Profile: JulieB - Lecturer in Global Health

JulieB - Lecturer in Global Health

Julie Balen is a Lecturer in Global Health at the School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR), The Univeristy of Sheffield, UK. She currently leads interdisciplinary research projects on health systems strengthening in South Asia and West Africa. She has previous experience of working on pandemic preparedness in Southeast Asia as well as a broad interest in neglected and emerging diseases and reproductive health in the Global South. 


JulieB's COVID-19 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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

09 May 2020 : Uncomfortable, getting worse

It feels as if things are slipping away more and more, especially since last weekend. Way more people, at least on my street, are out and about now, even though we are still officially on the same lock-down as the last 7 or so weeks. Way more people are expressing frustration with the lock-down. More cars are on the road, more people are in the parks and ...  Read this >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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 >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

28 Mar 2020 : I'll give this a go

Owain sent me a link to the Covid19 Global Health Diaries project he had mentioned. Seems like a good idea! In contrast to Owain, I have kept a diary over the last decade or so, but it's mostly travel related and/or mundane life stuff, so not the kind of thing I'd share with others really - or the kind of thing others would want to read. I write it mostly...  Read this >>

JulieB, Lecturer in Global Health

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