An Epidemic of Loneliness

PEPE WEISCHER Dear Mr Spahn, The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has strained the capacity of the German health system in unprecedented ways, but it seems to me that one crucial aspect of lockdown measures has been profoundly undermined: the loss of social cohesion and mental health support for children and adolescents. By no means do I…

A Letter for Malcolm Reed

TANYA SHARMA Dear Professor Malcolm Reed, (Lead Co-Chair of the Medical Schools Council), I am a medical student in the UK writing to you to discuss the teaching we have had on Social Determinants of Health as part of our medical education and how it may be beneficial for this to be further developed and…

A Letter to Tedros A. Ghebreyesus

AY NASSIMOLDINA Dear Dr Tedros A. Ghebreyesus,   The world is in a vulnerable state right now, and we have trusted you with the World Health Organization to lead us through a global health crisis. However, it is so vital not to relax or neglect health issues that might be veiled with seemingly optimal solutions. I appreciate and…

A Letter to Andrew Selous

SHOLA AJAO Dear Mr Andrew Selous,   It is unfortunate that I find myself writing to you again during these unprecedented times. As you may recall, I wrote July of last year concerning the case of Belly Mujinga, a black woman, a victim of a racially motivated attack, who later died after being spat on whilst working…

Fighting Inequality by Improving NHS Dental and Oral Care

MAXINE PEPPER 22nd March 2021  Dear Sir Stevens,  RE: Fighting inequality by improving NHS dental and oral care  The COVID-19 pandemic brought the discourse on health back to the heart of society. I personally cannot remember ever talking about health and illness prevention more than during the previous 12 months. Given your long list of recent media appearances, I believe you must feel the same. However, my anthropology…

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…

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…

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…

God’s Daily Briefings: Religious Leadership in a Global Pandemic

TILAK PAREKH The Voice of God Religious leaders possess immense power and influence. Believers may listen to government ministers or public health officials, but, above all, they place their faith in the religious elite. For many religious people, their quotidian lives are determined almost entirely by their faith. From mundane, banal activities such as what…

Memes, Migrants, And The Epidemiological Imagination

JOSH BABCOCK As COVID-19 escalated to officially pandemic proportions early this year, Coronavirus-prevention advice began circulating via Facebook and WhatsApp in Singapore. Mostly in English and Mandarin, the advice ranged from speculative antiviral uses of onions—“Slice an onion and leave it in the middle of the room overnight so it absorbs all the viruses”—to more…

Pandemic Predictions- The World Post-Covid-19 for Indian Females

DEVASHREE JUVEKAR As the entire world is grappling with the novel coronavirus pandemic, many experts and researchers have predicted a number of social and economic changes that the world would undergo post-pandemic, ranging from an increase in nationalism and decrease in globalization to changes in food choices and a global hunger crisis. I am going…

The ‘Invisible Enemy’: A Critical Look at the Use of Military Metaphors and Anthropomorphisation During The COVID-19 Pandemic

JAMES FOTHERBY In mid-March, before becoming infected with Coronavirus, Boris Johnson declared that his government must act like “any wartime government” while facing a deadly “enemy”. During Johnson’s admission to the Intensive Care Unit in early-April, Michael Gove stated that the Cabinet Office would continue to “marshal all the resources of government in the fight…

Trench Warfare of Mindsets in Switzerland’s Approach to The COVID-19 Pandemic

HÜSLER SAMIRA-SALOMÉ & PYTHON ANNICK MARIA ILDIKO On 26 March 2020, the Federal Council declared an extraordinary situation in accordance with the Epidemic Act and issued a set of measures, including the closure of all the shops, restaurants, bars and other leisure facilities. Businesses at which the recommended distance cannot be maintained (e.g. hairdressing salons)…