Lê Vĩnh Tài | SAIGON IN LOCKDOWN (25/56)

SONGNGUTAITRAM

By Lê Vĩnh Tài, translated by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

 

gently gently as gently as gently goes

a heart like yours inevitably suffers so

leave the Sun to its liberty

allow your laughter to roam free

until the air is light 

allows the tangerine leaves to take flight

 

gently gently, you should be

the coveted clouds beneath the brows

your eyes are in the dark now

the city under house arrest

thus when will you be new year’s eve

amongst the drifting incense upon the dawn of the first

 

lightly you step hindered by fate

afraid the readers may slip off the bridge of your nose

 

the delivery person is not someone who’s seeking a place to hide

they bring with them the sympathies

collecting the delivered fees

 

easy, take it easy please

when faced with

the destruction of a citadel

 

(October 2021)

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Biden administration moves to make at-home COVID-19 tests more available | TheHill

The Biden administration announced on Monday its plan to make rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests cheaper and more available through an accelerated Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorization process.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) plans to commit $70 million from the American Rescue Plan to boost the number of over-the-counter at-home COVID-19 tests on the market.

Under this strategy, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plans to prioritize FDA authorization applications for COVID-19 tests from companies that “have the potential for manufacturing at significant scale.”

“The goal is to accelerate the availability of more high-quality, accurate and reliable over-the-counter tests to the public as quickly as possible,” HHS said in a release.

Source: Biden administration moves to make at-home COVID-19 tests more available | TheHill

Herbalist’s murder highlights assault on Mayan spirituality in Guatemala | Global development | The Guardian

Choc Che was an ajilonel, or specialist in Mayan medicine, who worked to conserve traditional knowledge and herbal remedies. He was a member of the Relebaal Saqe association of councils of spiritual guides and had also participated in a series of scientific research projects, including with University College London.

Last year, he was tortured, set on fire and killed by neighbors in the village of Chimay after he was accused of performing witchcraft. Three people were sentenced to 20 years in prison for their part in the killing.

Domingo Choc Che, a Maya spiritual guide who was murdered in early June 2020 in the village of Chimay, Guatemala..
Outrage as Guatemalan Maya spiritual guide is tortured and burned alive
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But the verdict has not reassured indigenous spiritual guides and herbalists who say that the judge reduced the charges from murder to homicide, ignored Choc Che’s status as a spiritual leader and downplayed the influence of Christian extremism in his killing.

“The sentence failed to understand the role of a spiritual guide in the community,” said Juan Castro, the Choc Che family’s lawyer. “[The court] considers it just one more death.”

The three defendants, Romelia Caal Chub, Edyn Arnoldo Pop and Candelaria Magaly Pop, accepted their responsibility but throughout the trial they attacked Choc Che’s character and accused him of witchcraft.

The Catholic church denied that religious beliefs had played a role, with Bishop Mario Fiandri saying that the murder had been precipitated by “a problem between two families”.

Choc Che’s murder and its aftermath reflect continued intolerance against indigenous traditions in Guatemala. Approximately 43% of the country’s population identify as indigenous, but Christians routinely accuse Mayan spiritual leaders of witchcraft.

“They are convinced that they are going to go to heaven for removing evil or for removing the devil from their villages,” Berger said. “And they firmly believe that these [spiritual guides] represent the devil. So that extreme intolerance has followed a total lack of knowledge and understanding of what Mayan spirituality is, and this is very dangerous.”

Mayan spirituality traces its roots back thousands of years, and traditions of time-keeping, medicines and social organization have been preserved through many generations.

Source: Herbalist’s murder highlights assault on Mayan spirituality in Guatemala | Global development | The Guardian

Elvis’ Three Appearances on The Ed Sullivan Shows: Watch History in the Making and from the Waist Up (1956) | Open Culture

Oh, to be in the studio audience of CBS’ Television City in Hollywood on September 9th, 1956, to see Elvis Presley’s gyrating pelvis rocket him to superstardom on The Ed Sullivan Show.

His appearance made television history, but 60 million home viewers were left to fill in some major blanks, as the rising heartthrob was filmed from the waist up whenever he was in motion.

Sullivan had been hesitant to book Elvis, not wanting to court the outrage the magnetic young singer had sparked in two “suggestive” appearances on The Milton Berle Show earlier that year. Elvis, he told the press, was “not my cup of tea” and “wasn’t fit for family entertainment.”

Source: Elvis’ Three Appearances on The Ed Sullivan Shows: Watch History in the Making and from the Waist Up (1956) | Open Culture

In the 19th century, yellow fever survivors already used immunity passports – Mágica Mistura 車

In the 19th century, yellow fever survivors already used immunity passports

In 1804, the territory of Gibraltar, located south of the Iberian Peninsula, experienced an epidemic of yellow fever. Over four months, more than 2,200 people died from the disease, which is transmitted by the mosquito Aedes aegypti. Health officials tried to stop the problem, but that was not an easy task – since at that time nobody knew how transmission occurred.

Gibraltar was a strategic territory, as it was next to the only route that allowed entry into the Mediterranean through the Atlantic Ocean. It was a British Overseas Territory, and served as a fortress for many military personnel. People lived huddled within the colony walls, sharing a room for ten people, for example.

In addition, no river or spring crossed the territory – the population needed to collect rainwater in buckets for their own consumption. It was the recipe for disaster: standing water combined with the hot summer environment forms a full plate for the Aedes aegypti. Infections would only cease with the arrival of winter.

The 1804 epidemic was not the only one: outbreaks also occurred in 1810, 1813, 1814 and 1828. Research published in the scientific journal BMJ Global Health shows that the authorities were already better prepared for the second outbreak. A quarantine camp was created, where the infected were forcibly taken until the situation in the territory improved. About 4,000 people passed through there.

Source: In the 19th century, yellow fever survivors already used immunity passports – Mágica Mistura 車

Phan Nhiên Hạo | A Guide on how to write (6)

SONGNGUTAITRAM

By Phan Nhiên Hạo, translation by Nguyễn Thị Phương Trâm

 

A guide on how to write

 

Write as sweetly as a nail is nailed into wood.

Write as fast as the wind through an infected village.

Write as quietly as the coal shimmering slowly in the heart of the earth.

Write with the veracity of a lion about to pounce on its prey.

Write with the care of a ship meandering through a fog in the early light.

Write with the sensitivity of a dragonfly facing a storm.

Write joy upon the sand and connect them.

Write sadness upon the water and wait for the currents to carry them away.

Write loneliness upon a lantern then patiently wait for the candle to completely burnout.

You could write as shortly as you like but don’t forget the verbs,

the stagnation causative of the flooding of each and every punctuation.

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Y un día, a cierta hora, al voltear atrás

Santiago Galicia Rojon Serrallonga

SANTIAGO GALICIA ROJON SERRALLONGA

Derechos reservados conforme a la ley/ Copyright

Y un día, a cierta hora de la tarde, al voltear atrás y a los lados, me di cuenta de que los de antes ya no estaban conmigo. Apenas era el verano de mi existencia y ya sentía el dolor de las ausencias. Terribles han de ser, en todo caso, las noches otoñales y las madrugadas de invierno, en las soledades y en las miserias, ya sin el ambiente canoro que seguramente, en tales circunstancias, se han de añorar y requerir con urgencia, entre dolores y suspiros. Estos días tan extraños, en los que la gente muere cualquier fecha, en un conflicto global, los faltantes resultan más constantes y los dolores se vuelven cotidianos. Faltan unos y muchos, en mayúsculas y en minúsculas, en femenino y en masculino, porque alguien, y otros más, planea apoderarse del mundo, de sus…

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