Browsing All Posts published on »May, 2020«

Covid-19 is not the real enemy

May 27, 2020

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Viruses kill, but so does poverty. And while we have to live with viruses because they are an inherent part of our environment, we do not have to live with poverty. And poverty each year kills more people — especially children — than any virus. It is also the working class, particularly the low paid, […]

Political opportunism & Covid-19

May 19, 2020

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The arrival of Covid-19 opened the door to rightwing political parties and has given some politicians the opportunity to exercise authoritarian tendencies. That is the view of leading Swedish epidemiologist Professor Johan Gieseck. In an interview last week he said the existence of the latest Corona virus had enabled politicians to “show decisiveness and strength”, […]

Education, Covid-19 & the New Zealand experience

May 12, 2020

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The lockdown has highlighted again the parlous state of South Africa’s schooling system, but it has also resulted in complaints by parents trying desperately to cope with educating their children at home in often extremely difficult conditions. New Zealand’s Correspondence School (now Te Kura — The School in the Maori language) may have some very […]

Covid-19: who is responsible?

May 3, 2020

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Where were the rich and powerful — and their funding — as epidemics continued to ravage poorer communities? Now funds to combat epidemics such as TB are suffering as resources are poured into Covid-19.

Conspiracy theories & Covid-19

May 1, 2020

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First published in Daily Maverick There is more than a whiff of hypocrisy, let alone irony, in the ongoing allegations by President Donald Trump and his secretary of state, Mike Pompeo that the origin of the Covid-19 Coronavirus could have been a laboratory in China. It is an allegation that plays into widespread conspiracy theories […]

Memories of nicotine deprivation

May 1, 2020

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In Tanzania in 1981, the country's only cigarette factory ran out of paper — and the country ran out of cigarettes. The result revealed clearly just how addictive is nicotine: packs of cigarettes had buyers at 230 times to normal price and "puffs" on a single cigarette were sold on street corners.

Hiding behind a Covid-19 scapegoat

May 1, 2020

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Governments around the world were informed years ago of the danger of a pandemic of the kind we are now experiencing. The warnings came from the World Health Organisation and from a high level scientific panel the WHO established, but governments thought protective measures too expensive.