Hello, I am a filmmaker, based in Milan, Italy already in self-isolation for a couple of weeks. My articles are generally focused on what is happening locally (see them below), but in this weeks article, as the title suggests, I would like to focus on the absurdities from around the world. Obviously, there are thousands, such as people Googling if they can get Coronavirus from eating Chinese food or getting a package from China, but sadly I had to choose only a few.
I tried highlighting the most extreme cases.Coronavirus - Update from locked-down ItalyA place where words - Story & Survival Guide-from ItalyA place where words matterlink. medium.
comCorona Beer SalesSales of Corona beer have taken a hit due to the Coronarivus.But so has the whole sector.Anheuser-Busch InBev, maker of Budweiser, Corona, Stella Artois and other brands, all predicted a 10% decline in Q1 profit after the Coronavirus outbreak hit beer sales during the Chinese New Year.
Constellation Brands, the company behind Corona beer, claimed the the virus led to lower demand of beer in China, both within households and bars. Obviously, the internet wasnt interested in specifics. Once word got out that Corona beer sales are down and PR company 5WPR conducted a survey polling 737 people and concluded that 38% of beer-drinking Americans would not buy the beer under any circumstance after the Coronavirus outbreak .
And so the internet went crazy with memes. Free Porn in Quarantined AreasThe porn website xHamster is offering free premium subscriptions in the regions and cities quarantined because of the Coronavirus. For now these include Lombardy (IT), Veneto (IT), Tehran (IR), Daegu (KR), Wuhan (CN) and Adeje (ES).
One of my Italian friends added that thats the best news he had heard in the past ten days. Hand Sanitisers and MasksPeople around the world are panic shopping for masks and hand sanitizers. This led to a major jump in their prices and in people taking advantage of the shortage.
Hand sanitizers that would normally cost 35 euros would now be sold from anywhere between 50200 euros. A group of Italians even aimed at selling masks that were practically worth nothing for 5000 euros.These guys are now also on trial for fraud and market speculation, so please, think twice before going down the same path.
CoronaracismRacism has spread like wildfire. People seem to think that ones nationality is responsible for spreading the virus, rather than being infected by it.A few days ago a 23-year old student from Singapore was physically assaulted in London by a group who was yelling I dont want your Coronavirus in my country BBC reports.
A 16-year-old boy was also physically assaulted in a US high-school for being Asian and hence certainly affected by the Coronavirus, reports CBS news. A young Italian man in Spain was bullied into wearing a mask at work. He works for a restaurant and a friend of their boss came in, looked at him and said I have a present for you.
She pulled out a mask and handed it to him. He answered that he had been living in Spain for years and hadnt been back in Italy for months, to which she replied Yes, but you are Italian. At this point his bosses, burst out laughing and said I cant believe we didnt think of this earlier.
Put on that mask.CoronaCoinProbably one of the grimmest outcomes is a new cryptocurrency that was inspired by the Coronavirus itself. The Bitcoin-like cryptocurrency, called CoronaCoin, operates in the following morbid structure: the number of available coins called tokens will decrease, and so increase in value, the more people get sick and die of the virus, the currencys website reads.
The number of tokens originally set was 7,604,953,650, representing the estimated population of Earth.As the number of infected/dead from the virus increases, the number of tokens are manually burned every 48 hours, the website reads. So for every one infection, one token is burned.
By the 28th of February, 85,366 tokens had been burned.Pollution levelsA strange consequence of the virus is the drop in pollution levels. The air quality in China and Italy in this time of year has not been this good in years, if not decades.
In both China and Italy general economic activity has slowed down, majorly decreasing polluting activities.Reasons for lower pollution levels vary from people preferring to stay at home and hence getting into their cars less to plants shutting down for short periods of time. Some governments are asking companies to make Smart Working available for their employees to be able to work from home; and schools and universities that had to close because of the virus are introducing online courses.
Final NoteA question that inevitably comes to mind is whether these changes are short term or whether they will continue shaping our world after the virus is contained. Will schools and companies become more flexible about e-learning and smart working? Will our already tech-dependent world try to find even more benefits in doing social activities from behind a screen?
Will this drop in pollution levels bring about new solutions on how we could continue keeping them down after economic activity is restored?Let us find out.