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

24 Sep 2020 : Brief thought on covid fatigue

I’m having covid fatigue these days. I’m getting to a point where I lack the energy to feel strongly about the latest UK government mess-up, their latest new ideas on how to put profits before people, on how to overreach and avoid parliament scrutiny. And so on. It’s difficult to sustain feelings of outrage, and there’s so much to ...  Read this >>

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

24 Sep 2020 : The COVID University

Ten days ago, I helped my sister move into halls at a university in Scotland, where she has just started an undergraduate degree. As expected, it was a surreal experience. She was given a one-hour slot in which to arrive, and we barely saw a soul as we lugged those big blue IKEA bags with pots, pans, duvet, laundry basket and more student essentials up th...  Read this >>

By: Andreas Papamichail, Lecturer in Global Health & International Relations - View profile and Diary

23 Sep 2020 : Universities UK: When will they have to close?

It is a sad milestone day in so many ways, some close to home. The USA passed 200,000 deaths on the same day India overtook it as the country with the highest recorded numbers of infections. It now has over 5 million confirmed cases. This is thought to represent only a fraction of real cases, even though India has substantially ramped up testing – n...  Read this >>

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

23 Sep 2020 : Half way? the easier half?

Back on 19 March I wrote in my offline diary "when we come out of this I will be close to 40"... for those who don't know me, my 40th birthday is end of November 2021... (some time to go still...) That was 7 months ago, and probably the easier 7 months, considering the 7 months to come here in the UK until Easter 2021 - which is as far as my horizons tak...  Read this >>

By: JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health - View profile and Diary

22 Sep 2020 : Me - getting grumpy and pessimistic

* I’ve realized that the pandemic makes me impatient, impulsive and a bit negative. Decision that I made recently proves it. I’ve been busy recently with dealing with multiple things. I am packing for a four-month-stay in Korea, packing to move from the current flat and searching for a new flat that I hope I sign contract before leaving the ...  Read this >>

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

19 Sep 2020 : Addendum: On (not) seeing bodies

In my last blog post (how was this already more than a month ago?) I sketched my ideas on the invisible body in the context of COVID-19. With the background of researching on images of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa where images of grief, sickness and death were the norm, the visual absence of the body in the case of COVID-19 caught my attention. In my...  Read this >>

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

16 Sep 2020 : A timed relay - not a sprint or even a marathon

One of the things I've started to do again since the pandemic is run. I used to run loads, and then I became an academic and stopped making time for myself. Right at the start of lockdown, I knew I would need something to do for myself - something that grounded and centred me and helped me get through the long haul. So I ran, first just 2km per day as tha...  Read this >>

By: JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health - View profile and Diary

10 Sep 2020 : Mixed Messages

This week, the UK government has announced that it is relaunching its public health slogan to advise citizens on safe behaviour during the pandemic. The re-revealed central message is ‘Hands. Face. Space.’ This follows on from ‘Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives’ and the much more conflicted ‘Stay alert, control the vi...  Read this >>

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

10 Sep 2020 : COVID-19 and Internationalism

The COVID-19 global health crisis has triggered economic and political processes that defy easy conceptualisation. The LSE COVID-19 blog, and the latest issue of the journal Nations and Nationalism, contribute to the elucidation of the political and economic aspects of the crisis caused by the pandemic. Both sources acknowledge the tentative character of ...  Read this >>

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

07 Sep 2020 : Leadership Phrenology?

Although I was trained in pretty much the mainstream of political science, this pandemic has caused me to question a pretty basic assumption of how we understand governance and what affects that. The usual poli sci trinity of explanatory families is "Ideas, Institutions, Interests." That is, most explanations for how we see people—whether individua...  Read this >>

By: Sore Throat, Policy Person - View profile and Diary

04 Sep 2020 : The Triple Crises of Private Health: State and Multilateral Governance Responses

This is the final part of the collection of posts on the triple crises of private health, these largely having focused on the private hospital sector.  I will be splitting this post into two parts, one looking at national responses and the other the emerging multilateral governance of the crises of private health. So far, by means of focus on a rang...  Read this >>

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

01 Sep 2020 : [Covid] Views from the 11th Floor

Across the US, cities and states are rationalizing the threats and impacts of Covid-19 quite differently. Having lived in northern Wisconsin for most of the pandemic, an area with considerable resistance to Covid-19 public health safety measures, life hasn’t felt drastically different for me. While I chose to wear my mask at indoor public spaces lik...  Read this >>

By: Mary Clare Rosemeyer, Research Assistant - International Tobacco Control - View profile and Diary

01 Sep 2020 : "People like us, we go to work": another way in which I am not myself

I like to read pop neuroscience and so I'm familiar with the idea that during prolonged stressors such as the covid pandemic, our survival-wiring gets jacked up and hyperactive, and bypasses the front part of our brain, where abstract thought and concentration reside. This is why I can't seem to get high-level cognitive work done - either I can't re...  Read this >>

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

01 Sep 2020 : Six months of COVID

Were it not for my Twitter feed, I wouldn't have realized that my city has been living with COVID for 6 months. What a different world it is now. On top of mind for me today is risk--both in terms of Communications as well as risk perception in relation to public trust. My local public health authority, (Ottawa Public Health) is employing just the right ...  Read this >>

By: Sameera Hussain, Senior Policy Analyst, Public Health Agency of Canada - View profile and Diary

31 Aug 2020 : Real messiah nightmare

Everything seems normal in Brazil, except that we now have more than 120,00 COVID-19 deaths. Among the most challenging topics to be handled in this continental country is science, fake news (as usual, baby), and the Brazilian Unitary Health System (SUS). The latest discussions about vaccine development in Brazil include a convoluted topic: science and t...  Read this >>

By: Tiago Tasca, Researcher in Global Health - View profile and Diary

31 Aug 2020 : 'And take your disease with you'

I took a walk this morning along the upper reaches of the Aeron valley; an area of gently sloping pastures grazed by sheep and cattle, rolling land with sunken trackways and woods, scattered cottages and old chapels. It has been one of my favourite routes for years, but it starts with a challenge. The bridleway (unsigned from the road) follows a track tha...  Read this >>

By: Richard Kipling, Lecturer in Sustainable Systems - View profile and Diary

30 Aug 2020 : Another set of challenges: Dealing with corruption during the distribution of vaccines and vaccine scepticism

The world’s attention has been focused on the development and fair distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. However, financial contributions to the COVAX initiative, a global coordinated effort to promote the development of COVID-19 vaccines and ensure fair allocation of the vaccines, has been unsuccessful to reach its target amount. Last week, the WHO m...  Read this >>

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

26 Aug 2020 : Adventures in Normality

It really seems as though you can get used to pretty much anything, given enough time. Whatever was shocking and disruptive months ago has by now become a sort of new normality for many people – including the new rules, the masks everywhere and the slight unease whenever you suddenly and unexpectedly find yourself in a larger crowd. Like many people...  Read this >>

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

26 Aug 2020 : Aftershock

Policy Network’s engaging series Aftershock: Society and Politics after the Pandemic has managed to illuminate and also propose solutions to the overlapping crises facing society in the aftermath of COVID-19. The greatest public health emergency for over a century has undoubtedly accentuated inequalities, revealed the lack of effective political lea...  Read this >>

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

25 Aug 2020 : Change

Late August and the weather has changed; storms in from the sea blowing away the warm, sleepy air of mid-summer, freshness coming in with the rain. The strength of the gales, the intensity of the rain, the unpredictability of the heat-waves, unsettles me. In the heart of lockdown back in June I had sleepless nights listening to the wind around the house,...  Read this >>

By: Richard Kipling, Lecturer in Sustainable Systems - View profile and Diary

24 Aug 2020 : How to (not) solve the Brazilian conundrum?

Dear all, I hope you are doing fine! The last 24 hours have been complicated in Brazil, primarily because of the widespread corruption news about the President's wife. Honestly, these things do not impress me too much. I do not feel comfortable in admitting this. Well, but amid a pandemic and many corruption scandals, I asked myself how to (not) solve the...  Read this >>

By: Tiago Tasca, Researcher in Global Health - View profile and Diary

24 Aug 2020 : Finger Lickin Good No More

Queensland in Australia is experiencing a new outbreak centred o a youth detention centre in Brisbane. After months of zero cases and no community transmission we are back in the wait and see game. I have been wearing masks to shops throughout, but gradually easing off in my own precautions. I have been deliberately trying to ease my own unease about open...  Read this >>

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

20 Aug 2020 : Home to roost: has colonial medicine 'come home'?

In the spirit of our founder (the mysterious COVID-19 Diaries), let’s kick off with a little controversy… global health actually just equals colonial medicine. Given the focus of my research perhaps this is not that controversial, but don’t take my word for it. No less than the Royal Society for Tropical Medicine has apparently been &ls...  Read this >>

By: Dean Moull, PhD Student - View profile and Diary

20 Aug 2020 : Ignoring actual humans

So I'm finally here. A few words of introduction. I currently work within the Washington DC policy industrial complex, in a job in which it's better to remain formally pseudononymous. I'd prefer that what I say not be associated with my superiors (and they might think the same!), and while we have a organizational policy that allows blogging, I don't thi...  Read this >>

By: Sore Throat, Policy Person - View profile and Diary

19 Aug 2020 : It's a feature NOT a bug

The ‘quality’ (I use that term with a great deal of hesitancy) newspapers in the UK (and no doubt elsewhere) along with social media fora have offered a litany of references to the British government’s incompetence in myriad areas. In the category of ‘definitely not ancient history’ are the suggestions that the Grenfell trage...  Read this >>

By: Dean Moull, PhD Student - View profile and Diary

17 Aug 2020 : "Pandemic-Mongering": On Disinformation, Fear, and Discrimination

If you watched Kingdom of Heaven (2005). you might be familiar with the story of King Baldwin IV - King of Jerusalem - who were affected by leprosy and was reigned under heavy political pressure by politicians in his court. King Baldwin was not a weak King, anyway; he was decisive and wises. But his physical condition means that he can't get to ...  Read this >>

By: Ahmad Rizky Mardhatillah Umar, Doctoral Student, Political Sciences and International Studies - View profile and Diary

16 Aug 2020 : 100,000: the number of negligence

When the first signals of quarantine were shown in Brazil, I remember that many people said, "we are overreacting. This "Chinese virus" will not cause damage in Brazil." Well, from the first beginning, these people were wrong! I can also recall many sentiments of xenophobia about Chinese people and Brazil's neighbors (mainly towards Argentina, Paraguay, a...  Read this >>

By: Tiago Tasca, Researcher in Global Health - View profile and Diary

16 Aug 2020 : Unprecedented

  I have just been reading Shoshana Zuboff’s The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. At one point she points out how an unprecedented phenomenon is difficult to deal with because we misrepresent it by trying to find a precedent in our existing knowledge. Or, as she puts it: “The unprecedented is necessarily unrecognizable. When we encounter ...  Read this >>

By: Lucian M. Ashworth, Professor - View profile and Diary

16 Aug 2020 : Returning to 'normality'

“When do you think we’ll see a return to normality?” “As soon as the vaccine comes out.” “Yeah, sounds like the Oxford one is showing promise. Seems like it might even be out before Christmas.” This is an approximation of conversations I, and I’m sure others, have overheard or been involved in over the la...  Read this >>

By: Andreas Papamichail, Lecturer in Global Health & International Relations - View profile and Diary

14 Aug 2020 : Russian Vaccine

All over the news yesterday was Putin's announcement that he was authorising the use of the newly developed vaccine - Sputnik V. His daughter has been part of a small cadre of people reciving it as part of a trial, way below the threshold for normal Phase 3 in terms of size, or really for Phase 2 for that matter. Mass vaccination in Russia will commence i...  Read this >>

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

14 Aug 2020 : In Movement from Tanzania to Northern Italy to Denmark: Part 2 Carnivale to Discovering the Corona Emoji

Venice in February is an acquired delight. From my first winter visit there around 25 years ago, the relative emptiness of the winding streets, the fog from the canals and the possibility to admire views of the landscape without the typical hoard of tourists has been one of my favorite escapes. On Valentine’s Day during the first year of COVID 19, i...  Read this >>

By: Lisa Ann Richey, Professor of Globalization - View profile and Diary

14 Aug 2020 : A few thoughts on my life now in the pandemic, the normalisation of the COVID-19 situation and Russia's ‘Sputnik V’

1.       It has been a month since I posted a diary piece on this blog. I am getting slow in posting. I started posting a diary piece from the beginning of the pandemic, to express my confusions and concerns associated with this pandemic. Therefore, my slow postings may indicate that I have found some rhythm and stability in the virus ...  Read this >>

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

13 Aug 2020 : The Different Frames of Distance

I read an article about how loneliness rewires the human brain to perceive all relationships the same - friends, acquaintances and celebrities all become 'people around me but not with me'. (The article by Satviki Sanjay in Vice) This explained a few things I'd been feeling since the start of the pandemic but couldn't articulate. I realised that 'physica...  Read this >>

By: Surbhi Shrivastava, PhD Student in Sociology - View profile and Diary

13 Aug 2020 : Who Decided that Kids Were Expendable and Disposable?

I grew up in a period of conservative resurgence in the US. I lived in Massachusetts, known nationally as the People's Republic of Taxachusetts. Even the liberal state of Massachusetts went for Ronald Reagan and the neoliberal agenda that set off this conservative wave in 1980. The "Christian Right" driven by Jerry Falwell and the "Moral Majority" put the...  Read this >>

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

11 Aug 2020 : Holiday Blues

I have just returned from first week off since Xmas, spending 1 week in an apartment overlooking the sea in the south of Queensland. It was lovely. The apartment block facing the sea backs on to a road the other side of which is the Gold Coast airport. Normally flights start at 6.30 am and end at 10.30 pm, with jet after jet landing to service the extende...  Read this >>

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

11 Aug 2020 : Just keep your head down!

A few weeks ago I had to have a minor eye surgery. The choice was surgery in a pandemic or no vision, so being someone who has to read a lot, I took a chance and opted for the former. Anyway, after the surgery, I was told to keep my head down for 24 hours. “Just look down at the floor as much as you can.” The 24 hours then became about 4 days,...  Read this >>

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

11 Aug 2020 : Not-here and not-there

The pandemic is messing with my sense of place as well as time. By “place” I don’t mean anything topographic (for instance, the fact that I’m writing this in the Bonnie Doon Community League Park as opposed to Casablanca). I mean the building blocks of spatial awareness - what is here, what is there, what is near and what is far.&n...  Read this >>

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

10 Aug 2020 : Chile's slow motion train wreck

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I have been feeling Chile is slowly moving towards disaster. We are used to earthquakes, floods, and volcano eruptions, but every single one of these events was abrupt and there is little anyone could have done to avert most of the damage.  The pandemic, on the other hand, started for Chile in February when news f...  Read this >>

By: Soledad Martínez, Assistant Professor - View profile and Diary

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

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