Dr Owain Williams By: Dr Owain Williams
Lecturer in IR and Human Security
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26 Feb 2020 : Warning Friends

Feel like a bit of a prat, but have started warning friends on Whatsapp groups about Covid. Italy seems to be a bad way with creeping infection – seems based around ski resorts? Martin is beginning to feel it in Umbria and is wondering about UK trip. I wrote today “Going to give a talk today at Uni of York on COVID-19. Our first pandemic since 1919. Get your masks and alcohol wash now.’ All a bit glib really, but it is gathering momentum. Going to have a big talk with kids in Aber soon. I add later, a bit pretentiously, ‘It is sobering what is happening at the moment’. Kate asks, ‘What it makes it worse than the flu?’ This is no surprise, she is not daft but that is essentially the message being promoted viz death rates from seasonal flu versus impact of COVID. Again and again. I add, ‘We have no resistance. Flu may kill more for now. But we have resistances and vaccines that sort of work. If this virus gets to conservative to extreme 70% infection we are in for a ride’. I kind of feel guilty and show boaty (I guess there is always a bit of that) but I really want people and friends and family to start getting worried about this I am not a panicker or alarmist and have always been too much of a risk taker ‘but we are in for 6-12 months of super weird shit’ Martin posts pictures of empty shelves in Umbertide, Umbria, where panic is setting in. Quite confronting. The total number of confirmed cases in the UK were reported as 16 today, links to travel and Italy esppecially in the news.

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