Coronavirus Update

Coronavirus Update: 13 May 2020

CoronavirusTHE UK Government’s slogan ‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ has been replaced by the altogether more woolly, ‘Stay alert, control the virus, save lives’.

In this week’s Coronavirus Update podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins assess the Government’s strategy, as we enter a new phase of the pandemic.

Marcus and Greg also look into the problems devolution is causing in preventing a UK-wide, co-ordinated response to the crisis.

Later in the podcast, they discuss whether Germany’s part-relaxation of lockdown rules is likely to lead to a second spike in COVID-19 cases, and whether the planned resumption of Bundesliga football this weekend is wise.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 07 May 2020

CoronavirusMUCH HAS been made of the news that the UK death toll from COVID-19 is now higher than that of Italy. But is that a fair comparison because the figures were collated in very different ways?

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss how much emphasis should be put on the statistics. They also explore what the ‘easing’ of restrictions in Spain, Italy, Germany and Austria really means and how their lockdown measures compare to those in the UK.

Germany has announced plans to resume the Bundesliga football, a decision which Marcus and Greg utterly condemn.

They go on to explore what the ‘new reality’ will be for restaurants, pubs, cafes and the rail industry, all of which will be operating on much reduced capacity well after lockdown restrictions begin to be eased.

They assess the situation in the United States, where different states are handling the lockdown in widely contrasting ways.

Me April 2020
Marcus Stead

On Sunday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson will address the nation and announce his plans for handling the next phase of the pandemic. Marcus and Greg discuss what this is likely to entail.

In a broad context, they ponder what life in Britain will look like in six months’ time.

Finally, they look into whether the changes we’re seeing with more people working from home will become a more permanent fixture – will companies need as much office space in the future?

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 29 April 2020

CoronavirusPRIME Minister Boris Johnson is back in Downing Street and has returned to work, but he’s warning against complacency and is saying that the lockdown must remain in force for the time being.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation warns that having the virus once doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t get it again. And there is a rare but serious new syndrome in children that could be linked to COVID-19.

Marcus Stead is joined by veteran campaigner and blogger Greg Lance-Watkins  to try and make sense of this deeply concerning global situation.

The podcast is available via the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 22 April 2020

CoronavirusTHE LOCKDOWN in the United Kingdom is set to continue for the next three weeks. Schools will not be reopening any time soon, and there is a shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) in hospitals.

In this week’s podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins assess the situation in Britain and around the world, and also look into the effect the lockdown is having on people’s personal relationships and social lives.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 14 April 2020

Me April 2020 2
Marcus Stead

AS THE number of global COVID-19 cases passes the two million barrier, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins assess the situation and conclude it is highly unlikely that life will return to normal any time soon.

The figures from Spain, Italy and France suggest the threat to life posed by the virus remains very real, and that the scientific community knows very little about how COVID-19 actually works.

After you have had the virus, do you have immunity for one month, three months, six months, twelve months, a lifetime, or not at all? We simply do not know.

Later in the podcast, Marcus and Greg deliver a scathing verdict on the Welsh Government’s attempts to bully and silence journalists and NHS staff, as was revealed on David Morris Jones’s excellent Penarth News hyperlocal site, which has recently been revived following a sabbatical.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 06 April 2020

CoronavirusON THE EVENING of Sunday 05 April, Her Majesty the Queen gave a very rare address to the nation, and just over one hour later, it was announced that Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been admitted to hospital for tests after suffering from the coronavirus for more than a week.

Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins reflect on a dramatic evening. They also assess the latest statistics, which make very grim reading, and debunk some of the more absurd conspiracy theories about the virus.

Marcus and Greg both think the value of the antibody test has been massively overstated, and with specific reference to Singapore, they discuss just how difficult it will be to get out of the lockdown situation.

Singapore briefly came out of lockdown, and there was an almost immediate surge in cases, and on Saturday, new cases in the city state reached a record high.

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Marcus Stead

The podcast concludes on a lighter note as Marcus and Greg discuss how they’ve been keeping themselves occupied during the lockdown.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 28 March 2020

CoronavirusMARCUS Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins return with another Coronavirus Update. 

In this week’s podcast, they reflect on the death of Seb Lewis, a 38-year-old Charlton Athletic super-fan who died from Covid-19 on Wednesday.

Other topics of discussion include the Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s proposals for helping the self-employed, which Marcus says are too complex and don’t go nearly far enough.

The area around Newport/Blaenau Gwent has the highest number of cases in the UK outside London. Marcus and Greg discuss how devolution is hampering a UK-wide, co-ordinated approach to tackling the pandemic.

Towards the end of the podcast, they discuss the testing of NHS workers, to establish whether they’ve already had the virus. How useful is it? Nobody knows whether a person can get the virus more than once, or whether having it once buys you immunity for a set period of time.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 21 March 2020

CoronavirusLIFE IN Britain has changed dramatically in the last seven days. At the start of the week, the Government encouraged people to work from home where possible. By midweek, it was announced that schools were to close indefinitely from this Friday onwards.

And on Friday afternoon, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all cafes, pubs, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and leisure centres were to close at the end of the days training, or sooner, if practical to do so. The public were were strongly discouraged from socialising on Friday evening.

In this podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins take stock of the situation, and assess the extent of the crisis, in terms of public health, and in terms of the enormous damage it is doing to the economy.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website,  iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 11 March 2020

Coronavirus
Coronavirus

THE SITUATION here in Britain is becoming more and more serious by the day. At the time of recording, it’s just been announced that Health Minister Nadine Dorries has tested positive for coronavirus. 

In this podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins aim to strike a balance between making listeners aware of the sheer seriousness of the situation, while remaining calm and avoiding hysteria. They also aim to give sensible advice as to what we, as individuals can do to minimise the risks to ourselves, or families, and to wider society.

The podcast is available on the Talk Podcasts website, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, SoundCloud and the TuneIn app.

Coronavirus Update: 28 January 2020

Wuhan
Wuhan in Eastern China

In this special podcast, Marcus Stead and Greg Lance-Watkins discuss the rapidly-developing situation with the coronavirus outbreak:

  • What is the coronavirus?
  • Has the Chinese government reacted appropriately?
  • In western countries, what can citizens and governments do?
  • How serious could this potentially become?
  • And at some point, probably not this time, is a serious pandemic inevitable?