Friday 06 March 2020

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Infodemics are an excessive amount of information about a problem, which makes it difficult to identify a solution.
Infodemics can spread misinformation, disinformation and rumours during a health emergency. Infodemics can hamper an effective public health response and create confusion and distrust among people. To manage infodemics, WHO has developed an innovative communication initiative called the WHO Network for Information in Epidemics (EPI-WIN).

During emergencies demand for information is high, there are often many unknowns and people will seek information from sources and individuals and entities they trust. WHO, through EPI-WIN, has identified such trusted sources and engaged them not only as amplifiers of accurate, timely information, but also as advisers on the kind of information that their constituents need and urgently want to see.

Information exchange takes place through regular engagement calls with these “trust chains”. EPI-WIN leverages all communications platforms available to it and partners with these trusted channels to amplify evidence-based information tailored to different audiences, answering pertinent questions as the event unfolds and linking them to additional response assets.

World Health Organisation infographic showing how the WHO and EPI-WIN deal with Healthcare workers, Memeber States, Travel & Tourism, business sectors, food 7 agriculture sectors

A “trust chain” with employers and employees – the world of work

Such a “trust chain” has been established around the world of work. Workers spend approximately one-third of their adult lives at work. Because of this, employers and businesses can serve as amplifiers of trusted information about COVID-19 for employees. Employers in both private and public sector are asking how to protect their staff, contractors and customers from COVID-19. Employees associations and trade unions are also seeking information on how WHO policies, guidance and recommendations can be implemented in their workplace settings.

Working with the World Economic Forum, EPI-WIN has established networks with the key business sectors and public enterprises likely to be impacted by COVID-19 and future epidemics. These have been grouped into networks of Healthcare & Health Workers, Travel & Tourism, Food & Agriculture and International Mass Gatherings. Within each network, there are multi-national enterprises, professional associations and UN specialized bodies representing sectors that employ tens of millions of people and account for many billions of dollars in economic activity.

EPI-WIN is also working with WHO’s Department of Occupational Safety and Health and their counterpart; global trade unions through the International Labor Organization (ILO)’s Bureau of Workers Activities (ACTRAV) and the International Trade Union Council (ITUC) which brings together affiliated trade union bodies that represent 210 million workers in 163 countries.

The engagement with trade unions has allowed many concerns to be raised around issues that could impact upon the effectiveness of public health policies and interventions aimed at containing the COVID-19 epidemic. These include issues such as infection prevention and rights of public-facing workers in health, social care and retail sectors; safe staffing levels when sickness absences may lead to fewer workers facing potentially unsafe increases in workload; income protection for those isolated, self-isolating or requiring time off work because of school/transport closures; and discussions with employers on remote working and flexible working patterns. EPI-WIN also works closely with the WHO Health Workforce Department that collaborates with approximately 80 global healthworker associations.

This is just one example of a “trust chain”. Others have been developed around healthcare workers, travel and tourism, faith-based organizations, large event organisers and others. Please visit the EPI-WIN website for more information and to view advice.

COVID-19 Information

We are still in an incredibly slow news cycle. The media have little else to report on, but of course, they have to stay in business. So COVID-19 (they still insist on calling it coronavirus) is their go-to story and that huge mass of information is making people anxious and scared.

Please use the actual source of information - the World Health Organisation.

They provide daily situation-reports. Today's can be viewed/downloaded here, or if their website is down, you can get it from me, here.


I've awoken to a sore right testicle. Might be a minor case of epididymitis.

Check your balls often, gentlemen (and the ladies that love them).


When is this rain going to stop?

I need to get out to water my garden...

Civis Europaeus Sum?

A good article here.

Civis europaeus sum?
This question has been the cornerstone of this thesis. Besides all the complex legal issues arising around an eventual State succession within an EU Member State, this is the question that people affected by that situation need an answer to. The link between the nationality of an EU Member State and citizenship of the Union is, as it stands now, unbreakable. One cannot claim the enjoyment of the latter without holding the nationality of an EU Member State. Thus, those who, due to the operation of the State succession and the rules enacted in that context regarding nationality, lose the nationality of the predecessor-EU Member State cannot invoke ‘civis europaeus sum’. From the outset, individuals who lose the nationality of a Member State would lose EU citizenship and the rights associated to it. However, although EU citizenship is still not autonomous from Member State nationality, it is possible to agree with Vidmar that certain rights associated to the residence in both the potential newly independent States and the EU Member States will be frozen as, an interim solution, until the former completes the EU accession process.

The role of EU citizenship in this scenario cannot be overemphasised. Given the state of affairs, citizenship of the Union is not enough, at least from the legal perspective, to defend the automatic accession of the potential newly independent States. These new States cannot circumvent the accession procedure to the EU. Notwithstanding, EU citizenship has a role to play through the influence of EU law on the nationality law of the remaining EU Member States and, especially, the application of the proportionality principle in decisions on loss of nationality.


A photo of someone underwater in a murky puddle sticking their thumbs up in defiance of their situation with the caption,"How's your week going?"


She took a cardboard cut-out of Danny Devito to her prom. After it got around to Devito. He made a cardboard cut-out of her and took it to the set of "it's always sunny in Philadelphia".

A photo of Kim's seat tray on the train with the letters K, I & M inscribed by a sharp object into it'
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