Pity the women locked in with their abusers

27 Mar

Go home! Stay home! Don’t go out unless you have to! It is sound and welcome advice for most people in a global pandemic. But there’s one group in whom it will have inspired nothing but despair — all those at risk of domestic violence. Why do 999 calls shoot up at Christmas and in […]

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Will the pandemic kill off libertarianism?

25 Mar

Why won’t people stay at home? Why did the Government have to order the pubs to close to stop people huddling together in the sweaty bundles of humanity that Covid-19 loves so much? When and if the coronavirus crisis is contained, there will be many reckonings and re-evaluations, not least about the relationship between the […]

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Would you take a coronavirus risk?

24 Mar

There is a saying, which I think comes originally from a German government transport campaign but became an advertising slogan and general meme: “You’re not stuck in traffic. You are traffic.” I’ve been thinking about that a lot recently — what with all the images of, Columbia Road Flower Market, or the Tube, or various […]

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Will Covid-19 reawaken civil society?

19 Mar

Spare a thought for the travel influencers, whose whole raison d’être has just been spiked by coronavirus. Instagram personality Sarah Gallo, for example, has had her current itinerary cancelled and is quarantined in a cabin on a remote Norwegian island. She may be thrilled by the views, but the struggle (reports the NYT) is real: […]

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Binge-watching in the time of Covid-19

18 Mar

Parks and Recreation Polly Mackenzie If you’re in the self-isolation bunker (or frankly, any bunker) there’s one woman you want at your side: Lesley Knope. The mid-level council bureaucrat of Pawnee, Indiana is the heroine of Parks and Recreation, a sitcom that celebrates optimism, friendship, community politics and all forms of baked goods. The first […]

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Why I fear isolation more than the virus

16 Mar

I went to Mass at the weekend, reflecting that this was probably the last time, for a long while, that I would l join with my little church community. Perhaps for four months. It’s quite a stretch. I’ll be honest: it goes against the grain to be told when to stay in your own quarters […]

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