not apply to them. The Coronavirus panic sweeps UK as NHS admits 'weakest' would be left to die. FTSE 100 falls £152billion.
February the 29th

Covid-19: Day 61: Feb 29th: Summary

Affected countries worldwide have almost doubled in 4 days and now stand at 60: Total confirmed cases, 85,189, 7,664 of these are in a critical condition: The death toll is at 2,924 at a rate of 3.43%. China confirmed 427 new cases - 423 of which were in Hubei province. Misinformation and false medical advice spread in Iran. Iran has been scrambling to control the outbreak of the coronavirus this week, but the spread of online misinformation is presenting a new challenge to the authorities. Iran's deaths at least 210, hospital sources say. The figure is six times higher than the official death toll of 34 given by the health ministry earlier on Friday, while a British expert claims Iran has tens of thousands of cases. Trump calls coronavirus criticism Democrats' 'new hoax' and links it to immigration. More than 50 million deaths worldwide expected. And finally, North Korea's Kim Jong Un warns of 'serious consequences' if coronavirus spreads to his country as South Korea reports nearly 600 new cases. 


Rj said...

Always on top of things here.. thnx..

Gary Walton said...

Well, if you got all the way down, here again, I admire your stoicism, thank you for reading the post!

Sandy said...

I read it all and want to thank you for providing an overview, free of hype, hysteria and bias. This can aid one to a better, more realistic understanding of the world we now live in and can help one make more realistic choices in our own local, daily lives.

Gary Walton said...

Thanks, Sandy, and well done for getting to the bottom of the page

Unknown said...

Feel like Holding my Breath until March is over.
You just couldn't ever make this up, the makings of a Mad Max scenario.

Unknown said...

Off to an ominous start of 2020.
I feel like holding my Breath until the end of March. I'm almost afraid to look at the Election results today here in USA.Feelind more and more like the makings of a Mad Max outcome