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March 2020 Covid-19 Global Health Diaries

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 Analyst, Public Health Agency of Canada - 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

30 Mar 2020 : More Figures

Spain has 80,000 infections and Italy a staggering 97,000, the latter with 11,000 deaths. Reports from doctors and staff in Spain describing hospitals as being totally swamped, and despite talk of flattening the curve some predict a peak in 3 weeks. France now has 680 deaths and Germany is accepting patients. New Orleans governor just made a very stark w...  Read this >>

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

30 Mar 2020 : Bigger than The Bachelor

There are 700,000 confirmed infections worldwide today, and that is confirmed. We have probably easily surpassed the 1 million mark, if not more. Zimbabwe has abandoned its currency and switched perhaps other currencies and to the US$. I read a very good article on ZeroHedge (an investment site). There has been a huge dollar spike as people are getting ou...  Read this >>

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

30 Mar 2020 : Rights and privileges

As someone who has written previously about the tendency of emergency pandemic responses to tip into authoritarianism, with all manner of negative consequences for human rights and civil liberties, one of the most fascinating aspects for me of the COVID-19 crisis has been the public clamour for ever greater restrictions. Certainly in the UK – but fr...  Read this >>

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

30 Mar 2020 : More Figures

Spain has 80,000 infections and Italy a staggering 97,000, the latter with 11,000 deaths. Reports from doctors and staff in Spain describing hospitals as being totally swamped, and despite talk of flattening the curve some predict a peak in 3 weeks. France now has 680 deaths and Germany is accepting patients. New Orleans governor just made a very stark w...  Read this >>

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

30 Mar 2020 : More Figures

Spain has 80,000 infections and Italy a staggering 97,000, the latter with 11,000 deaths. Reports from doctors and staff in Spain describing hospitals as being totally swamped, and despite talk of flattening the curve some predict a peak in 3 weeks. France now has 680 deaths and Germany is accepting patients. New Orleans governor just made a very stark w...  Read this >>

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

30 Mar 2020 : More from the evening

Spain has 80,000 infections and Italy a staggering 97,000, the latter with 11,000 deaths. Reports from doctors and staff in Spain describing hospitals as being totally swamped and despite talk of flattening the curve some predict a peak in 3 weeks. France now has 680 deaths and Germany is accepting patients. New Orleans governor just made a very stark wa...  Read this >>

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

29 Mar 2020 : Federal Meltdown

Deaths in Italy surpassed 10,000 and it is the first country to reach this macabre milestone. It is very sad to see that beautiful and very social country in such trouble. Of course, rates of multiple generations living together have escalated in that country in the decade after the GFC. Spain and other countries are also characterizable by that demograph...  Read this >>

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

29 Mar 2020 : Things will get worse before they get better

The Higher Ed system is clearly not immune to COVID-19. I see a heart breaking Tweet from someone 3 months into first tenure position. Her college – MacMurray College – has just announced it will close permanently. It will not be the last I am sure. Even before this crisis it was clear that the Australian sector was so heavily exposed, particu...  Read this >>

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

29 Mar 2020 : Baking with blood?

Judging by social media, most people seem to be baking their way through this pandemic. But the local supermarket hasn't had eggs for a couple of weeks now. Our younger daughter's birthday is in two days, so we discuss the ethics of travelling to a different supermarket in search of eggs for a birthday cake. Does this meet the threshold of an 'essential j...  Read this >>

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

29 Mar 2020 : Easter? April 30? What's a crowd?

A beautiful day on the Tennessee Cumberland Plateau. I should go for a morning run... that's allowed for those of us who were international travellers and must self-isolate. In my small town of 1500 (it is 3000 when the students are here),  it is likely that I might encounter someone I know when out.  But people are good about switching to the o...  Read this >>

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

28 Mar 2020 : The Atlantic

There is increasing news and very disturbing footage of Indian migrant workers stuck with no wages or food, locked down by brutal police wielding batons or enforcing crawling or sit ups to people on the street. Others are walking home: carrying kids and belongings. Many facing trips back to villages of hundreds of miles. Indian government is injecting $20...  Read this >>

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

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 >>

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

28 Mar 2020 : Returned home to craziness

By February, things were looking up; it had taken a long time to get my research clearance, residency permit, research really going on my 10 month Fulbright grant in Tanzania.  My daughter had finally made some friends at school; we had settled in. I was studying societal and policy responses to mental health and Tanzania, and interviews were finally...  Read this >>

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

28 Mar 2020 : But is it IR?

A tweet by Maryam Deloffre draws my attention to a new blog post on the Duck of Minerva site entitled ‘Why Have IR Scholars Largely Ignored Pandemics?’. In it, the author (uncredited on the piece itself, but who later turns out to be Steve Saideman) says that “I can’t really name any scholars that come to mind that are pandemic exp...  Read this >>

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

27 Mar 2020 : Increasing Scale

Today is a pretty lazy day that spirals into work. Have lovely zoom social with friends in UK and Canada. All of us are in lock-down. Lots of jokes and smiles – this contact is really fabulous. Otherwise, I check up on website progress an am aiming for COVI-Diaries launch in coming days. Trump’s America really has gone ballistic. Over 80,000 ...  Read this >>

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

26 Mar 2020 : India in Lockdown

Spent the day hammering away at diary entries – it is very strange to see hand written entries on the new website. Diary system seems to be working except for registration difficulties (Simon Rushton and Grepin) Jake has done a fab job of getting the system up. In shocking new Jan Selby tweets about Sussex university taking costs saving measures and...  Read this >>

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

25 Mar 2020 : THE USA Today

Another online meeting last night with colleagues on Zoo. It is very good to have contact with work, everyone serious and conscientious. Huge workloads presently for those teaching. I clean the flat and write. Trump is extolling in his increasingly deranged style the amount of testing occurring in the US: ‘we are doing an incredible amount of testi...  Read this >>

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

24 Mar 2020 : It Unravels

The pictures of abandoned care home elderly patients in Spain are just so haunting. It seems with people dying that staffs simply left, probably to prevent their own infection. They are probably poorly paid like many in the health and caring professions, but still it is shocking to see ambulances taking way the dead. Those left alive must be so traumatise...  Read this >>

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

22 Mar 2020 : Cruise Ships and LMICs

Had the day off yesterday to catch up on work in Leeds and in website development. The Naarch Whatsapp group is hilarious and keeps me sane. Kylie and I are really not seeing each other by design. But it is pleasant enough here, like living in a cave in some ways. Finding it weird to do basic things like going outside to bins. The cruise ship situation in...  Read this >>

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

20 Mar 2020 : First Day of Isolation

Kylie brings in supplies and chance to catch up with the news. Basically, it is very bleak and I do not have the emotional strength to deal with this today. What is important is that social groups are forming online. Friends businesses are closing. Australia teeters to closures and there is talk of Wales, Scotland and NI all closing schools. The same is h...  Read this >>

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

20 Mar 2020 : Evening Update

The feeds and news this evening are dire. Back in the UK schools are still open, but universities, including Leeds, have now moved online. Cases in China and Wuhan/Hubei are dropping to nothing. Same in South Korea and Taiwan. Incredible job, whatever the ethics of it . South Korea seems to have tested itself out of a crisis (for now at least. In the US t...  Read this >>

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

19 Mar 2020 : Empire of...

According to @DrMarkDoyle on Twitter, your next monograph is ‘Empire of’ followed by the item you have currently stockpiled in the greatest quantity. Mine is ‘Empire of Nongshim’. I commit to writing it before this lockdown is over.  Read this >>

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

18 Mar 2020 : Dubai to Brisbane

I expect to be scanned and screened at Dubai. My fear is of being stuck here in some limbo – any temperature etc. But there is nothing; we all glide through security and into the lights, shops, the oasis of late capitalism that is DHX. Everything is working here, it is all open and glitzy with duty free shops full of punters. Finally, I board flight...  Read this >>

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

17 Mar 2020 : Last Day In Leeds

This last day in my new city starts very early with call to Kylie. She has booked me and Air BnB near to home in Brisbane to self-isolate for 14 days. Initially I am just shocked and a bit horrified – it is first thing and my levels of anxiety have been sky-high for days. It is only after half an hour that the complete sense of this measure kicks in...  Read this >>

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

17 Mar 2020 : EK020

This last day in my new city starts very early with call to Kylie. She has booked me and Air BnB near to home in Brisbane to self-isolate for 14 days. Initially I am just shocked and a bit horrified – it is first thing and my levels of anxiety have been sky-high for days. It is only after half an hour that the complete sense of this measure kicks in...  Read this >>

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

16 Mar 2020  

A very quiet weekend but I did go for a walk. People in pubs, bars and cafes. LSE went online today and hopefully that will be the start of it. I think Sheffield has gone online too. I must book the flight. I told Kylie that I would leave by Friday at the very latest (that is the 20th). That could be too late in truth but university still open. We are bei...  Read this >>

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

16 Mar 2020 : Why did our innovation system fail to prepare us for covid-19?

Medicine in the Age of Pandemics: why our innovation system is failing, and how we can fix it Covid-19 is our wake-up call. Deadly pandemics are expected to keep growing in the future and our innovation system for life-saving drug development is ill equipped to deal with it. Here is why and how to fix it. Medicines - the drugs used to treat di...  Read this >>

By: Kathryn Ibata-Arens, Vincent de Paul Professor - View profile and Diary

15 Mar 2020  

The University of Queensland has stopped all teaching for the week after three students tested positive for the virus. Matt Hancock just announced that everyone in Britain over 70 would be told to self-isolate ‘within the coming weeks’ How vague could he be, certainly he is criminal and out of his depth. Meanwhile, the number of cases rose to ...  Read this >>

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

14 Mar 2020 : Question Time

Trump releases memo that he is COVID-negative. Places like Panama locking down today, Meanwhile press – such as Daily Mail and Express – are panning John Ashton. “ranting Professor”. I see he is also getting abuse on Twitter. The thing is he was completely right – we are losing control (did we ever have it?). This disease is ...  Read this >>

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

12 Mar 2020 : Testing Times

Things hotting up at work. Lots of emails and letters to Deans and HoS. Worries for those immunocompromised having to attend lectures. University position is business as usual (BAU) like many of the universities in UK. Epi data in UK continues to look bad and I think we have 2-3 weeks before spike. Government a mess. On picket line today (Thursday) with L...  Read this >>

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

11 Mar 2020 : Trump again

Nadine Dorries MP had tested positive for the virus and 9 more cases in Wales bringing the total to 15 University suspends all international travel today for business purposes and recommends against personal travel unless you can get back. I think that could mean I will be stuck here or potentially lose my job. Feels like the start of a very stupid waiti...  Read this >>

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

09 Mar 2020  

Had a few days off this diary and actually missed it. Italy is now in complete country wide self isolation and quarantine. Travel bans in Europe are multiplying. I think Czech Republic may have closed borders today. Also big movements on stock markets and some evidence of emerging markets getting pounded. All friends getting nervous and colleagues startin...  Read this >>

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

05 Mar 2020 : Take it on the chin

First fatality in UK reported yesterday. A woman with pre-exiting conditions. Johnson really is piece of work. I think this will come back too haunt him, I certainly hope it does. It is clear that the strategy is some form of herd immunity, which is just crazy. Got this exchange today at work and want to paint it on the side of his house. Typically banal...  Read this >>

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

03 Mar 2020 : It is War for Some of us

Devi Shridar tweets about human rights and social cost of current measures in China. Gostin also keeps ploughing the human rights dimensions. Sure that and gender and the poor, homeless and so on. The homeless in Leeds are everywhere and I have started giving out shrapnel to those I see. But I fear that will all go out of the window soon, as things get se...  Read this >>

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

02 Mar 2020 : Spreading

It is everywhere now. WHO situation report is just a list of countries at various stages of outbreak. Italy had 566 new cases and France looks bad too with 342 new cases and over 2000 infected – probably tip of the iceberg. Canada seems to be going for sentinel testing and getting serious about it. Testing is crucial and seems to be really held up. ...  Read this >>

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

01 Mar 2020 : St David's Day

St David’s day – hurray. Feel flat as a pancake, partly because of university strike which I can’t afford at all. Went for a few beers in the pub which was nice, but I am certainly starting to sit on my own and feel stupid going. Certainly getting nervey about trip back to Oz. Flight booked for 28th and I cant see that happening – ...  Read this >>

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

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