Los Angeles threatens to punish party-throwers amid Covid-19 crisis by cutting off their power and water supplies
LOS ANGELES - Los Angeles has a new tool to dissuade large parties that double as virus super-spreader events: shutting off offending properties' electricity and water.
Mayor Eric Garcetti said that he has authorised the city to cut water and power in "egregious cases" of houses, businesses and other venues hosting large gatherings, effective from Friday (Aug 7) night.
"We've seen the reports of some large parties and gatherings in flagrant violations of health orders," he said in a press conference late Wednesday. "These house parties have essentially become nightclubs in the Hills."
The order follows a gathering this week that reportedly attracted hundreds of people at a mansion on Mulholland Drive and ended in gunfire. The event and others have raised concern that infections will accelerate in the epicentre of California's Covid-19 outbreak.
Los Angeles County has been making some progress in containing the virus, which has infected more than 197,000 residents.
Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said on Tuesday that there is cautious optimism "that our efforts over the past few weeks may be starting to slow the spread".
The county on Wednesday reported 68 additional deaths and 2,347 new cases. It said nearly 60 per cent of new Covid-19 cases occur in residents aged between 18 and 49.
"All the sacrifices can be undone by those who refuse to follow the science and follow the rules - and put our economy and our community at risk," Mayor Garcetti said.
Elsewhere, New York and New Jersey - early hot spots of the pandemic - are getting tough on parties, anti-maskers and out-of-town visitors that are raising the risk of a resurgence.
New Jersey's indoor-gathering limit was cut by 75 per cent on Monday, to 25 people, after a spate of house parties led to almost 100 Covid-19 cases.
MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY - The indigenous peoples of the Amazon have already seen their homelands ravaged by illegal deforestation, industrial farming, mining, oil exploration and unlawful occupation of their ancestral territories.
Now, the coronavirus pandemic has magnified their plight, just as the forest fires are raging once more.
The Amazon, the world's largest tropical rainforest, is a vital resource in the race to curb climate change - it spans over 7.4 million sq km.
It covers 40 per cent of the surface area of South America, stretching across nine countries and territories: Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela.
Around three million indigenous people - members of 400 tribes - live there, according to the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organisation (ACTO).
Around 60 of those tribes live in total isolation.
The following is a look back over at how the novel coronavirus spread through the Amazon jungle, and how those communities are handling the crisis.
ISOLATED BUT NOT PROTECTED
In mid-March, panic struck Carauari, in western Brazil.
Carauari is home to one of the most isolated communities in the world, and is only accessible by a week-long boat ride from Manaus, the nearest major city.
At first, the virus was seen as a threat that was well removed from the multi-colored houses on stilts that overlook the Jurua river, a tributary of the Amazon.
But the announcement of the first case in Manaus, the regional capital of Amazonas state, quickly sowed panic in the community.
No one in Carauari had forgotten how diseases brought by European colonisers ripped through the native populations in the Americas, nearly eliminating them altogether due to their lack of immunity.
"We're praying to God not to bring this epidemic here. We're doing everything we can - washing our hands often, like they tell us on TV," said Jose Barbosa das Gracas, 52.
The first confirmed case amongst Brazil's indigenous population was confirmed in early April: a 20-year-old health care worker from the Kokama tribe, who lived near the Colombian border.
She had worked with a doctor who also tested positive.
CALLS FOR HELP
Sensing the mounting threat, indigenous leaders and celebrities sounded the alarm, warning that Amazonian indigenous communities could face annihilation without help.
"There are no doctors in our communities. There is no protective gear to aid prevention," Jose Gregorio Diaz Mirabal, the elected leader of the collective of Amazon indigenous organizations, said in late April.
For Yohana Pantevis, a 34-year-old inhabitant of Leticia, in Colombia's Amazonas state, "falling ill here is always scary, but now we're more afraid than ever."
Brazilian-born photojournalist Sebastiao Salgado, known for his work in the Amazon, warned of the "huge risk of a real catastrophe."
"If the virus gets into the forest, we don't have a way to get help to them. The distances are so huge. The indigenous people will be abandoned," said the 76-year-old.
"I call that genocide - the elimination of an ethnic group and its culture," he said, accusing the government of Brazil's far-right President Jair Bolsonaro of anti-indigenous policies.
In early June, iconic indigenous leader Raoni Metuktire accused Bolsonaro of wanting "to take advantage of this disease."
"He's saying, 'Indians have to die, we have to finish them off'," he told AFP in an interview.
In mid-June, the little indigenous village of Cruzeirinho in Brazil with its wooden huts was left practically deserted as most inhabitants - fearing coronavirus infection - fled into the jungle.
They "preferred to take everything they had with them into the forest and avoid contact with others," said resident Bene Mayuruna, who was amongst the few who stayed.
The Brazilian army deployed a team of health workers to Cruzeirinho to provide care for the remaining members of the local tribe.
MEDICINAL PLANTS AND BARRICADES
A week's journey by boat from Cruzeirinho, the inhabitants of the Umariacu indigenous reserve adopted a different strategy: they blocked all outsiders from their villages.
"Attention: indigenous land. Closed for 15 days," said a hand-painted sign next to a roadblock at the entrance to the reserve.
The area covers 5,000ha in northern Brazil near the Peruvian and Colombian borders, and is home to about 7,000 people.
To avoid any dependence on the often maxed-out Brazilian public health system, indigenous people often turn to their ancestral traditions.
In mid-May, members of the Satere Mawe ethnic group, wearing colorful feather and leaf headdresses, scoured the river in search of medicinal plants.
"We've been treating our symptoms with our own traditional remedies, the way our ancestors taught us," said Andre Satere Mawe, a tribal leader who lives in a rural area on the outskirts of Manaus.
The Satere Mawe remedies include teas made from the bark of the carapanauba tree, which has anti-inflammatory properties, or the saracuramira tree, an anti-malarial.
VIRUS TAKES HOLD
In Manaus, Maria Nunes Sinimbu saw five members of her family die of Covid-19 in less than a month, including three of her 12 children.
"My daughter didn't believe this illness was so serious. She kept working and travelling normally, without taking any precautions," said the 76-year-old retired school teacher.
In late July, the Pan-Amazonian Church Network said more than 27,500 indigenous people belonging to 190 tribes had been infected on the continent with over 1,100 deaths.
Amongst the victims have been important tribal leaders such as Paulinho Paiakan and Aritana Yawalapiti in Brazil, and Peru's Santiago Manuin.
INDIGENOUS CULTURE UNDER THREAT
For many indigenous people living deep in the rainforest, the health crisis has left them with a cruel choice: stay in their villages with limited medical resources or head into bigger towns where they might not be able to practice ancestral funeral rites.
Brazilian Lucita Sanoma lost her two-month-old baby on May 25.
The boy was buried, without her knowledge, 300 kilometres from her home village after dying in a hospital in Boa Vista.
The burial followed government health guidelines but ran counter to the traditions of her Yanomami tribe, which dictate that the deceased must be left in the open air in the forest before their bones are collected and cremated.
The ashes are kept in an urn for a long time before eventually being buried in a new ceremony.
In Colombia, Ticuna chief Remberto Cahuamari spoke in early June of his concern that the loss of the older generation to Covid-19 would spell the end of the passing down of ancestral wisdom.
"We'd be left with our young who in the future won't know anything about our cultures and our customs. That's what scares us," he told reporters.
Added to that is the threat of isolation as riverside villages become cut off as authorities suspend boat traffic in a bid to curb the spread of the virus.
THE SCOURGE OF WILDCAT HUNTERS
For the Yanomami people, illegal gold miners are the main problem on their territory, a vast swathe of territory on Brazil's border with Venezuela that is home to about 27,000.
"Without that, we would be fine," said indigenous leader Mauricio Yekuana, whose white mask contrasts with his black face paint.
According to NGOs, around 20,000 gold miners make regular incursions into indigenous land, encouraged by Bolsonaro, who wants to "integrate" those areas with "modernity."
But Greenpeace Brazil warns that gold miners are "potential transmitters" of Covid-19.
A study conducted by Minas Gerais University showed that as many as 40 per cent of Yanomami living close to mining areas risked becoming infected with the virus if nothing is done.
While the world's attention is laser-focused on the coronavirus, forest fires continue to ravage the Amazon, after an already challenging 2019.
Land-grabbers in Brazil want to accelerate deforestation to make way for soybean plantations or pasture land for cattle - two key exports.
The resumption of fires is no accident.
"What I saw in the places I went to was that the trees had already been cut down, they just hadn't yet been burnt," Erika Berenguer, a researcher at Oxford and Lancaster universities, said in June.
She feared that "breathing problems caused by the fires" could make things worse for those who contract the coronavirus.
Authorities have a limited ability to prevent deforestation - and sometimes are found to be complicit in the operations.
The latest figures make for some grim reading: Amazonian deforestation over the first half of the year was 25 per cent higher than the same period in 2019, which was already a record, Brazil's national space agency Inpe said.
Experts fear August will be particularly devastating.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A soldier at a base in Yilan County was undergoing tests for Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) Wednesday (Aug. 5) after local authorities confirmed he had shown symptoms of an infection.
Responding to inquiries from the media about the case, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said the test results would be known before the end of the day but would be announced to the public on Thursday (Aug. 6).
Concern has increased about potential new cases, with a Japanese citizen reportedly testing positive after returning home from Taiwan, while last week a Belgian engineer who arrived on the island in early May tested positive, but the authorities were unable to classify him as either an imported or a local infection.
The soldier was a new recruit at the Jinliujie base in Yilan City who had lost his sense of smell, often a symptom of the coronavirus. Just to be on the safe side, the military immediately sent him to a hospital to undergo tests.
The man, who was not from Yilan County, had suffered from a cold for several days, but had not traveled overseas in the recent past nor had any contact with persons in quarantine.
Taiwan has confirmed a total of 476 coronavirus patients, including 384 imported cases, 55 local ones, 36 from the Navy’s “Goodwill Fleet,” and the one unclarified case. Seven people have died of the virus in Taiwan, while at present, 26 are still undergoing treatment in hospitals.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taipei has stepped up measures to fight the coronavirus, including making masks mandatory on the Taipei Metro once more, as Taiwan sees a rise in imported cases.
Starting Thursday (Aug. 6), masks must be worn by those taking the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system or visiting Taipei City Hall, medical centers, schools, public places, or major events. This is part of a first-level response to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Taipei City Government.
MRT riders who do not comply with the mask-wearing rule will be fined up to NT$15,000 (US$511). Masks are also compulsory in crowded or indoor areas where social distancing cannot be maintained.
Venues for major events, including Taipei Arena, will be subject to stricter disease control measures. Events hosting more than 100 people indoors or 500 outdoors cannot proceed without approval from the Department of Information and Tourism and the Department of Health.
Food stalls or eating will not be allowed at these venues, and participants will be asked to provide a form of ID. Organizers and staff must undergo two weeks of self-health monitoring before the event takes place.
In addition to wearing masks, individuals entering hospitals should present their National Health Insurance Card or another form of ID and disclose to staff their travel history, occupation, and contact history. Visitors will have their temperatures taken, and the public is discouraged from visiting patients unless absolutely necessary.
After an increase of imported coronavirus cases over the past few weeks, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced Wednesday (Aug. 5) that masks are again compulsory at eight public venues. These include schools, places of worship, medical and health facilities, public transport, entertainment venues, markets, and large social events.
Taiwan has recorded 477 cases and 7 deaths as of Thursday (Aug. 6).
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Half of a decomposing human head was found floating in the Tamsui River near the Guandu Bridge in New Taipei City on Wednesday (Aug. 5), and prosecutors have not ruled out the possibility that it belonged to an employee of a nearby pumping station whose headless body was recovered after he fell into the river.
Police said that witnesses walking along the river dyke on Longmi Road in New Taipei’s Bali District spotted a strange object floating near the Guandu Bridge at around noon. Upon taking a closer look, they were startled to find that it was half of a human head.
When firefighters arrived, they found the head stuck underneath a scenic riverside lookout near the bridge. They managed to fish it out of the water; however, as the remains were badly decomposed, the cause of death has not yet been determined.
Prosecutors suspect the head may be that of a man in his 50s, surnamed Chi (齊), who worked at Taipei City’s Baxian pumping station. Chi reportedly fell into the river on Monday (Aug. 3) while working on a sewage gate to prepare for the approaching Typhoon Hagupit, and police and firefighters found Chi’s headless body Monday night.
Forensic investigators have taken samples from the head and will send them to the Ministry of Justice's Institute of Forensic Medicine to see if they match samples taken from his family.
BEIRUT - I was just about to look at a video a friend had sent me on Tuesday (Aug 4) afternoon - "the port seems to be burning", she said - when my whole building shook, as if startled, by the deepest boom I'd ever heard. Uneasily, naïvely, I ran to the window, then back to my desk to check for news.
Then came a much bigger boom, and the sound itself seemed to splinter. There was shattered glass flying everywhere. Not thinking but moving, I ducked under my desk.
When the world stopped cracking open, I couldn't see at first because of the blood running down my face. After blinking the blood from my eyes, I tried to take in the sight of my apartment turned into a demolition site.
My yellow front door had been hurled on top of my dining table. I couldn't find my passport, or even any sturdy shoes.
Later, someone would tell me that Beirutis of her generation, who had been raised during Lebanon's 15-year civil war, instinctively ran into their hallways as soon as they heard the first blast, to escape the glass they knew would break.
I was not so well-trained, but the Lebanese who would help me in the hours to come had the heartbreaking steadiness that comes from having lived through countless previous disasters. Nearly all of them were strangers, yet they treated me like a friend.
When I got downstairs, dodging the enormous broken window that rested jaggedly in my stairwell, my neighbourhood, with its graceful old-Beirut architecture and arched windows, looked like a picture from the wars I had seen from afar - a mouth missing all its teeth.
Someone passing on a motorbike saw my bloody face and told me to hop on. When we couldn't get any closer to the hospital, our way blocked by hillocks of broken glass and stranded cars, I got off and started walking.
Everyone on the street seemed to be either bleeding from open gashes or swathed in makeshift bandages - all except one woman in a chic, backless top leading a small dog on a leash. Only an hour before, we had all been walking dogs or checking e-mail or shopping for groceries. Only an hour before, there had been no blood.
As I neared the hospital, elderly patients sat dazed in wheelchairs in the streets, still hooked to their IV bags. A woman lay on the ground in front of the exploded emergency room, her whole body dripping red, not moving much. It was clear that they weren't taking new patients, certainly not any as comparatively lucky as I was.
Someone named Youssef saw me, sat me down and started cleaning and bandaging my face. Once he was satisfied I could walk, he left and I started wandering, trying to think of another hospital I could try.
I ran into a friend of a friend, someone I had met only a few times before, and he bandaged the rest of my wounds, disinfecting the lacerations with splashes of Lebanon's national liquor, an anise-flavoured drink called arak.
His roommate swept up their terrace as I bloodied their towels. "I can't think unless it's clean," he explained.
Until then, I hadn't had more than the vaguest guesses about what might have happened. Someone was reporting that fireworks had exploded at the port. Much later, Lebanese officials acknowledged that a large cache of explosive material seized by the government years ago was stored where the explosions occurred.
Survivors walked by, moving faster than the jammed-up traffic. To anyone who appeared unhurt, people called out, "alhamdulillah al-salama", or, roughly translated, thank God for your safety.
Before the end of the night, after my co-workers had found me, after a passing driver named Ralph had offered to take us to one of the few hospitals still accepting patients, after a doctor had put 11 staples in my forehead and another sprinkling on my leg and arms, people would be saying the same thing to me: "Thank God for your safety."
"Thank you, truly thank you," I said in reply, and I didn't mean just for the good wishes.
HOUSTON - Jo Ellen Chism, 57, a retiree who lives in The Woodlands, Texas, about an hour outside Houston, was nervous about attending her stepson's wedding on June 20.
"They were going to postpone it, but then the Catholic church decided they would open and would have up to 75 people," she said.
"Seventy-five people seemed like a pretty big gathering to me during this Covid time."
She went to support her family. She was inside the church for an hour-long service that included a processional and communion.
At the reception, at Haak Winery, she sat indoors at a round table with other guests, some of whom were from out of town. While everyone started the day in masks, they took them off for photos and never replaced them.
Her symptoms started four days later. With a runny nose, sore throat and bad headache, it could have been a sinus infection. Two days later she tested positive for Covid-19 along with 12 other guests, including her 10-year-old grandson and the groom's 76-year-old grandfather. He is still recovering after a trip to the emergency room with double pneumonia. She said 13 additional guests had symptoms but did not get tested.
Chism's oldest son kept track of all the sick guests through the seating chart, on which he marked who was positive, negative and untested. Still, like most super-spreader events, without sophisticated contact tracing, it is impossible to identify patient zero.
"I could just kick myself because I probably shouldn't have gone to that wedding," she said. "I am really thankful I was not terribly ill." She missed the birth of two grandchildren because of her need to isolate.
VENDORS HELPLESS AT CONTROLLING GUESTS' BEHAVIOUR
After a brief pause, wedding season is back in full swing across the country. Couples are working within the confines of state laws to carry out their nuptials during the pandemic.
But despite precautions coronavirus has swept into many of these events, both large and small, infecting guests and vendors.
The situation is so dire, some wedding planners are self-quarantining after events and even subcontracting their duties at the reception, the part of the weddings where people mingle more closely.
Some brides and grooms are having guests sign liability forms upon arrival. Others say they are losing sleep for two weeks after their wedding, wondering what unintentional harm they might have caused to people they love.
In June, a wedding planner in Arkansas who wished to remain anonymous to protect her business predicted weddings would become the next super-spreader events.
"Weddings are so different from going into a store or sitting in a restaurant for 45 minutes," she said.
"These receptions last for three, four hours, and everyone is in an indoor space, breathing the air. They aren't wearing masks and they are dancing. And when they start drinking, it's like there is no pandemic."
Six months ago her anxieties were about the weather or tight schedules. Now they are much heavier.
"I am scared there is going to be an outbreak at one of my weddings and someone is going to die."
The problem, she said, is that she, along with other vendors, are helpless at controlling guests' behaviour at a private party.
"All the vendors are masked up, and I am cracking the whip on the vendors, but I can't do anything with the guests," she said.
That vendor, despite her nervousness, pointed out that she is contractually obligated to carry out terms of the contract signed with the couple.
Sarah Bett, a wedding planner in Houston, said even if vendors had power to reign in rowdy guests, the bride and groom could just move their event to a less strict venue.
"Some venues make the bride wear masks, while others say those walking down the aisle are exempt," she said. "It's a little lawless down here."
Without universal standards she is at the mercy of her clients, many of whom want their festivities indoors, without masks, with out-of-town friends and with dancing.
"I have a grandmother who is 90 who I am around a lot," she said. "I haven't had my first wedding yet this summer, but when I do, I am going to self-quarantine after."
RULES AND REGULATIONS VARY BY STATE
State laws vary when it comes to weddings. Some wedding spaces are governed by the same rules as restaurants, meaning they can accommodate a certain percentage of their overall capacity.
In Arkansas, for example, you can fill venues to 66 per cent capacity. So an event in a 1,000-person ballroom can legally host 666 guests. In other states events are limited to the size of the group. In parts of New York, for example, gatherings are limited to 50 people regardless of the space.
Bett said many of her clients feel safer with smaller affairs.
"I have clients doing private, intimate ceremonies, because no one is making a big stink about those," she said. "No one wants to be the new epicentre of the outbreak."
But even weddings with the tightest guest list are not immune to the coronavirus.
Sunshine Borrer, 26, a veterinary technician in Houston, attended her sister-in-law's wedding in Crockett, Texas, which has a population of 6,000.
"It was a real small town," she said. "Covid wasn't something I was super concerned about." The 30-person wedding was held outdoors, but the after party was in a small bar area of an indoor restaurant.
It took about a week for her symptoms to develop. She tested positive for Covid-19, along with the bride and groom, another couple, and the bride's daughter. Fortunately all cases were mild.
SOME ARE CONCERNED ABOUT RISKS
Some couples are acutely aware of the fact that their wedding could turn into a super-spreader event.
Kate, 31, a social worker for the state of New York, married her husband, a 30-year-old engineer, in a boutique hotel in central New York during the July 4 weekend.
She did not want to give her full name, because "there's a lot of judgment for people who went through with weddings, even with precautions".
The event had less than 50 attendees, including vendors. Masks were on the entire time even outside and in photographs. There was no dancing - not even a first dance for the bride and groom.
"We didn't want to leave room for interpretation," she said.
Some couples are turning to waivers to protect themselves from liability in case of an outbreak.
The wedding planner in Arkansas said she uses her clients' fears about liability to drive them towards more protective measures.
"I tell them, 'Listen, we don't know where liability is going to fall, and you are the host of this event,'" she said.
You want to say at the end of the day you did everything you could possible to keep your guests safe."
Bett said, "I tell my clients, 'If you really feel you have to push this form, why are we having this wedding in the first place?'"
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Five Taiwanese lawmakers have been accused of taking bribes from businessman Lee Heng-lung (李恆隆) with regard to his attempts to regain control of Sogo department stores, and three of the lawmakers have been held incommunicado in accordance with a Tuesday (Aug. 4) court order.
Those being held include Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and his office manager Yu Hsueh-yang (余學洋); Kuomintang (KMT) lawmaker Chen Chao-ming (陳超明); as well as KMT lawmaker Liao Kuo-tung (廖國棟) and his office manager Ting Fu-hua (丁復華). Lee Heng-lung and political lobbyist Kuo Ke-ming (郭克銘), a former aide to Su, have been arrested as well.
It is said to be the largest detention of incumbent lawmakers in Taiwan's history.
Su, Liao, and Chen were said to have taken from Lee bribes of NT$20 million (US$680,000), NT$8 million, and NT$6 million, respectively. They were in turn expected to pressure officials from the Ministry of Economic Affairs to amend the Company Law in such a way that would give Lee the upper hand in a legal battle against the Far Eastern Group over ownership of Pacific SOGO Department Store.
Former DPP legislator Mark Chen (陳唐山) and former New Power Party (NPP) Chairman and ex-lawmaker Hsu Yung-ming (徐永明) are also involved in the bribery case and have been released on bail.
The financial flow of NT$1 million between Hsu and Lee was described by Hsu's office manager, Lin Yu-chieh (林鈺傑), as an emergency loan to cover the party's office payroll in February before government subsidies arrived. Lin insisted the loan had been paid back to Lee in full, citing the transaction records as evidence of his innocence.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Despite alleged attempts by several lawmakers to pressure government officials to give in and favor a particular business arrangement, they stood firm against corruption, Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said Tuesday (Aug. 4).
He was referring to an alleged bribery case which has rocked the Legislative Yuan. Three lawmakers, three legislative aides, and one businessman were ordered detained incommunicado Tuesday, while a former party leader and earlier a former foreign minister and another lawmakers were allowed out on bail.
The scandal, surrounding a power struggle for control of the Sogo department store chain in Taiwan, has affected politicians from at least three political parties, including the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), of which Su is a former chairman.
The premier expressed praise for government officials and for the DPP legislative caucus for having stood firm against pressure and attempts at bribery and said the government would fully cooperate with investigators, CNA reported.
Referring to a separate scandal involving Far Eastern Air Transport (FAT), Su said that appointments of top officials at state banks followed a set review process, but it was difficult to find out about possible illegal practices from the past.
First Financial Holding Chairman Jason Liao (廖燦昌) and Land Bank of Taiwan Chairman Hwang Bor-chang (黃柏川) were indicted last week after allegations of irregular lending to the troubled airline. The allegedly illegal practices occurred in 2016, when they were both serving in senior positions at the Taiwan Cooperative Bank, another state-run institution.
Su promised the government would not hide any misdeeds from investigators but fully cooperate with prosecutors.
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A recent survey found that 83 percent of Taiwanese fathers have confidence in their ability to take care of their offspring on their own, while 53 percent of mothers expressed concern about leaving the kids alone with their partners.
According to an online survey conducted by the non-profit Hsin-Yi Foundation, 98 percent of the fathers surveyed believe they share as much parenting responsibility as their partners. Meanwhile, 97 percent indicated that they have a good relationship with their children, and 89 percent regard themselves as "competent" parents.
When asked whether they would choose to become a parent if given a second chance, 71 percent of fathers said they would, but only 53 percent of the mothers expressed absolute willingness. Close to 90 percent of the mothers also indicated that they would create opportunities for the fathers to spend time alone with the children on purpose, despite not completely trusting their parenting skills.
In regard to who is considered the primary caregiver in the household, 39.5 percent of the respondents said the mother is, 4.8 percent credited the father, and 45.2 percent believe it to be both.
According to Hsin-Yi Foundation Chairperson Chang Sing-ju (張杏如), the contrast in perspectives shows that Taiwanese fathers need to be more active in their parenting to take some pressure off the mothers. She said that while there has been a value shift with regard to male parenting, societal stereotypes and traditional work arrangements have prevented a substantial change among fathers.
The survey was conducted between May 25 and June 30 through online questionnaires. Valid answers were gathered from 3,162 fathers and 5,067 mothers, according to the Hsin-Yi Foundation.