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The Irish Times
A news podcast from The Irish Times that covers Ireland's response to the Coronavirus outbreak. New episodes will be published each weekday. 888821
Jul 16, 2020
The biggest story of our lives, part two
This is the final instalment of the Confronting Coronavirus podcast series. For part two of the final two-part episode, we’ve asked a handful of Irish Times journalists to reflect on the last couple of months and how the pandemic has played out. Today, we’ll hear from Europe correspondent Naomi O'Leary, sports reporter Malachy Clerkin and health editor Paul Cullen.
Jul 15, 2020
The biggest story of our lives, part one
This is the final instalment of the Confronting Coronavirus podcast series. For the final two-part episode, we’ve asked a handful of Irish Times journalists to reflect on the last couple of months and how the pandemic has played out. Today, we’ll hear from Public Affairs Editor Simon Carswell and our Political reporter Jennifer Bray.
Jul 6, 2020
The emotional impact of Covid-19 with Clinical Psychologist Tony Bates
Traditionally, one in five of the population experience mental health challenges. In the coming year there will be many more. In today’s episode, Clinical Psychologist Tony Bates speaks to Deirdre Veldon about the emotional impact of the pandemic and how different sections of society will be affected in the weeks and months ahead.
Jul 2, 2020
“Aid is politics” - lockdown in Uganda with Sally Hayden
In today’s episode, we hear from Irish Times journalist Sally Hayden, who has been living in lockdown in Northern Uganda for the past three months. In March, during the onset of the pandemic, Hayden travelled across the border from Rwanda into Gulu, a city at the epicentre of a two decade long civil war which ended in 2006. Hayden speaks to Deirdre Veldon about the impact of lockdown restrictions on the people of Gulu, in a country with no social protections and where aid is politics.
Jun 30, 2020
“We must demand equal access to future vaccines”
As the global race to find a vaccine for Covid-19 continues, the question of how it will eventually be supplied and distributed is now under the spotlight. Billions of euro have been donated by governments and philanthropic organisations to pharmaceutical companies for research and development of vital Covid-19 vaccines. However, in most cases, few if any conditions for access or affordability have been included as a precondition to any of this funding. In today’s episode we hear from Kate Elder, Senior Vaccines Policy Advisor for Médecins Sans Frontières Access. MSF is calling for authorities to ensure any future vaccines are sold at cost and are universally accessible to all.
Jun 27, 2020
Lifting the lockdown: What can I do in Phase 3?
Ireland is approaching Phase 3 of the Roadmap for Reopening Business and Society. In this episode, Conor Pope talks us through some of the changes that will be coming into place as the country continues to ease lockdown restrictions.
Jun 18, 2020
A coronavirus surge shocks Beijing - with Peter Goff
The return of restrictions on life in Beijing comes as over a hundred new cases are linked to a huge food market. Peter Goff explains what's happening in Beijing, how the city is handling it and why the outbreak is a major blow to the efforts of China, and the world, to control the virus and reopen economies. Plus, a deadly skirmish on the India-China border.
Jun 17, 2020
"There's remarkable buy-in from prisoners" - How the Irish Prison System kept Covid-19 Out
This week the Irish Prison Service put forward a paper to the World Health Organisation as a model of best practices for keeping Covid-19 out of it’s settings. With 3,738 prisoners nationwide and zero positive cases, there is a lot to be learned from their management of the virus. In this episode, Deirdre Veldon speaks to Irish Times Crime Correspondent Conor Gallagher about the quick action and careful planning which shaped their successful handling of the outbreak. They also discuss the overall impact the pandemic has had on crime levels and how the Irish court system has been coping with virtual hearings and socially distanced court rooms.
Jun 12, 2020
How Contagion predicted a pandemic - with screenwriter Scott Z. Burns and Dr Ian Lipkin
In this episode, Irish Times Features Writer Patrick Freyne brings us back to the year 2011 and the release of the scientific thriller movie Contagion. Starring Matt Damon, Contagion tells the story of a deadly virus which explodes into a global pandemic, bringing society to its knees. Nine years on, in the midst of our own virus outbreak, it all feels eerily familiar. Freyne catches up with Contagion’s screenwriter Scott Z. Burns and the virologist who advised the script and plotline for the movie, Dr Ian Lipkin. The pair explain how their working relationship began over a couple of cocktails in a Manhattan bar and was sealed on the agreement that this pandemic movie would be grounded in science rather than blockbuster action. So, nine years on from its release, what it is like looking back on Contagion for Burns and Lipkin? Has the pandemic played out like they expected both scientifically and politically?
Jun 9, 2020
Lockdown is lifting, but new rules cause many conundrums - with Conor Pope
Conor Pope has been looking at how Ireland is reopening this week, in shops and other public places. His assessment: it's going quite well, but many small problems remain, from queuing to distancing and the wearing of masks. And as more restrictions are eased, more such problems will crop up for Irish consumers and businesses.
Jun 8, 2020
"The psycho-social impact is far greater - and will last much longer"
In our hospitals and psychiatric clinics, it has already begun. Increasing numbers of people are seeking help for mental health problems associated, in one way or another, with Covid-19. Professionals warn that the psychiatric effects of the pandemic and the lockdown will endure much longer than the physical effects of the virus. And those psychiatric effects are alarmingly diverse: anxiety, psychosis, eating disorders, PTSD. Prof Fiona McNicholas is a Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Crumlin Children's Hospital. She talks about the tsunami of mental health problems we face, the unexpected ways Covid-19 can harm our minds, and the potential for technology to aid therapy in a time of social distancing.
Jun 5, 2020
"Compliance is not as good on the way down as it was on the way up"
Next week, Ireland will enter phase two of the roadmap out of lockdown. We’ll be able to travel 20km from our homes and visit another household while maintaining social distancing. Street level shops will open and some sporting and fitness activities will begin again. But will this taste of freedom mean people will push the boundaries even more? Large crowds flocked to beauty spots over the long weekend, while thousands gathered in close proximity at a Black Lives Matter protest earlier this week. In today’s episode, Deirdre Veldon speaks to Pete Lunn a behavioural economist with the Economic and Social Research Institute. With community transmission quite low, Lunn explains how this may affect willingness to comply to ongoing restrictions.
Jun 1, 2020
"It's callous to leave businesses closed if they don't need to be"
Should all retailers, restaurants and tourism be allowed to open sooner? Business affairs correspondent and columnist Mark Paul has been arguing for an accelerated easing of restrictions on businesses, especially for the sake of our small and medium sized enterprises, "the lifeblood of our economy". He tells Deirdre Veldon that no-one seems to be fighting their corner, and that the balance of risks to our society is skewed.
May 29, 2020
The effect of lockdowns and the return of mobility: what the data tells us
Barry Smyth is a data scientist. Early on in the outbreak, he was among the first to realise the importance of looking closely at the number of excess deaths in the population, as revealed by website Rip.ie, to track the true toll of the virus. Since then, he has written about the nature of lockdown measures imposed across Europe, as revealed through data. Which countries are strictest, and what happens to the virus when people start moving about again? Barry talks to Deirdre Veldon about what the data reveals. Barry Smyth holds the Digital Chair of Computer Science in University College Dublin and is a Director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics.
May 28, 2020
Why did it take so long for a nursing home plan to be put in place?
Coronavirus has presented a huge challenge for our health services, especially in our nursing homes. The devastating death toll in these settings has come under the spotlight this week for the Dáil's Covid-19 committee. On Tuesday, the committee heard from Tadgh Daly, the head of Nursing Homes Ireland who claimed the sector was left “abandoned and isolated”. Hundreds of pages of newly released documentation, reveal a timeline of correspondence which suggests it took more than a month for a specific plan for nursing homes to be put in place. Jennifer Bray is political reporter with The Irish Times and has been looking into these exchanges between Nursing Homes Ireland and Key State Organisations. In this episode, we also hear from Health Editor Paul Cullen who reflects on the state response to the issues raised by nursing homes.
May 27, 2020
How to be ready for an unpredictable future - with author Margaret Heffernan
Margaret Heffernan is a businesswoman and author who writes about leadership and strategic thinking. Her latest book Uncharted: How to Map the Future is about the pitfalls of relying too much on forecasting and predictions, and the benefits of a different kind of readiness. In the book, which was published back in February, Margaret presciently writes about pandemics as an example of the uncertainty and unpredictability of complex events.
May 26, 2020
"Local lockdowns needed to keep virus at bay" - Dr David Nabarro
Yesterday we reached a significant milestone in our fight against coronavirus. For the first time since the 21st March, there were no new deaths from Covid-19 in Ireland. But how can we keep this figure down as the country continues to emerge from lockdown? In today’s episode, we hear from Dr David Nabarro, a professor of global health at Imperial college London and the World Health Organisation’s special envoy for Covid-19. Dr Nabarro spoke to Deirdre Veldon about the need for localised lockdowns to maintain control over the virus when new peaks emerge and why an effective vaccine could be over two and a half years away.
May 25, 2020
The Impact of Covid-19 on the young with psychotherapist John Sharry
Among the people most affected by this crisis are children and especially teenagers. Lockdown has put an abrupt stop to their education and their social lives. In today's podcast Deirdre Veldon speaks to psychotherapist and Irish Times columnist John Sharry about the developmental impacts the lockdown will have on young people and how parents can prepare for the weeks and months ahead.
May 22, 2020
Rethinking nursing homes and the lives of our elderly after Covid-19
Is it time to dispense with nursing homes? The death toll from Covid-19 in these institutions is bringing the arguments for and against them into focus. Today we talk to two experts about what a different future might look like and the challenges getting there. Professor Gerard Quinn is a legal academic who contributed to the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the treatment of persons with disabilities, and is now working on a similar convention on the treatment of the elderly. Professor Des O'Neill is director of the Centre for Ageing, Neuroscience and the Humanities at Trinity College and a doctor specialising in geriatric care.
May 21, 2020
Ireland to start antibody testing next month: what that means and how it will help
Political correspondent Harry McGee tells Deirdre Veldon about the news that Ireland will begin a programme of testing for Covid-19 antibodies in the population next month. How does this test differ to how we are already testing, and what benefits will it bring?
May 19, 2020
"I happen to be taking it": Trump's hydroxychloroquine bombshell and the politicisation of Covid-19
Today we're recapping a very eventful few weeks in the United States' response to Covid-19 with the help of Washington Correspondent Suzanne Lynch. This week President Trump caused controversy when he announced he is taking an unproven drug to prevent infection. Meanwhile the politicisation of the virus response has been exacerbated by a growing feud between Donald Trump and Barack Obama, the former's new attacks on the latter perhaps giving us a taste of what to expect later this year as the election campaign heats up. The pandemic will remain an unavoidable backdrop for Trump's reelection efforts. But will it move the needle on his support?
May 18, 2020
The return of retail shows just how much things have changed - with Conor Pope
Yesterday some retailers reopened in phase one of the easing of lockdown. Conor Pope went out to meet shoppers and see whether their behaviour had changed (and to pick up some lavender and compost). He tells Deirdre Veldon what he saw, and some ways he thinks retail will be different from here on.
May 18, 2020
Coronavirus and private hospitals: decision time
The argument for taking 19 private hospitals into public control was clear in late March: to avoid the overrun of our health services with cases of Covid-19, as had happened in Italy. But now with that risk diminished, the decision about what to do next is much less clear-cut. Here we dig into how the deal is working, its shortcomings and the knock-on effects it is having on our imperfect healthcare system. Martin Wall is The Irish Times industry correspondent.
May 14, 2020
"The world will divide in two": Professor Sam McConkey on living with Covid-19 in the years ahead
Professor Sam McConkey has been one of the most prominent communicators of the science behind the pandemic response in Ireland. Here he talks to Irish Times deputy editor Deirdre Veldon about how we will live with Covid-19 in the months and years ahead, affecting how our businesses work, making smaller school class sizes necessary, and creating a new global divide between nations on top of the virus and those where it remains widespread. Professor McConkey is Associate Professor and Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the RCSI.
May 14, 2020
Guided by science and not by the calendar: How the North will exit lockdown
This week the Northern Ireland Executive published plans for easing out of lockdown, going against Boris Johnsons 'Stay Alert' exit strategy. The five stage plan revealed by Stormont is subject to change and will be guided by science and not by the calendar. In today's episode, Deirdre Veldon speaks to Dr Lindsay Broadbent, a virologist at Queens University Belfast about the easing of restrictions, a realistic time frame for a vaccine and the search for a drug treatment for Covid-19.
May 13, 2020
Not just a talking shop: How will the new Covid-19 committee hold power to account?
This week the special committee on Covid-19 met for the first time in the Dáil chamber. Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan and HSE boss Paul Reid will be the first to appear before the committee next week, which was established to consider and take evidence on the State’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. So what issues will they be focusing on over the coming weeks and will they be able to hold power to account? Irish Times parliamentary reporter Marie O’Halloran speaks to Deridre Veldon.
May 12, 2020
Irish Tourism: "It's impossible to overstate the scale of the crisis"
Tourism makes a vital contribution to the Irish economy. It’s a lucrative industry employing over a quarter of a million people, yet in the space of just a few weeks, it has completely collapsed. In today's episode Deidre Veldon speaks to Irish Times Consumer Affairs Editor Conor Pope about the future of Irish tourism. Plus Senior Features Writer Rosita Boland explains the innovative ways businesses in Co. Clare are hoping to keep their industry alive.
May 11, 2020
Minister for Business Heather Humphreys on the new rules for returning to work
On Saturday afternoon, the Minister for Business, Heather Humphreys launched the ‘Return to Work Safety Protocol’ at Government Buildings. It sets out a series of steps employers and their workers must undertake before a workplace reopens, and while it continues to operate. In this conversation with Deirdre Veldon, Ms Humphreys outlines some of the requirements set out in the protocol and what the future of the workplace will look like. The Minister also remains hopeful that some businesses such as hairdressers and pubs will reopen earlier than expected, “if we do well on the figures and manage to reduce the number of people contracting the virus, there is flexibility to allow them to open more quickly”.
May 8, 2020
Should we all be wearing face masks?
There have been a number of conflicting opinions on whether face masks can prevent the spread of coronavirus in the community. In this episode, Deirdre Veldon speaks to Heath editor Paul Cullen and Science and Environment editor Kevin O'Sullivan about the reasons for and against the wearing of masks.
May 7, 2020
Personal stories of bereavement during the pandemic
Coronavirus has forced us to change every aspect of our lives including the way we grieve our loved ones. While funerals are still going ahead, under current restrictions, there must be no more than ten people in attendance. We have been asked to end the familiar customs and traditions that help us let go of those we have lost. These days, families say their goodbyes over Facetime and mourners tune in to funeral mass over Zoom. Following an open call, readers of The Irish Times have been sending in their personal experiences of bereavement during this pandemic. In this episode, we invited those who contributed, to share their story. Contributions from: Berna Brennan, Martin Osbourne, Geraldine Eskinazi, Emma O'Grady, Sarah Judge, Louise O'Connor and Brendan Hayes
May 6, 2020
Could group testing for Covid-19 contain the virus in just one month?
As the world continues to fight against the spread of coronavirus, testing remains one of the key ways to keep infection under control. But how can we reach a level of testing which will allow the public to return to their daily lives while preventing a second wave of the disease? In today’s episode, we hear from Peter Fraizer, a professor of Operations Research at Cornell University in New York. Together with his colleagues, Fraizer has devised a group testing protocol, which he claims, if implemented, would see over 90% of Americans returning to work in just one month.
May 5, 2020
Coronavirus: "Obesity is almost up there with being over 80 years of age"
In today's episode, we hear from Professor Donal O'Shea, the HSE clinical lead on obesity and a consultant endocrinologist at St. Vincent's and St. Columcille's Hospitals in Dublin. Prof O'Shea speaks to Deirdre Veldon about the worrying decline in patients seeking primary care and the research which shows obesity and diabetes are major risk factors in becoming seriously ill from coronavirus.
May 2, 2020
The reopening of Ireland - a phased approach
In today's episode Deirdre Veldon speaks to Irish Times political correspondent Jennifer Bray and Health Editor Paul Cullen about the roadmap for reopening Ireland as announced by Leo Varadkar on Friday evening. Most of the current restrictions will remain in place until May 18th and will be eased in stages, three weeks at a time. Finally psychotherapist and advice columnist Trish Murphy has some helpful tips for coping with the extended period of lockdown
Apr 30, 2020
Homeless in a pandemic: "They're more vulnerable to the virus and less able to avoid it"
In today's episode, we hear from Irish Times Social Affairs correspondent Kitty Holland, who has been speaking to people availing of homeless services across Dublin City. At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, over 10,000 people in Ireland were registered as homeless and in recent weeks the demand on services has greatly increased. For those in emergency accommodation, it’s almost impossible to self isolate and adhere to the strict measures imposed by the government, while detox programs for drug addicts have been put on hold. Rebecca O'Carroll, service manager with the Dublin Simon Community also explains how residents in long term supported care are dealing with the changes in their daily lives.
Apr 29, 2020
France plots a course out of lockdown - with Lara Marlowe
Yesterday French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced plans to ease lockdown restrictions in France. To find out more, Deirdre Veldon talks to Paris correspondent Lara Marlowe.
Apr 28, 2020
Lifting the lockdown: the possibilities and the risks
'The Hammer and the Dance' are terms used by Tomas Pueyo to describe two stages of Coronavirus management. The Hammer - major restrictions on most normal social activities - is where we are now. The Dance - managing to return to something like normality without allowing the virus to spread - is where we seem to want to be. But what would the details of that look like, and, as things are now, are we on course for an easing of restrictions on May 5th? Simon Carswell has been looking at the possibilities and the risks. He talks to Deirdre Veldon.
Apr 24, 2020
Inside a nursing home that has kept Covid-19 at bay
Today we hear from Diarmuid Ó’Dálaigh, owner of Oaklodge Nursing Home in Cloyne, Co, Cork. With sixty five residents, Oaklodge specialises in the care of those with dementia and so far, has no recorded cases of the virus. Almost half of the Covid-19 deaths in Ireland have been in nursing homes and the government has been criticised for their lack of focus on this vulnerable sector. Diarmuid explains how daily life has changed in Oaklodge since the outbreak and how, along with preventative measures, cooperation from staff and a bit of luck, they have managed to keep the virus at bay. In this episode we also hear from full time Oaklodge residents Jim and Breda.
Apr 23, 2020
How will the global airline industry recover from Covid-19?
Coronavirus has put airlines and travel firms under unprecedented strain and consumers are baring the brunt of it. Airlines are holding back on refunds and pressing customers to take vouchers instead. The whole affair calls into question public confidence in airlines, which may have an impact on their very uncertain future. Irish Times consumer affairs editor Conor Pope speaks to Deirdre Veldon about how Ryan Air have handled the crisis and what the future of airline travel might look like.
Apr 22, 2020
Anti-quarantine protests and phased reopening: all the latest from the US
Over the last week, small protests have been popping up across the US demanding the reopening of the country and its economy. Exasperated Americans took to the streets with signs and flags, with some holding rifles. Trump has handed control over to each state governor to implement a phased reopening, when the time is right. Suzanne Lynch is the Irish Times Washington correspondent and she speaks to Deirdre Veldon about the latest events and an uncertain election on the horizon.
Apr 21, 2020
"Our destruction of nature has contributed to the outbreak of this virus"
In today’s episode we hear from Jane Stout, a professor with the school of natural sciences at Trinity College Dublin. As an ecologist, Jane explores the link between the climate change crisis, global biodiversity loss and the increasing frequency of disease outbreaks across the world. So how has human interference in the natural world contributed to the pandemic and is this just the tip of the iceberg?
Apr 20, 2020
"Covid-19 will return in waves - we need a new strategy to deal with it"
Ireland may have to cope with repeated waves of Covid-19 epidemics until a large enough proportion of the population is infected to provide possible herd immunity, new research warns. But does that mean we have to stay locked down indefinitely, or is there a different strategy that can allow us to manage the disease? Dr Rosalyn Moran is an Irish scientist based in London who led the research team. She talks to Irish Times deputy editor Deirdre Veldon.
Apr 17, 2020
Disappointment, worry and anger: Leaving Cert students speak
The Leaving Cert class of 2020 might be the unluckiest ever. Covid-19 has upended the familiar rite of passage and replaced it with uncertainty, worry, stress and a bit of anger too. Education editor Carl O'Brien explains why the government made its decision to postpone the Leaving Cert, and the obstacles that still have to be overcome for the exams to take place. But first, Leaving Cert students Eva Newell, Martha Rose Neville and Luke Casserly tell us how Covid-19 has cast doubt on their futures.
Apr 16, 2020
Ending the lockdowns: the EU steps in
Europe correspondent Naomi O'Leary explains the new role the European Commission is taking on, setting out a "road map" for member states to end their pandemic lockdowns. What does ending lockdown look like, and what is the role of your smartphone? Plus, remember Brexit?
Apr 15, 2020
Life in Wuhan after the lockdown
After 76 days shut off from the rest of the world, China finally lifted the lockdown order on the city of Wuhan. Now begins the process to resume normal life and get businesses back up and running. Wuhan is home to just over 11 million people, many of whom have not been able to leave their homes since mid January. Irish Times correspondent Peter Goff reports from Beijing on the reality of life after lockdown.
Apr 14, 2020
Pregnancy in a Pandemic
As we enter yet another week in lockdown, many aspects of our lives have been placed on hold, but when it comes to pregnancy and labour, there is no pause button. How have Irish maternity hospitals adapted in the crisis and how are new parents coping with the stricter rules and regulations? In this episode, we hear from Lizanne Tormey who is due her first child in a matter of weeks, Amy Rochford a Dublin based midwife and Aideen Goggin who gave birth to her baby boy Henry, on March 26th.
Apr 13, 2020
Can we keep this up? A behavioural economist says yes
Pete Lunn, a behavioural economist with the Economic and Social Research Institute, talks about what will drive people to abide by, or break, the social distancing and stay-at-home rules in the weeks ahead. But first health editor Paul Cullen on the state of play in the nation's efforts to overcome the outbreak.
Apr 10, 2020
Staying connected during the Covid-19 crisis
As the coronavirus outbreak forces us all to stay apart, technology is playing a crucial role in keeping us all connected. From online lessons, business meetings over zoom and Saturday nights spent on Houseparty with friends; interactions are now predominantly taking place in a virtual world. In this episode we hear from Irish Times tech journalist Ciara O'Brien, on the new and innovative ways people are staying in touch.
Apr 9, 2020
Lives on hold: coronavirus and the elderly
To protect themselves from Covid-19, all those over 70 have been asked to "cocoon" - basically to stay at home all day, every day. How are they finding it? We ask cocooners Gemma, Kieran and Mary. And then we talk to Professor Des O'Neill, a specialist in geriatric medicine and director of the Centre for Ageing, Neuroscience and the Humanities about the specific challenges facing the elderly in this crisis. In particular, does the way Covid-19 emerged in nursing homes hold lessons for how we treat the elderly in Ireland?
Apr 8, 2020
Can the BCG vaccination protect you from Covid-19?
A recent study from the US has shown that countries with high BCG vaccination rates have fewer coronavirus deaths. This may be due to the known immunological benefits of the vaccine. Trials have now begun in Australia and The Netherlands to test whether the vaccination can prevent thousands of healthcare workers from becoming infected. To understand this study and the potential behind the findings, we spoke with Luke O'Neill, an immunologist and Professor of Biochemistry at Trinity College.
Apr 7, 2020
How is Germany keeping its death rate so low?
Berlin correspondent Derek Scally on the response to the pandemic in Germany, which has seen over 100,000 cases but yet reported far fewer deaths than Spain, Italy, the UK or France.
Apr 6, 2020
The physical and mental challenges facing our health care professionals
In this episode, we hear from Mary Leahy, the National Coordinator for Nurse/Midwife Safety, Health and Wellbeing. Mary has been instrumental in raising funds for much needed personal protection equipment for health care workers in Ireland. She recently set up the 'Heroes Aid' Go Fund Me Campaign which has raised over €55,000 for PPE and other resources to keep healthcare workers safe. The money will also be used to provide psychological and practical supports for those workers negatively impacted by Covid-19. Mary also explains the innovative ways Irish companies are working together to design and produce protective equipment to fight the outbreak.
Apr 3, 2020
"Our rates of testing will not flatten the curve" - a doctor speaks
Dr Jack Lambert is a consultant in infectious disease at the Mater Hospital. In this in-depth conversation about Ireland's approach to the coronavirus outbreak, Dr Lambert tells Irish Times deputy editor Deirdre Veldon that testing in Ireland at its current rate won't be sufficient to "flatten the curve", and identifies other problems, too.
Apr 2, 2020
Coronavirus in India: 1.3 Billion on Lockdown
As India begins a second week under complete lockdown, we hear from Rahul Bedi, an Irish Times contributor based in New Delhi. Last week, In his address to the nation, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned that if action was not taken over these 21 days of lockdown, “it would set India back 21 years”. However, these restrictive measures remain a significant challenge as hundreds of millions of citizens live in extreme poverty or in packed urban areas with poor sanitation and little access to public health care.
Apr 1, 2020
From Perth to Dublin: an Irish doctor comes home to fight Covid-19
Dr Zoe Lynch is a young Irish medic who has recently returned home to Ireland to join in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. As Australia prepared to go into lockdown and airlines began cancelling flights, Zoe set about organising a rescue flight which brought nearly one hundred Irish doctors back to our shores. She spoke to Róisín Ingle for The Irish Times Women's Podcast about her decision to return home.
Mar 31, 2020
Big ideas to save the economy - with David McWilliams and Chris Johns
What steps do we need to take to protect the economy and give ourselves a chance to bounce back quickly when it ends? We ask David McWilliams and Chris Johns for some ideas. Plus, Cliff Taylor has the latest economic figures, including a sliver of positive news.
Mar 30, 2020
"This virus is a lot sneakier than we thought"
It was another eventful weekend. To help make sense of the reasons for the new restrictions, and to understand how prepared our system is for a surge in cases of a virus that is proving difficult to thwart, we talk to health editor Paul Cullen. Featuring discussion of the availability of ICU beds, the shortage of protective equipment and the promise of antibody testing.
Mar 27, 2020
Coronavirus: a respiratory consultant’s insights
In today’s episode we speak with Dr. Oisin O’Connell, a respiratory consultant at the Bons Secours hospital in Cork. Dr. O’Connell and his colleagues have been in regular conversation with medical professionals in Italy and China, in a bid to stem the outbreak here in Ireland. So what have they learned from their counterparts in Wuhan and Lombardy? And how have these interactions prepared our healthcare system for what is to come? Despite the government's relatively quick action on social distancing and school closures, Dr O’Connell explains “We’re still going to get a surge and that surge is going to hurt”.
Mar 26, 2020
Coronavirus Vaccine: How far have we come?
In this episode, Science and Environment Editor Kevin O’Sullivan brings us up to speed on the latest developments of the coronavirus vaccine. As Covid-19 spreads rapidly across the world, research is taking place at breakneck speed. It is a global effort involving many different countries, institutions and individual researchers, all facing huge challenges along the way. So who is making the most progress and when will we see a vaccine made available to the public?
Mar 24, 2020
What do the new restrictions mean for you?
Yesterday the government announced new restrictions on personal movement and businesses, and also gave details of new measures to help those left out of pocket by the outbreak. What does it all mean for you? We ask Conor Pope.
Mar 24, 2020
Coronavirus in the US - with Suzanne Lynch
Today we talk to Washington correspondent Suzanne Lynch about the growing Coronavirus outbreak in the United States and trace the Trump administration's shifting response.
Mar 23, 2020
Coronavirus: a recovered Irish Times journalist's experience
In this episode, we hear from Irish Times digital journalist Glen Murphy who tested positive for Covid-19 just two weeks ago. This was the first case of coronavirus within The Irish Times and led to a complete closure of the office, with all staff asked to work remotely. Despite developing a high fever, persistent cough and a splitting headache, Glen was deemed a “low risk case” and found it difficult to secure a test from the HSE. His parents, who are symptomatic, await test results eight days on. Here, he speaks to Deirdre Veldon about his close contacts who are still awaiting tests and what it’s like being a "statistic in a global pandemic".
Mar 20, 2020
Coronavirus in Africa: "we've got two ventilators for 12 million people"
Today we talk to Sinead Walsh. Sinead was Ireland's ambassador to Sierra Leone and Liberia during the 2014 Ebola outbreak and is currently the EU's ambassador to South Sudan. South Sudan doesn't yet have its first confirmed case of Coronavirus, but is a country massively reliant on foreign aid. That's coming under threat from Coronavirus outbreaks elsewhere, as flights are cancelled and NGO staff are drawn back. And the virus is present in the surrounding countries, meaning its arrival there is only a matter of time. With only two ventilators for 12 million inhabitants, South Sudan woefully unprepared.
Mar 18, 2020
Why was the UK's response so different?
First: Cliff Taylor on measures announced today by Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe. Then: Denis Staunton on the UK's confused and confusing response to the outbreak.
Mar 17, 2020
Anxious about Coronavirus? Here's some advice.
It has been the most surreal St Patrick's Day most of us can remember. Podcast producer Suzanne Brennan talks to psychologist Mark Smyth about how to handle the anxiety many are experiencing as the Coronavirus outbreak continues and intensifies.
Mar 16, 2020
How should we prepare for the days ahead? With Conor Pope and Paul Cullen
A new daily podcast about the Coronavirus outbreak in Ireland, hosted by Irish Times deputy editor Deirdre Veldon. It seems certain that the Coronavirus outbreak is going to worsen int he days ahead, and tougher restrictions may be applied to us all as we try to slow down the spread of the virus. But what might that look like, and how should we prepare? Conor Pope explains the facts and debunks some myths. And health editor Paul Cullen explains testing and contact tracing.
Mar 13, 2020
Confronting Coronavirus: The Latest Updates
Irish Times deputy editor Deirdre Veldon talks to health editor Paul Cullen. - Children are off school, but how much freedom should they have? - A case from the US that tells us a lot about how the virus spreads. - How the government is reallocating resources to deal with the expected increase in cases over the coming weeks.
Mar 12, 2020
Confronting Coronavirus: Forthcoming from The Irish Times
A forthcoming podcast that will cover Ireland's response to the Covid-19 outbreak.