“There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”

“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please”

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.”
Mark Twain

The Limerick is a very particularly English form of comic rhyming poetry. It is often nonsensical, and sometimes even a lewd form popular in children’s literature. Composed of five lines or five-line stanzas, the limerick adheres to a strict rhyme scheme and bouncy rhythm, making it easy to memorize.

Typically, the first two lines rhyme with each other, the third and fourth rhyme together, and the fifth line either repeats the first line or rhymes with it.

Although the origin of the limerick is not entirely known, it has an active, if not long, history. It appeared as a form in the Mother Goose nursery rhymes, first published in 1791 (as Mother Goose’s Melodies). Poets quickly adopted the form and published limericks widely. Among them, Edward Lear’s self-illustrated Book of Nonsense, from 1846, remains a benchmark. He preferred the term “nonsense” to “limerick,” and wrote many funny examples, including the following:

There was an Old Man with a beard,
Who said, “It is just as I feared!
Two Owls and a Hen,
Four Larks and a Wren,
Have all built their nests in my beard!”

This is a form of poetry that we can all participate in, write our own and have fun!

Please read and have fun!

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!

(by Dixon Lanier Merritt )

“There was a small boy of Quebec
Who was buried in snow to his neck
When they said, ‘Are you friz?’
He replied, ‘Yes, I is —
But we don’t call this cold in Quebec.’”

(By Rudyard Kipling)

A flea and a fly in a flue,
Were imprisoned, so what could they do?
Said the fly, “Let us flee!”
“Let us fly,” said the flea,
And they flew through a flaw in the flue.

A painter, who lived in Great Britain,
Interrupted two girls with their knittin’
He said, with a sigh,
“That park bench–well I
Just painted it, right where you’re sittin.'”

A silly young man from Clyde
In a funeral procession was spied;
When asked, “Who is dead?”
He giggled and said,
“I don’t know; I just came for the ride.”

There was a young woman named Kite,
Whose speed was much faster than light,
She set out one day,
In a relative way,
And returned on the previous night.

There was a dear lady of Eden,
Who on apples was quite fond of feedin’;
She gave one to Adam,
Who said, “Thank you, Madam,”
And then both skedaddled from Eden.

A canny young fisher named Fisher
Once fished from the edge of a fissure.
A fish with a grin
Pulled the fisherman in —
Now they’re fishing the fissure for Fisher.

There was an old fellow named Green,
Who grew so abnormally lean,
And flat, and compressed,
That his back touched his chest,
And sideways he couldn’t be seen.

There was a young lady named Hannah,
Who slipped on a peel of banana.
As she lay on her side,
More stars she espied
Than there are in the Star-Spangled Banner.

A nifty young flapper named Jane
While walking was caught in the rain.
She ran–almost flew,
Her complexion did too,
And she reached home exceedingly plain.

There was a young lady of Kent,
Whose nose was most awfully bent.
She followed her nose
One day, I suppose —
And no one knows which way she went.

There was a young lady of Lynn,
Who was so excessively thin,
That when she assayed
To drink lemonade
She slipped through the straw and fell in.

Listen To Mum

I remember when I was small and cool,
I was always playing truant from school.
My mum used to say,
“You’ll regret it one day
When you grow up to become a fool.”

Now I’m old; the damage is done.
How I wish I’d listened to Mum.
If I could turn back time,
I’d study hard and toe the line
Instead of acting foolish and dumb.

Now let that be a lesson to one and all
That life is more than just having a ball.
It was great having fun
When I was young,
But I wish I’d spent more time in the school hall.

(John P. Read)

I hope that you have enjoyed these few examples of the Limerick genre. These are all presentable and clean, but as you can imagine, many can be quite lewd and naughty.

If you have any personal favourite Limericks or ones that you have written, please share them with us!


From Professor Amanda Barnard

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Dear Colleagues,

Due to the Covid 19 crisis, employees from all over the world are forced to work from home. But imagine how life would have been if this crisis had affected us 20 years ago, when the Internet was not widespread. An increasing number of western healthcare providers have discovered the benefits of e-Health over the past months. Unfortunately, many low-income areas do not benefit from these opportunities due to the lack of Internet or technology. However, this is rapidly changing and an increasing number of interventions utilizing technology to improve public health have been implemented. According to the World Health Organization, e-Health has the opportunity to improve world health coverage for everyone, but interventions need to be adapted to local situations. E-Health can be especially effective in rural areas where health care providers are not available. The COVID-19 crisis is an excellent opportunity to put e-Health higher on the priority list. It is therefore time to learn more about e-Health possibilities in low-income areas and scientists are invited to publish inspiring studies in this journal. The deadline for manuscript submission is December 2020.

Please let us know that you are interested and send an abstract of your study before the 1th of July 2020 to e.i.metting@rug.nl.

With kind regards,

Today’s Posts



  1. USA: American Medical Association: AMA statement on president “terminating” U.S. relationship with WHO

“In the grip of a global pandemic that has already killed more than 100,000 Americans, severing ties with the World Health Organization (WHO) serves no logical purpose and makes finding a way out of this public health crisis dramatically more challenging. This senseless action will have significant, harmful repercussions now and far beyond this perilous moment, particularly as the WHO is leading worldwide vaccine development and drug trials to combat the pandemic. COVID-19 affects us all and does not respect borders; defeating it requires the entire world working together. In the strongest terms possible, the American Medical Association urges the president to reverse course and not abandon our country’s leadership position in the global fight against COVID-19.”



UK: Faculty of Medical Leadership and management: Covid-19: a turning point for medical leadership

At times of crisis, expert opinion is crucial to formulate policy and direction. The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the life-saving importance of medical leadership at national as well as operational levels. Innovation and rapid re-organisation have enabled healthcare systems to cope with the unprecedented demands placed on services in both primary and secondary care settings. While there have been genuine issues picked up in the media, this should not detract from the enormous value gained from medical engagement and the real and present opportunity to capture and change the way we lead healthcare over the coming months.




  1. USA: New York Times: The World Is Still Far From Herd Immunity for Coronavirus

The coronavirus still has a long way to go. That’s the message from a crop of new studies across the world that are trying to quantify how many people have been infected.

Official case counts often substantially underestimate the number of coronavirus infections. But in new studies that test the population more broadly, the percentage of people who have been infected so far is still in the single digits. The numbers are a fraction of the threshold known as herd immunity, at which the virus can no longer spread widely. The precise herd immunity threshold for the novel coronavirus is not yet clear; but several experts said they believed it would be higher than 60 percent.

Even in some of the hardest-hit cities in the world, the studies suggest, the vast majority of people still remain vulnerable to the virus.




  1. USA: Washington Post: Researchers ponder why covid-19 appears deadlier in the U.S. and Europe than in Asia

It is one of the many mysteries of the coronavirus pandemic: Why has the death toll from covid-19 apparently been lower in Asia than in Western Europe and North America?

Even allowing for different testing policies and counting methods, and questions over full disclosure of cases, stark differences in mortality across the world have caught the attention of researchers trying to crack the coronavirus code.

Parts of Asia reacted quickly to the threat and largely started social distancing earlier on. But researchers are also examining other factors, including differences in genetics and immune system responses, separate virus strains and regional contrasts in obesity levels and general health.




  1. World Bank: World Bank Group and IMF mobilize partners in the fight against COVID-19 in Africa 

The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund today convened African leaders, bilateral partners, and multilateral institutions to spur faster action on COVID-19 response in African countries. H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Director General of the WHO Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Africa Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat, and officials of individual countries outlined their policy plans for effective use of resources, multilateral organizations including the United Nations pledged their continued support, and bilateral partners reemphasized their commitment to a debt standstill beginning May 1, 2020. This comes in response to calls from the World Bank Group President Malpass, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Georgieva, and other partners for creditors to suspend debt repayments in order to provide much-needed support to the poorest countries.



  1. UK: Health Service Journal Podcast: What’s being missed while coronavirus dominates?

With the focus fixed firmly on coronavirus, important and urgent issues in healthcare are going under the radar. In this week’s HSJ Health Check, we look at those things which are going unnoticed, or under-noticed.

You can listen below, or subscribe on SpotifyApple Podcasts, and all the other popular podcast platforms.

Four of HSJ’s expert journalists — Annabelle Collins, Rebecca Thomas, Matt Discombe and Dave West — discuss issues including:

NHS finances, including mental health trusts, unusually, missing their surplus target;

The quality of care for covid-19 and other patients, with most independent inspections on hold;

Persisting problems with medical consultants refusing to do extra work, due to pensions changes, as the elective waiting list grows


S ED Podcast

  1. Brazil: Discover Society: EDGES OF THE PANDEMIC – SURVIVAL ACTIVISM AT THE PERIPHERIES IN BRAZIL:  bySu-ming Khoo and Mayara Floss

A shadow hangs over the struggle to understand the COVID-19 pandemic’s different problems – a shadow of necropolitics that puts some people and risks in the obscure background, while others are highlighted, in the foreground. Social activists and primary care professionals are working hard to help people stay safe and providing basic necessities like food, water or soap.

Meanwhile, far-right protesters, some from the better-off classes who protest from the safety of their cars, but also daily workers, Uber drivers and street traders are out against the lockdown, in protests described as nearing a military coup.  They want workers to get back to work, contrary to public health recommendations. The elites want the economy to be re-opened, so they can go back to profiting, while the precariously-employed are torn between the need to stay safe and the need to return to work in the absence of alternative means of survival.

The question of survival marks the ‘edges’ of the pandemic. ‘Edges’ or borders (Bhattarcharya 2018) are where rights and freedoms are differentiated for different groups of people. Bordering is not only about the control of migration, or about the differences between the ‘global north’ and  the ‘global south’. Bordering takes place within states, within public institutions and even within the public sphere.

Brazil is rapidly becoming a front-runner in the horrible reversal of the ideal of justice playing out across the world – the last are coming first in experiencing the brunt of mass ill-being, fear, insecurity, and death. Necropolitical assumptions run through current ‘scientific’ models and conceptions of society, especially those that model society as synonymous with ‘economy’. The aggregated statistics of pandemic monitoring offer an impersonal universalizing language of a single ‘population’ or ‘economy’. Science, law and ethics are complicit when they universalize in ways that disguise troubling questions about who or what is being kept alive, while others are let die.



  1. Canada: McMaster: Researchers to identify who gets sick with COVID-19

Two McMaster University professors have received research funding to boost their work to identify COVID-19 infection rates and to understand why some people are more susceptible to the virus. Dawn Bowdish, professor of pathology and molecular medicine and the Canada Research Chair in Aging and Immunity, and Michael Surette, professor of medicine and the Canada Research Chair in Interdisciplinary Microbiome Research, are receiving $300,000 for two studies from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation through its Weston Family Microbiome Initiative. The funds are in addition to a three-year, $1 million grant from the Foundation awarded to the duo earlier this year. The original funding supports a study focused on identifying and isolating the members of the airway microbiome – which consists of microbes like bacteria, fungi, and viruses – that protect older adults from respiratory infection.

“This additional funding will help us answer two important questions related to COVID-19,” said Bowdish. “One is a better understanding of what the actual infection rate is in the Hamilton community. The second is whether there are differences in the immune responses or the airway microbiomes of those who get sick and those who don’t, or in those who have symptoms versus those who don’t.”



  1. UK: Royal College on Nursing: Nursing in a pandemic

Matron on a COVID-19 unit: Elaine’s story

I’ve been a matron at University College Hospital (UCH) in London since 2011 but had actually been on secondment for six months at The Lister Hospital before COVID. I returned to work at UCH on Monday 2 March, the day we received the letter to intensive care hospitals from Italy saying ‘start preparing now’ – we haven’t stopped since.
We expanded massively within a very short space of time, going first from 35 to 86 critical care beds then creating a further 22 up on one of the wards.
I’m responsible for the ‘3rd floor’ as we call it, which is the critical care area and the theatre area. On our busiest days so far, we’ve seen up to eight new COVID patients, with around 62 critically ill patients.



  1. Malawi: Family Medicine Newsletter: Video: Family Medicine Coronavirus response at Mangochi District Hospital.

In this video we showcase the COVID-19 response work being spearheaded by the Department of Family Medicine at Mangochi District Hospital. Video was Produced by Dr Bente and Lennard Bloom.


S ED Video

  1. South Africa: University of the Western Cape: PLAAS: Food in the time of the coronavirus: Why we should be very, very afraid

The social legitimacy of the ‘COVID-19 lockdown’, government’s regulations imposed to contain the spread of the virus, is most likely to run aground unless an urgent plan can be made to ensure that everyone in the country has access to sufficient food. And it’s not looking good.

Based on interviews, statements by various organisations and our own experience, here is our summary of the already-evident impacts of the lockdown on poor people’s access to food, and on the informal food economy – from small farmers to street vendors and spaza shops – that is so important in meeting people’s daily food needs.

What’s happened already and what’s coming soon

What are the immediate impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak, and the lockdown imposed from 27 March 2020? How is the lockdown being interpreted and enforced, and which parts of the food system are being closed down while others are able to continue operations? Here we discuss the immediate scenario of shortages and surpluses – where poor people as producers and traders are unable to continue to produce and sell, while at the same time poor people are unable to access sufficient nutritious food.




  1. New Zealand: GPPulse: Asymptomatic spread of COVID-19: General virology

Viruses are strictly intracellular and use the host cells for replication. Their structure is very basic and consists of a segment of nucleic acid surrounded by a protein shell. Even though they are structurally simple, they have efficiently utilised their nucleic acid in creative ways to increase their functionality and optimise their survival. Genetic mutations are a virus’s natural way to adapt quickly to pressure. Fundamentally, a “good” virus is one that survives.

Once a virus has entered a host cell, viral replication is underway. The process becomes a race between host survival and virus survival. If the host wins, the virus is cleared through innate and adaptive immune responses. If the virus wins, large-scale virus replication results in host tissue destruction and disease, and possibly death of the host. Clinically, the immune responses mediated by cytokines result in symptoms such as fever, headache and myalgia. However, some viruses can cause tissue damage in the absence of an inflammatory response. That leads to asymptomatic infection and shedding of the virus which complicates case detection and disease control but is a survival advantage for the virus (1).



  1. Nature: What the growing rift between the US and WHO means for COVID-19 and global health

If President Trump sidelines the World Health Organization, experts foresee incoherence, inefficiency and resurgence of deadly diseases.

Experts in health policy are contending with the real possibility that the United States will pull away from the World Health Organization (WHO), fracturing a relationship that began in the wake of the Second World War.

They say that the repercussions could range from a resurgence of polio and malaria, to barriers in the flow of information on COVID-19. Scientific partnerships around the world would also be damaged, and the United States could lose influence over global health initiatives, including those to distribute drugs and vaccines for the new coronavirus as they become available, say researchers.



  1. International: Edinburgh University: Global Policy Unit: Covid-19 and the collapse of the private health sector: a threat to countries’ response efforts and the future of health systems strengthening?

As COVID-19 leads to a “cash crunch” for the private health sector in developing countries, Mark Hellowell (University of Edinburgh), Andrew Myburgh, Mirja Sjoblom and Srinivas Gurazada (World Bank Group) and Dave Clarke (World Health Organization), consider the opportunities and risks of providing state support to health care businesses. The World Health Organization is calling on countries to adopt a whole-of-government and whole-of-society approach in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. Among other things, this requires policymakers to include the private health sector in efforts to contain, control and mitigate the health impacts of the outbreak. However, data gathered from a series of interviews with key informants in 12 low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) (Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Uganda, South Africa, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Korea and Iran) has highlighted a surprising finding. Just as pressure is increasing on countries to ramp up health system capacity, measures designed to “flatten the curve” are reducing the demand for care and creating a “cash crunch” for the private health sector – one that is forcing providers to scale back their businesses and even lay off health workers.



  1. New Zealand: GPPulse: Child Health and COVID-19 in New Zealand: Epidemiology of COVID-19 in children

Is it really safe for children to return to school and early childhood education? And what about the recent reports of Kawasaki Disease in children with COVID in the UK?

The science of COVID-19 is moving fast, including the epidemiology. When the Centres for Disease Control released its first report on COVID in children on 2 April,1 there had been more than 239,000 cases of COVID and 5,400 deaths in the USA. In the analysis of 149,760 laboratory-confirmed COVID cases in the United States in February and April, 2,572 (1.7 percent) were children aged under 18 years. Due to the high workload of clinicians, clinical data was only available for a small proportion of affected children, so we should be careful about extrapolating.



  1. USA: AAAS: Reducing transmission of SARS-CoV-2

Respiratory infections occur through the transmission of virus-containing droplets (>5 to 10 μm) and aerosols (≤5 μm) exhaled from infected individuals during breathing, speaking, coughing, and sneezing. Traditional respiratory disease control measures are designed to reduce transmission by droplets produced in the sneezes and coughs of infected individuals. However, a large proportion of the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) appears to be occurring through airborne transmission of aerosols produced by asymptomatic individuals during breathing and speaking. Aerosols can accumulate, remain infectious in indoor air for hours, and be easily inhaled deep into the lungs. For society to resume, measures designed to reduce aerosol transmission must be implemented, including universal masking and regular, widespread testing to identify and isolate infected asymptomatic individuals.



  1. New Zealand: GPPulse: COVID-19 and diabetes

The Ministry of Health and multiple media sources state that people with diabetes are at greater risk of COVID-19 than the general population. This has generated concern and uncertainty amongst patients with diabetes, their families, employers and indeed health professionals. I will summarise below what is currently reported in the literature as of 28 March 2020, recognising that this is a rapidly evolving situation and more will become apparent over the coming months. I have not covered the general information about coronavirus public health messages that apply to everyone with or without diabetes.




The Great Plague hit London in the spring of 1665 and scythed away full a quarter of its population. In the built-up area between the City, Westminster and Southwark, 100,000 died. It was the last gasp of a fatally persistent pandemic that had first struck the timbered medieval metropolis in 1348. What follows are some extracts from my book London: A Travel Guide through Time, in which I bring — hopefully in an uncomfortably vivid way — to life what it was like to live in, or at least visit, the capital at the height of the Plague, when buboes were sprouting on people’s necks, armpits and groins like there was no tomorrow.


S ED History

  1. World bank: How the World Bank Group is helping countries with COVID-19 (coronavirus)

As countries around the world work to contain the spread and impact of COVID-19, the World Bank Group is moving quickly to provide fast, flexible responses to help developing countries strengthen their pandemic response and health care systems.

Over the next 15 months, the World Bank Group will be providing up to $160 billion in financing tailored to the health, economic and social shocks countries are facing, including over $50 billion of IDA resources on grant and highly concessional terms.

In addition to ongoing health support, operations will emphasize social protection to get cash into people’s hands, poverty alleviation, and policy-based financing.

We are also helping countries access critically needed medical supplies by reaching out to suppliers on behalf of governments.




  1. UK: HSJ: No rest in sight for NHS staff means taking action to support their mental health

Letting staff know that ‘it’s OK not to be OK’ and that the NHS ‘has their back’ is the best way of ensuring that they will be able to care for our nation during this crisis and beyond, writes Professor Neil Greenberg

The whole health and care workforce is due a well-earned rest at the same time the mammoth tasks of reopening services that are adapted to necessary infection prevention and control measures and responding to physical and mental needs that have been suppressed during lockdown need to be tackled.



  1. Sweden: Yahoo News: Sweden becomes country with highest coronavirus death rate per capita

Sweden has now overtaken the UK, Italy and Belgium to have the highest coronavirus per capita death rate in the world, throwing its decision to avoid a strict lockdown into further doubt. According to figures collated by the Our World in Data website, Sweden had 6.08 deaths per million inhabitants per day on a rolling seven-day average between May 13 and May 20. This is the highest in the world, above the UK, Belgium and the US, which have 5.57, 4.28 and 4.11 respectively.

However, Sweden has only had the highest death rate over the past week, with Belgium, Spain, Italy, the UK and France, still ahead over the entire course of the pandemic. State epidemiologist Anders Tegnell, the spokesman for Sweden’s outlier coronavirus strategy, dismissed the figures on Tuesday night, arguing that it was misleading to focus on the death toll over a single week.



  1. USA: CDC: Infectious SARS-CoV-2 in Faeces of Patient with Severe COVID-19

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 was isolated from feces of a patient in China with coronavirus disease who died. Confirmation of infectious virus in feces affirms the potential for fecal–oral or fecal–respiratory transmission and warrants further study.



  1. Yemen: Save the Children: In Yemen, Suspected Cases of Coronavirus Spike as Hospitals Continue to Close

Before coronavirus began to spread across the globe, health systems in Yemen were already burdened and at a breaking point after five years of relentless war. By December 2019, more than half of all health facilities had closed or were only partially functional, leaving 19.7 million people, including 10.2 million children, without adequate access to healthcare.

With no doctors to be found in nearly 20% of the 333 districts in Yemen,[i] children were dying at the hands of preventable diseases, including diarrhea, malnutrition and respiratory tract infections.[ii]

Despite the enormous challenges, Save the Children reaches the most vulnerable children across Yemen, making sure they have enough food to eat, can access healthcare, can continue their education, and are protected from violence. Since the beginning of the crisis, we’ve reached more than three million children with crucial support.



  1. USA: Reuters: Where U.S. coronavirus cases are on the rise

Twenty U.S. states reported an increase in new cases of COVID-19 for the week ended May 24, up from 13 states in the prior week, as the death toll from the novel coronavirus approaches 100,000, according to a Reuters analysis.

Alabama had the biggest weekly increase at 28%, Missouri’s new cases rose 27% and North Carolina’s rose 26%, according to the analysis of data from The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer-run effort to track the outbreak.

New cases in Georgia, one of the first states to reopen, rose 21% after two weeks of declines. The state attributed the increase to a backlog of test results and more testing.



  1. JAMA: Patient Page: Masks and Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

COVID-19 is an infectious disease that can be transmitted via respiratory droplets.

Why Should I Consider Wearing a Face Mask? Recent studies suggest that coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) may be transmitted by infected persons even in the absence of symptoms of disease. While social distancing and good hand hygiene are the most important methods to prevent virus transmission, new guidelines state that healthy individuals can consider wearing masks in public settings, particularly when physical distancing is difficult (like in grocery stores or pharmacies). Primary benefits of wearing a mask include limiting the spread of the virus from someone who knows or does not know they have an infection to others. Masks also remind others to continue practicing physical distancing. However, nonmedical masks may not be effective in preventing infection for the person wearing them. Masks should not be worn by children younger than 2 years or by individuals who are unable to remove the mask by themselves or are unconscious.



  1. Italy: MedRxiv: SARS-CoV-2 seroprevalence trends in healthy blood donors during the COVID-19 Milan outbreak

SARS-CoV-2 was already circulating in Milan at the COVID-19 outbreak start on February 2020, with only 1 in 20 infected individuals being symptomatic and diagnosed.

Social distancing may have been more effective in reducing new infections in younger individuals, and by the end of April 4.4-10.8% of healthy asymptomatic adults had evidence of seroconversion.

Asymptomatic infection may affect lipid profile and be associated with higher circulating lymphocytes and eosinophils.



  1. UK: BBC: Coronavirus: The human cost of virus misinformation

A BBC team tracking coronavirus misinformation has found links to assaults, arsons and deaths. And experts say the potential for indirect harm caused by rumours, conspiracy theories and bad health information could be much bigger.

“We thought the government was using it to distract us,” says Brian Lee Hitchens, “or it was to do with 5G. So we didn’t follow the rules or seek help sooner.”

Brian, 46, is talking by phone from his hospital bed in Florida. His wife is critically ill – sedated, on a ventilator in an adjacent ward.



  1. USA: Washington Post: A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau finds amid coronavirus pandemic

A third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau data shows, the most definitive and alarming sign yet of the psychological toll exacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

When asked questions normally used to screen patients for mental health problems, 24 percent showed clinically significant symptoms of major depressive disorder and 30 percent showed symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder.

The findings suggest a huge jump from before the pandemic. For example, on one question about depressed mood, the percentage reporting such symptoms was double that found in a 2014 national survey.



  1. South Africa: Dispatchlive: Eastern Cape hospitals in crisis as staff down tools

The Eastern Cape health system is reeling as health workers fearing for their own safety refuse to treat Covid-19 patients, putting added pressure on state and private hospitals scrambling to meet requirements ahead of an expected spike in coronavirus cases.

On Friday, Frere Hospital in East London was ordered to immediately shut down over concerns that measures for stopping Covid-19 — including access control — were inadequate, and the Democratic Nursing Organisation of SA (Denosa) believes this situation is only the “tip of the iceberg”.

The health crisis has been brought into focus by the death of five health workers in the province, including the wife of Amathole district municipality mayor Khanyile Maneli, a nurse at Victoria Hospital in Alice, which has created a culture of fear among their colleagues, many of whom have tested positive for the virus themselves.



  1. South Africa: Spotlight: COVID-19 Report 5: Spike in Cape Town natural deaths

This is the fifth issue of COVID-19Report. We point you to the latest quality science on the pandemic. If you come across unfamiliar terms, there is a glossary at the bottom of the article. The Medical Research Council (MRC) has been publishing weekly updates of the number of registered deaths. This is vital to see the effect of the pandemic because deaths officially assigned to COVID-19 will be an underestimate. Throughout the lockdown actual deaths have been lower than expected deaths because of a decline in homicides and vehicle accidents.



  1. Philippines: Eprivacy Now Blog: Tracing App in the Philippines – Too much Permission.

We are writing a review on the two tracing apps / systems that the Philippine Government are using and mandating LGUs to use. These are Stay Safe and COVID-KAYA. Stay Safe was done Multisys and is being positioned as the official tracing app for IATF / NTF while COVID-KAYA is the official system being used by the Department of Health (DOH) and World Health Organization (WHO). We run Exodus a Privacy App that analyzes the permission of the application in Play Store. These permission are libraries that a developer access and use, the permission is then logged on a file which we call manifest.xml prior to submission to the app store for publishing.



  1. India: Mumbai: BBC: Mumbai: How Covid-19 has ravaged India’s richest city

With more than 31,000 cases, Mumbai accounts for more than a fifth of India’s coronavirus infections and nearly a quarter of deaths. The BBC’s Yogita Limaye finds out why India’s financial capital is so badly affected. Mumbai has long been described as a city always on the run. It sounds like a cliché, but as someone who has lived here most of my life, I can confirm it’s true. Even during the 2008 attack, on a day when there were active gunmen in south Mumbai, in other parts of the city, trains were running, millions went to work, and restaurants and offices remained open. But Covid-19 has turned the city into a ghost town as a stringent lockdown remains in place with no easing of restrictions.

It has also left its medical infrastructure on the brink of collapse.



  1. India: The Wire: Without Food for Days and in Searing Heat, Migrants Die on Shramik Special Trains

As many as six migrants, including a four-year-old and a one-month-old, have died in the course of and after travelling on these trains.

After waiting for longer than a month from the time that the lockdown was announced, thousands of migrant workers took the trains to their hometowns, hoping to get temporary relief from the extreme uncertainty of the bigger cities. But, with trains getting diverted to different routes due to congestion and soaring temperatures, many have been dying on these very trains.

A video which went viral over social media and was aired on several news channels showed a toddler playing with a piece of cloth covering his mother, who didn’t move, as she was dead.

According to NDTV, the video was from a station in Muzaffarpur in Bihar, where the 23-year-old woman had arrived in a special train for migrants on Monday.



  1. UK: OutNews Global: Why BAME communities are more likely to be affected by COVID-19.

In recent weeks, we have seen a rise in coronavirus casualties within Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. The Intensive Care National Audit and Research Centre reported that 35% of almost 2,000 patients were non-white. This is a troubling statistic, especially when considering that minority ethnicities make up 13% of the UK population, but one-third of casualties. Head of the British Medical Association, Dr Chaand Nagpaul, has also reiterated that “at face value, it seems hard to see how this can be random”.

An inquiry has been launched by Parliament’s Women and Equalities Committee to look into why people with protected characteristics, including ethnicity, have been disproportionately affected by Covid-19.



  1. Canada: McMaster University: Drug-resistant superbugs: A global threat intensified by the fight against coronavirus

With the world’s attention on COVID-19, I believe that now is the time to talk about another pandemic that’s been happening right under our noses: antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

When infections caused by bacteria, parasites, viruses or fungi stop responding to the medicines designed to treat them, that’s AMR. Resistance builds over time through overexposure to antimicrobial drugs, such as antibiotics, or disinfectants. With ineffective treatments, these infections persist in the body and ultimately spread to others.



  1. Nature: The epic battle against coronavirus misinformation and conspiracy theories

Analysts are tracking false rumours about COVID-19 in hopes of curbing their spread.

In the first few months of 2020, wild conspiracy theories about Bill Gates and the new coronavirus began sprouting online. Gates, the Microsoft co-founder and billionaire philanthropist who has funded efforts to control the virus with treatments, vaccines and technology, had himself created the virus, argued one theory. He had patented it, said another. He’d use vaccines to control people, declared a third. The false claims quietly proliferated among groups predisposed to spread the message — people opposed to vaccines, globalization or the privacy infringements enabled by technology. Then one went mainstream.



  1. Central America: BBC: How Covid-19 is threatening Central America’s economic lifeline

During the 20 years that Alejandro Carrillo has worked in the United States, he has always sent money home. Earnings from his time with construction crews in Florida were enough to provide food and an education to each of his seven children and to build his wife a house in which to raise them. It was also enough to later help his 33-year-old son, José Carrillo, purchase a small, green car to start a taxi business. Funds sent back to Central America from migrants who work in economically developed countries are a lifeline to families like the Carrillos. Remittances represent a steady cash flow which keeps receivers out of poverty and provides a safety net in times of crisis.



  1. UK: BBC: Coronavirus: Domestic abuse website visits up 10-fold, charity says

The charity which runs the national domestic abuse helpline has had a 10-fold increase in visits to its website in the past two weeks.

Refuge said numbers have “spiked again significantly” since it started recording rises during lockdown.

The charity said the lockdown itself does not cause domestic abuse but “can aggravate pre-existing behaviours in an abusive partner”.

Police figures suggest a wide regional variation in calls about abuse.

Fears that social conditions created by the coronavirus lockdown could result in a spike in domestic abuse led the government to boost funding for services by £76m



From the Journal of Rural and Remote Health

6038 – Australasia – Pedagogical foundations to online lectures in health professions education

This second paper in a series addressing online professional and tertiary health professions education (HPE) during the current COVID-19 crisis proposes strategies to ensure the ongoing effectiveness, efficiency and engagement of lectures that are transitioning from face-to-face to online delivery.

6045 – Australasia – Practical approaches to pedagogically rich online tutorials in health professions education

Health professions education in tertiary, industrial and other contexts often entails face-to-face small group learning through tutorials. The current novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has reduced face-to-face contact, and this has challenged how health professionals and clinical students can access training, accreditation and development. This third paper in a series addressing online professional and tertiary health professions education during the current COVID-19 crisis outlines practical approaches to pedagogically rich online tutorials.