I don’t know if it is possible to congratulate our readers on the end of boring self-isolation. It is just amazing how easy the new disease – which is still not the most aggressive and murderous known to man - has brought the world economy to its knees. Yes, but if only the economy!

The ease with which the pandemic knocked out mankind only speaks of how unreliable the former, prematurely dilapidated world, built on the principles of false liberalism and rampant consumption, turned out to be. It is not surprising that from the very beginning of the pandemic many began to prophesy world’s end and outline the contours of our near future.

 

For a month now, Russia has been living in self-isolation caused by the pandemic of a new coronavirus. Other countries declared total quarantine before us, and some have already crossed the traditional forty-day threshold (“quarantena” in Italian), but only few decided to take the first timid steps to return to normal life.

Obviously, the states’ leaders prefer not to rush, but the economic losses are huge. All have suffered. Of course, authorities, albeit to varying degrees, tried to support the weaker categories of citizens and sectors of the economy. However, it is simply impossible to protect everyone at the same time, and the trouble is that it’s not enough to get on the list of recipients of state aid, it must also arrive in time.

 

On the eve of a wonderful international holiday - the Day of Spring and Labour celebrated on 1 May - most recently passed the unnoticed anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. On 26 April 1986, the largest technological disaster in the Soviet Union occurred, the consequences of which are still felt. Almost 200 tons of radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere. The wind carried deadly particles around, and no one could do anything to prevent it.

We all, inhabitants of this planet, immediately felt how fragile the world around us is, how small it is, and how we are all defenceless against global cataclysms be it natural phenomena or technological disasters.

 And we realized that no ideology, no parades and bravura marches during the holidays will protect us from the negligence and incompetence of one single operator who, by moving his hand on the control panel of an atomic reactor, can put an end to the dreams and hopes of millions.

On the eve of a wonderful international holiday - the Day of Spring and Labour celebrated on 1 May - most recently passed the unnoticed anniversary of the accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. On 26 April 1986, the largest technological disaster in the Soviet Union occurred, the consequences of which are still felt. Almost 200 tons of radioactive substances were released into the atmosphere. The wind carried deadly particles around, and no one could do anything to prevent it.

We all, inhabitants of this planet, immediately felt how fragile the world around us is, how small it is, and how we are all defenceless against global cataclysms be it natural phenomena or technological disasters.

 And we realized that no ideology, no parades and bravura marches during the holidays will protect us from the negligence and incompetence of one single operator who, by moving his hand on the control panel of an atomic reactor, can put an end to the dreams and hopes of millions.

Tashi Delek (Hello!) to all the Sangha* friends:

I would like to take this opportunity to share some of my thoughts during this difficult time we are facing at the moment. The Government of India has imposed lockdown in all the states since March 22nd, 2020, so all the Dharmic places** including ours are closed. His Holiness is in retreat at his official residence in Dharamsala and is in very good health. Our monks are in retreat mode too and continuing our daily practices privately, while following the social distancing protocol advised by the Government.

 The Wuhan pandemic virus is creating a lot of problems throughout the world. During this time, we must pause and consider what is happening in relation to the virus pandemic. Perhaps, in the face of this plight, under these negative circumstances, we can still act in a way that accomplishes something positive.

A very talented singer, Lera Bazykina, launched Protect and Love flash mob. Its message is simple, like the colour of the sky above our head, like sunlight and a clear stream, like the splash of an oar that slightly touches the water of a calm pond on a calm day.

“Let's love our planet,” the girl said, “let's love and protect nature and all life on Earth, and most importantly, each other.” It’s easy! And it’s good that our children tell us adults about the main things in life.

 

No matter how difficult the situation may be, we should employ science and human ingenuity with determination and courage to overcome the problems that confront us, the 14th Dalai Lama said.

A special message from His Holiness states: "despite the enormous challenges we face, living beings, including humans, have shown a remarkable ability to survive."
“Faced with threats to our health and well-being, it is natural to feel anxiety and fear. Nevertheless, I take great solace in the following wise advice to examine the problems before us: If there is something to be done—do it, without any need to worry; if there’s nothing to be done, worrying about it further will not help, ”he said.

 

One of the biggest victims of the raging COVID-19 pandemic was the sport of excellence. The Champions League and European Football League cup competitions, NHL and KHL hockey tournaments, and the World Figure Skating Championships have been postponed to later dates. The fire of the 2020 Summer Olympics brought from Athens to Fukushima burns lonely at a local football centre in anticipation of better times when it will finally be solemnly delivered to Tokyo.
The World Chess Olympiad was postponed to a later date. I agree that to hold competitions of the sharpest minds of humankind in the old fashioned way, tête-à-tête, in large halls with a crowd of spectators, as we did before, is now unacceptable. But even if our game is one of the oldest in history, we still live in the third millennium!

 

I read the news feed: the world is closed; the economy is collapsing before our eyes. The army patrols the streets in different countries including those universally developed and democratic. In one of the European countries, such an army patrol examining the local nursing home found that the staff had fled leaving the helpless old people to stay with the dead patients. One of the bloggers posted images from world’s online cameras: extinct streets and canals of Venice, an empty alpine ski resort, depopulated Wall Street. One gets impression is that he is in a third-rate post-apocalypse dystopia.

A fourth-year student at the Higher School of Economics Dinara Dordzhieva from Elista won the 20th ‘Mediterranean Flower’ chess championship in Croatia.

The prestigious chess competition was attended by 10 chess players: three female grandmasters and seven international FIDE masters who took part in the championship held in a circular system. The decisive match took place in the fifth round, when Dinara beat the rating favourite Slovenian Laura Unuk and took the lead from her nearest rival Russian Ekaterina Smirnova. Thus, the Kalmyk chess player completed her third female grandmaster score and added 14 points to her individual rating of 2354 points.

 

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