Section: Covid

Dad’s Covid Army

Richard Hall
Dad's covid army

The battle against Covid increasingly resembles a rather bizarre episode of Dad’s Army mocking the idea of British genius and resolve.

The Midlands After Brexit

Cliff Mitchell

Trade figures recently released for the first quarter of 2021 (1Q2021) provide worrying clues as to the impact of both COVID-19 and Brexit on the Midlands economy. One thing that is clear is that long-term planning has never been harder – previous economic trends have been blown out of the water by the pandemic lockdowns, the uncertainty of the transition period, and the confusion of post-Brexit trading.

Central Bylines ‘rona round up

Anna Girolami

Today sees the launch of step three of the government’s roadmap to get us out of lockdown. Today, I can go to a sauna (yeah..no), have a meal inside a pub (blessèd relief, it was snowing here last week) or stay overnight with my in-laws (I’m more likely to go for that sauna, to be honest). It all sounds wonderful. Our region has been in one sort of lockdown or another almost continually since November last year, bar a brief and lethal giddy spell over Christmas. It’s been hard but it’s worked – by the end of April, new cases, hospital numbers and deaths were all down, down, down.

If not now, then when? – Enough of the excuses

Joel Bates

In the early stages of the pandemic, excuses centred around its unexpected nature. The government was ‘doing its best’. Fast forward to the peak of lockdown one, suddenly making excuses was much harder than it had been. An enormous death toll, failure after failure, it was proving more difficult to defend the government’s actions, or rather, inactions.

It’s a gas, gas, gas

Anna Girolami

Anaesthetists, on the whole, have a chip on their shoulder. We are the single largest hospital specialty in the NHS and, in our own view, we pretty much run the place. Try having surgery without an anaesthetist, or a baby or a critical illness or a chronic pain issue or an intravenous dialysis line or.. I could go on, but you get the point. In essence, we (yes we, I worked as an NHS anaesthetist for ten years) provide the physiological bedrock upon which all other specialties have to stand to perform their work.

Just not cricket

Anna Girolami

Today is 4th May, we are deep into spring. This year’s county cricket season is three weeks’ old and Derbyshire is already languishing at the bottom of their group. Despite Covid-19, despite the Big Bash League, despite the razzamatazz of the Indian Premier League*, cricket remains the quintessential game of the English summer. The gentle […]

Vaccine Fog

Lindsay Neil

The vaccine environment is a complex mixture of commercial and political interests, investment in novel science and technologies, substantial commercial profit, collapsing national economies and geopolitical reputations in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Thus creating ‘Vaccine Fog’.

Whisper who dares

Anna Girolami

We will have no recourse when the police silence us. No-one will have to resign or explain.


11 days ago, Sarah Everard disappeared in Clapham at about 9.30 pm. She was walking home from a friend’s house.

Covid-19 and health inequalities in Leicestershire

Rosie Lindsay

‘We are in the same storm, but not the same boat.’ The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated inequalities in health. People living in the most deprived areas of the UK are more than twice as likely to die from contracting Covid-19, than people living in the least deprived areas. However, what we see now with […]

Covid-19: the long road to an arts recovery

Simon Ferrigno

“our website is filling up with digital and online activities”. Some of this is work designed to be digital and interactive, and some might be made for Zoom. There is experimentation and some work that is more traditional, audio only work and also film.

Covid-19: nothing new under the sun

Philip Thornborow

The current government’s response to Covid-19 implies that pandemics are new and unexpected but that we will survive through ‘world beating’ innovation. The government of Elizabeth I prepared for any future outbreaks of Plague in 1578 by issuing ‘Orders thought meet by Her Majesty and Her Privy Council to be executed … in such … places as are … infected with the Plague’.

Failing farming

George Smid, Lisa Brewin, Andrew Brown

Covid-19 and Brexit have one thing in common. They can fully consume our minds and displace everything else. Worse, we are defining ourselves and our fellow citizens by how we view Covid-19 and Brexit. Consensus on the contrasting views seems impossible. But one thing the opposing groups will agree on is the importance of food […]

Dogma and pragmatism in the age of Covid-19

James Lindsay

The Covid-19 pandemic has hit the country hard with the UK plunging into its deepest recession since records began. Each day, the media reports yet another, otherwise successful, business going bankrupt or announces large scale redundancies. Hopefully a vaccination will be available soon, but even so the economic impacts of Covid are being felt here […]