It’s a lazy September afternoon in Central Texas and I’m working from my deck (thank you for the flexibility, Dell!) as I see a giant yellow swallowtail flutter by. They are one of my favorites, but the time is quickly approaching for the arrival of the true kings and queens: the Monarchs.Photo by Sean Stratton on UnsplashThe Monarch butterfly and its multigenerational migration is truly a wonder of nature. Already, those butterflies born up in Canada and the northern U.S. are making their way down to central Mexico, where they will arrive in November. Their flightpath gets funneled through Central Texas. No single butterfly makes the whole round trip – the Monarchs I will soon see are at least four generations removed from those who started their journey in their pine-oak winter home in the highlands on the border between Michoacan and the State of Mexico. This home is a World Heritage Site and was only rediscovered by scientists in 1975.Monarchs are not the only insects to migrate, but they are the only ones who migrate to a warmer climate 2,500 miles away. They make this journey because they cannot survive freezing weather up north, but milkweed doesn’t grow in their overwintering sites in Mexico. While the Monarchs can get nectar for energy from a variety of flowers, they will only lay eggs on milkweed, and their caterpillars will only eat milkweed leaves.Those caterpillars are voracious eaters, consuming an entire milkweed leaf in less than five minutes. That might not sound like much, but in their 9- to 14-day caterpillar stage, they will gain an incredible 2,700 times their original weight.Wait, so what does all this have to do with Dell?Both our headquarters in Central Texas and our campus in Oklahoma City have created way stations for the Monarchs. Think of a way station as a drive-thru for butterflies. With a variety of native wildflowers, the planted areas provide a buffet for hungry fliers both foreign and domestic.National Geographic offers a great video about how to create your own monarch butterfly way station here.Antelope milkweed, native to Central Texas, has been added in abundance to the Central Texas Monarch Way StationEstablishing these way stations is more important than ever. About 20 years ago, there were approximately one billion Monarchs migrating south from the Eastern U.S. But those numbers have been decimated, and now the population is closer to 100 million. Loss of habitat due to development, expansion of agriculture, and climate change are just a few of the reasons for this decline.Way stations create islands of opportunity for the butterflies during their migration.Heroes of the PlanetYou might wonder how Dell got into protecting butterflies and the answer begins with the great Planet employee resource group. Employee resource groups (ERG) are voluntary, employee-led organizations that share common interests, backgrounds or other factors. Planet focuses on sustainability and the environment. There are more than 10,000 members across 62 chapters in the company.One of the great things about Planet ERG is that it gives you an opportunity to act on your passions. When members brought up the idea that we use open land on the Central Texas headquarters to help the Monarchs, the team rallied. In January of 2016, Dell became a Texan by Nature – Monarch Wrangler partner, working with Texas Parks and Wildlife, Keep Austin Beautiful and the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. In addition to establishing the Monarch meadows, the Planet team works with facilities to remove invasive species and to educate other team members about what they can do to help the Monarchs recover.As part of that, Planet gave out hundreds of native milkweed seed packets for Central Texas employees to plant in their yards. They’ve also had Texan by Nature speak to the Planet group and during Earth Day celebrations.Global vision, local actionThe success of the Monarch initiative in Central Texas then inspired other Dell Planet teams as well.In Oklahoma City, the Planet chapter set up their own workplace garden and butterfly way station this past summer which has already seen many visitors.Dell’s Oklahoma City office plots out their workplace garden, including multiple wildflower sections that feature native milkweeds.In addition to benefiting the Monarchs, the milkweed and other wildflowers help attract other pollinators to keep their vegetable garden going. Our Silicon Valley campus, too, is looking into how it can support a way station (there’s a separate migrating Monarch population in California).It goes beyond Monarchs, of course. At our manufacturing facility in Lodz, Poland, the Planet team has created flower meadow with an educational board and also does tree planting in a nearby forest, where they have added more than 2,000 trees. In Nashville, they recently did a cleanup of the garden at the Poverty and Arts Building that Dell volunteers helped build. We’ve had tree planting activities in Romania and Morocco, and this past Earth Day the Utah chapter cleared out invasive plants along the banks of the Jordan River. Our Bratislava site added bird and bat houses.In the spirit of our Legacy of Good commitment, each of the employee resource groups at Dell has a strong volunteerism component that helps them connect to their local communities. Planet is no exception. In Veracruz this month, dozens participated in an annual beach clean-up. In April, we had nearly 60 clean-up events with team members volunteering more than 7,000 hours of their time. Recycling drives, working with animal rescue groups, adopting parks – these are just some of the ways our Planet chapters have been helping their local communities to grow and thrive.The Planet teams are also very active on the Dell campuses and with their fellow employees. Beekeeping and composting classes, electric car demonstrations, recycling drives, car pool and alternative commute programs, and even a “Meatless Mondays” program in Montpellier, France all help Dell reduce its environmental footprint while helping our team members reduce theirs.Building a Legacy of GoodOne of the things I really love about working at Dell is our commitment to put our technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet. The employee resource groups are an important part of this effort and I’m proud of all the great things our Planet teams do.The swallowtail has since left my backyard, but I know he’ll be back. I’ve built my own little way station back here and I love the constant stream of winged visitors. I’m excited, too, to welcome the Monarchs thanks to the milkweed that I planted a year ago, thanks to the support from the Dell Planet ERG.If you’re interested in learning what you can do to help the Monarchs or other insects, please visit Texan by Nature’s Monarch Wrangler Program, Butterfly Conservation Europe, or the Xerces Society.This article shares one example of how Dell is committed to driving human progress by putting our technology and expertise to work where it can do the most good for people and the planet.Explore our FY17 Annual update on our 2020 Legacy of Good Plan at legacyodgood.dell.com.
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Across India, more than a dozen labourers Reuters spoke to returning home said they had been left with little choice other than to attempt to walk back to their home villages after work – and public transport – vanished.Mamata Banerjee, chief minister of the eastern state of West Bengal, wrote on Thursday to the heads of other Indian states, saying that manual workers were facing “an hour of crisis”.Vinod Hathila, 39, a manual worker in Surat, a city in the western state of Gujarat, left for his home town on Wednesday, walking for hours along railway tracks with his 15-year-old son until he found a bus.With no work, he said he doesn’t know how he will support his family during the lockdown.”I’ll probably borrow some money on interest from someone,” he said.Ashok Punjabi, who heads a construction workers’ union in Gujarat, said 60,000-70,000 people working as domestic helps and in other unorganized sectors in the Gujarati city of Ahmedabad, had headed to homes in neighboring Rajasthan after the 21-day lockdown was announced, many on foot and carrying their possessions.”To see young children and women being forced to walk hundreds of kilometers like this is just sad,” said Punjabi, who is also a senior opposition party member in the state.Kuldeep Arya, a senior official in the Gujarati state capital of Gandhinagar, said 4,000 people had been provided with food and water while trying to return home.There were similar scenes in India’s capital New Delhi, where hundreds of migrants walked down deserted highways to neighboring Uttar Pradesh this week.”For two days the ration guys were not giving us any food, we were hungry for two days. So we decided, ‘let us go to our parents’,” said Raju, a 24-year old migrant worker walking from Noida, a satellite town of Delhi, to Agra, nearly 200 km away.”Since there’s no transport available, we decided to walk all the way.” Topics : After India imposed a 21-day nationwide lockdown on Tuesday to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the plywood factory near Uttar Pradesh’s state capital Lucknow where Surendra Pandey works was forced to shut down.On Thursday morning, with no way of earning a living, the 28-year-old labor set off on a 110-kilometer walk back to his home village.”I tried catching a bus or truck yesterday, but there is no transport available on the road, so I decided to walk,” he told Reuters, some 30 km into his journey. “There is no food available on the roads but thankfully a few citizens offer us food, biscuits and water. It’s better to be home than to be here in the city without food and water.”Officials say the shutdown of all but essential services is necessary to beat coronavirus in the densely populated country of 1.3 billion people, with health infrastructure that can ill-afford a widespread outbreak. India has so far reported more than 600 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 13 deaths.India’s government announced on Thursday a $22.6 billion economic stimulus plan that provides direct cash transfers and food security.But for India’s estimated 120 million migrant labourers, the shutdown is a crisis, as wages dry up and many cannot afford the rent or even food in the cities.
A majority of Americans said they were concerned about how the coronavirus is spreading, according to the poll, as the number of COVID-19 cases surpassed 1 million people in the United States this week, killing more than 56,000.Trump publicly mused about the benefits of “cleaning” COVID-19 patients on the insides with disinfectants or ultraviolet light during a news conference last week, directing health officials in the room to look into it.Medical experts immediately condemned the president’s suggestion, and the makers of disinfectant products warned the public against ingesting them. Trump later tried to portray his remarks as sarcasm, but given his popularity with some Americans, health officials expressed concern his remarks would persuade some people to poison themselves.Overall, Trump’s overall popularity has not changed much over the past week. Forty-three percent of Americans said they approve of his overall job performance, and the same number also approve of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics : Among registered voters, 44% said they would vote for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, while 40% said they would back Trump if the election were held today.The Reuters/Ipsos poll was conducted online, in English, throughout the United States. It gathered responses from 1,001 adults, including 416 Democrats and 419 Republicans. Americans appear to be losing faith in what President Donald Trump says about the coronavirus pandemic, with almost everyone rejecting Trump’s remark that COVID-19 may be treated by injecting infected people with bleach or other disinfectants, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday.The April 27-28 public opinion poll found that fewer than half of all adults in the US – 47% – said they were “very” or “somewhat” likely to follow recommendations Trump makes about the virus. That is 15 percentage points lower than the number who said they would follow Trump’s advice in a survey that ran at the end of March.And 98% of Americans said they would not try to inject themselves with bleach or other disinfectants if they got the coronavirus, including 98% of Democrats and 98% of Republicans. That is a near-unanimous rejection of an idea that Trump floated at a time of widespread anxiety about the virus.
The field hospital also has five isolation rooms equipped with 16 beds where COVID-19 patients could stay before being transferred to a government-run emergency facility in Wisma Atlet Kemayoran, Central Jakarta.The Artha Graha-run facility has conducted extensive rapid testing for members of the public. As of April 15, the facility had conducted 3,900 rapid tests.The field hospital has also dispatched medical workers to conduct rapid tests outside of Greater Jakarta, including in Kendal, Central Java; Cianjur, West Java; and Kubu Raya, West Kalimantan.”In this facility, we conduct tight screening on those who have a high or low potential of getting infected. We then conduct a rapid test and if they are found to be positive, we then take PCR and swab tests here as well,” said Ridwan Purwanto, a Navy doctor who now serves as head of the field hospital. While there are many private initiatives that are helping the government to deal with COVID-19 through donations, Artha Group tycoon Tomy Winata has taken the lead in an effort to directly fight the pandemic.His charitable foundation Artha Graha Peduli has opened a field hospital in North Jakarta dedicated to conducting rapid tests on targeted segments of society, in addition to providing beds and possible treatment for COVID-19 in the event of a spike in the number of patients requiring hospitalization.The field hospital, which is run by Artha Graha Peduli with support from numerous institutions and business entities including Buddha Tzu Chi Foundation, food giant Indofood and property giant Sinarmas, is manned by eight specialist doctors, 15 general practitioners, 34 nurses and 209 volunteers. The North Jakarta city administration has given its approval for the Artha Graha Peduli field hospital to serve as a facility that can handle COVID-19 patients. North Jakarta Mayor Sigit Wijatmoko issued credentials for the field hospital in early April during a ceremony at the facility.During a visit to the facility in late April, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said the field hospital could serve as a back-up facility in the event a spike in COVID-19 cases leads to greater number of hospitalizations.Speaking on Saturday, Tomy said the initiative for setting up the hospital began in December, when news broke out from China that an illness caused by a virus started to infect people in Wuhan, China.It just so happened that Artha Graha Peduli would focus on health as its primary agenda for 2020. “You could say that we had marshaled our resources six months before the pandemic struck,” Tomy said.In January, when COVID-19 was still concentrated in Wuhan, Artha Graha Peduli ordered the construction of a quarantine facility on Sebaru Island, off the coast of North Jakarta, which the government later used to house 69 Indonesian crewmen who were airlifted from the coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama, Japan.Tomy said the field hospital and Artha Graha Peduli would be in it for the long-haul.”Even after we have a vaccine, it will be another three years before life can get back to normal. We have to manage our lives to live with COVID-19,” Tomy said.Topics :