Never before? The Spanish Flu and COVID 19…

7 Apr

Boris Johnson is not the first British prime minister to fall ill during a pandemic. In September 1918, with the First World War far from over, David Lloyd George succumbed to the Spanish Flu. Johnson is not the only world leader affected by Covid 19 and a century ago, a global range of politicians was also affected by influenza; while still suffering from the aftermath of his severe infection, Lloyd George visited the Paris peace conference in 1919, only to … Read more

Brexit has complicated and isolated Germany’s role in the EU

7 Apr

There is only one priority for Germany and the UK right now and that is dealing with COVID-19. The available estimates of the costs of shutdown in the form of lost value-added show that the coronavirus epidemic will cause costs that will probably exceed everything known from economic crises or natural disasters in both countries … Continued

How far away are ‘immunity passports’?

7 Apr

We need antibody testing. Everyone agrees with that — the question is how it can be done. There are two main kinds of test for Covid-19: PCR tests which tell us who has the disease right now; and antibody or serological testing, which can tell us who’s had it in the past. The Government wants […]

Read More…

The post How far away are ‘immunity passports’? appeared first on UnHerd.

What sort of a society does that make us if we feel certain lives are more valuable than others?

6 Apr

I have temporarily sidelined two articles I have penned for Slugger to instead discuss the Covid-19 epidemic and how it questions our morality and values. I have always been hugely passionate about history and I sometimes wonder how I would have reacted to wrongdoings of the past if I was in that situation. The persecution of Jews at the hands of the Nazis, the discrimination that many black people faced (unfortunately some still do) and societies treatment of minorities including … Read more

Could Covid-19 vanquish neoliberalism?

6 Apr

Over the course of just a few months, the Covid-19 global pandemic has shattered practically every shibboleth in the neoliberal bible. The first and most obvious victim is the idea that money is a scarce resource. In recent years, any proposal for economic redistribution and increased welfare spending — such as those championed by Corbyn […]

Read More…

The post Could Covid-19 vanquish neoliberalism? appeared first on UnHerd.

The Plight of the Sole Director during Covid-19…

6 Apr

In the wake of the coronavirus epidemic the government announced unprecedented measures to keep the economy afloat. These are largely rooted in Keynesian and new monetary theory policies. The purpose is to keep money in the businesses that supply our economy with the goods and services demanded by consumers. First, we had money set aside by the exchequer to the tune of £300 billion for loans that would relive larger to medium sized businesses and the SMEs that needed such … Read more

COVID19 Spread In Both Irelands, the UK and Selected Countries: An Improving Picture in Ireland and the World; Not So Good in Great Britain and USA:

6 Apr

The latest figures show that, despite the divergent public health approach of the UK compared to the WHO recommendations, the Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland COVID19 death rates for April 5th are very similar. Northern Ireland has 28.04% of the island’s population, and it has 28.51% of the island’s COVID19-related deaths. Moreover, Northern Ireland’s ‘deaths per million of the population’ and ‘cumulative cases per million of the population’ curves are flattening at a rate similar to the South. And … Read more

Home schooling could be a blessing in disguise

6 Apr

British schools have now followed the path of their counterparts in the EU by shutting down. There is no more school until who know’s when, the latest chapter in the grim story of an economy rapidly grinding to a standstill. In the dark hours of the night I find myself wondering if the economic fall-out from […]

Read More…

The post Home schooling could be a blessing in disguise appeared first on UnHerd.

A beginners guide to self-isolation…

5 Apr

This is my kickback at the numerous self-important posts on twitter, full of pap, endlessly telling everyone how to work from home, how to structure your day, how to set a timetable for home schooling.  Well my online friends, if that’s your shtick look away now.  I am particularly well qualified in this area as I’ve been mostly housebound with disability for 5 years.  All this has been courtesy of a bite from a tiny tick, the size of a … Read more

Musings from a Beginner Beekeeper in Lockdown…

5 Apr

Monday 23rd March 2020 The Prime Minister announces at 8.30pm that the UK is to go into ‘lockdown.’ People are permitted to leave the house once a day for exercise, to shop for essentials or to go to work – only if that work cannot be done from home. The country is told to ‘Stay At Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.’ Tuesday tests the country’s resolve and throws out buckets of spring sunshine. After a winter of strong winds … Read more

Might the BCG Vaccine help protect from Covid-19?

4 Apr

I remember nervously queuing up for the BCG jab at school, I also remember how some in the class thought it was very funny to punch people in the arm the rest of the week, ouch! I just had a peek and my BCG scar is still there over 30 years later, but now there might be a reason to praise your school jab. Researchers have noticed a correlation between countries that have TB Vaccination and lower rates of Covid-19 … Read more

A personal brush with CoVid-19….

4 Apr

A Single Death is a Tragedy; a Million Deaths is a Statistic.    Attributed to Joseph Stalin at the Tehran Conference by the author Anton Antonov-Ovseyenko. When one is writing non-fiction, the books one inevitably buys pile up. Last week an order of new shelves arrived and by Sunday I was ready to put up a few banks of them in the least cluttered part of my library and decant the tall forty inch piles collecting on my stairs and around … Read more

Medical myths in a time of Covid-19…

4 Apr

One aspect of the Covid19 pandemic is the steep rise in associated myths.    This is not unusual.  In time of crisis we all cling to what we believe and we believe new things more easily;  these certainties give us security and hope.   Indeed, government in its covid19 messaging is itself controlling our behaviour in what I believe to be a more or less responsible manner.    Scaring us into staying home and normalising this behaviour is key to their public health … Read more

3 April update: what happened in Brexit this week?

3 Apr

The Covid-19 pandemic is at the forefront of everyone’s minds, but although Brexit negotiations have been suspended there is no official signal that Britain plans to ask for an extension. Ros Taylor (LSE) looks at the week’s developments. Perhaps the most salient Brexit-related story of the week was the contradictory accounts of Britain’s liaison with … Continued

Covid-19: how has the EU reacted so far?

3 Apr

Dionyssis G Dimitrakopoulos and Georgette Lalis analyse the EU’s actions so far in the Covid-19 outbreak. They argue that despite a slow and initially haphazard approach, the response has ultimately been substantial. Public health care systems, alongside state bureaucracies and public finances, are being tested to their limits by the Covid-19 pandemic. The same can be said – albeit … Continued

We don’t need ‘gotcha’ journalism now

3 Apr

We live in the age of the omniscient anchor. Not that the news-frontmen and women are really omniscient, of course, but in Britain and (even more so) in America there is a type of presenter who is held up — and certainly held themselves up — as though the world and everything in it was […]

Read More…

The post We don’t need ‘gotcha’ journalism now appeared first on UnHerd.

Why postponement could be good for the Olympics

3 Apr

For all those involved, the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics is a cruel disappointment: years of targeted dreaming and dedication, turned in an instant to dust. I’d use the word “tragic” if it weren’t so needed elsewhere. Yet one day, I suspect, we may look back gratefully on this delay. The last called-off Games were […]

Read More…

The post Why postponement could be good for the Olympics appeared first on UnHerd.

Who wants to be a hero?

2 Apr

Anne Madden, former Health Correspondent of The Irish News and freelance writer. All views my own. In recent commemorations we’ve looked back in anger and dismay at the atrocious waste of life during World War 1. A century ago feckless army generals sent thousands of young soldiers ‘over the top’ with mere hand rifles and bayonets into the line of machine gunfire. The ‘glorious dead’ were celebrated as heroes willing to sacrifice their lives for the nation. While everyone was … Read more

The Biopolitics of Covid-19

2 Apr

It’s like that Wizard of Oz moment, when the curtain gets pulled back, and we are confronted with the reality, that systems of social administration and political governance appear to be in want: and political leadership has failed in its primary role, to protect the health of the people. Such is the Potemkin-like nature of many globalised societies now, it’s taken a pandemic to see through this façade, of mediocre management and amateur political leadership driving the global polity. And … Read more

How Covid-19 is affecting the new laws on abortion…

2 Apr

The COVID19 crisis has brought with it a lot of alarming news, like that of a young woman who tried to take her own life, when refused an abortion at a local hospital, despite abortion now being legal here.  She had been unable to travel to England due to flights being cancelled because of the COVID emergency. The feminist websites that have provided abortion pills for over a decade now report that COVID lockdowns in a number of countries mean … Read more

It can’t be ‘big business as usual’ after coronavirus

2 Apr

Last week, a video went viral showing an angry Airbnb host ranting about the platform’s policy of allowing guests to cancel coronavirus-affected bookings penalty-free. The host seems to have believed a system of mutual obligation was in place between him and the company, and complained: “Maybe you’re good at big numbers, engineering the perfect algorithm, designing the […]

Read More…

The post It can’t be ‘big business as usual’ after coronavirus appeared first on UnHerd.

Covid-19: do the shires even care?

2 Apr

As of last week the country went into lockdown. Yet outside the window of my study here in Somerset, for a few days at least, something like the usual number of cars continued to whizz past, and couples ambled along the pavement chatting merrily with those they encountered along the way. A makeshift sign was […]

Read More…

The post Covid-19: do the shires even care? appeared first on UnHerd.

Widespread Covid-19 testing needs to happen NOW!

1 Apr

It is imperative that testing is extended to the community at large. The British government was totally at variance in stopping testing, in the first place. WHO recommendations amplified by Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghrebreyesus,  whose mantra was  “Test Test Test “,    likened the position the Government took to  “fighting a fire blindfold”,  or as Prof. Gabriel Scally stated on  BBC Radio  – “letting it rip”. The absolute tenants of modern epidemiology are absolutely clear, in that gathering the evidence of … Read more

We must co-ordinate Northern and Southern responses to Covid-19…

1 Apr

To quote W.Edwards deming “In God we trust, all others bring data”. When I wrote my first article for slugger in February, I did an overview of Covid 19 and how epidemiologically it may be difficult trying to manage an outbreak on an island with two different approaches. This review will review the current public health approaches to managing Covid. There is a lot more evidence about what works, what doesn’t work, and what may work. Epidemiology is a science … Read more

Why we must resist the corona-tyrants

1 Apr

I took a call from my mum while she was undertaking her state-sanctioned period of outdoor exercise on Sunday. “I’ve just seen a police car cruising around,” she said, sotto voce. “No sirens or anything. Just prowling. It drove past me; then it came back the other way a few minutes later.” To understand why […]

Read More…

The post Why we must resist the corona-tyrants appeared first on UnHerd.

The pandemic is exposing the weaknesses of populism

1 Apr

The Covid-19 pandemic may be exposing the weaknesses of populism. We should not be complacent, however, as authoritarianism is the real problem, warns Daphne Halikiopoulou (University of Reading). Covid-19 has already infected over 700,000 people worldwide (at the time of writing). Its exponential spread has placed national health systems under severe strain, it has closed borders, … Continued

The WHO has failed us again

1 Apr

Like many doctors, Bruce Aylward has been working tirelessly since this coronavirus started its rampage around the planet, although his job takes him away from the medical frontline filled with patients fighting for life. The Canadian physician, a trained epidemiologist, is one of the most influential officials in global efforts to beat this pandemic through […]

Read More…

The post The WHO has failed us again appeared first on UnHerd.

How likely are you to die of coronavirus?

1 Apr

The national conversation is dominated by coronavirus statistical models at the moment. The Imperial College model, the Oxford model, the other Imperial model.  I want to talk about the models, and what they tell us, because the outputs of these models drive the government’s response — and thousands of lives could turn on them. It’s […]

Read More…

The post How likely are you to die of coronavirus? appeared first on UnHerd.