The pandemic has hit Palestinians harder because of the health apartheid

by Rashmee

Posted on January 25, 2021


On Sunday, January 24, Israel’s health minister Yuli Edelstein went on British television and disavowed any and all legal obligation to vaccinate Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip. It was really a rather shameful performance by Mr Edelstein, who until then, had answered all the other questions put to him by Andrew … Continue reading “The pandemic has hit Palestinians harder because of the health apartheid”

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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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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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How to party like it’s 2020

by Rashmee

Posted on December 8, 2020 / The Economist


  The holiday season may be here, but the traditional office party? Not so much. The holiday season may be here, but the traditional office party? Not so much. Social distancing and other pandemic-related restrictions have ruled out the usual end-of-year work celebrations. Gone are the staff lunch, after-hours drinks and team dinner. Remote workers won’t … Continue reading “How to party like it’s 2020”

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A counterlife without the pandemic? Try the fictional take

by Rashmee

Posted on November 28, 2020


In Emily St John Mandel’s ‘The Glass Hotel’, a young female protagonist, Vincent Smith, imagines multiple counterfactual histories, including one in which the swine flu “hadn’t been swiftly contained.” The omniscient narrator then notes: “She [Vincent] could only play this game for so long before she was overcome by a kind of vertigo and had … Continue reading “A counterlife without the pandemic? Try the fictional take”

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We shouldn’t be grading ‘mass casualty events’ such as pandemics and world wars together

by Rashmee

Posted on October 14, 2020


I was very struck by the following rundown on so-called mass casualty events in the past hundred years. That’s a euphemism if there ever was one. A mass casualty event aka something that caused hundreds of thousands to die. Anyway, Peter Baker, chief White House correspondent of The New York Times, tweeted the toll. It … Continue reading “We shouldn’t be grading ‘mass casualty events’ such as pandemics and world wars together”

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There’s Senegal and then there’s Donald Trump’s America

by Rashmee

Posted on October 5, 2020


It is a stark , a startling and unsettling contrast. On the western edge of the mighty African continent, there is small Senegal, just under 200,000 sq km, with a GDP per capita of $2,700 and healthcare expenditure of less than 5 per cent of GDP. Oh, and nearly half its population of 14.7 million … Continue reading “There’s Senegal and then there’s Donald Trump’s America”

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Margaret Ferrier, the Typhoid Mary of the 21st century?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 3, 2020


Is Margaret Ferrier the Typhoid Mary of the 21st century? At first glance the question sounds ludicrous. The two women could not be more dissimilar. Ms Ferrier is a Scottish member of the British parliament. Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary, was an Irish cook who immigrated to the United States. The two women are separated … Continue reading “Margaret Ferrier, the Typhoid Mary of the 21st century?”

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Back to school vs back to gym: England’s interrupted rhythms of life

by Rashmee

Posted on August 27, 2020


Those making their way back to the gym for the first time since March 11, when the WHO declared a pandemic, may probably feel more sanguine than parents looking to soon despatch their children to school in England. Gyms, by all account, have done a pretty good job of making themselves Covid-19 safe. They’ve introduced … Continue reading “Back to school vs back to gym: England’s interrupted rhythms of life”

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Does the centre-left have the ideological flexibility to take power?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 18, 2020


In the days before the coronavirus epidemic struck, there was a growing sense that the centre-left  in the US and UK was no longer ready for change, that it was too broad-minded, as poet Robert Frost once said, to take its own side in an argument. The pandemic is changing things. Ideas normally considered socialist … Continue reading “Does the centre-left have the ideological flexibility to take power?”

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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