Section: Health

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Cannabis – time to reassess?

David Haysey

The tide is slowly turning in one of the early fronts of the culture wars, as scientific possibility and questions of personal freedom challenge the assumptions of an earlier generation. Throughout its history, on questions where private vice encounters the desire to create the perfect ‘city on a hill’, the United States has lurched between […]

The power of art in times of crisis

Vicky Rosier

World Mental Health Day is on 10 October. This year, as we all try to navigate the emotional uncertainties of Covid-19, learning to manage our mental health is an essential skill. I hope this personal story helps to highlight the importance of finding and embracing some individual means of dealing with symptoms of poor mental […]

Letter from America – Medicare part 2

John from across the pond

You’ve probably heard about ‘Obamacare’, but maybe not Medicare. They aren’t the same thing. I don’t know much about Obamacare except that it protects my insurance for pre-existing conditions: it is my only legal protection. There are so many provisions to it, but basically it is a resource to help people find some kind of […]

The sea has set me free

Heidi Westbrook

For Heidi Westbrook, sea-swimming has brought joy, friendship and vital solace through the lockdown. For 20 years I’ve been lucky enough to have lived on a clifftop high above Newquay’s famous Towan beach. Over the years, the number of people enjoying the water has steadily grown. Once these were mainly year-round surfers and families in […]

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 […]

Community project focus: Nature Connects

Alice Wall

Editor: We asked charities and community interest companies who share our values to tell us about their work. We do not edit their words. Nature Connects is a Community Interest Company (CIC) offering Nature connection and adult forest school for health and well-being in Cornwall. Alice Wall and Sarah Witts, its founders, made the decision […]

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 […]

Testing fiasco in Devon: a mother writes to Johnson

Anthea Simmons

As this economical-with-the-truth government continues to claim that testing is working fine, the facts on the ground tell a completely different story. Here is a message for our Prime Minister from a Devon mum with young kids, caught up in the testing chaos. Dear Prime Minister, This is what your handling of the pandemic is […]

Cornwall faces cold homes pandemic

James Miller

Despite its mild winters, Cornwall has among the highest levels of cold homes and fuel poverty in the UK, forcing many people to choose between heating their homes, and eating. The Government’s £2bn Green Homes Grant scheme, which aims to insulate up to 650,000 homes and create 140,000 jobs across the UK, launches this month. […]

Shielding – life in lockdown for the forgotten millions

Catherine Pettifer

Covid-19 lockdown restrictions appear to be all over the place – easing with the opening of schools, pubs and restaurants and a return to the workplace, but then about to be tightened again with the rule of six. The only certainty is that there is one cohort of the population for whom life will not […]

No deal will be devastating – and here’s one BIG example

Graham Hughes

Note from the editor: there are some great, informative tweets out there that need to go way beyond the twittersphere. Here is one such. Please share widely. We’ve had enough of the lies. Time for truth. I’ll give you one example of how devastating #NoDeal will be. AstraZeneca is a British-Swedish pharmaceutical giant. It accounts […]

Back to school: Johnson concerned with kids’ welfare? Take a guess…

Oliver Patrick

This week, all students across the United Kingdom should be safe at school. Or will they? When the government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) modelled the wider opening of schools, it concluded that a full opening would lead to a rise in the R number. Consequently, SAGE advised against full opening of schools. The […]

Hyperbole, Harding and health: how cronyism trumps competence

John Valentine

Does it not fill your heart with dread, when a minister in the current government states that a proposed new organisation will become “world-renowned”? Well, Health Minister Matt Hancock has recently said this about the body he is planning to set up to replace the battered Public Health England (PHE). PHE, itself, was only established […]

Boxing clever

Anna Andrews

Well, here we are again, heading for the end of the transition period without any real sign that the UK will have a proper trading arrangement with the EU, and amidst  increasingly dire warnings about possible shortages of food and other essentials. The Covid-19 pandemic has also served to expose the weaknesses in the “just-in-time” […]

Cut off by Covid – the impact of the pandemic on young minds

Kathryn Fox

It’s summer, normally a time for holidaying, socialising, enjoying the long sunny days and building resilience for the darker days ahead. Most of us remember summer holidays from school as one of the best times of our lives; meeting friends, going on trips, learning to flex our wings. This year is, of course, not like […]

Animal welfare – another of this government’s sacrificial lambs?

Danny Chambers

To the huge concern of vets and farmers, the UK government seems to be preparing to sacrifice our high animal welfare standards in order to obtain a trade deal with Donald Trump. Worryingly, this also threatens our ability to combat deadly disease in humans, writes Cornwall-based vet Danny Chambers. With the end of the transition […]

Strapped-for-cash councils unable to enforce chemical safety rules.

Emma Rose

Councils are unable to enforce rules on chemical safety as new research shows one in four products tested – including children’s toys – contain dangerous levels of hazardous chemicals New research published on 17 August by Unchecked UK shows that local authorities are struggling to keep up with booming sales of counterfeit goods containing illegal […]

NHS properties: what we all need to know

Mike Sheaff

In April 2016, Poltair Hospital near Penzance was sold to a property developer for £500,624. The site’s limitations were widely acknowledged, but there was a strongly expressed local view that the capital receipt should contribute to alternative local provision. The owner, NHS Property Services (NHSPS), would give no such commitment. In December 2016, NHSPS took […]

Life without medical supplies

Peter Barker

When he first visited Russia in 1995, Peter Barker found post-Soviet chaos meant medicine was in short supply. As the UK faces breaking of supply chains at the end of 2020, might we be facing a similar plight? I was involved in French twinning before I moved to Exeter. When I came here, I was […]

Test, track and trace in Cornwall: a tangled web

Jane Stevenson

Cornwall has the resources to do effective Covid-19 contact tracing. So why is it not being allowed to do so? Jane Stevenson talks to Councillor Colin Martin, who has been trying to find out. Our national Test, Track and Trace system has come into sharp focus as we come out of lockdown. Boris Johnson’s “world-beating” […]

My tango with Covid-19: a personal account

Lindsay McLeod

We promised you a range of voices and personal experiences. Here, Lindsay McLeod writes about her probable Covid-19 experience. Like many people who’ve had a nasty dose of something mean this last flu season, I’m left wondering if the ‘flu’ that I had was ‘it’. As time passes and ever more information is shared, I […]

Lords call for government food strategy to protect food security

Natalie Bennett

On the night of 21 July, some 16 hours into the debate of the 321 amendments to the agriculture bill, with Lords huddled over their laptops in remote parts of the country, you’d have to be a keen political wonk to have still been attached to Parliament TV. But Baroness Ritchie of Downpatrick described this part of […]

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