Category: Coronavirus

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LONGER READ

Schooling in Brighton – a Tale of Three Cities

James Joughin
Frontage of Brighton College

Below the shiny liberal surface of the UK’s second most progressive city there is a sharkpit which you fall into at your peril. James Joughin investigates the stark differences in educational achievement across Brighton and Hove.

YOUNG WRITER

Clapping for captains

Harriet Willmoth

Captain Sir Tom Moore, 99, raised over £32 million for the NHS by walking around his garden. But he should not have had to do this. When he died, at the age of 100, Boris Johnson asked us to clap for him. Sir Tom’s marvellous effort was hijacked by the government to distract attention from the deaths of more than 120,000 people.

SUSSEX PEOPLE AND PLACES

Lewes shares the love on Valentine’s Day

Ginny Foster

Despite Covid restrictions, and the coldest February temperatures for years, Valentine’s Day saw Lewes cultural, sporting, political and faith groups involved in a trolley dash to buy well over 7,000 food items for local food banks.

UPDATED

UK border control: another world-beating record?

Vivienne Griffiths & Sara Johnson

Since 18 January, all travellers to the UK from overseas must show proof of a negative Covid-19 test and quarantine for up to 10 days on arrival. Travel corridors have also been closed and the government is set to announce mandatory quarantine hotels. But why has it taken so long to introduce such measures?

LONGER READ

Walking in the Downs – a lockdown odyssey

James Joughin
James Joughin and his dog Ringo on the South Downs, summer 2020

“After slouching around Preston Park a few times I was getting bored and it was then, with the startling visibility of those early lockdown weeks, that I noticed the distant peaks glistening on the horizon, and hatched a vague plan to head up there and ‘explore the South Downs Way’ as my tattered Brighton guidebook maintained I should.”

NEW WRITER

The government needs to think and spend big on children’s mental health

Cllr Elaine Hills

Mental health stigma persists and continues throughout people’s lives. If children are to cope with the scarring of the past year and the extra mental demands of living in a post-Covid society, we must talk about mental health more so they find it as easy as talking about their physical health, and embed that approach into society.

Shifting values and value in a time of Covid

Tom Serpell

The question of the degree to which market forces should determine remuneration — especially for those in public service – is a thorny one. Do we let the market decide? How can such work be valued? Tom Serpell explores these and other questions thrown into sharp relief by the Covid pandemic.

The second round of Corona is here, and I’m ready for it

Himmi Kari

The dreaded second wave of coronavirus needn’t be like the first. One of the most astounding features of human character is the ability to learn, quickly, if needed. Ten months since the UK’s first confirmed coronavirus case is plenty of time to have learnt what does and doesnt work in managing a pandemic.

How Covid has challenged political certainties

Tom Serpell

Political certainties have been jettisoned by a combination of Covid and Brexit. Tories traditionally hold the purse strings tight while Labour demonstrates a greater tendency to spend on public services but today, we’re seeing unprecedented levels of public spending increasing. Tom Serpell explores the implications for political loyalties.

Lewes community action against food poverty

Ginny Foster

On Saturday 12 December, shoppers in Lewes responded to the problem of food poverty by donating an astonishing 7,002 items of food and household products, up from the 5,661 items collected at Halloween. Organised by Mark Perryman, the 12-hour effort included entertainment from many of the town’s gifted performers.

Creative adventures in lockdown

Tamsin Shasha

Theatre maker Tamsin Shasha is passionate about the power of story-telling through live performance. Here she talks about two theatrical adventures during lockdown, in Brighton and in Berlin.

Health workers, not ventilators, are our most precious resource

Himmi Kari

As the UK braces itself for round two of the coronavirus pandemic, the conversation has reverted back to subjects from earlier in the year. Perhaps to reassure the public that the second wave may not be as bad, the media touts the gains in hospital beds (or hospitals for that matter), and the amount of […]

Halls of pestilence – but students not to blame

Harriet Willmoth

University cities are becoming hotbeds of Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, over two million students from all over the UK were encouraged to move into accommodation after six months of being told not to mingle. We are putting ourselves and those around us at risk, only to receive the vast majority of our teaching […]

Let the children speak

Perpetua Kirby and Rebecca Webb

As many children in the UK come to the end of their first few weeks of schooling after the first Covid-19 lockdown, we are reminded of a very different time a year ago. Children and young people in Sussex, and across the world, were marching out of school and making their voices heard for action […]

More Covid ageism … and the over-70s are fuming

Vivienne Griffiths

During lockdown, I narrowly missed being run down by a speeding van on an otherwise empty road, its driver giving me two fingers as I tried to slow him down. My angry reaction was: us older people are dispensable now. The feeling has been growing – fed by the enveloping Covid crisis. And I’m not […]

Not Living The Dream: has the British dream of entrepreneurship failed?

Mo Kanjilal

Small firms are indispensable to the creation of jobs and of wealth Margaret Thatcher, speech to small business conference in 1984 Thatcher’s Britain claimed to be about creating a nation of entrepreneurs starting small businesses and thereby generating wealth and jobs. In her 1984 speech to the Small Business Conference she said, “you will see […]

Holes in the self-employed support scheme are swallowing millions of people alive

Mo Kanjilal & Allegra Chapman

When the government announced the furlough scheme for workers hit by the coronavirus lockdown, they initially forgot about the estimated five million self-employed people in the UK. After campaigning from several MPs and lobbying groups, they did announce a scheme for the self-employed, the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS), on 26 March. This caused temporary […]

Coronavirus testing fails to deliver

Allegra Chapman

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you should get tested immediately and self-isolate until you’re given the all-clear. Although it’s not quite that simple. Getting your results is quite a testing process in itself. According to the WHO, 80% of Covid-19 cases are mild or entirely asymptomatic. I’ve had no cough, no fever, and my […]

Our Covid safe haven in France can’t last

Jill Stevens

When President Macron introduced lockdown in March, with barely 48 hours’ notice, the spring sun was hot, the boulevards of Paris overflowing. Many may have expected discord, the return of rioting gilets jaunes. But it was just a weekend of disobedience. And in the days and weeks that followed the message got across.  In France, […]

VAT trail that led to Rishi’s half-price dishies

Rod Watson

Let me share a state secret with you. Somewhere in Mayfair is a six-star hotel where once a month a group of middle-aged men along with a couple of token women gather in its basement. They wear silk and ermine robes, eat exquisite food and sip the finest wine. This Body of Souls (BOS) consults […]