Hospitalization Data for Texas – July 24, 2021

Back in June, we looked at the situation of hospitalizations in Texas, one month after Governor Abbott lifted all COVID19 restrictions in Texas, and as was noted, there was no rise in hospitalizations.

Now almost a month later, we’ll have another look to see whether hospitalizations picked up or not. The data is again from the Texas Department of Health Services and current as of July 24, 2021.

Hospitalizations are now going up again – most likely due to the Delta-Variant of the virus, as the Texas Tribune writes.
There are still no state-wide restrictions being re-introduced, but local officials in some counties have asked citizens to take additional measures to protect themselves.

Sev Lich or Black Lake – Azerbaijan or Armenia?

Armenia and Azerbaijan have never delimited and demarked their common border after the break-up of the Soviet Union. Thus it is not surprising that in some parts the border is unclear or in dispute. On such case, which currently leads to tensions between the two, is Lake Sev Lich region. Armenia accuses Azerbaijan of having illegally advance into Armenian territory and encroaching its sovereignity:

Today Azerbaijan’s armed forces crossed the state border of the Republic of Armenia and advanced as far as 3.5 kilometers in that section. In fact, they are trying to surround and siege the Lake.

Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia

It’s unclear where the Azerbaijani troops are exactly at this point but if one wants to know what the maps say, lets first look at Google:

We see that most of the lake(s) are on Armenian territory and some of the Northern part is in Azerbaijan.
Of course, Google maps are nice, but hardly authoritative on what the borders are.
So lets look at another source. One would think that old Soviet Maps would give us a clue what the borders were between the Armenian and Azerbaijanian SSR, and indeed we can find such maps online. Here’s the relevant one from the Russian General Staff (1975 updated 1985):

From what I am hearing, Azerbaijan seems to want to claim the whole area of the Lake, with which the Armenian side is obviously in disagreement.

We’ll see how this develops. Russia has offered to help in border delimitation and demarcation if both sides request it, but I am currently unaware whether both sides have done so or not.
In any case, this will go on for a while and from the rhetorics from Armenia, this might turn a hot conflict at any moment.

George Floyd Autopsy Report

While the trial of Minnesota v Chauvin for the murder of George Floyd is in progress, lets go back and read the official autopsy report done by the coroner of Hennepin County on May 26, 2020.

The key statements from the autopsy report are:

First one: No life threatening injuries

III. No life-threatening injuries identified
A. No facial, oral mucosal, or conjunctival petechiae
B. No injuries of anterior muscles of neck or laryngeal

C. No scalp soft tissue, skull, or brain injuries
D. No chest wall soft tissue injuries, rib fractures (other
than a single rib fracture from CPR), vertebral column
injuries, or visceral injuries

E. Incision and subcutaneous dissection of posterior and
lateral neck, shoulders, back, flanks, and buttocks
negative for occult trauma

Second one: Drug screen positive for Fentanyl 11ng/mL, Norfentanyl 5.6ng/mL, 4-ANPP 0.65 ng/mL, Methamphetamine 19 ng/mL, 11-Hydroxy Delta-9 THC 1.2 ng/mL, Delta-9 Carboxy THC 42 ng/mL, Delta-9 THC 2.9 ng/mL, etc

VI. Toxicology (see attached report for full details; testing
performed on antemortem blood specimens collected 5/25/20 at
9:00 p.m. at HHC and on postmortem urine)

Also read further down on page 4:

Signs associated with fentanyl toxicity include severe respiratory depression, seizures, hypotension, coma and
death. In fatalities from fentanyl, blood concentrations are variable and have been reported as low as 3 ng/mL.

Third one: George Floyd tested positive for SARSCoV2 (Coronavirus) on April 3, 2020 and during the autopsy on May 25. Remember the “I can’t breathe”:

The decedent was known to be positive for 2019-nCoV RNA on 4/3/2020.
Since PCR positivity for 2019-nCoV RNA can persist for weeks after
the onset and resolution of clinical disease, the autopsy result most
likely reflects asymptomatic but persistent PCR positivity from
previous infection.

Here’s the document in full:

While everyone can draw his/her own conclusion as to drug use and COVID19 being the cause of death, this autopsy is quite clear as to what was not the cause of death, namely the knee on the neck, despite prosecution expert saying otherwise.

Russia said to move troops to border with Ukraine

After Ukraine has moved troops and equipment to Donbass region and to the border with Crimea, Russia has (allegedly) started to move its own troops and equipment to all areas bordering Ukraine. It is said that Moscow intends to demonstrate that it will not stand idly by when Kiev regime forces attack Donbass.
One should remember what Putin said during a press conference in 2018 when asked:

“Kiev can launch an offensive of the Ukrainian Armed Forces in the Donbas during the World Cup in Russia, what will happen then?!”
Putin replied: “Let them just try, then Ukraine will lose its statehood!

I post here a few sources with videos and images:

Please note, none of these videos images have been geo-located and dated, so I cannot confirm that they are accurate. However, in my opinion they probably are credibly depicting the situation.

Hospitalization Data for Texas – March 26, 2021

As you may recall, Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted all COVID-19 restrictions in the State of Texas as of March 3, 2021. So, a bit more than three weeks into this, it’s time to have a first look at how the State of Texas is doing in terms of numbers. The data is from the Texas Department of Health Services and current as of March 26, 2021.

The green curve shows the situation in Texas statewide. While the blue, red and yellow curves show the situation in TSAs (Trauma Service Areas) Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio and Houston. I focused on these TSAs in previous posts, because they were the largest contributors in terms of total number of hospitalizations.

Fig. 1 – Texas Total Lab-Confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations over time

That don’t look too bad so far. Let’s check back again a week from now.

Crimea Returns to Russia, March 16, 2014

Seven years ago, the citizens of Crimea decided in a referendum to rejoin Russia. Turonout was 83,1%, and 87.77% voted Yes to joining Russia.
There’s a nice document on the website of the Republic of Crimea looking into the legal aspects and the legality of this referendum.
Some of the key points:

  • Coup d’état on February 23, 2014 removed the constitutional order of Ukraine and the constitution was set aside;
  • Crimea continued to be governed by a locally elected legal government;
  • Crimea had a special legal status, and remained in Ukraine after 1991 only due to a legal compromise, which required a legal, democratically elected government in Kiew. The coup d’état destroyed that;
  • There were threats of violence and ethnic cleansing against the population of Crimea (65% Russian and 13% Crimean Tatars);
  • Action of Crimean government was founded in law and thus legal;
  • Sevastopol was not part of Crimea since Oct. 29, 1948 and was a legal subject of the Russian SFSR;
  • Transfer of Crimea from Russian SFSR to Ukraine in 1954 was illegal under the then constitutions of the USSR, Russian SFSR and Ukraine;
  • Sevastopol’s transfer to Crimea and Ukraine was never based on any legally normative act of the USSR or Russian SFSR and was an unilateral act of Ukraine;
  • The referendum was conducted in a democratic and transparent way;

Document in full (original source):

So, How was Sweden doing in 2020?

On this blog all through 2020 I’ve been tracking the number of excess deaths recorded by statistics Sweden and for some part of the year, it looked like the number of deaths was around the same as the average of the years 2015-2019.

Now, it’s February 2021 and it’s a good moment to look at the whole year of 2020. The data is from Statistics Sweden at under Preliminär statistik över döda (Excel). The file is being updated regularly, I picked the one on Feb. 7, 2021:

Fig. 1 – Number of deaths per day Sweden

As we can see, towards the end of the year the number of deaths did increase again compared the the average of years 2015-2019.
These “excess” deaths are normally attributed by some people to the effects of COVID-19, however that is a stretch at this point and you’d have to look at other data to see whether this is actually the case here or whether there were also other factors contributing to a higher number of deaths in 2020 than in the average in years 2015 to 2019.

Boring, girls!

There’s something familiar about this “Putin’s Palace” story, for two reasons. For one thing, this piece of real-estate has been in the news since 2010, when it was buing built and rumours that it was somehow linked to Putin began to appear about “Putin’s Palace”. The rumours were kicked off by Sergei Kolesnikov who decided it was more lucrative to market himself as a whistleblower. The story was described by Reuters in 2014. In short, it seemed to have been owned by a company named Rirus then owned by Nikolai Shamalov and was later sold to Alexander Ponomarenko according to the Reuters article.

The Reuter’s article wasn’t even news. In 2012, BBC Newsnight already ran with this story, with a bit more prose and some images. They re-hashed it in 2016 in an article called “Russia RBC shake-up seen as new Putin raid on media”.
The story went quiet until recently when Navalny warmed it up again in a video that shows mostly speculations as what the interior might look like based on 3D renderings based on building blueprints that may or may not be accurate. The whole video is long an boring, and contains no real (primary) evidence on what the building actually looks like on the inside and about belonging to Putin.

The other reason that this looks familiar is because of the familiar pattern that is visible here: Create outrage, support anti-regime protests. The same modus operandi was visible in 2013/2014 when similar stories were run by Western media as part of their regime change campaing in Ukraine. Back then it was “Yanukovych’s Palace” – which actually existed and belonged to him, but was used as a proof of his corruption. Allegedly, there was a “golden toilet” in there, and you could even find pictures purporting to show it on the Internet, but when the estate was raided and made accessible to the public, the toilet failed to materialize.

So it seems West is trying to use the same tricks again to create strife – this time in Russia and cook up an old story, which Putin commented with “Скучно, девочки!” (Boring, girls!).

US Coronavirus Numbers – By State and Territory Dec 24, 2020

An update on the coronavirus situation in terms of hospitalizations and deaths in the United States, all 56 States and Territories. Data is from and up-to-date as of December 24, 2020. Note, however, that due to holidays, reporting might be delayed.
First, overview of hospitalizations across the United States (large version is on Google Drive):

Data for most states shows a significant upward movement of hospitalizations. Most obvious increase happens in California and New York.

Second, overview of daily deaths across the United States (large version is on Google Drive):

And finally, the comparison of states as to the number of deaths due to COVID-19 per 100,000 inhabitants, as of Dec. 24, 2020:

Russian Peacekeepers Extend their Area of Responsibility after Incident

The MoD of Russia has published an new map of their area of responsibility on December 13, 2020.
It shows an extension in the South of Nagorno Karabakh. I present here the maps of Dec. 11 and Dec. 13, so you can see the change:

This is in response to incidents on Saturday Dec. 12 in the area there, when Azeris and Armenians exchanged fire and Azeris moved into the villages Khin Talgar and Khzaberd. The incident is said to have caused several deaths among Azeri and Armenian soldiers, also rumour has it that Turkish special forces also took part in the incident. Prime minister Pashinyan of Armenia made this claim, but it is unconfirmed.
The situation is now calm again and both villages have passed under control of Russian peacekeepers.