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Keep the heid - and read
Written by Kevin Pringle, partner
14 March 2020
We live in times when single issues dominate our media and politics. For the last several years it was Brexit, to the exclusion of just about everything else. In recent weeks, and with a sense of growing concern, coronavirus has necessarily dominated the business of government and conversations in workplaces all over the country.
It is very serious. But we will get through it with the minimum possible cases, fatalities and harm if we behave sensibly and follow official advice. Not ‘keep calm and carry on’, more ‘keep the heid and listen to the people who know’.
Meantime, it’s important to remember – particularly, I think, in times of worry – that there are a lot of other things happening out there, and it’s not all bad. And there are many areas – such as providing education to girls worldwide – where an awful lot more needs to be done and the global benefits of doing so are immense.
So, if you want to read not just about Covid-19 but also other stuff, here is our selection from the last few days to fill any quiet moments you may get.
Enjoy your weekend.
The opportunity of improving girls’ education to achieve gender equality
The World Bank estimates that up to $30tn are lost in lifetime earnings from girls not completing their secondary education across the world. This loss is also associated with a higher pervasiveness of child marriage and early childbearing, alongside the risks that those practices bring in sub-Saharan Africa. The organisation’s framework to improve global education opportunities is especially telling about the fundamental role that governments, the international community, and civil society organisations can play in achieving equality for educational attainment and gender equality more broadly.
Read on the World Bank’s blog.
Sexism probably wasn’t what doomed Warren’s campaign
Elizabeth Warren’s drop-out of the Democratic presidential race has left many feminist supporters with the sour feeling that women, after all, face insurmountable barriers to ever become president of the United States. Countering that notion, this insightful piece in The Atlantic by Cathy Young holds a message of hope and positivity around the election of a female president in the US.
Read in The Atlantic.
Second patient cured of HIV, say doctors
As one illness sweeps across the globe, we heard news this week of the retreat of another, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which once would have been described as a miracle, if not impossible. On Tuesday, Adam Castillejo, the so-called ‘London Patient’, became the second man to remain free of the HIV virus, more than 30 months after stopping anti-retroviral therapy as a result of stem-cell transplantation therapy first trialled nine years ago. It goes to show that, in dark times, humanity has a proven mastery over disease, and that for many communities mass disease is not new.
Read on BBC News.
World’s first 3D-printed neighbourhood built in Mexico
How best to solve the global problem of homelessness is a subject of great debate. US non-profit New Story has a very out-of-the-box answer. In Tabasco in southern Mexico, an entirely new neighbourhood has been built through 3D-printing technology. A community living in poverty now has spacious, stylish 500sq ft homes to live in, designed to withstand earthquakes. Could this innovative use of technology help to resolve homelessness worldwide? Either way, the photos of joyful children will bring you a much-needed feeling of positivity to start your weekend.
Read on Positive News.
When keeping your distance is the best way to show you care
Thought twice about shaking a client’s hand this week? Actively avoided an intimate embrace with a close friend? In strange times like these, where Covid-19 is all we hear or read about, the best way to show that you care is to keep your distance, Ashley Fetters argues. She proposes a rethinking of our greeting habits in this age of a global pandemic. The fond bise (‘kiss’) in France has already been advised against by French ministers. Is the handshake on hold and the elbow-bump making its début? And, with all this ‘no touching’ business, will humanity suffer from touch deprivation?
Read in The Atlantic.
How to work from home: don’t accept your neighbours’ Amazon packages
I zealously nodded, laughed, and approved my way through this fantastic piece on working from home by Rhiannon Lucy Coslett – so much so that I had to remind myself more than once that the piece is, in fact, satire (I think). But, as more and more of us are encouraged or obliged to stay behind closed doors, Coslett’s pearls of wisdom could become a vital guide to the dos and don’ts of video conferencing in pyjamas, cobbling together a culinary marvel from fizzy humous, and answering the phone in those weary post-nap seconds.
A must-read for some light relief on the Covid-19 crisis.
Read in The Guardian.
How we learned to keep organs alive outside the body
This piece in The Conversation offers a great look into the history of one of the most remarkable success stories of modern medicine: organ transplantation. The science of organ preservation, with its origins in the late 18th century, has a huge amount to do with it. From the invention of the perfusion pump and the so-called University of Wisconsin solution to the introduction of keyhole surgery, it’s astonishing how fast the field has developed over time, and how bright its future looks.
Read in The Conversation.