Category Archives: Welfare matters

Vaccinations and anti-vaxers

Ex-president Donald Trump was against vaccinations and even did want Americans to believe the “Chinese disease would soon be over”. This ego tripper managed lots of Americans not to believe in the dangers of the Coronavirus.

By his misleading words he got many Republicans, evangelicals, but also poor blacks, and Hispanics to believe it are foreign forces and socialists or, worse, communists, trying to undermine the American society. Today many are suspicious of the government which would have become in power by a fraud election. Conservative evangelicals are among the quickest to share all those absurd stories about a.o. coronavirus-related conspiracy reaching to the highest levels of government. In many countries we can see that it is the Religious Right which is a hothouse of anti-vax activism and health fads.

Fools will readily believe a case without closely seeking out and attending to the criticisms of it (Proverbs 18:17). They routinely judge before hearing. They also attend to and spread rumours, inaccurate reports, and unreliable tales, while failing diligently to pursue the truth of a matter. The wise, by contrast, examine things carefully before moving to judgment or passing on a report. {Wisdom and Folly in Christian Responses to Coronavirus}

a lot of youngsters only go be the headings on their Social Media. Titles on You Tube or on Facebook, without going to read the article, let withstand to think about it and to examine what is said in it.

They do not follow up closely on viewpoints that they have advanced, seeking criticism and cross-examination to ascertain their truth or falsity. And when anything is proven wrong, they do not return to correct it. {Wisdom and Folly in Christian Responses to Coronavirus}

You would think, in the U.S.A., after the new president tried to get some order again, the American citizens would get back to their senses. The number of new Covid-19 cases per day has increased dramatically in the United States in the past month. New, dangerous variants have spread widely. At first Trump could convince people not to wear masks, but luckily now they show up in many parts of the country. Artists, often looked at as being “left”, went to get their vaccination as soon as they could. CEO’s also did not wait to long before getting vaccinated. But for the lowest-income groups, we can see it is more difficult to get people over the line. In the U.S.A. only 1.1 percent of the population of poor countries has received a single shot. Some people have surrendered to a sense of doom because they formed unreasonable expectations that the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines would miraculously obliterate the virus.

You would expect after the 2020 lockdowns, the 2.4 million Americans hospitalised and the 610,000 killed, more Americans would hurry to get the vaccinations over and done with. But the unmistakable fact is that they’ve made great progress in recent months to smother the virus and steer national life back toward normal. Where 5,463 people died from Covid-19 on one day at the beginning of the year, the daily death count is now bouncing in the low hundreds. One good thing may be that already an undetermined number of people have acquired some immunity from Covid-19 by exposure to it.

Today in America, severe Covid-19 infections and death are almost entirely in unvaccinated people. And the vaccines are still remarkably effective — of the 163 million fully vaccinated in the United States, only 1,141 have died from the virus.

It is known that the older you are, the greater the chance of getting seriously ill or dying from CoViD, and the younger you are, the less likely you are to have serious symptoms. This makes a lot of youngsters not worrying or not afraid of getting infected. For them there are many reasons not to receive an injection. Though lots of those reasons are based on absurd messages on Social Media. Social Media is doing a lot of damage and undermining national safety. One would expect them to see now, that because of the success of the vaccination in the older population, that the infection rate from the Delta variant has sent the number of infections soaring, the number of deaths, at least right now, is surprisingly low.

Young and old should come to recognise this virus is not an ordinary virus, like we have seen previously several viruses coming over the lands. It is not a virus that shall allow us to cry victory soon. No matter who might be president or in power, all shall have to start with acknowledging that it’s not within our power to eliminate Covid-19 from our shores the way we have polio, or to vaccinate every American against the virus. If we’re willing to agree on an end goal of dramatically reducing the severe illness and deaths from the virus, however, we might begin to see what winning is about.

According to Anthony Fauci the vaccines are even effective against the new variants that people fret so much about.

“A higher percentage of Americans have taken a Covid-19 vaccine in the past seven months than took a flu vaccine during the catastrophic 2017-18 flu season (37 percent of adults). Only 54 percent of the American population had taken the Salk polio vaccine six years after its introduction. Viewed from these angles, Americans in 2021 have not been particularly “vaccine hesitant.”

he says. But when we see news coverage and some documentaries about the handling of CoViD in the United States we got another view, with a lot of people between the age of 20-40 coming up with a lot of reasonable and sometime idiotic fantasies why they do not want to be vaccinated.

All over the world people should become convinced that it is a matter of not only protecting yourself, but out of love for the other, protecting those around you. The more people we vaccinate, the safer we all are today and how sooner we can go back to a normal life. We need everybody to be able to go to work, to have all the shops, pubs and event centres open again. Trying to get everything working properly again, we should safeguard ourselves by taking enough precautions that the illness can not spread. The less opportunity dangerous variants will have to emerge and spread tomorrow the better our life shall be and the better our economy shall be able to recover from those two years ‘disaster’.

So many in France and Germany shout about their freedom being taken, but do they ever think about what freedom really might be? Freedom is also respecting the freedom of others!

The age factor helps to explain why the rate of vaccination has stalled and is unlikely to accelerate, especially among the 19-to-49 crowd, many of whom feel immortal. We also hear that several of that age group in Europe went only to get their vaccination to be able to travel or to go to music festivals.

Some people also point to the fact that lots of people die in car accidents or find their death by having cancer. They say the older generation reacted to strongly on a disease which perhaps should be regarded like any other flu variant or a disease that comes over our countries once in a while to bring a clean brush against overpopulation.

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Also interesting to read

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  3. Undermining security and democracy via the Internet
  4. No time yet to relax the CoViD-19 restriction measures
  5. Lockdown greetings for a newer year
  6. Not created to be on our own
  7. CoViD-19 Curation
  8. A new start when the lockdown comes to an end
  9. NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo his state of the state address
  10. G7 and Building Back Better
  11. Good time to sort out your friends and contacts
  12. In Coronatime thinking about death
  13. A living Word giving confidence
  14. Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief

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# Epistle to my Twenties

In all cultures, one can find such a thing as a “transition celebration” in which one feels that one has reached a turning point with a “transition year”.

In many families on the Western European mainland, the 21st year used to be the year of coming of age. Young people hoped that once there was a 2 in front of their era, a new world would open up.
But after that 21st birthday, it seemed that they still had to work hard to live up to their potential or to be recognised. For many, that brought some disillusionment, while others quickly started looking forward to a 3 in the era.
….

just setting my foot in my 30’s and to be honest am very excited as well as sad as I bid my adieu to the most amazing years of my life that I will never get back -the 20’s.

Writo-holic

Twenties will always be special. Trust me it’s more special than your sixteen or what your Fifties will bring. Twenties brings you hopes and dreams and people start looking at you from a bigger perspective. It’s when you realise you were just an egg preparing to hatch and life begins now. It transforms you into this different being you never knew and you suddenly shed your skin and finally the wings have grown and ready or not you have to fly. The 20’s also have lots of expectations from you as it throws you new lights leading to a newer path. They are the most crucial age as it lingers the longest. Twenties steps unannounced- stealthily and silently while you feel like that small caterpillar which is still inside of you.

I wasn’t sure what to do with this sudden leap into a new journey that was paving my way…

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Man vs ‘Terminator’ – The Battle Of Covid 19 Rages Worldwide

Salsaworldtraveler'sblog

A couple of things caught my attention this week relating to the seemingly ever changing myriad of Covid-19 restrictions. First, the French Parliament passed a law that will require a health pass for access to restaurants, bars, trains and planes from the beginning of August. (In France, all venues accommodating more than 50 people already require proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test, including museums, cinemas and swimming pools.) Second, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revised its guidance on wearing masks and now the agency recommends that some fully vaccinated people wear masks indoors if they live in areas with significant or high spread.

Those are only two of many examples of increased Covid-19 restrictions going into effect around the globe. The Delta Variant of SARS-CoV-2 is more transmissible and can cause worse health outcomes than other variants. Because Delta is more transmissible, it is fast becoming the dominant…

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No Longer ‘Hidden Victims,’ Children Are Dying as Virus Surges in Indonesia

 

Dewayne-Net Archives

No Longer ‘Hidden Victims,’ Children Are Dying as Virus Surges in Indonesia
Hundreds have died from Covid-19 in recent weeks, many of them under the age of 5. National leaders face mounting criticism that they have been unprepared.
By Richard C. Paddock and Muktita Suhartono
Jul 31 2021
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/25/world/asia/children-deaths-virus-indonesia.html

Hundreds of children in Indonesia have died from the coronavirus in recent weeks, many of them under age 5, a mortality rate greater than that of any other country and one that challenges the idea that children face minimal risk from Covid-19, doctors say.

The deaths, more than 100 a week this month, have come as Indonesia confronts its biggest surge yet in coronavirus cases over all — and as its leaders face mounting criticism that they have been unprepared and slow to act.

“Our numbers are the highest in the world,” the head of the Indonesian Pediatric Society, Dr. Aman…

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Let South America come to you #2 For those with a good taste

When you can not go to South America, why do you not bring South America into your home?

For those with a good taste

From waterfalls to wines

South America is the continent that is home to a vast array of rich cultures, history, traditions, food, and once-in-a-lifetime places to visit.

Angel Falls, Venezuela | © David Kjelkerud / Flickr

When you would love to go exploring South America it would not be bad to prepare yourself and to get already some taste of it before you take the long voyage. A place you have to visit is the waterfall in the Guiana Highlands in Bolívar state, southeastern Venezuela, on the Churún River. Before you would like to fly over Angel Falls, the highest waterfall in the world, coming in at over 3000 feet it would not be bad to feel a bit like an angel tasting all sorts of well-tasting goods from that continent, which will bring you to the seventh heaven.

You also do not have to go straight away, deep in the Amazonian rainforest to find a melting pot of indigenous traditions and a perfect place to see centuries of Peruvian history and culture coming together.

Before you would go to the Belén Market, the largest traditional market in the Peruvian Amazon, and a place where visitors can taste and see the food, textiles, and wares of the region, on the web there is a place where you already can have a peep-show of some handicrafts from the South American continent

Mendoza, Argentina

Wines

As state and local governments order people to stay home to limit the spread of the virus, toilet paper and canned goods are not the only items people are snapping up. Wine sales at wine shops are soaring and large, highly-distributed wine brands are struggling to keep wines on the shelf.

Meanwhile, small wineries that depend on restaurants and on-site sales are trying to figure out how to survive. The question on the mind of everyone in the wine business is what will things look like on the other side when they get the virus under control.

Having poached the Malbec grape from Europe and turned it into a roaring superstar, Argentina is rightly celebrated for its wine producers.

The Mendoza region, in the western central part of the country in the Cuyo region, dominates Argentina’s wine scene. It enjoys prestige for the wine produced on its vineyards. It also can be refreshing to see genuine contenders from elsewhere, such as the Bodegas Callia from the San Juan province.

In the Mendoza region, you may find one of the original Bordeaux grape varieties from the Bordeaux region of France, namely Malbec. Because grown on a higher altitude then in France the wines tend to have a higher level of acid, which makes them ideal to go with the Argentinian meat.

The Cabernet Sauvignon which was introduced in Argentina in the 19th century by the French agricultural engineer Michel Amié Pouget. He further introduced Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Malbec vines to Argentina and founded the first vine nursery and agricultural school in his new country.

Located in the Tulum Valley, Bodegas Callia aims to produce the best Shiraz in Argentina.

Since we cannot go to South America, we will have to bring the heat and sun here. And what better way to do so than with a few good bottles of wine? Certainly when those wines earn it to keep on the palate.

Navarro Correas Cabernet Sauvignon 2016The dry, hot climate of Argentina is really great for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. The grapes ripen very easily, so these Cabs are almost always filled with tons of blackberries, cherry, pepper and vanilla with a little bit of mint. If you like rich, full-bodied wines with dark fruit flavours, then you might want to try a Cabernet Sauvignon from Navarro Correas Private Collection which since a few moths you now easily can get over here in Europe by an excellent deliverer.

When you are looking for a nice rich tempting wine with a big, nutty, creamy nose or bitter cherry awash with orange peel and gravely splendour, you might find it at Pequeña SudAmerica.

As the second largest country in South America and the eighth largest in the world by land mass, Argentina could even offer much more in case the country would have been more organised and receiving more support from those in charge.

Beers

Beer Trial PackStylistically Argentina is perhaps the most European of Latin American countries, especially when it comes to cuisine. You can find the traditional wineries (the world’s fifth biggest wine producer) and you also may find the principal beer types which were based on central European styles of lager and wheat beer. It is impossible to taste every beer produced in South America, Pequeña Sudamerica offers a very good selection of 6 or 7 selected beers in a trial pack.

The historical influences in South America which have created a cuisine that offers a variety of delicacies has also brought some very, very tempting sweets around the corner. For diabetics is it not always so easy, because a lot of sweets and drinks are very sweet.
But nimble fingers and kitchen princesses can already prepare a lot for those who want a taste of that delicious South America.

Craftworks

It might not always be easy to bring Argentinian wines over to Europe, but for traditional artisans, it is even more difficult to get their goods over to Europe. Those craftsmen in particular have serious difficulties to virtuously market their products.

Carla Scalia

Carla Scalia

With corona-restrictions the Argentinian Carla Scalia, now living in Belgium, could only go twice to her home country to bring some beautiful handicrafts from her family and friends with her. Therefore those craft works are very limited. And because they are not made in a factory they are all individual pieces of art, which makes them special. This makes that when you might see some sculptures or drawing on the website, next time you come onto the website they already might be gone.

Mate Alados by Noelia Álvarez

All the South American accessories Pequeã SudAmerica is offering are hand made by local artists, and by selecting it properly at the artist’s workshop this is how they ensure to always offer you the best quality. As such they present mate cups of the best quality in an exclusive and unique design, hand painted and varnished for complete protection.

You also shall be able to find a selection of original accessories for your kitchen and table.

From the southern United States to northern South America the Lignum vitae, with its evergreen leaves can be found. As a source of a very hard and heavy wood that is brownish green in colour, the wood being relatively waterproof because of its high fat content, makes it ideal for making kitchen utilities. It is used to make pulleys, shafts, axles, and bowling balls, and Pequeña SudAmerica is offering the tropical wood in magnificent small objects, like food and toothpicks.

Argentinian artist Noelia Álvarez, who has performed incredible exhibitions in San Rafael, Mendoza and Buenos Aires in Argentina and Catalonia, Spain, is not only responsible for a great variety of mate cups with a unique design. Although her work focuses on paintings with incredible designs and details, Noelia has taken her passion to the limit and from painting large murals and paintings in acrylic on canvas, she designed very beautiful and exclusive wooden mate cups.

For sure, the founders of the webshop Pequeã Sudamerica took great risks to start their business to bring Sud American articles to the European continent, whilst there was and still is a Coronacrisis, limiting them going back and forth to Argentina to contact local traders, to support them and offer them a fair price for their goods. At the moment Carla Scalia her parent’s wines are not yet available, but perhaps this would be made possible in the future (when some good shipping arrangements could be organised).

Pequeña Sudamérica, or “Little South America”, has the goal to make South Americans in Europe taste home again, and get Europeans to experience their great specialities.
In addition to the best known mate tea brands, you shall be able to find a wide variety of drinks, delicacies and accessories.

We would say:

Enjoy some chocolate and dulce de leche products at your afternoon tea.

And enjoy South America at your home in our wet regions, so that the sun (at least) may shine in your house.

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Please find the shop:  https://pequena-sudamerica.eu/en/

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Preceding

Let South America come to you #1 Reasons to stay away from South America

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Let South America come to you #1 Reasons to stay away from South America

When you can not go to South America, why do you not bring South America into your home?

Reasons to stay away from South America

Virustime

2020-2021 was no time to go to South America because of a acute respiratory syndrome virus attacking the population badly. Brazil is the Latin American country affected the most by the COVID-19 pandemic. As of July 27, 2021, the highest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Latin America could be recorded, and Brazil could be placed third highest in the world, the country had reported approximately 19.7 million cases. It was followed by Argentina, with more than 4.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19. In total, the region had registered more than 40 million diagnosed patients, as well as a growing number of fatal COVID-19 cases.

As of July 27, 2021, more than 1.3 million people have died due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Latin America and the Caribbean. The country with the highest number was Brazil, reporting more than 550 thousand deaths. As a result of the pandemic, Brazil’s GDP is forecast to decline by approximately six percent in 2020. Meanwhile, Mexico ranked second in number of deaths, with over 238 thousand occurrences.

Elena Ruiz, 53, breathes in oxygen with the assistance of a nurse, as part of Ruiz's recovery treatment from COVID-19, in Lima, Peru Peru has more than 2.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19

Classified as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization (WHO) on June 17, the lambda, or C.37, variant of the coronavirus has already been detected in some US states and at least 29 nations — many of them in Latin America.

In Peru, where it was identified in August 2020, the lambda variant accounted for more than 80% of new infections in June, and it is also spreading rapidly in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.

Coronavirus lambda variant spreads across Latin America

The WHO classified C.37 as a “variant of interest” after it appeared in a number of countries simultaneously. In Peru, where the lambda variant was identified in August 2020, it now accounts for most of new infections.

Elena Ruiz, 53, breathes in oxygen with the assistance of a nurse, as part of Ruiz's recovery treatment from COVID-19, in Lima, Peru Peru has more than 2.1 million confirmed cases of COVID-19

Classified as a “variant of interest” by the World Health Organization (WHO) on June 17, the lambda, or C.37, variant of the coronavirus has already been detected in some US states and at least 29 nations — many of them in Latin America.

In Peru, where it was identified in August 2020, the lambda variant accounted for more than 80% of new infections in June, and it is also spreading rapidly in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Mexico.

“So far we have seen no indication that the lambda variant is more aggressive,”

WHO virologist Jairo Mendez-Rico told DW.

“It is possible that it may exhibit higher infection rates, but we don’t yet have enough reliable data to compare it to gamma or delta.”

Alpha (B.1.1.7), beta (B.1.351) delta (B.1.617.2) and gamma (P.1) are also categorized as “variants of concern” by the WHO. The classification indicates that they are more transmissible and more difficult to treat and can lead to more serious illness.

“Although it is possible, currently there is no indication that variants are more dangerous and lead to increased mortality,”

said Mendez-Rico.

“It is likely that SARS-CoV-2 will become more transmissible throughout the course of its evolution but not necessarily more damaging.”

Time to stay away

The Lambda version spread more quickly than variants deemed far more dangerous by the WHO out of the way, even prevailing over the gamma variant, which had run rampant in neighboring Brazil. But with all the variants going around it is not the ideal time to go to South America when you are not really needed overthere.

Virologist Pablo Tsukayama said lambda was more transmissible, which had helped it spread so quickly in Peru.

“With […] the highest mortality rates in the world, we are the country that has struggled most when it comes to the coronavirus,”

he said.

“Therefore, it is probably no wonder that the new variant has gotten its start here.”

By the end of July, COVID-19 deaths in Peru had surpassed 195,000.

“It is very likely that new variants will appear during a third wave of coronavirus infections during the South American winter between July and September,”

said Tsukayama.

 “They may not be any more lethal but they will definitely be more communicable.”

Last month the landlocked country in south-central South America Paraguay registered 18.09 deaths per million, compared with 2.71 in India, 2.2 in South Africa, 1.01 in the US, and 0.14 in the UK.

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted essential health services in most countries and territories in Latin America and the Caribbean, threatening immunization of children and care of expectant mothers and people with chronic conditions, Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Carissa F. Etienne warned.

Attractive New World

For many the New World, the Western Hemisphere, or simply the Americas is something which is very attractive and lets us dream a lot. South America is compact and roughly triangular in shape, being broad in the north and tapering to a point — Cape Horn, Chile—in the south.

Having a total area of about 6,878,000 square miles (17,814,000 square km), or roughly one-eighth of the land surface of Earth it has so much to offer, one needs months or years to properly visit it and to taste all the goodness of it.
Mount Aconcagua, in Argentina, near the border with Chile, is not only the continent’s highest point but also the highest elevation in the Western Hemisphere. The Valdés Peninsula, on the southeastern coast of Argentina, includes the lowest point, at 131 feet (40 metres) below sea level. In relation to its area, the continent’s coastline — some 15,800 miles in length — is exceptionally short. San José Gulf was officially decreed a wildlife sanctuary in 1974.

With a grand total of 12 countries packed into the 4th largest continent in the world, South America easily presents a lot of terrain and culture to cover, though not all places are very safe to visit, because of political and crime- but now also because of health risks.

Notwithstanding all the difficulties many countries of that continent have to cover it is a continent teeming with superlatives. According to some it is also next to New Zealand the most of what our fantastic planet has to offer.

South America may very well be the place to visit to see many wonders of the world, but for sure now is not the time to do it. Colouring ‘red’  it looks like you shall have to wait some time before it will be alright to visit it.

But do not worry, if you want already some taste of it, you can get it (if not today) already tomorrow.

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Continues with

Let South America come to you #2 For those with a good taste

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Additional reading

  1. Avoiding to get Water at the price of gold #2 Dealing with effects of a changing climate
  2. 2019 was #1 a Year of Raising fire and voices
  3. CoViD-19 Curation
  4. Challenges of the Post-Pandemic period
  5. Looking at: ‘The rich are getting richer, and the poor are… also getting richer’ by Daniel Hannan

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  5. Brazil sees a significant fall in the average number of deaths due to Covid-19
  6. Venezuela Is Without a Vaccination Plan
  7. Murió por coronavirus Gino Renni, el actor italiano que conquistó a los argentinos con su humor
  8. Por fin Logre mi Vecina Argentina Viniera a visitarme , Vean como se sienta encima de la verga y la se la mete entera en la cola
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  12. by Gateway Landscape Photography on Flickr.Avenue of the Glaciers, Beagle Channel, Tierra del Fuego, Chile.
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97-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor scoring high on TikTok

Tik Tok a youngster gadget

We know already of Hadassah Tirosh who has amassed over 2 million followers on TikTok, where she proudly and openly shares about her Jewishness. She is not only Jewish, but also a Mexican Israeli trans content creator. whose early content, which begins in December of 2019 was posted under her previous name, David, who she remembers fondly and has taken the time to thank for helping her become the person she is today — she’s seen proudly wearing different colourful kippahs, her Star of David necklace and being generally proud and open about her Jewishness.

In 2021 Tik Tok is the seventh most used in the world, with the majority of its users being millennial and Gen Z. But it might be a very high surprise to find a 97-year old lady being a “hipster”.
Lily Ebert isn’t your typical 97-year-old. In June, after only joining the platform earlier this year, Ebert reached 1 million followers on Tik Tok and has now amassed over 1.2 million in total.
How?
Ebert is a Holocaust survivor and, together with her great-grandson Dov Forman who runs her account, is teaching the internet about her remarkable life and experiences as a survivor of Auschwitz and how she made a life for herself after liberation.

Lily Ebert from the camps

Lily Ebert

Lily Ebert, born in Bonyhád, Hungary on 29th December 1923

Originally from Hungary, Lily Ebert, the eldest of six children in a happy and loving family. When the Nazis invaded Hungary in March 1944, her family got to face the worst nightmare one can wish for.

Shortly after Germany invaded Hungary, Lily, her mother and her siblings were sent to the ghetto, and soon after were put on a train, crammed into dark and almost airless cattle wagons, to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Lily at the age of about 4 or 5 had received from her mother a small gold pendant. Even then it wasn’t very expensive or unique but young Lily was very pleased with her present and now in the camp she did not want it to be taken by the Nazis. The small pendant had gone hiding, safe inside the heel of her mother’s shoe. Lily and her mother wore the same size of shoe and as they arrived at the camp her mother asked Lily to swap shoes with her.

Although this happened over 70 years ago Lily can still remember her arrival at the camp. After the long and terrible journey, ‘everyone was half-dead’. They were ordered to climb out of the train and stand together five in a row. There was a man with a stick in his hand. It was Dr Mengele, the notorious Nazi doctor who became known as the Angel of Death for his brutal experiments on inmates, though at the time Lily didn’t know who he was. With one movement of his hand Dr Mengele sealed the fate of the people before him. He sent people right or left — to life or to death. When they had arrived, Lily and her two sisters Renee and Piri were sent in one direction, while her mother Nina, brother Bela and sister Berta were sent to the left, the way to the gas chambers and crematorium. Lily never saw them again.

Lily had put on her mother’s shoes and was ordered to take a shower, whereafter her hair was cut, and their remaining belongings were stolen. It was her only remaining possession and a reminder of her happy childhood. It was a link to her murdered mother and a symbol of defiance. The Nazis would not be allowed to steal it! The Nazis left them with only their shoes, not having any idea of what was hidden in the heel of Lily’s shoe, the tiny pendant Lily’s last link with her mother. When the shoes wore out, she placed the pendant in her daily ration of bread. After about four months in Auschwitz, the sisters were transferred to an ammunition factory near Leipzig. The pendant went with them.

March to liberation after a human and a viral war

When the Front started closing in on the area, they were forced to leave Leipzig and sent on a two-day march. After seeing and suffering unimaginable horrors, on the second day of the march, April 13, 1945, they were finally liberated by Allied forces.

Lily tried to rebuild her life. She wore the pendant every day in memory of her murdered family. Eventually, she married and had children. In 1953 she was reunited with Imre, one of her brothers, who had been imprisoned in a Nazi labour camp. In 1967 she came to London with her husband and three children.

Having become a proud grandmother she came to face another life-threatening struggle: COVID-19. In January, she struggled with a brutal bout of the virus, but true to her nature, she fought through. For her it was her second chance to be alive.  It was then that her great-grandson Dov Forman decided to share a photo of his great-grandmother to Twitter celebrating her miraculous recovery.

Dov Forman

My 97-Year-old Great Grandma, Lily Ebert BEM – Auschwitz Survivor, has just recovered from Covid- 19. Today she went on her first walk in a month after making a miraculous recovery. A fighter and survivor

Image

The response was extraordinary; the photo has since been retweeted over 17,000 times and has received more than a quarter of a million likes, with people from all over the world responding to send their well-wishes and express their admiration for Lily’s strength and bravery.

Finding viral fame

On the back of this unexpected reaction, Dov set up a TikTok account for Lily. At first, their videos mainly consisted of Dov introducing his great-grandmother and encouraging people to follow the account in order to have her story reach as many people as possible. But once they started building up a following, people quickly began expressing an interest in the details of Lily’s extraordinary life.

Soon enough, the account became dedicated to answering followers’ questions about the Holocaust and Lily’s experiences of it, with questions ranging from asking what they ate in the camp, to what happened to babies that were born there, and what the sleeping conditions were like.

She also remembered some Hungarian poems and recites them on the application.

No human anymore, but just a number

Though it is not always easy to answer all the questions she gets, she finds it a necessary act:

“Of course it is hard but if I could survive it, I can talk about it. And for the future, to ensure that something similar [to the Holocaust] cannot happen again, I have to talk about it.”

Lily’s most viewed video, now with over 20 million views, shows her answering the question,

“How did it feel to get your number in Auschwitz?”

Revealing a faded tattoo on her left arm, Lily confidently tells her followers:

My number is A-10572. That is what I was, they did not call us by our name. We were no longer humans. We were only a number and we were treated like numbers.”

The video now has over 29,000 comments from people expressing their solidarity with Lily and gratitude for her honesty and strength.

Downsides of Tik Tok and Twitter, also platforms of hate talk

However, despite the overwhelmingly positive reactions and encouraging words of support, like all social media platforms, TikTok comes with its downsides, too. For Jewish creators on TikTok, the fun comes with a hefty dose of antisemitism.

It seems as if the kids on TikTok are churning out a new trend nearly every week. The never-ending scroll of the “For You Page” sends users on a twisting path of all sorts of niches and topics. The app truly has something for every interest, from sea shanty challenges to tortilla wrap hacks to — antisemitic caricatures?

In May, around the time when violence was escalating between Israel and Palestine, Ebert’s account received a slew of hateful antisemitic comments. In one particular instance, under a video of Lily simply wishing her followers “a lovely, peaceful weekend”, and by a repeated similar wish in Hungarian, her native language, she added “Shabbat Shalom,” despite the mundanity and kindness of this video, it quickly became the subject of a swarm of hateful comments. it went even so far that she was called to be responsible for the conflict between Israel and Palestine. Another said, “Happy Holocaust,” while another said,

“Ask her if she thinks the treatment of Palestinians reminds her [of] the treatment she got in the camp.”

Another response was

“Peace be upon Hitlar [sic]”

to one which asked if she believed the treatment of Palestinians reminded her of her treatment in the camps. All of this for a grandmother’s simple greeting. Sadly, this experience of antisemitic hate isn’t exactly unique.

Holocaust survivor Lily Ebert's TikTok account was hit with antisemitic messages. (Campaign Against Antisemitism via JTA)Although these comments were clearly abhorrent, unjustified and unacceptable, like everything else Lily and Dov handled them with the utmost dignity. Posting to Twitter, Dov wrote:

“Over the past few days my great Grandmother (Auschwitz survivor) and I have continued to receive messages of hate on Tiktok and Twitter… We will not allow this to stop us from educating about the horrors of the past, and what hatred can lead to. Hate only breeds hate.”

Hero Magnus, a university student and TikToker, explains how her Judaism-related content would often get slammed by offensive comments.

“The really vicious comments are usually from actual Nazis, and I just block and delete. When I was making a ton of Jewish content, I would get a couple of those on practically every video,”

she explains.

“I often also got casually mean stuff from Christians or culturally Christian atheists who wanted to tell me that Judaism is backwards, cultish or stupid.”

Additionally, Jews of Colour on TikTok experience vitriol both from outside the Jewish community and within.

Shekhiynah Larks, a Black Jewish TikTok creator, describes that, in fact, most of the antisemitism she experiences on the app comes from white Jews and Black non-Jews, not Neo-Nazis.

“When I do receive antisemitic comments, it’s more coded with anti-Blackness at the same time,”

Larks says.

“It’s more people posting ‘free Palestine’ on my page and asking me how I can be Black and a Jew, I’m being brainwashed by white Jews, and that I don’t care about Black people.”

She also notes that many white Jews comment on her videos asking her invasive questions that probe into her Jewish identity and conversion, showing they don’t really view her as Jewish enough.

Aviva Davis writes:

There are many white and white-passing Jews using their platforms to share information and educational resources about systemic racism and anti-Semitism and how one’s identities intersect and influence the way one is treated in society. This is great! Better yet, share resources created by Jews of Color (hint hint, nudge nudge).

Aviva Majerczyk remarks

While the invalidation of Jews of Color is rampant throughout the Jewish community in real life as well, on TikTok, these racist commenters may feel more empowered to voice their backwards views behind anonymous accounts.

Still going strong

Lily Ebert keeps going strong. She still wears the tiny gold pendant and shares its remarkable story with all those who have time to listen.

As part of their mission to teach people about the Holocaust and its devastating effects, Lily and Dov have now co-authored a book together called “Lily’s Promise: How I Survived Auschwitz and Found the Strength to Live.” to come out coming September.

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Angry Iranians marching on capital over water shortages

Blazing heat and water shortages hit Iran in July, especially the province of Khuzestan. The situation prompted protests from angry locals, which have been harshly suppressed. Reports say Iranian security forces used live ammunition and killed at least 8 people.

Dozens of Iranians marched down a major street in Tehran on Monday, online videos show, amid ongoing protests over water shortages in southwestern Iran.

The demonstrators are seen in the videos marching down Jomhuri Islami Avenue — or “Islamic Republic Avenue” in Farsi — and calling on police to support them. Men on motorbikes and those in cars behind them honk their horns in time with their shouts.

The demonstrators later dispersed peacefully. Security forces have maintained a heavier-than-normal presence recently in the Iranian capital.

The semi-official Fars news agency later reported the demonstrations, but blamed them on a power outage at a nearby shopping center on the avenue known for its electronics shops. Fars published a video online that shows police on motorcycles and on foot, at one point talking to the crowd.

While the protests were peaceful, several demonstrators shouted, “Death to the dictator!”

That phrase can lead to the demonstrator being arrested and prosecuted in the Islamic Republic, where the civilian government is overseen by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

 

Iran has faced rolling blackouts for weeks now, in part over what authorities describe as a severe drought. Precipitation had decreased by almost 50% in the last year, leaving dams with dwindling water supplies.

Iran has faced rolling blackouts for weeks now, in part over what authorities describe as a severe drought. Precipitation had decreased by almost 50% in the last year, leaving dams with dwindling water supplies.

The protests in Khuzestan come as Iran struggles through repeated surges of infections in the coronavirus pandemic and as thousands of workers in its oil industry have launched strikes for better wages and conditions.

Iran’s economy also has struggled under US sanctions since President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to unilaterally withdraw America from Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers, crashing the value of the Islamic Republic’s currency, the rial.

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The Iranian American Frieda Afary looking with (republican?) American eyes at Iran

We wonder where the Iranian American Frieda Afary  gets it from that it would be

leftists and so-called socialists around the world who support the Iranian regime as “anti-imperialist” or refuse to criticize it.

Lots of leftists and communists groups are totally against the Iranian regime and any form of oppression of citizens in general. We do know that there are several by Americans “so called leftists” or “communists” are doing good work to support people in Iran and Afghanistan and even are working hard to get them out of the hands of the Islamic murderers.

Frieda Afary should also wonder who is helping a lot of the protesters in Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq. the “leftists” and “communists” are bringing slogans on the streets like:

“Down with Dictatorship.”, “Down With Khamenei”, “We Don’t Want An Islamic Republic”, “The People Want the Regime to Fall.”

InIran: A New Wave of Mass Protests and StrikesFrieda Afary for the rest of her wrong remark (perhaps part of her American citizenship and paranoia for everything that seems “social”) seems to bring a very good overview of the terrible situation. She also seems to overlook that there are leftist groups who support the people and not the regime, even though she brings the words of a statement of solidarity by the Tehran Bus Workers’ Syndicate:

“The lack of water in Khuzestan today is rooted in the unprofessional, rapacious and profit-centered policies of the prior decades of capitalism in oil extraction and use of water for the steel industry, the income from which does not go to the people.  These insatiable policies have deprived the people of Khuzestan of safe drinking water.  Water is shut off for long hours and it is lacking for basic needs.  Farmers and cattle growers have also been damaged and lost their livelihoods.”  (https://www.akhbar-rooz.com/%d8%b3%d9%86%d8%af%db%8c%da%a9%d8%a7%db%8c-%d8%b4%d8%b1%da%a9%d8%aa-%d9%88%d8%a7%d8%ad%d8%af-%d8%b3%d8%b1%da%a9%d9%88%d8%a8-%d9%88-%da%a9%d8%b4%d8%aa%d8%a7%d8%b1-%d9%85%d8%b1%d8%af%d9%85-%d8%ac%d8%a7/)

She writes:

The latest protests have followed a series of nationwide strikes of temporary contract workers in Iran’s oil and gas industry which is also heavily based in Khuzestan. The strikes which began on June 19 and have spread to a hundred production sites, are demanding permanent employment status, a $500 monthly wage, safe working conditions and the right to organize and be free of police surveillance. Haft Tapeh sugar cane workers on strike in Khuzestan are also asking for COVID vaccination and expressing solidarity with protests against the lack of water.

In her interesting article she further looks at:

  • Economic Crisis and COVID Pandemic
  • Women Prisoners and Afghan Refugees
  • Iran’s Continuing Regional Ambitions and U.S. Imperialism’s “Solutions”
  • Needed Progressive Solidarity with Struggles inside Iran

Any effort to engage in solidarity with the struggles inside Iran begins not only with calling for the removal of U.S. sanctions and an end to Israel’s attacks, but also simultaneously holding the Iranian regime accountable for its repression and exploitation of the people and environment of the region.

Frieda Afary should know that several “leftist”, “socialists” and “communists” groups go against all the American interferences in the Middle East and urge for the immediate release of political prisoners, expressing solidarity with striking workers, feminist and environmental struggles, oppressed ethnic, sexual and religious minorities, and demanding Iran’s withdrawal from Syria, Iraq and an end to its interventions in Afghanistan, Lebanon and Yemen.

Please find the article to read > Iran: A New Wave of Mass Protests and Strikes

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Iran’s water crisis stokes another round of protests

The 42 years of Islamic fundamentalism proved that this so religious system is as corrupt like any other system where people in power try to earn as much they can for themselves (at the cost of the population).

We shall have to face not only political refugees but soon more ecological refugees.

Democracy for Iran

By Struan Stevenson

July 26 (UPI) –Prior to the 1979 revolution, Iran’s population of 34 million people relied on a stable water supply, sourced from millennia-old underground canals and aquifers. The Iranian revolution, hijacked by the mullahs, changed all that.

The theocratic regime handed control of the nationalized water industry — and indeed over 80% of all other business, industrial and service sectors — to the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the regime’s equivalent of the Gestapo. The IRGC answers directly to the elderly supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It pays no tax and corruptly siphons vast financial resources into its own pockets and into financing proxy wars and terrorism across the Middle East and further afield.

The IRGC members use oil revenues stolen from the Iranian people to race ahead with the clandestine construction of a nuclear weapon and ballistic missile delivery systems capable of reaching Tel Aviv, Israel…

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