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Everything posted by BKHunter

  1. 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.
  2. The disease appears to be quite deadly to the elderly, so I wouldn't just dismiss it as harmless. Also note that it's apparently already out of control in several parts of the world, albeit not in the USA yet. Where I am now, in the Middle East, there is a lot of concern since it's spreading via Iran to many other countries with sub-par health care systems.
  3. We just received the final acceptance letter for our daughter at the international school about two hours ago! This is a small, private school on the IB system (paid for by my employer), so my wife is thrilled and it looks like we are all set to go together to Western Europe this summer. Thanks for the prayers.
  4. Thanks for the prayers. The school we want our daughter to go to has promised we'll hear back from them by the end of this week.
  5. I’m sure it’s no surprise to anyone who’s read my novel that I’m not a big fan of much of the Middle East. What I haven’t posted before is that I’ve been alone here for years while my wife and daughter, who wasn’t allowed to go here with me for medical reasons, have been in the USA. I was in the USA with them until two years ago (this has been going on for years), but was pressured to go back overseas again, without them (my job requires a lot of travel, to put it mildly). My daughter was recently approved to go with me to a few select countries and I successfully applied to change my assignment this year. Hopefully, all goes well and we will be reunited this summer in Western Europe. We are still waiting for our daughter’s final acceptance in a school there, but are hoping and praying it’s coming soon.
  6. Has anyone been watching Rise of Empires: Ottoman on Netflix? -- SPOILER WARNING-- I liked the show until the very end, when the conquering sultan goes into Constantinople right after the city falls and finds it almost empty. He goes into the magnificent Hagia Sophia cathedral and finds no one there, then muses how his new empire will begin, with this city (now renamed Istanbul) as its capital. The reality was very different -- the city was plundered for three days, with some 30,000 inhabitants enslaved or deported, and most of the women raped. The cathedral was packed with women and children when the "liberators" arrived, with the doors barricaded. Once the doors were breached and the invading army was inside, the Byzantines were carted off and sold into slavery. Netflix completely skipped over all of this.
  7. https://edition.cnn.com/middleeast/live-news/baghdad-airport-strike-live-intl-hnk/index.html It looks like it's getting worse there, unfortunately.
  8. In case anyone hasn't seen the news recently, the American embassy in Baghdad was attacked yesterday by Iranian-backed militia members and their supporters. What played out eerily resembled a scene from my work in progress, right down to the "Death to America" chants (in my book, that was a headline in an Iranian newspaper right before a similar riot). Unlike in my book, however, the local Iraqi "guards" let the militia members walk into the Green Zone, where they are apparently still camped just outside the embassy and laying siege to it. I'm still in the Middle East, but not Iraq, if anyone's wondering. I'd like to put in a prayer request for the American diplomats in the embassy there.
  9. Merry Christmas from the Middle East!
  10. I'm overseas in the Middle East and, instead of paying for local cable, use Netflix, Amazon Prime and, now, Apple TV+. I also have a smart TV which has a few Android-compatible programs and can play Netflix, etc.
  11. Hi, I'd be interested in reading it and have some familiarity with both Tennessee and England (although not York), as well. If you'd like, you could beta read the entirety of my novel, Under the Crescent Moon, in exchange. It's about 55k words at the moment.
  12. I think he was even more evil than Bin Laden. His last act of murder was to kill three of his children when he detonated his suicide vest.
  13. https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-law-enforcement-alert-wake-isis-leader-al/story?id=66581784
  14. Yes, nowhere is really safe anymore.
  15. If you're following the news today, the U.S. just killed Al Baghdadi, the self-declared "Caliph" of Islamic State, in Syria. If you're anywhere in the Middle East (or Europe, for that matter), the next few days might be a good time to avoid crowds, etc.
  16. Maybe they just lose track of them. It's not like they had Facebook in those days....
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