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Arquivo para a ‘Information ethics’ Categoria

Covid 19: increase in the number of deaths

31 Jan

The rhythm and curve in each country are different, Europe, even inthe middle of winter, saw the curve increase exponentially and only later did they take sanitary measures, in some countries including with lockdown, Asian countries, especially China and Japan, faced with strict isolation measures. and were successful in controlling the new wave, the winter Olympics that are about to begin in Beijing will not have an audience and the measures for the delegations have been a rigorous testing control.

A WHO official Van Kherkhove warned of the assumption that the virus will go softer with mutations: “There is no guarantee of that”, of course we hope so: “but there is no guarantee of that and we cannot bet on it”, justifying that measures sanitation services are still sorely needed.

In Brazil, there is an increasing number of daily infections, which approach the record of 200 thousand (graphic), and an increase in daily deaths that exceeds 800, with a moving average around 500, the increase is significant and there is no visible stabilization or decline trend, several states register an increase, only Pernambuco, Pará and Rondônia register stability.

The policy that believes, by hypothesis, that the pandemic is passing or that it can become an endemic is still without clear scientific data, the very seriousness of the omicron that is less lethal does not have a precise assessment, working on preventive when it comes to life is the most prudent thing the authorities can do.

We hope and as we said last week, we believe in the power of positive thinking and believing in hope, that everything can be close to an end of the pandemic, but caution is still necessary with decisions that release the people and public events that may be responsible for a greater number of infections and deaths.

 

There are forces that can change the course of catastrophe

27 Jan

The idea of some imminent catastrophe to happen is in the air, it’s not just apocalyptics, but natural scientists who see planetary depletion (glaciers, species extinction, climate change, earthquakes, etc.), political scientists about the ideological tension that returns remembering the cold war, and it would be possible to avoid or at least have a positive reaction to it, the pandemic looks like it was a training and the rehearsal doesn’t look good.

One of the recent mysterious discoveries made by astronomers is that an object in our “galactic backyard”, which means at 4 thousand light years, a space object was found, as being a neutral star or white dwarf are only hypotheses, in which this object produces powerful beams of energy, the strange object (pictured) launches the beam of powerful energy that crosses the line of sight of the earth observed by astronomers and published in the journal Nature (see in ICRAR), are something unusual in space observations.

Natasha Hurley-Walker, from Curtin University’s International Center for Radio Astronomy Research, leads the team that made the discovery and stated: “This object was appearing and disappearing for hours in our observation…. It was kind of scary for an astronomer because there is nothing known in the sky that does that.”

There are also powerful forces that act in our midst, it is not just about cheap exploitations of prayers or positive feeling that can lead to the improvement of an environment and people, a set of words and actions taken in a positive direction for a given problem can and should able to resolve or change situations where the problem or conditions are great.

In addition to the pandemic, which some want to decree the end as if it were that simple, we have the tension of an imminent war, and we should have no doubt that all people who can speak, ask, meditate or pray that an atrocity of this size does not occur. they must do it, in war only civilians, the poor and the weakest who suffer, there is no palpable or healthy solution that comes from provoked catastrophes.

 

Mysterious object unlike anything astronomers have seen before – ICRAR

 

 

Covid Brazil: Pressured health system and increase

17 Jan

The increase recorded in the first weeks of January in Brazil in Covid cases, with a predominance of the ômicron variant, is very high and there is no tendency to stabilize, the health system is pressured by the increase in hospitalizations and the presence of the H3N2 flu that has also appeared , it’s usually only expected at the beginning of winter around April and May, but this year it came earlier.

The numbers are uncertain, but there is a significant increase (see graph), there is little testing and a crash in the Ministry of Health data that drags on for more than a month, this jeopardizes the adoption of policy and the effective control of the pandemic, as explained to the press the infectologist and researcher at Fiocruz: “We cannot plan the opening of new hospital services, testing centers, opening of new beds and understand the regions where the impact of the new variant is greater” and the numbers are expected to increase in February.

It is a fact that the infection of this variant is less serious, but it is not certain that this would be an indication of the end of the pandemic and care should be maintained, the end-of-year parties and the release of public events, there is already some setback in these measures. , were vectors of propagation of the variant that is more infectious than the previous ones.

Brazilian neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis denied that the ômicron variant could be the end of the pandemic, stressing that mutations are probabilistically chaotic and it is not possible to predict the next variant or some point of linear weakening of the virus, it is likely that we will still have to live with it. for a long time, and the neuroscientist warns what is already happening in England and the United States where the health system can collapse at any moment, once it is under pressure. and warns that it is possible to reach a point of chronic Covid, this is a state in which the hospital system can no longer handle the volume of cases that happen and with palliative treatments only without being able to effectively treat the disease.

With this weekend’s numbers in Brazil, it reached close to 50,000 daily cases, the expectation is to grow until the end of February and the already pressured health system could collapse, while the authorities monitor without really data. valid and reliable data from the pandemic.

Vaccination of children began in Brazil, at the age of 5 to 11 years, with the Comirnaty vaccine (Pfizer/BioNTech) but the number of doses available is uncertain, the health secretariats have opened registration for scheduling that, in addition to avoiding agglomerations, can do a forecast as doses are available

 

 

 

Empathy: from water to wine

14 Jan

After clarified pathological situations, where empathy is just an instrumentation or a disguise for actions that do not contemplate the Suffering of the Other, we can affirm situations in which it is really effective and can change the situation practically as a miracle, not only in the extraordinary sense but also with high probability.

We have already said that outside the ideological, cultural and social constraints, human nature destined to live in a collective situation tends to empathize for a good social life, it is enough to observe children when they are not yet contaminated by aggressive or toxic environments, to use a very current term.

Also social situations: work environments, neighbourhoods, small communities there is always a tendency where empathy reigns (or Love in a sense that is now forgotten) the greater tendency is that phronesis (in the sense that today they call emotional intelligence) and empathy, and this is not new, just an update is needed.

Many environments can change from water to wine if they are fully enriched and purified by empathy, there is always a greater tendency towards solidarity and tolerance than conflict and personal or group selfishness, in environments that are not enriched by a spirituality. it also weakens and tends not to prosper, because there is social pressure from outside where the environment is one of conflict and polarization.

Pandemic suffering was a great opportunity to recognize the Suffering of others, the pain of the Other, or just the face of the Other and its inclinations and concepts, what can be observed contextually is that conflicts increased and the opportunity was not properly seized, but not invalidity of joint efforts in regions and situations.

There are examples of these efforts in many places, right now the flooding situation in Bahia is a new opportunity in which many communities have joined the scourge of the region, donations and aid have come from various places in Brazil, although the central authorities have been somewhat negligent.

These are choices that we make of actions, habits and that become a “social character” if we change from water to wine, it is possible, as in that biblical passage where the wine was missing at the party, and Jesus being present receives the mother’s request to to intervene and his first public miracle happens only to give wine and improve the joy of that party, he orders three vats of 100 liters each to be filled with wine and then asks them to take it to the master of the party to taste (Jn 2,7), and he says the best wine was left for last.

So it is not the end we are living, but the beginning of a new reality, even if empathy has not arrived after so much suffering, it will come and a new clearing will open, like that of the paralytic’s passage through the ceiling that reaches Jesus to heal him. Rather, He heals him of his sins (Mk 1:5) so that he may have a more “empathetic” soul.

 

Empathy and social interaction

12 Jan

Although in some areas such as administration and health there are already works on empathy as an improvement in social relationships, it is far from clear that it is not just an attitude of sympathy, emotional contagion or a caring relationship (Pedersen, 2010), it is not, therefore, a “tactic” of building relationships.

We have already outlined the reasoning that goes from thought to character (Meryl Streep’s phrase in the movie “The Iron Lady”) and must therefore be an exercise in ethical character.

The concept of phronesis (phronesis) translated as “practical wisdom” or “prudence” is developed in Aristotle, in book V of “Ethics to Nicomache”, is this understanding of the empathic and wise being in Aristotle correct? And if so, does being wise in practical matters mean better understanding the phenomenon of empathy?

Along with phronesis in the Nicomachean Ethics are other virtues such as areté (the excellence or supreme virtue) and Aristotle will associate it with five different forms when it comes to human activities, we could say social: the episteme (organized scientific knowledge), the techne (technical knowledge), phronesis (practical wisdom) and sophia (philosophical knowledge) and nous (intellectual “flanks”), of course all these concepts must be contextualized in the contemporary world.

Practical wisdom as Aristotle characterizes it is a kind of knowledge of how to act in practical situations (remember words become actions and actions become habits and define character), but he also speaks of technical expertise, in case that the objective of the activity must have some knowledge beforehand to carry it out, the idea that intuition or inspiration (nous) without technical knowledge is enough is useless.

Empathy is thus a type of discernment, a way of seeing what is happening in the world around us with other human beings, in this sense it is necessary to have wisdom (sophia) and to pay attention to different interpreters who are in a deeper way thematizing itself, maybe the word philosophy is worn out, so just sophia.

Contemporary philosophy Martha Nussbaum has shown how the Aristotelian notion of wisdom rests on understanding emotions as containing knowledge about the world that we share with other people, and phronesis is not devoid of feeling, on the contrary it helps the “sage” to understand and judge the person in a given situation.

Because of the ethical context, we are led to place empathy in the context of Aristotelian moral philosophy, which is a mistake, as phronesis is more appropriate, however, another mistake can happen to consider only as an “intellectual” virtue and disregard subjective aspects (including spiritual ones) that empathy should be placed.

Empathy is then a component of “feeling” related to phronesis, although it is a fact that some philosophers deny that empathy is essentially a feeling (Coplan, Goldie, 2011), we recall again that thoughts become words, these actions and then habits and when inserted in the character are already part of the “feelings”.

We resolved this dispute, it is not that simple, it is true, understanding that while they are not habits they need exercise and then inserted into the character, they are feelings or subjectivities (the subject’s own), but it is clear that it is not a natural attitude, although empathy In other words, “training” is needed.

Thus we detect in Aristotle a gap between practical wisdom and sophia, we would say a healthy spirituality or a capacity for interiorization.

References: 

Coplan, A., and P. Goldie. 2011. Introduction. In Empathy: Philosophical and psychological perspectives, ed. A. Coplan, and P. Goldie. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Pedersen, R. 2010. Empathy in medicine: A philosophical hermeneutic reflection. Oslo: University of Oslo, Faculty of Medicine.

 

 

Empathy and phronesis

11 Jan

Frônesis (phrónesis, from ancient Greek: φρόνησις), in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, book IV, is distinguished from both theory and practice because it is a virtue of the wisdom of practical thinking, however a modern adaptation of Hans -Georg Gadamer is situated between logos and ethos, this relationship can thus bring “theoretical” love closer to an empathic practical action.

Thus, phronesis is inserted in human actions as phenomena through a hermeneutic examination of opinions, not only to reveal the immutable principles of the causes of this action, but above all to understand that from the mere opinion (the doxa) of the Other, it is possible to help it through empathy to reach knowledge (episteme).

It works as a true action of attraction that leads the Other to reflect. within the hermeneutic circle, it is a matter of allowing a reading of the Other’s preconceptions and paying attention to one’s own, so the actions that result from it can be more empathic, explaining in a phrectic (practical) way: reading what the Other actually wants and think.

This knowledge leads to a new episteme (theoretical conception of new horizons) in which it is possible to think of a joint or at least convergent action, as we have said before, empathy is an originally natural relationship, while disempathy (it is different from the antipathy that is opposed to sympathy) is the rejection of the Other, rather something that has become naturalized, due to hermetic ideologies and preconceptions that are impossible to reread.

The real law of attraction is empathy, since it can reinforce positive, collaborative and socially collective actions, while simple opposition leads to the repulsion of the Other and the creation of non-converging poles of opinion (doxa) and knowledge (episteme). and non-humans, it is not about simple logic, but onto-logic, the logic of Being.

Because this has become so widespread and widespread is simple, a strong non-humanist system of thought developed with the aim of power and enrichment, not only colonizing and xenophobic, but above all non-ontological, unbecoming of being.

The idea of simple rejection may seem natural, however it can lead to another system of domination polarized and structurally authoritarian and thus non-empathetic and non-frenetic, again simple theories that in practice prove to be disastrous.

 

 

New variant and concern in Europe

29 Nov

The new variant of the covid-19 virus, called omicron by the WHO, is already present on three continents and the trend is to reach everyone in Brazil, both the director-president of the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa, Brazil), Antonio Barra Torres, and the director of the Butantan Institute state that it is inevitable that it will arrive in the country.

The variant is the B.1.1.529 strain and was identified for the first time in South Africa on November 9, according to WHO information, where 100 cases of the variant were identified, especially in the populous province of Gauteng, but it has already spread. by Botswana, eSwatini (former Swaziland), Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe, countries that Brazil closed the border.

In Brazil, a passenger on a flight that passed through South Africa tested positive last Saturday 11/27 and disembarked in Guarulhos (SP), the other passengers are also being monitored, it is still not possible to identify whether the contagion was due to the new strain.

What is known for now is that the variant can affect contagion and lethality rates, but the genetic sequencing may still take a few more days to complete, director Tulio de Oliveira of the Center for Epidemic Responses and Innovations at the University of KwaZulu -Natal, stated that this variant is “an unusual constellation of mutations”, while the delta variant had only two mutations, for example, in relation to the original coronavirus strain.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths is growing again in Europe (see graph), the average of deaths reached the highest level since February 2021, when the continent started to recover, for every million inhabitants the rate is 5.2 daily deaths on average from the new coronavirus in the last 7 days.

With the new strain and variants it is necessary to resume care, wait for studies on the strain and the effectiveness of vaccines, Pfizer has already announced that it must have changes to ensure immunity.

We reached 70% of the complete vaccination in Brazil, but with the new strain it is not possible to assert total immunity.

Note: Today (29/11) Australia has suspended the reopening and Japan has closed its borders.

 

 

Covid alert and Christmas parties

22 Nov

Europe is once again concerned about Covid’s infection rates, when everything seemed to be moving towards a happy end-of-the-year outcome, the arrival of winter, little vaccination and doubts about vaccines even by health professionals, made the indexes grow again.

Last Thursday, Germany registered a daily record of 50,000 new infections in 24 hours, in Russia 40,000 cases, Eastern European nations: Slovenia, Croatia, Georgia, Slovakia and Lithuania have the highest rates of new cases of the disease, too in France and the United Kingdom the number of cases is growing (picture).

Portugal, which has the highest vaccination rate, close to 90%, will resume preventive measures such as the use of masks, in Austria and the Netherlands there are lockdown measures, the protests against this new restriction measure provoked a confrontation with the police in the weekend.

In an interview given to the BBC, Hans Kluge, WHO regional director said there could be 500,000 new deaths in Europe by March if measures are not taken.

We are in a hot climate, the moving average of cases and deaths in Brazil is decreasing, but the parties and a certain relaxation in preventive measures are worrying, there are no measures in any part of the country concerned with a possible new one, where it seems distant, but remember the 2019 carnival when there were some signs and we didn’t worry, the consequences came in March of that year.

Measures in shopping malls, supermarkets, concerts and sports squares are totally relaxed and we will only know the consequences at the beginning of 2022, even if only preventive, these measures can help prevent a new outbreak that would leave the country even more in despair, what we observe is a concern only with liberation, the election year is approaching and no one wants to take unpopular measures, but health should come first, even in relation to the economy already in crisis.

If we’re going to pay to see it, the cost could be high.

 

 

Because Covid 19 is not over

08 Nov

Last Thursday (11/04) Hans Kluge, WHO director for Europe, said 53 countries in the region are facing “a real threat of the resurgence of COVID-19” and encouraged governments in the region to take urgent action, in China the government even advised the population to stock up on food, the new wave is due to the delta variant.

In Germany, 66.5% of the population is fully vaccinated, but according to the RKI (Robert Rock Institute, responsible for the control of infectious diseases), there are more than 3 million people over 60 years old who have not been vaccinated and The risk is high, and last Friday it registered just 37,000 infections, a record number, while Russia registered 40,735 new cases and 1192 deaths related to the virus last Friday, according to the government’s own data.

France, Holland, Italy and England record high infections, Portugal has a high despite having the highest vaccination rate in the world (almost 90%) and only Spain did not have high infections.

In China, the outbreak, which is still small in number, affected several regions of the country, and the government even advised the population to stock up on food.

Brazil has 58.2% of the population fully vaccinated, while 76.3% have already taken at least one dose, the safety margin is still small for a general release that has already taken place, there is no more temperature control and agglomerations. worryingly, the country is still in the range of 300 daily deaths, and over 11,000 infections.

Vaccination continues, the country received this Sunday 1.1 million doses of vaccine against Covid 19 at Viracopos airport, despite some currents criticizing the quality of the vaccine, there are no scientific criteria for this criticism.

The ministry said the number by the weekend was 122.3 million people immunized, and the target population is 177 million people.

The additional dose for elderly groups, the so-called “third dose” reached 8.9 million additional doses, according to the Ministry of Health.

Looking at the European scenario, it is good not to relax and we must continue the full vaccination schedule, only one dose does not guarantee immunity, even in the case of Janssen, a booster dose is being applied.

 

 

Covid falls and worrying cases

18 Oct

Covid 19 already shows signs of decline worldwide, but there are still worrying cases such as Russia, the first country to launch a vaccine and had on Saturday (16/09) more than a thousand deaths from Covid 19, the reasons are several, the main thing is the low rate of vaccination, Russia reached 218,362 thousand deaths for a population of 145 million inhabitants.

The whole world has almost 48% at least one dose and just over 36% fully immunized, it is possible to consider that we are not out of danger, something around 60% would be desirable, at least until the end of the year for the Christmas parties , in Brazil the number of vaccinees is 73.4% at least one dose and close to 50% fully vaccinated, but the infection curve still drops very slowly.

The consequences of Variant delta are not yet known, in a balance made of the pandemic by neuroscientist Miguel Nicolelis, he stated that in Brazil we have not yet seen the face of this variant.

Winter is approaching in the Northern Hemisphere and the WHO intends to consider the possibility of a new pandemic, so that we are not surprised as this one has not ended, in November it will hold a World Health Assembly where it will study the possibility of a “treaty for pandemic”, it is necessary to consider greater solidarity and more effective combat.

The deputy director of WHO Mariângela Simão was emphatic: “there will be a next pandemic”, and added: “This is something we already know and which is inevitable, it’s a question of when it will happen” said according to the Instituto Paulista of Medicine.

Simão alerts that there is no approved vaccine yet for children, so there cannot be a national policy using vaccines that have not been approved for children under 12 years of age, and he points out that we only have one vaccine approved for use by adolescents from 12 years of age, which is the Pfizer.

He highlighted the importance of the Covax consortium that helped vaccination in poor countries, stressing the importance of donating 500 million doses from Pfizer, which will allow the entry of 200 million doses from Pfizer this year, France also made available the make donations and more countries are expected to help because, for now, it is the only vaccine for teenagers.