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Indigenous Tribes In South America Blockade Their Villages In Preparation To COVID-19 Pandemic

The world has been fixated on the coronavirus as it has spread from Wuhan, Hubei Province, China to every continent, except Antarctica. More than 40,600 people have died of the disease that has infected more than 820,000 people across six continents. So far, more than 174,000 have recovered from the illness. Now, the disease is in Latin America and we are going to keep you updated on its spread.

Update March 31, 10:46 a.m. PST: Indigenous tribes in South America are blockading their villages to protect themselves from COVID-19.

Indigenous communities around the world are preparing to ride out the COVID-19 health pandemic the best way they can. Some indigenous leaders are asking for help to protect their communities from COVID-19. Many indigenous tribes are voluntarily isolated from the rest of the world leaving them particularly vulnerable to diseases. This is because their isolation has left them with no immunity or protection from most diseases.

“We call on governments to intensify surveillance and protection of indigenous territories, many of which are invaded by miners, drug traffickers, loggers, land-grabbers and tourists,” Claudette Labonte, a member of the Kamuyeneh community in French Guiana and a member of the Congress of Indigenous Organizations of the Amazon Basin (COICA), told AFP.

Labonte continued to argue that government help is needed because of the illegal miners and others who are using the pandemic as a way to encroach on the protected indigenous lands. These moments could lead to the indigenous people being infected by sick loggers and miners.

Update March 24, 11:06 a.m. PST: Global economists and health experts warn that Mexico is not prepared for the outbreak.

Most of the world’s governments are grappling with how to better handle the COVID-19 outbreak. However, Mexico seems to be dragging their feet when it comes to responding to the health pandemic that has shut down one-third of the United States. In stark contrast to most major international cities, Mexico City remains open and bustling as the Mexican president calls for calm from citizens.

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has led his country into a “business as usual” mentality. According to reports, President López Obrador doesn’t want to impose major lockdowns and restrictions until absolutely necessary. This kind of attitude, economist and health experts warn, would lead to an outbreak worse than what the world saw in Italy.

The country’s stock market has already started to strain under the pressure of COVID-19. Economists warn that the outlook for Mexico’s stock market is grim but the president, through action, could ease the full impact.

Update March 17 – 11:22 a.m. PST: The number of cases in Latin America continues to climb as El Salvador implemented nationwide quarantine.

“I know this will be criticized, but let’s put ourselves in Italy’s shoes. Italy wishes they could’ve done this before,” Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele said in a national address. “Our health system is not at Italy’s level. It’s not at South Korea’s level.”

President Bukele’s national quarantine means that schools are closed for three weeks, gatherings of more than 500 people are banned, foreign travelers from high-risk countries are barred from entering the country, and all Salvadorans returning from trips abroad will be quarantined for 30 days.

Puerto Rico has implemented an island-wide curfew to combat the spread of the virus.

Puerto Rican Governor Wanda Vázquez reprimanded Puerto Ricans for not obeying guidance to self-isolate and practice social distancing. In response, Gov. Vázquez instituted a curfew from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. and shut most businesses on the island until March 30. The only people exempt are supermarkets, banks, pharmacies, medical equipment stores, gas stations, restaurants offering take out and delivery, and their suppliers. Violators face a $5,000 fine or six months in jail for breaking the executive order.

Update March 13 – 1:24 p.m.: The novel coronavirus has been reported in Venezuela.

To cases have been confirmed in Venezuela. The South American country is in a yearslong battle over their government that has left them with no medicine, little food, and a devastated economy. Doctors in Venezuela fear that the coronavirus could pose a major threat to hospitals that might be overwhelmed with patients that cannot be treated.

The virus has also entered Panama, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Cuba, Bolivia, and Paraguay.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro recently contradicted earlier reports that he tested positive for the coronavirus.

Update: President Trump has backpedaled on his plan to close the southern border in response to the coronavirus concern.

Credit: @SenJeffMerkley / Twitter

President Trump originally announced that he was considering closing the southern border with Mexico because of concerns about the coronavirus. At the time, Mexico had 5 confirmed cases of the virus while the U.S. had more than 80. On March 3, Trump changed his messaging and said they aren’t invested in the decision due to a lack of evidence.

Brazil, Mexico, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina, and the Dominican Republic have all reported cases of COVID-19.

Ecuador is currently grappling with the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Latin America. Seven people have tested positive after a woman in her 70s tested positive for coronavirus in February after visiting Madrid. The woman is in critical condition. In Mexico, where there are 5 confirmed cases, first detected the virus in two men who had recently traveled to northern Italy. The Dominican Republic has reported one case who is an Italian national visiting the island. Brazil diagnosed a second case, who is a 32-year-old patient in São Paulo. A 32-year-old man was diagnosed as the first coronavirus patient in Argentina after a trip to northern Italy. Chile reported a patient who had recently spent time in Singapore.

The first case of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19 has been reported in Brazil.

Credit: @yehudafruchter / Twitter

The first case in Latin America was confirmed in Brazil. The patient, a 61-year-old man who was in northern Italy for business, tested positive for COVID-19 after returning to São Paulo. The man checked himself into a hospital when he began to show signs of a fever, sore throat, and a cough.

Brazil’s Carnival celebrations have begun and the possibility of an outbreak is weighing heavily on some Brazilians.

Credit: @Richierlich / Twitter

According to The New York Times, Brazil Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta is optimistic that they will be able to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. However, former Health Minister José Gomes Temporão notes that the Brazilian government has been hit with spending cuts in recent years.

“We are cutting resources to public health, and we will need additional resources now,” Temporão told The New York Times.

Brazil has reportedly been working in preparing for the coronavirus for weeks leading up to Carnival.

Credit: @BombergerDanny / Twitter

Despite the work, many fear that Brazil’s under budget and overstressed public health system might not be able to handle an outbreak. However, health officials told The New York Times that it appears that the Albert Einstein Israelite Hospital in São Paulo acted quickly using best practices to admit and quarantine the sick man.

The coronavirus has shown up in 38 countries on six continents around the world, including the U.S.

Credit: @Farenthold / Twitter

There are currently more than 50 cases of the coronavirus that have been reported in the U.S. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is warning Americans of the possibility of a more aggressive plan to limit the spread of the virus. The virus is spreading quickly across the world since it was first detected and reported in Wuhan, China at the end of December 2019.

President Donald Trump has come under fire from health officials for not understanding the true magnitude of the virus.

Credit: @realDonaldTrump / Twitter

The CDC issued a troubling warning of the virus the same day President Trump claimed that the coronavirus won’t have a large impact on the U.S. population. According to the CDC, they expect the virus to spread widely enough in the U.S. to cause a “disruption to everyday life.”

In a statement on the website, the CDC calls COVID-19 “a serious public health risk.” While it is not currently recognized as spreading in the U.S., the CDC does have a plan ready in case the virus begins to spread in U.S. communities.

“Community-level nonpharmaceutical intervention might include school dismissals and social distancing in other settings (e.g., postponement or cancellation of mass gatherings and telework and remote-meeting options in workplaces),” reads the CDC website. “These measures can be disruptive and might have societal and economic impact on individual persons and communities. However, studies have shown that early layered implementation of these interventions can reduce the community spread and impact of infectious pathogens such as pandemic influenza, even when specific pharmaceutical treatments and vaccines are not available. These measures might be critical to avert widespread COVID-19 transmission in U.S. communities.”

An earlier video from the CDC claims the risk of infection is low but for people to use tactics used to prevent the spread of the flu.

The CDC warns that people need to be vigilant about staying home from work, school, social gatherings, and other social activities if they are sick. The coronavirus symptoms are similar to the flu with a fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. The CDC is asking for people to remain vigilant as we are in the time of year where other illnesses with similar symptoms, like the flu and common cold, are spreading in the U.S.

If you would like to learn more about COVID-19 and what to do if you think you have contracted the virus, click here and read what the CDC recommends.

READ: Four Year Old Left Blind After She Caught A Severe Case Of The Flu—Her Parents Have A Message: Get Your Child Vaccinated

Nurse Shares Heartfelt Video Explaining Why She Had To Quit Her Job During The COVID-19 Outbreak

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Nurse Shares Heartfelt Video Explaining Why She Had To Quit Her Job During The COVID-19 Outbreak

nurse.iv / Instagram

The COVID-19 health crisis is shutting down governments around the world. The global infection rate crossed 1 million on April 2 and continues to climb. In the U.S., nurses and doctors are facing severe equipment shortages leaving many of the front-line workers vulnerable to contracting the virus, which has already killed more than 5,780 Americans. One nurse shared a heartbreaking video of her explaining why she had to quit her job as the crisis continues to unfold.

Imaris is a nurse in Chicago, one of the cities expected to see a high number of COVID-19 cases.

View this post on Instagram

#NURSESCAN 2020! 👩🏻‍⚕️✊🏼 So I have been off of work for about two weeks now and on my last day of work, there was only 1 confirmed #covid19 case in the county that I am working in. Today there is 130 confirmed cases, 1 death, and my city just shutdown the Lakefront and all parks. ⠀ I am scared 😥 No doubt about that. I am not sure what to expect, but I have honestly tried to keep myself at a distance from social media and the media in general; the information overload can be hard to sift through as far as what is credible and what is not, it triggers me. ⠀ I already suffer with anxiety and bi-polar depression and was feeling a heavy toll with transitioning back into the ICU after being away from the bedside for over a year. I am now feeling already defeated before walking onto the battlefield; I know this isn't the right mindset, but I am just sharing my raw emotions and thoughts with you all right now. I am hoping to have a change of morale real soon. ⠀ If there is one thing I know, it's that n̶o̶t̶h̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶h̶a̶p̶p̶e̶n̶s̶ without 𝓮𝓯𝓯𝓸𝓻𝓽 𝓸𝓻 𝓪𝓬𝓽𝓲𝓸𝓷, so here are the three things I plan on doing to put forth my part for 𝗺𝘆𝘀𝗲𝗹𝗳 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆 and how 𝕪𝕠𝕦 𝕔𝕒𝕟 𝕥𝕒𝕜𝕖 𝔸ℂ𝕋𝕀𝕆ℕ 𝕥𝕠𝕠 against C̶O̶V̶I̶D̶-̶1̶9̶. ⠀ 1️⃣ Keeping up with your outlets and reputable resources. Your outlets are the people you're isolating with, usually loved ones. Talk to them, talk to each other and do mental check ins. Resources I've kept up with are the World Health Organization ( @who ), and The Centers for Disease Control ( @cdcgov ). ⠀ 2️⃣ For those of you who are working at institutions running out of the #N95masks, gloves, gowns and goggles you need in order to care for the #covid_19 patients, please click the link 🔗 in my bio to notify Congress to get you #PPE ! #GETMEPPE. ⠀ 3️⃣ Join the #NursesCan campaign! 💪🏼 Inspired by the “We Can Do It!" #rosietheriveter poster, the campaign was created by @nurse.georgie to boost nurse worker moral and share stories from our modern-day nurse heroes during our country’s COVID-19 #pandemic.⁣ Link 🔗 in bio! ⠀ ⠀ ⠀ ⠀

A post shared by ❥ Imaris | Nursing & Lifestyle (@nurse.iv) on

Illinois has seen an increase in cases recently. The latest numbers from Illinois show that 7,695 have tested positive for COVID-19. There have also been 157 deaths in the state.

According to her Instagram, Imaris is no stranger to the ICU and emergency situations.

As the war rages against COVID-19, hospitals and health care workers are calling for more equipment to help them fight. There is a shortage of personal protection equipment (PPE) including face masks, face shields, gowns, and gloves. PPEs keep the doctors and nurses safe when they are interacting with and treating sick patients.

The Chicago-based nurse took to Instagram to share her story about fighting COVID-19 and why she had to quit.

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I chose 𝓂𝓎 𝓁𝒾𝒻𝑒 today… ⠀ & my family members who have pre-existing conditions that wouldn’t get a ventilator if they contracted #COVID19 from me ⠀ I had a different idea in mind when I got to my #ICU this morning; I expected to see ALL OF OUR #NURSES & STAFF wearing #N95 masks but 𝙣𝙤 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙝𝙖𝙙 𝘼𝙉𝙔𝙏𝙃𝙄𝙉𝙂 𝙊𝙉… ⠀ Each ICU room had ‘make-shift’ ante-rooms attached to them created with plastic tarp & massive amounts of tape.. ⠀ A charge Nurse was passing out single N95 masks to nurses with a brown paper bag for them to store their mask in which was to be in inside their plastic ante-rooms & to 𝙗𝙚 𝙧𝙚-𝙪𝙨𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙧𝙚-𝙖𝙥𝙥𝙡𝙞𝙚𝙙 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙙𝙖𝙮… ⠀ I asked “well what if there’s possible contamination to that N95 mask..? What about my safety” ⠀ My manager told me “well our staff safety is our main priority right now … if we get enough masks, we may consider having staff wear surgical masks in the weeks to come..” ⠀ I replied, “But it’s Airborne… those surgical masks won’t protect us ..” ⠀ My manager then tells me “ we’ve kept up with the CDC & it is only when the COVID patient has any aerosol type treatments like a ventilator, nasal cannula, nebulizer etc that’s it’s airborne..otherwise it’s droplet ..” ⠀ I replied “& 90% of our patients are intubated, paralyzed, & positive for COVID.. people not even in the hospital environment are spreading it .. we have to assume everyone is infected..especially in the hospital environment, & 𝕟𝕠 𝕠𝕟𝕖 𝕙𝕖𝕣𝕖 𝕖𝕧𝕖𝕟 𝕙𝕒𝕤 𝕒 𝕕𝕣𝕠𝕡𝕝𝕖𝕥 𝕞𝕒𝕤𝕜 𝕠𝕟” ⠀ I then told her of nurses wearing a surgical droplet masks on their units & now intubated & fighting for their lives … ⠀ Tears were streaming down my face & fog in my glasses at this point.. ⠀ I thought to myself.. 𝘏𝘰𝘸 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘐 𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘳𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘰𝘳 𝘣𝘶𝘺 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘴, 𝘮𝘺 𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘴..? ⠀ I asked one last time pleading with tears in my eyes.. ⠀ “Can I please just wear 𝐦𝐲 𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐍𝟗𝟓 𝐦𝐚𝐬𝐤… I understand we have a shortage but I have my OWN ” ⠀ My manager told me that they couldn’t allow me to wear it. ⠀ So I gave report, & left. ⠀ America is NOT prepared & Nurses are NOT safe. Plz DM me any telehealth jobs.

A post shared by ❥ Imaris | Nursing & Lifestyle (@nurse.iv) on

Imaris broke down what so many health care workers are currently facing. There is a shortage of the things they need to keep themselves safe. The nurse was most concerned about the lack of masks being given to nurses, 91 percent of whom are women. The lack of basic safety equipment bothered the nurse because she believes it does nothing to protect the nurses. In response, the nurse quit and warned viewers that “America is NOT prepared & Nurses are NOT safe.”

People are showing support for the nurse.

Credit: datninjachris / Instagram

If you know someone working in health care, you understand the concern for their safety. The Chicago nurse says int he video that she is scared of going home to her family without having used the protecting gear all day.

Thank a health care worker today. They could use positive energy.

READ: A Group Of Women At A Migrant Detention Center Demanded Information About Covid-19, Then They Were Pepper Sprayed

More Than A Million Farmworkers Are Putting Themselves At Risk During The Coronavirus Pandemic And Here’s Why

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More Than A Million Farmworkers Are Putting Themselves At Risk During The Coronavirus Pandemic And Here’s Why

Ariana Drehsler / Getty

Spring is peak farming season across the United States and it’s coming just as the Coronavirus is tearing its way across the country – impacting communities across all fifty states. With such a high demand for agricultural workers, thousands of foreign guest workers are descending on farm fields to join a labor force that has endured the hardships of crowded boarding houses, law enforcement raids, and indentured servitude for generations.

But now the workers who are critical to the nation’s food supply will face a nemesis they’ve never encountered.

Because of the Coronavirus, millions of people have been ordered to stay at home – but farmworkers are considered ‘essential workers’ and still have to work.

States like California have told residents to stay home because of the threat of COVID-19, but thousands of farmworkers are still showing up at work — while also worrying that their employers are not doing enough to protect or support them.

More than a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of its fruits and nuts are grown in California. Stay-at-home orders in California exempt farmworkers as essential employees. But many are undocumented, lack health insurance and don’t qualify for unemployment insurance or federal COVID-19 relief, placing the state’s estimated workforce of 420,000 in a vulnerable position.

So far, employers are doing little to protect or even inform their workers of precautions and protective measures.

Credit: @TomasOvalle / Twitter

According to a statement to NBC News from Armando Elenes, secretary treasurer at United Farm Workers, an overwhelming majority of farmworkers have not heard from their employers. “That’s really discouraging,” he said. “It’s not costing them anything except a little bit of care, a little bit of time.”

“We need to care about these workers that are doing that hard work, heavy work, dignified work, professional work,” said Elenes. “They’re the backbone of the food supply chain.”

The latest Economic Policy Institute report suggests growers “should also provide health insurance and paid sick days.”

Meanwhile, many farmworkers are already considered at high-risk for complications related to a Coronavirus infection.

Farm workers are an ageing labor force facing higher rates of respiratory disease and hypertension: all factors that would put them at greater risk for more deadly Covid-19 complications. And the masks that shield them from dust and pesticides, and that would also protect against the virus, are now in short supply for frontline workers across the world.

If they are unfortunate enough to fall ill with Covid-19, farm workers would qualify for the additional sick leave provided through the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the national legislation that expanded paid leave amid the Covid-19 crisis, but most would probably struggle to pay the resulting healthcare costs. Many farm workers have no health insurance.

Organizations across the country are coming to defend farmworkers and demand protections.

The explosive growth of the novel coronavirus prompted one of the nation’s oldest farm labor organizations on Monday to push for new safety standards for thousands of the workers and demand that growers provide medical care during outbreaks.

“If it reaches the agricultural community, it will devastate them,” said Baldemar Velasquez, founder of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee. “There won’t be a safety net,” he told Buzzfeed News.

Velasquez, who founded the advocacy group in 1967, said he is requesting that workers abide by social distancing rules, request isolation quarters if they get sick, and ensure their employers take them to hospitals.

If the growers refuse, Velasquez, who has led farm labor strikes, said his group is prepared to file lawsuits. “These are among the most vulnerable workers in the country,” he told Buzzfeed News. “It’s a national problem.”

The recent stimulus bill passed by Congress could offer some hope to a minority of farmworkers.

Credit: Ariana Drehlser / Getty

Lawmakers signed a $3 trillion stimulus package last week to combat the coronavirus. While the aid will help many families, it excludes many farmworkers.

At least 50 percent of all farmworkers are undocumented, according to United Farm Workers. Even though the government considers them essential workers, they will most likely be ineligible for the relief payment most U.S. households will receive.

The bill does provide that guest workers receive emergency sick pay — but it’s up to the farmers to provide protections, including social distancing and any facilities they build for quarantine.

If there’s any positive out of this, it’s that people may start caring more about farmworkers rights.

The coronavirus crisis prompted renewed attention to farmworkers’ critical role as residents often find empty supermarket shelves cleaned out by people stockpiling food supplies and sheltering in place.

These workers are essential today to the food supply — they’ve always been, but now there’s a new level of light shining on them. If people are fighting over toilet paper, imagine if they had to fight for food.