News from South Warks NHS Trust

A new email update from the Trust has arrived, with more on its response to covid-19.

It explains how to send physical messages to loved ones in hospital, now that visiting has stopped. It also looks as the use of ibroprufen where covid-19 is suspected.

Find it here:

For up to date info on how the Trust’s hospitals and appointments are currently affected: 


Green espresso – 20 minutes of nature as good as coffee!

Canopy & Stars (the holiday cottage, treehouse and yurt company) have some suggestions for your daily nature fix (as good as caffeine, they say):

Badgers, birds, donkeys and Lamb Cams!

And if you’re stuck in a meeting on Zoom, how about inviting a goat?

Three graphs that show a global slowdown in deaths

The Conversation ( has an interesting article showing a new way of visualising the way death rates are changing over time in different countries.

It’s encouraging – the rates seem to be slowing.  Probably because of the lockdowns, which are keeping infection rates down, so the number of serious infections is lower, which means the death rate is lower…

We just need to keep going…

There is also good news about covid-19

Screenshot of article headline

There’s plenty of bad news about the virus and its effects, and the media do a lot to spread it.

But there is also an enormous amount going on that can give us hope.

80000hours is a non-profit that helps people decide what to do with their careers, if they’re keen to be part of solving world problems. ( 80000 hours is the time they are likely to spend on their career over a lifetime.) It started at Oxford University, and is still affiliated to them.

An interesting article, from Rob Wiblin, of the Centre for Effective Altruism, is here:

covering the beginnings of improvements in the global situation with covid-19, developments in testing, and other progress.

It’s heavily referenced, and links to other useful and interesting resources.

You may also like to look further at itself – it’s full of fascinating information about “ways of solving the world’s most pressing problems”.

it’s great for thinking about your own career, or suggesting to friends and relatives who may be taking the opportunity offered by the current crisis to think deeply about their lives.

And it’s also a fascinating window on some of the most pressing problems the world is facing, and some of the newest and most promising ways they might be tackled. Worth your time wherever in your career you might be!

Epidemic – a new podcast from the US

From the website:


EPIDEMIC is a new, twice-weekly podcast on the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19). Hear from some of the world’s leading infectious disease and public health experts. We’ll help you understand the latest science, the bigger context, and bring you diverse angles—from history and anthropology to politics and economics—depth and texture you won’t get elsewhere.

Hosted by Dr. Celine Gounder, an infectious disease specialist and epidemiologist who has worked on tuberculosis and HIV in sub-Saharan Africa, and was an Ebola worker during the West African epidemic. And co-hosted by Ron Klain, the U.S. Ebola czar from 2014 to 2015.

The COVID-19 pandemic may well be the defining moment of our times. Our lives have changed irrevocably. We need to understand the science so we can care for ourselves, our families, and our communities. And we need voices of reason to help us make sense of it all. “

New Scientist – latest podcast – Coronavirus questions answered

The latest New Scientist podcast is available:

From the website:

“In the pod for this week are New Scientist journalists Rowan Hooper, Penny Sarchet and Graham Lawton. Also, the poet laureate Simon Armitage reads a poem written in response to the coronavirus crisis, called Lockdown. We discuss when you are likely to be at the peak of infection, whether it is possible to be infected twice, and why the coronavirus doesn’t seem to be affected much by heat and humidity. We also offer our tips for maintaining a healthy mental state during lockdown.”

Join the #FixAtHome Challenge

Have you come across Sugru yet?

It’s a mouldable glue, with beautiful colours and a million uses.

Invented by Jane Ní Dhulchaointigh from Kilkenny, Ireland, sugru has become a world-wide phenomenon.

Use it to mend your wellington boots, your mug, to make hooks, and hold your tablet in position so you can watch recipe videos while cooking. It’s being used to personalise bikes and travel gear, and in industry.

Sugru is a wonderful material to help you with iFixit’s

And you might like to read the inspiring tale of how Jane first dreamed up and then created her mouldable glue:, a process that took years and a close-knit multidisciplinary team.

If you can’t go to the Lake District, let the Lake District come to you

There’s been a petition for a while on about protecting the Lake District National Park’s World Heritage status. It’s under threat from an influx of SUVs and motorcycles using the green lanes and bridle ways in one area.

Today, an update mentions ambient video artist, Ben Dickey.

You can stream his video for an hour or two, and look out, through your smart tv, computer or tablet, at a wood near Rydal Water filled with bluebells – a window through time to last summer.

You might like it, he suggests, as a background to your work, or to your life generally. “The aim is to increase your productivity, creativity and wellbeing…” he says.

There are more videos below – several more of the Lake District and one of Dartmoor (and another of Battersea Power Station, seen across the Thames).


Jstor – A Science Reader for COVID-19

Jstor is a route to accessing academic journals online.

Most academic journals are paywalled, but Jstor makes a selection of interesting material available free for everyone. (They have a fascinating newsletter.)

This page links to a selection of science articles describing important features of viruses in general, and coronaviruses in particular:

A Science Reader for COVID-19

You might also be interested in Jstor’s Teaching Pandemics Syllabus, a set of ‘readings on the history of quarantine, contagious disease, viruses, infections, and epidemics offer important context for the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic’.

There are a lot of articles here, covering issues of history, politics, law, language… all relevant in one way or another to the current pandemic.

Teaching Pandemics Syllabus