Category: Covid-19

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Japan’s prime minister resigned over 17,000 Covid deaths. Deaths in the UK now stand at 135,000. Will Johnson resign? Letter to the editor

Editor-in-chief

Dear Editor-in-chief, Nearly a fortnight ago the Prime Minister of Japan, Yoshihide Suga, resigned after taking personal responsibility for nearly 17,000 deaths from Covid-19. This, in a country of some 126 million people which has recently hosted the Olympic Games. Many in Japan thought the games should be delayed again, but they compromised by not allowing spectators […]

Marcus Fysh talking (potentially dangerous) codswallop. Part 1

Anthea Simmons

MP for Yeovil Marcus Fysh has miraculously become a medic – and an epidemiologist and virologist to boot. Perhaps he’s piloting a new government strategy aimed at filling the shortages in experienced staff across a whole range of sectors whereby an individual has only to express a nodding acquaintance with a subject or a function […]

Covid-19 vaccinations for 12-15 yr olds: a detailed look at the JCVI decision

Emma Monk

After weeks of speculation on whether or not children aged 12-15 would be offered a Covid-19 vaccination, the Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation (JCVI) finally released their report on 3 September. As is often the case, the findings widely reported in the press didn’t fully reflect what the report actually said, and this has […]

The Möbius strip of government Covid-19 guidelines

Jane Stevenson

The south west now has some of the highest Covid-19 prevalence rates in the country. We run a small manufacturing business in Cornwall, and I am updating our business Covid-19 protocols so have the unenviable job of trawling through the government guidelines. It’s been like circulating on a Möbius strip. First up, when to isolate. […]

The UK cannot afford Sunak: he is a massive threat to our well-being

Richard Murphy
Chancellor Rishi Sunak laughing

It was claimed in the Guardian yesterday that Rishi Sunak had written to the prime minister to ask for a relaxation in Covid travel regulations. He had. The populist in No 11 was trying to out-popularise the populist in No 10. You could not make up the scale of Covid recklessness on display when debate should be […]

Anti-vax cranks and Putin’s mafia state: an unholy alliance

Tom Scott

How is it possible that thousands of people in our country are persuaded to assemble in Trafalgar Square to applaud anti-vax cranks and far-right extremists such as Piers Corbyn and Katie Hopkins? What kind of delusional mania brings people to cheer the malignant, attention-seeking narcissist Kate Shemirani as she calls for doctors and nurses to […]

Dominic Cummings: is my enemy’s enemy my friend?

Sadie Parker

It’s the classic logic riddle: You are at a fork in a road on the border of two lands. Two guides stand guard at the fork; one always tells the truth, the other always lies. They know that one way leads to a land of comfort and safety, the other to danger and death. You […]

Lessons to be learnt from the southernmost tip of the British Isles

Emma Monk

The southernmost tip of the British Isles, Jersey, (until recently) had an exemplary track record for its handling of Covid-19. On the tiny island, with a population just shy of 110,000, the authorities started preparing their Covid-19 response before any cases were discovered on the island. They were monitoring their borders, held meetings with commercial, […]

Meet our Prime Monster

Anthea Simmons
caricature of Boris Johnson with text "Because the dead can't vote

If there is anyone out there who still believes that lovable rogue Boris Johnson has done his best, poor man, in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis, we suggest they read this. .@BorisJohnson: “It’s only over-80s who’ll die.” 🏴‍☠️ Tomorrow’s @DailyMirror. Reminder of @BorisJohnson‘s record with care homes. 🏴‍☠️ @BorisJohnson 🧐 🏴‍☠️ Originally tweeted […]

Package pile-up as 70 postal workers self-isolate in central Devon

Anthea Simmons

The image above shows the growing backlog of undelivered parcels at Ashburton Post Office and library as a consequence of covid-related staff shortages, with 70 of the 100 sorting office and delivery staff self-isolating following Covid-19 notification ‘pings’. Deliveries in a number of areas in Teignbridge and the South Hams are similarly affected. Ashburton Post […]

On the frontline: the safety of shop workers is being ignored – again

Vicky Rosier
smashed bottle of red wine n supermarket aisle

Shop workers go unnoticed by much of society. They toil away mostly unseen in the background so that the rest of us can get our groceries, ready meals, beers or clothing in well-stocked, pristine-looking stores. They work for some of the big, long-established companies in the UK – Sainsbury’s, Asda, Next, M&S, John Lewis, WH […]

A dangerous masquerade

Anthea Simmons
Johnson outside No. 10 on a giant St George flag

If England win tonight, you just know that Johnson will muscle (!) in to claim credit. I have a vision of him, having been woken up by a sharp poke in the ribs by Carrie, shambling towards the dais, hellbent on snatching the trophy from Kane’s hands. The worst foul you’ll ever see at Wembley. […]

People’s Covid Inquiry – a report on the recent webinar

Chris Ambrose
doctor in PPE in front of union flag

People’s Covid Inquiry Webinar 7 July 2021 The People’s Covid Inquiry was called by campaign organisation Keep Our NHS Public. The Inquiry heard testimony from many witnesses and took place with support from a wide variety of individuals and organisations. The panel (all members giving their time on a voluntary basis) was chaired by Michael Mansfield […]

Why I won’t stop wearing a mask post 19 July

Clare Knight
toddler in a face mask

Johnson is going to repeat the stunt that briefly had ineffectual Speaker of the House, Sir Lindsay Hoyle showing a bit of backbone, and bypass parliament to tell us all about ‘Freedom Day’ on TV. Freedom Day! The day this government officially frees itself from all responsibility for the health, welfare and financial security of […]

So you’re going back to the office, but what about your dog?

Rachel Marshall
Lonely dogs on the lookout for their owners

The age of Covid-19 has also been the age of the dog. For many people stuck at home all day it was the perfect time to get a pet and they’ve provided important companionship during lockdown. However, a survey by Dog’s Trust found that many existing owners observed increases in behaviours such as barking or […]

Serco in Cornwall – a lesson unlearned

Tom Scott

People in Cornwall learned about Serco the hard way more than ten years ago. Yet a company with a record of serial failure and dishonesty has just won another massive government test and trace contract. Some 15 years ago, the Scott household had its worst ever family Christmas here in Cornwall. On the day that […]

Covid-19 and schools: an open letter to the BBC

Jane Stevenson

Dear BBC, I am writing to ask you to review the depth of scrutiny in your recent reports on Covid-19 and children in school. A BBC Breakfast report on 23 June explained that large numbers of children are having to isolate.  A concerned parent spoke about the impact on her child’s education. I was hoping […]

Cornwall becomes Coronawall

Tom Scott

Ten days after the G7, Cornwall has some of the highest coronavirus infection rates in the country. And the government is attempting to cover up one of the main reasons for this. For the first 18 months of the pandemic. Cornwall felt like a relatively safe place to be. Covid case rates were substantially lower […]

Tell them, because Matt Hancock lied

Tom Scott

If any question why we died,Tell them, because our fathers lied. So reads one of Rudyard Kipling’s Epitaphs of the War. Substitute “Matt Hancock” for “our fathers” and it could serve as an epitaph for the many thousands of vulnerable elderly people and hundreds of care home staff who were consigned to die in the […]