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Mink cull ordered in Denmark due to coronavirus mutation; Naples hospital gives oxygen to COVID patients in their cars

A look at how COVID-19 is impacting life around the world.

by Stranger’s Guide

Denmark

The Danish government ordered all farmed minks to be culled after scientific evidence showed a mutation of the coronavirus detected in minks could be transferred to humans, potentially affecting the efficacy of a future vaccine. But the controversial decision drew even more criticism when the government acknowledge it did not have the legal authority to order the killings outside of “risk zones for transmission.” Opponents of the measure say the decision spells the end of Denmark’s multi-million dollar mink fur industry. (The Local)

Italy

Campania has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in Italy, and its hospital appeared unable to cope with the influx of patients. The situation is so severe that one  hospital in Naples, Italy, gave suspected coronavirus patients oxygen in their cars as they queued for admission.  The daughter of one patient described the situation as shameful, saying “the health system here is totally collapsed.” (Euro Weekly News)

Argentina

South African gold mining firm AngloGold Ashanti suspended operations at its Cerro Vanguardia mine in Argentina after cases of COVID-19 were detected among its workforce. Argentina’s coronavirus cases now stand at more than 1.26 million. Back in May, the same company, which also owns the world’s deepest gold mine in South Africa, halted operations in its home country and put workers into isolation after 164 cases of COVID-19 were detected. At the time South Africa had the most cases of coronavirus in Africa. (Mining Technology)

Brazil

Brazil has suspended the Phase III clinical trial of one of China’s most promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates. Brazil’s health ministry said it had discovered that a participant in the trial experienced a “severe adverse event.” A spokesman for Chinese biotech firm Sinovac said the company doesn’t believe the incident was related to its vaccine. (Fortune)

Texas

Texas has over 1 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and the state’s funeral homes and hospitals are bracing for new wave of admissions and deaths. Since October, the number of patients in Texas hospitals has already almost doubled. In El Paso, hospitals are so overwhelmed that earlier this month the Department of Defense sent medical teams there to assist. Funeral homes in the area are preparing additional refrigerated storage space and El Paso County has installed 10 mobile morgues. (Texas Tribune)

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Asia

Indian Spoken Word

“I look nothing like my mother,” says Indian poet Nupur Saraswat in her spoken word video Twisted And Mine. “My hair, twisting like a pig’s tail at every end, my hips take too much space on the train, my breasts take too much space on my body. . . . It wasn’t long before I realized my body offended people . . . The girls around me were getting used to being sent home from school for wearing their skirts too short; I got used to being sent home for letting my big, black, curly hair down. The teachers would try to explain that my hair was inappropriate for an educational institution.”

Spoken word is fast becoming the vehicle of choice with which Indian youth express themselves. Frustrated with their political leaders and for years feeling disenfranchised, they use spoken-word poetry to talk about everything from relationships and sexuality to depression and suicide. No subject is off limits.

Shantanu Anand, who founded the Airplane Poetry Movement to help popularize spoken word in India, says it gives young people “a way to share that opinion which is not just a Facebook status or an essay.” Shruthi Mohan, who runs Open Sky, an open mic platform in cities across the country, says it has made “ranting and venting as a form as expression” acceptable.