Corona-speak in any language

by Rashmee

Posted on March 5, 2021


/ LANGUAGE If you’re in Germany, there are clear choices even in a pandemic. There’s the alltagsmaske (everyday mask). The schnutenpulli (literally, snout sweater a warmer mask for cold weather). The gesicht­s­kondom (literally face condom, for a trendier mask). Then there’s mindestabstandsregelung (minimum-distance regulation) or the more exact anderthalbmeter­gesellschaft (one-and-a-half-meter society) to describe social distancing … Continue reading “Corona-speak in any language”

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Why isn’t Switzerland a more equal country?

by Rashmee

Posted on March 4, 2021


/IT’S THE BUSINESS Here’s a conundrum: Why isn’t Switzerland progressively closing its wealth gap? The question is important in the context of the intense ongoing debate from California to Britain about a wealth tax. On March 1, Senator Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders proposed the Ultra-Millionaire Tax Act – a two per cent annual levy … Continue reading “Why isn’t Switzerland a more equal country?”

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Vaccination success may be a shot in the arm for Britain in another key way

by Rashmee

Posted on February 22, 2021


/ BLIMEY BLIGHTY  Simon Kuper wrote an important piece in the Financial Times (paywall) the other day about the pandemic-induced chance for success thrown up for Brexit Britain. I hope Boris Johnson and his advisers read it. “What national strengths does Britain’s vaccine success reveal?” he asked, “Is there a model here for Brexit Britain?” … Continue reading “Vaccination success may be a shot in the arm for Britain in another key way”

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New year, new concepts: Digital vaccine passports. Vaxxies

by Rashmee

Posted on January 1, 2021


Digital vaccine passports. Vaxxies. The first term signifies antibody protection – those who completed the Covid-19 vaccine course. The second allows entry into the same exclusive new club – the vaccinated person who takes a selfie while engaged in the act. Happy new year. It’s all change in a global pandemic. Expect to see the … Continue reading “New year, new concepts: Digital vaccine passports. Vaxxies”

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Unmasking President Trump’s fatal ignorance throughout the plague year

by Rashmee

Posted on December 29, 2020


I don’t subscribe to The New Yorker so can’t help but be grateful for the Axios story on how the nearly 100-year-old magazine is looking back on the plague year in an eponymous issue, which is almost entirely about America’s unmoored response to the pandemic. Axios says Lawrence Wright offers a 40-page account (paywall). I’ve written before about … Continue reading “Unmasking President Trump’s fatal ignorance throughout the plague year”

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Past pandemics as a guide to this one

by Rashmee

Posted on December 24, 2020


Ever wondered what behaviour change has been wrought by past pandemics? Yale physician and sociologist Nicholas Christakis has an answer. The spittoon. No one uses them the way they once did. Until the 1918 pandemic, these great receptacles for spit were common in pubs, saloons and hotels across the United States. But when a highly … Continue reading “Past pandemics as a guide to this one”

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To tackle vaccine hesitancy, choose your words wisely

by Rashmee

Posted on December 9, 2020 / The National


As the global vaccination effort prepares to get under way, there is an urgent need for a parallel inoculation process that deploys words. The right words can help fight outbreaks of vaccine hesitancy and scepticism, outright disbelief in science and distrust of government intentions and recommendations. This matters. Consider the situation in Britain, the western … Continue reading “To tackle vaccine hesitancy, choose your words wisely”

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Home and away: Bengaluru or Berlin

by Rashmee

Posted on October 24, 2020


Germany will soon have a new draft law that will give employees the legal right to work from home. It will mean other major reforms in the world of work too, not least regulating home office work by limiting hours and streamlining work-related costs sustained by home-workers. If the once-fringe idea of telecommuting finds a … Continue reading “Home and away: Bengaluru or Berlin”

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Is it really all over for the office?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 23, 2020


Many companies don’t expect workers to return to offices until next summer. Those that have allowed employees back are doing so in a phased fashion. London law firm Osborne Clarke, for instance, plans to have up to 25% of workers in the office at any one time. Goldman Sachs executives said last week that about … Continue reading “Is it really all over for the office?”

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The pandemic is throwing up new opportunities for phishing

by Rashmee

Posted on October 17, 2020


The other day I received an email offering a health check up with the blood drawn at home. It was a “spl offer”, the writer stressed. A handy hyperlink was below to “check details”. I never did check, having a sneaking suspicion it was a phishing link, so I have absolutely no idea what malicious … Continue reading “The pandemic is throwing up new opportunities for phishing”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK