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March 2020 Covid-19 Global Health Diaries

30 Apr 2020 : Lying and the Politics of COVID

One of my personal battles in lockdown is trying not to watch Trump’s daily briefings, which I have about a 50% success rate with. A first world problem I know. It is a bit like watching an episode of Faulty Towers between your fingers, cringing as Basil spirals out of control after starting out with some petty lie or misunderstanding, a nose-diving...  Read this >>

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

30 Apr 2020 : Origins of the Novel Coronavirus

The Swedish health minister, Lena Hallengren, has opined that there must be an international investigation "to conduct to gain knowledge about the origin and spread of the coronavirus," reported the South China Morning Post. Hallengren has mentioned its foundation on a universal welfare state's health care system. This is an understandble point of view, a...  Read this >>

By: Kan Yuenyong, Geopolitical Strategist - View profile and Diary

30 Apr 2020 : Student Responses mentioned in April 26 entry

With their permission, I share below two student responses to the course activities mentioned in my April 26 entry Teaching the Pandemic We’re Living Through. Excerpt from a reflective essay on course content, with this section about studying global health governance and COVID-19: Even though we were actively living and learning about complicated,...  Read this >>

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

29 Apr 2020 : From PhD to Pandemic

It's unusual I think, after re-locating for the PhD and then being on the academic job market for years - going from fixed-term contract to fixed-term contract and moving around accordingly - to then come home. Not by choice (you don’t get a choice, you apply everywhere and when you finally get an offer you accept it), but by chance. In September 20...  Read this >>

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

28 Apr 2020 : Pandemic Authoritarianism

There is an evident political tension being played out in many countries around the issue of COVID and authoritarianism. In fact, authoritarianism and COVID was the focus of one of the earliest debates that surfaced around China’s response to Wuhan and Hubei outbreaks in January. Many were scathing at the draconian measures instituted there and the ...  Read this >>

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

28 Apr 2020 : Nudging will not redress the inequalities of COVID-19 in Latin America

Since the first case of coronavirus was confirmed in January 2020 the disease has killed about 200,000 people worldwide (as of 28 April 2020). In this same period, Oxfam reports that over 900 thousand people died from other causes due to lack of access to health care, amongst other socio-political and economic determinants. Poverty is as lethal than the v...  Read this >>

By: Pia Riggirozzi, Professor of Global Politics - View profile and Diary

28 Apr 2020 : A View From Italy

I live in the central Italian region of Umbria and, for nearly the last two months, have been unable to leave the house without filling in a form stating that the purpose of my trip is to go food shopping, visit a pharmacy or medical services. In truth I've been to the supermarket three times in eight weeks and am about to venture into town for the fourth...  Read this >>

By: Martin Daykin, Holiday Rental Operator - View profile and Diary

28 Apr 2020 : On Dreams and/of Death

As my first contribution to the Covid-19 Health Diaries, I meant to post this yesterday (on Monday) but was too tired to.. Sleep is elusive and then strange in the time of Corona 'crisis'. This is something noticed by and motivating the University College London (UCL) based Lockdown Dreams project - the aim of which is  to collect up and psychoanaly...  Read this >>

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

28 Apr 2020 : On anger

If I were to express an overwhelming feeling I have felt these days, I would have to pick anger. It is one of the prevalent feelings in my life these days, perhaps the most prevalent. I don’t think I am alone in this. But I would love to be able to be self-congratulatory and say that my anger is about something external to me, the many injustices an...  Read this >>

By: Catia Cecilia Confortini, Associate Professor - View profile and Diary

27 Apr 2020 : The opportunity that the Pandemic Brings to Us: Universal Basic Income

I am quietly excited with the unexpected chance the pandemic brought us: the experimentation of a universal basic income (UBI).  UBI is a social policy that provides every individual of a society with a certain amount of cash on a regular basis, and that payment is delivered unconditionally regardless of income and labour status. It has five charact...  Read this >>

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

27 Apr 2020 : The Gates Foundation's new move

Director-General Tedros and other senior officials at WHO have today been retweeting an interview from the Financial Times in which Bill Gates announces that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is refocusing all of its efforts on the COVID-19 response: “We’ve taken an organisation that was focused on HIV and malaria and polio eradication, an...  Read this >>

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

26 Apr 2020 : Opening Up and UK Politics

Boris Johnson is back to work tomorrow and apparently raring to go. The already notoriously workshy PM is set to up the ante it seems, and now planning a series of meetings with key Ministers and no doubt the SAGE advisory body, all to discuss easing the lockdown. The open up debate is playing out everywhere in the UK press, and even amongst friends and c...  Read this >>

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

26 Apr 2020 : Teaching (Online) the Pandemic We're Living Through

                Two events coincided on March 23, 2020: my university moved instruction online due to COVID-19 and I started a segment on global health governance in a course on International Law and Organization. The readings and case studies had been selected months earlier, yet ...  Read this >>

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

25 Apr 2020 : In Movement from Tanzania to Northern Italy to Denmark: Part 1 Afropolitan Comfort and the Danish Corona Flag

  My first memory of the Corona virus, before we became politicized enough to refer to it as COVID-19, or the “new” Corona virus—or for some special politicians, the “Wuhan” virus—was in Tanzania. Enjoying the evening breeze from the Indian ocean in the public area of our workshop hotel, I sat with a couple of our...  Read this >>

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

25 Apr 2020 : A Hockey Stick and Medicines

http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2020/04/24/the-race-for-a-covid-19-vaccine-looming-global-political-economy-challenges-surrounding-our-last-best-hope/   Simon Rushton and I had our blog published on the SPERI site today, and although the blog format is good for getting it out there, it does limit the depth that you can go into a given problem. I&rsquo...  Read this >>

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

24 Apr 2020 : Post-Truth, Science Denialism and the Right

One of the major causes of inaction around COVID-19 has emerged from the relationship that has been closely forged between right wing leaders, thinkers, and their public supporters, and science denialism. This being the rejection of truth and scientific evidence in the face of overwhelming evidence. There has long been a debate in those involved in tracki...  Read this >>

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

24 Apr 2020 : Mask On - Day One

I am probably late to the party but today marks the first time I went grocery shopping wearing a DIY-mask. So far, debates on whether wearing a mask is useful or not had prevented me from doing so. Instead, I had focused on physical distancing, minimizing face-to-face interaction with persons outside my household, and hand washing. In early April, I wro...  Read this >>

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

24 Apr 2020 : Lysol & the Devil: Is the Enlightenment Dead?

Yesterday (April 23, 2020), President Trump again interjected his own version of science into the daily government briefings on COVID in the US. He asked if it would be possible to “inject” some “disinfectant” into the lungs of COVID victims. He also recommended sunlight as a preventative measure and/or treatment, in response to a ...  Read this >>

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

24 Apr 2020 : The Dictators' Cures

Yesterday's pronouncement by Donald Trump that people should contemplate using disinfectant and sun to cure themsleves of a COVID-19 viral infection has marked another low point in the credibility of the administration. It was hard to believe the credibility could get lower, but, alas, he found a way to do it. To be fair, he backtracked on that claim toda...  Read this >>

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

24 Apr 2020 : Sad for My Students

                I am sad for my students, especially the graduating seniors in my courses this semester. This is our last week of classes, and graduation ceremonies would have been next week. A semester that began for them with optimism, the usual anxieties, and/or senioritis is ...  Read this >>

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

23 Apr 2020 : The Cost of Over-Securitizing COVID-19

Of all IR theories that sought to explain COVID-19, perhaps "securitization" is the most popular one. Yes, as the virus "escalates", many countries use tight measures to get the virus spread under control. Lockdown, self-quarantine, physical distancing, contact-tracing, massive testing and many other measures are undertaken. Citizens are requested to sta...  Read this >>

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

23 Apr 2020 : Statistical Holes and the Implications for Comparative Historical Research

I wrote something for Contexts magazine last month exploring the laggard US response to COVID-19. In it, I called attention to a March 1 story in the NY Times that reported that genetic typing of coronavirus cases suggested the disease had been circulating in Washington state for weeks, which was troubling because it underscored how badly the US response ...  Read this >>

By: Joseph Harris, Assistant Professor of Sociology, Boston University - View profile and Diary

23 Apr 2020 : Reflective Essay for my Intro to IR class

Note: I assigned an optional reflective essay to my POLS 2100 Intro to International Relations course here at the University of Utah this Spring once the pandemic turned our class to an online format. It asked students to consider International Relations in light of the pandemic. Before the students had to start their essays, I thought it was useful to do...  Read this >>

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

23 Apr 2020 : Is pandemic fatigue setting in?

It's 4 minutes past 8pm on a Thursday evening. I eagerly clapped for essential workers, as I do every Thursday at 8pm, togheter with many across the UK. Tonight I actually went out at 7pm in error, only to find NO ONE there. I panicked - have we stopped clapping/caring? Then I realised I was an hour early...  Returning shortly before 8pm though I wa...  Read this >>

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

23 Apr 2020 : When science clashes economy

Since January 2020, I've been living in the South of Brazil. My family lives here and I was born in this wonderful city called Sao Miguel do Oeste, close to Argentina. This region has been increasingly embedded into political conservatism and economy here is above all things (maybe in the same level as the catholic church). My province, Santa Catarina, wa...  Read this >>

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

23 Apr 2020 : Community

I originally wrote this as a reflective essay for my International Relations class at the University of Utah. I’ve always kind of had a hard time finding my place socially. I skipped two grades and then began taking part-time college classes on campus at a local university alongside my half-day of high school classes during my junior year and senio...  Read this >>

By: Ashley Koford, Undergraduate Student - View profile and Diary

22 Apr 2020 : Supply Chains

Made the first start on joint article on COVID and neoliberalism today, building on the CUP book proposal. We take the tack that beneath proliferating viral metaphors about neoliberalism and health and society over recent decades, there lies something fundamentally true about how it colonises different areas of global life and takes them over. The COVID p...  Read this >>

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

22 Apr 2020 : Working for the Man (sort of)

On Monday, I was on-boarded for temporary work as an analyst for the Public Health Agency of Canada--the government arm primarily responsible for national COVID response. I am only working on public platforms for now, and it is fascinating to see through the lens of a government insider. Areas of focus, aside from the obvious, include looking at protecti...  Read this >>

By: Sameera Hussain, Senior Policy Advisor, Canadian Society for International Health - View profile and Diary

22 Apr 2020 : King Of Something

I was actually working away on a 'proper' entry, about supply chains and timelines, which is only half-done - but then I simply could not resist - the next entry will be serious, I promise... even though I do not really know what is more serious than what is happening at this podium all of the time, broadcast live on television.   King Of Something...  Read this >>

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

20 Apr 2020 : No more 3am rants

It's Monday morning here in UK and I thought I'd add another entry. I've spent a week focussing on other things (covid and non covid related) and occasionally reflecting on this diary. One of the things I learnt is how easy it is to rant online! Hah, that's not something I would usually do. My writing is usually much more academic, for start, and heavily ...  Read this >>

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

20 Apr 2020 : Government’s Strange Framing of the NHS and itself

Whenever listening to the government’s daily coronavirus briefing, I have strange feelings. For me, there seems to be something not right in the government’s attitude in coping with the pandemic. I also feel that the briefings have not touched fundamental issues. Recently, I noticed what caused this uneasiness: the government’s framing t...  Read this >>

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

20 Apr 2020 : Twitter and Piers.

It’s been an interesting week since my last post, and in all honesty I’ve been at a bit of a loss as to where to start, however I think I’m going to start with Twitter, the forum for middle age people to rant. Now let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a good old rant? If you don’t then seriously what is wrong with you. So ...  Read this >>

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

20 Apr 2020 : Immigration Ban is not a response to Pandemic Conditions

Just about five years ago, Donald Trump descended the escalator at Trump Tower and proceeded to put the US electorate on edge with a nationalistic, racist tirade that kicked off his presidential campaign. The racial characteristics of the speech were not subtle; they were indeed overt and shocking. Few thought he had a spot in the presidential race, let a...  Read this >>

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

19 Apr 2020 : Daily Briefing

Like picking at a scab you know will hurt and bleed I watch Trump’s daily briefing in full today and predictably I became so angry I had to walk around the neighbourhood for an hour afterwards to calm down.I’m not a big fan of arrogance (even though I’ve been known to exhibit this characteristic at times) and so prevalent was the ramblin...  Read this >>

By: Gareth Moses, 1st Assistant Director - View profile and Diary

18 Apr 2020 : Donald Trump, Oedipus Rex

Here is another summary of White House remarks, which seem to become increasingly outlandish each day. Whenever you feel that you now have seen the worst of it, a new layer is added over night. At this point, Greek tragedies spring to mind, and I have been reading Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, in which Oedipus frantically tries to secure the survival of his cit...  Read this >>

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

18 Apr 2020 : The crisis of a century

These days we have received some news from Brazilian friends we visited a few years ago. They live in Foz do Iguazú, a sleepy Brazilian town next to one of the seven wonders of nature, the Iguazú Waterfalls. The town is now even more ghostly than usual due to the lack of tourists, its primary source of revenue. The national park enclosing th...  Read this >>

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

18 Apr 2020 : Here’s hoping… we don’t go back to normal

A lot of friends and colleagues keep telling me how they “really wish things would go back to normal” and while I completely understand the sentiment (I mean, who wouldn’t just want to walk among a crowded street, grab a drink in a bar, or meet up for dinner at a friends’ house), I doubt that the old normal is the one we should be ...  Read this >>

By: Karin Diaconu, Research Fellow - View profile and Diary

18 Apr 2020 : We Were Doomed by Our Incompetence, Hubris and Austerity

It is really not the most optimistic of mornings. Having been very good for weeks, the toll of being stuck at home finally gets to the little one, with many melt downs. She wants to go out and see her friends. It is strange to balance these things at the moment, but she remains blissfully unaware of global events. Last night was full of news feeds from a...  Read this >>

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

17 Apr 2020 : It Does Not Have to Be a Disaster in Human or Political Terms

Trump has issued a series of Tweets that give ringing endorsement at protests against the lockdown measures in a number of states. The Tweets have ‘Liberate Minnesota’, ‘Liberate Michigan’ in them, as if there is some worthy crusade there for freedom that he is urging on. As Shahar Hameiri states on Twitter, the USA is now displayi...  Read this >>

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

16 Apr 2020 : No, "Asian Values" couldn't help us getting rid of COVID-19

We are often told that "Asian Values" have helped to contain (or at least slow down) the spread of Coronavirus. Some people argue that the success of Japan, South Korea, China, and countries with strong "Asian Values" have been credited to the way the state and community handled the virus through cultural perception. Some see it in Chinese socialism with...  Read this >>

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

16 Apr 2020 : Political Economies

Beginning the piece on the political economy of COVID for SPERI at Sheffield has given me a great deal to think about. Of course, there are all the sectoral dimensions (pharmaceuticals, medical technologies, even tourism and transport) that need to change, or will be changed. There are also bigger picture areas I’m starting to catalogue, such as pro...  Read this >>

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

16 Apr 2020 : Speeches and Press Conferences

I've been reading so many speeches and statements over the past weeks, I don't even remember half of them anymore. It's an avalanche of material that just keeps on coming. It's hard to keep focused amongst all this, as many people have also noted everywhere. There is a constant hum of news, alerts and updates that demands attention thoughout the day (and ...  Read this >>

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

16 Apr 2020 : Dukes and donations

Hugh Grovesnor, the seventh Duke of Westminster, has donated £12.5 million to a National Health Service charity “to say a huge thank you” to NHS staff. This has been widely (and rightly) greeted with disdain by those on the left, who point to the failure of the Duke to pay inheritance tax on his estimated £10 billion fortune, and t...  Read this >>

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

15 Apr 2020 : Everyone knows what is going on here

I have to lead today with the obvious, otherwise the elephant in the room would have been unbearable. On April 14th the POTUS announced in a Rose Garden briefing that the US would cease to fund the WHO. He lays various charges against the organisation for its failures. Let me be honest and clear, the WHO has not been without its faults in the early stages...  Read this >>

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

15 Apr 2020 : Covid-19: why did global health governance fail?

I've got a short piece that explains why global health governance failed so badly to respond to Covid-19.  https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/covid-19-why-did-global-health-governance-fail  Read this >>

By: Shahar Hameiri, Associate Professor of International Politics - View profile and Diary

15 Apr 2020 : Staying Healthy while Staying Home

My eye vision is poor, and the world that I see is always a bit blurry. However, I do not like to wear glasses. When wearing them, I feel that the lenses distort the images of the world that I see through the glasses, and that an invisible barrier makes me feel distant from the person whom I talk with. I have always been comfortable in my blurry world. Fo...  Read this >>

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

15 Apr 2020 : Disappeared deaths

Every day in the Downing Street press conference, which I can’t seem to stop watching, we get told how many people have ‘sadly’ died. When the UK passed the milestone of 10,000 deaths, it did change from ‘sadly’ to ‘tragically’. ‘Horrifically’ might come nearer the mark. And each day, whoever is prese...  Read this >>

By: Jenny Edkins, Professor of Politics - View profile and Diary

15 Apr 2020 : Lockdown Day

On March 15 I had just come back from a four-day meeting in Ottawa. I spent most of those four days in a meeting room with academics from across Canada and a few from Europe. Over the course of the meeting, seeping into the conference rooms, the news of the virus got worse and worse, and furtive checking of phones during sessions increased. At coffee brea...  Read this >>

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

14 Apr 2020 : Total Authority = Total Responsibility

I wake to see a series of Tweets from the USA, all from people watching Trump’s 13 April press conference with various shades of anger and disbelief. He seems to be fully out of control now. I can’t help myself and watch the CNN livestream. As somebody points out, the banners CNN puts up under POTUS through the press conference mark his extrao...  Read this >>

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

14 Apr 2020 : No words

Owain in his last entry wrote the following: "the whole thing is unwatchable, but I find myself unable to turn it off."  I appear to have developed a very unhealthy habit of, each night in bed, watching the Trump daily press briefing. I find myself glued to it (like Owain seems to, too). It is grotesque, terrifying, gut-wrenchingly painful ... and y...  Read this >>

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

13 Apr 2020 : So many days in one

It's Easter Monday today, and also the first day of Nepali New Year 2077, as well as Sonkran (New Year) in Thailand. Those three days don't always align but this year they have; it's like "so many special days in one day". And across the world, most people have marked these special occasions at home under quarantine. In 11 days time the month of Ramadan b...  Read this >>

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

13 Apr 2020 : Pandemics and Politics: A View from Below

At the moment I am supposed to be writing my Thesis as if everything is normal. I do write, of course, but obviously we couldn't ignore the global COVID-19 politics, which affects every inches of our academic life.  Well, let me begin with the message: COVID-19 shows that global inequality is real.  Yesterday, I was talking (by phone) with my ...  Read this >>

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

13 Apr 2020 : Faces of Death in the Pandemic

On Easter Sunday, I thought about death. The beginning of the day was nothing special. I woke up, arranged my room, watched my favourite morning TV show, went to the supermarket to get milk and cereal, and cleaned the washing machine. I lived my ‘life', and there was no place for ‘death’. After I had finished my to-do list, there was n...  Read this >>

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

12 Apr 2020 : Correction

Sadly I was wrong 19 NHS staff died yesterday alone. Adding to the previous 36 to date.   Read this >>

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

12 Apr 2020 : Read Eric Lipton NY Times

Start the day with message from my father. His friend Howard has installed an app that tracks flight paths of particular airlines, many people have this, I know. His son is a pilot with British Airways and volunteered to fly a Boeing 777 direct to Shanghai in China. There are 4 pilots and the entire plane is empty. Once there, the plane is filled with PPE...  Read this >>

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

12 Apr 2020 : All cause mortality

In a pandemic, people still die of other issues. For 3 months now the world's eye has been on coronavirus, first in China, then Iran, Italy and the Diamond princess ship that was stationed off Japan - and other cruise ships around the world. Next was France, Spain, UK, USA, and so on as it spread around the world. And rightly so, this is a major global he...  Read this >>

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

12 Apr 2020 : Memory of a singing tenor

This afternoon we watched a live stream on YouTube showing a solo performance by Andrea Bocelli in the Cathedral of Milan. The stream started with live images of an eerily silent and deserted city. The sun was setting; two trams were soundlessly sliding along an avenue; and nothing but the wind could be heard. Today on Easter Sunday, the Cathedral would ...  Read this >>

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

11 Apr 2020 : The Brilliant Virus

Start to think of new project for writing next week, building on some previous work and an unrealised ambition. I always wanted to write a much wider and theoretical price on market failure and health. Why would you put faith in a mechanism so ill suited to providing such an essential human service and where demand does not change with price. If you are i...  Read this >>

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

10 Apr 2020 : Good Friday

In psotive news, although emerging from all the human disater that has unfolded, it seems that even after some 3 months there are signals that the global environment can recover. Due to the fall in industrial production, road and air traffic, and other variables based on fossil fuel use, levels of CO2 and other pollutants have steeply declined. In the Nor...  Read this >>

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

10 Apr 2020 : No going back to 'normal'

This is worth reading from Adam Tooze, who I think wrote the best book about the GFC and the decade of crises that followed it - Crashed. As he says, the scale and speed of the economic catastrophe engulfing us is without any precedent, not even the Great Depression. Governments are responding with spenidng on a scale hitherto unseen as well. There is no ...  Read this >>

By: Shahar Hameiri, Associate Professor of International Politics - View profile and Diary

10 Apr 2020 : 10 days flew by

I've not written since my April Fool's Day entry 10 whole days ago. Why? I don't really know, they days seem to have flown by - I was surprised that a whole 10 days had past already when I checked my last entry. I've had so many thoughts and topics going around in my head in these 10 days. One of the things I've noticed is that in these 10 days, the inter...  Read this >>

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

10 Apr 2020 : The Right to Freedom of Movement versus the Right to Privacy

A question: How much of human freedom and human rights can people sacrifice to cope with a pandemic? As COVID-19 spreads all over the world, every country has been responding to the virus by using a different set of measures that, they believe, works best for their nation. Nobody knows which approach is the best and, particularly, for what criteria. The...  Read this >>

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

10 Apr 2020 : US racial disparities and COVID

We know that health disparities are rampant in the United States. Rates of maternal mortality, pre-term births, hypertension, and diabetes are all higher among African Americans, even controlling for education and income levels. Native Americans face high rates of alcoholism, violence, and drug addiction, while Latinos face rising rates of diabetes. So ma...  Read this >>

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

10 Apr 2020 : Paranoid

I went to the supermarket yesterday. Online grocery deliveries have broken down. No matter which website we opened, be it Morrisons, Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, none of them were working properly. Several times we were put into a long virtual queue. Once we had finally selected all of our groceries, the payment system would not work, or all possible deliver...  Read this >>

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

09 Apr 2020 : Cyclone Harold

Perhaps unsurprisingly considering the season, Cyclone Harold has hit the Pacific. The media, indicate that 25 people are dead in the Solomon Islands and now we are beginning to see footage of flooding in Fiji, significant damage in Vanuatu and the Cyclone coinciding with a king tide in Tonga.  https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/08/cyclone-h...  Read this >>

By: Katherine Kennedy, International Consultant, Climate Change - View profile and Diary

09 Apr 2020 : Access to ARVs, yes please.

I mentioned in my April 7th post that people were concerned about being able to access treatment for pre-existing health conditions, (myself included) well it’s happening. No, not in the UK, though of course there may be some people who are having issues, what I’m taking about are people in Sub Saharan Africa (SSA), namely South Africa. For ye...  Read this >>

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

09 Apr 2020 : Funerals

I have been thinking about funerals, given the high mortality rates in some countries and/or regions from coronavirus. More specifically, I have been thinking about the many discourses around funerals. From the public health angle, they are an environment in which a virus like corona can easily spread. A few stories from some small towns in US southern st...  Read this >>

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

08 Apr 2020 : Winston Churchill and war metaphors

Ok, so I have no idea what to write. I've never written a diary and I'm already regretting knowing Owain and signing up to this. I'm not sure whether to make my diary entries public, mainly because I swear a lot when I write and I don't want to sound like a prick. I'm not saying I'm Hunter S Thompson or anything, but I also don't feel like being all-polit...  Read this >>

By: Andrew Harmer, Senior Lecturer Global Health - View profile and Diary

08 Apr 2020 : The PM on Sick Leave

Even ten days ago, I would not have expected to feel sympathy for politicians and high-ranking government officers because they are, generally, affluent and well-educated, and so, they are usually at the top of the social ladder. Boris Johnson was no exception - he is well-educated, holds a job as a politician of high profile, enjoys his status as a globa...  Read this >>

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

08 Apr 2020 : Suspended in space and time

The COVID-19 pandemic has swept empty the avenues and squares, roads and streets, train stations and airport terminals, tram and underground platforms of the world’s towns and cities. Train services suspended, aeroplanes grounded, cars abandoned. With the emptying of public space, time seems to have come to a grinding halt. Time management, just-in-...  Read this >>

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

08 Apr 2020 : Temporal Shift

Feeling ashamed for engaging in a very mild exchange at the local supermarket. As per a directive from the Provincial Health authority shops can no longer accept customers’ personal shopping bags and have resorted to packing groceries into plastic bags. Makes sense I suppose but when I am told of this at the checkout I concoct an elaborate plan wher...  Read this >>

By: Gareth Moses, 1st Assistant Director - View profile and Diary

08 Apr 2020 : 100 Days and Tedros

Today is the 100-day mark since China informed WHO of an outbreak of a novel coronavirus. Imagine that, even with the start date being earlier than the ‘official’ CCP recognition and admission of a problem, this has circulated the planet and destroyed the global economy in just that short time. The fallout on the global economy will last for d...  Read this >>

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

07 Apr 2020 : Metrics of success and failure

I say on Twitter that it is much too early to judge which countries have responded well to coronavirus, and that the picture of ‘good and bad responders’ that we have today might look very different 12 months from now. I meant the comment partly as reference to the fact that we can’t see how the pandemic will develop in future (countries...  Read this >>

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

07 Apr 2020 : Masks: To wear or not to wear?

A few days ago I purchased reusable masks for the family. Ironically, I have been hammering people on social media about not using masks if they are not sick or healthcare professionals. I have been saying they provide a false sense of security that people do not know how to use them, that we need to stop hoarding hospital masks to go outside (which we sh...  Read this >>

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

07 Apr 2020 : The Queen (from an American's view)

I have never been one of those Americans infatuated with the Royal Family. As a child, I remember my mother staying up half the night to watch Diana marry Prince Charles. I thought how ridiculous she was. Now from a political science angle, I get the idea of a head of state who symbolizes the nation, provides continuity with tradition, reminds the people ...  Read this >>

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

07 Apr 2020 : What would Weber think?

The stats are out, the number of people attending A&E has dropped significantly in the last two weeks. GPs surgeries have battened down the hatchet. Health care workers are cautious, they’re wary of who they may encounter if they have to engage with people face-to-face. What was ‘normal’ a few weeks ago, is now a distant memory. Care...  Read this >>

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

07 Apr 2020 : Diary ethics

Yesterday I posted a diary entry about Boris Johnson and his reputation for being workshy. Within hours of posting the entry it was announced that he had been taken into hospital, and later that he had been moved into intensive care. Today I've been wondering whether to go back and edit or remove that entry, which now feels much more mean-spirited than i...  Read this >>

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

07 Apr 2020 : Cognitive Displacement

Yesterday was spent mostly dealing with a completely stir-crazy two year old who wants to 'take flowers to all the people in hospital', despite being insullated from the news and so on. We are having a holiday at home is wearing thin. I am among the ranks of people trying to work with kids on laps singing Frozen numbers and tugging for attention. I saw on...  Read this >>

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

06 Apr 2020 : Finding the balance

I have been thinking along similar lines when I read this piece. Isn't part of a public health policy agenda during this crisis ensuring the sustainability of lockdown measures?  https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/05/we-need-to-live-restricted-lives-for-at-least-six-months-police-enforced-lockdowns-are-unnecessary  Read this >>

By: Shahar Hameiri, Associate Professor of International Politics - View profile and Diary

06 Apr 2020 : Leadership in crisis

Throughout his career, Boris Johnson has maintained a reputation amongst almost everyone who has worked with him for being lazy, unprepared and unreliable. Although much of his public persona is quite transparently a performance (anyone who doubts this should read Jeremy Vine’s revealing piece from last summer: https://www.spectator.co.uk/artic...  Read this >>

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

06 Apr 2020 : Names that We should Remember

It is Monday and the first day of the third consecutive week of the lockdown. Last Saturday and Sunday, we were blessed with sunshine and a gentle breeze, but I had been depressed over the weekend. It was not because I was running low on sweets in my cupboard (though they are important for me to maintain my mood). I felt bad because of the news of the de...  Read this >>

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

05 Apr 2020 : The political economy of the COVID19 crisis

Just came across this brilliant analysis from Costas Lapavitsas on the political economy of the COVID19 global crisis. Tl;dr, it's rooted in the response to the GFC, especially how governments stepped in to bail collapsed globalised financialised capitalism. Now they're doubling down on the same, notwithstanding the perception of some kind of socialism. D...  Read this >>

By: Shahar Hameiri, Associate Professor of International Politics - View profile and Diary

05 Apr 2020 : Of viruses, hunters and the hunted …

In times of crisis, societies frequently rally around their leaders to seek reassurance, guidance and leadership. Over the last few weeks, approval ratings of democratically elected governments, such as France, Germany and Italy, have all surged. Even the approval ratings of the US president and the UK prime minister are up despite their blasé reac...  Read this >>

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

05 Apr 2020 : From the Western edge

23 days since I last went to work and 18 days since we isolated ourselves in a small community on the Sunshine Coast on the West Coast of Canada. I work as a film technician in Vancouver (and occasionally other cities in the world) and my wife teaches animation at a local University. Luckily she’s able to continue to teach in a virtual set-up that m...  Read this >>

By: Gareth Moses, 1st Assistant Director - View profile and Diary

05 Apr 2020 : News from Home

News from Bronglais Hospital, the small but effective hospital in Aberystwyth in West Wales. Apparently there are now cases and community transmission there, the rumour mill goes. They are not testing by swab as the samples have to go to labs in Cardiff and the delay in results is simply too long. Instead they are confirming pulmonary obstruction by MRI s...  Read this >>

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

05 Apr 2020 : The President and the International Liberal Order

Q    Mr. President, can you clarify the situation with 3M right now?  Germany said that it was an act of piracy that 200,000 masks were apparently diverted from Thailand to the United States, instead of to Berlin.  Is that a miscommunication?  Did that actually happen?  And should 3M be fulfilling contracts for masks to ...  Read this >>

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

04 Apr 2020 : Face Mask Culture in Pandemic

My family and friends in South Korea ask me several questions about the UK’s response to COVID-19 with genuine curiosity. Two of the frequently asked questions are: ‘Why are people buying a lot of groceries, especially toilet rolls?’ and ‘Why don’t people wear masks outside?’. I don't have the right answers and spent so...  Read this >>

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

04 Apr 2020 : News from Nepal

I take the opportunity of a quiet Saturday to catch up with my friend Kanchhi in Kathmandu. I was supposed to be in Nepal now, but for obvious reasons couldn’t travel. They are on their 12th day of lockdown today. From the sound of it, this is largely being complied with– probably much better than here in the UK, where (as the government feare...  Read this >>

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

04 Apr 2020 : Cruise Ships and Science

In China there are reports of new outbreaks in regions. Hubei is not presently affected. There are also reports of wet markets having reopened, which if true is just atrocious in terms of a failure of governance. Eating exotic meats is not defensible by some now trite ‘you are being too colonial’ quip from now on. There are reports I am readin...  Read this >>

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

03 Apr 2020 : Project worries

This week I nearly Furloughed myself. I work as an International Consultant. I am the only person on the payroll of my micro-enterprise. Happily, some evaluation work came in from the European Commission. The rates are low, but I am able to keep the company going for the time being.  Skyping with Associates around the World. My home office is busier...  Read this >>

By: Katherine Kennedy, International Consultant, Climate Change - View profile and Diary

03 Apr 2020 : Ignorance: the virus’s most trusted ally

Ignorance kills. With all its Brexit hubris and nationalist arrogance, the UK government has taken this viral tsunami so lightly that once the waves of the pandemic hit British shores, the country did not even have enough testing kits for NHS workers. Other countries like South Korea and Germany demonstrate that testing is a fundamental tool to tackle the...  Read this >>

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

03 Apr 2020 : Liberal International Order

Trump flatly states he will not wear a mask, asking us to imagine him meeting with kings and dictators in the Oval Office wearing a mask. As if it is such a stupid concept that the man nominally steering a national response to a pandemic would not take necessary steps to secure himself from infection. But what would that look like! New medical guidance in...  Read this >>

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

02 Apr 2020 : It is my shame, but should I feel ashamed?

There were days, in the not too distant past, when we could have the freedom to go and explore anywhere (within socially acceptable boundaries though), and nobody could deter our desire to go out. It was one of those beautiful days when it happened.  One sunny Sunday, Mar. 22, a day before the nationwide lockdown in the UK, I knew that a few of my f...  Read this >>

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

02 Apr 2020  

As of today, confirmed cases of COVID19 worldwide just passed the 1 million mark. As predicted by so many of the models that have been circulating on the internet. Public pressure is increasing in Canada for the government to share its own projections for "the COVID surge" which I suppose means when provincial and territorial health systems reach or go be...  Read this >>

By: Sameera Hussain, Senior Policy Advisor, Canadian Society for International Health - View profile and Diary

02 Apr 2020 : Return Home and Dumpster Fire

I returned home this morning, my other home in Brisbane, after 14 days of isolation. It was very emotional for me, but also very strange. Youngest daughter was so happy to see me, but I do miss Tom and Edie too. All together in some shape of form, despite the no almost incomprehensibale distances. Spent most of the day just playing and Frozen and the film...  Read this >>

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

01 Apr 2020 : April Fools?

It's early hours of the morning on the 1st April. When I wake up, in a few short hours time, I am hoping that someone will shout April Fools at me, and this will all be over, like some really bad joke. Wouldn't that be wonderful? Instead, I am likely to wake up to more rising cases in UK and around the world, more loss of life, more health risks (of all s...  Read this >>

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

01 Apr 2020 : Immunity passports

Something doesn’t feel right to me about the ‘immunity passports’ idea. (For those who haven’t seen it, it is the idea that those who have recovered from COVID-19 and are – at least in theory – immune could have some kind of document that they would be provided with after passing an antibody test. This would allow them ...  Read this >>

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

01 Apr 2020 : Last Day in Iso

Breakthrough day on a personal level. I’m out of self-isolation in two hours and have finally caught up entering the two months of hand written diary entries. I’m just one day behind now. Sobering interview on World Service with a US medic. Hospitals are forming triage teams with blinded patient data (no race, religion or personal information)...  Read this >>

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

31 Mar 2020  

The numbers this morning: 801,400 confirmed cases, with 38,743 deaths and 172,657 recovered. There won't be any good news on the Hopkins website, so not really a good way to start my day. The US, as of a few days ago, has the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Such madness. Yet another day of homeschooling and working on various projects begins ...  Read this >>

By: Sameera Hussain, Senior Policy Advisor, Canadian Society for International Health - View profile and Diary

31 Mar 2020 : Death: The New Normal?

One of the many things this devastating pandemic has proved is what Aristotle said in the Nicomachean Ethics, i.e. ‘Human beings are social animals”. When governments, overwhelmed by skyrocketing confirmed cases of the virus, decided to lock down their cities, one of the many things people worried about was their isolation from the social int...  Read this >>

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

31 Mar 2020 : Nevada Car Park

There is a picture on social media circulating of a car park in Nevada, USA> Authorities have painted the whole area out with white rectangles, all together forming a giant grid. Each cell is a designated safe space for homeless people to sleep or rest in while socially distancing. Even more gut wrenching, as Jan Selby puts it on Twitter, is that there...  Read this >>

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

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