JulieB By: JulieB
Lecturer in Global Health
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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 yet... I feel I must watch. I watch it to try and undersand what is happening, in some form of meta-reality. Usually by half way, or three quarters way through, I just can't take any more. My body feels like it might explode. At that time, though exhaused, I clearly cannot sleep. 

What I do next helps calm my senses and gives me hope for a better day to come. 

Becuase of the timezone difference, I can often get Trumps press conference around the same time as Jacina Ardern's one, all the way in the pacific timezone. Often, after Trum, I switch to Jacinda. I watch and listen, and my blood pressure returns to normal, my heartbeat goes back down to a rate at which I may fall asleep. My hope returns. 


I have long held an interst in leadership. I do not believe that leadership is just a position, a person "at the front" - I believe we can all lead, and indeed must all lead, in our own ways. But the person up front matters. Their words MATTER. Their courage matters. The way they see the world matters as it gives others strength and courage. 

I think I watch Trump and Jacinda because I have a long standing and deep interest in leadership and there is something about these two polar oposites that helps me learn a lot about leadership in crisis. Of course partly it is their gender, but that is not the only factor - far from it. 

Perhaps tonight I will try to not tune in to either of them - maybe then I will be able to actually sleep at night. 


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