How and when do you mark the passing of a pandemic which is not yet done? Politicians stumble, their messages swaying between promises of better days ahead and threats of worse to come. Can poets help us?
‘But the more we study COVID-19 the more the differences with influenza become evident. However, public pronouncements still take their cue from that virus, like the need to avoid a second wave that will swamp the NHS…time to stop using ‘flu as a useful model…’
“The Brotherston Principle demands that Government fully respects its expert advisors, it also demands of those advisers that they draw on the best expertise, work together to achieve a best consensus, and speak out strongly if the Government chooses a course of action which flies in the face of reason or squanders precious resource of time or people on justifying failure,” writes a senior medical statistician.
‘Ensuring that police practices reduce, rather than exacerbate, harms to drug users is an important part of that. Policing is part of the picture; now more than ever, collective action can help reduce drug-related deaths.’
But with rises in obesity, we become obsessed with following the latest diet craze – where usually at least one of the main nutrient groups are significantly decreased or eliminated. As part of this, potatoes have become taboo.
‘(McGarvey’s) aware that many on the left will see this as a cop out but he’s ready with his reply. Of course, the left must continue to argue and campaign for structural change, he tells us, but no real change can happen unless poor people begin to feel powerful in their own lives.
‘Carol Craig has seen and shown how the child is father to the adult, identifying the childhood stresses that result in lifelong damage. But without substantial easing of the economic tensions that strain a household to breaking point, the requisite change isn’t coming any day soon’.
‘The success of Resilience in Scotland has not just taken the tour’s organisers by surprise. As no other country has engaged with the film in the way that Scotland has the filmmakers are also intrigued. It’s certainly worth trying to understand why the film has such resonance for us. Resilience is a great educational resource and is opening many Scots eyes to the source of our health problems and what has literally been ‘hiding in plain sight’.
‘But this is the sad truth about a would-be full European state: its references/comparisons on health issues (as at the opening First Minister’s Question Time of 2018) are always to/with England. In some cases, it borders on an obsession. At the very least, we should rather investigate how EU member states perform and what we can learn from them.’
‘Revisiting the collection now, it carries a comforting message in a winter of rampaging flu, overcrowded hospitals, and political uncertainty about how to heal the health service. Love, life, birth and death – the great levellers. We are all ‘common, one of the flock’. (Happy new year!).’