Florida takes its first action against ‘vaccination tourism’

The authorities sanitary of Florida announced this Thursday, January 21, 2021 that from now on the residents of Florida have priority in the immunization plan against him covid-19, his first measure against the so-called vaccination tourism that has outraged many Floridians.

Florida Chief Surgeon Scott A. Rivkees issued a order that forces the suppliers of vaccinations to require the recipients proof of residence in the state.

According to data from the Florida Department of Health, of the more than 1.1 million doses of covid-19 vaccines already applied in that southern state, more than 39,000 received them non-residents.

Before the decision announced by Rivkees was known, health officials from Florida counties such as Volusia and Seminole had told the media that they already had “authorization” to require proof of residency from candidates to vaccination.

End of vaccination tourism but now vaccines are lacking

Until now I could only ask them to prove with a document that they are over 65 years old, the group to which the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, has prioritized vaccination alongside the health personnel exposed in his work with covid-19 and sick in extreme risk if they get infected.

However, the most serious problem currently is not “vaccination tourism”, which was reported at the beginning of January by messages and videos on social networks of Argentines who had been vaccinated in Miami, but shortage of vaccinations.

The Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach announced on January 21 that it is canceling all appointments for vaccination from January 23 onwards “due to lack of certainty in the supply of the vaccine” and before that, Baptist Health, the largest hospital group in the state, did the same.

On the web to get an appointment to go to a vaccination center run by Miami-Dade County, the most populous and hardest hit by the disease in FloridaToday, there were no appointments available for any date.

Today it was learned that the Florida Department of Health it will no longer give information about how many people have received the second dose of the vaccine, only on those vaccinated in total.

The media reported this week that thousands of people have exceeded the 21-day deadline to receive the second dose needed to ensure delivery. effectiveness of the vaccinations of Pfizer and Modern, which are the ones that are being applied in Florida.

The covid-19 does not give truce to Florida

Meanwhile, the covid-19 does not give truce to Florida, which this Thursday accounted for 12,873 new cases and 161 more deaths, and is the third estate with more infections (more than 1.6 million) and the fourth with the most deaths (more than 25,000) of all U.S.

It is also the one with the most cases in the US of the variant most contagious discovered in the UK.

Faced with this scenario and after having played down the importance of “vaccination tourism“DeSantis said that the vaccine should be only for the residents permanent O temporary” in Florida.

In that way, he included people from other states and countries who have houses and apartments in Florida and spend long periods here, which is an important source of income for the state and Turistic cities like Miami.

To prove residency, individuals will need to show a driver’s license, a valid Florida identification card, or a utility bill showing a Florida address.
If they are part-time residents, presenting the rental agreement is sufficient.

The largest group of temporary residents is the so-called “snowbirds“(snowbirds), since they arrive with the first colds and return when the good weather begins in their places of origin.

They come from other parts of the US, although it has also foreign, latin americans and europeans mainly.

DeSantis and his total commitment to the vaccine

In the fight against covid-19 the governor of Florida, follower of the former president Donald Trump, has bet everything on vaccination and little or nothing on precautionary measures.

In all the pandemic it has not forced the use of masks at the state level and does not allow counties to take measures that involve economic downtime.

During the Trump Administration federal authorities they distributed the vaccines to the states and the state authorities distributed them in their territory.

The new president’s plan, Joe Biden, contemplates the creation of centers of vaccination managed by FEMA, the US emergency management agency, something DeSantis openly rejected, because, he said, Florida does not need that but vaccines.

DeSantis has implicated in the vaccination plan, which began in mid-December, chains of pharmacy. iglesias and community centers, in addition to hospitals and medical centers.


Home office against the pandemic: nothing more than symbolic politics

Dhe basic rule of the pandemic is to reduce contacts. It is hard to bear that thousands have been driving to work every day for months, sitting in open-plan offices and conference rooms while hairdressers, restaurants, hotels and shops are closed. Nevertheless: The regulation from the Federal Ministry of Labor, according to which companies should work even more towards the implementation of home offices, is above all one thing – symbolic politics.

Because in reality it will not change anything because the guidelines rely on the voluntary nature of those involved. The problem is not so much with the large corporations, which mostly had and still have powerful IT departments and the financial means to equip employees with the hardware and software they need to do their work from home. This is often much more difficult in small and medium-sized companies that still do not have this infrastructure. A responsible entrepreneur is faced with the choice of potentially damaging his business or interpreting the recommendations in his own favor. Officially, almost all companies say that they have already exhausted the possibilities of sending employees to their home office. However, a look at buses and trains or even office towers suggests otherwise; Surveys confirm this impression.

Not setting a good example

Against this background, the political solution of relying primarily on appeals seems somewhat helpless. Either one recognizes the need for working life in the offices to continue as in the past months, with all the consequences for the infection rate, or one sets clearer limits, in which case further financial aid from the state would probably be necessary to keep the economy going to support. Politicians are not to be envied for this balancing act, no question.

As it is, however, it is in the hands of the entrepreneurs and managers: In view of the occurrence of the infection, it is important to sound out again how the work can be optimally organized in order to contain the pandemic. This does not only apply to executives in business. Also and especially in the public sector there still seems to be potential to send more employees to the home office. It is paradoxical that the public sector is not setting a good example here.


“The effects of ‘Gloria’ have already been overcome, now what worries me is the pandemic”

A year after the flood that destroyed much of the facilities of Sant Ponç, the GEiEG has given for “surpassed” the bad trance of the storm Gloria. This is what the president admitted yesterday, Francesc Cayuela, who also said that now his main concern is to survive the effects of another headache, the coronavirus pandemic, and the mandatory restrictions imposed by the Generalitat on the world of sport.

“At this moment the effects of Gloria are solved, in the absence of small fringes that do not affect daily activity. After a year, and with the pandemic in the middle, we can say that this chapter is over “, Cayuela detailed yesterday in a visit to the facilities of Sant Ponç. The activity in this installation of the GEiEG would be 100% recovered, but the health restrictions due to the pandemic they keep it half-gas, like the rest of the Group’s and sports spaces. That’s it swimming pools operate at 30% and one has been mounted outdoor gym, on the terrace of the bar, because the prohibition to practice indoors. The paddle and tennis courts are also in operation, albeit with small groups and bubbles.

The first damage estimate made by the GEiEG encrypted the damage in 2 million euros. In the end the figure has exceeded one million, but it has not been as high as expected initially. With what the Group has received from the insurance and some public aid, it has been possible to repair the damage and put Sant Ponç back in perfect condition for the members, in the absence of small fringes. On the other hand, the president revealed that the campaign micro-patronage which they set up last winter to raise funds allowed them to earn 4,000 euros.

With the effects of Gloria overcome, now what worries Cayuela most is how it will end up affecting the pandemic at the club. “This is the most complicated situation for the uncertainty which generates. Gloria’s damage was all insured, now we don’t know who will pay us what we are losing for the loss of partners and activities. The help you have does not solve the losses either and the truth is that the clubs have a serious problem ahead of them and I don’t know if we can survive like this for a long time“, The president pointed out in yesterday’s visit.

The GEiEG is one of the three non-profit and public utility clubs in Girona, as is the CN Banyoles and CN Olot. Cayuela recalled that they have invested in all anti-video measures “because the regulations say so and because we want our partners to be safe.” However, the restrictions imposed by the Generalitat have greatly reduced their activity.


Smart watches could detect covid-19

Mexico City /

Research on covid-19 does not end, now the novelty is that according to studies, It has been concluded that smart watches can help detect contagion.

And it is that a study entitled Warrior Watch and it was there that they discovered that Through the metrics of the smart watch, it can be revealed whether a person is positive or not.

The heart rate measurement was the key to the research, the Apple Watch; With it, changes in heart rhythm could be detected, which can be an indicator that a person is infected.

In this way, symptoms can be detected during the first days, and this can be the difference between life and death.

The study was conducted between April 29 and September 29, with 297 health workers.

“The watch showed significant changes in HRV metrics up to seven days before people went through a positive nasal swab test confirming Covid-19 infection,” said Robert P. Hirten, MD. Author of the study.


Insurance industry: Corona got off lightly

Dhe German insurers got through the first phase of the corona pandemic lightly. Although there were critical issues such as the legal disputes over business closure insurance, the state protective shield for goods suppliers with the help of credit insurers, or the level of premiums in car insurance, there was hardly any business impairment. Premium income increased in the three main lines of life, property-casualty and health insurance by 1.2 percent to 220.1 billion euros, although the exit restrictions in particular presented major challenges to sales. However, many intermediaries have successfully switched to digital customer service.

Philipp Krohn

Philipp Krohn

Editor in business, responsible for “People and Business”.

This change was most noticeable in life insurance. After an enormous increase in the previous year, premium income rose by just 0.4 percent. Yet the industry is confident that many consumers have been able to amass additional savings during the pandemic that they will seek to use once the pandemic has subsided. “The industry is looking ahead with cautious optimism, we expect growth of 2 percent this year,” said Wolfgang Weiler, President of the industry association GDV in an online press conference. In life insurance, he expects the catch-up effects indicated.

In property and casualty insurance, 2020 was a year with comparatively few (property) events. There were few natural disasters that would have made themselves felt in the balance sheets. And Corona itself was hardly noticeable. Because the payments in the very small business closure insurance sub-division were manageable at 900 million euros. More important was the fact that in the very large auto insurance division, the lower mobility during the first Corona wave resulted in some cases in lower accident numbers.

The GDV made demands in various political fields: In the state-subsidized old-age provision, a draft law for a Riester reform is still in coming. The black-red government agreed on this reform in its coalition agreement. “If she falls by the wayside because of Corona, there is a risk of collateral damage,” warned Weiler. Because many young people then lose time building up their retirement assets. He also criticized the proposal by the European financial regulator on how much capital should be reserved for infrastructure investments. The requirements are so high that insurers are not participating in the EU’s “Green Deal” to the extent that they can economically.


Europe now needs to be reformed from the ground up

Europe is at a crossroads. The political implosion of America’s once most important partner, the unresolved relationship with Russia and China, the economic upheaval as a result of Corona and the uncoordinated handling of this pandemic have led the European Union into a deep crisis.

As in other political and economic, social or ideological structures, the pandemic acts like a fire accelerator in the ailing building of the European Union. Weaknesses and omissions are revealed, old certainties dissolve, ignorance and repression no longer work.

The world we live in has little in common with that of the Cold War, which sank 30 years ago. The forces that determine our present can no longer be tamed by the means and methods of that past. If we want to control them, we have to ask the right questions, even if the answers are inconvenient. With this relentless diagnosis, a first step on the way out of the crisis has also been taken.

It is no coincidence that Europe does not have a common crisis management system in times of a pandemic. Because the health systems were never coordinated, so they are organized nationally to this day. States like Germany benefit from this because they rely on a consistent regulatory policy and therefore do not reject government guidelines from the outset.

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The billion-dollar reserves of the Federal Employment Agency and the statutory health insurances helped with the organization and financing of the first sweeping measures. So Germany went on its way in this serious crisis. The others went theirs. The paths were similar in some respects, but were not coordinated even under the impact of the pandemic.

The same applies to most areas of political and economic life. It can’t stay that way. If Europe wants to have a future, it has to be more than a well-established internal market, largely freed from stationary border controls, with a partially applicable common currency and a properly functioning crisis mechanism. For a “survival of the European project”, which French President Emmanuel Macron urged at the end of March 2020, this is by no means sufficient.

Founding spirit is necessary

What is required is that revolutionary verve, without which the founders 70 years ago would never have put what was then modern Europe on its feet. It certainly makes a difference whether six or 27 or – in the case of the euro zone – 19 partners are to be brought on board. But if you wait until everyone is on board, you postpone the revolution; if Germany does not come on board, it will not take place.

The mountains of credit and debt show that repair work within the existing system is no longer enough. Without a communitisation of debts, which can only be envisaged by reformulating the entire European treaty, this permanent problem cannot be solved. Of course, the further development of a currency union into a fiscal union is not without risk. But if you shy away from that, you shouldn’t even start building Europe.

The conditions under which the Eurogroup promised some of its particularly troubled members the urgently needed support after the severe financial crisis of 2008/9 urge caution today. The drastic budget cuts that they and other institutions demanded from the particularly affected countries in return for lending were ultimately at the expense of the health care system. To let these states fall into such traps again with ever new loans and austerity would be short-sighted.

We Germans in particular should recognize that the southern European countries are more than popular holiday destinations. They are guarantors of the economic stability of Europe. After Great Britain left, almost 53 percent of German exports of goods still go to the countries of the European Union. Countries like Greece, Italy, Spain or France guarantee our jobs and our prosperity. That they hold us jointly responsible for their stability and survival in times of existential crises is understandable.

Reconstruction aid was a first step

Therefore, the decision of the European heads of state and government in July 2020 to finance a little more than half of the so-called Corona reconstruction aid of 750 billion euros through joint borrowing was a first step on the right path. Just as the compromise on the so-called rule of law mechanism of November 2020 was a step forward.

Assuming the approval of Parliament and the Council of the EU, the EU Commission can in future propose to withdraw funds from various European funds from a country if it violates binding principles of the rule of law. So far, Europe has not found the courage to follow these paths consistently. This is not surprising, because the contractual requirements are currently missing.

Europe has no choice. If it does not want to fail irrevocably, some states, including the economic power Germany and the nuclear power France, must take action. That sounds more daring than it actually is. There are precedents. In 1951, six states brought into being the so-called coal and steel union, the nucleus of today’s EU; In 1999, after years of preparation, eleven EU states, including its six founding members, introduced a common currency and thereby renounced an essential feature of nation-state sovereignty. This is one of the reasons why there is much to suggest that the initiative for a new Europe must come from within this so-called Euro Group.

The principles on which the initiators must agree include: the implementation of the majority vote in a format that is based on the failed constitution of October 2004; the possibility of effective sanctions up to and including the exclusion of members who do not comply with common legal provisions or, for example, in the case of jointly incurred debts, fail to comply with decisions of the community; the further development of the monetary union into a fiscal union; the definition of a closed European legal system; the development of a practicable migration and asylum policy; the formulation of a binding and sustainable resource, energy and environmental strategy and, last but not least, a supranational army worthy of the name.

European army with French nuclear weapons

Whoever wants this army must insist that the French nuclear weapons be brought into it. This has so far been categorically ruled out by Paris. Macron’s offer to enter into a dialogue with the European partners about these systems should be accepted. Every step that leads us out of the impasse in which European defense policy has been stuck for 70 years is worth taking.

In the spring of 2020, EU Foreign Affairs Representative Josep Borrell summed up where we stand against the backdrop of the escalating situation in the Syrian region of Idlib: “We would like to speak the language of power, but at the moment we cannot decide for ourselves. “This helplessness is pathetic. And it’s dangerous. Because without its own, globally operational army, a Europe that is left to its own devices in the event of doubt will neither be able to cope with the future tasks nor will the continent count on American support.

Since NATO, too, has seen its prime in 30 years, such an army is also a crucial prerequisite for transforming the frozen transatlantic alliance into a living partnership. The times in which we Europeans leaned back, let America take care of things and often accompanied American crisis management with arrogant comments are over.

In the foreseeable future, the United States will withdraw from the African and Oriental crisis areas, i.e. from regions of the world whose development is of little importance for it, but of existential importance for Europe.
Against this background, we have no choice but to get involved on the ground massively, possibly also militarily, as the French are currently doing in the Sahel zone.

Germany must not leave defense to others

Because this ties up forces and costs money, Paris twice asked Germany in 2019 whether it could provide capacities for training and supporting special military forces. In relation to the latter, the answer was a smooth rebuff, and that also meant that dangerous missions such as the smashing of the Al-Qaeda leadership in the Sahel zone in spring 2020 were left to others.

Of course, the decision to provide the Bundeswehr with a so-called robust mandate for its foreign missions needs to be carefully examined on a case-by-case basis. But those who basically leave these and other tasks to others not only contribute to the fact that the facade of European solidarity, which has been painstakingly maintained, continues to crumble, but also refuses to recognize that elementary tasks can only be tackled together.

This includes combating the causes that force hundreds of thousands to leave their homes and migrate north. We share responsibility for these causes. Because we knew what was coming. Those who do not believe this should read the report of the Commission for International Development Issues, the so-called North-South Commission, which Willy Brandt, its chairman, presented to the Secretary General of the United Nations in February 1980.

Kill the “monster of Maastricht”

We ignored that. We suppressed it. We thought we could get away with handouts. Today it is too late for strategic preventive intervention in most cases. What remains is the fight against wars and massacres, fires and floods, plagues and epidemics on site: by all means, quickly, specifically, massively and – if there is no other way, as with the fight against terrorism or smuggling crime – military. We Europeans can only achieve this if our common house has a solid foundation.

Which means that the timetable is fixed: first the foundation, then the house. The design flaw of today’s European Union, which was launched in February 1992 with the Maastricht Treaty and cemented in the subsequent treaties, must under no circumstances be repeated. If the initiators want a political union that deserves this name, they have to forego a significant part of their nation-state sovereignty without any ifs or buts.

If they do so, they will inevitably also succumb to the monstrosity of Maastricht, the 250-page compromise with which the heads of state and government did not dare to start again, but instead transferred an outdated order from the divided to the globalized world. The chance that Europe will bring itself to these and other decisions is slim. But there is. We should use it.
The text is a preprint of the book by Gregor Schöllgen and Gerhard Schröder “Last Chance. Why we need a new world order now, ”which is being published by DVA these days.

More: The EU wants to distribute billions of euros – but Italy and Spain have problems


Germany fears mutations and prolongs confinement until mid-February

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the governors of Germany’s 16 states on Tuesday decided to extend the current confinement until mid-February and fear that the recent covid-19 mutations will increase the number of cases.

The infection rate in that country has stabilized in recent days, which may mean that the restrictions in place are being effective in reducing contagions.

The entity responsible for disease prevention and control in Germany today registered 11,369 new cases of the new coronavirus and 989 deaths, which increases the total number of deaths to 47,622, reports the agency AP.

However, the increase in new infections in Britain and Ireland, which will be related to a more contagious variant of the virus, has left the German authorities concerned that this mutation could spread quickly if measures were not prolonged or even tightened.

Merkel and the governors have already scheduled a new meeting next week.

“All of our efforts to stem the spread of the virus are facing a serious threat,” said the German Chancellor, speaking to journalists in Berlin, referring to the new mutation of the covid-19.

In addition to prolonging the closure of restaurants, shops and schools until February 14, the authorities also agreed to require the population to use the FFP2 or KN95 masks, considered more effective, in public transport and in stores.

The authorities also intend to require employers to allow teleworking to employees, whenever possible, to avoid contagion in the workplace.

Saxony State Governor Michael Krretschmer, a region that until recently had the highest infection rates in the country, stressed that it is important to further reduce the number of new cases.

“Currently we see in Great Britain what happens when there is a mutation, the numbers explode”, he underlined, in statements to the news channel ‘ntv’.

Health professionals have demanded an extension or even a tightening of containment measures, since many hospitals are still on the edge, with overcrowded intensive care units in some parts of the country.

“Current measures to limit social contacts appear to be having an effect,” said Susanne Johna, head of the association of doctors Marburger Bund, in a statement to the DPA news agency.

Susanne Johna stressed that these measures must be maintained to further reduce the number of infections.

“We urgently need more relief,” he warned.

The covid-19 pandemic caused at least 2,041,289 deaths resulting from more than 95.4 million cases of infection worldwide, according to a report by the French agency AFP.

The disease is transmitted by a new coronavirus detected in late December 2019 in Wuhan, a city in central China.


Torres Vedras calls for school closings, soldiers on the street and more doctors and nurses

The Municipality of de Torres Vedras asked the Ministry of Education to close schools in the County due to the high number of covid-19 cases. The novelty was revealed by the mayor, Carlos Bernardes, at the public meeting of the Executive on Monday, learned the DN.

The health delegate of the region in cooperation with the vice president and presidents of school groups and civil protection drafted a document justifying the closure of educational institutions, which the mayor said he forwarded to Minister Tiago Brandão Rodrigues.

Carlos Bernardes also defended the need for the Portuguese Army to take to the streets “under a regime of proximity patrolling to give confidence to fellow citizens in close cooperation with the GNR and the PSP”. And he asked for “more nurses and doctors”, revealing that he has already spoken with “who is entitled to this”.

Experts do not understand each other on the subject and the Government has chosen to keep schools open. However, there are many municipalities that want to close the institutions. On Monday, for example, Campo Maior decided to close them.

A few days ago the City Council decided to cancel the Carnival scheduled for February and for the second consecutive year due to the pandemic. The county has five outbreaks in homes (328 infected) and in the hospital in Torres Vedras, where 153 are infected and the situation is increasingly critical, with ambulances with covid-19 patients lining up at the emergency room.


Why a physicist is promoting a tough lockdown

Viola Priesemann

The 38-year-old is already thinking about a model to map the circulation of the virus across Europe. Her colleagues call her a high-flyer.

(Photo: ddp images / Steffens)

Berlin Immediately before Chancellor Angela Merkel’s meeting with the country leaders on Tuesday, Viola Priesemann once again warned: Only a short, hard lockdown can help against the coronavirus and its mutations. Politicians have to make a clear decision: “It makes no sense to do things by halves because that unnecessarily prolongs the lockdown,” warns the research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen.

In the beginning, it was mainly the virologist Christian Drosten who explained the pandemic to the people on television – and to the Prime Minister on the phone. Since autumn it has always been the physicist and outstanding scientist Priesemann.

In the summer, the 38-year-old was downright desperate because she didn’t know how politics works, how she can reach decision-makers, she told “Die Zeit”. The social democrat Karl Lauterbach then explained to her that top politicians do not understand theoretical treatises that they have to be explained to them.

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) now nods eagerly when Priesemann describes the mathematical models that made her believe in a talk show. And the head of the Chancellery, Helge Braun (CDU), calls her work “extremely helpful”.

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She learned the lesson from last summer that the pandemic is only under control when the incidence value is well below 50 new infections calculated for 100,000 inhabitants in seven days – currently the value is just below 140. “Either a fire is under control , or a fire is just out of control, “says Priesemann, and thus also opposes individual colleagues such as the Bonn virologist Hendrik Streeck, who advertises” living with the virus “.

Above a certain limit, the system is simply “unstable”, she calculated mathematically – and included it in the statement of the National Academy Leopoldina at the beginning of December. But even Priesemann does not want to lock people up: in the open air the infection rate is after all “20 times lower than inside” at a distance.

Information about the tipping point

Colleagues call the former Waldorf student a “high-flyer”. While studying, she only developed an enthusiasm for physics when she understood the complex biological system behind the stripes of a zebra. Eventually, in Paris, California, and Frankfurt, she pounced on neuroscience, the diffusion of information in the brain.

She transferred the findings to the pandemic in 2020 – for her a complex but ultimately calculable event. Including the “tipping point” from which an event develops exponentially. But the reverse is also true: on this side of the tipping point, i.e. an incidence value of no more than 50, the shrinking of the pandemic is also exponential.

And Priesemann thinks beyond Germany: Before Christmas, she initiated an article by international scientists in the specialist magazine “Lancet” for a common European strategy. With open borders, no country can defeat the pandemic on its own, there is a threat of a ping-pong effect and new waves. She is already thinking about a model to map the circulation of the virus across Europe.

Incidentally, scientifically, corona spread models are not “hardcore”, says Priesemann, but “pure data science”, the basics of which date from the 1920s. “In theoretical physics, I don’t win a flower pot with it.” When Corona is defeated, she can also imagine completely different: the analysis of the concentration of power in society – with the help of mathematics.

More: A group of virologists, economists, sociologists launched an appeal. She wants to radically end the “lockdown egg dance”.