Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.
The end of the Covid-19 pandemic is not even close yet, World Health Organization (WHO) leader, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, told a news conference on Monday.
Tedros noted that, six months after China first alerted the WHO to a new respiratory infection, a total of 10,000,000 cases of infection and 500,000 deaths from Covid-19 has been reached.
"Most people are still susceptible to infection. The virus still has a lot of room to spread," he warned.
"We all want this to end. We all want to get on with our lives. But the harsh reality is that this is not even close to the end yet. Although many countries have made some progress, the global pandemic is actually accelerating," added Ghebreyesus.
WHO emergency program leader Mike Ryan said huge progress has been made in finding a safe and effective vaccine against Covid-19, but that there is no guarantee yet that these efforts will be successful.
Meanwhile, countries can fight the spread of the infection by testing, isolating confirmed cases and monitoring their contacts, Ryan said. He particularly highlighted the “comprehensive, persistent strategies” of Japan, South Korea and Germany in the fight against the infection.
The WHO plans to convene a meeting this week to assess progress in the fight against Covid-19, Tedros said. He added that the WHO is sending an expert group next week to investigate the source of the new virus.
The United States, the most vocal critic of the WHO, who also announced their departure from the organization, has called for an investigation into the origin of the coronavirus. US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo claimed that the virus originated from a Chinese laboratory, although they have yet to present any hard evidence to back up their claims. China strongly rejects such claims.
In the last 24 hours, no new cases of Covid-19 infection have been recorded in the Dubrovnik-Neretva County. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 3,678 samples have been sent for analysis.
In the Dubrovnik-Neretva County, there are currently 162 people in self-isolation. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 38 cases of self-isolation violations have been identified.
The headquarters of the continues to appeal to citizens to adhere to all prescribed measures by the Croatian Institute of Public Health and the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.
In the last 24 hours, 34 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded, so the number of currently active cases in Croatia has risen to 463.
In total 65 people are currently being treated, with one patient on a ventilator. And in the last 24 hours, 730 people were tested, the announced the Civil Protection National Headquarters.
Since February 25, 2020, when the first case of Covid-19 infection was recorded in Croatia, a total of 2,725 people have been infected with coronavirus, of which 34 were in the last 24 hours.
In Croatia 2,155 people have recovered, and one hundred and seven people have died so far.
So far, 78,183 people have been tested, of which 730 were tested in the last 24 hours.
In the last 24 hours, 67 new cases of Covid-19 have been recorded, and these are mostly concentrated on two hotspots, Zagreb and Đakovo.
So far a total of 2,691 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in Croatia since the pandemic began, and 2,152 people have made a total recovery, with sadly 107 people passing away.
“The numbers should be taken in the context of two major hotspots in Croatia, in Zagreb and Đakovo,” said the Health Minister, Vili Beroš, in a statement in Split. He added that large epidemiological measures were being carried out in Đakovo and that 500 swab tests had been taken.
Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bosnia and Herzegovina, dr. Bisera Turković, gave a statement to Dnevni Avaz regarding the information that passengers from Bosnia and Herzegovina were prevented from crossing the Republic of Croatia to Neum at the Doljani border crossing on June 28, 2020.
“Considering the information and the fact that citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina are prevented from even transit through Croatia, it is indisputable that the ministry I am heading will propose reciprocity tomorrow,” she said. “And this will be done as soon as possible because Croatia has a much larger number of newly infected Covid-19 cases and significantly less testing,” she added.
“I do not know why Croatia decided on such measures, but we know our positive attitude towards all countries in the region when it comes to tourism, business travel and trade opportunities in times that were unknown to us until yesterday, and that is the time of the pandemic,” was announced the office of Bisera Turković.
If this comes to pass, then that would mean that the transit borders at Neum would be closed meaning that the Dubrovnik – Neretva County would be cut off from the rest of Croatia to some extent.
“Oh, I’ve got another follower on Instagram, and I’m not sure who he is,” said the teenage girl with a voice like she’d just won the lottery. I looked on with a mixture of disbelief and confusion. The generation gap had never been wider.
If you were born after the beginning of the millennium then your smart phone is basically an extension of your body, the 101st organ. Take a smart phone from a teenager and they are lost in space and time. They date, play, flirt, watch video and TV and interact on this new organ. It also acts as their brain’s external memory and Google as their God to ask questions. Smart phone (although dumb phones might be a better name) have slowly but surely robbed children and teenagers of a huge part of growing up. Creativity, action and exercise. In the era when I grew up it was a problem for my parents to keep me at home. Now it seems that it is a problem to get children to go outside.
These recent games in the Old City, where street played against street in games that they used to play as children started me thinking. What will these games look like in thirty years’ time? Will today’s generation all sit around on the stone steps and reminisce when they used to play Pokémon Go?
The summer holidays used to be an open-air dream for children. I would basically leave my house with sandwiches when the sun rose and arrive home as the sun set. Of course I’d come back with a graze or two on my knees, a bruise on my elbow and a few insect bites (even a sheep bite once) but also with a smile on my face, a hole in my stomach and a need to hit my pillow and sleep until the next day’s adventures. We’d build camps, cook over fires (yes, sometimes they went wrong), play sports and games and make-up loads of new games. We’d “borrow” some fruit picked directly off the trees for a snack. It was an active childhood. And don’t forget we could never phone home as we didn’t have a mobile. Or come to think of it a computer, PlayStation or any other gaming device.
We’d be together, interacting together, playing together and later (much later) falling in (first) love. And this social interaction and indeed need to play games brought with it creation. Active creation, creative and logical minds. There is a reason why Lego was the most popular toy for decades, children used their minds and parents saw the benefits. Lego has been replaced by an app on a phone. Of course, it wasn’t perfect but compared with playtime today it was utopia. This seems to have turned a full circle. Now you have the situation where children are actually wasting their time watching other people play video games on their smart phones.
The generations have gone from being outside and creating new games from what they found around them to sitting on the couch watching other people play! From incredibly active to unbelievably passive, with a capital P! And what will the children of the future do then? What is the next step of passivity? Will smart phone watch other people play and then bring the “highlights” to the children?
Likes and followers are the new badges of merit. What we used to call the “star of the class” because he or she was the fittest, the strongest or indeed the tallest, is now called an influencer. And these so called influencers are worshipped like Gods. Whilst at the same time making money from their disciples, or sheep. And sheep don’t ask questions. They don’t ask why. Future minds are being taught to follow and not to lead.
Who will then ask the tough questions of the leaders of tomorrow? Who will ask why? Who will dare to question the influencers or the wolves? A sheep can’t question a wolf. Nelson Mandela rightly said “the youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow.”
Global travel site Big 7 Travel has released their list of the 50 Most Popular Destinations for Post-Lockdown Travel. Looking at the results of surveys sent to their 1.5 audience on social media and trending holiday locations on Google Search in the past 30 days, Big 7 Travel saw that there’s a clear trend in post-lockdown getaways: remote islands, peaceful countryside breaks and tropical paradise beaches.
“While there are a few major cities on the list, the majority of people are favouring quieter areas with plenty of space for social distancing, with countries that quickly contained the virus proving popular,” wrote Big 7 Travel.
And Dubrovnik also finished high on the list, in 27 position, and was the only Croatian destination to feature on the travel list.
And the top ten destinations for post-lockdown travel were -
9th. Hawaii, USA
8th. Kerry, Ireland
7th. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA
6th. Koh Tao, Thailand
5th. Palawan, Philippines
4th. The Algarve, Portugal
3rd. Positano, Amalfi Coast, Italy
2nd. South Island, New Zealand
1st. Santorini, Greece
Ljubljana and Dubrovnik are again connected by direct flights, with the first charter plane landing at Dubrovnik Airport yesterday.
The Ljubljana plane, carrying 76 passengers, organised by the Slovenian travel agency Palma Travel is the first of a range of special charter flights connecting Dubrovnik with Slovenia. Every Thursday, up until the 18th of October, this Slovenian charter plane will land in Dubrovnik, meaning that passengers should stay at least a week in the Dubrovnik region.
An Airbus 319 aircraft with 180 seats is planned for next Thursday, and a press trip of Slovenian journalists is also in the pipeline, organized jointly by the Dubrovnik Tourist Board and Palma travel.