Category: Covid-19

EuroDog reskills in track and trace

EuroDog

National problems, local solutions. As some pubs are required to close under Tier 3 restrictions, staff develop local solutions to beat the across-the-board failings of Serco ‘Track and Trace’ and overcome limited lab capacity.

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 […]

Making capital out of Coronavirus – the Moonshot scam

Anthea Simmons

There’s money in misery. There’s cash to be made in a crisis. You can monetise just about anything these days, after all. The growth of the social media giants should have taught us that. This government is turning out to be world-beating at funnelling your tax and mine into the pockets of mates, donors and […]

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 […]

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 […]

School reopening: mixed messages and mixed feelings

Virginia Stephen

The last day I spent in school, in March, was unnerving. I had been watching the distressing scenes from Italy and Spain and everyone already knew that we should have closed the week before. I felt too anxious to stay in the staffroom at break and lunchtime. A child with symptoms who had been sent […]

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 […]

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 […]

“Free of income tax, old man, free of income tax”

Tom Scott

The peculiarly modern kind of evil embodied by Harry Lime in The Third Man is also the animating spirit of Boris Johnson’s government. Who is the most memorable villain in the history of cinema? There’s no shortage of strong contenders, from Ernst Stavro Blofeld (he of the fluffy white cat) to the soft-spoken cannibal psychiatrist, […]

Quarantine!

Margaret Ellis

“But we’ve only just got here!” Imagine the disappointment and anger of those arriving for a holiday in Spain to be told even before they have finished unpacking that they would be obliged to undertake 14 days’ quarantine on their return. So they are faced with the decision to return almost immediately, to reduce their […]

The ongoing catalogue of hypocrisies – in a twitter thread.

Russ In Cheshire

There will be more… #TheWeekInTory 1. The govt launched a “Fix your bike” voucher website 2. It broke in less than an hour 3. The govt said we should all lose weight 4. The govt is still issuing vouchers to help us buy burgers 5. It was revealed the govt spent £400m buying a bankrupt […]

All good things no longer come in threes

Sadie Parker

You could be forgiven for feeling exhausted. Since the general election in December 2019 – in itself a tiring and dispiriting event – it seems as if bad news, government incompetence and poorly judged behaviour have been relentless. When Boris Johnson dreamed of being “World King”, is this the type of prime minister (PM) he […]

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 […]

Vets in lockdown

Dr Kate Stitt

Vets are used to dealing with wriggly and reluctant patients. But as the UK plunged into Covid-19 lockdown in late March, this was among the least of their challenges. Veterinary practices up and down the country have scrambled to find ways to continue to look after their patients. Almost overnight, my whole profession had to […]

Collateral damage: the plight of the excluded

Anthea Simmons

You have not been forgotten. We will not leave you behind. We are all in this together.” So tweeted Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer at 17:56 on 26 May. Sounds nice, huh? What a shame that it isn’t true. Some 3 million taxpayers, at a cautious estimate, feel utterly forgotten, completely left behind and not […]

Build back better

Belinda Bawden

Do you remember last summer? It was hot all around the world. So hot that alarms were sounding everywhere about the need to act now on climate change. Prince Charles joined scientists in warning of the urgency, suggesting that we had an 18-month window to change our current trajectory. Of course, it’s not just about […]