As Covid-19 infection rates continue to fall, many have wondered why local rates in West Yorkshire remain stubbornly high. According to Anna Hartley, director of public health for Wakefield, the nature of work in the region is the major driver of infection.
The finish line appears to be in sight but the prime minister is right to dig in for the last few hard yards and he must now also ensure that his chancellor and backbench MPs stand with him to provide the support and clarity that is required to guide us through a difficult year ahead.
Charlie McCarthy explains Boris Johnson’s anticipated ‘big bang’ method of allowing children to return to school. He lays out the concerns from scientists and some school staff that he is rushing the process, perhaps risking an increase of the R number.
The conclusion should be obvious. We need a heavy rethink about how we treat wildlife and how we obtain our food. Not just because this is the morally right thing to do, but because our current consumption models are putting lives at risk. Sooner or later there will be another pandemic. Sooner is more likely than later. Once again it will spread easily across the planet via mass plane travel.
Digital identity cards are supposed to confirm who we say we are in specific contexts. Now the government wants to revise its guides and link up our personal information in ways that allow information to be shared by various organisations wanting to check our personal details.
A significant part of the £1,750 bill for UK citizens returning from a list of 33 high risk Covid-19 countries will go to G4S for security services it has been revealed.
Isabel Ralphs unpacks the gendered impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, and talks to one new mother who is helping to fight for much-needed change.
Hotel quarantine is good in principle, Alex Toal writes, but its implementation in the UK is riddled with holes. The 10-day waiting period is too short, while the ‘red list’ of countries impacted misses some of the major hotspots.
As an island we really have no excuse. But our border policy has been elusive, at best. The government’s responses are invariably too little, too late or subsequently get dumped or changed. The most recent response around border controls will take effect next Monday, 15 February, 382 days since the virus first appeared on our shores.
Finally, in the last few weeks the government has got round to deciding that it really should do something about trying to control borders properly and has announced a system of enforced quarantine at hotels close to airports. Only to quietly decide that this only applied to a small number of countries where there is a dangerous outbreak.
I look forward, with interest, to see what japes you might come up with next. Having a jester for a prime minister doesn’t always look wise, but it sure can be a lot of fun in these depressing times, so keep up the good work!
EveryDoctor are deeply concerned that the trauma triggered by the pandemic will have lasting consequences for the mental health of frontline NHS workers and the public.
John Cole calls into question how genuine libertarians have been, particularly during this crisis, when they have done more harm than good. Encouraging more open economies and taking the blame from the shoulders of government and putting it on the people, they have done nothing except exacerbate the situation.
The tensions between the science of epidemiology and the politics of governing the country, and trying to preserve the national economy at a time of pandemic, are laid bare in the predictions and hopes of the prime minister and his health secretary. Meanwhile we, the people, are caught in the crossfire.
Emily Shepherd looks into what Opera North is doing to deliver its projects to a lockdown audience, from individual performances to workshops. ” For musicians studying at a higher level, there may be an opportunity for one-to-one sessions with an orchestra member, in which players can play a piece and receive feedback.”
The all-party group on coronavirus heard evidence from experts and families in relation to the impact of covid and covid policies on children. In particular, at what level children are likely to infect other people and whether schools are a major vector for infection spreading between communities.
The more we’ve learned about how Covid-19 spreads, the more it makes sense to wear a proper FFP2 mask. And with new more contagious variants appearing, it’s crucial that we take better steps to protect ourselves.
Vaccine nationalism plays straight into the hands of this footloose-and-fancy-free virus. A virus that does not respect borders and will happily mutate to survive. A global pandemic is just that – global. And if you want to stop it, the only way is to make sure globally the vaccine is available to all.
Charlie McCarthy talks to a few people who say they would decline the covid vaccine, and explores their reasons, looking at how the government will need to address the anti-vaxxer propaganda for the sake of the country.
‘Stay home, Save Lives’ just isn’t working for some people – including our prime minister. In a bid to make sure we all know which caped hero has come to the rescue with the vaccine, Boris Johnson today visited the Al-Hikmah Centre in Batley, one of the vaccine hubs recently opened in Yorkshire.
Andy Brown argues that “a government that has delivered the highest death rates globally, and helped to give the world the English variant of covid, is not in a great position to lecture the rest of the world on its superiority”.
To demonstrate the urgency of the government action, the new border implementation has even been given its own codename: ‘Operation Close Stable Door And By The Way Has Anyone Seen My Horse, I’m Sure I Left It In Here Somewhere’.
The prime minister with the least interest in economics of any frontline politician since the war is going to have to try and lead an economic recovery plan for the UK. The prime minister who gave us Brexit is going to have to help to develop an international approach to solving an international problem.
Amy Day looks into how the education secretary’s failings are leading to a confused educational environment for real children. “On the one hand, children are expected to dismantle the English language down into its most basic and technical components. On the other hand, they’re treated as being entirely ignorant of even everyday processes.”
Poem, by Steve Pottinger
With all the conflicting stories circulating about the various Covid-19 vaccinations, will you, or won’t you, go and get immunised when you get the call? Weighing up the pros and cons isn’t exactly easy.
Emily Horner digs into the analysis from Google indicating that the people of Yorkshire have adapted their way of life in the pandemic. “Overall, these Google reports show that Yorkshire’s tendency to ‘just get on with it’ has remained strong, with most of us sticking to the rules and making the best of things.”
The Covid-19 pandemic has sent the film industry into decline. With fewer films being made for big screen release, will the independent cinemas we know and love financially recover from the pandemic? In December 2020, the government offered over £16m in grants, as part of their Cultural Recovery Fund, to more than 200 independent cinemas […]
During the Second World War, one of the messages that was regularly repeated was that: “Careless talk costs lives”. In the war against covid that should read, “Wishful thinking costs lives.” As I write, the United Kingdom has the third highest death toll per head from Covid-19 in the entire world. In recent weeks the […]
It takes some arrogance to believe that you know more about how to deploy a vaccine than the manufacturers of it. It also takes supreme self-belief for the leaders of one country to insist on following their own untested theory when the rest of the world seems to think it is a good idea to read the instructions on the vial and follow the science.