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.

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Covid-19 Global Health Diaries

03 Aug 2020 : The anxiety of border crossing during Covid

I am writing this, wearing a mask, from the eerily empty departure lounge at Glasgow International Airport. Waiting for a flight that I would rather not, but must necessarily, take for reasons that aren’t important here. What I would like to discuss here is anxiety, particularly the anxiety when faced with crossing borders and how a sudden change in...  Read this >>

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

30 Jul 2020 : The Vaccine Race and its Political Economy

Vaccines have become a moribund area of research and development in the historically heavily marketized and corporate dominated pharmaceutical sector. Corporations have avoided investment in developing vaccines for many of the emerging and re-emerging pathogens that threaten pandemics for two reasons. The first is associated with the fact that a range of ...  Read this >>

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

28 Jul 2020 : A (very) short reading list to understand why Boris Johnson’s obesity campaign is useless

For decades, research has been explaining and continues to explain the complex, structural causes of obesity and obesity-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). That is why seeing the hype around Boris Johnson’s latest anti-obesity campaign is so depressing and exhausting. Obesity and diet-related NCDs are determined politically, commercially and ...  Read this >>

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

25 Jul 2020 : The new normal

Things are gradually going back to normal. Pubs, restaurants and hairdressers have reopened. People can be seen in pubs again. The streets are as busy as before the lockdown. The traffic gridlocks during peak hours have returned. During the weekend, the city centre is as crowded as usual. After a drastic drop in greenhouse gas emissions over the last few ...  Read this >>

By: Markus Fraundorfer, Lecturer in Global Governance - View profile and Diary

25 Jul 2020 : Bus stop

Two days ago I was waiting for the bus. Public transport is free during the pandemic, and even as the outside world lurches back towards normality, the buses, with "please board at the back" signs and yellow tape marking off alternating rows of seats, are an ambulatory reminder that we are not yet back in normal times. These visual cues play on my pandemi...  Read this >>

By: Amy Kaler, Professor, Department of Sociology - View profile and Diary

24 Jul 2020 : Endemic

The United States has now surpassed 4 million cases with fatalities now over 1000 per day, which is frankly unbelievable given the resources at its disposal. The waste is criminal and negligent. Much the same from Brazil with 84,000 deaths and a disgrace of a President in charge, who is infected and yet refuses to physically distance from others. Both Tru...  Read this >>

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

24 Jul 2020 : On (not) seeing bodies

It is a very odd time to write a PhD on the visuality of the 2014-2016 Ebola epidemic. I constantly find myself wondering about how this health crisis and the current pandemic speak to each other in visual terms and how Ebola shapes my seeing of COVID-19 and vice versa. Here are some first reflections based on my seeing of the pandemic. The first motive ...  Read this >>

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

23 Jul 2020 : Jacksonville, FL: Republican National Convention Cancelled

A short while ago, Trump announced that the Republican National Convention events planned for Jacksonville would be cancelled in the interests of public safety. No responses yet from state officials, and only one at the local level: the President of the Jacksonville City Council, who came out strongly last night against city legislation needed to move fo...  Read this >>

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

22 Jul 2020 : Jacksonville, FL: Mayor Insists City Will Be Ready

One day after Jacksonville’s Sheriff warned he could not guarantee security for the Republican National Convention, Mayor Lenny Curry held a press conference at which he said he accepted the Sheriff’s statement – and even agreed Jacksonville was not yet ready -- but emphasized that the Sheriff had said the city could be ready with adequa...  Read this >>

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

21 Jul 2020 : Is This Good News?

I can’t help suspending my usual deep cynicism about the pharmaceutical culture and its political economy today, even though there are real reasons for pessimism amongst what appears to be wonderful news.  I can’t help myself thinking that I am just so desperate for something to latch on to with regard to halting COVID that I am prepared ...  Read this >>

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

21 Jul 2020 : Jacksonville, FL: Sheriff says 'not ready' for Republican National Convention

My latest installment in the continuing saga of the Republican National Convention, planned for in-person in Jacksonville, FL during late August: On Monday July 20, Jacksonville’s elected Sheriff Mike Williams announced that he cannot provide for community or convention safety, due to lack of time, money, and personnel. Williams stated that a $50 ...  Read this >>

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

19 Jul 2020 : On numbers and numbness

I have been wanting to say something about COVID-19 body counting for a while but this post has remained in my 'drafts' for months and therefore contains reflections dating back to early May. However, events in England over the past few days have pushed me to press 'publish'. It is 5th May 2020 and the UK’s official (Government compiled) COVID-19 d...  Read this >>

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

18 Jul 2020 : The Exhaustion of Covid-19: The Fireside Chat v. The Dumpster Fire

Crises are trying on everyone. Mentally stressful, physically exhausting, long-term crises wear you down and keep battering you like an ocean storm.  Usually during a crises, people can take comfort in the fact that government tries to do the best it can; governmnet is straight forward and represents the best interest of its people. Think about Roos...  Read this >>

By: Robert Ostergard, Associate Professor - View profile and Diary

18 Jul 2020 : Everything went away

In the June 29th issue of the New Yorker, there’s a hybrid book review/personal essay by David Denby about re-reading Crime and Punishment. I read that in high school a million years ago and had forgotten that it ends with Raskolnikov in prison in Siberia, dreaming of a plague. Denby quotes: Entire settlements, entire cities and nations would be in...  Read this >>

By: Amy Kaler, Professor, Department of Sociology - View profile and Diary

15 Jul 2020 : Triple Crises of Private Health 3a/4

This is the third in the train on the triple crises of market failure in the private health and hospital sector. The post on Crisis 1 detailed the unprecedented financial and liquidity problems facing the private health sectors and services. The normal private hospital (and clinic) service and business model is completely disrupted, and uncertainties as t...  Read this >>

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

15 Jul 2020 : Triple Crises of Private Health 3b/4

The first half of this post can be read at: https://covid19healthdiaries.com/diary?did=303 Pricing and gouging The private hospital model is certainly based on charging patients for care and treatment, whatever the means of payment. Gouging describes charging well above market rates for a good or service, the seller exploiting instances where demand is...  Read this >>

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

14 Jul 2020 : The pandemic and mental health: Are we wasting time again?

It was about a dacade later after the financial crisis hit South Korea in 1997 that I read Durkheim's Suicide (1897). At that time, my country had been still suffering from economic recession, and many people committed suicide due to financial difficulties and depression. I merely remember the details of the book. But I remember that I agreed with him tha...  Read this >>

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

14 Jul 2020 : Jacksonville, FL: No-Mask Fundraiser and Officially Maybe Outdoors

Since Friday July 10 we have seen a number of developments in Jacksonville’s Republican National Convention plans: The State of Florida recorded over 15,000 new cases Sunday July 12, giving it more cases of COVID-19 than most countries in the world. As of July 13, Jacksonville/Duval County has 12,624 cases (per Florida Department of Health). Petti...  Read this >>

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

10 Jul 2020 : Track and trace- mixed messages for collecting our data.

England allowed the majority of hospitality sector to open on Jul 4th, the stampede that had been anticipated didn’t happen, for the best part people kept away, or if they did venture out they respected social distancing (the scenes from Soho excluded of course, but hey, they’re young so they’re going to be fine!). I’m the sort of...  Read this >>

By: Dr Lisa Thorley, Teaching Fellow- Global Development - View profile and Diary

09 Jul 2020 : Mid-summer in the DIY country: US Sports Talk as Pandemic Expertise

The Do It Yourself, American Exceptionalism approach to the pandemic rolls on in the United States. While most of the rest of the world has suppressed Covid, the US is a country experiencing déjà vu. It is a land where daily records are now being set for new cases. But it is mainly the land of again. Where the ICU’s and hospitals are o...  Read this >>

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

09 Jul 2020 : Jacksonville, FL: Convention Question Marks

Back to chronicling pandemic politics in Jacksonville, Florida as it prepares for the Republican National Convention: On Monday July 6, over 80 clergy from churches in Jacksonville sent a letter to city leaders expressing concern about the city hosting the convention for reasons of public health, racial tensions, and economic anxiety. Also on Monday Jul...  Read this >>

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

08 Jul 2020 : A Blast from the Recent Past

            I needed an escape today, so I took a look at my DVR. I had fallen behind on several TV shows – all the way back to January on one. It never occurred to me that I was re-entering the “before time.”             The fi...  Read this >>

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

07 Jul 2020 : Corona virus in Malawi

So many things have happened before elections, conducting political rallies without following COVID 19 preventive measures. Now we have a new president and cases for coronavirus are increasing day by day up to an extent of failing to celebrate our 56th independence day, this pandemic is taking our joy and pride away from us.  Read this >>

By: Grace Chilongo, Student - View profile and Diary

06 Jul 2020 : Melbourne Tower Blocks

There is currently a localised epidemic of COVID in the state of Victoria, Australia, centring on a number of suburbs of the state capital, Melbourne. In a country that has successfully flattened the curve since an initially confused response in March, these new cases (some 100 a days in the last week) indicate how long the tail of the first wave is, and ...  Read this >>

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

06 Jul 2020 : First day back

It's the first day back at daycare, it's 10 am, and it already feels like it's been a long day. Everything is ever so slightly different yet again, which is surprisingly unsettling after all the other (more disruptive) changes that have already taken place. We dropped off an excited child at daycare, at a side door that now has yellow marks spray-painted ...  Read this >>

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

03 Jul 2020 : Jacksonville, FL: Rumors and the Grim Reaper

On July 3, Jacksonville’s COVID-19 positive rate is above 16%, as it becomes one of the top US cities seeing the fastest growth in cases, along with other cities in Florida and Texas. Local media is reporting a wide range of Republican National Convention-related rumors, as Vice President Mike Pence expresses enthusiasm about the RNC coming to Jack...  Read this >>

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

01 Jul 2020 : Curiosity cabinet

Bruce Chatwin's grandmother had a cabinet of curiosities, according to Chatwin biographer Nicholas Shakespeare, which fascinated the young Chatwin. The cabinet was a late-Victorian assemblage of minor exotica, bits of human artifact and the natural world, preserved under glass because they came from places that were far away, set apart from mundane life i...  Read this >>

By: Amy Kaler, Professor, Department of Sociology - View profile and Diary

30 Jun 2020 : More like a Proper Diary Entry

Ever since March 1st I have been trying to write a more self-reflective piece on myself and COVID on the first day of the month. I must admit this does not come easy to me, a man from a fairly working class background and area. It is not what we do really, at least in my age group. The diary site for me has morphed into analytical studies of neoliberalism...  Read this >>

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

30 Jun 2020 : Covid time and the fractured future

As the pandemic proceeds through numbered opening-up stages, the future is fracturing into a spectrum of divergent times-after, like the Pink Floyd album cover with one ray of blackness going into a prism and seven colors going out. First there was "we're all in this together", with a collective holding of breath and a radical leveling of public experienc...  Read this >>

By: Amy Kaler, Professor, Department of Sociology - View profile and Diary

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