Rank #1: COVID Fatigue, Favela Life and Rugby in Rio de Janeiro
This week Jan talks to George Powell, a journalist and film maker who has lived and worked in Rio de Janeiro for the past 6 years. He's chosen to live in one of Rio's smaller favelas, and has some interesting insights into life as the only gringo in the village, how to survive preferring rugby to football in the land that worships the Beautiful Game, and why the country's president, Jair Bolsonaro is hitting an all-time popularity level despite the rampant spread of Coronavirus, and the devastating lack of quality healthcare for the poor. Brazil is now second in the Coronavirus stakes to the United States with over 100,000 deaths and over 3 million cases, and Rio is one of the country's hotspots. But as COVID fatigue sets in, there's little sign of the pandemic coming under control.
Aug 31 2020
Rank #2: The SARS Generation and Home Cooking in Hong Kong
Many countries are facing a resurgence of COVID-19 and nowhere is that resurgence more painful than in Hong Kong. After weeks with no cases at all, the virus has struck back in the crowded island and strict control measures have been reinstated. This week, Jan speaks to Yvonne Ng, a young PhD student who was born and brought up in Hong Kong. As a particle physicist Yvonne spent the last 11 years dividing her time between the US and Europe. She was working at CERN, (the European Organization for Nuclear Research) in Geneva, when the Centre was abruptly closed following cases of COVID-19 at the beginning of March. As borders rapidly closed around her, Yvonne returned to self-isolate in Hong Kong and face the memories of the SARS epidemic of 2003, which is etched on the consciousness of an entire generation. Yvonne believes that the traumatic impact of that previous epidemic has shaped the public response to COVID-19 and helps explain the early success in controlling the spread.
Aug 07 2020
Rank #3: Living through Lockdown in Lima
This week Jan’s in Lima, the capital city of Peru, perched on the very edge of the Pacific Ocean. She’s talking to Helen Binge, a paediatric physiotherapist who moved to the city 3 years ago when her husband Chris took over the headship of Markham College, an International School in the city. Little did she realise that she would live through one of the longest Corona virus lockdowns in the world. Jan and Helen chat about why the country has suffered so badly in the pandemic despite its strict quarantine measures, the delights of a 17 course tasting menu delivered to your door, and getting rid of Covid hair. Apologies for the less than perfect sound quality - it's a long way from France to Lima and the internet connection was definitely a little stretched.
Jul 17 2020
Rank #4: Lockdown Legacy and Ageism in Bergamo
The Italian town of Bergamo in Lombardy was devastated by the Coronavirus back in March when it first began to spread in Europe, with hospitals and cemeteries overwhelmed by the number of cases. This week Jan talks to Bergamo citizen Matteo Tarantino about his memories of the frightening early days of the pandemic, and how he and his family coped with strict lockdown conditions. Matteo is a sociologist and university lecturer who has some interesting thoughts about how ageism affected the treatment of COVID-19 patients, and how the legacy of the pandemic will force us to rethink our future cities.
Jun 26 2020
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Rank #5: Corona, Cats and Ramadan in Istanbul
Jan finds out what it's like to be locked down during the Covid-19 pandemic in Istanbul with TRT producer and journalist Sitara Jabeen. How do you make TV reports when you can't leave home? What was it like living through Ramadan, that most sociable of months, in solitary confinement? And what's happened to the hundreds of cats that roam Istanbul's back streets, now that the restaurants and markets that normally feed them are closed by the coronavirus?
Jun 11 2020
Rank #6: Pandemic Painting in Penzance
Jan catches up with film-maker, old friend and colleague, Gill Fickling (find her at Gillfickling.com) After years of travel, Gill moved back to Britain to a new home in Penzance just a few weeks before the lockdown began. We take a look at what its like to settle down after life as a global nomad, how to adapt to a new community while social distancing rules apply, and the delights of being immersed in your own language and culture after years away. Gill is coping with lockdown restrictions by throwing herself into a painting challenge - producing and selling a painting a day to raise money for refugees. But how to find new subjects when you have to stay in? Will it be a holiday photo view? Or the chickens at the bottom of the garden?
May 25 2020