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28 minutes | 6 months ago
The biggest story of our lives, part two
This is the final instalment of the Confronting Coronavirus podcast series. For part two of the final two-part episode, we’ve asked a handful of Irish Times journalists to reflect on the last couple of months and how the pandemic has played out. Today, we’ll hear from Europe correspondent Naomi O'Leary, sports reporter Malachy Clerkin and health editor Paul Cullen.
20 minutes | 6 months ago
The biggest story of our lives, part one
This is the final instalment of the Confronting Coronavirus podcast series. For the final two-part episode, we’ve asked a handful of Irish Times journalists to reflect on the last couple of months and how the pandemic has played out. Today, we’ll hear from Public Affairs Editor Simon Carswell and our Political reporter Jennifer Bray.
26 minutes | 6 months ago
The emotional impact of Covid-19 with Clinical Psychologist Tony Bates
Traditionally, one in five of the population experience mental health challenges. In the coming year there will be many more. In today’s episode, Clinical Psychologist Tony Bates speaks to Deirdre Veldon about the emotional impact of the pandemic and how different sections of society will be affected in the weeks and months ahead.
19 minutes | 6 months ago
“Aid is politics” - lockdown in Uganda with Sally Hayden
In today’s episode, we hear from Irish Times journalist Sally Hayden, who has been living in lockdown in Northern Uganda for the past three months. In March, during the onset of the pandemic, Hayden travelled across the border from Rwanda into Gulu, a city at the epicentre of a two decade long civil war which ended in 2006. Hayden speaks to Deirdre Veldon about the impact of lockdown restrictions on the people of Gulu, in a country with no social protections and where aid is politics.
15 minutes | 7 months ago
“We must demand equal access to future vaccines”
As the global race to find a vaccine for Covid-19 continues, the question of how it will eventually be supplied and distributed is now under the spotlight. Billions of euro have been donated by governments and philanthropic organisations to pharmaceutical companies for research and development of vital Covid-19 vaccines. However, in most cases, few if any conditions for access or affordability have been included as a precondition to any of this funding. In today’s episode we hear from Kate Elder, Senior Vaccines Policy Advisor for Médecins Sans Frontières Access. MSF is calling for authorities to ensure any future vaccines are sold at cost and are universally accessible to all.
17 minutes | 7 months ago
Lifting the lockdown: What can I do in Phase 3?
Ireland is approaching Phase 3 of the Roadmap for Reopening Business and Society. In this episode, Conor Pope talks us through some of the changes that will be coming into place as the country continues to ease lockdown restrictions.
16 minutes | 7 months ago
A coronavirus surge shocks Beijing - with Peter Goff
The return of restrictions on life in Beijing comes as over a hundred new cases are linked to a huge food market. Peter Goff explains what's happening in Beijing, how the city is handling it and why the outbreak is a major blow to the efforts of China, and the world, to control the virus and reopen economies. Plus, a deadly skirmish on the India-China border.
19 minutes | 7 months ago
"There's remarkable buy-in from prisoners" - How the Irish Prison System kept Covid-19 Out
This week the Irish Prison Service put forward a paper to the World Health Organisation as a model of best practices for keeping Covid-19 out of it’s settings. With 3,738 prisoners nationwide and zero positive cases, there is a lot to be learned from their management of the virus. In this episode, Deirdre Veldon speaks to Irish Times Crime Correspondent Conor Gallagher about the quick action and careful planning which shaped their successful handling of the outbreak. They also discuss the overall impact the pandemic has had on crime levels and how the Irish court system has been coping with virtual hearings and socially distanced court rooms.
20 minutes | 7 months ago
How Contagion predicted a pandemic - with screenwriter Scott Z. Burns and Dr Ian Lipkin
In this episode, Irish Times Features Writer Patrick Freyne brings us back to the year 2011 and the release of the scientific thriller movie Contagion. Starring Matt Damon, Contagion tells the story of a deadly virus which explodes into a global pandemic, bringing society to its knees. Nine years on, in the midst of our own virus outbreak, it all feels eerily familiar. Freyne catches up with Contagion’s screenwriter Scott Z. Burns and the virologist who advised the script and plotline for the movie, Dr Ian Lipkin. The pair explain how their working relationship began over a couple of cocktails in a Manhattan bar and was sealed on the agreement that this pandemic movie would be grounded in science rather than blockbuster action. So, nine years on from its release, what it is like looking back on Contagion for Burns and Lipkin? Has the pandemic played out like they expected both scientifically and politically?
19 minutes | 7 months ago
Lockdown is lifting, but new rules cause many conundrums - with Conor Pope
Conor Pope has been looking at how Ireland is reopening this week, in shops and other public places. His assessment: it's going quite well, but many small problems remain, from queuing to distancing and the wearing of masks. And as more restrictions are eased, more such problems will crop up for Irish consumers and businesses.
24 minutes | 7 months ago
"The psycho-social impact is far greater - and will last much longer"
In our hospitals and psychiatric clinics, it has already begun. Increasing numbers of people are seeking help for mental health problems associated, in one way or another, with Covid-19. Professionals warn that the psychiatric effects of the pandemic and the lockdown will endure much longer than the physical effects of the virus. And those psychiatric effects are alarmingly diverse: anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders, PTSD. Prof Fiona McNicholas is a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Crumlin Children's Hospital. She talks about the tsunami of mental health problems we face, the unexpected ways Covid-19 can harm our minds, and the potential for technology to aid therapy in a time of social distancing.
25 minutes | 7 months ago
"Compliance is not as good on the way down as it was on the way up"
Next week, Ireland will enter phase two of the roadmap out of lockdown. We’ll be able to travel 20km from our homes and visit another household while maintaining social distancing. Street level shops will open and some sporting and fitness activities will begin again. But will this taste of freedom mean people will push the boundaries even more? Large crowds flocked to beauty spots over the long weekend, while thousands gathered in close proximity at a Black Lives Matter protest earlier this week. In today’s episode, Deirdre Veldon speaks to Pete Lunn a behavioural economist with the Economic and Social Research Institute. With community transmission quite low, Lunn explains how this may affect willingness to comply to ongoing restrictions.
24 minutes | 7 months ago
"It's callous to leave businesses closed if they don't need to be"
Should all retailers, restaurants and tourism be allowed to open sooner? Business affairs correspondent and columnist Mark Paul has been arguing for an accelerated easing of restrictions on businesses, especially for the sake of our small and medium sized enterprises, "the lifeblood of our economy". He tells Deirdre Veldon that no-one seems to be fighting their corner, and that the balance of risks to our society is skewed.
18 minutes | 8 months ago
The effect of lockdowns and the return of mobility: what the data tells us
Barry Smyth is a data scientist. Early on in the outbreak, he was among the first to realise the importance of looking closely at the number of excess deaths in the population, as revealed by website Rip.ie, to track the true toll of the virus. Since then, he has written about the nature of lockdown measures imposed across Europe, as revealed through data. Which countries are strictest, and what happens to the virus when people start moving about again? Barry talks to Deirdre Veldon about what the data reveals. Barry Smyth holds the Digital Chair of Computer Science in University College Dublin and is a Director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.
22 minutes | 8 months ago
Why did it take so long for a nursing home plan to be put in place?
Coronavirus has presented a huge challenge for our health services, especially in our nursing homes. The devastating death toll in these settings has come under the spotlight this week for the Dáil's Covid-19 committee. On Tuesday, the committee heard from Tadgh Daly, the head of Nursing Homes Ireland who claimed the sector was left “abandoned and isolated”. Hundreds of pages of newly released documentation, reveal a timeline of correspondence which suggests it took more than a month for a specific plan for nursing homes to be put in place. Jennifer Bray is political reporter with The Irish Times and has been looking into these exchanges between Nursing Homes Ireland and Key State Organisations. In this episode, we also hear from Health Editor Paul Cullen who reflects on the state response to the issues raised by nursing homes.
35 minutes | 8 months ago
How to be ready for an unpredictable future - with author Margaret Heffernan
Margaret Heffernan is a businesswoman and author who writes about leadership and strategic thinking. Her latest book Uncharted: How to Map the Future is about the pitfalls of relying too much on forecasting and predictions, and the benefits of a different kind of readiness. In the book, which was published back in February, Margaret presciently writes about pandemics as an example of the uncertainty and unpredictability of complex events.
28 minutes | 8 months ago
"Local lockdowns needed to keep virus at bay" - Dr David Nabarro
Yesterday we reached a significant milestone in our fight against coronavirus. For the first time since the 21st March, there were no new deaths from Covid-19 in Ireland. But how can we keep this figure down as the country continues to emerge from lockdown? In today’s episode, we hear from Dr David Nabarro, a professor of global health at Imperial college London and the World Health Organisation’s special envoy for Covid-19. Dr Nabarro spoke to Deirdre Veldon about the need for localised lockdowns to maintain control over the virus when new peaks emerge and why an effective vaccine could be over two and a half years away.
21 minutes | 8 months ago
The Impact of Covid-19 on the young with psychotherapist John Sharry
Among the people most affected by this crisis are children and especially teenagers. Lockdown has put an abrupt stop to their education and their social lives. In today's podcast Deirdre Veldon speaks to psychotherapist and Irish Times columnist John Sharry about the developmental impacts the lockdown will have on young people and how parents can prepare for the weeks and months ahead.
25 minutes | 8 months ago
Rethinking nursing homes and the lives of our elderly after Covid-19
Is it time to dispense with nursing homes? The death toll from Covid-19 in these institutions is bringing the arguments for and against them into focus. Today we talk to two experts about what a different future might look like and the challenges getting there. Professor Gerard Quinn is a legal academic who contributed to the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the treatment of persons with disabilities, and is now working on a similar convention on the treatment of the elderly. Professor Des O'Neill is director of the Centre for Ageing, Neuroscience and the Humanities at Trinity College and a doctor specialising in geriatric care.
21 minutes | 8 months ago
Ireland to start antibody testing next month: what that means and how it will help
Political correspondent Harry McGee tells Deirdre Veldon about the news that Ireland will begin a programme of testing for Covid-19 antibodies in the population next month. How does this test differ to how we are already testing, and what benefits will it bring?
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