Things That Matter

Corona Beer Production Halted In Mexico Because Of Virus

There have been several businesses and industries that have suffered because of the outbreak of fo COVID-19. The virus, known as a novel coronavirus (novel meaning new), has forced around one-third of the world’s population to live under some kind of lockdown order. Now, Corona beer is the latest company to feel the power of COVID-19.

Update April 6, 2020, 11:41 a.m. PST: Corona beer production temporarily halted because of the virus.

Grupo Modelo, the company that makes Corona beer, announced on Twitter that it was stopping production of the beer. The decision was made to stay in compliance with Mexico’s order to stop non-essential business.

“We are one of the first companies in Mexico to implement and follow strict hygiene practices and safety regulations of the Mexican government and the World Health Organization,” read the statement shared on Twitter.

The statement continues to state that the company has a plan in place to activate 75 percent of their workforce. They’d work from home should the Mexican government deem them as essential as part of agriculture.

Original: We don’t mean to minimize the hardship that the newfound coronavirus has caused in China and the red alerts that the medical crisis has sparked all around the world. However, it is important to note how misinformation and Internet humor can lead to some people actually believing the most outlandish stories and explanations for the global health crisis.

Of course there have been conspiracy theories that claim that China was developing a biological weapon and things got out of control. This, of course has sparked all sorts of rumors, as is the case when global pandemics happen. But the fact remains that Chinese authorities have tracked the virus back to a market in Wuhan where exotic species and wild animals were being sold. It is believed that the virus, which is called “corona” because its shape resembles a crown, originated in a wild snake species and was then passed on to humans.

But of course for beer drinkers around the world the name reminded them of something else.

Credit: TopShelfRecords / Giphy

Yes, particularly for gringos the virus’ name had a particular resonance with the Mexican lager, renowned around the world for its crisp flavor and breezy palate. And also a reminder of many drunken nights or cruel hangovers. 

So, of course, the Internet being the Internet, memes relating the refreshing brew and the scary virus soon popped up everywhere!

Credit: Medium

So according to online chistes this is how the virus actually came about: with a compa having una chelita bien helada. If only this was true… 

Others just begged to be infected…

Credit: Stare Cat

.

… al mal paso darle prisa, they say. 

Others gave the memes a more geopolitical twist!

Credit: Stare Cat

It is no secret that U.S.-China relationships have deteriorated during the Trump administration and people soon got creative to throw political jabs at both sides. We wouldn’t be surprised, however, if some MAGA dudes actually believe something like this could actually be true. 

And of course where there is a Corona there is a lime… or lyme…?

Credit: Imgflip

Get it? Get it? Such a dad joke

The Mexican Internet has produced by far the best coronavirus related memes.

Credit: La Razón de Mexico

Just look at the estilacho on this compa, downing his chela with the aplomb of a true gentleman. 

And being “infected” became the best excuse for a drunken rampage

Credit: La Razón de Mexico

So if you get totally malacopa in a good old-fashioned borrachera, you can always blame the now celebre Corona-virus. 

But here’s the kicker… an increasing number of people actually believe there is a link between Corona beer and coronavirus! Yes, es neta!

Credit: El Imparcial

As Vice reported, Google search trends related to the virus obviously had an increase in the past few days as the disease spreads around the world and governments scramble to prevent populations from getting the disease that affects the upper respiratory tract, sometimes with fatal results. Searches such as “coronavirus symptoms” or “how do I prevent coronavirus” had a huge spike of 1050% in only a week.

However, the search trends also revealed a dark reality: people can be really ignorant when it comes to matters of public and personal health. As VICE reported, “there has also been a spike in searches for ‘corona beer virus,’ because apparently people are under the impression that coronavirus, also known as nCoV, has something to do with Corona brand beer.”

Some people claim that #fakenews doEs not actually cause any harm, but we beg to differ: people are ready and even willing to believe anything, particularly if it is just totally out of any scope of logic or common sense. 

And no, the searches do not originate in Mexico, where the beer is produced.

Credit: Picuki

The searches actually come from countries that are supposedly developed and whose citizens should definitely know better. VICE further reports: “The searches have been prevalent in North America (but not in Mexico, where the beer is produced) and western Europe (we see you, Finland), as well as in Australia, India, Indonesia, Japan, and New Zealand.” Just wow!

And it gets even worse. Far-right conspiracy theorists actually say that the best way to prevent the virus is by drinking bleach, as Daily Beast reports: “the conspiracy purveyors at QAnon are suggesting that the best way to protect yourself from coronavirus is by drinking bleach. In both tweets and videos, QAnon associates have suggested that their followers should purchase and consume a product called Miracle Mineral Solution, Miracle Mineral Supplement, or simply MMS.”

Just what is wrong with people?

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Just After Congress Approves $600 Stimulus Checks, Trump Threatens To Veto The Bill

Things That Matter

Just After Congress Approves $600 Stimulus Checks, Trump Threatens To Veto The Bill

Pixabay

Updated: December 23, 2020

Just days after the U.S. Congress approved legislation that would send millions of Americans much-needed stimulus checks – even though they were only $600 – Donald Trump has thrown the entire plan into chaos.

Donald Trump threatens to veto historic spending bill.

Trump is holding a veto threat over recently passed, bipartisan legislation that was aimed at stimulating a suffering economy. Trump says that he wants lawmakers to boost the $600 direct payments to checks for $2,000 but his own party is basically united against increasing the size of checks.

Many point out that Trump is simply holding up the legislation, not for the stimulus checks, but because he objects to other parts of the law. Within the spending package, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle approved spending for arts and cultural programs as well as aide to developing countries across the world.

Original Story Published: December 18, 2020

So it looks like millions of Americans may end up getting that long overdue second stimulus check after all. So long as Congress doesn’t screw things up again.

As part of the latest round of negotiation between Democrats and Republicans, it looks a like a proposal for $600 direct payments is back on the table. However, $600 is literally half of the amount that was sent out to millions of Americans back in April and May.

A new stimulus package could include direct payments to millions of Americans.

Congressional leaders are considering a new deal to help stimulate the economy which has been battered by the Coronavirus pandemic. And although it appeared, as recently as last week, that a second stimulus check was off the table, that seems to have changed.

The new deal under consideration included new stimulus checks and enhanced federal unemployment benefits, according to reports by Politico. Even President Trump said in a TV interview over the weekend that he wants stimulus checks in the deal, saying he wants to “see checks—for more money than they’re talking about—going to people.”

Millions of workers aren’t getting any help from the largest emergency aid deal in US history.

The bill, known as the CARES Act, delivers direct payments to most taxpayers, vastly expands unemployment benefits, and makes testing for the virus free, among other provisions.

But although unauthorized immigrants are no more immune from the effects of the current crisis, the stimulus bill conspicuously leaves them out in the cold — potentially putting them at greater economic and health risk, and impeding public health efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.

There are an estimated 10.7 million undocumented immigrants in the USA who are ineligible for emergency federal benefits or state unemployment insurance because they don’t have valid work authorization. 

That’s left an extra layer of anxiety for immigrants without legal status who have lost their jobs or seen work hours reduced amid the statewide shutdown of “nonessential” businesses. Many turned to local organizations for help to put food on the table and pay other expenses. 

Undocumented residents are already at greater risk of being affected by Covid-19 because of inadequate resources and access to health care.

The unauthorized worker population is particularly vulnerable to the virus due to inadequate access to health care. Noncitizens are significantly more likely to be uninsured compared to US citizens, which may dissuade them from seeking medical care if they contract the virus.

Compounding matters are the Trump administration’s hardline immigration policies — including wide-scale immigration raids and a rule that can penalize green card applicants for using Medicaid — which have made noncitizens afraid to access care. These factors pose a problem for America’s efforts to slow the spread of the virus, which has killed more than 12,000 in the US as of April 7.

Where the government is failing, advocates and organizations are stepping up to help.

Some immigrant advocates lobby for the undocumented to be included by allowing payments to those who file taxes using individual tax identification numbers, which are often used by workers without legal immigration status. 

“They should include at least the individual taxpayers,” said Diana Mejia, founder of the Wind of the Spirit, an organization that helps immigrants in New Jersey’s Morris County.  “They are paying taxes,” she added in an interview with CNN.

Filers who use ITINs contribute about $11.74 billion in state and local taxes each year, according to the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, a Washington think tank.

Aside from millions of undocumented migrants, millions of others are also being left out of the stimulus:

Credit: Department of Treasury

College Students and 17-Year-Olds: If someone else claims you as a dependent on their taxes, you won’t get your own check. Parents will get an extra $500 payment per child, but that’s only for kids under 17.

Most 17-year-olds, some young adults and many of the country’s roughly 20 million college students are claimed by their parents as dependents. They won’t get checks, and their parents won’t get an extra $500.

Disabled People: People who get disability benefits from the Social Security Administration or Veterans Affairs are eligible for the payments — but not disabled adults who are claimed as dependents by their parents or other relatives on their taxes

Seniors Who Live With Family: Senior citizens who are on Social Security or make less than the income cap are eligible. But the “dependent” rule applies to them, too. Some seniors who live with their adult children or other relatives are claimed by them as dependents on their taxes. Those seniors won’t get checks.

Immigrants are eligible for some free testing.

Credit: Pixabay

Here’s one thing the bill does offer to unauthorized immigrants: free coronavirus testing at government-funded community health centers through a $1 billion federal program. But some community health centers have already reported shortages of tests.

There is also a larger, state-level testing program funded through Medicaid, but that’s only available to Medicaid-eligible immigrants — green card holders who have lived in the US for at least five years, immigrants who come to the US on humanitarian grounds such as asylum, members of the military and their families, and, in certain states, children and pregnant women with lawful immigration status. Those groups, however, make up only a small proportion of immigrants living in the US. 

US Citizenship and Immigration Services has announced that it won’t consider use of free testing services when evaluating whether immigrants will likely end up relying on public benefits under the “public charge” rule, which went into effect in February

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The Coronavirus Has Changed Our Holiday Plans But Posadas Are Adapting To The ‘Nueva Normal’

Culture

The Coronavirus Has Changed Our Holiday Plans But Posadas Are Adapting To The ‘Nueva Normal’

RONALDO SCHEMIDT/AFP via Getty Images

For many Latinos, the word posada, evokes chilly nights surrounded by family and friends, singing, enjoying a warm meal (of tamales and ponche, of course), and spreading holiday cheer all around. If you have never been lucky enough to be invited to one of these celebrations, you know just how special these parties are.

Obviously, 2020 is totally different. The Coronavirus pandemic has completely changed our typical holiday plans and forced us to rethink our annual traditions. In some places, such as Mexico City, posadas are explicitly banned out of the risk that they’ll increase COVID-19 infections.

But from going digital to keeping it in the home, families are adopting to the new normal and helping keep the tradition alive.

Posadas are a huge part of the holiday season, but this year they’re canceled.

Posadas involve a reenactment of Joseph and Mary’s search for a shelter where the Virgin Mary could safely give birth to Jesus in Bethlehem.

Posadas are a distinctly Mexican Catholic tradition, which is also celebrated all over Latin America and even across the world.

The tradition has spread to places like Colombia, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salavador, and many other Latin American countries, but it originated in Mexico as a Spanish celebration used by friars to convert indigenous people into Catholicism.

Posadas are a celebration of the novenario before Christmas.

‘Novenario’ means nine days, which means that posadas take place during the nine days before Christmas Eve. The nine days running up to Christmas, represent the nine months of The Virgin Mary’s pregnancy.

In Colombia, this period of time is called ‘La Novena’, and it’s turned into a celebration similar to posadas but that in Colombia, Venezela and Ecuador is known as ‘La Novena de Aguinaldos’.

Posadas in Mexico began as a way for the Spaniards to force Indigenous people to celebrate Christmas.

During the nine days leading up to Christmas Day, masses would include representations of Mary and Joseph. Following mass, there would be a party where people were blindfolded before hitting a piñata with a stick, a representation of faith defeating temptation with the help of virtue. The fruits and sweets that poured out of the piñata represented the joys of union with God.

At the beginning of a posada, people are divided in two groups, the ones “outside” representing Mary and Joseph, and the ones “inside” representing innkeepers.

Then everyone sings the posada litany together, re-enacting Mary and Joseph’s search, going back and forth until they are finally “admitted” to an inn. After this traditional part, the actual party starts. Posadas have spread to other countries — such as Guatemala, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela; and the celebrations vary by location.

Piñatas are a quintessential part of posadas.

Although they have mostly lost their original religious meaning, piñatas remain an essential part of las posadas. Mexico. Piñatas come in all shapes and sizes, but star shaped pinatas are the ones traditionally used in posadas.

In fact, these star-shaped piñata’s 7 points represent the seven deadly sins. Most Mexicans are catholic and piñatas were a way to teach children about religion in a fun way. Piñatas represent being tempted by evil and the tradition of hitting them blindfolded symbolizes overcoming evil through blind faith.

At the end of the litany, when the innkeeper finally decides to give Mary and Joseph a place to stay; both parties celebrate.

As per tradition, the pilgrims carry colored candles and sparklers that symbolize the light that leads the way to the manger, and everyone gets to light sparklers in celebration at the end of the litany. After the litanies and the pilgrimage are over, everyone goes back to the house, where the real party starts.

Obviously, this year all of that will look different. Many organizations that typically host large posada events are now turning to the Internet to host virtual posasdas. And families are planning on using Zoom and other webcam services to stay in touch with families amid the holidays.

How do you plan on celebrating this year?

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