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Northants police : we will check your shopping trolley – just not yet

Northants police : we will check your shopping trolley - just not yet

Northants Police go on the record: “To clarify some suggestions made in the media, we absolutely will NOT be searching people’s shopping trolleys – at this stage.”

Not “at this stage”. But when they do, we won’t be under any illusion that they will set up road blocks, martial our supermarkets and check the items in baskets and trollies.

First they came for my Pringles…

Posted: 9th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Coronavirus: Mrs Michael Gove checks Boris Johnson’s prostate in the Mail

Writing in the Daily Mail, Mrs Michael Gove, aka Sarah Vine, looks at the health of Boris Johnson and other leading politicians. The Prime Minister is very unwell with the coronavirus Covid-19. We wish him a speedy and full recovery. Says Vine:

Boris Johnson
Sarah Vine

Adding: “…there is something about Boris’s predicament and that of his family that brings us, as a nation of strangers, closer together. Boris is us, and we are Boris.”

Michael Gove is a British MP who has been Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster since July 2019 and Minister for the Cabinet Office since February 2020.

Spotter: @brokenbottleboy

Posted: 9th, April 2020 | In: News, Politicians, Tabloids | Comment


Jewish Chronicle newspaper goes bust

Jewish Chronicle newspaper goes bust

The Jewish Chronicle, aka The JC, is seeking a creditors voluntary liquidation of Jewish Chronicle Newspapers Ltd. The oldest continuously published Jewish newspaper in the world has gone bust. It was once part of every British Jew’s life, an integral part of things that Jews did.

The paper says (on its website, natch.):

Despite the heroic efforts of the editorial and production team at the newspaper, it has become clear that the Jewish Chronicle will not be able to survive the impact of the current coronavirus epidemic in its current form.

The liquidation is expected to be finalised in the coming 2 to 3 weeks and every effort will be made to ensure that the paper continues to be published over this period and the website continues to provide regular updates.

The Kessler Foundation, owners of the Jewish Chronicle, are actively working to secure a future for the Jewish Chronicle after the liquidation. Further announcements regarding this will be made in the coming days.

One problem for the JC is that you can get the Israel news anywhere on the web. And thumbnail pics of so-and-so’s Bar Mitzvah now live on an Instagram Page. And why pay for something you can get for free on the web? Where’s the added value?

Posted: 8th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Manchester United plan to use coronavirus to get players on the cheap

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer  coronavirus

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems like a decent bloke. But today the Mail tells us that the Manchester United manager has promised to behave with all the morals of, well, Spurs. “Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warns rivals that Manchester United will ‘exploit’ the coronavirus mayhem to poach top stars when football returns, with Jadon Sancho and Jack Grealish firmly in his sights,” says the Mail. In times of crisis the richest clean up. The story beings:

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is confident Manchester United can ‘exploit’ the mayhem caused by coronavirus to secure their summer transfer targets. The United manager believes some clubs need to offload players after taking a financial hit during the crisis and it could work in their favour.

Here’s what he told Sky Sports (which might like to refund their customers a few quid owing to the lack of football):

“Football is going to get back to normality at one point, and it’s very important we’re ready when that happens. We want to be the best at everything, and of course now is a chance to spend more time, you discuss players, discuss plans, we’ve evaluated what we need, of course with the coaching staff we’ve looked at games, evaluated games, discussing on video calls like this.” Asked whether United can exploit the market when football returns, Solskjaer said: “Then, the market, who knows how the market is going to react to this? Who knows which clubs need to sell players? There might be just a situation there where you can exploit, and I know that we at Man United, we are one of the biggest, and financially well off. I’m sure we are capable, when we get back to normality, that we can do the business that we want to.”

Charming. So much for the ‘football family’. Manchester United is just another big business driven by greed.

Posted: 8th, April 2020 | In: manchester united, News, Sports | Comment


Bonds and demand: Guardian get it wrong

In a story on the global bond market’s response to coronavirus, the Guardian tells its readers: “The global bond markets, which handle hundreds of billions of trades every day, are where governments and companies go to borrow funds from investors.” There are not hundreds of billions of trades in bonds every day. The hundreds of billions is the value of the bonds being traded not the number of trades.

We’re then told:

At the outset of the Covid-19 outbreak, bond markets froze as investors panic bought highly rated government bonds and the number of sellers shrank.

The US Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the European Central bank, which oversee the largest debt markets, stepped in to expand the number of bonds on offer and promised to meet demand while the crisis continued.

Demand has been supported by the Bank of England’s pledge to “create” £200bn of electronic funds to purchase more bonds as part of its quantitative easing programme, adding to the £435bn of assets on its balance sheet.

That’s not supporting demand. That’s meeting demand by enlarging supply.

As for the US, Bnaron’s notes:

“We have no idea how long this will be,” said Yousef Abbasi, global market strategist for U.S. institutional equities at INTL FCStone said. “Right now, fundamentals don’t matter because there is very little clarity as to when the economy can restart — and depending on how long this goes — what the economy will look like when it does restart.”

These uncertainties aside, there are several indicators that bolster the case that a recovery for the stock market may have begun, said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors.

“The severe indiscriminate selling we saw prior to last week has abated,” he said, noting that through last Monday, nearly every asset class, including gold, U.S. Treasury bonds and stocks were being sold off. “It was that classic capitulation move to cash,” whereas in more recent sessions, bonds have rallied when stocks retreated and vice-versa, typical of normal behavior in financial markets.

Cash is king.

Posted: 8th, April 2020 | In: Money, News | Comment


John Prine sings Sam Stone

John Prine sings Sam Stone

Chicago folk musician John Prine (10 October 1946 – 7 April 2020) recorded Sam Stone “to say something about our soldiers who’d go over to Vietnam, killing people and not knowing why you were there”. He told Rolling Stone in 2018: “And then a lot of soldiers came home and got hooked on drugs and never could get off of it. I was just trying to think of something as hopeless as that. My mind went right to ‘Jesus Christ died for nothin’, I suppose.’ I said, ‘That’s pretty hopeless.’” Sam Stone was voted the 8th saddest song of all time in a Rolling Stone readers’ poll. It’s beautiful:

Posted: 8th, April 2020 | In: Music, News | Comment


Liverpool back down leaving Spurs to win title of world’s greediest football club

Liverpool have listened to the fans and media who decried their decision to place some non-playing staff on temporary leave and take advantage of the Government’s furlough scheme to let the taxpayer pay 80% of their wages. Liverpool – owned by a billionaire and posting profits last season of £43m – will muddle along some how. Newcastle United, Tottenham Hotspur, Bournemouth and Norwich City are sticking with their plans to furlough some non-playing staff. Bournemouth and Norwich are not big clubs. Newcastle are a basket case. But Spurs with that swanky new stadium and billionaire owner can afford it, surely? With Liverpool no longer doing the wrong thing, Spurs might be the world’s greediest football club. Finally, they win something.

Posted: 7th, April 2020 | In: Liverpool, Money, News, Sports, Spurs | Comment


China is ground zero for a pandemic – 2017 article alerts us to Coronavirus

In November 2017, Smithsonian magazine article published the article “Is China Ground Zero for a Future Pandemic?” Usually I’d to defer Betteridge’s law of headlines, an adage that states: “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.” But let’s see what we were told:

At least two flu pandemics in the past century—in 1957 and 1968—originated in the Middle Kingdom and were triggered by avian viruses that evolved to become easily transmissible between humans. Although health authorities have increasingly tried to ban the practice, millions of live birds are still kept, sold and slaughtered in crowded markets each year. In a study published in January, researchers in China concluded that these markets were a “main source of H7N9 transmission by way of human-poultry contact and avian-related environmental exposures”…

China is uniquely positioned to create a novel flu virus that kills people. On Chinese farms, people, poultry and other livestock often live in close proximity. Pigs can be infected by both bird flu and human flu viruses, becoming potent “mixing vessels” that allow genetic material from each to combine and possibly form new and deadly strains. The public’s taste for freshly killed meat, and the conditions at live markets, create ample opportunity for humans to come in contact with these new mutations….

Despite such shortcomings, Western experts say Chinese officials have come a long way since their wobbly handling of the 2002 outbreak of SARS, the severe respiratory disease caused by a previously unknown coronavirus; Chinese apparatchiks initially tried to cover up the epidemic, creating a worldwide scandal.

Do we trust China over coronavirus?

Posted: 6th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Brighton copper puts out coronavirus barbecue with helmet full of seawater

No need for police to follow smoke signals. The barbecuers are pretty easy to spot:

Meanwhile… in Peckham, London:

Posted: 6th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


New York City tiger has coronavirus – avoid tigers

tiger

To the Bronx Zoo in New York City, where a tiger has tested positive for Coronavirus. Yeah,. How come they test tigers before humans? This news comes from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which operates the zoo, and announced the sick tigers tory in a press release. “Nadia, a 4-year-old female Malayan tiger at the Bronx Zoo, has tested positive for COVID-19. She, her sister Azul, two Amur tigers, and three African lions had developed a dry cough and all are expected to recover,” the WCS said in a statement.

How did they get it? “Our cats were infected by a person caring for them who was asymptomatically infected with the virus or before that person developed symptoms,” the statement adds.

The advice is to avoid tigers in New York. And if you’re in Wuhan, make sure they’re cooked through.

Posted: 6th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Manchester City’s Kyle Walker is not a role model – he’s just a gilded bellend

Kyle Walker

“I want to take this opportunity to issue a public apology for the choices I made last week,” says Manchester City and England footballer Kyle Walker. “I understand that my ­position as a professional footballer brings the responsibility of being a role model.” No, Kyle, it really doesn’t. Your responsibility is to your employer and maybe your children, more of whom later.

Walker guffed out that apology after the Sun reported he’d allegedly hired two prostitutes to service him and a pal in his rented home a day before telling others how to fight the coronavirus. “Stay indoors, keep washing your hands, keep following the protocols and just protect the NHS,” said Walker. “It’s been tough, but first and foremost, we have to think about other people’s health and protecting the elderly and family members that can spread it.”

If Kyle is the role model he claims to be, right now thousands of his fans are pulling on gold-coloured Shine condoms and paying £2,200 in cash for on-the-clock sex with “classy” escort Louise McNamara, 21, and “a 24-year-old ­Brazilian call girl”. Although prices for both might have increased now they have scored a celebrity endorsement, men who wash their hands like Kyle and look to him for moral and medical guidance will be cracking open their piggybanks and gilding their knobs. Says Louise: “I didn’t know who he was at the time. But I took a few photos of him.” Thoughtfully, she shares them in the Sun.

Other things you can do to be like “role model” Kyle Walker, are, as the Sun also reports, to “split from long-term girlfriend Annie Kilner” after getting “model Lauryn Goodman pregnant”. Kyle is father to Annie’s three sons. He’s their role model.

Posted: 5th, April 2020 | In: Manchester City, News, Sports, Tabloids | Comment


Coronavirus: Queen urges ‘self-discipline and resolve’ – Prince Andrew leads by example

Queen coronavirus
The Queen during The International Driving Grand Prix at the Royal Windsor Horse Show.

Her Majesty the Queen says to endure the coronavirus crisis we need “self-discipline and resolve”. Prince Andrew, how has been self-isolating from Royal duties and the FBI leads by example.

“I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time,” says Her Maj. “A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all. And those who come after us will say that the Britons of this generation were as strong as any. That the attributes of self-discipline, of quiet good-humoured resolve and of fellow-feeling still characterise this country.”

Anyone feeling trapped, vulnerable and isolated should not try to track down Andrew for company, should he be staying on a billionaire’s private island, which he isn’t, and call 0800PrincessDiana and ask for Squidgy.

Posted: 5th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Marie Dinou: Woman arrested and fined under coronavirus laws for committing no crime

When police approached Marie Dinou, 41, and asked her why she was at Newcastle Central Station “loitering between platforms” she didn’t want to speak with them. They wanted her name, address and reasons for travel. She was not obliged to tell them anything. But the police do not listen. They tell. So they arrested her and carted her off to the station.

Charged with an offence under the Coronavirus Act 2020, meant to deal with “potentially infectious persons”, a non-infected Marie Dinou was summoned to appear at North Tyneside Magistrates’ Court. She refused to leave her cell, where she’d been held for 48 hours. A district judge thought it legal, fair and proper to fine Dinou £660 and order her to pay a £66 victim surcharge and £85 in costs. “Defendant refuses to identify herself, sent back to cells and proved in absence,” runs the ruling.

“Officers approached Dinou and engaged with her in an attempt to understand her reasons for essential travel, but following several more attempts by officers to explain and encourage she refused to speak to officers,” says a spokesperson for British Transport Police. “Having explored all options, Dinou was arrested on suspicion of breaching the restrictions imposed under the Coronavirus Act 2020.”

Assistant Chief Constable Sean O’Callaghan chimed: “Enforcement of any sort under the new regulations really is a last resort, especially arrest. In this case, officers tried their upmost best to engage with Dinou. I can assure you we would much rather not have to take such action. We strongly urge the public to do the right thing and help us save lives by staying at home and slowing the spread of the virus.”

Dinou. Not Ms Dinou. Respect is a two-way street. But the law is clear.

British Transport Police (BTP) now realise they made an error. In cahoots with the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) they “established that Marie Dinou was charged under the incorrect section of the Coronavirus Act 2020”. In other words: she was doing nothing wrong, had done nothing wrong but was nicked, judged and fined. “Having reassessed the matter, BTP will not pursue any alternative prosecution,” a spokesperson tells the Indy.

Deputy Chief Constable Adrian Hanstock goes on the record: “There will be understandable concern that our interpretation of this new legislation has r esulted in an ineffective prosecution.This was in circumstances where officers were properly dealing with someone who was behaving suspiciously in the station, and who staff believed to be travelling without a valid ticket. Officers were rightfully challenging her unnecessary travel. Regardless, we fully accept that this shouldn’t have happened and we apologise. It is highly unusual that a case can pass through a number of controls in the criminal justice process and fail in this way.”

“Regardless…” Marie Dinou committed no offence. The police nicked her for a crime that does not exist. But “regardless…” says the copper. Carry on regardless…

Posted: 4th, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Prince Charles and his faceless friend open the Nightingale hospital for Coronavirus

Prince Charles Nightingale hospital

When Prince Charles opened the Nightingale Hospital in London that will deal with coronavirus patients Richard Little noticed something behind him. There on the dressing table was a framed photo of a ghost. Or is it a smudge? What or who is it?

Prince Charles Nightingale hospita

Richard and Twitter got to work:

Cilla Black By @ReactionsTo2023

Rod Hull @ReactionsTo2023
By @raghard

Posted: 4th, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, News, Royal Family | Comment


Trump updates The Strategic National Stockpile for Coronavirus: ‘we don’t have enough medical supplies’

The Trump administration has changed the language on the ‘Strategic National Stockpile’ on an HHS website. The Public Health Emergency squad is underfunded. What they previously told you about things before coronavirus happened was wishful at best and bullshit at worst:

Strategic National Stockpile
Before
Strategic National Stockpile
After

Spotter: @aaronblake

Posted: 3rd, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Eddie Large died with Coronavirus not from it

Eddie Large died “with” Coronavirus, says the BBC. The entertainer, one half of the Little and Large comedy duo, contracted the virus in hospital. He had been suffering with heart failure. So how does the Mirror report on the death of the 78-year-old? Not well. Eddie Large’s death is presented as part of the “Coronavirus Crisis”. “Eddie’s heart wasn’t strong enough to fight the virus.” But the virus didn’t kill him.

Eddie Large coronavirus tabloids

Eddie Large was not killed by Covid-19. Well, not unless you read about his death in the Mirror:

Eddie Large coronavirus

The Mail says Eddie Large “death in hospital from coronavirus while being treated for heart failure”. It adds: “Mr Large, who was famous for his singing and impressions, is the most famous Briton to be killed by coronavirus, which has now claimed almost 3,000 lives in the UK with deaths hitting 500-a-day.” Deep into the story we’re told: “The father of three had a successful heart transplant in 2003 – but it appears that the organ began to fail before his death, leading to his hospital admission in Bristol.”

The Sun notes: “The comedian had been suffering with heart failure and contracted the deadly virus in hospital.” To say nothing of heart failure being deadly, which it doesn’t.

Eddie Large’s son, Ryan McGinnis, wrote on Facebook:

“It is with great sadness that Mum and I need to announce that my dad passed away in the early hours of this morning. He had been suffering with heart failure and unfortunately, whilst in hospital, contracted the coronavirus, which his heart was sadly not strong enough to fight. Dad had fought bravely for so long. Due to this horrible disease we had been unable to visit him at the hospital but all of the family and close friends spoke to him every day. We will miss him terribly and we are so proud of everything he achieved in his career with Syd and know that he was much loved by the millions that watched them each week.”

Eddie Large: Edward Hugh McGinnis (25 June 1941 – 2 April 2020).

Posted: 3rd, April 2020 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News, Tabloids | Comment


Bernie Ecclestone fathers child at 89

Benie Eccelstone 89 dad

Formula 1 action figure Bernie Ecclestone is to be a father again at just 89 years young. Is he doing it to distract attention for the fact that his wife is so much teller than he is? People will talk about the age and the baby but not the height. Should size even matter? Of course not. But you noticed it, all the same. There is certain comic element to Bernie being towered over by the willowy Fabian Flosi, 44. We give the ages – and can gasp at the gap – but not the height difference, which is more obvious.

Posted: 3rd, April 2020 | In: News | Comment


Help the NHS fight Coronavirus in North London by donating to the Royal Free Charity Covid-19 Emergency Fund

Royal Free hospital covid-19 charity

In North London, the Royal Free London hospitals – the Royal Free Hospital, Barnet Hospital and Chase Farm Hospital – need your help. The Royal Free Charity has become the Royal Free Charity Covid-19 Emergency Fund to support NHS staff through the crisis. Clapping your hands for the NHS is all well and good but money is better.

Many of the staff at the three hospitals are now caring for patients with coronavirus, or are dealing with patients who are not unwell with the virus but still desperately need their help. Resources are stretched to the limit and they’re working under the most extreme pressure. It’s not just affected doctors and nurses; everyone, from ICU and the wards, to the porters, cleaners and support staff, is playing a role in the fight against the virus. As we all know, the situation is going to get even worse before things start to improve.

The aim is to get a complete support service in place as soon as possible. This will include the provision of care packages at the end of a very long shift, to psychological support and the creation of physical respite spaces, all of which have been suggested by staff. Every penny raises will make a real difference to their lives.

Please make a donation here.

Posted: 2nd, April 2020 | In: Key Posts, Money, News | Comment


Amazon sells dog training book with forward from Nazi Hermann Göring

Barking mad

Hermann Göring wrote the forward to a puppy training manual you can buy on Amazon. Sections are not dedicated to knowing Jews by their scent, teaching your dog to raise a front right leg and going vegetarian. There is, however, lots about obeying orders. The JC reports that shopper Lorraine Phipps bought the Puppy Training manual from Amazon unaware that it contains a eulogy on Adolf Hitler printed inside, namely Adolf Hitler, 1931-1935: Pictures from the Life of the Führer with a forward by Hermann Göring.

“I bought a purported puppy training book from Amazon on March 2,” says Lorraine. “When my husband and I went to read it, despite the cover being as expected, it was actually a reprinting of a 1936 pro-Nazi propaganda book.” She wants Amazon to remove the “awful and misleading item from their listings”. Amazon says they are “investigating”.

Elsewhere you can buy Pictures from the Life of the Führer – without the Puppy Training cover. It is “one of the crowning popular propaganda achievements which helped consolidate Hitler’s hold on power, this book had sold millions of copies by 1940 and was one of those specifically ordered destroyed by the Allied occupation forces after 1945”.

Meanwhile… Somewhere in a German bunker a Nazi is teaching other recreational Herrenvolk to ‘Stay’, ‘Beg’ and ‘Play Dead’.


Posted: 1st, April 2020 | In: Books, News | Comment


Kate Winslet gives tips to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic

Kate Winslet gives tips to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic

Kate Winslet is well placed to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic. As Sky News tells it, Winslet starred in the film Contagion about a hypothetical virus outbreak. All of you who think EastEnders is a fly-on-the-wall documentary about London life stay tuned. After this look out for Winslet telling us to maintain a youthful complexion into your second century of living (see the Titanic CCTV footage from 1912).

People have been grateful for Kate’s expertise and selfness willingness to educate:

Kate Winslet gives tips to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic
Kate Winslet gives tips to keep you safe during the coronavirus pandemic

It’s not a Sky News production. GQ explains:

In addition to [Matt] Damon and Winslet, Laurence Fishburne, Marion Cotillard, and Jennifer Ehle have also filmed PSAs, which were made with the help of the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. Soderbergh and writer Scott Z. Burns teamed up with the school’s Dr. W. Ian Lipkin, a professor of epidemiology who also served as an advisor for the chillingly realistic 2011 movie.

“The Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University reached out to the cast and asked us if we’d have a virtual reunion and do some PSAs,” Damon explains. “Everything you’re going to hear from us has been vetted by public health experts and scientists.”

It’s only real if a famous face says it is.

Posted: 1st, April 2020 | In: Celebrities, Key Posts, News | Comment


Start up Habor promises to corral the rich and stupid in a luxury villa in Los Angeles until Coronavirus is over

Coronavirus Escape Communities

In times of crisis what the world needs are for the rich and stupid to survive the coronavirus cull on the poor and serving. When the pandemic is over, these so-called escape communities will emerge from their hiding places to do battle for global supremacy with survivalists, the people paid to wash their retreats and lions. First one who knows how to make a fire from bank notes wins the planet:

Said one hermit: come friendly bombs.

Posted: 31st, March 2020 | In: News | Comment


Mega-rich TV evangelist executes judgement on Covid-19

Evangelist covid-19

US televangelist Kenneth Copeland will slay the coronavirus by channelling God’s powers. It’s the smackdown we’ve been waiting for:

Here’s Kenneth explaining why God made private jets:

Posted: 31st, March 2020 | In: Celebrities, News, Strange But True | Comment


Donald Trump hails Coronavirus as a ‘ratings hit’

Donald Trump hails Coronavirus as a ratings hit

Parody dies a little more as Donald Trump hails coronavirus as a ratings hit. This is not from a spoof account. I checked:

Donald Trump hails Coronavirus as a 'ratings hit'

Posted: 30th, March 2020 | In: News, Politicians | Comment


Coronavirus: Dr El-Hawrani, the NHS and the death of facts

Four newspapers lead with the death of Dr Amgad El-Hawrani, an NHS and private earth nose and throat consultant who was infected with coronavirus before he died. All newspapers call him Dr Amged El-Hawrani, even though the NHS knew him as Dr Amgad El Hawrani. This is his profile on the NHS website:

NHS doctor covid-a9

Having renamed the doctor – although a filing at companies house does give his name Amged El-Hawrani – the papers tell the story of how a talented man at the top of his field came to die at just 55 years old. The Times leads with news what he picked up an infection from a patient.

Amged El-Hawrani

So Dr El-Hawrani picked up Covid-19 virus from a patient. Fact. Well, no. It’s just a maybe. After the headline news has grabbed your eyeballs, the Times tells its readers:

A consultant ear, nose and throat specialist has become the first frontline hospital worker to die in the fight against Covid-19 after seemingly contracting the virus from his patients.

So he could have come into contact with the disease anywhere. We’re looking at likelihood not facts.

Amged El-Hawrani, 55, died on Saturday night at Leicester Royal Infirmary after testing positive for the virus and being treated on a ventilator for the past two weeks.

We do not know where Dr El-Hawrani caught Covid-19. But the story is out there that he caught it on a ward as he worked for the NHS. The headlines suggest that much. We hear an opinion:

The death of Amged El-Hawrani, 55, an ear, nose and throat specialist, marks a sad moment in Britain’s fight against coronavirus but is a familiar story in countries around the world (Kat Lay writes).

In China, Iran and Italy doctors from his specialty seem to have been particularly likely to become hospital in-patients or even die from the virus. Another ENT consultant, in Sheffield, is said to be improving after receiving critical care. The nature of ENT doctors’ work means they have to get close to patients’ faces — and coronavirus spreads through droplets from sufferers’ noses or mouths. This means that specialists are particularly likely to be exposed. Research suggests that those exposed to a higher initial “dose” of the virus are more likely to suffer a severe form of the disease.

Amged El-Hawrani

The Mirror calls Dr El-Hawrani a hero and links his death to a demand for more protective kit.

Ear, nose and throat specialist Dr El-Harwani, who died on Saturday, is understood to have contracted the virus several weeks ago.

Understood by whom? We’re not told. We do not know where the doctor caught the virus. Low down the front-page story, the Mirror concedes: “It is not known how Dr El-Hawrani contracted Covid-19.” But that fact comes after readers are told:

NHS England described Dr El-Hawrani as the first practising hospital doctor to die of the virus…

Might he have caught the disease elsewhere? Did he travel overseas recently? We’re not told.

As worrying footage of a nurse working in a coronavirus ward wearing only basic protection was passed to the Mirror, the Doctors’ Association UK said it was “deeply saddened” by Dr El-Hawrani’s death.

And it urged the Government to make a priority of “protecting the lives of the life-savers”.

The facts are thin. But that does not stop the Mirror from spreading anxiety. Aren’t things safer than they were several weeks ago when Dr El-Hawrani caught the disease now that the country is under lockdown, patients are being tested for Covid-19 and awareness is growing? It’s not ideal, of course, this is dangerous work – and medics come into contact with sick people every day of their working lives in GP surgeries and hospitals. But without facts media should be cautious about using a man’s death for any narrative purpose other than to mourn it and empathise with his family’s loss.

Amged El-Hawrani

The Guardian reports:

A 55-year-old hospital consultant has died of coronavirus, underlining the danger to frontline NHS workers.

It’s horrible news. But we do not know how Dr El-Hawrani caught the disease.

Amged El-Hawrani

Did Dr El-Hawrani take on private patients? If he did, as many consultants do, might he have contracted the coronavirus working with them and not on the “frontline” for the NHS? But the media narrative has not time to entertain that possibility:

Did he only work for the NHS? No papers mention that Dr El-Hawrani also worked in private medicine.

About Private Healthcare UK

Private Healthcare UK was established in 1996 and helps patients to find information about private medical treatment, hospitals, clinics, doctors, specialists and health insurance.

Amged El-Hawrani private NHS

And there’s BUPA – “A leading international healthcare group, we run care homes, health centres, dental centres and hospitals, offer personal and company health insurance and provide workplace health services, health assessments and chronic disease management services including health coaching.” In short: private healthcare.

Dr El-Hawrani

Such are the facts.

Posted: 30th, March 2020 | In: Key Posts, News | Comment