How to pandemic-proof a Hindu (or any other) pilgrimage

by Rashmee

Posted on April 24, 2021


/ FAITH, HOPE… One of my grandmothers died after contracting small pox at the Kumbh Mela less than a hundred years ago. Her husband, my grandfather, had already passed, so my father was left an orphan. He went on to become a doctor, both his profession and his personal story making him sceptical of large … Continue reading “How to pandemic-proof a Hindu (or any other) pilgrimage”

Read More

Reflections after a year as a volunteer in pandemic-hit Britain…

by Rashmee

Posted on April 12, 2021


/ BLIMEY BLIGHTY Sunday, April 11 marked one year of constant volunteering on my part. First, with the Council’s community hub, then with the Council and NHS’s Project Hope for medical staff, and finally, now, with vaccination clinics all around the area. April 11 also marked an apparent change of mood among many of the … Continue reading “Reflections after a year as a volunteer in pandemic-hit Britain…”

Read More

America’s bad news bias is a feature not a bug

by Rashmee

Posted on April 6, 2021


/ POLITICS & AMERICA Bad news bias is not breaking news. Recently published research by Bruce Sacerdote (pdf), an economics professor at Dartmouth College, asked a troubling question: “Why is all Covid-19 news bad news?” The paper covered the negative “tone” of the US media, versus non-US media. It found that 87 per cent of … Continue reading “America’s bad news bias is a feature not a bug”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

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”

Read More

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