Just to remember for the coming Winter holiday period

To avoid spreading the disease

Just to remember the rules to avoid spreading the disease.

All indicators (new infections, positivity rate, new hospital admissions, number of hospital beds occupied, number of new infections in residential care centres and number of deaths) showed a downward trend until the day before yesterday, which was encouraging. When the cyphers went down the evaluation of the alarm level on the 27 November 2020 was therefore reduced from sanitary emergency to level 4. However, the situation remained worrying as the decline was slow, the number of new hospital admissions remained high and there were still major outbreaks in residential care centres. The last few days we see again a rise of infections and people been taken into Intensive Care units. As a result, the pressure on care institutions and care providers remains high and people should be aware of the difficulties those health workers have to encounter.

The government has set rules to stop the spread of coronavirus. Follow these rules. This way, you will avoid becoming ill or making others ill. Thank you for following them. Together we’ll stop the coronavirus.

Christmas coronavirus rules

Non-essential shops may reopen as from 1 December 2020.

However, strict hygienic conditions apply:

  • Strict adherence to the basic rules such as washing hands, keeping your distance and wearing a face mask.
  • Preventative measures must be visibly displayed to all visitors, including staff and suppliers.
  • Hand sanitiser must be provided at the entrance; everyone entering the shop must sanitise their hands.
  • Staff must receive appropriate training.
  • Shopping must be done individually with one adult per shopping session. The company of children up to and including the age of 18 must be limited as much as possible.
  • Visits to a shop should be kept to a minimum and last no longer than 30 minutes.
  • Shops are responsible for managing the queues outside.  Shoppers queuing outside should be supervised to ensure that social distancing rules are respected. The organisation outside the shop is done according to the guidelines of the local authorities.

The conditions also relate to the maximum number of customers per square metre of accessible floor space:

  • For shops, the rule of one customer per 10 m² applies.
  • Shops with a surface area of less than 20 m² can allow a maximum of 2 customers at the same time, provided that social distancing rules are respected.
  • Large stores of more than 400 m² must provide for access control.
  • Access to shopping centres, shopping streets and car parks must be organised by the competent municipal authorities, in accordance with the instructions of the Minister of the Interior. This must be done in such a way that social distancing rules can be respected, in particular maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 meters between each person.

Museums and swimming pools may open in accordance with the protocol for their sector.

Christmas period

During the Christmas period, the social contact rules continue to apply. Singles will be able to receive both their contacts at the same time on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day in order to ensure their psychosocial well-being.

For gatherings outside, the rule of four (not including children up to the age of 12) continues to apply. There are six golden rules as instructions and not recommendations. They must therefore be adhered to by everyone.

Provisions of a protocol or guide which are less strict than the rules laid down in the Ministerial Order are not applicable.

The curfew between midnight and 5 a.m. remains in force, as does the ban on gatherings. The sale and use of fireworks will also be prohibited.

Work & economy

  • Teleworking is mandatory in all companies, associations and services for all staff unless this is not possible due to the nature of their role or because it would disrupt the continuity of business operations, activities and services.
  • Where teleworking cannot be applied, companies must take the appropriate measures:
    • ensuring maximum compliance with social distancing rules, and in particular that a distance of 1.5 m is maintained between each person;
    • if the social distancing rules cannot be guaranteed, ensuring at least an equivalent level of protection.
    • the employer provides staff members who are unable to work from home with a certificate or any other evidence confirming the need for their presence at the workplace. This applies to all sectors and businesses. This certificate or other form of evidence may be an existing document or card (e.g. a badge) belonging to the staff member concerned.
  • Face-to-face team building sessions are prohibited.

The application of these principles must be guaranteed at company level and developed by taking preventative measures as defined in the “Generic guide for combatting the spread of COVID-19 at work” (available at: https://employment.belgium.be/sites/default/files/content/documents/Coronavirus/Genericguide.pdf ); possibly supplemented by:

  • guidelines at sectoral level;
  • and/or guidelines at company level; and/or other appropriate measures offering at least an equivalent level of protection. Collective measures always take precedence over individual measures. Exceptions to the general principles:

For private and public companies and services necessary for the protection of the vital interests of the Nation and the needs of the public (see Annex to the Ministerial Order of 28 October 2020)

  • Teleworking is mandatory in all companies for all staff unless this is not possible due to the nature of their role or because it would disrupt the continuity of business operations, activities and services.
  • In addition, these companies and services are obliged to apply, to the extent possible, the social distancing rules.

This exception also applies to producers, suppliers, contractors and subcontractors of goods, works and services which are essential to the activity of those companies and to the provision of those services.

Medical or paramedical close-contact professions

Medical or paramedical close-contact professions and occupations regarded as ‘necessary for the protection of the vital interests of the Nation’ (included in the Annex to the Ministerial Decree, JC 330) may be carried out, even at home, such as dentists, psychologists, physiotherapy, home nursing, maternity care, family care, palliative home care and essential hair care for people with a medical condition. Podiatrists may still provide foot care. In addition, foot care that is urgent due to medical reasons can be provided by professionals other than podiatrists. For those service providers who are able to resume their activities, the rules applicable vary according to the place or the type of service provided:

A. On site

Service providers may offer their services to consumers in the areas of the company or association that are accessible to the public, subject to compliance with the fourteen minimum rules listed above.

B. At home

Only businesses, private and public companies and services considered necessary for the protection of the vital interests of the Nation and the needs of the population (as listed in the Annex to the Ministerial Order) may offer their services at the consumer’s home (e.g. lawyers, architects, plumbers and heating engineers), provided they respect the social distancing measures.

C. In public spaces;

If an authorised service were to be offered in public spaces, both the rules on gatherings and those on social distancing must be respected. The service provider can therefore only offer their services to a maximum of three other people (older than 12 years) at the same time.

For example, a private coach can train with three clients outside and a photographer can organise a photo shoot with three clients outside.

Tighter travel control

People who have stayed abroad for more than 48 hours and will stay in Belgium for more than 48 hours will be subject to stricter controls. They must:

  • Fill in the Passenger Locator Form
  • Comply with the mandatory quarantine

All the above measures are applicable until 15 January 2021. At the beginning of January, an evaluation will be made on the basis of the medical indicators to see whether a transition to the management phase is possible and for which sectors.

Infection and protection

The hygiene measures are adapted over time, according to the evolution of the pandemic, scientific knowledge and insight. The most up-to-date information is available at the following address: https://covid-19.sciensano.be/nl

Everyone, with the exception of children up to the age of 12, is obliged to cover their mouth and nose with a face mask or any other fabric alternative in all situations where it is impossible to ensure compliance with the rules of social distancing. This last obligation does not apply to:

  • people living under the same roof;
  • children mixing up to the age of 12;
  • people meeting each who have close contact on a regular basis;
  • counsellors and their clients (people in need of counselling).

In addition, wearing a face mask is compulsory in a number of places, regardless of the number of people present there:

  • On public transport from entering the airport, the station, on the platform or a bus, (pre-)metro, tram, train stop or any other means of transport organised by a public authority. Public transport drivers are not required to cover their nose and mouth, insofar as the driver is well-isolated in a cabin on the one hand, and a poster and/or sticker indicates to users the reason why the driver is not wearing a mask on the other;
  • For supervisors of camps, training sessions and activities that are allowed;
  • The establishments and places where catering activities are permitted, both for customers and staff, unless whilst eating, drinking or sitting at a table;
  • In shops and shopping centres;
  • In shopping streets, at markets and in any private or public are with significant footfall, which is determined by the competent local authority and demarcated by a notice specifying the times at which the obligation applies;
  • In conference rooms, auditoriums and places of worship & reflection;
  • In libraries, game and multimedia libraries;
  • in museums;
  • In places of worship and buildings intended for the public practice of non-denominational moral services;
  • When moving around in public and non-public parts of courthouses and courtrooms and, in other cases, in accordance with the guidelines laid down by the Chairman.

When it is not possible to wear a face mask or any fabric alternative due to medical reasons, a face shield can be worn.

People who are unable to wear a face mask, a fabric alternative or a face shield due to a disability, substantiated by a medical certificate, do not have to comply with this obligation. It should be noted, once again, that wearing a face mask is an additional protection that does not exempt people from applying the six golden rules for individual behaviour.

  1. respect hygiene measures;
  2. perform activities outside where possible;
  3. be considerate to vulnerable people;
  4. keep 1.5 metres distance; 5 limit your close contacts;
  5. follow the rules concerning gatherings. For more information about fabric face masks, please visit: https://www.info-coronavirus.be/nl/mondmasker/ However, wearing gloves is not recommended, as it gives a false sense of security, people still touch their nose, mouth and eyes if they are wearing gloves, whereby they can still get infected. It is much better to regularly wash hands with soap and water.
Posted in Announcement, Crisis, Warning, Welfare and Health | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

No time yet to relax the CoViD-19 restriction measures

A vaccine giving hope

90-year-old grandmother first to be vaccinated against CoViD-19

Margaret Keenan, a 90-year-old grandmother from Coventry has the honour to be the first to receive the Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine from Puurs (Belgium), which proved to be 95 per cent effective in trials, in the NHS vaccination scheme.

May Parsons, a nurse at Ms Keenan’s local hospital in Coventry, administered the dose. Ms Keenan, who turns 91 next week, is a former jewellery shop assistant who only retired four years ago. She has a daughter, a son and four grandchildren.

This would be the beginning of mass vaccination which would enable us to return to normal life again, when enough people would not be afraid for receiving the injections which shall bring an end to the present Corona pandemic.

The government promised to have the 50 million people injected before the end of April, but I do not think this would be possible.

To bite the teeth a little longer

For Belgium there is no duty, for the 11 million inhabitants, to have the injection but according to lawyer Christophe Lemmens (UA), the government can easily impose on the population to vaccinate against corona

“A polio vaccine is also mandatory, isn’t it?”

The second wave in all European countries proved we are not capable to control the spreading of the disease, because there are still too many people who do not want to keep to the restrictions of keeping social distance and wearing a mouth mask.

People are asking for a relaxation for the holidays, but this is not at all appropriate with the current figures. There was a slight improvement in the health situation in November, and even still at COVID-19 alert level four, there was a reopening of shops subject to strict conditions. Looking at the amount of people in the shopping streets this weekend it looked more like lots of people are still not aware of the seriousness of this pandemic and the danger of spreading the disease. Access to shopping centres, shopping streets and car parks must be organised by the competent municipal authorities, in accordance with the instructions of the Minister of the Interior. This must be done in such a way that social distancing rules can be respected, in particular maintaining a distance of at least 1.5 meters between each person, but on the pictures form the television stations we clearly can see that this is not respected and that stewards and police are not doing enough to call people to their necessary social duty. More penalties should be given when people do not wear a mask and all those who have lockdown parties should be seriously penalised.

All those not keeping to the measure endanger the self employed  and bring our economy also in danger. The Neutraal Syndicaat voor Zelfstandigen (Neutral Syndicate for the Self-Employed – NSZ) warns against an unprecedented wave of bankruptcy among the contact professions if they cannot open the doors this year. A poll of the self-employed organisation shows that a third fears bankruptcy.
About half (49 percent) say they will be in serious trouble if they cannot open the doors again quickly.

Consultations are planned today between Prime Minister Alexander De Croo (Open Vld) and a delegation of representatives of contact professions.

The decrease in the Belgian corona figures has almost stopped, according to data from health institute Sciensano again today. The vaccine is on the way, and residents and staff of the residential care centres will be the first in our country to receive the injection. However, it will take until after the summer before everyone is vaccinated.

There will be a new Consultation Committee on 18 December, but relaxation will not be on the agenda there. The decline in the Belgian corona figures has almost stopped, as shown again today from the data from health institute Sciensano. In La Dernière heure, Walloon minister-President Elio Di Rupo (PS) is already ahead of that Consultation Committee.

“We will discuss the vaccines, the mandatory quarantine and procedures to control them more efficiently. But also the epidemic figures that are not good. It is difficult to communicate about it. Because if you go from 2,172 cases on Sunday to 2,163 on Monday, people say to themselves: ‘There is a decrease’. However, we are in a stagnation. “

People should be more aware of the danger of another breakout, a third wave, when they would ignore all the present requests for safety measures. Unfortunately, although a lot of people were disciplined at the first lockdown, they often express their tirededness. Many also say they feel very restricted or say at the moment there is a deprivation of liberty. They should then consider how their former relatives were actually forced to suffer deprivation of liberty during the two world wars. That was a deprivation of liberty and a shortcoming of many resources (in particular food, but also contacts with each other).

Instanews imageDi Rupo said yesterday:

“Given the current situation, I think that the Christmas bubble cannot be touched. It would give the impression that we can party, which we certainly cannot do. “

Instanews imageFlemish Minister of Education Ben Weyts (N-VA) opting for stability, but with a clear perspective, reported that the current corona measures at Flemish universities and colleges will remain in force until the end of February.

“Rather than short-term minor easing, that may have to be withdrawn soon, we choose to continue the efforts longer, so that we can relax more drastically afterwards,”

says Weyts.

Distance learning has been the norm in Flemish higher education for some time now and that will remain the case for a while.
Since November 30, some essential things can be physically organised if it is really necessary or for the most vulnerable students.

For example, essential practicals, quiet study places and campus moments can be organized for students who really need them.
However, a maximum of 10 percent of the campus capacity may be used for this. In addition, universities and colleges can still be stricter.

“A lot of students and teachers were hoping for faster relaxation, but we don’t want a yo-yo,”

Weyts says

“If we relax too quickly, we will probably have to reduce those relaxations quickly. It is better to bite the teeth a little longer, so that we can then relax sustainably.
The situation is still precarious at the moment. “

Posted in Crisis, Education, History, News and Politics, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Old Google Sites of the Belgian Christadelphians

For months now I was busy with transferring material from the Old Google Sites to the New Google Sites.

It took longer than anticipated. But today I, at last, finished the transfer and indexing of the Belgian Christadelphian Pages of the Old Google Sites to the New Google Sites.

The one Old Google Site which could not convert automatically, because too huge, had to be brought manually to the New Google Sites. To avoid converting problems in the future I divided the site up into 5 different sites: 2 sites in English, and the others in Dutch, French and German.

  1. Christadelphia – City of Christ
  2. Belgian Christadelphians
  3. Belgische Christadelphians
  4. Belgische Brüder in Christus
  5. Christadelphes Belges

The Old Flemish Brethren site was easily converted, but still took up a lot of time for correcting the lines, word connecting and word splitting, plus giving it a new layout: Broeders in Christus

With “Christadelphia” I do hope I can give interested people also some idea of Christadelphian writings by different Christadelphians and some idea of the structure and working of our society.

Please be welcome to visit those sites.

In case you find I missed out some subjects and there should some articles added, please let me know.

Posted in Announcement, Christadelphian, Dagboek = Diary | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

From old times and sites to new linkings

Concerning the new Block Editor of WordPress I wonder what those in charge of WordPress made them decide to go for this awful “new” Gutenberg Editor. Nothing in it seems practical, whilst the old editor left everything to our imagination and liberty how to edit and layout our texts.

As a choreographer, I always wanted to be or to feel free to create and to let my imagination roll out of my feet and hands. Probably I was born out of certain creativity and with the impulse to have my thoughts roll out like in the previous years they had bombarded my parents. The sound of the marching German soldiers in the middle of the night still gives the impulse or heartbeat for the liberating thoughts.

My birthday being D-Day I always found I was liberated with liberal or free thoughts, though I always knocked into peoples doors. It was if my free mind was too turbulent and wanting to be freer than the world would allow the freedom of people, conscience, belief, expression or thought. Soon in life, I got to understand my thoughts are perhaps utopian. Though as a creative person, things perhaps difficult to accomplish seemed to attract me more than everything which was freely and easily available.

As such, it took me also a lot of decades before I was happy with my choice of religion, though being it a religion with more controversy than any other religion. People would not bother if I had been an atheist, Buddhist, Catholic or Anglican, or belonging to any sort of Trinitarian Church, but being a non-Trinitarian was like putting oil on the fire. Be it that I choose for a very tiny community, the Christadelphians, and wanted to share with the world our love for God and His son, Jesus Christ, with the whole world, following the task Jesus had given to his disciples. Following in the footsteps of Jesus and his disciples I do not mind going away from Babylon, out in the world proclaiming the Good News and telling about the coming Kingdom of God and its perfect world peace it has to offer.

But before such ideal peace would come over the world we should try to make the best of this world. Trying to make the best use of my time, I spent time creating articles for my Christian or Christadelphian websites, where IT technicians are more concerned with novelty than with practicality. Google (with its sites and Blogger) and WordPress preferred going against the will of most writers to bring new editors, which for lots of writers are more unpractical and more time-consuming than the old editors.

The last few weeks I also had to bring over my main Christadelphian website into smaller units and remaking most of the websites in Google because they could not convert to the new sites. Those which could convert, needed text correction because the previous line ends connecting with old line beginnings, forming one new word.) The impossible conversion and having to make new sites, also implied that I had to replace all the links in the pages of the WordPress sites, because their referral to the old websites would bring the reader to nowhere from November the 1st onwards. This gives me still a lot of work to do for the coming days. This also taking my time away from writing new articles.

We can see that often technology kills successful creativity. Though, creativity is the pinnacle of human intelligence and is that what gives man the liberty to let his dreams give energy is an otherwise dull life. We need that ability to imagine, enabling us to create interesting things which can put others again on the road to create again some other new things, something that doesn’t yet exist.

Mankind needs to acquire and utilize knowledge, and therefore we need intelligence. But intelligence may not kill imagination, or the ability of the mind to be creative. Creativity is the use of imagination or original ideas to create something and is the motor of a generation or culture.

Those who want to write need imagination, creativity, intelligence and have to have the technical skills to bring it in reality and to make it worth encountering. Next, we need the one thing that connects them, namely curiosity. If you had not been curious to what the title of this article could bring to you, you would not have read it, and my article would have no eyes to have seen it and would have not met (any or enough) minds thinking about it.

When a person wants to be creative, he must use his curiosity, sometimes more than his imagination. In his head the questions must roar. That they did, and still do, in my head. As a roaring lion every moment of the day I face loads of questions, often with only a few answers. I give way to answers which may come up and allow them to create new questions. I also let the answers feed my (hopefully) – enough – intelligent mind, having it willing to keep learning and to let it do what it knows best: Utilizing knowledge to imagine something out of nothing.

At times of challenge and controversy, I also kept going, perhaps against the flow, into a direction I believed this would bring me on the right path or track to a world where I could fit better and could feel at ease.
That way I do hope to be able to continue to write and to inspire.

Posted in Christadelphian, Christendom, Culture, Dagboek = Diary, History, Justification, News and Politics, Reflection - Consideration or Contemplation, Religion, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Classic Editor versus Block Editor

WordPress appears to have fallen off its best horse Continuing

Youghal Web Design seems also not pleased, like so many, with the changes WordPress made.

It’s all in the name ‘classic’ classic infers something that worked- that’s quintessential and time honoured but now we’re moving on: classic is dead-classic is dead. {Classic Editor v Block Editor}

Like any sound person would think and question is, why would one change a system that is working very well?!

Sometimes you wonder is it that software developers are sitting there navel gazing wondering is there anything to do? {Classic Editor v Block Editor}

If the changes proposed would make something better, no regret and only happy faces. But Now, with this Gutenberg Block editor?!

Funny enough it says you best use a feature picture, but I did not find a way to include it by my previous post. With the Classic editor, it was so easy to add pictures wherever one wanted in what size one wanted at what place one wanted.

You want to add media well no problem: press the add media or + and there you have it. But with block it is so tedious and mind numbing and super unfriendly- it must have been a bad pizza day when they came up with that block head idea. {Classic Editor v Block Editor}

Raised by a Narcissist, the writer of Lucky Otters Haven, hates the Gutenberg editor like me who is not thinking in blocks, like probably most writers do not. He writes:

I know numerous bloggers have complained about this forced change, but all we get from the WP staff is some passive aggressive comment about

“being unwilling to learn something new”

and a condescending attitude. They don’t care about writers anymore. As soon as Gutenberg becomes the only choice in 2022, I’m gone. Probably to Medium, which seems to be a better platform for people who want to write. {I want the Classic Editor, not this block garbage.}

Liz is also one of the bloggers who only sees an escape:

I think WordPress will find themselves affected, with a lot leaving through this drastic change they made. I can’t see how they won’t.

I sincerely hope WordPress shall change course, and will have ears to the many bloggers who used their system for already a few or many years. In case they prefer to promote their new Gutenberg system that they allow those who prefer the old Classic system, to use that more practical editing system which has proven its qualities.

Like many others, the already frustrated writer of the Lucky Otters haven looked it up in the forums how he could go back to the Classic editor.

and all I saw was that it can be accessed from the Admin page. That’s it. Well, I did that, and looked everywhere on the Admin page, and see absolutely NOTHING giving me the option to switch back to Classic. I even went to the Edit page (as if writing a new post) and clicked on the three small dots at the top (because that has worked in the past), and there is no option for Classic. {I want the Classic Editor, not this block garbage.}

I do hope he shall find my previous posting giving a good solution the Canadian Minh brought forward, but does not seem to work for the picture, because that was set at 600 pixels and appeared horrible (I left it now as a proof of the failure of both the Gutenberg and the Classic with the not coherent new editor).

centering pictures- is unnecessarily complex between the searching among all the little icons – and trial and error. {philosophermouseofthehedge}

I noticed some are already moving to another blog system.

Nyssa The Hobbit found Mustapha Hamoui who already made the change:

  1. Built in distribution
  2. Ease, convenience and low friction of writing (with keyboard shortcuts!)
  3. Future support for Google AMP and Facebook’s Instant Articles
  4. Global Content Delivery Network (CDN) for assets (Fast loading!)
  5. Free Hosting (including for your photos!)
  6. Free SSL (this is huge!)
  7. Great mobile experience for those who have the Medium app
  8. And most importantly, I get to keep my domain name and all the links to my old posts stay alive

Nyssa The Hobbit followed the controversy online before they first introduced Gutenberg, and saw how anyone who complained got ridiculed. She writes:

They were told that users would LOVE it and only developers were complaining. Then they said that bloggers would LOVE it because it would be easier for them to use. Otto, especially, can be mean to people, both developers and people complaining in the support forums. If you say you can’t get Gutenberg to work, Otto ridicules you like you’re just old and don’t like change.

If you go to the WPTavern blog, you can see how they constantly praise Gutenberg and say that, a year+ after they introduced it, it’s working much better and people LOVE it. Of course, people do still complain in the comment section from time to time, though they’re heavily moderated there.

This is why ClassicPress was developed for the .org version. A lot of people felt the same way, not just about the changes but about the authoritarian moderation in the support forums and WPTavern. Of course, to go with CP you have to have your own website, and that costs $$. I don’t know if CP will ever do a .com version, but from what I understand, it’s not their day job.

My son, for his commercial(paid) website, has gone for another system which is based on the Classic WordPress, which seems to work great and handy for both the webdesigner as well as the webreader or webuser to order products.

Something about nothing warns the WordPress people:

I won’t die being forced to use the Gutenberg editor to write my posts. But it sure has killed off the enthusiasm for WordPress for making such a faux pas move on users. Sure, we are free users but your empire was built upon the heads of free users who made the jump from other blogging platforms long ago for better reasons then.{Force fed.}

In October 2018

When I looked at the result of Gutenberg, I was rather disappointed. Every block has a label round it defining its start and finish. We don’t need the labels – we can see if a piece of text is a paragraph or not, the same as we can see if a picture is a picture. A lot of extra work to learn a new system that doesn’t make life easier than before, and bloated files as a result. {Its a long way back – Part 2}

and on he wrote:

It appears that I am not the only one to have such a reaction. Although the latest versions of WordPress will only offer the Gutenberg editor, there is a plug-in – Classic Editor  – that will reinstate the old editor, and leave Gutenberg as an option.

Guess what!

The Classic Editor plug-in is very popular, and has been installed more than 800 times by various users. It is quite clear that whatever WordPress may think, their devotees have a different opinion! {All is not lost!}

I wonder how many people would have downloaded the Classic Editor by now.

No

Why has an editor to be made so difficult to use when there is a way much easier to place texts and pictures by non-technical people?!

Like Marilyn Armstrong I could say the same as she does:

I’m retired. I really don’t need something so complicated to write anecdotal stories and the occasional book or movie review.{Marilyn Armstrong in thoughts on “Blogging Insights # 35 – Gutenberg”}

WPcomMaven writes:

For those who legitimately didn’t know, hadn’t followed or weren’t interested in the development of the Block Editor (AKA Gutenberg) in the WordPress.org open source project, after a little less than 2 years, the Block Editor became the default editor when WordPress 5.0 was released in December 2018. That was a year and a half ago. Anyone downloading or installing the standalone WP software since then uses the Block Editor as the default editor. Those WP users wanting to edit with the Classic Editor need to install a separate “Classic Editor” plugin. As of today, about 5+ million WP sites have installed that plugin.

According to W3Techs, as of 19 June 2020, WordPress currently runs 37.5% of all websites.

WordPress is used by 63.5% of all the websites whose content management system we know. This is 37.5% of all websites.

There are an estimated 1.2 billion websites in total*, which, if correct, means WP powers 420,000,000 websites. Of those sites, 78.2% run the aforementioned WP 5.0 and up. That’s 328,440,000 websites. Subtract the approximately 5 million sites that have the Classic Editor plugin installed and you have roughly 323 Million WP sites where the Block Editor is the default editor. So, by the numbers the Classic Editor is in use on a small percentage, around 1.53%, of WP sites running at least WP 5.0.** {The Block Editor-A Fireside Chat}

+

Related

  1. Blogging Insights # 35 – Gutenberg
  2. The Classic Editor Script Was Updated
  3. The Block Editor-A Fireside Chat
  4. The Gutenberg Editor – My Current Love/Hate Relationship
  5. The Classic Editing Experience is Moving, Not Leaving. But where? And for whom?
  6. Intro to Gutenberg Block Development
  7. Trying the new block editor
  8. The WordPress apple cart
  9. Old Editor: Grateful For The Help And Tips
  10. No More Mister Blocky
  11. Gutenberg 8.9 Brings Block-Based Widgets Out of the Experimental Stage
  12. How to Fix WordPress Editor
  13. How to Create a Gutenberg Background Image (Cover Block)
  14. How to Create Blog/ Weblog
  15. Resisting Change
  16. WordPress Page Builders: Elementor or The Block Editor?
  17. Embracing the New WP Editor Through Memes
  18. Go Away, Gutenberg!
Posted in Announcement, Dagboek = Diary, History, News and Politics, Reflection - Consideration or Contemplation, Thoughts of others, Warning | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

WordPress appears to have fallen off its best horse

 
 

This weekend I came back home from a road trip in France, where I, at moments could have some very bad internet. That made it impossible to continue my urgent work to get my Google-Sites converted or those which could not convert to transfer them manually. So that is some big task waiting for me these days. But to my surprise not only Google pushes us to renewal or renovation. Also, WordPress pushes us something terrible down our throat.

Why do so many think they always have to renew something?
If they could make it better, no problem. But WordPress has chosen for one of the worst editor systems. I have several blogs made in different systems and until recently Word Press scored best on all matters. But now I have to rate it down (from a 9/10 down to a 3/10, and if I have more trials it even could get worse to a 2/10 because it frustrates me now a lot) them having created an unpractical editing system.

By converting all users to their new “block editor”, Word Press misses the opportunity of being the favourite of those who regularly want to post new material, and followed so many other blog systems with much better block editors (compare for example: Site 123 a much better block editor; but look also at SimpleSite , Jouw Web, Jimdo, Webnode, Weebly, Wix a.o. just to call a few which got through my trials as a possibility to use.

WordPress really upset the apple cart a few nights ago by converting all users to their new “block editor. {The WordPress apple cart}

is the least what can be said in a friendly manner. Looking at Google Searches to get back on the Old Word Press Editor it seems lots of people got frustrated like I seem to have become.

I wonder why Word Press has taken away the toolbox so many enthusiast writers have been using for many years. They now left us with a scrambled pile of unrelated parts and pieces. Before we had a very easy and handy system which allowed us to edit and give every article a layout like we wanted. Looking at their “Gutenberg” (shame on the name) and reading all the articles concerning ways to get back on the classic editor it looks like WordPress Company and Word Press Organisation allows only the paying people to choose for the Old or traditional Best ever Editor, because those who can afford it can choose than the Plugin “Classic”.

Classic Editor is an official plugin maintained by the WordPress team that restores the previous (“classic”) WordPress editor and the “Edit Post” screen. It makes it possible to use plugins that extend that screen, add old-style meta boxes, or otherwise depend on the previous editor.

Classic Editor is an official WordPress plugin, and will be fully supported and maintained until at least 2022, or as long as is necessary.

At a glance, this plugin adds the following:

* Administrators can select the default editor for all users.
* Administrators can allow users to change their default editor.
* When allowed, the users can choose which editor to use for each post.
* Each post opens in the last editor used regardless of who edited it last. This is important for maintaining a consistent experience when editing content.

In addition, the Classic Editor plugin includes several filters that let other plugins control the settings, and the editor choice per post and per post type.

By default, this plugin hides all functionality available in the new block editor (“Gutenberg”).

Minh, who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada writes

I got my first taste of the new WordPress.com editor today, and I spat it out faster than the worst food I had ever tasted! Blah!

Looking online for ways to get back to the Classic Editor, all I found was crap, unfortunately. If there were a good answer out there, it certainly didn’t rise to the top of my Google searches. All kinds of bad advice about converting every freaking block to a Classic Block, each time with a prompt to dissuade you from using it, if not by narrative then by annoyance! Some suggested changing a theme like your image and identify wasn’t worth anything, and I’m not convinced it worked! It was all crap! {How to Enable (Get Back) the Classic Editor in WordPress.com}

Like her, I could not find a good answer, leading me to an easier way to create new messages with the present Word Press system. The advice for changing a theme brought me unto sites where I only had three months for free and then had to pay monthly or yearly.

In the new system may be a lot of tools people may want, but it takes hours to find them or their new versions, also clicking on some of them, like choosing a feature picture does not work (or nothing seems to change and I have no opportunity to choose the picture I want) though it advises using a feature picture. Yesterday I tried to place two articles on my ecclesia site, which took me more than two hours whilst otherwise it would have been fixed in half an hour max 3/4 of an hour.

— time that should be spent thinking about our content, not how to get it onto the page. (My last post, meant to be a quick note that should have taken 15 minutes, required an hour or more of intense frustration to complete.) {The WordPress apple cart}

I have already grey hair, but it could turn “green”!

The Canadian girl is the first one in a lot of posts I read who could bring a reasonable solution. But why should we be forced to take such a “detour” to easily write an article?!?!!!!!

By chance, in trying to see how hard it would be to edit old posts using this new Block editor, perhaps to learn from reverse engineering of a fully formed post rather than from scratch on a blank post, I saw the option for a Classic Editor! Enlarge photo at right. I took the screenshot in the middle of forming this post which I wrote in the Classic Editor, by the way.

With a way to actually enable the Classic Editor, I just then devised a way to use it for new posts with a little ingenuity around WordPress’ navigation for doing new posts. It’s not without its small annoyance to start, but you know, compared to the new Block Editor, if you don’t like it, you’ll forget about the annoyance soon enough! It’s easy and here’s how to do it, preferably with your post title known, but that’s not mandatory. It just skips annoying editing steps later.

  • Add a new post. You’ll see one in the Block Editor, which is fine.
  • Give your post a name and Save Draft. If you wanted, you could even put a first letter, word, or whatever amount of text you want into the initial block before Saving Draft. Saving Draft means your currently incomplete post won’t be seen by anyone like followers or in the WordPress Reader.
  • Go back to your WP Admin page. I have this as a bookmark on my Favourites Bar in my browser. If you didn’t and published to any frequent extent, you may want to consider it now.
  • Hover your mouse over Posts in the left hand menu. This should open a submenu with All Posts as a choice.
  • Click on All Posts. This will show your most recent posts, drafts, and/or scheduled posts, of course, just like in my photo above.
  • Mouseover your newly created DRAFT post title. This will give you some editing choices like in the photo, one of which will be Classic Editor. When you click on that, it will take you to the Classic Editor, which I am working with now as I type this post. There is a pop up dissuading you from it, but you’d get the same pop up every time you made a block a Classic Block in the new Block editor anyway, so this is nothing!

Then edit away and post as before! Happy WordPress editing! {How to Enable (Get Back) the Classic Editor in WordPress.com}

I am very grateful (to her) I could find her very useful post, but I do regret Word Press is not offering us a straight forward choice of editing the new or the old-fashioned way and there being again to use the shortcut keys. Working by a keyboard goes much faster than gripping for a mouse and scrolling with the mouse.

Blogger also had first forced us to get to the new editor, but thousands of bloggers complained and found it a useless new system. I wrote a lot of letters back and forth to the Google technicians and on forums. I even thought of stopping to write on Blogger, but in the end it turned all right. Also, for the new Google Sites with also a “block editing” system (but a lot easier and far much better than WordPress, I am busy transferring my Google Sites to the New Google Sites). (For the religious sites there is still a lot of work to fix them. My personal Profile site was converted all right – it took some time to cut all the words of the old lines /which became one word with the beginning word of the next line / and to make one word again for the words which became split by the new lines) and is now already restored.) Now Google fro Blogger created something in between and made it again easy to write texts and to place labels (which was horrible in their new system and took ages to scroll through the available labels – when there are many like in my “Our World” blog.)

In my eyes tagging and labelling are a very handy tool to allow readers to find more articles on the subject they want to read more about. I find it essential for a blogger to allow their readers to find out more of his thoughts and about related articles. Though I must admit lots of people did not like it that their article was mentioned in a “related” section, so for many sites, I stopped putting all that work for searching articles on the subject and for making a free advertisement for their article by getting readers away from my websites going to look at someone else’s website.

Having tried out several systems for getting material on the internet platform, after the shutdown of Multiply, WordPress was the best option and getting much more readers than Multiply or any other system. To check the number of readers and/or views I created two blogs with the same articles to check the amount of views: they were a WordPress and a Weebly site. In the end WordPress came out with the best results. Then, the most easiest to place articles (less time-consuming) and receiving the most views: Relating to God – WordPress site versus Relating to God Weebly Site.

For so-called Free sites, Webs proved useless, shutting down the site or getting Frozen,  every time after a few people visited it or when not enough people visited it in a certain time, and as such not generating enough views for all the work invested.

Infinity Free is so-caled free but to start it up one has to pay for this and for that, becoming more expensive than other systems. So no advisable system seems to me.

Gutenberg according to the developers should help us to create new content with pre-built blocks. Each block can be added to our page and edited in a simpler way than ever before, they promise. But I can not find such a thing. My impression is that Gutenberg is not at all handy in its presumed flexibility, though there may be numerous Gutenberg block plugins designed to help us create amazing content.
Instead of having one big HTML file, our page is divided into sections or blocks, which should make it easier to edit and design according to the developers. How we can also save our blocks and reuse them, no need to start from scratch every time we wish to edit something, is not clear to me. Because, then I would choose straight ahead a block with the classic editor. (If you know how to do it — please tell me.)

WordPress was my favourite bread and butter. I created many websites in the system and was pleased I could get many views on those sites about God and His commandments and His promises. All the work I do for God is not paid for and to do it, I have to invest already in several necessary costs to get it on the internet (like the internet connection, copyrights, Bible software, etc.) To accomplish my preaching work I must say I prefer to have a strong set of instruments to get the job finished. For years now, I could trust Word Press and was very pleased to have it around for me to help in my preaching work.

Today it seems I lost the right gear to keep my horse going in the wild.

I look forward to find a solution which shall make it again easy to create articles and to reach people from all over the world.

Posted in Announcement, Dagboek = Diary, Justification, News and Politics, Poll, Reflection - Consideration or Contemplation | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Hollowness of democracy

In the Kafkajan country Belgium after more than one year (nearly1,5 year) after elections there is still no government formed according to the votes given by the people.

In that tiny country it is clearly shown how without a sense of community and belongingness, democracy becomes hollow. Clearly, the Belgian politicians have no idea any more what goes on in the real lives of the Belgian citizens. The politicians also do not have any empathy with ordinary people or the working class. They also have no real sense of obligation or duty to their voters nor to eachother. Short: they do not seem to have any decency any more to try to build up a nation for the good of all.

In my article of the morning of Tuesday, August 18, So-called own sacred values under threat, for my other blog, From Guestwriters, I write about the miserable situation we are evolving in our world of globalisation, where there are certain politicians who want to create division in their own country, by discriminating others and by ignoring all health and ecological matters.

The last few years we have seen a growing tendency to develop to politics of nationalism and xenophobia. The United States with their 45th president is the one who can take the lead and show the whole world how it shouldn’t be. But incredibly he may find lots of followers all over the world. Some think he is the example to bring the not wanted people out of the country and to bring the economy back on track. Certainly, with the Coronacrisis some seem to find in him someone who should know and who sees much clearer how

‘virologists try to blind the world’.

Demonstrators at the Brandenburg Gate with a banner reading Day of Freedom

Thousands of people in the German capital Berlin have taken part in a protest against the country’s coronavirus restrictions.

In lots of countries we can find groups of demonstrators saying measures including the wearing of facemasks violates their rights and freedoms. Though they forget those measures are there to protect the safety of all people, themselves and those around them. Several people wanting others to believe governments are using CoViD-19 to have power over the people and to have the people in control.

From all those who think their freedom is being limited by the corona measures came early Agust, about 17,000 protesters in Berlin expressing their displeasure in an atmosphere of

you are kidding people, there is no such dangerous virus that can threaten us.

What we can see in all those countries where protestors come on the streets, is that several participants are from the far-right, but everywhere we also find conspiracy theorists who do not believe Covid-19 exists. I wonder why and how then such news about full hospitals and so many dead could still be in the news every day if it was not true.

Just as there are lunatics in America who think with their right-wing friends that it is a trick to conquer the people, there have been protesters in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands, because they consider the corona measures of their government an infringement on their personal freedoms. Some of the protestors are just people who simply object to the government’s approach to the pandemic, or do find the government should prioritise on the economy, making sure all the factories, shops, restaurants and events should be enabled to continue their business as usual. For them it is not proven that people would become more infected or quicker ill when there would not be such harsh restrictions as now.
They do not seem to realise that the measures taken are necessary measures to protect people.

Some consider themselves enslaved by the government. From this one can deduce that those people are not used much anyway if they already feel like a slave to have to wear a mouth mask or face mask now and then. In many cities we hear them shouting:

“We want democracy back”,

whilst others shout:

“Corona, false alarm”

and

“We are being forced to wear a muzzle”.

In Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium there are many who have reservations about the scientists who are given the floor in the media. However, there is no one who can put forward a skilled scientist who can contradict the current corona measures as useless.

The same for the U.S.A.where in over a dozen states from coast to coast, protesters also have taken to the streets, blocking roads and honking car horns. They too say that the stringent measures restricting movement and businesses are unnecessarily hurting citizens. Many cite President Trump’s caution that the cure cannot be worse than the disease itself.

Some also claim we need a “racial consciousness” and a white “awakening”, doing away with all those immigrants which bring in all those diseases. For many now its time to go on with a stronger or more acute peaceful ethnic cleansing.

It is incredible to see how many think Donald Trump is the only one to solve the present crisis and to bring the U.S.A. back on its feet. I would say

“by now Americans should have seen how Trump is not able to manage the country safely.”

Though for many white Americans Donald Trump as a potentiality was undoubtedly energising and is making America great again. Some say that the Donald Trump campaign was the first time in their lifetime that

“an identity politics for white people was on the scene.”

Lots of white Americans have forgotten how the land they live in now, was founded and build up. They seem to have forgotten how diverse it was at the beginning, having people come from all over Europe and Russia. Today they are against diversity. In defence of a more homogenous nationalist identity, they are convinced that too much diversity and immigration undermines a sense of community and belongingness and in the end would do their nation so much damage, that they cannot accept such an evolution. It is an argument made most forcefully by far-right opponents of immigration, but has become increasingly voiced by liberals, too.

People forgetting their ancestors and not seeing how different peoples can enrich each other, instead of making their nation stronger by excluding others, shall make it weaker. A nation constantly needs new blood and new ideas People also have to be open to create bonds with each other, and they have to find ways to co-operate with others from outside their community. When there is no will to share the open space and to have sense of shared ownership of, and obligation to the public space it shall not be possible to have a properly functioning democracy. Without such a sense of community and belongingness, democracy becomes hollow. When people have no real sense of obligation or duty to each other, but exist as isolated individuals with few social bonds tying them together it shall not be possible to have a coherent stable nation.

The place where we live and the traditions from that place shall influence us and all those who come to live in that place. When those living in that place can feel a togetherness the bond shall be stronger but also more productive and positively successful.  As by reason and necessity, people should have an openness to others in their community to have their community to grow.

Today we see several politicians who have their voters forget the past but to see an ideal picture, going for social transformation, defined less by a sense of a shared past (though most draw upon historical traditions) than by hopes of a common future; the embodiment of the politics of solidarity rather than of identity. Those populist politicians throw sand in the eyes of their voters and want them to believe their traditions and values are in danger. They give the impression those who are against them created the coronavirus and want to come in control of the nation using all sorts of fake news. That these populists themselves spread a lot of lies, none of their followers seems to see or to believe.

Many do not see that though diversity may bring about cultural and ideological clashes, it are those clashes which create positive fireworks. There is the fear of nativist sentiment that immigration undermines social cohesion and erodes our sense of national identity. But when their national identity is strong enough the minority of those coming to live in the region shall easier adapt to those traditions of the people living in that community.

Several people think that to accept immigrants their ways of being, and not criticize or challenge their values or practices, would make them weaker and would have them change their values and practices. All those who complain that so many become Muslim, should wonder more why they did not stay a Catholic or Protestant and found it better to change religion. They should understand it is much better to police the boundaries between groups to minimize clashes and conflicts and to learn from each other. Such acceptance should not at all be corrosive of democracy. When everybody feels that there is mutual respect, everyone shall stay open and receptive for the other.

To recognize the mutual respect requires us to challenge that values and beliefs of others and to have a willingness to exchange ideas and to go in open public debate about the values, to which the one and the other aspire. People would be surprised to come to see when there is a voluntary openness such a debate does not have to be difficult or to be so confrontational that it shall be felt inconveniently. Often such difficult confrontational debate is a necessity in any society that seeks to be open and liberal. And democratic.

We must open ourselves for constructive thought and for ways to protect all people in our society, young, old, white, black or differently coloured, unbelieving in gods or God and believing in gods or God.

+

Preceding

The Hero of the greatest …. failures

CoViD-19 Curation

Challenges of the Post-Pandemic period

Migrants to the West #2

Vatican against Opponents of immigration

The New gulf of migration and seed for far right parties

Inequality, Injustice, Sustainability and the Free World Charter

Populism endangering democracy

An European alliance or a populist alliance

++

Additional reading

  1. Poster: Please Help The Refugees
  2. The World Wide Refugee and Migrant Crisis and a possible solution for it
  3. La Peste (1947) by Albert Camus – The Plague
  4. According to Pew Most White Evangelicals Don’t Think COVID-19 is a Medical Crisis
  5. In Coronatime thinking about death
  6. Religion, fundamentalism and murder
  7. Women in France running with naked bosom all right but with covered bosom penalised –Women their freedom taken away + Secularism, good attitude and proper values
  8. Our stance against certain religions and immigrating people
  9. Declining commitment to democracy : What’s going on around the world ?
  10. After display of unity back to disunity
  11. Being Christian in Western Europe at the beginning of the 21st century #2
  12. Symbolic move to scare people away
  13. Negative views of immigrants, Muslims and Jews
  14. Institutional Racism
  15. Seeds from the world creating division and separation from God
  16. A new start when the lockdown comes to an end
  17. Unity doesn’t mean uniformity
  18. Decolonising our minds
  19. Good time to sort out your friends and contacts
  20. A living Word giving confidence
Posted in B4Peace, Culture, Economy, News and Politics, Poverty, Religion, Warning, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Challenges of the Post-Pandemic period

All are looking for what shall happen when this corona infection period shall come to an end. At the moment we do have no idea yet when we’ll find the end of the CoVid-19 intrusion on our life.

The many countries who had a lockdown are finding ways to ease those limitations on their citizens.

I am convinced this Coronacrisis should bring people and governments to look for new ways to order their life and society structure and consumption. The many coronaviruses we saw the last few years showed something is totally wrong with our use of animals and that we do have to find more hygienic ways to handle food. Sustainable food consumption and customer behaviour have now become even more important issues both in scientific and political circles, which are never losing their topicality with changing economic conditions. We have to identify the existing barriers for sustainable food consumption and have to make sure people come to understand our greed squeezing natural resources can no longer be continued.
Both the public health crisis and the climate crisis highlight the limits of humanity’s power over nature. Our consumption habits should change drastically. Our world has seen too many habitual behaviours which overload the natural environment.

It shall take still some more months before our battle with the unseen enemy shall be conquered. At the moment you can say the world is at war. But like with every war, after the damage shall have to come a “Marshall Plan” to recover and bring everything to normal. We for sure can need an A-Z or roadmap for bringing our badly damaged world back into a good fold. We also should take care certain politicians would not take this situation to give certain groups or peoples the blame or being the cause of this bad situation we are in, or that they would be an extra plague to our current crisis.

For sure what took decades and centuries for the climate has taken days or weeks for a contagious disease which was not controllable by man. We have seen that by the slow human immunodeficiency viruses (HIV) – the retrovirus that attacks and gradually destroys the immune system, leaving the host unprotected against infection; the other highly contagious respiratory illness characterized by a persistent fever, headache, and bodily discomfort, followed by a dry cough that may progress to great difficulty in breathing SARS, the other Middle East, acute viral respiratory illness MERS and the virus of the family Filoviridae that is responsible for a severe and often fatal viral hemorrhagic fever, Ebola. That Ebola virus (EBOV) was already a great sign we had to prepare the world for more coronaviruses; having had already those mentioned above and: Coronavirus HKU1 , coronavirus-OC16, Human group II coronavirus OC43, New Haven coronavirus and NL63 coronavirus (just to name the few I can think of we encountered already) and for more dangerous illnesses coming to affect the whole world.

At first, eyes were directed at the efficiency of vehicles and buildings, but how products were made and consumed was often forgotten, though we should never forget that this also has a huge impact on emissions. Strategies that aim to reduce demand for materials and products will be essential to limiting rising global temperatures.

Simply telling everyone to reduce their consumption is unlikely to yield enough good results, also because we are aware that the majority of the population their first interest is their own well-being no matter at what cost. Not so many people are interested to know where the products come from at what cost (on human and other life costs). Government and businesses will also need to play their part, making sure that already here in Europe everybody got stimulated to come to respect the naturals sources and to demand a respectful wage for every worker or producer.

The governments should educate the people and raise awareness surrounding issues of waste and resource use. Incremental consumer changes will only lead to small emissions savings, therefore we need to challenge the wider system in which we operate, and shift away from the status quo towards a more resource efficient, low carbon society. We have to start thinking collectively to sort this crisis out.

Lots of people say we are just with too many. But I do think there is still enough place on earth. We just need to reorganise our placing in our natural environment.

Also the naturalist and environmental campaigner, Chris Packham who has always spoken his mind – and attracted death threats in the process got, by this CoViD-19 pandemic, a new perspective on how humans can live in harmony with the natural world. He says:

If you look at the recent work of the social geographer Danny Dorling, it shows that birth rates are already in decline worldwide; we are entering a natural slowdown. What we have not managed to slow down is rich people’s consumption.

People in developed countries need to lead the way and cut their consumption of the planet’s resources.

“You and I survive on the resource poverty of millions of other people in the world,”

Packham told Hardtalk’s Stephen Sackur, explaining that this is the only reason the UK is able to consume two extra planet’s worth of resources and the US is able to consume four extra planet’s worth.

“At this point in time we have the capacity to cut our consumption and develop means of living a fulfilling life without consuming as much,”

Packham said. He continued:

In Somalia they only use a tiny, tiny fraction of the earth resources and we are using them all.

For him the growing population in Africa is not such a problem because the people are very poor and do not use so many resources as we do.

Even when a lot of people do not want to believe the world’s leading climate scientists, we should make sure in our surroundings that more people shall come to listen to their warning that there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. In Belgium we are now in our third year already that we have our reserves of drinking water or on the brink of shortage and that there is not enough water to irrigate the fields.

The half-degree difference may look not much but it can make a big difference. It could also prevent corals from being completely eradicated and ease pressure on the Arctic, according to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) study, which was launched after approval at a final plenary of all 195 countries in Incheon in South Korea in 2018,  that saw delegates hugging one another, with some in tears.

Now we should be in tears because still so many countries have not kept to their promises. This year again we have abnormal high temperatures in Belgium; and we could find all over Europe, Australia and the West of the United States a lot of fires destroying a huge amount of acres of woodland.

The last 30 years has likely been the hottest period for 1400 years in the Northern Hemisphere, home to 90% of humanity. Since 1880, the global climate has warmed by about 0.85 degrees Celsius. Nine of the ten hottest years on record have occurred since 2000. By 2100, Earth’s climate is forecast to be at least 1.5 degrees warmer. The worst-case scenario envisages 4.5 degrees of warming.

Every fraction of additional warming would worsen the impact on our daily climate which seems to go out of our control. And then I am not yet speaking of the problems caused by sea-level rise, creating now already ecological emigrants. This would affect 10 million more people by 2100 if the half-degree extra warming brought a forecast 10cm additional pressure on coastlines. The number affected would increase substantially in the following centuries due to locked-in ice melt.

Big problem for the environment at the moment is the popularity of such presidents as Trump and Bolsonaro who do not care about the environment. Last week I saw Jair Bolsonaro on television so proudly showing how much forest he had pulled down for giving an income to ‘his people’. But for sure that are not the local indigenous people. For Bolsonaro, they can go somewhere else if it does not suit them.  Bolsonaro and his henchmen ravishing the Amazon wanting it for agricultural land and polluting the rivers by increasing gold mining, making the indigenous people to eat fish with mercury poisoning. Gloriously, Bolsonaro explained how his friends could now grow soy, have more place for their cattle and have an insured income because that can be sold to Europe and that’s because people eat it. Brazil and Argentina are good examples of how meat consumption is not only rising but also debitting our environment. If more people would eat less meat, we could sustain more people and by reducing piss, poo, and winds from the cattle, the air can also be kept cleaner.

Brazilian Amazon fires in 2019 (Image Source: Victor Moriyama /AFP / Getty Images)

When in lockdown we could find many more people walking in nature. It was as if people were reconnecting with nature. For me it was also great to hear and see more wild animals, whilst we could enjoy the silence and for what we mostly have to go abroad, the sound of nature. But people, according to Packhan on Hard Talk (yesterday on BBC World) have to look more rather to see and listen instead of hear.  He says of the lockdown period.

“It’s been an absolute joy to see people posting pictures with ladybirds on their fingers and frogs in their ponds and birds singing in their gardens, but they will now have to join our ranks and remember what they took from that, because we do have to fight for it.”

As the pandemic confined us all to our homes, he and his 25-year-old stepdaughter, Megan McCubbin, launched The Self-Isolating Bird Club: a virtual space for wildlife watchers and enthusiasts alike to share their pictures and videos of wildlife across the world during this COVID-19 crisis. There are beautiful pictures to see on it. Also the BBC got to recognise their reconnecting with nature is important during this time and the producers of Springwatch liked their on-screen rapport.

About Covid-19 Packhan says:

 “Speaking entirely biologically, what the whole, horribly harsh, tragic lesson of the virus has taught us is that we are part of nature; we’re not there to hold dominion over it, we’re not above it.

And that is what too many people have forgotten. Now should come the wake-up call! We have to know that we are no more than one part of an infinitely precious ecosystem, in which we as human beings are the violator. We are the part causing the problems, not nature. Packhan hopes that

“there will be a huge peaceful shake-up and people will start moving in the right direction.”

That is also what I do hope, and where I see some light after the long dark tunnel. We demanding the animals for food production shall be receiving enough space to mover around and to feel free. Also that they will receive proper food and that factories shall also be urged to produce food for human consumption without all those chemical additives. Furthermore, the energy used to produce all our goods should come from renewable energy. Climate scientists are 95% certain that burning fossil fuels, clearing forests, farming and other human activities are the primary driver of climate change. In 2001, they were only 66% certain of anthropogenic climate change. New evidence has reinforced the consensus view.

We should force our government to get away with the atomic energy, away from fossil fuels and demand that all fuels shall properly be taxed so that all those cheap flying trips shall be in balance with long-distance and cheaper train transport. Governments should also advise the public on the way it consumes and to avoid the overuse of junk food.  Away from careless consumption should be the target; away from considering the natural world a resource to exploit.

It might well be that man can be good at solutions, but it seems that this can only be under pressure. And the pressure is now at our doorstep.

As close as humanity is to the point of no return, we aren’t quite there yet, and there is an opportunity to make serious changes to avert complete climate catastrophe. The

“most positive thing that we’ve seen,”

according to Packham, are movements such as Extinction Rebellion and Fridays for Future.

We should lead the way because we have the capacity to cut our consumption, is what I believe but also what Packan believes. concerning that e could find the means to find a fulfilling life without consuming as much.

Those who are believers in the creation should stand up for that natural world and give

a voice to the song flash, the poiisened eagle, and the voice of that oak tree which is being cut to facilitate a …. glorious railway project

A few days ago in the very good morning show Breakfast (BBC 1) they showed how many endangered species there are in Europe. One million out of eight million species globally are threatened with extinction. This should put us to shame, because for most of them it is the human being who is the most dangerous being, them bringing to extinction. those plants and animals that are threatened with extinction are threatened by the loss and degradation of habitat, but also by among others pollution, climate change and invasive alien species. However, biodiversity is key for healthy ecosystems and human life. It is up to us now to bring this all back into balance.

The post-pandemic period should have us to reconstruct our way of living, working, consuming and our way of recreation.

+

Preceding

Ecological economics in the stomach #2 Resources

2014 To remember our Earth

The unseen enemy

CoViD-19 Curation

An A-Z for a world which has to change.

Going for sustainable development

How long will natural resources last [The InfoGraphics List]

Reducing effects of environmental disasters

The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking

The Hero of the greatest …. failures

Dependance a factor of weakening

Stopping emissions will not stop the warming of our planet

High time to to put the environment at the heart of people’s lives

++

Related articles

  1. May we have doubts
  2. What would you do if…? Continued trial
  3. Uncertainty and limitations
  4. In the turbulence of life, listen and wait.
  5. What Did We Do?
  6. Your only limitations are those you set upon yourself
  7. A person is limited only by the thoughts that he chooses
  8. Believe me! Everything is Possible
  9. See the conquest and believe that we can gain the victory

+++

In case you are allowed to watch Hard Talk in your country by i-Player (In Belgium we could watch it on TV but can not see it again on i_player): The Covid-19 pandemic has inflicted huge economic damage, but it has also offered the natural world a little bit of respite – room to breathe. What will come next? Will it be a return to the old ways of resource exploitation and consumption? Stephen Sackur speaks to Chris Packham, one of the UK’s best-known naturalists and environmental campaigners. Are we humans capable of fundamentally changing our priorities?

++++

Further related

  1. Another virus by china!
  2. An epidemic of their own; relapse and overdose rates surge amidst coronavirus lockdowns
  3. Coronavirus update: Virginia’s COVID-19 cases rise by 776 on Wednesday
  4. When Covidiots rule the world
  5. Some thoughts about “really living” in a pandemic.
  6. Coronavirus In Minnesota: MDH Reports 470 Additional COVID-19 Cases And 12 More Deaths – Biggest Jump In Daily Deaths In A Month
  7. With no end to the pandemic in sight, coronavirus fatigue grips America
  8. Plot Twist: Grim Story Set to Become Tale of Transformation in Mississippi
  9. What’s next: Face mask virtue signalling?
  10. August 12 Coronavirus Update: 5,186 Cases with 348 Deaths in Chester County from COVID-19
  11. Sector knowledge: Landscape Research
  12. Sustainable Development goals by corporates: latest in 2020
  13. Cycle March for Health and Environment around Denmark
  14. How we Use Less Stuff – Part 2
  15. It is time the Muslim world gets serious about climate change
  16. Business as usual equals many extra deaths from global warming
  17. Peterborough-area residents urged to continue reducing water use by 20%: Otonabee Conservation
  18. A Frail Ear
  19. A Year into India’s National Clean Air Programme
  20. Insect Apocalypse? Not so fast– at least in North America
  21. Zero waste and circular economy
Posted in Crisis, Economy, Environment and Ecology, News and Politics, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

CoViD-19 Curation

For decades, globalisation has been narrowing the scope of national sovereignty.

CoViD-19 threatens to become one of the most difficult tests faced by humanity in modern history. Perhaps there shall be not so many deaths as at the time of the Spanish flu, but this time the economic impact is going to be much greater and has made people more agitated. As the pandemic has spread it has taken lives, stirred anxiety and political drama, overwhelmed health systems, and triggered potentially lasting geopolitical change.

The International Monetary Fund says the global economy now faces its worst downturn since the Great Depression, and Oxfam International has warned that half a billion people could be pushed into poverty as a result of the unfolding crisis. The world’s most vulnerable places are at stake. The most vulnerable, poorest and greatest-at-risk populations are the ones the richer countries should take care of and support, making sure that those places shall not become politically destabilised even more than they are often already.
Water, sanitation and hygiene are vital for any attempts to manage the rate of inevitable infections and have been areas of the core work of many health organisations for decades.

Today the tally of CoViD-19 deaths has surpassed 100,000 in Brazil ― the second country in the world to do so after the United States of America ― with many of these deaths avoidable but for the Brazilian government’s inefficient and disoriented response to the pandemic. The same as in the United States the current government has failed in following World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations to contain the spread of the coronavirus, including good hygiene practices and social distancing. The government has not delivered the necessary complementary measures of ensuring that its most vulnerable citizens also had access to water, food and other essential resources for self-care.

There has been no Minister of Health since May and no nationwide coordination to support marginalized people, indigenous people, and other traditional communities such as the Afro-Brazilian Quilombo. This results in the tragic numbers of 100,000 deaths and almost 3 million contaminated that Brazil reached today.

“We cannot accept the government’s failure to respond to the pandemic. Many government actions could have been taken to avoid the numbers we are reaching today. The Public Prosecutor’s Office must carry out the necessary investigation,”

said Teresa Liporace, Executive Director of IDEC.

Najwa*, 48, is standing in her partially damaged kitchen in Harasta, Eastern Ghouta, Rural Damascus.

Almost ten years of war and now coronavirus. Syrians fear the worst.

In a war-torn Syria, it is even worse for people who become infected, because most of the hospitals do not exist anymore. Even before coronavirus hit, four out of five Syrians lived below the poverty line. For millions, the almost decade-long war has been a time of fear, confusion and huge loss; of livelihoods and belongings, homes and family members and, for too many, the loss of dreams. Now, the coronavirus has brought a double humanitarian crisis to their country, bringing even greater challenges to people’s lives and pushing them into extreme survival measures. The coronavirus crisis itself is no more dangerous than any other challenge the people here have had to endure, but its economic repercussions could prove disastrous.

After half a year of the corona crisis, most people are convinced this CoViD-19 pandemic will have a permanent impact on the way we approach work and how we shall consume in the future. With continued physical distancing to prevent the spread of the disease, businesses are adapting quickly to ensure continuity of operations. One advantage might be that more companies shall come to try to have the work done at home of their employees, which shall save them logistic costs, but bring the costs for heating and water for the employees to their bill except when a solution is found to compensate that. For the traffic congestion, air and carbon pollution, it will a much better solution to have fewer people having to go on the road to go to work.

It is vital to build a foundation for business continuity and to make sure the employed people feel valued but also protected enough.

In adapting their operations through remote connections, companies shall have to focus more on the human connection, taking into account the personal lives of all the individuals who comprise their multigenerational workforce. Regardless of age and life stage, most people are willing to go back to work and to have as soon as possible, life as normal. All want to continue to make a meaningful contribution and technology is helping light the way. The last few months we have seen the increase of electronic tools and better communication tools for work via the internet.

Business leaders, in this period of great uncertainty, must consider new ways to ensure business continuity and organisational resilience. A multigenerational workforce, with four or five generations working alongside each other — if not physically, then virtually — helps to meet these challenges.

Adapting policies and practices to meet employees’ needs across a spectrum of age and life-stages builds the workforce of the future. Age-diverse teams contribute to greater innovation. They can help address vital questions in dramatically new environments: how teams work together, how a supply chain is managed and how other essential operations are prioritised.

The stereotype of older workers as technophobes is wrong and counterproductive. Workers across the age span have proven to be adept at teleworking. This realisation will have lasting consequences and is something we should look forward to be something which shall not only stay but shall find imitation by many companies. At the same time, younger workers are more likely to be mentors in tech solutions, just as many older workers can share their institutional knowledge and experience.

Problem with the current situation is that in no particular country there is enough experience with this disease. There is no playbook on how to respond to CoViD-19 as the future of work changes before our eyes. The pandemic has, for example, hastened the adoption of remote working and other initiatives to engage and sustain the workforce. Because there is no such thorough knowledge of a solution, everybody should look for a co-operation over the boarders. More than ever, collaboration internally and externally will be vital to recovery.

In Europe, we shall have to take care nobody shall go for falling in the Trump trap. Several populists may follow his direction. Sensible people can only hope that thanks to Trump’s mishandling of the CoViD-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it unleashed, Republican and Trump-leaning independent voters would come to their senses. Though we should be very careful, not to hope beyond the stars that Trump has no chances to become re-elected, which would make the situation for the States and world-safety, even worse than it is already.  Defiance of the establishment gave Trump credibility among Republican voters, who believed that mainstream politicians ignored their interests and many do not appreciate it that they become restricted in keeping their business open so that they can earn enough money (no matter more people shall become infected). Trump also uses the weapon of fear, making people afraid of the chaos which could erupt if his state troops do not bring order in the towns and silence the coloured people. As with illegal immigration, Trump has tried to tie peoples’ fear for their safety with broader anxiety about cultural change. For Trump illegal immigrants are for more dangerous than the “Chinese disease”. For him, all those immigrants wanting to come to the States are criminals and threats to traditional American values. Trump also portrays mayors and governors, who want to declare a lockdown or bring corona measures in their districts, as saboteurs of the country. Idem ditto are the protesters as rioters considered a threat to their Great Nation, the American culture and history. They are not just lobbing Molotov cocktails; they are tearing down America’s heroes. At the same time, Trump keeps telling lies one after the other, and doing as if he is taking care that ‘his America’ shall create soon the best vaccine ever. A lot of Americans seem not interested in Biden’s promises to improve health care, address racial injustices, build infrastructure, or repair America’s relationships with allies. They are worried about soaring crime rates, never-ending protests, and what they see as attacks from the left on traditional values and institutions. They trust Trump to tackle crime and believe his warning that “Sleepy Joe” will disregard their fears. We do know that far more people in the US have died as a result of Trump’s bungled CoViD-19 response than there have died from homicide in a typical year, but that is not what most Americans shall come to see or believe.

Financially Mexico is not better off than its neighbour. Mexicans had suffered the greatest financial impact, with 58% reporting that their finances had declined in the past month. Next in line were the Philippines and India, where 50% and more reported a drop.

Vietnam, which took drastic safety measures, showed itself as optimistic, their household finances having actually improved from the previous month.

Around the world, desperate efforts are underway to find a solution to soften the corona restrictions and to allow life to come back to normal, though most governments say the normal shall be another normal than before corona.

New ideas and bold solutions can surface from this disaster. Let’s continue to share promising practices that will work well in the current environment and beyond.

+

Preceding

The unseen enemy

The Climate Crisis and the Need for Utopian Thinking

Blow to legitimacy of the capitalist system

A recovery plan for Europe

The Paradox of Capitalism

The European Union – the environmental challenges and your voice

++

Additional reading

  1. What Did We Do?
  2. Redeeming Our World
Posted in Crisis, Economy, News and Politics, Welfare and Health, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Keeping healthy whilst not going to far away from home

The past weekend it became too busy in many places where people came to look for cooler temperatures and for some water to swim in.

With lockdown many people were restricted to their small flat or little house, feeling like imprisoned in their own house. We can imagine for some this made their frustration grow. For many, all confrontation with inactivity has been detrimental to their physical and mental health.

Lots of people forget that this time of lockdown could also be used to come closer to the inner self and to start an own fitness program for the soul and body, a regulator for the renewal of the own self.

We may not forget that physical activity reduces the risk of chronic disease and eases anxiety. A virus can catch us more easer when we are not healthy enough or weak.

Physical activity does not have to mean that we have to sweat and suffer. Very easy, simple movements, like walking can already help. Each of us can now take more time to improve his or her defense activity and work at the his or her metabolic health.

Those who feel stressed by the present limitations should find out they can liberate themselves by daring to put the workload aside and to think of better times and relaxation, now creating more time for the self, not having to go to work so much or having the opportunity to do the work at home in the own time.  Working at home can be a blessing but also a curse. So from the beginning doing work from home, make sure that work does not chain you in your own place. Let yourself be the boss of the time regulation.

What is important is that you exchange time for work, exercise and relaxation in good order. Do not sit for too long. Regularly stand up and move around. When going to exercise let it not happen once a week or in a fortnight, or take care that it does not happen occasionally with heavy programs, but happens regularly. Exercising regularly helps reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, various cancers and obesity. It has also been shown to ease anxiety and depression and reduce the risk of dementia.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has provided some simple tips to help keep as active as possible at home.

These include:

online fitness classes; dancing for a few minutes; walking up and down stairs; playing active video games; working out with a skipping rope; and doing stretching, muscle strength and balance training exercises.


The WHO recommends being as active as possible at home.
Image: WHO

The Be Active campaign is aimed at people of all ages and abilities and is part of the WHO’s wider #HealthyAtHome challenge, which suggests ways to look after our mental and physical health during coronavirus restrictions.

The WHO recommends 30 minutes of physical activity per day for healthy adults staying home, and one hour for children.

I would advise regular short breaks in a day. Standing up from sitting, walking around for a few minutes, going up and down the stairs, and twice in the day going for a longer stroll, makes a difference. Do not forget that already three or four minutes of light intensity movement, such as walking or stretching, helps already to improve circulation and muscle activity.

Plus, regular physical activity can help to lift overall mood and provide structure to days spent at home.

When you are not alone in the house, going out with two is always more pleasant than doing the exercise of getting some fresh breath alone. All activity can be done close to your house. You do not need to travel far away to relax or to exercise outdoors. A park nearby or the fields shall do.

++

Please read also

  1. Pandemic Anxiety Busters~
  2. Anxiety Management During Pandemic Days~
  3. 7 Ways To Boost Your Immune System in Lockdown
  4. How2 deal with Anxiety/Overthinking.
Posted in News and Politics, Sport, Welfare and Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment