In what is being called a "dramatic" step, Austria has implemented a nationwide lockdown for its unvaccinated residents, the Associated Press reported. The lockdown mandates that unvaccinated citizens over age 12 should not leave their homes unless they are doing essential activities or getting their COVID-19 vaccination. Basic activities include working, going to school and grocery shopping. The mandate also applies to people who recently recovered from the virus. Police are able to fine those who violate the lockdown. If patrols find an unvaccinated person breaking the protocols of the lockdown, they can be fined up to 1,450 euros, or $1,660. "We really didn't take this step lightly and I don't think it should be talked down," Austrian Chancellor Alexander Schallenberg said in a radio interview. "My aim is very clearly to get the unvaccinated to get themselves vaccinated and not to lock down the vaccinated. In the long term, the way out of this vicious circle we are in—and it … [Read more...] about Unvaccinated in Austria Go Under Lockdown, Face $1,660 Fine Per Violation
Images circulating across Twitter showed what appeared to be hundreds of people congregating in the streets of Rotterdam, Netherlands in protest of what users said to be the country's COVID-19 restrictions. One image showed a police car ablaze while others show flares littered across the streets as smoke fills the air and masses of people shouted in Dutch. One user posted a video featuring the sounds of "explosions and gunfire." These protests trail an announcement last Friday that the government intended to implement a partial lockdown amid a recent surge. The seven-day average for new COVID cases jumped by nearly 1,000 percent from the rate reported by Our World in Data on October 1 to the current rate as of November 18. "Tonight we are bringing a very unpleasant message with very unpleasant and far-reaching measures," Prime Minister Mark Rutte said in a televised address on the Friday evening of the announcement. "The virus is everywhere and needs to be combated … [Read more...] about Protests Against COVID Restrictions Erupt in Netherlands, Car Set on Fire
Coronavirus culture entered a new age of chic this week with British tech firm Dyson announcing it will soon be selling a set of noise-canceling, air-purifying headphones in March of next year. Unveiled in earlier 2022, the headphones were originally set to go on sale in autumn of this year but were subsequently delayed into March of next year. Prices will be starting at $913 USD. “The headphones come with active noise cancellation to cut out noise around the wearer, and a detachable visor that pumps out filtered air,” reported the Daily Mail . “The visor sits over the wearer’s nose and mouth and pumps out filtered air to help cut exposure to air pollution.” The Dyson Zone headphones will first be available for sale in China (where coronavirus restrictions continue) come January 2023 and will then be sold in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, and Singapore in March. Dyson reportedly created the headphones in response to data that showed “one in five people in … [Read more...] about Dyson to Sell Noise-Canceling, Air-Purifying Headphones
A viral video that showed a bride being escorted by police through an anti-vaccination protest has sparked an online debate. The video was uploaded to TikTok on Sunday by Sandra (@sandrachoybao), who wrote: "Nothing couldve [sic] ruined this day, not even an anti mandate protest right in front of the wedding venue." Already, the post has racked up more than 620,000 views and over 60,000 likes. According to the post's hashtags, the video was filmed in Sydney, Australia. "When you can't get dropped off to your wedding ceremony in your limo because of the protests right outside of your venue," the video's text overlay read. "We had to walk. "The cops were so nice and escorted the bride through," the overlay continued. As the bride and her bridesmaids make their way to the venue, someone can be heard shouting, "there's a bride walking past!" Another person can be heard saying, "congratulations." The Guardian reported that thousands gathered throughout Australia over the … [Read more...] about Viral Video Shows Bride Being Escorted Through Anti-Vaccination Protest
Police in Italy conducted searches on 17 anti-vaccine activists allegedly involved in a Telegram chat promoting violence against the government and prominent figures, the Associated Press reported. This chat was called Basta Dittatura, or Enough of the Dictatorship. Turin police officers told AP that this Telegram chat had tens of thousands of members and that the searches turned up weapons and flammable acid. The chat served as a "prime forum" for organizing protests against Italy's Green Pass requirements. The Green Pass shows proof of COVID-19 vaccination, recent negative test or already having and being cured of the virus. Italy and several other European countries require people to show their pass to enter restaurants, museums, movie theaters and long-distance public transport. Protests grew last month after Italy began to require the pass to access workplaces, becoming the first Western country to do so. Nearly every weekend, there is a new anti-vaccine or anti-pass … [Read more...] about Police Search Anti-Vaccine Activists Accused of Plotting Attack in Italy
Chinese citizens rejoiced on Wednesday after Beijing scrapped its most restrictive COVID-19 testing and quarantine rules, Reuters reported, citing social media posts. Among the changes announced Wednesday, city officials will no longer have the power to shut down parts of the city, most testing requirements will be rescinded and patients with mild symptoms will be allowed to isolate at home, according to The Wall Street Journal. The sweeping roll-back of General Secretary Xi Jinping’s Zero-Covid policy is the most extensive yet since thousands of Chinese demonstrated against the lockdowns and shouted for Xi to step down. “It’s time for our lives to return to normal, and for China to return to the world,” wrote one user on Chinese social media platform Weibo, according to Reuters. (RELATED: Nearly Half Of Americans Say Biden Should Support China’s Protesters, Condemn CCP’s ‘Authoritarian Regime’: POLL) The government has not formally tied a loosening in pandemic … [Read more...] about Chinese People Rejoice After Xi Backs Down, Eases COVID Lockdowns
As an outbreak of Ebola swept through central Uganda in late September, government officials were willing to do anything to contain the virus except take one crucial step: impose a lockdown. This was radically different from their response during the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, when Uganda introduced some of the most restrictive shutdowns in Africa by closing borders, banning public transportation and shutting schools for two years — one of the longest such shutdowns worldwide . Officials in Uganda, a landlocked nation in East Africa, now acknowledge that they hesitated to impose similar restrictions in the recent Ebola outbreak because of the lingering anger, resentment and trauma over the strict Covid measures. They worried that another harsh response to an epidemic could spark protests, batter an economy already under strain and alienate a weary population inundated with misinformation about the dangers — and even the existence — of the Ebola virus. The initial … [Read more...] about ‘Ebola Could Have Wiped Us All’: Slow Lockdown Haunts Uganda
When Rebel ran away, my friend set up a search party to look for him in Sanjay Van, the sprawling forest in India’s capital and a place full of hazards for the missing: scorching temperatures and scarce water, sharp-fanged golden jackals, and marauding gangs of pariah dogs. My friend ordered the five of us in the rescue group to disperse in different directions, with strict orders to report any possible sighting. About 90 minutes later, my friend emerged victorious from the prickly brush, his calves full of tiny cuts, with Rebel, my 50-pound dog, cradled in his arms. Through the long days of the pandemic and its strange aftermath, my friend often held me up, too. He was the constant voice on the other end of the line through the lonely lockdowns. He was a patient listener as I processed the fallout from my divorce. He was my cheerleader when I decided to give up alcohol. His concern was palpable when my mother had a stroke. He always showed up, accompanying me to a … [Read more...] about My Friend Helped Me Carry My Burdens. His Proved Too Heavy.
ATLANTA — As Republicans smarting from Herschel Walker’s defeat in Georgia continue the process of assigning blame , one man seems to be conspicuously above reproach: Gov. Brian P. Kemp. The state’s Republican governor — once derided as an unhinged far-right disrupter following a series of wildly provocative 2018 campaign ads — has emerged in the aftermath of Tuesday’s Senate runoff as one of his party’s savvier political operators. On Nov. 8, Mr. Kemp won re-election by a resounding eight-point margin — a remarkable transformation for a politician who went from being booed by conservatives at his own events in the May primary to defeating a national Democratic star, Stacey Abrams. His ability to deftly walk a fine line of providing just enough support to Mr. Walker without being damaged by his defeat was proof of Mr. Kemp’s formidable political instincts, Republicans inside and outside the state said. He has survived and even thrived in the face of Donald J. Trump’s … [Read more...] about The Georgia Republican Unscathed by Walker’s Defeat
For months, investors and C.E.O.s waited anxiously for China to ease up on its Covid restrictions, which burdened the economy and were out of sync with the rest of the world. Stock markets rallied on mere rumors of policy changes. Companies warned that “zero Covid” was hurting business. Now that China has finally started rolling back its strict mix of mass testing, lockdowns and quarantines, its economy is entering a delicate period when it will face a set of challenges that do not fit neatly with other countries’ experiences during the pandemic. Spending by consumers is unlikely to reawaken swiftly after being smothered for so long, analysts say. China faces a severe downturn in housing and must race to vaccinate more of its population, especially seniors. China’s factories, the motor of the country’s commerce with the world, confront weakening demand from key trading partners like the United States and Europe, both of which are staring down possible recessions. The … [Read more...] about How Will China Turn Its Economy Back On? The World Is About to Find Out.