Friends and Colleagues in Global Health

The COVID-19 Diaries is an academic and personal project and a community space for those of us who might want to mix the professional and the personal and record these times.

Please enjoy the entries.

Browse by month

December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020

Covid-19 Global Health Diaries

20 Jan 2021 : Joe Biden and Fundamental Healthcare Reform

Joe Biden is the first president whose tenure will be defined and dominated by health issues. The pandemic has exposed the flaws and vulnerabilities of the healthcare system, and any attempt to preserve the link between employment and access to healthcare is doomed to failure in a country of more than 30 million unemployed. The social and other problems c...  Read this >>

By: Ioannis Papagaryfallou, Research Assistant in Global Health - View profile and Diary

13 Jan 2021 : 1564 UK Deaths Today

1,564 deaths from COVID-19 were announced today in my home country the UK. My family and kids are in lockdown across the UK, my eldest son determined to return to university. I have been privileged myself to take a 2 and half week break from engaging with the virus, and over 3 weeks from the diary platform. In truth, my own period of pandemic fatigue. Ret...  Read this >>

By: Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security - View profile and Diary

06 Jan 2021 : To clap or not to clap..

'Clap for Carers' is to return on Thursday under a new name of 'Clap for Heroes' and I feel compelled to say something. For ten weeks in a row during the first wave, every Thursday at 8 pm, here in the UK we would be called to action. Television shows would be paused as we were instructed to ‘clap for our carers.’ Every week, we were told t...  Read this >>

By: Kandida Purnell, Assistant Professor of International Relations - View profile and Diary

31 Dec 2020 : Lessons on the last day of 2020

It’s the evening of 31 December 2020, and I am grateful that this year is almost over.  Newspapers, podcasts, etc. are collecting people’s impressions from the year—“lessons learned.” In one Washington Post entry yesterday (30 December 2020), the writer humorously wrote that she had learned that “nine times out of ...  Read this >>

By: Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics - View profile and Diary

21 Dec 2020 : Profiteering

There is a murky grey area between government contracting and looting of the public purse. In the UK, the COVID-19 crisis has seen government and private contractors increasingly operating in this grey area, and with little sense of shame. The repeatedly demonstrated incompetence of the UK government (in particular the government of England) has drawn muc...  Read this >>

By: Simon Rushton, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations - View profile and Diary

21 Dec 2020 : Deck the Halls (Pandemic Edition)

This year certainly has been strange and scary, and it seems to just keep on going at this point. On a personal level, it has been enormously challenging, but also weirdly liberating – focusing everything on the essentials. I think that in Germany one of the main differences in personal experiences during this year was down to whether people had chi...  Read this >>

By: Eva Hilberg, Post-Doctoral Fellow - View profile and Diary

20 Dec 2020 : Fire, masks, and apathy

Dear diary, this week I almost set the kitchen on fire. Apparently, my two oven-related routines of sterilizing masks and baking Christmas cookies got mixed up. After putting in a baking tray of masks I heated the oven up to 180 degree Celsius, which, as the smoke and smell informed me ten minutes later, is 100 degrees too high for masks. Looking at the s...  Read this >>

By: Katharina Krause, PhD Candidate - View profile and Diary

19 Dec 2020 : Pandemic Realities: Drive-In Events

I know it has been some months, but I am still occasionally surprised by something in our pandemic lifestyles. The new emphasis on drive-in events is one such surprise. Honking car horns are noisy and rude – they generally mean someone is impatient or angry with another driver. I have had difficulty translating that sound into cheerful clapping, eve...  Read this >>

By: Pamela A. Zeiser, Associate Professor of Political Science - View profile and Diary

09 Dec 2020 : COVID and laissez-faire eugenics

Why have so many more BAME doctors died from COVID in the UK (Razaq et al 2020)? Why are people with learning and mobility disabilities 6 times more likely to die from COVID in the UK? Why did the government write to all care homes encouraging elderly residents to sign a DNAR (“do not attempt to resuscitate”) letter to release NHS resources to...  Read this >>

By: Charlie Dannreuther, Lecurer in European Political Economy - View profile and Diary

07 Dec 2020 : Could an act of global solidarity persuade rich nations that vaccine nationalism is misguided?

On April 15, 2020, I wrote a column in TIME magazine on the race to develop COVID-19 vaccines. The good news, I said, is that “ the time from ‘lab to jab’ could be as short as 12-18 months,” which has thankfully turned out to be true. Tomorrow, Britain becomes the first Western nation to start a mass immunization campaign.  Bu...  Read this >>

By: Gavin Yamey, Professor of Global Health & Public Policy, Duke University - View profile and Diary

06 Dec 2020 : Zizek and Agamben on COVID-19

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben has been consistently problematizing official attitudes towards COVID-19 writing in his personal blog and elsewhere. In particular, Agamben has been criticizing the undisguised and continuous violation of fundamental freedoms in the name of public health. The Italian phi...  Read this >>

By: Ioannis Papagaryfallou, Research Assistant in Global Health - View profile and Diary

06 Dec 2020 : Brutal December

It has been a bit too long since the last entry having been buried by teaching and marking. The online environment is just a huge amount of work for less quality. Much has changed, and some is just the same. The vaccine announcements of recent weeks have been both staggering and disturbing. It is clear that the worst fears of a pecking order of states gai...  Read this >>

By: Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security - View profile and Diary

29 Nov 2020 : Reflective essay for my US foreign policy class

Note: After doing so this past Spring for an Intro to IR course, I again assigned an optional reflective essay, this time to my POLS 5660 US foreign policy course here at the University of Utah this Fall. It asked students to reflect on the events of 2020 (the pandemic, the protests, the US Presidential election, and whatever else they found noteworthy fr...  Read this >>

By: Brent Steele, Professor of Political Science and International Relations - View profile and Diary

25 Nov 2020 : I'm out of breath

It was around mid-October when I likely got covid. I say likely because my test came back negative. However, for a variety of reasons (including what I describe in the paragraph below), and according to the doctors I spoke to, that test was most likely either a false negative, or it was done outside of the narrow time-frame in which tests best work. Anywa...  Read this >>

By: Charlotte Godziewski, Lecturer in Sociology and Policy - View profile and Diary

25 Nov 2020 : Back on the Brighter Side

I lost perspective last week. Months of worries, large and small, combined with missing my family and I gave in to self-pity. Of course, the act of whining itself probably helped me get back on the brighter side. There is nothing good about the virus itself. I can, however, see some advantages within our new pandemic lifestyles. I am fortunate to have a...  Read this >>

By: Pamela A. Zeiser, Associate Professor of Political Science - View profile and Diary

20 Nov 2020 : Pandemic Fatigue Has Gotten the Better of Me

If I hear some version of the saying “we are tired of the virus, but the virus is not tired” again anytime soon, I won’t be held responsible for my behavior. I know the saying is true. I know the reasons it gets repeated over and over. I’ve even said it to others. I also know I’m suffering from “pandemic fatigue.&rdquo...  Read this >>

By: Pamela A. Zeiser, Associate Professor of Political Science - View profile and Diary

17 Nov 2020 : Empty and Broken

The pandemic’s empty grocery store shelves have disturbed me since the start. All out of proportion, really. Early on, shortages of fresh meat, milk, and eggs were inconveniences, not disasters, because I had other foodstuffs to choose from. I never even ran out of toilet paper. More products are in stock today, though paper goods and cleaning suppl...  Read this >>

By: Pamela A. Zeiser, Associate Professor of Political Science - View profile and Diary

15 Nov 2020 : The patient citizenship of the pandemic body

As we approach the end game of (this stage of) Brexit, and hopefully move toward the downward slope of the Covid pandemic, numerous interactions have had me thinking about citizenship. More often than not we think of citizenship as a marker of status – a title bestowed by sovereign decree that distinguishes one individual as a belonging subject and...  Read this >>

By: Ben Rosher, PhD candidate - View profile and Diary

11 Nov 2020 : Losing count, losing touch: on feeling/not feeling the 2nd wave

It is November and in Europe the 2nd wave is upon us, but not all of us. In fact, today it is predicted that where I live in the UK the official COVID-19 death toll will surpass 50,000 and yet I still (thankfully/*touches wood*) know no-one who has died 'with COVID-19'. Do you? Over the course of this year I have come to realise that my experience of the ...  Read this >>

By: Kandida Purnell, Assistant Professor of International Relations - View profile and Diary

09 Nov 2020 : Pandemic Election

Like many in global health, in political science and just generally everyone, it has been almost seven days of checking USA feeds for results and announcements. It has been a tumultous week in the US. Rarely has an election result in any single country produced fireworks in London, or church bells to be rung in France. It is fairly clear that the pandemic...  Read this >>

By: Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security - View profile and Diary

07 Nov 2020 : The UK's second national Covid lockdown that was not inevitable

It has been a month since I flew to Korea, and England has entered into a second lockdown since this Thursday. People here do not talk about the pandemic much, neither do the media. COVID-19 news, except the daily number of cases and deaths, seemingly has been no longer in the front pages of the media. Instead, stupid quarrels in Korean politics and fine ...  Read this >>

By: Minju Jung, Doctoral Researcher in Politics and International Relations - View profile and Diary

03 Nov 2020 : Voting in a pandemic

Today, I did what I think is the most important thing I could do for my country at this point in history. No, not paying my taxes, or following the law, or teaching young people, or raising children to follow the law. Yes, I've done those things, and I'm too old to serve in the military. Rather, I stood in line for 90 minutes with people in my small Tenne...  Read this >>

By: Amy Patterson, Professor of Politics - View profile and Diary

© 2020, All rights reserved. Views expressed are those of individual contributors. Privacy Policy