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Little history of Ukraine

08 Feb

In the 3rd century the region was inhabited by the Goths (250-375), the region was called Aujo, there was a Cherniacove culture there, the Ostrogoths settled in 350 with the influence of the Huns, to the north there was a people who had a Kievan culture (then later Kyiv or Київ).

The origin of today’s Ukraine is in Slavic tribes that arrived in this territory in the 5th and 6th centuries, in the 9th century Viking invaders arrived, called Varigi, the Mongols invade in the 13th, King Igor I with a young Varigi teenager named Olga united the peoples, this kingdom called Rus had Kiev as its capital, the king will be killed and Olga takes power with great vigor and courage, and dominates the peoples, Olga will occupy a special role and then convert to Christianity with great work in favor of the poor .

Olga is a separate chapter, after being a strong queen and to a certain extent cruel to her enemies, her son takes over the kingdom and she converts to Christianity, built churches, carried out evangelization campaigns, but was unable, however, to convert her son. Sviatoslav (Svyatoslav I), helped the poor and sick people so much that he became a saint recognized by the Orthodox Church in the year and by the Catholic Church of the Byzantine Rite, his son did not convert, but his grandson Vladimir I converted and also was declared a saint.

The Variagi commanded several strategic points in Russia and explored transport and trade, so during the 10th and 11th century, the territory of Ukraine became the center of a powerful and prestigious state in Europe, called at the time Kiev Russia (recall was the kingdom of Rus) and were also the basis for many subsequent Slavic nations (such as Greater Bulgaria and Belarus, for example), in addition to the Russians themselves who were then just scattered Slavic tribes.

The state was conquered by Casimirio IV of Poland, while the heart of ancient Kievan Russia passed to the control of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but the marriage of Grand Duke Jagellan of Lithuania to Queen Hedwig of Poland, changed control of the sovereigns. Lithuanians to most of the Ukrainian territory and thus returned to Ukraine.

We take a leap into history, which is also rich in the medieval period, a civil war that lasted 4 years after the Russian revolution (1917) in 1921 Ukraine becomes a Soviet socialist republic, with purges and land grabs that Ukrainian farmers refused to deliver, Ukraine is a major grain producer.

The Stalinist period and the Nazi occupation of its territory, which caused more than 10 million deaths between 1930 and 1945, Ukraine resisted Russian collectivization and Nazi invasion, Ukraine in the Soviet period was responsible for ¼ of Soviet production in the agricultural sector producing 40 million cereals, a record for the time.

Finally, the problem of the Crimean territory, which has its origins in the war of 1853 and 1856 where there was a conflict between Russia and an alliance formed by France-United Kingdom-Kingdom of Sardinia (today part of Italy), in 2014 the war is reborn with the takeover by Russia, it should be clarified that there was a contract between Ukraine and Russia in a kind of leasing for the concession of the Balkan port where Russia’s largest maritime fleet is located, in Sevastopol, which was thus an independent territory of Ukraine.

Thus, among the most absurd analyzes is the one that says that Ukraine would be unviable as an independent state, it is weakened by an internal war and under Russian pressure.





Pandemic increases and countries do not care

07 Feb

The news is from the BBC in Portuguese several countries (United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Austria, Finland, Belgium, Greece and Sweden), tired of the change in routine, many countries, environments and even sanitarians relaxed in control because the Isolation is indeed difficult, in Brazil the number of deaths has reached thousands.

The pressure is actually political and economic, and the authorities will find themselves under pressure to reopen the economy and thereby free up environments for commerce and social interaction, but the economic cost can also be serious with the number of people who will leave, even Even if it is for less serious cases, it is visible in some sectors, in the case of Brazil, that many employees contract Covid in the Omicron variant, and in this case they must leave for at least 10 days, but here it was also reduced to 5, that is. , more contagion.

Last Tuesday (1/2) the WHO declared its concern about this relaxation, but European commissioners and health experts rushed to say that the end of the pandemic is near, there are small signs that the peak (we are still at it) could attenuate, but it is too early to infer that we can relax, the normal thing would be to wait for the low curve (graph).

According to Agência Brasil, Brazil Agency of Health recorded 197,442 thousand cases on Friday and 1,308 deaths in 24 hours, this amounts to 26,473,273 cases and 631,802 deaths, due to the high number it is very unlikely that the cases are just unvaccinated or children.

The vaccination of childrens for the most part is still the first dose, and in many states today they will be back to school, they could at least wait a little, but countries that return to work need to have a place to leave their children, so the motivation is also economic and not really a concern for the children.

It is very likely that the Pandemic will enter a cooling cycle, perhaps it will not disappear completely, but care should be maintained and this is not what is observed, except in some Asian countries where they seek to raise tolerance to zero, an example is the restrictions of the Winter Olympics on Pequim and also the Club World Championship held in Abu Dhabi that are in the news all over the world, just make a comparison of the measurements there and the measurements here.



Deeper look at the war

01 Feb

In times of crisis, the most difficult thing is to understand the depth and extent of the crisis: social, political, ecological and human, the pademia has accelerated to greater levels and there are no great analyzes or thoughts that take into account the reality, in fact, a lot of guesswork and sophism, easy ways out of complex problems, the worst of which a possible war.

Karl Kraus complained about the journalism and the mentality of his time about the possibility of a new war, which in fact happened the First World War, in his irony he expressed himself like this: “there are superficial imbeciles and deep imbeciles”, and little by little the war of made.

The crisis between Russia and the United States returns to the tension over which humanity lived the entire period of the Cold War, which had apparently moved away, but we remember the 2014 crisis in Ukraine itself, where Crimea returned to Russian possession, the various crises with Iran and Afghanistan, the crisis with North Korea and the permanent crisis with China, which ranges from the commercial field to the military.

In the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, already as serious as the Spanish flu and the black plague, covid 19 is now approaching an endemic disease, a disease with which we will have to live, but it is good to remember that care must be maintained, and health authorities cannot lose sight of control and preventive measures.

Peter Sloterdijk and Edgar Morin demand a greater depth in the look at the humanitarian crisis, they already complained before the pandemic, certainly now they have an even more sharp and critical look at the superficiality with which we deal with such serious issues and in need of a deep analysis, right now: a possible war.

Looking at the analysis, it seems that the media is interested in possibilities of victory for one of the sides, in strategies and positions that each side can take, a possible cut in Russian gas that supplies Europe that is in the middle of winter, but the humanitarian and global consequences for everyone, with greater gravity for Russia and Ukraine of course, it can have consequences that make the planet itself and civilization unrecognizable if the war alarm sounds, everyone will lose and the poorest will be taken to total penury with rising prices and food shortages.

Yes, the negotiation stages continue, Russia reaffirms that it will not invade, but the accumulation of forces around Ukraine is an escalation proportional only to the period of the second world war, the positioning is also strategic for a war, the UN Security Council which in the relay process now has Russia in the presidency, meets to try to make the diplomatic path viable.

Who will give in, what is it possible for each side to give in, NATO does not make Ukraine a member country and Russia stops supporting the forces that act internally in Ukraine, but the reasoning that there is a planetary ideological polarization cannot be left aside , the origin of the tension is this polarization and it is present today in every country, a new culture of peace is necessary for humanity, and this depth of reflection cannot be left aside.



Pandemic chaos and structural denialism

10 Jan

The restriction measures should have continued, but what is observed is a release of agglomerations and the absence of clear protocols, worldwide there is an increase in chaos, approaching 3 million daily, in the United Kingdom there is an explosion of cases ( see graphic), studies from France have revealed 46 variants, omicron is still predominant, but there is a risk of new mutations if the pandemic is not contained and the only weapon available is vaccination, however, strict sanitary measures should have already been taken, little by little flights, restaurants and agglomerations are banned again, but without the necessary force of public authorities.

It is no different in Brazil, where more than 56 thousand hospitalizations were reached in the city of São Paulo alone, but the public discourse is that they are just people who have not taken the vaccine or that the cases are not that serious, but the WHO itself warns for the seriousness of omicron, the first immediate effect being to put the health system in collapse, in São Paulo ABLOS (Brazilian Association of Satellite Storers) will ask shopping malls to reduce their opening hours due to lack of employees due to covid.

A study by the University of Washington indicates that Brazil could reach one million daily cases, in the short term, by the end of January, the H3N2 influenza is advancing, however, most cases are still covid 19 with the variant omicron. China stockpiles food is not stated that it is just for the omicron issue or there is something else.

Indigenous leader Ailton Krenak, from the people of the devastated region of the Doce River, said in an interview on TVT’s Bom para Todos program that talking about a new normal is very close to denial, what needs to be changed and does not mean that we think the state is good. previous of carelessness about life and nature, it is nature itself that drives us to a change of habits, to a new way of living, and if we do not learn quickly, we will be stuck with new pandemics and cyclical crises.

That’s how it is, there is no way to change, says the conformist discourse, or worse, the one who wants to devastate lives to return to a normality that is still impossible not only due to the pandemic, but now also due to a suffered social reality and with blackouts and restructuring difficulties, such as Indian leader Krenak alerts there is no new normal, reality must be dealt with, however harsh it may be.

That’s how it is, there is no way to change, says the conformist discourse, or worse, the one who wants to devastate lives to return to a normality that is still impossible not only due to the pandemic, but now also due to a suffered social reality and with blackouts and restructuring difficulties, such as Krenak alerts there is no new normal, reality must be dealt with, however harsh it may be.

Even with the absence of clear data, since the end of December the Ministry of Health has been experiencing a data blackout, caused by hackers, but it has not been able to restructure itself, testing and control in collective activities has also been smoothed, just go to any social event , to restaurants or churches, there is no longer temperature measurement and the necessary distance observations, this is what we call here structural negationism.

Some measure is expected, but from the top down, it seems an intentional policy, there is a lack of control in actions and a relativization of the pandemic severity.



The innocents and Epistasis

28 Dec

Much was said in an ironic tone about possible genetic variations due to the pandemic, the phenomenon exists, although it rarely occurs when there is an interaction of genes to influence some characteristic of the species, the classic case was studied by Bateson and Punnett, who studied a type of crest that appears in chickens, and is determined by two independent genes (which is equivalent to two pairs of alleles), of course this is not the case with vaccines, just to clarify the scientific question.

The innocence lies in understanding the virus mutation as capable of inducing or influencing a human genetic mutation, of course our immune system is affected, as studies try to correlate HIV with the omicron variant, but this does not mean any human genetic mutation so far.

However, epistasis has been important to study the omicron variant, in this case the virus and not the vaccine, according to a BBC News report, Professor Ed Feill, professor of microbial evolution at the University of Bath, England: “If the variant has more mutations, this does not mean that it is more dangerous, more transmissible or more capable of evading the effect of vaccines”, and many premature conclusions about this variant do not have a solid scientific basis.

The confusion is that the virus undergoes variations, but it is unfounded to imagine that these mutations affect the human genetic code, says the professor: “as a virus evolves, it can accumulate a group of mutations that, in turn, can create a variant”, “… and to detect the new variants: “ scientists track the genomic sequence of the virus”, and in this case, epistasis studies are essential to detect variants.

American evolutionary biologist Jesse Bloom, in a recent article in The New York Times, called attention to the alpha variant that has a mutation called N501Y, which is associated with the capacity for infection.

It is important to understand that the omicron variant is not completely deciphered, precisely because of its number of mutations in its epistasis, which is more difficult to detect and understand: “this opens up more evolutionary space for this”, said Feil in the article, and so the research has to observe combinations that have not been seen before.

Neither innocence to claim that there is some human genetic mutation, nor innocence to claim that the omicron variable is controlled because it offers “less danger”.

WHO has a classification of variants into “concern” and “interest” as per the table above.



Christmas in Lisbon

22 Dec

Lisbon is the Portuguese capital and Christmas there is a special destination for Brazilians, Portuguese was experiencing an explosion in tourism when the pandemic hit, a European vaccination champion reopened trade, but these days have returned to days of uncertainty and concern as new sanitary restriction measures

The commercial square is its central point, where there is always lighting with a beautiful Christmas tree (photo 1) and illuminates the triumphal arch (man to King José I), it starts its main street of commerce and restaurants by going to Praça do Rossio, and it gives way to Praça da Figueira, another characteristic and central point.

From the commerce square you have a view of the Tagus river where it connects to the sea, the region called “low Chiado” or simply “downtown” can be climbed via the stairs, the subway or the historic and tourist elevator Santa Justa even the Chiado.

Chiado is the point of an older trade, with its famous Camões square from where you have access to shopping streets and famous bars and restaurants such as the “cantinho do Avilez”, an internationally known chef who makes traditional Iberian food with good taste and creativity, there are many things to see and eat in Chiado, in addition to being a traditional cable car stop (electric as they are called there).

Praça do Rossio and Praça do Comércio are also tram stops, in the case of Praça do Rossio there is also a train station (trains in Portugal), from there you can go to Belém, where there is the famous tower and the traditional “ pastel de Belém”, or go to the most modern part of Portugal, going to Marques de Pombal square by metro or bus (buses, modern trams are nice and comfortable).

Unfortunately, sanitary restrictions are back, both for travel and circulation, so Christmas and New Year tours are limited there too.



New pandemic with the same virus

13 Dec

Although the data is not yet definitive, and sometimes contradictory, as is the case with the Pfizer vaccine, it is certain that the protective efficacy against the new omicron variant is very small, in the order of 10 to 20% of cases and there are vaccines that it has no efficacy at all, probably because the labs say nothing.

Regarding Pfizer, the United Kingdom Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) said last Friday (12/10) that “These initial estimates should be treated with caution, but indicate that a few months after the second dose there is a higher risk of getting the omicron variant compared to the Delta,” said Mary Ramsay, head of immunization at the UKHSA, to the CNN newspaper.

In the same news, the newspaper indicates that when the booster dose is made with the Pfizer vaccine, the efficacy increases 70% for those who initially received AstraZeneca and 75% for those who received the Pfizer vaccine, but the laboratories of both work accelerated to a new vaccine that fights the strain.

The WHO declares that the data are still insufficient to establish the clinical picture of the severity caused by omicrons, even though many data so far indicate that the cases in Africa and Europe where the symptoms are “mild to moderate”, it is necessary to deepen the analysis and studies to understand what the variant causes in those infected.

The number of deaths registered on Saturday in Brazil was less than 100, but 9 states and the Federal District did not send data, while there is already an increase in infections and deaths in the states of Ceará, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul and Sergipe, community transmission of the omicron variant had its first case in São Paulo, it is considered community based when the patient has no recent history of traveling abroad.

What to do in the face of the seriousness of the situation and the imminence of a new pandemic, it is a fact that we are all tired of the restrictions and the advancement of social and economic difficulties, but life must be a value greater than any other difficulty and so care must be resumed and maintained as appropriate.

The WHO says that we are more prepared, in fact, but both the health system and the population are tired by the redoubled efforts during the pandemic and this situation must also be analyzed, creating mechanisms so that people are less pressured and can somehow overflow energy and maintain social, personal and economic balance.



Between science and believe

07 Dec

Whenever the weather changes: rains, floods, storms, hurricanes and now volcanoes and earthquakes something worries us, it is necessary to separate what is in fact supernatural from the natural that exists, even if catastrophic, science helps, but it doesn’t always have answers ready.

It was like a Covid-19 problem and the La Palma volcano is now drawing attention for its unpredictability, but it has helped science that has collected a much larger number than in other eruptions and its variation also helps to study different influences, the shape of the soil, the earthquakes and temperatures close to the volcano, the type of soil (in this case there are several deep cracks) and the type of lava effusion.

A recent opinion article, volcanology is not a science that can make predictions, in fact, in the opinion of physicists such as Werner Heisenberg and philosophers such as Edgar Morin their predictions, even though possible, are hypotheses, but in the case of volcanology the Cumbre Vieja, volcano of La Palma, has helped.

An article published in the journal Science and which was the subject of an article in the journal El Pais, by researcher Marc-Antoine Longpré elaborated a series of opinions, including that: “The course-term forecast is based on technology and on the recognition of patterns of behavior of volcanoes, as well as constant improvement, as volcanologists gather more data”, as is the case with this eruption of Cumbre Vieja, in La Palma, in the Canary Islands.

The article published in the prestigious journal Science, begins by explaining that it had 50 years of rest and is historically the most active of the Canary Islands, it erupted on September 19, 2021, and will complete one of the longest eruption periods of the day. December 19, when it will reach 3 months of eruption and the article informs that the longest on record was 3 months and 3 weeks.

But the seismic patterns started on the date of September 11th, I wrote the article: “the number of detected earthquakes quickly increased to several hundred per day, of which only a subset was located”, and grouped in much smaller depths (<12 km ) and of lower seismicity than the previous one (around 3 to 4 degrees on the Richter scale), and with a displacement to the area of =the volcano that erupted on the 19th, this already marks a pattern for eruptions (see graphics of author) Another fact observed was the appearance of two fissures, in addition to the elevation of the ground and the formation of the volcanic cone, each fissure measuring about 200 m in length, 1 km above sea level and 2 km from the village of El Paraèso which was rapidly evacuated without reaching the residents.

The author informs that the eruption shows no signs of abating, and speaks of the social drama for the local population and compares saying that it is similar to Kilauea, and asks if interested parties, of course, are including financial and political interests, if in the long term will it be possible to permanently reduce the risk associated with urban development on the flanks of the Cumbre Vieja?

This is the important social fact, preventing deaths as happened recently with the eruption of the Semeru Volcano in Indonesia where 14 deaths initials (today it rose to 34), the article was prophetic in this regard, since it was published days before this eruption, yes extraordinary things are possible and even even supernatural, but who has the authority to assert them? it is necessary to avoid fake news and a climate of terror that contributes nothing, but caution, as is the case with the Pandemic, is necessary and prudent.




Falling, but the pandemic is not over

25 Oct

We mentioned last week the concern about evolving cases in some countries such as Russia and England, where a variant of the virus is being studied with concern, also the poorest countries have received fewer vaccines than promised by donation, and we already understand that Pandemic is global, that is, there is an influence of less vaccinated regions in others that maintain a high level of immunity, policies for future pandemics already take these factors into account.

Some countries continue with a high level of deaths, despite vaccination, in the US around 1700 daily deaths in the last week, in the rest of the world it is falling, but with the presence of deaths, in the graph above with deaths registered on the 23/ 10 (Saturday) in absolute number of deaths, Brazil, followed by India, Mexico and then Russia.

The major concern of WHO is with respect to promises of vaccine donations to the poorest countries that are not being fulfilled. the news is not from this blog, but from the WHO itself, as it has positioned itself against the third dose, as according to The People’s Vaccine report made on the BBC, an alliance of a charity institution reported that only one in seven doses of vaccines promised by companies and rich countries, in fact reached the poorest nations.

In the report, in the interview with Bruce Aylward he stated: “Do we really need to step up or do you know what’s going to happen? This pandemic will last another year than it needs to,” he warned, and this is due to the fact that even with isolation measures we are always connected, and any communication (not only of people, but of products and any biological material such as fruits and food) can be transmitter.

In Brazil, the number of vaccine doses is coming, a boost in the vaccination campaign against Covid 19, a batch of 1.7 million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines arrived on Friday (10/22) and other equal amounts had already arrived, totaling almost 5 millions of vaccines.

The inputs for AstraZeneca were also received by FioCruz (Brazil), which produces the vaccine in the country, the landing of the Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) arrived for the production of 5.6 million doses with arrival scheduled for 5:50 am on Sunday morning (25/10).

Vaccination in the first dose reaches close to 153 million doses, while the second dose (or single dose) reached just over 109 million vaccinated, the moving average of deaths is just above 300 daily deaths, with a downward trend we can assume that we will be below 100 daily deaths in early December.



Good news and caution

11 Oct

Five Brazilian states did not register death by Covid 19 in the last 24 hours, but it has already exceeded 600,000 deaths and accounts for 21,575,820 infections, the moving average is below 500 deaths and more than 60% of the adult population has already received both doses or single dose of the vaccine.

The main danger is that the stress of the period of sanitary measures causes a relaxation in the population, sanitary measures are still mandatory and this is the right time not to relax and be resilient.

The precaution is due to the worldwide problem of the pandemic, the WHO global data indicate 52,929 infections yesterday with a weekly drop of 17.64% and a total of 818 deaths (more than 42 in the week) with a weekly drop of 21.26% (see chart), both more pronounced than in previous weeks.

In many countries there is already a relaxation in sanitary measures, it is necessary to be aware that this affects the whole world, as flights and global mobility start to be relaxed, and without the precautionary measures taken by everyone, it can make the fall more slow, and it is also necessary to remember late autumn and early winter in the northern hemisphere.

Sanitary precautions such as washing your hands and continuing to wear masks and alcohol gel, avoiding crowds and distances when in collective activities (public transport remains a problem), and avoiding the usual end-of-the-year consumerism problem.

A more dignified and less sumptuous Christmas will be more worthy of the date and will avoid the desperation of traditional spending and consumption at the end of the year.

May the return to normality also be a return to serenity, empathy and solidarity.