Category: Covid-19

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The Potemkin hospitals

Tom Scott

With desperate frontline NHS staff warning that the health service is in immediate danger of being overwhelmed by surging Covid-19 admissions, it appears that the government’s much vaunted Nightingale hospitals were built largely for PR purposes – yet another example of government by vacuous gesture. The news that the government’s flagship Nightingale hospital at London’s […]

A pinprick of hope

Vicky Rosier

It was bright when we drew up outside the Eastway Clinic at Sunday lunchtime. Since I don’t drive and the buses are infrequent, I’d allowed us the privilege of getting a taxi. And, on balance, taking a taxi involving greater proximity to one masked driver probably involves no greater risk than sitting on a bus […]

Masks in supermarkets: am I a man or a mouse?

Tom Scott
Man shopping in supermarket wearing a mask

A couple of days ago I was doing some Christmas shopping at a local supermarket near my home in Cornwall. As I scoured the shelves for stollen (a favourite festive treat in our household), I couldn’t help noticing that quite a few of the other customers were not making any attempt to socially distance, and […]

Covid-19: the effects on rural churches and communities

Susanna Metz
Sheepwash Church, Devon with thatched cottage.

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” The opening of A Tale of Two Cities came to mind when I was asked to write about the effect these very difficult past ten months have had specifically on ‘the Church’ in rural areas. If I were not too old to start […]

The seven deadly sins of 2020

Rachel Marshall

When Covid-19 and the lockdown first hit, there was a magical outpouring of willingness to help, support people in communities, think greener and kinder. We relished the fresher air, the new things we discovered on our daily walk or run, we appreciated nurses, carers, binmen, transport workers, supermarket staff. As the year draws to a […]

The Covid-19 herd immunity scandal: you need to know

Fionna O'Leary

You might want to look at this Sunday Times article @ChrChristensen @chrischirp . TENGELL, Sweden’s COVID lead, with GUPTA and HENEGHAN, U.K. herd immunity fans, met secretly with Boris Johnson & Rishi Sunak (U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer) at Sunak’s request) on 20th Sept. 20th Sept is highly material as it was the day before […]

The shifting sands of travel restrictions

Valery Collins

Christmas and new year are traditionally times for planning summer holidays, but we’re living in a constantly changing situation. It is no longer a question of asking ‘Where do I want to go?’ – more a question of ‘Where can I go’? Even if the UK has put a country on their ‘travel corridor’ list […]

Plagues, public health and politics

Terry Riordan

“And my Lord Mayor commands people to be inside by nine at night that the sick may leave their domestic prison for air and exercise”. Samuel Pepys’s diary 12th August 1665 Throughout recorded history plagues and pandemics have had the capacity to cause massive loss of life. Those in power have sought to control or […]

Lies of the week…so far

Anthea Simmons

I think a lot of us are done with holding back on what this kleptocratic, autocratic bunch of wreckers and their mainstream media cheerleaders are doing to the UK, to truth and democracy. We are going to unpick the latest lies and call them out, three at a time, for the benefit of those not […]

Pilgrim’s shame – the price of cheap meat

Tom Scott

While argument rages over whether Cornwall should have been assigned to Tier 1 of the government’s social distancing regime, little attention has been paid to the US company operating the meat-packing plant in Cornwall which has been at the centre of a major outbreak of Covid-19. Tom Scott lifts the lid on its grim record […]

Letter from the editor: don’t hibernate! Activate!

Anthea Simmons

Hibernation has never seemed a more attractive prospect. Hunkering down in a dark, snug spot, away from the daily horrors in the news would probably do wonders for our mental and physical health. I’m tempted. I am sure you are, too. We’ve put out a lot of shocking stories of corruption, incompetence and bare-faced lying […]

Vaccine: I’ll have it. Will you?

Sarah Cowley

A vaccine is on the way – hooray! Most people cheered when elated Pfizer and BionTech scientists announced their news last week, revealing that early results showed their vaccine to be 90 per cent effective against Covid-19. It was the first in a line of good news stories about possible vaccinations coming on stream. Will […]

EuroDog on the PM’s second self-isolation

EuroDog

Unpacking Johnson’s messaging about his need to self-isolate: Johnson’s messaging to colleagues by Twitter and WhatsApp after he was contacted to self-isolate demonstrates a Trump-like understanding of Covid-19.

Weird and wonderful words – week 1

Sadie Parker

Hello lockdown, my old friend; I’ve come to walk with you again. How are we all feeling? You may have awoken early in a state of uhtceare (pronounced uht-kay-ara; the ‘h’ is as in ‘loch’), an Anglo-Saxon expression for the ‘sorrow before dawn’ when you lie awake in the darkness and worry about the day […]

Nigel Farage – an opportunist pathogen

Tom Scott

Nigel Farage’s ‘new’ Reform Party is doing exactly what the far-right has always done: exploiting misery, chaos and toxic conspiracy theories. In 1919, with the world reeling from the impacts of the recently ended Great War and a devastating flu pandemic, Benito Mussolini was contemplating his future. As Denis Mack Smith writes in his History […]

EuroDog reskills in track and trace

EuroDog

National problems, local solutions. As some pubs are required to close under Tier 3 restrictions, staff develop local solutions to beat the across-the-board failings of Serco ‘Track and Trace’ and overcome limited lab capacity.

Why testing failed: the pandemic of privatisation

Helen Beetham

After a week back in school, my teenager had a temperature. My partner is vulnerable so we separated our household as best we could, and I started trying to book a Covid-19 test. Four days and many online hours later, the best I managed was a time slot at Bristol Airport – a four hour […]

Making capital out of Coronavirus – the Moonshot scam

Anthea Simmons

There’s money in misery. There’s cash to be made in a crisis. You can monetise just about anything these days, after all. The growth of the social media giants should have taught us that. This government is turning out to be world-beating at funnelling your tax and mine into the pockets of mates, donors and […]

Erosion of the rights of the less-abled: incompetence or social Darwinism?

Sadie Parker

“As a father of a disabled child, and the patron of the Disability Law Service, I’ve seen legal advice that suggests his [Johnson’s] government broke international law in how the Coronavirus Act reduced the rights of disabled people,” Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey told Prime Minister (PM) Boris Johnson in the House of Commons […]