This bank holiday, brought to you by coronavirus - 10/04/2020
This week was dominated by the news that the PM was placed in intensive care, but has now improved to the extent that he is back in the ward. We at Renew all wish him a safe recovery.
The lockdown continues, with the unsurprising news on Thursday that it would not be loosened while COVID-19 deaths continue to rise. The country is now readying itself for measures that are likely to last into May.
Countries around the world have employed different and evolving approaches to quarantine/lockdown/self and social isolation, from the relatively loose approach in Sweden to the increasingly strict approaches of Spain and Italy, with the UK currently sitting somewhere in between. Interestingly, countries which managed to put a lid on the spread early on, such as Singapore and Hong Kong, are beginning to see signs of a second wave, which can be attributed to a) the loosening of regulations and b) the return of nationals from overseas (principally from the US and Europe).
As this unfolds, it will have major consequences on the UK's longer-term approach; if a second wave appears to be inevitable, it may point to a loosening of rules over the summer months, in order to mitigate a larger crisis next autumn, but much is yet to be seen.
For the time being, Dominic Raab is overseeing Cabinet business, but there is no clarity regarding how long this situation might continue if the PM has an extended convalescence, as is to be expected due to the nature of the virus.
As Germany announces widespread antibody testing, it has been admitted that the UK govt's attempt to do the same has been unsuccessful, closing, at least temporarily, one of the doors to the start of a return to normality. This means that we are now largely relying on the lockdown, which started only on March 23rd, to begin showing fewer cases and hospitalisations in the coming days. If we do not see a sharp fall by mid-late April, our country's leaders will be forced to make some extremely weighty decisions.
Quarantine with Renew!
Check out Renew's coronavirus page for all the up-to-date information and links on COVID-19, stories of community spirit, plus, a handful of memes.
Make sure to follow @RenewQuarantine for all your COVID-19 updates, survival tips and memes.
We're creating a quarantine with Renew video, and we want you to be involved! Are you working on any quarantine projects? Have you found any interesting ways to suppress the isolation-induced boredom? Please send us any ideas, tips or videos.
Reminiscing of more normal times
In these strange times of self-isolation and "only one form of exercise a day", what else is there to do besides looking back, nostalgically, at fond memories from normal times?
This time last year: On a cold Thursday night in Newport (the 4th April 2019 to be precise), Renew's June Davies took 3.7% of the popular vote in our first-ever by-election, falling just behind the Greens Amelia Womack, with 3.9%.
June, on the result: "The strong showing for Renew suggests that many want a voice, a vote and a veto on the issues that matter. That’s our right as citizens and Renew will continue to demand radical reform of the political system. The two main parties cannot rely on the automatic support of voters for much longer. Their incompetence and backwards mentalities are increasingly being abandoned by voters. It’s just a shame that our voting system doesn’t reward healthy competition."
We may be in a pandemic, but some things don't change.
Renew's 2020 strategy
The abundance of information regarding COVID-19 can, at times, feel overwhelming. For all things non-corona, head to our Digital Democracy platform and comment on our 2020 strategy. There's still time to have your say on the Renew Foundation, our outreach and fundraising plans (for when this is all over) and more. The strategy section is open to non-members, so anyone can read and comment - just log in via your Facebook or Twitter account.
Members, as always, head to Digital Democracy to make your policy suggestions.
Quote of the week