Nations that didn't have tough pandemics til now, are starting to suffer in a big way. Malaysia begins a total 2 week lockdown tomorrow as the overwhelmed nation begins rationing care. The country has reported 5 consecutive days of record increases in cases.
Vietnam, suspended international fights as it confronts a deadly new variant, a hybrid of one from the UK and one from India. Ho Chi Minh City is locked down.
9 Asian countries reported over 4,000 new cases today:
India- 124,998, now over 28 million cases in total
Turkey- 6,493 (61,639 cases per million residents)
India reported (drastically unreported) 2,755 deaths today, the most in the world. (The closest country in deaths today, Russia, reported just 339) 5 other Asian countries that are experiencing increasing daily death counts has over 100 cases today: Iran, Indonesia, Turkey, Nepal, Philippines.
In the U.S., selfish, entitled conservatives have persuaded themselves that the pandemic either never happened-- some still believe it was a hoax like Trump originally claimed-- or that it's over and they are somehow immune. and they are ruining air travel for normal people. Today the NY Times reported that airports were packed for the Memorial Day weekend but that assholes are refusing to wear masks.
Passenger traffic has been climbing for much of this year and hit a pandemic peak on Friday, when more than 1.95 million passengers passed through security checkpoints in the nation’s airports, according to the Transportation Security Administration. That level was last reached in early March 2020, as the coronavirus was just beginning its devastating spread across the United States.
However, with the return of passengers and the prospect of an end to billion-dollar losses, airlines have also seen a surge in disruptive and sometimes violent behavior-- and a frequent flash point is the T.S.A.’s mandate that passengers remain fully masked throughout their flights.
Since Jan. 1, the Federal Aviation Administration has received about 2,500 reports of unruly behavior by passengers, of which about 1,900 involved refusals to comply with the mask mandate. The agency said that in the past it did not track reports of unruly passengers because the numbers had been fairly consistent, but that it began receiving reports of a “significant increase” in disruptive behavior starting in late 2020.
“We have just never seen anything like this,” Sara Nelson, the international president of the Association of Flight Attendants, said during an online meeting with federal aviation officials on Wednesday. “We’ve never seen it so bad.”
Two major airlines, American and Southwest, have postponed plans to resume serving alcohol on flights because of such incidents. American Airlines specified that alcohol sales-- except in first and business class-- would remain suspended through Sept. 13, when the T.S.A. mask mandate is set to expire.
Both airlines announced the shift after a woman punched a flight attendant in the face on a Southwest Airlines flight from Sacramento to San Diego a week ago, an assault that was captured on a widely watched video.
The flight attendant lost two teeth, according to her union, and the passenger has been charged with battery causing serious bodily injury and barred for life from flying Southwest.
More than a month ago, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention changed its guidelines, saying that fully vaccinated people did not need to wear masks in most situations-- except in airplanes, on mass transit, in health care centers and in congregate settings, like prisons.
On Sunday, on the CNN program State of the Union, the transportation secretary, Pete Buttigieg, was asked what scientific evidence justified keeping the airplane mask mandate. “Part of it has to do with unique conditions of the physical space,” Buttigieg said. “Part of it has to do with the workplace and folks who don’t have a choice about being there.”
“The bottom line is, we have a set of rules in place to keep people safe,” he added, “and I really hope that travelers will respect flight attendants, bus operators, workers, anybody who is simply doing their job to keep people safe.”
Shouldn't the passenger who knocked out the flight attendant's teeth be barred from all airports for life?