The Shutdown Around the World

Recently, I spoke to five people in five different cities across four continents, about their experience of lockdown in this time of crisis. Across the world, virtually every state has restricted or grounded flights; all European countries except for Belarus have closed their schools and most have closed shops, bars and restaurants. In Asia, nations like South Korea and Taiwan implemented tough measures early but never experienced full lockdown, while others like Japan and Singapore are currently strengthening their measures against the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading “The Shutdown Around the World”


Combatting COVID-19: An Interview with Virologist George Lomonosoff

Last Thursday, I interviewed virologist George Lomonosoff, an expert in the use of plants to express and produce therapeutic molecules for vaccines and diagnostic tests. We talked about the current crisis, the search for a vaccine, and his laboratory’s work to produce reliable coronavirus testing kits. In a few places, I’ve added notes to explain a couple of scientific terms and add context; you’ll see those [in blue]. Continue reading “Combatting COVID-19: An Interview with Virologist George Lomonosoff”

Year of the Pandemic

Of all the forms the next crisis could have taken- global war in the Middle East or the Baltic, far right takeover, unsustainable debt, climate catastrophe- I really hadn’t expected ‘a somewhat worse version of the flu’. Yet, here we are. My trip to Bratislava just got cancelled by the Slovakian government, which has closed its borders to all but essential foreign travellers. It’s doubly annoying because I booked it spontaneously after a few drinks, and I was revelling in my own freewheeling insouciance. Still, the government’s got bigger things to think about than my holidays. I can’t say I blame them for being afraid. Continue reading “Year of the Pandemic”