Covid Journal
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Covid Journal

Week 27: Sunday 27 September – Saturday 3 October 2020

Image by Wordswag - words by Michael de Groot

Sunday 27 September

A beautiful sunny and cold morning in the U.K. Seeing and hearing stories of students locked up inside Universities, being forced to isolate because they have got the dreaded COVID19 virus. The question is why have they gotten so close to people in the past to have been infected and then taken that infection to their Universities.

In the future I picture a time when citizens will have to prove that they are not carrying the virus before being allowed in to public places, we’re probably a few years away from that. It would solve a lot of issues in society that’s for sure. The virus has no timetable or plan to leave humans alone. Apart from a vaccine, which probably most people won’t take, we need other solutions in place for society to open without hesitation.

It’s like living in an episode of black mirror and it’s real.

Technology and heating issues in the house and with Clair and her Mum were the order of the evening tonight. Anything to do with the full moon and asteroids passing earth?

Monday 28 September

The Key Takeaways From the Times’ Trump Tax-Return Investigation.

On Sunday, the New York Times published a massive investigation into President Trump’s tax returns, revealing years of aggressive write-offs, tax avoidance, and staggering losses. The report comes at an inopportune time for a president facing an uphill reelection battle and a potential investigation for tax fraud by the Manhattan district attorney. It won’t be the last one, either: the Times notes that the report just “offers an overview of [their] findings; additional articles will be published in the coming weeks.”

Below are the most important takeaways from the Times’ reporting into Trump’s financial stress and expansive debt.

Trump paid $0 in federal income taxes in ten of the last 15 years

Though the president has claimed that he has nothing to hide in the tax returns that he has refused to release to the American public, he probably won’t be thrilled by the Times’ disclosure that he has paid no federal income tax in ten of the last 15 years — and only 11 times in the last 18 years. Trump reported losing more money than he made in the years he did not pay, a detail that undermines his already-spurious claim that he is a business guru.

Trump only paid $750 in taxes in 2016

President Trump paid only $750 in U.S. taxes in 2016, the year he ran for president, then paid the same paltry sum in the first year of his presidency. In addition, according to the Times, that seems to only have happened because “his accountants appear to have carved out an allowance for a small tax liability” in those years, since Trump had enough tax credits to owe no taxes at all. For a little context, Vox’s Dylan Matthews notes that “a single adult would only need to make $17,900” to pay $750 in federal income taxes.

The amount he paid in U.S. taxes in 2017 was also far less than his businesses paid to some other countries overseas. Per the Times, Trump’s companies paid more than $145,000 in taxes to India that year, more than $156,000 to the Philippines, and more than $15,000 to Panama.

Hopefully this story will be his downfall, nothing would give the world better pleasure to see that happen!
Hugh MacLeod

Reed Hastings, the CEO of Netflix, has a new book out, whose main gist is about corporate culture, namely, the one at the company he heads.

Hastings is known as an organizational genius as much as he is a product guy. Which is why Netflix is known for having a very strong, cut-throat culture.

From a mention in the New York Times:

“Strikingly, having the best people involves a regular ‘keeper test.’ If a manager won’t fight to keep an employee as an indispensable star, the solution is a generous severance package. In place of annual reviews — salaries are adjusted based on the market, not individual performance — a system of continuous written and live, 360-degree feedback serves a remarkable degree of organizational transparency. The result is a workforce with high ‘talent density’ who can be trusted to use their own judgment.”

The thing to remember is, a single culture won’t be for everybody, no matter how good the company is, no matter how much you’re paying them. The ‘keeper’s test”, say, might be a bit much for your average employee, but Hastings doesn’t want average employees. He wants a certain type of high-performing, semi-autonomous person who can handle a lot of heat.

But at least he’s upfront about it. At last, he openly says to potential employees, “This is who we are, this is how we operate, we may not be for you”.

At least there’s no mystery as to what the culture actually is.

So at least there are no real surprises.

Which makes the culture even more powerful.

The Manchester UK mayor was on the radio this morning and called for the government to speed up ‘tiers’ in relation to Covid19 and local lockdowns in the UK. He also talked about Manchester drinkers being kicked out of pubs pouring into supermarkets to buy alcohol and continuing the party in the streets. This should all work out very well, I’d say?!

It inspired me to share this tweet below.

Tuesday 29 September

Nothing to report!

Wednesday 30 September

The ongoing Covid-19 vaccine race is one of the most closely watched science experiments of the pandemic. This week, I interviewed a mother and son who are both participating in clinical trials for Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine. They shared the ins and outs of what the experience is like (including an adverse reaction and quick recovery) as well as misconceptions about the vaccine they would like put to rest.

“These trials are happening very quickly, but they’re happening,” they said. “They’re real trials. And we’re real people in them.”

READ: What It’s Like to Participate in a Covid-19 Vaccine Trial

Also, indoor dining is commencing in many places across the country. Here’severything you need to know about the risks of eating indoors at restaurants. (FWIW: I will not be dining indoors anytime soon.)

Here’s what’s new:

  • Covid-19 deaths pass 1 million worldwide: There are over 7.1 million confirmed cases in the U.S. and over 33.7 million confirmed cases worldwide. So far, over 206,000 Americans have died from Covid-19. Read more.
  • Disney to lay off 28,000 workers at its theme parks: The company says limits on attendance and other Covid-19 restrictions are the reason it is cutting the jobs of workers at the parks in California and Florida.
  • The NFL has a Covid-19 outbreak: Three players and five staff members on the Tennessee Titans have tested positive after playing the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Read more.
  • New York state’s positivity rate is slightly up: The statewide positivity rate rose over the weekend, with rates slightly above 1%. Hospitalizations have also risen over the last several days, according to state statistics.
  • Rio cancels Carnival for first time in a century: In response to Covid-19, Rio de Janeiro delayed its annual Carnival parade for the first time in 108 years.

Follow our Medium Coronavirus Blog for regular updates, and read some of the essential stories we’ve curated below.

Be well,

Alexandra Sifferlin
Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog

The Real Facebook Oversight Board, which has Carole Cadwalladr and Kara Swisher

Thursday 1 October

It’s a blur…

Friday 2 October

What a shame!

Oops he’s obese and elderly, it could end badly. 🦠🥴😷

Saturday 3 October

Washing, cleaning, Netflix, TV and zzzzzz….

Michael out…

Michael de Groot




This is my personal journal about the Corona Virus (Covid 19)

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Michael de Groot

Michael de Groot

Whiteboard Animations Producer, Storyteller and Podcast Host at Staying Alive UK Storytelling Productions |

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