Italians under lockdown are an example to us all, especially here in ‘hamstering’ Britain

by Rashmee

Posted on March 19, 2020


Eliara del Banco, mother of 12-year-old Alessandro, lives in Lucca, birthplace of the great composer Puccini and famous for its beautifully preserved Renaissance-period walls, historic city centre and cobblestoned streets. For the past nine days, mother and son have been in quarantine because on March 10, Italy became the first democratic country since World War II … Continue reading “Italians under lockdown are an example to us all, especially here in ‘hamstering’ Britain”

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If perfume companies can make hand gel, clothing firms can do protective gear for medics

by Rashmee

Posted on March 18, 2020


It was a coincidence that I heard Italian doctor Fabiano Di Marco talking about the deadly effects of the coronavirus on the medical community in Bergamo town, near Milan, the very day a worried London father described how his son and daughter-in-law – specialist doctors – had been deployed to deal with Covid-19 patients without … Continue reading “If perfume companies can make hand gel, clothing firms can do protective gear for medics”

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Cometh the hour, cometh the words that will go viral

by Rashmee

Posted on March 17, 2020


Once upon a time, it was Brexit that added new words to the dictionary. “Brexit” – a portmanteau of the words “Britain” and “exit” – was Brexit’s first linguistic contribution, soon after the referendum of June 23, 2016. Then came “leave”, “remain”, “hard Brexit”, “soft Brexit”, “crashing out”, “backstop”, “Remoaners”, “flextension” and “Henry VIII powers”. … Continue reading “Cometh the hour, cometh the words that will go viral”

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Coronavirus kills the ISIS threat as the terrorist group issues travel advice for Europe?

by Rashmee

Posted on March 16, 2020


The unfolding coronavirus crisis has elements of the surreal. Consider this. ** ISIS has issued travel advice to its members: terrorists should avoid Europe, the new epicentre of the virus, according to the World Health Organisation. The brutal extremist group’s Al Naba newsletter warned that the “healthy should not enter the land of the epidemic … Continue reading “Coronavirus kills the ISIS threat as the terrorist group issues travel advice for Europe?”

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Black swans, grey rhinos and the global oil market

by Rashmee

Posted on March 15, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Until Russia’s refusal to accede to production cuts, the global oil market was suffering the effects of falling demand on account of the coronavirus outbreak. Once upon a time there were “black swans,” a term used by Lebanese-American scholar, statistician and risk analyst Nassim Nicholas Taleb to describe unknown unknowns —  unforeseeable, or highly improbable, … Continue reading “Black swans, grey rhinos and the global oil market”

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Namaste, the #nohandshake hand gesture for the age of coronavirus

by Rashmee

Posted on March 14, 2020


“Nice to meet you, but how to greet you?” ran NPR’s headline in acknowledgement of this conundrum for the age of coronavirus. With hand hygiene in focus and the handshake taboo, how do you greet someone? A fist bump seems rather childish. The elbow bump a little too familiar. Perhaps the namaste, the joining of … Continue reading “Namaste, the #nohandshake hand gesture for the age of coronavirus”

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Friday, the 13th: It’s taken a virus to show up European disunion

by Rashmee

Posted on March 13, 2020


Italy asked Germany to send face masks and testing kits. It was China that answered the call. (Beijing sent medical experts and promised the cheap and speedy provision of 2 million face masks, 20,000 protective suits and 1,000 respirators.) Members of the European Union (EU) have been violating their own rules. For instance, the cherished … Continue reading “Friday, the 13th: It’s taken a virus to show up European disunion”

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Life in the age of a novel coronavirus: Going to the library

by Rashmee

Posted on March 12, 2020


I was standing near the reception desk at my local library in London when a tall thin man in his 30s trotted up to the librarian in a state of great agitation. “You’ll be wanting to know that one of your customers back there has a cold,” he said, his head jerking towards the window … Continue reading “Life in the age of a novel coronavirus: Going to the library”

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Work-life balance in the age of a novel coronavirus

by Rashmee

Posted on March 11, 2020


In Italy, bars are marking foot-wide distances for patrons to stand and quaff their favourite tipple. Google parent company Alphabet has suggested that all of its North America employees work from home through April 10. At Dulles airport in Washington, D.C., there are signs saying “Keep calm and wash your hands”, presumably for both staff … Continue reading “Work-life balance in the age of a novel coronavirus”

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Coronavirus is teaching us all how to be vulnerable together

by Rashmee

Posted on March 10, 2020 / The National


On Sunday, Italy, the eurozone’s third largest economy, locked down Milan and the industrial regions that serve as the country’s economic engine for a whole month. The day before, South by Southwest, the influential tech, film and music conference held every year in Austin, Texas, was cancelled. So was the London Book Fair, one of … Continue reading “Coronavirus is teaching us all how to be vulnerable together”

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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