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BKHunter

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Everything posted by BKHunter

  1. We finally made it to Europe despite the pandemic and hope to ride out COVID-19 here until a vaccine arrives (the country we’re in is handling the pandemic relatively well). We’re just in temporary housing at the moment and everything is still pretty chaotic; we’re looking forward to things settling down and getting back into a routine soon. Take care and stay safe.
  2. Hope you're feeling better! Be careful out there.
  3. It's more than that. It's symbolic of Turkey rejecting its modern-era secularism and, instead, embracing a past that included the genocide of its Christians.
  4. This probably means the end of any restoration of the mosaics. I guess Erdogan is trying to score points domestically.
  5. It was the most important cathedral of the Byzantines for hundreds of years before the conquest of Constantinople, when it was converted into a mosque. It was changed into a museum in the 1930s and has been one since -- until now. The Greeks are all up in arms about it: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-museum-greece-eu-idUSKCN24F1JZ
  6. It's actually considered significant enough that the US government has condemned it: https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-secretary-state-urges-turkey-not-turn-hagia-sophia-mosque https://usa.greekreporter.com/2020/07/10/erdogans-move-on-hagia-sophia-a-deep-affront-to-christians-around-the-world/ Of course, there's not much anyone can do about it.
  7. As I predicted in Under the Crescent Moon a year or so ago. I don't think this was necessary; there are already plenty of mosques in Istanbul. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-53371341
  8. I've been using it for a few years and find it really helps to keep things organized, especially in a longer work.
  9. Yep. The quarantine thing is getting a bit old.
  10. They said I can't get tested since I'm not currently sick and the antibody tests are in short supply. So, I'm stuck with a 14-day self quarantine, unfortunately. Thanks for asking.
  11. Glad to hear your family made it back home! Thanks for the prayers.
  12. I'm back in the USA now and trying to get the COVID-19 test since I was sick while overseas in March, starting about two weeks after a flight within the Middle East. I don't have any symptoms now, though, so it would have to be the test for antibodies, which is harder to get. I hope I had it already and am immune now.
  13. I've heard a British passport is better than an American one in some of these cases. I only have the one, though. Praying for your family in Africa.
  14. It looks like I will be on Thursday's flight -- thanks.
  15. Prayers for them, as well. Better get out now -- I don't know if there will be any flights later.
  16. Although they've closed down the airports, etc. where I am in the Middle East, they have a very limited number of repatriation flights still available. I'm trying to go back to the USA on Thursday, which could very well mean I will never return here since I was scheduled to leave in a few months anyhow. My wife (back in the USA) is hoping I make it back soon; she has been very worried. I am rushing to get everything ready so I can go soon, but my trip still needs to be approved by management (not sure yet if that will happen).
  17. I read that, too, and hope it works. It would take quite a while to get a vaccine ready, so something that cures it (or at least alleviates the symptoms) would be great right now.
  18. So, as coronavirus sweeps the Middle East, here are some of the precautions I've seen being taken: Border crossings and airports closed (this means no more mail/Amazon, as well as being trapped here) Roads blocked; military at city boundaries to stop travel within country Everyone is under home curfew (work done online only); workplaces closed Restaurants, churches, mosques and most stores closed Resort hotels converted into quarantine camps for pre-closure travelers and the sick A bit extreme, but it should slow the virus if everyone sticks to it. Hope everyone else is hanging in there.
  19. I think the point of that post -- which I do not doubt was genuine -- was that health care systems that are already close to capacity (i.e. not enough intensive care units, etc.) are not ready for this virus. While some countries might be able to handle a limited number of cases fine, if too many hit at once, a lot of people will die. So the best we can do is try to slow it down via extreme cleanliness, social distancing, or whatever until warmer weather and, eventually, a vaccine come. Remember, they were telling jokes in northern Italy (I have friends there) just a week or two ago about the virus being no big deal. It needs to be taken seriously.
  20. Shared from another site: A message from Italy ... FYI I am writing to you from Bergamo, Italy, at the heart of the coronavirus crisis. The news media in the US has not captured the severity of what is happening here. I am writing this post because each of you, today, not the government, not the school district, not the mayor, each individual citizen has the chance, today to take actions that will deter the Italian situation from becoming your own country’s reality. The only way to stop this virus is to limit contagion. And the only way to limit contagion is for millions of people to change their behavior today. If you are in Europe or the US you are weeks away from where we are today in Italy. I can hear you now. “It’s just a flu. It only affects old people with preconditions” There are 2 reasons why Coronavirus has brought Italy to it’s knees. First it is a flu is devastating when people get really sick they need weeks of ICU – and, second, because of how fast and effectively it spreads. There is 2 week incubation period and many who have it never show symptoms. When Prime Minister Conte announced last night that the entire country, 60 million people, would go on lock down, the line that struck me most was “there is no more time.” Because to be clear, this national lock down, is a hail mary. What he means is that if the numbers of contagion do not start to go down, the system, Italy, will collapse. Why? Today the ICUs in Lombardy are at capacity – more than capacity. They have begun to put ICU units in the hallways. If the numbers do not go down, the growth rate of contagion tells us that there will be thousands of people who in a matter of a week? two weeks? who will need care. What will happen when there are 100, or a 1000 people who need the hospital and only a few ICU places left? On Monday a doctor wrote in the paper that they have begun to have to decide who lives and who dies when the patients show up in the emergency room, like what is done in war. This will only get worse. There are a finite number of drs, nurses, medical staff and they are getting the virus. They have also been working non-stop, non-stop for days and days. What happens when the drs, nurses and medical staff are simply not able to care for the patients, when they are not there? And finally for those who say that this is just something that happens to old people, starting yesterday the hospitals are reporting that younger and younger patients – 40, 45, 18, are coming in for treatment. You have a chance to make a difference and stop the spread in your country. Push for the entire office to work at home today, cancel birthday parties, and other gatherings, stay home as much as you can. If you have a fever, any fever, stay home. Push for school closures, now. Anything you can do to stop the spread, because it is spreading in your communities – there is a two week incubation period – and if you do these things now you can buy your medical system time. And for those who say it is not possible to close the schools, and do all these other things, locking down Italy was beyond anyone’s imagination a week ago. Soon you will not have a choice, so do what you can now. Please share.
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