Advocacy Letters: Anthropological Calls for Public and Global Health Change

Series Introduction CARRIE RYAN For the next few weeks, the UCL Medical Anthropology blog will run a special series called ‘Advocacy Letters: Anthropological Calls for Public and Global Health Change.’ This series will showcase nine Advocacy Letters written by UCL anthropology undergraduates and postgraduates. In these letters, students use anthropological insights to advocate for change on a variety of health-related topics, including, for example, dental care, loneliness, and vaccine hesitancy.    These Advocacy Letters…

Covid-19 and Vaccine Inequalities in South Africa: The Second Year

Lerato Coulter, Nunu Dlamini, Jonathan Govender, Sarah-Jayne Du Plessis, Ryan Harries, Khanyisile Maphalala, Dineo Mtetwa, Katso Sebina, Hannah Sunpath, Storm Theunissen and Lenore Manderson University of the Witwatersrand Twelve months after it all began here, sanitisers, physical distancing and masked guards had become just part of the everyday, and we had lost count of deaths…

“Not the Chinese, I’m a Pfizer girl!” The covert politics of pharmaceutical branding in Covid struck Hungary

ARIEL BINETH HUNGARY. The country has one of the highest death rates of COVID-19 globally.1 Hospitals are filled with ICU patients at some places outnumbering staff 5:1.2 Nurses and doctors struggle with physical burnout, infrastructural breakdown, and government crackdown. The shadow of Prime Minister Viktor Orban floats above the pandemic by obstructing statistical transparency and…

Between Jab Lines and Pandemic Orientalism in Urban Sri Lanka

VICHITRA GODAMUNNE & RAPTI SIRIWARDANE-DE ZOYSA  The global COVID-19 vaccination drive has been steeped in geopolitical rivalries, captured not in the least within mainstream Euro-American media narratives. Coverage of the vaccine efforts in the so-called “Global South” has been replete with orientalised visions of these countries where the same international media-predicted pandemic disorder that did…

Vaccinating vaccines: Ethnography and the info-politics of public health

DAN ARTUS What exactly can an ethnography of vaccination hope to achieve? And how could one be undertaken? Although any given individual is likely to have received multiple vaccines throughout their lifetime, the act of administering one is typically extremely quick via injection, oral drops or even a nasal spray. Moreover, it occurs in specific…

The (Anthropological) Vaccine Rush

BEN KASSTAN It would be an understatement to say I rushed to the Jerusalem Arena stadium to receive the COVID-19 vaccination last week. Rolling down my sleeve after the jab, I felt as if I’d been marked with privilege while very conscious of the entrenched global public health inequalities that prevent the same timely access…

Changing perspectives, Infrastructuring care

MICHELA COZZA On 21 March 2020, during the first COVID-19 pandemic peak in Italy, a group of doctors working at the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, published an article titled “At the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic and humanitarian crises in Italy: Changing perspectives on preparation and mitigation” (Nacoti et al., 2020). This title…

PHOTO ESSAY: SHELTER IN PLACE

AMANDA NESCI For many, home is seen as a place you come back to, retreat, relax, decompress. How does this relationship change when our homes become our whole world? Due to the shelter in place orders as result of the COVID-19 outbreak, our homes have become much more: offices, gyms, classrooms, studios, bars. Windowsills become…

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Consciously (Re)Quarantined

As nations across Europe find the inevitable domino of new national lockdowns knocking into them, we may all approach ‘this time’ differently from the last. During the interim a lot has happened to reconfigure our realities, both politically and pandemically: Black Lives Matter, the US elections, the French terrorist attacks…sparks are flying, and we all…

Bioethics as a Mediator in Times of Pandemic

CARLA ALICIA SUÁREZ FÉLIX During the last months, as the world has been marked by the pandemic, there has been much discussion about the role that bioethics could have as a guide for decision making at times when human life is in crisis. Among the flow of academic reflections on the current state of humanity…

Complex Bioethics and the COVID-19 Pandemic

Alterity and Otherness as a Necessary Framework for Thinking About New Social Relationships in a New Post-Pandemic World LUCAS FRANÇA GARCIA AND JOSÉ ROBERTO GOLDIM In Brazil, the first identified case of the new coronavirus was traced to February 26, 2020, in the city of São Paulo, capital, and on March 17, 2020, the first…

When Coronavirus Meets an Armed Conflict

Death and Dying in Colombia During the COVID-19 Pandemic MARÍA FERNANDA OLARTE-SIERRA Not all dead bodies are the same, just as not all deaths are equal. Some dead bodies are more uncomfortable than others. The COVID-19 pandemic has rattled socio-cultural, biomedical, forensic, and funerary customary dealings of death and dead bodies. We are confronted daily…

Problemas bioéticos ¿emergentes o persistentes? expuestos por la pandemia COVID-19

JOSÉ RAMÓN ACOSTA SARIEGO El escenario de una catástrofe anunciada. La pandemia COVID-19 ha mostrado en toda su crudeza las falencias, vulnerabilidades, injusticias y desigualdades que aquejan al entramado económico, social, cultural  y político contemporáneo. Una vez más ha quedado expuesto  que las determinantes de la salud individual y colectiva rebasan con mucho el ámbito…

Values Revealed: COVID-19 in Cuba

CARLOS JESÚS DELGADO DÍAZ The first case of COVID-19 was reported in Cuba on March 11, 2020. Since then, 2291 patients have been confirmed to have had the disease, with 1893[1] recovering and being discharged from hospital, and 84 deaths. 240 are currently hospitalized and another 516 suspected cases are in isolation due to epidemiological…

Introduction to Series: COVID-19 voices from Latin America and the Caribbean

ABRIL SALDANA By August 2020, Latin America and the Caribbean has become the epicentre of the pandemic with more than 5.4 million COVID-19 cases confirmed and 210,000 fatalities. Coronavirus cases keep rising sharply, especially in Brazil, with more than 3 million confirmed cases, followed by Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru. As under testing seems to…