Category: Coronavirus

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Are we really ready to reopen schools?

Charlie McCarthy

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.

A pandemic in waiting: when will we act to prevent the next one?

Andy Brown

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.

Who’s looking at your digital information?

Professor Juliet Lodge

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.

UK fails its world-beating test on border control

Jane Thomas

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.

UK border control: inaction, confusion and threats

Andy Brown

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.

3rd Open letter to Boris Johnson

Sue Wilson

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!

Vaccine race leaves no winners

Jane Thomas

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.

The challenge posed by covid anti-vaxxers

Charlie McCarthy

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-at-home Johnson has Batley in his sights

Jane Thomas

‘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.

The idiocy of vaccine nationalism

Andy Brown

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”.

Operation Close Stable Door

Roger Winterbottom

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 ideological problem of our national debt

Andy Brown

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.

Gavin’s labyrinth: a tale of the bewildered

Amy Day

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.”

Professor Juliet Lodge

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.

Will independent cinemas survive a post-pandemic world?

Emily Shepherd

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 […]

Wishful thinking: the government’s strategy on defeating Covid-19

Andy Brown

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 […]

Medical professionals concerned as government vaccine strategy gambles with lives

Andy Brown

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.

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