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

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

31 Oct 2020 : The case for the ‘moral equivalency’ of a war on Covid (but just in the US)

I know all the problems with securitizing health threats. It’s awful. It definitely leads to stigma. It’s a bad way to confront them. Stefan Elbe, Jeremy Youde, Owain Williams, Sophie Harman and so many IR health all-stars have talked about the downsides of it. The most recent and comprehensive and persuasive case against securitization of the...  Read this >>

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

31 Oct 2020 : COVID-19 and Internationalism II

In my previous post, I explained why COVID-19 undermines the political credibility of neoliberal globalism and nationalism and should therefore give way to internationalism. Although critiques of nationalism abound in academia and elsewhere, more work is required to elucidate the concept of internationalism. Noam Chomsky’s short but illuminating vol...  Read this >>

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

28 Oct 2020 : COVID and the Old/New Politics of Debt

In the last two weeks the IMF and World Bank held their annual meeting. Top of the list was of course the COVID recovery and the role of the two International Financial Organisations in plotting the way out of the global depression. Both organisations have serious financial clout behind them. The IMF announced earlier in the year that it loan capacity for...  Read this >>

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

24 Oct 2020 : The war on dust

Yesterday, I finally got around to moving my ‘home office’ – laptop, monitor, speakers, keyboard, mouse, external hard-drive, an old desk and a chair – from the bedroom to the spare room. Helped by Veronica, my partner – who hadn’t realise she’d signed up to this when she travelled up from Bristol to join me for t...  Read this >>

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

16 Oct 2020 : Three tiers to rule them all

This was meant to be another ‘diary type’ entry, about a few more things that are going on here – where things are slowing moving out of control but are still fairly manageable right now. I wonder how soon Germany will be in lockdown once again. Right now we are seemingly in the same phase in which a lot of other countries have been for ...  Read this >>

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

15 Oct 2020 : A Cautious Reopening

            My university has passed mid-semester and things are going better than most feared, or even hoped. Florida’s governor threatened our funding if state universities did not reopen face-to-face (other budget cuts notwithstanding), and thus my school drafted its “re-opening bluepri...  Read this >>

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

15 Oct 2020 : On social bonds

So I am in London now, settled into a nice first floor flat in Brixton with it's Afro-Caribbean vibes. When I first moved to London 20 years ago, it was one of the places I hardly dared to go to, and certainly not alone! But I digress...  I was walking around earlier today, close to Windrush Sq, and I heard a thump, and on turning around I saw an ol...  Read this >>

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

12 Oct 2020 : Trip to Korea and the 14-day quarantine

Last Friday, I flew to Korea. Since then, my quarantine life has begun. This quarantine will be remembered as a unique experience, so I would like to record it in this entry.  The journey to Korea this time was very different from the usual. The airports as well as the flights were exceptionally uncrowded, but it was challenging to wear a mask and a...  Read this >>

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

11 Oct 2020 : The UK is in a Mess (again)

In the UK everything seems to be completely out of control. The government has so badly mishandled almost every facet of the response that local authorities across the country have defected from the omnishambles that is the test and trace ‘system’ and are taking these functions into their own hands. The reports last week of Serco’s use o...  Read this >>

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

11 Oct 2020 : That 1943 Feeling

The middle of October is probably a good time to take stock of where we are with the pandemic and its associated crises. With second waves hitting several jurisdictions, an 'October surprise' positive test for the US President, news about vaccines, Covid-chaos in UK universities as Brexit moves to its dismal conclusion, and with the advent of flu season i...  Read this >>

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

11 Oct 2020 : Resigned

So it looks like we're going to have a second wave, or are already in one. And it looks like Edmonton might be locked down tight again. I hoped this wouldn't happen, but it is happening. I have options for how I respond to the fact that we're heading back into the tunnel, but not one of them is a good option. I can deny, refuse, and pretend it's not happe...  Read this >>

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

08 Oct 2020 : Did I get too smug?

I might have almost gotten too smug lately. After a brief stint in London over the summer, I settled back down into my very "COVID-secure" home up North which has been a comfy and safe-feeling fortress during these past months... With zero plans to travel, or hardly leave my street even (it's a very nice street), I had settled down until Christmas, or Eas...  Read this >>

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

05 Oct 2020 : Agent Orange

Teaching has started online and boy it is busy. Students are attending online teaching faithfully. Almost all groups are isolating and many of my students, especially the first years, are reporting positive test results for COVID. It is very depressing, and I feel so sorry for them arriving for the first weeks of university only to weather an infection an...  Read this >>

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

05 Oct 2020 : Pandemic Realities: Family Member in Hospital

            Recently, I experienced something many (millions of?) others must also be experiencing: a family member in the hospital. My dad did not have COVID-19 but was very much impacted by the pandemic.             Before, I would have immedia...  Read this >>

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

05 Oct 2020 : Toy soldiers...

Step by step, heart to heart, left right left, we all fall down... like toy soldiers...  One of my fave songs growing up (not the Eminem version, but the original). I only recently learnt that it was actually about drug addictions. In my 8 year old mind, it was actually about toy soldiers falling over because they could no longer stand up!  So...  Read this >>

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

03 Oct 2020 : In Transit

As I write this, I'm on a layover at Pearson Airport in Toronto - first trip by air since March 13. I have never seen an airport with so few people in motion. I had time on my hands so I walked around Terminal 1 (domestic) and Terminal 3 (international). Domestic traffic looked to be down about ninety percent from what I remember as normal, and internatio...  Read this >>

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

03 Oct 2020 : Certified COVID-safe

COVID-related signs are everywhere. From the University I work in to my local gym, it’s impossible to overlook the number of hand sanitizers, all the stickers encouraging people to wear face coverings, and the stickers on floors determining the direction of travel. Of course, these measures serve an important purpose, but I do have a few issues with...  Read this >>

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

02 Oct 2020 : One word springs to mind today

The word that springs to mind today, to me at least, is hubris. I've had many friends come up with different words today, some even celebratory... but I cannot - and would not ever - celebrate the ill health of anyone at all. The word for me, is hubris.  I first heard that word back in 2009 when I was doing my first postdoc at the Centre for Non-Tra...  Read this >>

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

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