This edition of Anna's News Clippings unmasks a cornucopia of CoVidiots. It may help to wash your brain frequently while reading.
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South Korea's River of Grace Community Church gets the (spiky) ball rolling with its attempt to use salt water to prevent the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. At a service in Gyeonggi Province, church leaders sprayed saline solution into the throats of believers, one by one, all with the same nozzle and without disinfection between sprays. According to Lee Hee-young, who leads the province's coronavirus task force, among the roughly 100 people taking part was 'a follower who was later confirmed as a patient'. Through the power of sprayer, 46 people in the procession ended up infected with the virus, including the pastor and his wife.
In contrast, alcohol can be effective against the virus. Heeding
rumours that drinking it can cure or prevent the disease,
several hundred people in Iran have ended up in hospital as
victims of methanol poisoning. For at least 44 people, the approach
did prove successful, in that a corpse cannot easily contract the
Health Ministry official Ali Ehsanpour stated that those preparing the anti-virus concoction used bleach to obscure the colour associated with denatured alcohol. Seven bootleggers have been arrested.
We now take you to Phoenix, Arizona, where a couple in fear of the
novel coronavirus recognised the connection between a substance at the
back of a shelf in their home and a heavily publicised Presidential
news conference addressing the treatment potential of chloroquine,
often used to treat malaria in humans. Chloroquine phosphate was on the ingredient
list of an aquarium-cleaner cum parasite treatment left over from
when the woman kept koi, so she and her husband each mixed a teaspoon
of the substance with soda, ingested it, and fell extremely ill
within 20 minutes.
When 'my husband started developing respiratory problems and wanted to hold my hand', the 61-year-old woman rang the emergency services. Shortly after the couple reached a Banner Health hospital, he died. The woman, who was in critical condition at last report, summed up her conclusions by telephone from her hospital bed: 'Don't take anything, don't believe anything, [...] call your doctor.'
Cody Pfister is a 26-year-old Missouri man who decided to tempt fate by licking
various items for sale at Warrenton's Walmart. In a video of this act,
which he later posted online, Pfister proclaims 'who's afraid of the
coronavirus?', prompting people from as far away as Ireland and the
Netherlands to contact the local police department with their answer.
Pfister has been taken into custody and faces charges of making
'terrorist threats' that constitute a 'low-level felony'.
In addition, major US media have reported on a call to the police in Wisconsin prompted by a woman licking the handle of a supermarket freezer. This attempt to undo the work of a manager who was trying to disinfect the store was reportedly 'to protest the virus'.
In another act of reality-defiance, several young adults in Kentucky convened for what they dubbed a 'coronavirus party', thumbing their noses at state orders to keep their noses two metres apart. Governor Andy Beshear has reported that at least one of the attendees has developed coronavirus symptoms and tested positive for the disease. Beshear concluded: 'This is one that makes me mad. We have to be much better than that.'
Joanne Rust, Labour councillor for King's Lynn and West Norfolk,
wanted to enjoy her holiday in Tenerife and wasn't about to let
quarantine orders stop her. Considering the hotel room she shared
with her husband so small that she 'couldn't stay there all the time',
she decided to go for a swim. This did not sit well with Paradise
Park Hotel staff, who ordered her to return to the room. She refused.
In the end, Spanish police officers jumped into the pool to arrest the
53-year-old Rust. Other tourists cheered as she was led away in
After a night in jail, Rust stated that the rules had been unclear. She added: 'The police asked me why I didn't get out of the pool, but it's because they were hostile and aggressive and I was scared.'
A hotel in Florida is the setting for our next veritable SARShole.
Angel Hernandezcinto, 31, was arrested for stealing 66
rolls of toilet paper from Orlando's Marriott Hotel, where he worked
as a cleaner.
He confessed after a security guard spotted him loading a bin liner and another bag, both with suspicious bulges, into his SUV. Hernandezcinto later offered the defence that was worried about how an impoverished female friend would get by at this time of shortage and that he'd hoped to give the rolls to her.
It isn't unheard of for people to call in sick when not truly ill.
On occasion, a malingering employee even forges a physician's note.
An 18-year-old employee at a McDonald's in Hamilton, Ontario, took things
a bit further by faking a doctor's note declaring her to have
tested positive for COVID-19. As soon as the note was given to her
supervisor, the fast-food outlet was closed for disinfection, and all
the workers there were sent home to self-isolate for 14 days.
According to Constable Lorraine Edwards, the young woman is being charged with fraud and mischief, among other actions having a significant impact on the restaurant, local customers, and employees.
Daniel Reardon had a clever idea for helping to reduce
infection-friendly actions: a necklace that buzzes when the
wearer's hands are near his or her face. This Australian astrophysicist
became frustrated when it ended up having 'the opposite effect - it
buzzed continuously until a magnet was put close'. While thinking
about what angle to take next, he began idly playing with the magnets.
This was not a problem until, having used a pair of magnets to create
a 'magnetic piercing' in one of his nostrils, he did the same with the other
nostril, whereupon 'they all pinched together, and the ones on my septum got
Pliers didn't help, and neither did his final two magnets, which ended up merely adding to his cluster of woes. Reardon ended up heading for the local hospital in Melbourne, where his partner works. They solved the problem. As for the necklace idea, Reardon has given up for now.
A show at Liverpool's Hot Water Comedy Club prompted a concerned Facebook Live viewer to report the venue to the police for violating the national ban on large gatherings. One of the club's owners, Paul Blair, recounts that the convenience store next door rang to report that a full police squad had arrived. As CCTV footage verified, about 20 police officers proved unable to shut down the comedy show, however. This is because it consisted of comedian Paul Smith presenting a series of clips from two weeks earlier, when the club was still holding live events. Although Smith made references to pre-recorded content at several points, Blair believes that the waste of police time was not deliberate.
Italy's Gazzetta di Modena reports on the sort of thing that might seem like old news to a Saviour or to the folks in a certain February item. Residents of the village of Settecani found their taps producing a red liquid that many locals swiftly recognised from its bouquet as Lambrusco Grasparossa. While technicians at the local winery responsible were isolating the high-pressure leak from one of their wine siloes and water pipes, staff from the local water authority sped to the location to rectify the issue. Meanwhile, several residents busied themseles with bottling as much of the unexpected bounty as they could.
Prof. Peter Davies is a British tuberculosis expert whose wife, at his
encouragement, installed filters on his home computer in an attempt to prevent him
from viewing pornography. The failure of this attempt became clear when
Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital traced 'inappropriate browsing
activity' to his work computer, on which he'd viewed such content as
a person engaging in sexual relations with a horse and a dog. Davies,
70, has now been dismissed for engaging in gross misconduct.
He told the Medical Practitioners' Tribunal Service that, although he had viewed these particular images out of curiosity, he has had an addiction to pornography since age 18 and had been receiving counselling for this. He added: 'I'm amazed the NHS trust had no means of finding out earlier in a sense, and I'm grateful to that person who did.'
During an insurance law course taught by a Prof. Chang at Taiwan's
National Chengchi University, a student made light of Wing
Chun Kuen kung fu, a martial art favoured by Chang. Students
later reported that the heckler's comment 'Wing Chun is only
effective on farmers' prompted Chang to issue a physical challenge in
which he offered to let the student throw the first punch. After the
student obliged, Chang began throwing kung fu blows at the young man.
Fellow students broke up the Wing Chun demonstration after the
student's apologies proved insufficient to end it.
Chang has been suspended, and the student has been referred to the university's counselling service.
Frank Phillip Trinkaus, 38, tried to prepare thoroughly for
burgling a neighbour's home in St. Petersburg, Florida: He wore a wig
to hide his identity behind long blonde curls, and an accomplice with
a walkie-talkie kept watch from a nearby vehicle. He had shears with
him in case his battery-powered bolt-cutters proved unable to
breach the chain-link fence between him and the target property.
A telescoping mirror sufficed to help him reach through a front
window to unlock the building's main door, so he didn't end up needing
the selection of screwdrivers he was carrying. In the end, he was
never able to make use of his hand-held or hat-mounted torch within
the building: another neighbour spotted and recognised Trinkaus first.
He had run less than a block with all of his burglary equipment when officers caught up with him. They confiscated it and arrested both him and accomplice Hayley Lynn Soos, 33. Trinkaus explained that he had chosen this particular home because he believed there to be cocaine inside.
Kip sent in a CoVidiot tale just after the previous set of
Clippings went to press. In this one, Guillermo Alvarez, 56, coughed while walking
through the car park of a Johnstown, Pennsylvania, petrol station. This
coincided with a car driving up. Behind the wheel was 53-year-old
William Sauro, who told Alvarez that he should cover his mouth, on account of the virus. Alvarez did not
take well to being chastised: in the ensuing argument, Sauro
stepped out of his car for a heated interchange and then returned to
the driver's seat. He proceeded to drive into Alvarez's legs, and
Alvarez fired several shots from a .45 calibre handgun at Sauro's
windscreen and tyres. One round ended up in the vehicle's
Sauro returned home and summoned the police, who found Alvarez still in the car park, still holding the weapon. Both men face various charges in connection with the incident.
One more coronavirus-related item for you:
Kentucky's Louisville Courier Journal reports on local physician John Rademaker, who encouraged 'social distancing' in a hands-on manner. He confronted a group of at least nine teenagers who had defied the state's stay-at-home order by choosing to watch the sun set at the lakeside Norton Commons amphitheatre. When the group did not disperse, Redemaker proceeded to shove three young women and grasp the neck of another, an 18-year-old who was lying on the ground. After several seconds, other members of the group intervened.
Another young person captured a video of the incident. Not long after this debuted online, Rademaker was placed on leave. Also, he has been charged with strangulation and three counts of harassment with physical contact.
Washington state trooper Heather Axtman described what happened when
officers responded to reports of a hit-and-run incident south of
Seattle. The problematic 1996 Buick swerved erratically along area roads
at speeds in excess of 160 km/h until spike strips brought it to a halt.
Officers did not arrest the one behind the wheel, a pit bull
terrier. They did arrest the man who had been operating the steering wheel and
accelerator pedal from the passenger's seat. According to Axtman,
that man, 51-year-old Alberto Tito Alejandro, 'admitted to our
troopers that he was trying to teach his dog to drive'.
The dog was placed in an animal shelter, and Alejandro was arrested for, among other things, felonious driving under the influence of drugs.
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