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Introduction This chapter provides a concise overview of the COVID-19 pandemic. By drawing on the extensive news output and published scientific reports, the aim is to explain what a coronavirus is, to identify the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic, and to provide an international overview of the way the disease spread so rapidly across the world. Attention then turns to consider the performance of UK central government. A final section considers the main features of the COVID-19 pandemic, and identifies some of the key policy issues that the disease now

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Risk: technical rationality and beyond The COVID-19 pandemic was inextricably linked to risk. As I note in Chapter 1 , risk can be used as a technical concept, a means of using evidence from the past to predict and control the future. It provides a way of predicting the incidence of natural events such as epidemics caused by pathogenic microbes. Risk is also shaped by social relationships. One of its key elements, outcomes, acquires meaning because of its social significance, with distinct values attached to different outcomes. Given such values, social

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Key messages The pandemic marks the beginning of the 21st century. We are entering a period of intermittent pandemic. The new coronavirus brought to light some of the contradictions of our time, namely the contrast between human fragility and the technological hubris linked to the fourth industrial revolution (artificial intelligence); and the contrast between the TINA ideology (there is no alternative) and the sudden and extreme changes in our everyday life which suggest that there are indeed alternatives. The virus is our contemporary in more senses

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Whatever it is, coronavirus has made the mighty kneel and brought the world to a halt like nothing else could. Our minds are still racing back and forth, longing for a return to ‘normality’, trying to stitch our future to our past and refusing to acknowledge the rupture. But the rupture exists. And in the midst of this terrible despair, it offers us a chance to rethink the doomsday machine we have built for ourselves. Nothing could be worse than a return to normality. Historically, pandemics have forced humans to break with the past and imagine their world

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EPDF and EPUB available Open Access under CC-BY-NC-ND licence.

Though a globally shared experience, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected societies across the world in radically different ways. This book examines the unique implications of the pandemic in the Global South.

With international contributors from a variety of disciplines including health, economics and geography, the book investigates the pandemic’s effects on development, medicine, gender (in)equality and human rights among other issues. Its analysis illuminates further subsequent crises of interconnection, a pervasive health provision crisis and a resulting rise in socio-economic inequality.

The book’s assessment offers an urgent discourse on the ways in which the impact of COVID-19 can be mitigated in some of the most challenging socio-economic contexts in the world.

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Let’s start our tale about researching in a pandemic with the beginning of a story: Sam has been keeping in touch with friends online during the COVID-19 Lockdown, and learned that some of them are going to meet up in the big local park, just after dark, to hang out and have a drink… They’re encouraging Sam to come along… We invite you to imagine how you might tell the rest of this story, or indeed to go ahead and write it. We ask you to then reflect on what emotions this scenario evokes for you. The research we describe in this chapter stemmed from emotional

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Legal Responses to COVID-19 – Justice and Social Responsibility
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The effects of COVID-19 are visited disproportionately on the already disadvantaged.

This important text maps out ways in which those already disadvantaged have been affected by legal responses to COVID-19. Contributors tackle issues including virtual trials, adult social care, racism, tax and spending, education and more. They reflect on the implications of COVID-19 and express concerns with policy and practice developments and with the neutral version of the law and the economy which has taken root.

Drawing on diverse resources, this text offers an account of the damage caused by legal responses to the pandemic and demonstrates how the future response can be positive and productive.

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Pandemics and risk narratives The media and representations of risk In modern global societies, events happening in distant places can affect our lives in unexpected ways and we gain knowledge about such events from various media. Towards the end of 2019, a new virus spread in the Chinese city of Wuhan and the first reports were on social media; for example, Dr Li Wenliang’s message on a Chinese chatroom on 30 December 2019 about the quarantining of SARS cases alerted infectious disease specialists worldwide that there was a new virus (Honigsbaum, 2020 , pp

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International Insights

As the world grapples with the complex impacts of COVID-19, this book provides an urgent critical exploration of how Social Work can and should respond to this global crisis.

The book considers the ecological, epidemiological, ideological and political conditions which gave rise to the pandemic, before examining the ways that social work has responded in different nations across the Global North and Global South. This series of nation studies examine good practices and suggest new ways to renew and regenerate social work moving on from COVID-19.

Contributors also reflect on the key themes that have emerged, including a rise in domestic violence and the ways that the pandemic has disproportionately affected those in working class and minority communities, exacerbating existing inequalities.

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the top end of the income scale, the COVID-19 experience for the world’s richest has been very different. As well as this class avoiding the fatal consequences of the pandemic, more than three-quarters of the world’s richest people reported an increase in their already vast fortunes, despite the economic shock associated with the lockdown. Research looking at the super-rich found that the vast majority were able to ride out 2020’s storm in financial markets, while millions of the rest of us have lost jobs and seen the value of our savings and pensions collapse. The

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