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Unmasked men get violent; Restaurants and bars protest proposed hours; Local governments go unpaid; Scholarship students stranded overseas

Lunes, 6/7/2020

Hola, Todos –

Actividades –

Otras cosas –

Titular – 300 becarios están dejados a su suerte (300 scholars are left to their own devices) – At least 300 scholarship winners are stranded in various universities around the world. The government has not paid their manutención ni colegiatura (living stipend nor tuition), leaving them in precarious condition, to sell what they can, get loans from family and friends, and find what work is available. Many are suffering from anxiety and depression since the system has requirements they do not have the mechanisms to fulfill. Some have been barred from continuing with their studies due to unpaid tuition.

Womens’ work triples – According to the UN, the work of women has tripled during the pandemic. Just in Ecuador, women spend at least 36 hours a week in the care of people and homes – unpaid work. In addition to housework, women have to contend with telework, which is not limited to an 8 hour day, and studies. A Cuenca researcher found that studies have diminished among women since so much of their time is dedicated to child care, husband care, and housework which is still not shared by men. <So those of you retirees who are grousing about not having your cleaning lady need to be grateful you don’t have to be available to telecommute 24/7 and take care of and home school your kids.> All of this is topped by intrafamily violence. From 12/3 to 4/6, there were 876 reports of intrafamiliar violence in Azuay with 796 of those in Cuenca. According to ECU 911 data, there were an average of 286 calls for intrafamily violence nationally.

The Covid-19 health emergency makes women’s work more difficult. (El Mercurio)

Mask incidents – Last weekend, citizens resisted being sanctioned for not using masks in the parque los Héroes de Cuenca. Two people were caught not wearing masks and while the Guardia Ciudadana and Policía Nacional were trying to do their paperwork, other people arrived and there was pushing and violence. A motorcycle was knocked over and one person arrested. Some of the excuses were, “I live here,” and “I was only out for a second,” and “You should be out catching robbers.” <So if you’re out and unmasked, you’d better get more creative with your excuses.>

Money owed to municipalities – The national government owes about $40 million to 34 municipalities in Azuay, Cañar, y Morona Santiago for monthly transfers and el Impuesto al Valor Agregado (IVA – Value Added Tax – your word for the day for those of you who have been taking your senior refund but only knew it as IVA). The lack of funds has hit the smallest municipalities the hardest leaving them without funding for activities including salaries.

Public works employment – 4 contracts for $71.9 million, signed by the Municipio and the Banco de Desarrollo de Ecuador for restarting public works projects will generate 7.000 direct and 15,000 indirect jobs. The work will start with reactivating the of widening Avenida del Migrante which has about 200 jobs. There will also be a bridge over the Yanuncay, an underpass at De Las Américas at the redondel in front of the bomba (gasolinera, gas station) de choferes, bike lanes, paving work, casas comunales, and parks. <The US ought to consider some spending on public works to get people back to work. There are too many bridges in dangerous condition, too many cities with ancient sewer systems, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera (to quote the King of Siam). For me, it’s a higher priority than more tax giveaways to billionaires. Maybe it will become important if a bridge collapses under an Amazon truck.>

New curfew hours – Bars and restaurants are asking the national COE, which meets tomorrow, to not approve the Cuenca cantonal COE request to change the start of curfew back to 19:00. The COE of Cuenca made the request to roll back the curfew because there were more people taking advantage of the late hour to drink in public spaces. <And probably sharing the bottle, cups and viruses.> The local COE request would affect the formal food and drink sector, one of the sectors hurt the most by the pandemic. For more, see the accompanying article.

COVID statistics – The last MSP (Ministerio de Salud Pública) showed 1,935 cases in Azuay since the start of the health emergency. Azuay has the 6th most cases behind the provinces of Guayas, Pichincha, Manabí, Los Ríos y El Oro. Cuenca, with 1,686 cases, is the canton with the most cases in the province. None of the other 8 cantons with active cases has over 75. Province wide, 73% of those infected have recovered. The number of critical patients dropped from 37 to 26 over the weekend which left ICU beds open. The Zone 6 health coordinator, Julio Molina, said they are waiting for a donation of more respirators from the US.

Trivia for the day – Basketball, both men’s and women’s, started in Cuenca at the Manuel J. Calle school in the 30’s. At that time, the womens’ uniform was a blouse, skirt and pantalón bombacho (bloomers). The Cuencana team played in Riobamba with the home team in shorts and the visitors in long skirts. The visitors went back to the dressing room in tears, and that’s when the skirts got ditched. Cuenca went on to win the game. <I wonder how well Michael Jordan would have played in bloomers and a long skirt?>

And that’s all for today so hasta ? –


38 thoughts on “Unmasked men get violent; Restaurants and bars protest proposed hours; Local governments go unpaid; Scholarship students stranded overseas

  1. I think the best “excuse” for not wearing a mask is simply “I don’t want to wear one of those things”. But if you do, fine, wear one.

    1. I think the best excuse FOR wearing a mask is that you might get arrested if you don’t. I agree with the statistician Nassim Taleb on the issue — that one person wearing a mask makes almost no difference but if most people wear them there is some benefit. It’s called the multiplier effect.

      1. It’s this kind of blind obedience that needs to be replaced with questioning our authorities. This kind of teachy preachy “do as your told” response is not what is going to see us through this. It’ll more than likely lead us further into a police state. Our authorities, no matter the country, are not our parents, nor are we their children. We’re all adults here and we should think as such, questioning each strange new and highly questionable dictate as it’s handed down.

        1. Listening to the epidemiologists during a pandemic is smart and common sense. Listening to politicians during a pandemic is clear that they have an agenda and one should question their motives.
          Implying that the authorities at the Health Organization are going to create a police state is clear that this will not happen. All the scientist there only care about is science and passing that information to us (whether we like the information or not).

          It has been clear that when wearing masks and social distancing was RECOMMENDED many adults did not listen until it became mandatory. It is clear not all adults think like adults. It has been apparent all over the world that even mature adults and not just the young ones were minimizing the dangers of Covid-19 and not listening to the epidemiologist. In many cases they were even questioning them and listening to some of the whacky politicians that have an agenda.

          1. I would love to agree with you 100% Esmeralda and I almost do, but I’m skeptical that the scientists we look to are also to one degree or another political, They may well have their own set of ulterior motives.

        2. This is the same mentality that has everyone owning a gun, if the government is holding all the guns how can we defend ourselves against them unless we have guns too….
          I think the problem is you need a trustworthy government and god knows you can’t trust the current one. Why is it that the US has the most guns and gun deaths in the world…
          if you have a government you trust, this constant paranoia of, police state, disappears, this screaming about our freedoms…. this is not about your paranoid dilutions, it’s about a pandemic and temporary measures to stop the spread. Governments have a role to play in this and if you have a good gov they will do things like issue protocols for prevention. As all good citizens in a civilized society, we should work together and help the gov through this PANDEMIC and play nice as a team until the danger passes. Is it that hard to wear a mask and keep distancing, this is not a political matter it’s a health matter.

    2. Frankly this sounds more like the entitlement of Americans, not the congenial and kind manner in Ecuador. We walk the city trying to smile and acknowledge passers by, and notice those with masks pulling them up when someone gets closer. The few without masks can be avoided easily, because they’re always outside, never in establishments. And always the young people…

    3. and it says right on the box of masks —warning: this mask will not protect you from viruses so buyer be aware. a virus is 0.1 microns and the masks allow in anything less than 100 microns plus of course thru the sides of the masks. the virus could sneak right by………. Keep up your personal immunity…….which of course also depends on contact with other people. But, this is real science, not the political hysteria out there.

      1. All true but the mask stops water vapour that is carrying that virus, that’s why you should have three masks and rotate thru them. If water droplets from an infected person get on your mask you let it sit for three days and that virus will die. It’s not meant to stop the virus… it’s meant to stop the virus carrying water droplets and vapour we expelled with every virus carrying breath…
        What is the biggest difference between countries with low to no cases and countries with huge numbers of cases? The implementation and mandatory use of masks, when that order went into effect and how it was enforced… it’s hard to deny this fact.

      2. Thank you for some accuracy about the masks. Using a mask to protect us or the other person from a virus 100 microns is like a mosquito being stopped by a chain fence. The droplets fall immediately to the grown. They are not airborne. One example of silliness was a demonstration of how dummies were used to show how the virus could travel six feet, if the dummy sneezed at the intended target. How often do people deliberately or accidentally sneeze or cough directly at someone near them? They almost always turn their heads or their entire bodies away from others.

        It also takes a minute or two of talking or being in direct contact with somebody who has the virus to contact it yourself. Some medical scientists say it can take up to five or even thirty minutes to contact Covid from another person, dependent upon the contact and contagion of the contagious person. Therefore, walking down the street in the open air, and wishing someone “Buenos Dias” as they pass each other is not going to result in a Covid contagion.

        As more people are tested, the rates of hospitalization and deaths become increasing minuscule, at the same levels of past flu seasons. In fact, there are reports that the CDC may soon declare that Covid does not qualify as a pandemic.

      3. how do we. or you for that matter, know that you are not carrying the virus? think of others first, please

    4. Wearing a mask may not be the best solution to avoiding the virus but I doubt that it is completely ineffective and definitely better than not wearing one. To those like the arrogant idiot Trump or those who feel their “Freedom” to act like fools is being taken away, if they contract the virus and didn’t wear a mask they should be denied medical treatment and be allowed to suffer and die alone and “Free.”

  2. A little pushing and shoving is merely the beginning. As the government continues to not be able to pay its bills, citizens not being able to work, and the city embarking on more large expenditures may lead to rocks and tear gas cylinders flying in the streets of Cuenca.

    I don’t have a crystal ball, but this type of environment has caused chaos and revolutions in other countries throughout history so why will Cuenca be different?

    1. That’s why it’s more important than ever to follow the guidelines, as to not have a spike in covid cases, so the economy can start to generate more money, and there is no fighting in the streets.

      1. The longer the population takes to reach herd immunity, the longer the economy and personal well-being of families and individuals will suffer. Each time the virus spreads to another host it begins to weaken, eventually it dies out.

        The Ecuadorian government needs to be sure it has plenty of hydroxycloroquine on hand, which has proven to be quite effective when given during the early stages of the virus. Yes, the same drug recommended by the wise President Trump, who without a second of hesitation the corporate media dismissed his recommendation, and lied about its dangers. Now, even they as usual are backpedaling from their lies.

  3. Regarding the piece and comments on “Women’s Work Triples” I’m all for appreciating the work done by women, but not at the expense of another group, in this case, their husbands. This article goes so far as to admonish me that I’d better “be grateful”. Honestly? This article is one-sided, at best. It leaves out the fact that men do not live as long as women. And while that longevity gap has diminished in recent years there are still many other aspects to this which should be considered. As homemakers, women are their own bosses. They have nobody to ‘answer to’ other than themselves and their own goals as to what kind of home they want to make. This is rewarding ‘work’ without the risks that accompany nearly all other lines of work. Homemakers do not worry about being laid off, demoted, or fired. Instead, they cultivate relationships with family members that last till the day they die. In contrast, men typically have short-lived relationships with others in the office; relationships which last only as long as the job lasts. This often leaves them empty handed between jobs and throughout their retirements regarding this critical aspect of life. And what’s with this odd term “husband care”? Really? It sounds pretty close to “child care”, but really? Are we to believe that the guy who makes sure those debit cards work as she purchases food, gas, clothes, you-name-it, is really a child? I don’t think so. Children do not pay mortgages, handle complicated taxes, and make critical decisions that they alone are held accountable for should they not work out. I don’t agree with any of the implications or demonizing of this very one-sided article. I’m all for appreciating the incredible work that women do and their accomplishments, but not if it lashes out at the expense of their husbands, even vilifying them.

    1. Thanks for a very complete and accurate comment regarding the content and veracity of this article. For at least the last 50 years all we have heard about is the supposed inequity women must endure without a single world from them regarding the improvements in opportunities that come to pass and always complaints about what they don’t have or can’t do. One must wonder when the UN or any other organization will do some research regarding the difficulties, stress and workload men must endure and have endured for a helluva long time without constant whining and complaining. It is time to turn a deaf ear to these types of biased politically correct reports and these over indulged spoiled brats. Men need to begin to stand up for themselves and put their contributions in the proper perspective.

      1. Ray and William. I am wondering how long you guys spend in the dog house when you show condescending behaviour towards women. Im sure in general you mean well but darn if we need to remind anyone that when women have a job out of the home they also still have a job in their home which is what we call a LARGE DIFFICULT WORKLOAD. And with this large workload brings no worry about being laid off, demoted, or fired. Who would lay off, demote or fire someone that works for next to nothing.

        You have no idea how much we look forward to doing all the housework after we have just come home from an 8 hour job out of the home, not to mention the time spent getting to work, coming home and stopping for groceries, loading the vehicle with the groceries and unloading the groceries when we get home, and put them away and prep the meal and then cook the meal, and then clean up the house and do the laundry. NOT
        Which in most cases is NOT SHARED BY MEN
        Did I forget something…oh yes…the list of things to do if there are children.
        We are not whining…we are just sayin….

        1. Esmeralda – to answer what you’re wondering about me, I don’t spend any time in a dog house (not sure what you mean by that) and I show no condescending behavior toward women or men. I disagree with the emphasis on women’s combined workload, home and office, exclusively because it implies men do not do the same. Personally, in my 40 years of marriage I’ve done the traditional chores; clean the pool, patch the fence, and endless lists of other handyman work fetching tools (some of them dangerous to use) from the backyard shed. We came to name these lists “honey do” for a good reason. But it would be absurd for me to complain that I never “got paid” for this work. Who would pay me? My wife? Regarding the raising of our two children, this was something totally shared between us, something that was both fun and rewarding the vast majority of the time.

          There was a ‘big national movement’ in the sixties to get women INTO the workplace. Now please, I am NOT making any reference to the adage “be careful what you wish for”. That would be upsetting and inappropriate. It was a GOOD thing that women gained entrance into the workplace. But this, the equal sharing of homemaking, handyman work, raising children, is something which each couple should work out among themselves. The picture you’re painting as I see it is way off; that most (if not all) men sit around watching ball games on TV, drinking beer and getting fat while their wives run themselves ragged doing absolutely everything. This is not the norm. Come to think of it, I’ve seen the exact opposite; a skinny, heavy smoker, mother-of-four, no job, contributes nothing at home, parks the kids in front of the TV and drinks Captain Jack sours most every day, her husband working like a dog to keep both the home and the finances in order. There are all kinds of families that endure all kinds of abuses. Work-share abuse, like any other, may exist, but it’s not something we need another ‘big national movement’ to combat. Any such protests would cause nothing but argument and divisiveness among couples, something we do not need. Even in the best case scenario, what would be the outcome? House police? What would they do? Install surveillance cameras in all homes to monitor who’s doing the most work, and then ‘crack down’ on those lazy husbands? No. This is something which, if it exists at all in a family, it exists inside the home. And that’s where it should be addressed.

          1. You sound like you are a fabulous partner in a relationship. Years ago it was frowned upon if a man did the cooking, changed the sheets, did the laundry, dusted vacuumed, cleaned toilets. More and more men are helping with the household chores now a days. You will be surprised how many men have knocked down other men that helped with household chores calling them Pus…y whipped or henpecked. The younger generation are not teasing their male friends like they did years ago.

            In the doghouse meaning….. in a situation in which someone is angry at you for something you did or did not do: For example…. If I don’t do something for Mother’s Day, I’ll really be in the doghouse.

            1. Ah! Gotcha! Dog house. I remember that expression now. More importantly Esmeralda, thank you for your kind and sincere response here. I think we’re both playing in the same band. It’ll be nice as these stereotypes disappear even more as a younger generation comes through.

    2. wow … you call me a murderer for torturing animals just because I eat meat …. you don’t like masks … and you don’t appreciate women … sorry but I am not vegan, I wear a mask if near people and I respect my wife and try and help her.

      1. Peter, you’re reading into what William wrote to the point that you’ve inserted ugly words here, but they’re your words, not his. He didn’t say that he “doesn’t appreciate women” nor did he say he doesn’t respect women as you’ve implied. What he’s criticizing here is ‘the movement’ and “reports” which are inaccurate, biased, and cause harm.

    3. I am a woman and I agree with you. I value the men in my life and would never want to live in a world without men.
      Both genders should honor and respect each other.

      1. Wow. Sounds very patriarchy to me. No one is suggesting living without men..women are suggesting that the workload be shared equally by both men and women. It will not happen if the women of this world continue to place the males as head of the family.

  4. It’s fairly obvious the government here isn’t going to sacrifice lives for the economy, the best course would be to follow the temporary, guidelines and enforce those rules, I’m happy to see they are doing this. If the numbers spike and they implemented new tighter restrictions it’ll kill all the businesses that are on the verge right now.

  5. How about reporting the number of DEATHS, rather than the number of “cases”…? If that was done everyone would get out of fear and understand that this is not a fatal condition, though a very tiny % may die from it (less than flu) especially if they have co-morbidities and compromised immune systems. This constant fear-porn is just disabling the community, morale, and the economy. It will take years to recover from that. I want to see Ecuador recovering….you don’t lock up healthy people., and if the virus is going to run its course and achevee “herd immunity” it has to run.

    1. Herd immunity isn’t doing so well in Sweden. Too many deaths.
      And now they are discovering that the complications are so severe that some are not bouncing back like they would from the flu. They are discovering new life threatening complications and they still are not certain what the future health will be once a person has been infected with Covid-19.

      Many of these complications may be caused by a condition known as cytokine release syndrome or a cytokine storm. This is when an infection triggers your immune system to flood your bloodstream with inflammatory proteins called cytokines. They can kill tissue and damage your organs, including your lungs, heart, and kidneys.
      Research shows that the most seriously ill patients run the greatest risk of liver damage this in addition to acute respiratory failure, phenomena, acute respiratory distress syndrome, acute cardiac injury, blood clots, just to name a few.

      Healthy people are being locked up to prevent the spread of this vicious virus because some do not even realize they are carriers.

    2. Knowledge is not fear, do you get nervous when you see a weather report, I’m as fearful of this virus as I am of a storm coming, and like a report of rain I use that knowledge to properly prepare, so I don’t get wet or sick. It’s not right to downplay this pandemic, it causes some to not prepare properly, so having the proper scientific numbers are important. CNN just ran a story on herd immunity they discuss how Spain doesn’t have herd immunity and it’s probably unattainable, based on an article from the lancet.
      4.5% is not tiny and they should report more on the numbers that survive with life long respiratory dysfunction. The case of the 41 year old broadway star that died of complications from covid, had a leg amputated and a pacemaker installed due to the virus… if he had survived that’s the kind of disability that will help drag the economy down…. No data on those kinds of debilitating post Covid conditions…. if you’ve been laid off your company’s health coverage is gone too… there’s no data on how that’s going to affect the economy when all those bankruptcies hit… there’s a lot more than the narrow view from fox and trump…

      1. The Lancet Report has been completely debunked. It has no scientific veracity whatsoever. It was used to scare people into submission, just like WHO did, and the democrat governors who deliberately put coronavirus patients into nursing homes, and now it is the democrat governors who continue to keep the economy closed in many states. Notice that states like Florida and Texas have far lower death rates than the democrat states like New York, California, Michigan, and New Jersey.

        You will never be intelligently informed following anything on CNN. It can’t even get a million viewers anymore, because people have seen it for its deliberate lies and inaccuracies. All but the most hardcore left have abandoned it.

  6. i would become angry with the ferari people who parked in disability parking spaces saying I will only be a miniute! same thing

  7. I love the way people pick and choose what they wish to believe in. For example all the baloney about not yet being as bad as the regular flu? really? How do you know that this virus is less dangerous? Are people asked to report their own illness when down with flu? Tell me if people are asked to wear masks or respect social distancing during flu season? No and no. are we asked to wash or sanitize our hands often? No. No one cares about the flu. But some like to postulate ridiculous theories based on supposed ‘freedoms’. Go ahead say F u to the government and all of will be exposed and I believe more will be ill and not recover and it will be like the 1918 pandemic but there are more of us now.

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