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December 2020 Covid-19 Global Health Diaries

31 Dec 2020 : Lessons on the last day of 2020

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

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

21 Dec 2020 : Profiteering

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

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

21 Dec 2020 : Deck the Halls (Pandemic Edition)

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

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

20 Dec 2020 : Fire, masks, and apathy

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

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

19 Dec 2020 : Pandemic Realities: Drive-In Events

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

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

09 Dec 2020 : COVID and laissez-faire eugenics

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

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

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

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

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

06 Dec 2020 : Zizek and Agamben on COVID-19

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

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

06 Dec 2020 : Brutal December

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

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

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