• The COVID-19 pandemic: The EU must think and act globally

      The COVID-19 pandemic: The EU must think and act globally

      The COVID-19 coronavirus is overwhelming European hospitals and the death toll is rising; meanwhile, lockdowns are laying waste to economies. Not surprisingly, the top priority for European leaders’ video conferences is how to mitigate the human and economic damage to their countries. Even so, the EU cannot afford to neglect the impact of the spread of COVID-19 beyond its borders.

    • Exceptional circumstances call for exceptional measures

      Exceptional circumstances call for exceptional measures

      Up until a month ago, the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) was the top priority on the agenda of the EU. Since then, an unprecedented health crisis has hit the world and, rightly so, the MFF negotiations have effectively been put on hold. However, the consequences of postponing the agreement remain: a delay to the implementation of EU programmes next year or, even worse, no agreement on the MFF before December.

    • Ten shameful minutes

      Ten shameful minutes

      Do you know how many things can happen in 10 minutes? One of my favourite contemporary writers, Elif Shafak, would have you know that this is how long it takes for a teakettle of water to boil, and that you could also fit an entire life, several even, into such a small window of time. She shares this in her new book 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World. But writers have the privilege of letting their imagination run free, even when telling true stories. In real life, a lot of different events, mostly brief ones, happen in 10 minutes. Important things usually take longer.  

    • How to recognise and tackle Covid-19 myths

      How to recognise and tackle Covid-19 myths

      The outbreak of the coronavirus has led to disinformation that hampers efforts to contain the pandemic. From the original claim that the virus spread through bat-soup, to heated reports of EU countries fighting each other for dwindling supplies of medical equipment, these claims are everywhere, the EP press service reported..

    • The Coronavirus hoax

      The Coronavirus hoax

      Governments love crises because when the people are fearful they are more willing to give up freedoms for promises that the government will take care of them. After 9/11, for example, Americans accepted the near-total destruction of their civil liberties in the PATRIOT Act’s hollow promises of security.

    • Can well-known TB vaccine increase resistance to coronavirus?

      Can well-known TB vaccine increase resistance to coronavirus?

      Researchers in four countries will soon start a clinical trial of an unorthodox approach to the new coronavirus, Jop de Vrieze, a science journalist in Amsterdam, wrote to Science Magazine this week. They will test whether a century-old vaccine against tuberculosis (TB), a bacterial disease, can rev up the human immune system in a broad way, allowing it to better fight the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 and, perhaps, prevent infection with it altogether.

    • Necessary measures or mass panic

      Necessary measures or mass panic

      Are the measures taken all over the world in order to tackle the coronavirus spread necessary or they are too harsh and would have negative impacts at the end? Is the Covid-19 something exceptional or this is yet another seasonal infection by an ordinary, yet, novel coronavirus? Is the reaction of the world leaders coming on time, was it late or was it unnecessary strong? Is it really Covid-19 virus that dangerous?

    • Remaining sane in times of pandemic

      Remaining sane in times of pandemic

      To be entirely honest, it took me a while to start this blog post. First of all, I had plenty of time to prepare, but I didn’t. My biologists friends were extremely concerned before February for the possible pandemic… I knew that what is coming is no joke, but I didn’t take into consideration many factors, like the severity of the possible outbreaks. Since neither I nor people close to me are in a risk group, I continued my life as usual until it turned out that in Spain, where I live, the situation is getting exponentially worse and the healthcare system might not survive the hit.

    • France under house arrest

      France under house arrest

      I have never seen Bellencour, the central square of Lyon, absolutely empty. Only some clochard was snoozing in front of the newspaper kiosk. While I was taking pictures, he disappeared as well. Probably this is how the city looked during the tragic autumn of 1628 when it fell victim to the plague. And this time everything started in a seemingly innocent way.

    • In the hope of a coronavirus treatment

      In the hope of a coronavirus treatment

      An antiviral originally designed to tackle Ebola. An anti-malarial treatment dating back to World War II. A drug combo already used against HIV. A molecule involved in regulating inflammation in the body tested on marmosets. You might ask what all of these drugs have in common? Well, according to the World Health Organisation, these compounds have the highest likelihood of working against Covid-19. Thus, they are all on focus on WHO's megatrial, called SOLIDARITY.