IN A NUSTHELL 21/2019-20

CHINA TRIES TO STOP CORONAVIRUS

The whole world is now looking at China where coronavirus had infected over 1,500 people by January 29, 2020. Over a hundred of them died. This means more people have been infected already than during an outbreak of SARS, a virus which killed almost 800 people globally back in 2003. Coronavirus is spreading fast and more than a dozen countries have reported cases of infected patients. All kinds of preventive measures are being taken, including most airlines spraying every plane arriving from China with special chemicals that kill the virus. The outbreak originated in Wuhan, a city of almost 10 million people. Authorities of Wuhan are now building two hospitals which in total will be able to serve 2,600 patients. That would perhaps not be a surprise if they hadn’t declared to do it within… six days! That alone perfectly illustrates the strength of Chinese economy and organisation which has no parallel anywhere else in the world. So far the first good news comes from Australia: a lab from there announced they have developed a lab-grown version of the virus which could help contain the spread of the disease.

Source: https://uk.reuters.com/video/watch/deaths-confirmed-cases-from-virus-rise-s-id668674257?chan=8mzpywae

https://uk.reuters.com/video/watch/chinas-two-coronavirus-hospitals-make-sp-id668791300?chan=8mzpywae

BREXIT COMPLETED

Many doubted it would ever happen because of endless negotiations, maybe even more hoped Britain would hold a second referendum and change its hastily taken decision. Yet, after 3.5 years the long-awaited deal was prepared and accepted by The European Parliament. This means on Friday January 31, 2020 Britain will officially no longer be part of the Union. They will have to say goodbye to a political European block which it co-created since 1973 and not every of 73 British MEPs are looking forward to this moment. Molly Scott said in an emotional speech she hoped they would one day return to ”the heart of Europe”. But the main architect of Brexit, Nigel Farage was finally happy. He said Brexit means no more financial contributions, decisions of European Court of Justice, Common Fisheries Policies, being bullied (a quote). Even though the deal has been signed still little is known about precise rules which will govern the cooperation between the EU and UK. A transition period will last a year and within this time everything remains the same as it was.

Source: https://www.reuters.com/video/watch/idPyrr?now=true

TOO FAST SHOES WORRY RUNNERS

There are a lot of sport disciplines where equipment makes a change. To mention just a few: in car racing changing one small part or improving aerodynamics can make you better than your rivals, in weightlifting wearing a special costume can make you lift even 60 kilograms more, better skis give you an advantage in slalom. In terms of running, one could think, most of the job must be done by you. However, Holly Grundon seems to have a different opinion. She says she had been chasing a particular time in a run for 3 years until she bought a pair of professional running shoes made by Nike. She said using them felt like running on cushions, heel is a lot higher and you kind of feel you could fall off the edge of the trainer. During the race she eventually smashed her target and started wondering if the result is not kind of cheating, if the fact that she did so well is actually her achievement. But really, can running shoes make such a difference?

Source: https://www.reuters.com/video/watch/theyre-fast-too-fast-a-runners-nike-prob-id665654593?chan=98mk9jk4

NBA LEGEND DEAD AT 41

Kobe Bryant, one of the top 10 (if not top 5) basketball players of all time, was among 9 people killed in a helicopter crash in a hilly area 30 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles last Sunday, 26 January 2020. His 13-year-old daughter Gianna, a basketball prodigy herself, was also killed – they were heading to a youth basketball tournament where Kobe was supposed to coach one of the teams. After retiring from the NBA in 2016 (as a 5-time NBA champion and a 2-time Olympic gold medallist), he became an extremely successful businessman and film producer, winning a „Best Animated Short Film” Oscar in 2018 for his „Dear Basketball” story. More importantly (to his own delight), he was seen as a superdad of four daughters (the youngest of them is now less than 7 months old) and a champion and promoter of all women’s sports. The iconic status he enjoyed globally (let alone in the United States or Los Angeles!) is best illustrated by the fact that his death has been headlining American news for over a week now – for a moment making Donald Trump’s impeachment hearings or even the coronavirus epidemic seem somewhat less significant.

Source: cnn.com, a January 27th to 30th coverage of Kobe Bryant’s death

DISCUSSION:

  1. People would be able to work together if a virus posed a threat to the entire humankind.
  2. Unions of many countries are not a good idea.
  3. Professional sports people in all disciplines should all use exactly the same equipment.
  4. It is inappropriate to excessively mourn the loss of one multi-millionaire in a world where 20,000 children die of hunger or malnutrition nearly anonymously every day.
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