Moving (and moving back) during a pandemic

***Brief mention of sexual harassment***

Neave recounts her journey of emigrating during a global pandemic at the age of 19. Goodbye England, Hello Belgium.

Once trapped in the English north, but now has copious amounts of life experience beyond the UK. A couple of months ago, the now 20-year-old packed her bags to start a new life in the tranquil European country of Belgium. Leaving behind her family, friends, and comfort zone as she challenged herself to adapt to a new life in mainland Europe.  

Originally from Newcastle Upon Tyne, Neave decided to fly abroad to be closer to her partner.

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Essex County Council Calls for Businesses to Offer COVID Testing

Essex County Council encourages businesses with under 50 employees to frequently test their staff to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.

As the rollout of COVID-19 testing continues in Essex, the council aims to keep cases within the county to a minimum. By testing all employees, carriers of the virus that are asymptomatic will be identified and instructed to self-isolate to stop the risk of spreading within the workplace.

1 in 3 people with COVID-19 show no signs, but with frequent testing, the potential widespread of the virus can be minimised.

This approach is to be applied to companies that cannot work from home due to the nature of their work, such as restaurants, and retailers.

Essex County Council has agreed to support the businesses that aim to offer testing provisions for their employees with training and access to testing kits.

Dr Mike Gogarty, Director of Public Health at Essex County Council, acknowledges the work local businesses are doing and in a statement said: “We know workplaces are doing what they can to limit the spread of Covid-19 and increased and regular testing will further support these efforts, allowing businesses to stay on top of any potential outbreaks.

“Regular testing will not only provide employees with reassurance that they do not have the virus, [but] it will also help to increase customer confidence in businesses where employees are required to interact with members of the public on a regular basis.”

As the country has made significant improvements and is following the government’s planned roadmap without delay, everyone is encouraged to test themselves regularly to prevent an outbreak. The tests that are to be provided to businesses are rapid tests that are easy to use and provides the results promptly. 

Image via Visit Colchester

Some businesses in the Colchester area support the initiative and have accepted the help and supplies from the council.

Shawn, an engineer that works in the North Essex area, said: “My company has filled out the form and will be setting up weekly testing for all the employees.

“It not only keeps the cases in the area down, but it will keep my engineers safe, who have to frequently travel between different buildings and locations.”

Similarly, Tina, who runs a small florist with 4 employees said: “To be able to work again has been wonderful. If that means I need to get frequently tested, then so be it.”

However, Sam, who owns a café in Greenstead said: “It seems like a lot of effort and pressure put on businesses to provide the testing Why can’t people get themselves tested in their own time, and how will the council know if we test our staff or not?”

If a positive result is tested, an immediate PCR test is required to confirm the results. That person will also be required to quarantine, and financial support is available to help those who would not be able to work during that time. 

Businesses that have not yet set up the provision of testing, but fit the criteria, can find more information, and fill in a form by visiting the council’s site at essex.gov.uk/getting-tested-for-covid-19/workplace-testing.

#woke: How social movements have clung to Instagram’s aesthetic narrative in 2020 and 2021?

When you think of a protest or a social movement, I am sure this past year’s events come crashing through your mind.

2020 became the year we were all trying to escape from once the clocks ticked over into 2021. The hardest year that many of us remembers. Constant lockdowns, a deadly virus sweeping the nation, glowering at the four walls of our family homes as we turned to the internet, and social media to keep ourselves entertained for months on end.

But looking back at the events that defined 2020 as the ‘Worse Year Ever’ one period particularly stands out.

In May 2020, we saw the passing of George Floyd in the United States and it sparked one of the – arguably – biggest social movements carried predominantly by social media and spread like the Australian wildfires to the rest of the world. The Black Lives Matter movement which originally started back in 2013 after the devastating shooting of Trayvon Martin and picked up traction in the early 2010s, has now resurfaced to the mainstream with vengeance.

Black squares and ignorance littered Instagram feeds as a ‘Blackout Tuesday’ was announced by “official” movement pages. In a society where capitalism runs alongside institutional inequality, this should not be as shocking as it is.

Performative activism became a buzz phrase used to undermine the legitimacy of people’s actions on social media. Black square, performative activism. Reposting an infographic, performative activism. Resharing a video of black pain, performative (and ignorant) activism.

Months later, the Black Lives Matter movement still appears in many debates and conversations featuring racial inequality as it is now seen as the cornerstone in unveiling systematic oppression against black people.

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Students Take a Stand Against Tuition Fees for Online Classes

University students across the country have had to endure a difficult learning experience as the UK encounters its second lockdown. Following a petition to parliament asking for the reduction of tuition fees, student bodies have started to act on universities not doing enough. One of these is the University of Essex, who has asked the University to consider the reduction.

Cheyanne Bryan reports.  

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Why Period Poverty Should Be Taken More Seriously Across the UK

Imagine this. You have just sneezed and there is no tissue available for you to blow your nose. Snot is dripping down and out of necessity, you use your t-shirt to stop it making more of a mess. Your t-shirt is not an adequate replacement for a simple napkin or toilet paper.

Now think about the millions of people who have to do without sufficient menstrual products at their disposal. People that ought to use alternative supplies such as ripped pieces of fabric or cloth and some who go without.

Recent news of Scotland becoming the first country in the world to provide free period products has ignited debates into the seriousness of period poverty across the UK. Studies have shown that many people in the UK alone face challenges and struggles to access the products needed during menstruation. This issue does not impact the UK exclusively, as period poverty of varying degrees can be found all over the world, however, with a few interventions, the entire UK can minimise the problem.

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Clothes Bank Theft – VP

A clothing bank in Alresford has been hit for a second time by thieves. An estimated £500 worth of clothes have been stolen from the charity donation boxes. CCTV had picked up a silver Mercedes driving away from the scene. Parish Councillor, Frank Belgrove, has expressed his disappointment.

Presenter

X-mas Light Display for Heroes – VP

A charitable family in Shrub End, Colchester has been raising money for the military charity, Help for Heroes. In the last two days £200 pounds have been raised. Their Christmas light display has become a staple within the community, attracting multiple daily visitors. Glenys Diebelius talks about his inspiration behind the tradition.  

Presenter

Holidays Sponsored by Student Finance

Tasked with researching and producing a statistic based news story, I conducted an investigation into where UK university students choose to go on holiday and why. From conversations with my peers, I found out that there are multiple ways students go about funding their holidays. This resulted in a slight economic standpoint of the research.

This is completely my own research findings and production. Conducted between March and April 2020 [Research + Data Magazine Supplement]

LDN

This was the final product of my 2019-20 print production module. We were tasked with creating a magazine.

-This was a group project.
My roles: Co-editor and Production editor.

LDN is a travel and culture magazine based around London. It features articles on sustainable fashion, instagramable places and best ways to earn money.