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The Coronavirus pandemic shows how Americans are avoiding the risk of growing



The Coronavirus pandemic shows how Americans are avoiding the risk of growing

Do you remember the Asian flu of 1957-58? Or the Hong Kong flu of 1968-69? I do. I was a teenager during the first, an adult completing law school in the second. But even though I followed the news more than the average person of my age, I could not dredge up more than the faintest memory of the two.

I have no memory of schools being closed, though it turns out, several schools here and there. I have no memory of the lockdowns of cities or countries, of offices and closed factories and department stores, people who are banned from parks and beaches.

But these two influenza have a mortality rate that is roughly comparable to COVID-19. Between 70,000 and 116,000 people in the US die from Asian flu. That’s between 0.04 percent and 0.07 percent of the country’s population, somewhat more than 0.03% of the COVID-19 mortality rate so far.

Asian flu, unlike COVID-19, rarely is fatal to children and is more deadly to parents – and pregnant women.

Hong Kong Flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said, more precisely an estimated 100,000 people were killed in the US in 1968-70 (the year that included the Woodstock festival), 0.05 percent of the total population. Both flu has a high mortality rate among parents but, apparently, the proportion is not as high as COVID-19.

Again, there is no closure of national schools, no multi-month closures, no daily presidential news conference. It seems that both the leader of the country and most of his people feel that such drastic action is not necessary.

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Perhaps some of these calm reactions can be ascribed to the belief that vaccines will be developed, because other flu vaccines have been developed after the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918-19. But the flu vaccine was never fully effective, and nothing was widely available until after the Asian and Hong Kong flux swept the country.

Fundamental attitudes can change in a country for more than half a century, and very different responses to the coronavirus pandemic this year and influenza 50 and 60 years ago show that Americans today are far more risk averse, far more willing to undergo great discomfort and disruption to avoid marginal increases in fatal risk.

At least some of this can be explained by different experiences. Flus Asia and Hong Kong arrived in America in the middle and at the end of what I call the Midcentury Moment. That is my name for a quarter of a century after World War II when Americans enjoyed economic growth in low inflation, and the level of cultural uniformity and respect for institutions that are missed for some time now.

Midcentury Americans have living memories of World War II, with 405,000 American military deaths. They are not particularly troubled by the number of military deaths in Korea (36,000) and Vietnam (58,000) but by the failure of our leaders, after years of effort, to achieve victory.

Compare this with shouts of orders for fewer military deaths in Iraq (4,497) and Afghanistan (2,216). Yes, every death is a tragedy, but those numbers total less than the average number of deaths in America every day (7,707) in 2018. But Americans today, recipients of victories in the Cold War which are almost entirely bloodless, seem to turn pale pay human prices.

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They also seem to expect competent leaders to make policies that protect every life in any way. Such was the high agreement of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who said that the locking was not in vain if he only saved one life – even if he truly believed, he would impose and strictly enforce the 5 mph speed limit in New York State through the road .

You could argue that Americans at Midcentury Moment are too willing to accept a pandemic or battlefield death, just as they are too willing to accept racial segregation or to stigmatize an unusual lifestyle.

But there is also a strong argument that they have a more realistic understanding of the limits of the human condition and the efficacy of official action than Americans currently have – of course more than the governors stubbornly enforce the lock until the virus is removed and death drops to zero . .

Behind that stand is the assumption that there is an instant and painless solution to every problem, rather than the need to weigh conflicting goals and make tragic choices amid unavoidable uncertainty.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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