Printed on recycled paper
4th May 2020
Official free fortnightly newspaper by and for Sussex students
Universities in crisis
Pollution Drop, Quarantine Cutie The financial impacts of the coronavirus pandemic will cause severe damage across the higher & education sector, as universities brace for losses in the region of £7 billion Ventilators 4 Becca Bashford News Editor Universities are bracing for an inevitable financial abyss as they scramble to come to grips with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Earlier this month, Universities UK (UUK) sent a proposal to the government, in which they warned that without support some institutions will face complete financial failure, and others would come so close to failure that they will be forced to “reduce provisions for students, or significantly scale back research activities and capacity”. The proposal predicts that universities across the UK will face losses of £790 million from accomodation, catering, and conferences alone, with an additional £6.9 billion at risk from lost international student fees. As such, Universities UK have asked for an immediate uplift of around £2 billion, alongside other specific measures which seek to protect research, and a controversial one-off return to student number controls, or “caps”. UUK’s Chief Executive Alastair Jarvis said that the package will help to “protect the student interest, to maintain research capacity, to prevent institutions failing and maintain the capacity to play a central role in the recovery of the economy
and communities following the crisis”. He added that in return, universities “will act collectively and responsibly to promote sector-wide financial stability in these challenging times and help the country to get back on its feet and people to rebuild their lives”. The proposal has been welcomed by some, but UCU has said that it “does not go far enough”. General Secretary Jo Grady said: “This looks like a piecemeal approach that fails to recognise the size of the problem, or the damage we risk doing to our academic capacity. We need a fundamental shift in how universities operate if we are to protect our institutions, staff and students, and to ensure higher education can play its vital role in the recovery.” The return to student number controls has become an increasing concern. Some universities fear that caps on admissions will create a space for the competitive “stockpiling” of domestic students. UCU said the government should “rein in” Russell Group Universities from “hoovering up more students from the newer, post 92 universities” by “providing proper underpinning for the whole sector, and insist on more effective cooperation from universities.” Some universities have turned
Isolated Elders & Should media be moderated? 6 geralt to terminating staff contracts in an attempt to save money. Staff on precarious contracts at Bristol and Newcastle University have already been issued redundancy notices, while the University of Sussex is preparing to terminate the contracts of any “non-essential” staff “as soon as possible”. This came just weeks after university staff embarked on the longest strike in history, with casualised contracts and precarity being one of their largest concerns. In an email to staff conveying a new financial review, Vice Chancellor Adam Tickell said that the university is in a “solid financial position”, but “it is imperative that we now move to a vastly different mode of thinking and behaviour when it comes to our budgets and how we spend the University’s cash.” The financial review reads: “Nonessential assignments currently
held by temporary or agency staff will need to be reviewed and come to an end as soon as possible. Where there is capacity, tasks should be undertaken by staff members of your team or nonessential tasks may need to be temporarily suspended in order to focus on core business activity”. UCU General Secretary Jo Grady has said that every measure should be taken to protect casualised staff amid the Covid-19 crisis. In an article for The Guardian, she implored that the government “guarantee all staff – including those on casual contracts – benefit from furlough arrangements. In the longer term, it should also commit to a review of the endemic casualisation of further and higher education.” Another concern facing universities is the projected loss from international student fees. Continued on Page 4...
‘Failed’ year abroad: thinking back fondly Yazz James
Lucy Howell Page 12
I’m a Global Media and Communications student which – at the time I signed up for the course – meant that I was guaranteed a year abroad in Hong Kong. Due to the political climate in the region, the University (understandably) made the decision to call all Sussex students studying there home in November. As disappointing as this was,
it was no longer safe for us to stay and all classes had been cancelled. Afterwards, a quick effort was made to find all of us alternative solutions; for me, this meant moving to the Netherlands in January to begin a semester at University College Maastricht, but due to the pandemic, I have once again had to return home. Read the full article on Page 14...
West Pier Drinks & Out of the Closet 8
Educated Review, Music Binges & Curtain Call 10
Travel & Culture Lockdown Letters & COVID-19 in Africa 13
Science & Tech Internet Lasers & Project Gradprentice15
Keeping Fit in Lockdown & Football 16
Editor-in-Chief Chris Ahjem firstname.lastname@example.org Print Production Editor Billie-Jean Johnson Online Production Editor Rory Hinshelwood Social Media and Events Coordinators Elisei Sergevnin Charlotte Brill Marketing Manager Alex Valeri Print Production Sub-Editors Isabelle Marsh Belén Mateos Gutiérrez The News Team Becca Bashford Joel Renouf Georgia-May Keetch Venice Hancock badger-news@sussexstudent. com The Comment Team Rebecca Spencer Louis Johnson Issy Anthony Joseph Pearce badger-opinion@sussexstudent. com The Features Team Arianna Lee Sonaili Vasta Olly Williams badgerfeatureseditor@gmail. com The Arts Team Lucy Peters Jude Whiley Morton email@example.com The Books Team Jasmine Smith Eric Barrell thebadger.bookseditor@gmail. com The Music Team Léo de Riedmatten Kajal Dave thebadger.musiceditor@gmail. com The Film & Television Team Michael Humphreys Jack Parker firstname.lastname@example.org The Theatre Team Jessica Hake email@example.com The Artist Focus Team Grace Sowerby Alexander Evangelou firstname.lastname@example.org The Travel & Culture Team Joshua Talbot Mehek Shahzad Vanessa Hung email@example.com The Sports Team Jonny Garwood Charlie Batten firstname.lastname@example.org The Science & Technology Team Ayaah Eldakal Sereena Kang email@example.com Media Compliance Supervisor Heather McKnight
Editorial Chris Ahjem Editor-in-Chief Back in 2017 when I first came to Sussex – fresh-faced and full of nerves –, I had no idea how important The Badger would be to my life and personal growth and I am grateful for this experience every single day. I joined at first as the Student Union’s Media Compliance Supervisor (the person who checks the legality of the newspaper so we don’t get sued) and was immediately enthralled by the energy of the editors; a dedication I had not seen anywhere else. We’d spend countless midnight sessions finalising articles and page designs fuelled primarily by the Union Shop’s focaccia and chocolate biscuits supplied by Will Singh, the incredible Editor-inChief of the time. As soon as I started, I just knew I belonged and had to stick around for the remainder of my Sussex career. So, I found myself – having never written an article for The Badger – applying to be the Print Production Editor for the following year. Lo and behold, I got the job working alongside the marvellous Billie-Jean Johnson; who’s since returned as my Print Production Editor, talk about a power switch. Together we began to create our own era of The Badger and I was finally able to flex my own creative chops including interviewing British Drag and furnitureacting legends Novympia. Even when on my term abroad in Oslo, my friendships and inclusion in The Badger continued to thrive despite the 1219km between us and before I knew it, I was applying as Editor-In-Chief for final year. Third year came and I was now in charge of this beast of a student publication. The first job I had to do was carefully draft my own editorial team; not to toot my own horn but I think I mastered that! My team this year has truly changed my life for the better in more ways than they’ll ever know. I’ve learnt to lead and work alongside many wonderful and fascinating people. I’ve made friends for life. I’ve expanded my writing and editing skills exponentially. I’ve discovered how to make any editor happy, provide free tea and coffee. I’ve learnt that meetings first thing in the morning after FOMO Thursdays at Revenge is probably not the best idea. And most of all, I’ve learnt humility in my music taste – not everyone appreciates Britney Spears, show tunes and Sia being blasted across the office, duly noted.
I’ve enjoyed every single second of this past year as Editor-In-Chief: from late editing evenings to the breaking news rush. I wish I could list and thank every person that has made these past three years at The Badger so special but that’d take up a whole page by itself. Instead, I’m going to attempt to ‘Whitney Houston at the BET Awards 2001’ it and just list off some of the many people who I’m forever indebted to, here we go: Thanks firstly to every contributor to The Badger these last three years, to Rory and Billie my partners in editing, to Will and Lucy for opening up this world to me back in first year, to Jess who took over for me whilst I was in Oslo, to Sabrina who I wish had stayed longer to teach me more Pub(lic) Science, to Becca for always finding a last minute front page article when I forgot to, to Sumedh for redesigning our website beautifully, to Jude, Josh, Rebecca and Jess for pioneering The Badger Guest Slot with me, to Sarika for opening that URF shaped door for us, to Ed who helped me record the last minute Jinkx Monsoon interview that I’m still obsessed with to this day, to Heather who keeps me on my legal toes, to Lucy and Venice for consistently talking over me in meetings, to everyone on Media Committee for working so amazingly with us, to the nationwide Editor groupchat that’s provided support and insights all year, to my parents who encouraged me to join The Badger in the first place and finally and most importantly to Falmer Bar for keeping my team fed during the long days in the Media Office. I know I’ve missed out people and I’m sorry for that - it’s impossible to thank everyone but know I am eternally grateful. All this, leads us to today. You are currently reading our last edition of The Badger for this academic year. We weren’t sure at all if this edition would happen with the current pandemic but my incredible team of editors have amazingly come together and achieved the impossible. So, I hope this digital edition finds you in good health, that you are remaining happy and healthy in lockdown and that even after I’ve left the Media Office for good you continue to read and support The Badger, whether online or in print, because the work these students put in is truly unrivalled. It’s been a genuine honour that I’ll treasure forever. Keep badgering on!
Billie-Jean Johnson Print Production Editor Greetings from lockdown everyone, and the warmest of welcomes to this academic year’s final edition of The Badger. It’s not in usual circumstances that we’re publishing this, or doing anything at all really, so we hope you all appreciate this online version of the paper we’ve put together for you all. It’s a strange time, made all the stranger that for students, this time of year is often a time of huge change. Like many of us at The Badger, this may well be your last year at Sussex, and indeed living in Brighton. It is of course not anywhere near the biggest issue being contended with right now, but I’m sure many of us are feeling a profound sense of loss at the end of this strange and aborted year. Personally, I’ve been at Sussex since 2015, when I started my BA, fresh-faced and hopeful. It’s fair to say that the political situation since I’ve started has gone more and more downhill since that time which now feels so far gone, and the workings of Sussex management has followed the reckless downward trajectory of the state of the world in kind, but I have loved my time here nevertheless. Sussex is made by the students, and the experiences we’ve all had together. Plus the professors. I have been formed in the moments of eating dinner on the floor of my shitty accommodation with my housemates, over pints in Falmer Bar, standing shoulder to shoulder with professors and students alike on the picket lines, screaming chants at protests at Sussex and further afield, and of course, in the
media office, working tirelessly and sometimes deliriously on The Badger. After 5 years here, and 4 at the paper, I can honestly say that I will miss my time here. I will miss my friends, and this year, I will miss this lost summer we were supposed to have. Still, I will know that the time I have had has been wonderful, and has changed me forever, in ways I’m sure I won’t understand for many years to come. Thank you for being here with me, thank you to every person at Sussex who has made my time a little bit better, and thanks to Sussex for being my home. Rory Hinshelwood Online Production Editor At last the final edition! Not that I have too much to do with Print, but a huge milestone nonetheless. It marks the end of my terrible reign as Online Production Editor, never to infest your newsfeed again. Well maybe again, just not with The Badger. It has been a great pleasure to be part of The Badger for these last two years, in my second year I held the role of Print Production Sub-Editor. It has been an excellent experience and I have learnt so many skills and met so many brilliant people. For me, the highlight of the year was working with Chris Ahjem and Sumedh Nimkar on the new website. It was a privilege to be able leave such a legacy and to be shortlisted for SPANC 2020 Best Website and SU Awards Innovation in Student Media. Thank you to everyone who makes The Badger possible. Long reign Tickell. Mic drop. Bon voyage hasta luego.
Congratulations to The Badgers nominated at the Sussex Student Awards 2020
The Badger is proud to announce that we’ve been nominated for 5 awards at the Sussex Student Awards 2020. Our ‘Writer of the Year’ nominees are Becca Bashford, Jude Whiley and Chris Ahjem. Whilst, Chris Ahjem is also nominated for ‘Contribution to Student Media’ and Rory Hinshelwood and Sumedh Nimkah are nominated for ‘Innovation in Student Media’ for their redesign of The Badger’s website.
The Badger 4th May 2020
And it’s a goodbye from us! Editors from across The Badger take a moment to bid this editorial year goodbye as term ends and a new cohort of editors and writers wait in the wings! News Editor Becca Bashford I can’t believe this year at The Badger is over already. I hope you all enjoy reading our final edition, and I wish it could be presented to you under better circumstances, but I’m sure you’ll love it anyway. I have had the most fulfilling and amazing time as News Editor, but I can say hand on heart that it wouldn’t have been even half as amazing without the wonderful team we’ve been blessed with this year. I’m so proud of the amazing work we have produced, and I can’t wait to see the incredibly talented Badger team again. I love you all! x News Sub-Editor Venice Hancock It’s hard to believe the year is already over but I am so grateful for the experience I have had at The Badger. I feel incredibly lucky to have been surrounded by so many smart, funny and interesting people, no one could ask for a better team. I have learned so much and I am in awe of all the time and dedication everyone has always put into their work. Being a part of The Badger means being part of something special and I will cherish the experience forever. I will miss everything about it, but mostly blasting Chris’ yeehaw playlist in the media office. Comment Editor Rebecca Spencer The Badger has been fundamental to my Uni experience, and to shaping me as a person as I move into the working world. For that I am so grateful. I have met so many incredibly talented people and learnt new skills that I would never have had the opportunity to gain without being an Editor at The Badger. I would recommend the role to anyone.
The team this year has been one for the record books. A unique collaboration of people who are like-minded and passionate about world affairs. I will miss being around such a great group of people and I hope to cross paths with all of my amazing colleagues during our future careers. Comment Sub-Editor Issy Anthony The Badger has been such an important part of my first year experience. It has helped me to become more confident in expressing my ideas, and through editing I’ve learned what makes a great article. I’ve loved the conversations and debates I’ve had in the media office, and will really miss the members of the team who are now finishing their time at Sussex. Thank you especially to Rebecca Spencer who took me under her wing and taught me all her editing know-how, without which I would still be entirely confused by InDesign. I can’t wait for another year!
Arts Print Editor Lucy Peters I’ve had a wild and unforgettable experience as Arts Editor the last two years. I’ve been lucky enough to lead a team of 20 (ish) of The Badger’s finest, and work with the most talented co-editors and writers Sussex has to offer. To everyone that allowed my chaos, thank you. We published some beautiful things together, and I will miss you all. Film & Televison Co-Editor Michael Humphreys
Features Editor Arianna Lee Saying goodbye to my role as the Features Editor is sad, as it was the first time I have been really involved in journalism, and I have learnt so much about myself and the newspaper industry from it. I loved the whole Badger team, and I will always treasure the memories (like staying up until 3am writing an article, or trying to ignore Chris’s playlists in the office). The Badger gave me a lot of room to practise my writing and editing skills, and the satisfaction of seeing something I’ve written in print is like nothing else. Arts Online Editor Jude Whiley Where did the time go? One moment you’re on the roof-top
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of Revenge, getting pummelled by the rains and wind belched out from the English Channel, the next, you’re lying in bed in Milton Keynes, wondering whether you touched your mouth after handling the petrol pump, choosing to brush your teeth with disinfectant, just to be safe. I’ve used up sixty words of this editorial already, and now I guess it’s time to say farewell to The Badger. Thank you everyone for reading the paper this year. Thank you to our writers. Now, I have to say goodbye. Bye.
Being a film editor for The Badger was initially nervewracking, especially when faced with the daunting prospect of formatting a page within surprisingly strict guidelines. However, under the fantastic guidance of Editor-in-chief Chris, it became one of my favourite times of the week. Being able to listen in and occasionally converse with other editors on news, films and the pains of university brought joy to an otherwise monotonous task. Although, even though I loved writing for The Badger during my entire stint at university, the true highlight of being an editor was having the ability to hear other people’s thoughts on a subject I love. Reading their pieces, seeing they have the
same passion I have and being able to help publish their work, meant the job wasn’t a job, it was a pleasure. Theatre Editor Jessica Hake Writing this I’m hit with the feeling that I should have read some of Chris’s editorials in previous editions. As Theatre editor I’ve gone to awesome shows and interviewed amazing performers but all of that fades in comparison to the joy of being a member of The Badger. The mere mundanity of editing articles, doing admin and boggling my mind with page design was incredible sheerly due to the people I was surrounded by. No cliche does them justice. So, I’ll just say I have loved every second of being on this team and will cherish the memories. Travel & Culture Editor Joshua Talbot Well here we are, almost full circle. It’s strange to think that a year of uni has fizzled out in the way that it has, leaving us to reflect on the good times and find joy in the simple things. It has been a pleasure editing the Travel and Culture section for the past year, compiling wonderful articles from Sussex students that highlight the best ways to enjoy your time in Brighton and beyond. I look back and, with fond memories, look forward to hearing more stories and sharing them far and wide. Stay safe and see you next year! Sports Editor Jonny Garwood As we approach the end of the year and our final edition of The Badger for this academic year, where better to express my thanks to everyone, for contributing to such a fabulous
and tight-knit team - and of course, for making everything possible. It is a shame that the year has had to come to an end in the way it has, however, that particularly is due to circumstances beyond our control, and hopefully we will find a way to celebrate and cherish our achievements from over the course of the year. It would be nice to - if possible have a final send off; particularly for those of use who, like myself, are coming to the end of their second or third year as part of the Badger team. Working as part of the Sports team has been fantastic, and I have been able to meet, work with, and interview some fantastic people who will be within my circles, long beyond university. Science & Technology CoEditor Ayah El-Dakal My last year of my degree, turned out to be the first year I work for The Badger, but it’s certainly not my last, as I now approach my graduate studies. I would like to say a special thanks to Chris Ahjem for putting up with my constant incompetence with InDesign and for staying patient with me throughout. I did not begin my journey with The Badger as your stereotypical creative individual and thought that I would be presenting science and technology in the serious, complex and lifeless manner people have generally understood it to be. Being an editor in The Badger, having written articles myself, I understand now that journalism is in itself a complicated area, but Science and Technology is far from mundane. I hope that the news I have put out there has been interesting, and look forward to continuing to give life to innovative and insightful real-world news. From everyone at The Badger: Thank you for the most wonderful year!
The Badger 4th May 2020
News Becca Bashford News Editor ... continued from front page ‘Crisis Justice at Sussex’ - was launched by the University of Sussex trade union branches (UCU, Unite, and Unison). The campaign seeks to protect temporary and casualised workers at Sussex in light of the controversial financial review, which proposes the termination of hundreds of contracts. The unions reject the argument that contracts must be terminated in order to offer the University financial stability, pointing out that Sussex “is in the top 20% of British Higher Education institutions, holds over £300 million in unrestricted reserves, and over 60 of its employees in 2019 earned sixfigure salaries, including Adam
Venice Hancock News Sub-Editor In the age of coronavirus, dating, along with all other forms of social contact, has become a health risk. The vast majority of the world’s population now relies on digital technologies to stay in contact with their families, friends and loved ones. As couples resort to using Zoom and FaceTime to maintain their relationship, singles now have to rely solely on dating apps or social media to meet new people virtually. However, the same cannot be said for Jeremy Cohen. The Brooklyn-based photographer was taking pictures documenting people in quarantine spending time on their roofs, when his attention was drawn to a young woman dancing. He waved at her from his window and she waved back. So, he decided to fly his drone over to the girl with his phone number stuck to it and she texted him about an hour later. Cohen documented the whole thing and posted it on his TikTok (@jeremycohen) where the video instantly went viral, amassing over eight million views as of March 31. In the original video, Cohen states that
Universities in Crisis
Tickell whose basic salary is over £300,000 per annum (seventeen times that of the lowest-paid full-time worker at Sussex, who earns £17,361).” The group have launched a petition and issued a call for support from both staff and students. The petition demands that the University “immediately and fully withdraw the financial review”, ensure no detriment to pay and conditions of students and precarious workers, and extend contracts for all casualised employees until the Covid-19 crisis is over. UCU Executive member, Andrew Chitty, said: “The cuts proposed by the University’s leadership are the worst possible response to the Covid crisis. They target the job security and futures of our
most insecurely employed colleagues while leaving the pay and conditions of those at the top virtually untouched. They are the executive equivalent of upper-class panic buying.” Another concern facing universities is the projected loss from international student fees. Many universities are predicting an 80-100% drop in EU and Non-EU student admissions in the coming academic year, amounting to a loss of around £6.9 billion. What is more, many universities rely upon international student fees to subsidise research. A Higher Education Policy Institute (HEPI) report found that international students pay an average of £5,000 more than their UK counterparts - and it is this surplus that is used to fund vital research endeavors. Russell Group universities rely most heavily on the additional funding garnered from international student fees, fuelling the fear that they may attempt to “hoover up” domestic students to try and soften the financial blow on their institutions. This might however prove
difficult, as many students are facing their own financial crises. For example, International students at the University of Sussex have appealed for a reduction to their tuition fees, stating that they have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. Accessibility is one issue: some students in China cannot access course material because of strict internet censorship, and others are facing the prospect of taking their exams in the middle of the night due to time difference. Another issue is one of fairness: international students feel that it is unfair that they should pay so much more (£5,000 more, according to HEPI’s analysis) for online classes, which they say is an inadequate replacement for face-to-face teaching: “the University cannot justify charging the same fees for a rushed compilation of online resources that are not equivalent to the course as originally offered; Particularly where the online teaching is rushed, overcrowded and not a part of the initial plan”. 150 students at Sussex have begun a “rent strike”, withholding
an estimated £200,000 in fees from the University. In an open letter, they said: “The reduction in hours of casual employment, increase in personal caregiving roles, and in some instances, the issuing of redundancy notices is now adding unparalleled pressure to students, many of whom were already struggling to make ends meet.” Taking all these unprecedented factors into consideration, the striking students believe that third term rent must be waived to ensure fairness to students negatively impacted by the pandemic. The fate of universities, casualised staff, and students hangs in the balance. It was reported this week that University UK’s plea for a two billion pound bailout had “fallen on deaf ears”, with the Financial Times reporting that the Treasury “was not receptive to what it sees as special pleading”. The Badger has approached the University of Sussex regarding their plans to terminate shortterm contracts. We have also asked for clarification regarding what they consider to be “nonessential” work.
The “Quarantine Cutie” “Flirting is normally daunting for me, but since I’ve been quarantined in my apartment for a week now I was craving some social interaction. 2020’s been off to a terrible start, but I still needed to shoot my shot.” Since then, Cohen has taken the new relationship to the next level, all the while respecting New York City’s quarantine measures to prevent the spread of the virus. He first invited the girl from the roof, Tori Cignarella, on a dinner date, where he was sat outside on his balcony, and she joined him on her rooftop so the two could see each other from a distance and they were able to FaceTime during the dinner to get to know each other a little better. While the date went very well, Cohen wanted to find a way for the two to meet up in person, while respecting social distancing guidelines. It was time for his “boldest move yet”. He hopped in an inflatable plastic bubble and surprised Cignarella on the sidewalk by her apartment. The two got to enjoy each other’s company and take a stroll down the streets of Brooklyn, almost as if it was normal. Cohen also bought his date some flowers and hand sanitizer “but that
was a misstep, considering I was locked inside this bubble,” he added. As the pair enjoyed their romantic date, they were stopped by a group of police officers who had seen their story on the news and wanted to take a picture with them. A couple weeks later, it was Cignarella’s birthday and Cohen wanted to do something extra special and romantic for the occasion. He proceeded to walk over to her apartment building, stood outside her window holding a boombox over his head, à la Say Anything. After the song, he told her to check her phone, where she would find a personalised video message from her favourite artist, LIGHTS, the whole
thing was of course arranged by Cohen. He then told her to make her way to her roof where, after some careful coordination between Cohen and Cignarella’s roommate, the birthday girl would find a celebratory cupcake from her beau. Cohen also decided to fly over some candles and a haiku he had written for her, taping them to his drone. Cohen and Cignarella’s story went viral almost as soon as it was posted to the internet. The initial video now has over 11.9 million views. The story of the “Quarantine Cutie” has made headlines around the world and has sparked a conversation about human interaction during this time of quarantine. People need
people and it is part of human nature to crave social contact. While these are difficult times, it is so important to respect the rules in place to make sure we can contain this virus, lessen the strain on healthcare systems and save as many lives as possible. However, this does not mean we need to disconnect from each other. Digital technologies have made it possible for us who are fortunate enough to stay at home to connect with each other and continue to support one another. Things will get better and we will be together again. Until then, maybe this is the perfect opportunity to switch out Bumble and Tinder for more creative ways of dating, but from a distance.
The Badger 4th May 2020
News Cities worldwide report drops in pollution levels Joel Renouf-Cooke News Print Sub-Editor Large cities are breathing a sigh of relief as air pollution levels plummet due to Coronavirus restrictions. Cities such as Sydney, London, Delhi and Beijing have all reported a drop in the amount of both CO2 and NO2, the pollutants that contribute the most to dangerous air pollution in the atmosphere. In London, travel restrictions have led to a reduction in air pollution of almost 50% at some of the cities most polluted junctions and roads. Figures released by the mayor of London Sadiq Khan, have shown that measures taken in 2017 to reduce pollution levels in the city had already led to a 35% drop in harmful Nitrogen Oxide (NO2) emissions and a further 44% reduction in London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ). Courtesy of coronavirus lockdown restrictions, which have stipulated that all nonessential travel is to be avoided at all costs NO2 levels in the city have dropped a further 27% in the last four weeks with some of the city’s most polluted areas experiencing a NO2 reduction up to 50%. Khan, who has been the
Mayor of London since 2017, has also warned that although the news is welcome, efforts must continue to ensure pollution does not rise again to dangerous levels after restrictions are eased. “This cleaner air should not just be temporary. So, once the current emergency has passed and we start to recover, our challenge will be to eradicate air pollution permanently and ensure the gains we’ve made through policies such as ULEZ continue.”
Brighton and Hove council has drawn up plans to close more roads to traffic, converting them too into cycle lanes and footpaths Statistics from France, Spain, Germany and the United States have all reported disproportionately high numbers of Covid-19 related deaths in areas which, before the outbreak, had dangerously high levels of pollution. Many cities across Europe and the UK, have begun to unveil ambitious cycling and walking schemes to ensure people can move around safely and maintain the environmental benefits,
in terms of cleaner air and safer streets, that have come about amid the lockdown. In order to combat pollution levels and allow for safer pedestrian travel within UK cities – many of which have narrow pavements as well as areas in which it is impossible to maintain a safe distance from other people – some councils are beginning to impose road closures and temporary pedestrianisations of town centres. In Manchester, the council has closed Tib Street to traffic, using cones and lights to create two cycle lanes through the city’s northern quarter. Brighton is also developing its own traffic restrictions, closing Madeira Drive with access only for pedestrians and cyclists, it is the first in a number of planned closures around the city. Brighton and Hove council has drawn up plans to close more roads to traffic, converting them too into cycle lanes and footpaths, a measure which will contribute to safer travel, both in terms of infection and traffic as well as by encouraging a healthier population, benefitting from the reduced pollution and larger areas
“Wartime effort” to create ventilators for the NHS The nationwide effort to manufacture ventilators for the NHS is struggling to keep up with the unprecendented demand Georgia-May Keetch News Online Sub-Editor Across the UK, dozens of individuals, academic departments and commercial companies are collaborating to design and manufacture ventilators that could save the lives of people suffering with Covid-19. Many are working around the clock in what’s been described as an unprecedented “wartime effort”. Up to 30,000 ventilators could be needed by the NHS, said Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, before being admitted to hospital with coronavirus himself. That’s more than would usually be produced in a year, and much higher than the current capacity of the health service, which is thought to be around 10,000. Engineering companies Dyson and The Technology Partnership have joined forces
to make 10,000 ventilators, as has defence contractor Babcock, which is working with the German specialist Draegerwerk and Sagentia.
Up to 30,000 ventilators could be needed by the NHS, ... the current capacity of the health service is thought to be around 10,000. In West Wales, Dr Rhys Thomas, a consultant anaesthetist who has worked in war zones including Afghanistan and Iraq, has been grafting up to 20 hours a day to create a machine after talking with doctors in Bergamo, the most infected province in Italy. Elsewhere, a team of scientists, medical clinicians, academics, manufacturers and engineers have reinvented the “iron lung”, which saved the lives of polio victims
during the last century. Engineer David McKeown has led the team, which includes Dr Malcolm Coulthard, an honorary consultant at the Great North Children’s Hospital. Their ventilator is non-invasive – meaning a tube doesn’t need to be put down a patient’s throat – and the team says it could run in parallel with other types of ventilator.
Public Domain Images within which to exercise. Councillor Anne Pissaridou, chair of the city’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said: “Madeira Drive is a long, wide road right by the seafront and will create an extra safe open space for local people in the area to use for their daily walk or bike ride. It will provide a traffic-free place for the many residents in that area who do not have access to a garden. “We are pleased to be able to offer this change so quickly and are considering other locations to see if we can extend this to other roads in the city.” Such measures are also being imposed in other cities too, with Vancouver closing roads around its Stanley Park district – an Urban park within the area – and
Berlin widening cycle lanes. The new measures, imposed and planned, will aim to increase the number of areas suitable for people to exercise in without fear of infection, as well as serving to reduce motor traffic and road emissions. However, councils are also continuing to stress the importance of social distancing and respecting each other’s space and the governments continues to advise people only travel if essential. “Practising social distancing is making us all aware of the importance of public spaces and making us rethink how we use them, but I would also ask that cyclists and pedestrians respect each other’s space and safety in this shared area. We’re all in this together.” Pissaridou added.
Activists buy stock to save failing businesses Georgia-May Keetch News Online Sub-Editor Shares in many corporations are heading south due to the fallout from coronavirus, but hawkish investors will be wary of buying stock too soon – or “catching a falling knife” as they call it – for fear they could plunge further. But PETA US, the animal rights charity, doesn’t want financial returns on the investments it has been making during the pandemic – it wants influence. “Because of the lower cost of stock during the current downturn, the group decided to buy stock in a number of companies, giving it more opportunities to call for brands to stop exploiting animals,” Peta Director, Elisa Allen told new site ‘Positive news’ last week. “Over the years, the group has obtained shares in numerous companies by purchasing them or receiving
them as donations from members and supporters,” said Allen. “As a shareholder in publicly traded companies, PETA US has been able to speak directly to CEOs during meetings and bring resolutions that encourage the company to eliminate cruel practices.” PETA isn’t the only charity buying influence in large corporates though- UK-based ShareAction purchases stock in FTSE to change companies boards on issues such as the environment and governance issues. One of ShareAction’s biggest achievements was helping persuade oil giant, Shell, to stop investing in carbon-heavy Canadian tar sands. “We absolutely applaud charities and activists in general who buy shares so they can push management,” said ShareAction’s chief executive, Catherine Howarth.
The Badger 4th May 2020
THE BIG DEBATE The Big Debate is a regular Badger feature which brings the spirit of competitive debating to the printed page. Two writers tackle a contentious topic, representing polarised views. They might not agree with what they write - on this page, they represent a viewpoint, not an individual. This week, they discuss whether the media should be regulated.
Yes Roxanne Wright The media can bring us vital information, a distraction from our own lives, and entertainment. But the media can be a dark, brutal place which has caused harm to hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. I believe that the media should be moderated for many reasons, mainly revolving around protecting our mental health. Most forms of media that we consume on a daily basis is regulated. Programmes are regulated by Ofcom, films are regulated by BBFC, video games are regulated by PEGI and newspapers are regulated by IPSO. This means that what they publish to the world has to go through many processes and follow specific and strict guidelines. It is vital for each of these media to ensure that citizens and consumers are protected and to ensure that their content is appropriate. Yet social media is not regulated in any way. Bullying, pornography and sensitive content is free to roam the internet, and in the grand scheme of things, little has been done to stop it. On the 15 July 2019 the UK Government released a statement saying that the big social media sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, have agreed to ‘remove suicide and self-harm content’, and the sites ‘recognise they have a duty of care to their users, particularly children and young people’. This of course is a step in the right direction, however the main social media platforms were launched many, many years before that, and these new rules came a little too late for some unlucky people. I conducted a survey asking 50 young adults, both male and female, whether they believed social media damages mental health, and 98% said yes. Yet social media remains in their daily routines as, like many destructive things, it is an addiction. Social media has been woven into teenagers’ lives since very young ages, and seen as a necessity. But the main question is, that if the dominant audience of social media believes that it causes harm, then why has the media not been moderated? One heart-breaking example of how destructive media can be is the suicide of Caroline Flack. On 14 February the 40-year-old British Television presenter was found dead in her flat in London. Citizens of the UK responded quickly to her death by blaming the media for her
suicide due to the extreme harassment after being charged with assaulting her boyfriend Lewis Burton in December. Quickly after the announcement of her death, citizens took it into their own hands and a petition, with more than 850,000 signatures, was handed to the government in hopes to bring an end to ‘harassment and bullying by the media’. This was the beginning of ‘Caroline’s Law’, a campaign started by Dennis Patton, to “make it a criminal offence, not dissimilar to Corporate Manslaughter, for the British Media to knowingly and relentlessly bully a person whether they be in the public eye or not, up to the point that they take their own life.” If social media was regulated, and newspapers were more sensitive towards sensitive situations, maybe cases like Caroline’s would decrease. Another important reason to moderate media is to protect younger audiences. We turn on the TV, open newspapers and look at our phones to be flooded with bad news; natural disasters, death and corruption. The majority of adults are able to take on these
No Issy Anthony Comment Sub-Editor The media is one of the most important ways that we have to express our freedom of speech, which is why it’s crucial that it is not strictly moderated. It is something valuable to be cherished, and while it can be abused, there are already laws in place to stop this. In article 10 of the Human Rights Act, it states that “everyone has the right to freedom of expression”. But for our safety, and to keep our society in order, there are restrictions “in the interest of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, prevention of disorder and crime, for the protection of rights and morals, for the protection of the reputation and rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary”.
Should the media be regulated? news as information, with little impact on their mental health. But with the rise of the digital age where children are getting smart phones before they hit puberty, being taught the world is a nasty place through the media impacts them a lot more. Albert Bandura, a psychologist and media theorist, has a theory over ‘media effects’. Bandura states that the media can “implant” ideas in the mind of the audience directly. The idea is that audiences can acquire emotional responses, attitudes and new styles of conduct through modelling what they consume. To put this theory into context, if we are constantly being exposed to coverage of murders, rapes and terrorism, the emotional response to these horrors is lowered as we become more immune. Another example is if easily influenced people, the main group being children, are largely exposed to violence, it can lead to imitation of these behaviours. Therefore, I believe it is critical to moderate the media to protect children from the dangers of the world, until they are grown up enough that it will not majorly affect them.
As you can see, there are more than a few exceptions to the law, and the UK are known to have some of the strictest defamation laws in the Western world. Many people are concerned that the media is given too much freedom to say what they want, and in the era of fake news, they should be far more moderated. But ask yourself, who would be moderating them? In countries where the media is strictly moderated, for example China, social media is limited, and it makes it very hard for the citizens to know what is actually true, as it is the government that moderates their media. With the current coronavirus, many allege that the Chinese government are underreporting deaths, which would otherwise be published if they had unmoderated media. The press then just becomes a method of propaganda for the government, and not a way of expressing opinion. In 2011, the News of the World scandal shocked the nation, where the popular paper was revealed to have been hacking phones to break stories on celebrities. They were closed down for their breach of privacy, clearly
demonstrating that we don’t need stricter laws to moderate the media, as they will be forced to follow the UK law, and the consequences are strict if they break it. In Liverpool, the city decided to boycott The Sun newspaper as they didn’t agree with many of its messages. It is not sold or publicised in Liverpool anymore. Major supermarkets like Tesco even stopped selling it, citing ‘no demand’ for it. If we moderate papers, newspapers who have an ethics code are punished too, as how will we be able to differentiate between important opinion pieces, and tabloid’s writing about an actress’s weight gain? If we moderate papers, everyone suffers. We don’t need stricter laws, we just need to stop giving money to papers who abuse their freedom of speech. The Sun suffered a notable financial decline after what happened in Liverpool, and if this was copied elsewhere, we would be seeing far fewer newspapers with terrible messages. Social media is already moderated, but this does not stop bullying. It will always crop up, and probably somewhere that is harder to moderate. The answer is not to restrict people’s freedom of speech, but to have a far better education programme that teaches people about the serious long-term effects of harassment and bullying, so that they have no desire to post hurtful content in the first place. With freedom of speech comes freedom of consequences. People can largely say what they want to, but that does also open them up to backlash and responses. And this is healthy. We should move away from cancel culture, and into helping people learn from their mistakes. But we cannot do this if people don’t have an open space to express their ideas in the first place, otherwise we will just be stuck in an echo chamber of our own thoughts and opinions. We must remember that it is a privilege that our media is not strictly monitored. We have a wealth of different opinions at our fingerprints, and should look at the positive side of that. We can speak out against our government on a Facebook post, with absolutely no legal consequences, which cannot be said for many countries. We can read articles that offer different opinions, and we can read our media knowing it has been written from the point of view of a journalist, not the government. After all, no one wants to live in a George Orwell novel, and we should try and keep it like that for as long as possible.
The Badger 4th May 2020
Could COVID-19 increase empathy for isolated elders? Evie Bond “Talking to people, it’s like a fire with embers burning, it makes them glow” (Scarlet, early 70s). As I leave Scarlet’s small yet cosy flat on a rainy afternoon back in November, I think; how does she manage it? Due to ongoing health issues she only gets out once every two weeks when she takes a taxi to visit the seafront. Other than this, she stays at home. Little did I know that only a few months later, people all over the world, myself included, would be experiencing something that this gregarious, fun-loving woman knows all too well- what it feels like to be socially isolated. On 24 March, people across the UK were urged to self-isolate and only leave the house for essential reasons. In the weeks leading up to this decision and since, we have seen a rise in community support among neighbours. With the setting up of Facebook groups such as ‘Sussex Community SolidarityCovid-19’, many have offered their help - from food delivery services, to advice on how to
manage our mental health during isolation. Others have taken up weekly phone calls to chat to those struggling with isolation and loneliness or in need of coping strategies. A volunteer at Age UK Brighton and Hove said they were “overwhelmed” with new volunteers (particularly students) offering to collect food and medication for the elderly. Despite this, the realities of social distancing and isolation present new and difficult challenges. One student said he struggled with staying inside constantly and not being with his family at this time, although social media enabled him “to remain connected mentally to my loved ones even if I am physically distant”. Other students I spoke to have reported new feelings of loneliness due to the difficulties of isolation. But what is isolation and loneliness and what did it look like before COVID-19? Isolation and loneliness are common buzzwords in newspaper reports, magazines, TV and radio. Loneliness has been described as an ‘epidemic’, a ‘national crisis’ and a ‘silent
Generation Hope Arnav Gill On January 1 2020, a day that feels a universe away from where we are now, dawn broke to the chorus of a new decade. Clung together in cheer on New Years Eve, we shared some sense that the world was beginning anew. Excitement and hope for the future began to burn, as the world took stock of all that had been achieved in the preceding decade. Economic stability and prosperity that had previously seemed so far away was once more returning… we could dare to dream. Dawn breaks now to the reality of a future of uncertainty. Our generation, normally considered to be an age of opportunity, is now faced with what appears to be the greatest economic and social test the modern world has seen – Covid 19. It may not have been what we envisioned, but the time has come for us to swallow the woes of what we have lost, and to define ourselves by what we make of the road ahead. We must keep hopeful and hold on to our dreams. The Coronavirus has shown
us just how connected we all are regardless of race, nationality or distance in this globalised world. But we must now return to our nations and protect our neighbours before the world can come together again and re-open global transport. It is, at times, a painful but necessary reality. I wonder what the next generations will think of this time and of us? We must leave behind a better society - one of solidarity, one that works together, one that we did not have before. This solidarity has already been shown by the many key workers who have put their lives on the line, and all those who have supported them to give us a fighting chance in this war. It will be to the betterment of history if our society sustains this new understanding of how to care for one another. My hope is that our generation will not be defined in a cloud of failure by the crisis that has befallen us, but by our courageous response to it. What we build from hope can be a beacon that outlasts us all, leaving behind a story that history shall repeat forever more.
plague’- not that dissimilar to the language used around COVID-19! Whereas loneliness is the feeling of being alone, isolation is the objective absence of social contact. Studies have found that despite the younger generation being particularly lonely, the elderly are more at risk of becoming socially isolated. According to The Campaign to End Loneliness, half a million older people in the UK go at least five days a week without seeing or speaking to anyone. The UK even has a Minister for Loneliness to tackle this “sad reality of modern life”. In Brighton and Hove, around 44,300 people live alone, and a BBC radio 4 programme even pronounced it the loneliest place in the UK! In the Autumn term, I spoke to several local elderly women for my dissertation research. For many of them, their greatest challenge was isolation due to ongoing mobility issues or the loss of a loved one. Not only was this emotionally painful for them, but practically it was very worrying. “Thinking about the future terrifies me, what if I fall, I have no one to help me” said
Jane, a woman in her late 70s. Due to crippling arthritis, she can only make it out once a day and often does not talk to anyone except shop keepers or bus drivers. Sadly, this is not unique. Many of the women I spoke to said they had trouble leaving their home and struggled with feelings of loneliness. Surely, there are parts of these narratives which we may be more equipped to understand and empathise with now we have experienced just a few weeks of lockdown. Things like; not leaving the house, speaking to fewer people in a day, struggling with feelings of loneliness or feeling cut off from loved ones or society. These are possible bridges of empathy with which we can better understand the position of isolated elders in our communities.
As I walked home from Scarlet’s on that rainy November afternoon, I thought, ‘at least I can go home, she has to live with it’. As we look to the future, many of us are comforted by the thought that this will be over, and we can return to ‘normal’. But we need to remember those for whom these factors are normal. Coupled with the increase in volunteering and community support offered to our elders and each other, surely, we are presented with the potential for positive social change. We need to bring the possible lessons we have learnt from COVID-19 into the future - those of community, empathy and togetherness. As one lady in her early 90s said; “if this carries on, if people are willing to help, this should make a lasting difference in society afterwards!”- an uplifting thought indeed.
A private school girl - or am I? Stella Cooper After reading the ‘Should private schools be abolished?’ debate piece from The Badger’s ninth edition, I felt inclined to comment as an ex ‘yah yah’ private school girl. I don’t want to sit on the fence and get spikes up my privileged backside, instead I wish to reveal the sad and differentiating reality of private schools. Hopefully you’ll see my perspective as slightly wider; having attended five schools, three of which private. One of which was intoxicatingly ‘trés riche’, i.e. if you didn’t have at least a BMW X5 you would probably have put your child on the school bus to avoid humiliation. This is what my parents did. Problem #1 established: you need money for private school, but how high can you go? Once you think you’ve reached an upper-middle class haven, the goalposts move. For families who aren’t in the filthy rich club (such as mine), the culture of private school is a swamp of materialism within an elitist institution. I always felt this difference and was aware of the underlying shaming of those children whose parents had
only just managed to pay the fees. I left when the schooling expenses wreaked financial havoc for my parents. We often talk of the inequalities between private and non-private schools, but the presence of inequality within private school walls is rarely discussed. The ideology for upper-middle class families putting children in private school is manufactured as a product for progression and validation. I believe that this is why they are yet to be abolished, the commercial value of progression in ‘going private’ is simply too strong. Private schools will remain as warped commercial temptations for those who will never be rich ‘enough’ to afford them but humiliatingly try. My eyes stung when reading the opinion that those who attend private schools are fulfilling their ‘destiny’ and are churned out as ‘intellectuals,
scholars and leaders.’ Not all private schools are Eton-esque. One of my private schools’ catered for navy kids who had been shoved into boarding since the age of four and had 90% of their fees subsidized by the government. This is no ‘destiny’, they are there because it’s convenient for travelling parents. There weren’t many BMW’s at this one, predominately Skodas. Unsurprisingly, no one here saw themselves as the future Boris Johnson. It was more likely a case of, “how much petty crime do I have to commit until Daddy comes home?” I would argue that it was less of a ‘privileged opportunity’ and more of a psychological punishment. So, who can relish in private school and who can’t? The label ‘private school’ hides the almighty disparity between the atmospheres (luxurious and torturous) of private schooling institutions.
Dave K Wikimedia Commons - Unknown
The Badger 4th May 2020
Features Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of Rum: An Interview with student-led West Pier Drinks T
Features Editor Arianna Lee talks to Sussex students and co-founders of West Pier Drinks, James Howes and William Roberts
he other day I caught up with fellow Sussex students James Howes, and William Roberts. They, along with third founder Thomas Gray, have been busy making their mark in Brighton with rum company West Pier Drinks, providing an alternative rum for those who don’t like rum! Balancing a full-time university degree and a start-up business sounds like a lot of work, so I interviewed the team to see how they did it. What was the origin story behind West Pier Drinks? James: We met through Enactus, so we already knew we were quite business minded, and we got chatting every so often about how we’d love to start a business, so we threw some ideas about but none seemed to gel that well or make that much sense. Until one day I was in Falmer [bar] looking at some beers and one was made out of recycled bread- Toast- it takes bread destined for landfill and so it’s good for the environment and tastes really good, and I realised there aren’t any spirits that are sustainable. So, we had the idea to do that with gin, andWilliam: It’s a bit overdone. J: There is a gin from like every place under the sun, and we don’t even like gin that much! W: Rum is starting to take up again, and we feel like people don’t really understand rum, and most rums on sale, like Bacardi, are not really the nicest tasting rums, because they are focused on the alcohol [content]. But premium rums with better flavour do tend to have higher [alcohol content] percentages. J: Then you have Captain Morgan’s and similar rums, where they have a pirate and it’s brown but it all tastes like the same stuff, but you can have a pink rum, you could have a blueberry rum, there’s pretty much no restrictions on what you can put into it, all rum has to be made out of is sugar cane. So, for people that don’t like rum, you can make one that has similar flavours to gin. W: And then for every step of the business we’ve been thinking how can we make it sustainable. We’ve been looking for glass suppliers in Sussex, and UK suppliers for our base product. For our bottle design, we wanted unique bottles, so we decided to work with Precious Plastic, which is a recycling project to turn plastic into other things. So, we’re hoping to remove plastic from the local environment and make our bottles from it.
J: [Our bottles] are made from the same plastic as plastic bags- which is non-recyclable, so ideally we’d like to clean the beaches of Brighton, so [the consumer] would know it’s coming out of the ocean next to you, and what you’re buying is taking this many plastic bags out [of the sea]. Let’s hear more about the drink, is it vegan? W: Some rums and beers aren’t, but it isn’t hard to make it vegan, so we have. Also, coeliacs can drink it, because after we distil it, we don’t add anything else, so it’s better for you and purer. Will you expand into other alcohols? W: Eventually, yeah, maybe. J: Besides rum, we would probably move into non-alcoholic spirits, as they’re a big upcoming thing. I imagine not gin, ever, because Brighton Gin already exists. W: What we were thinking was, as we have a really small ‘factory’, that people could ask us for small batches of special or personalised rums, sort of a bespoke rum. J: We were speaking to one of the guys at Brighton Gin, and he said they got approached by Rag’n’Bone Man to make one for him, and they didn’t make it in the end, so a missed opportunity there. W: We’re thinking of launching in three core flavours; our first one is the West Pier Inferno rum J: Because Brighton’s west pier burned down- which will be a bit spicy, gingery, with some citrus flavours, which you would drink with lemonade or soda or even tonic. W: We like the idea of rum and tonic because it’s an easier progression from drinking gin, and also it brings out more of the flavour of the rum. We really want to move away from rum and coke. J: Then there’s two others, kind of in development, the second is our more gin-like one, it’ll be a pink rum, rose and raspberry [flavours], all local botanicals. The last one will be ideally all local ingredients, so from the South Downs, there’s this berry that only grows here with a really interesting flavour, and we wanted to pair that with locally grown botanicals. W: We will probably price [the bottles] similar to Brighton Gin, around £30-35. Tell me more about the sustainability element W: We are going to have a bottle deposit scheme, which will give [consumers] a percentage off [their next bottle] or cash-back, so you bring
West Pier Drinks
the bottle back. This means, for us, that we’re not producing bottles with non-recyclable plastic and then having them thrown away. J: And then of course we can refill them which means less manufacturing. It also gives an incentive to bars to return them because in bulk it’s a big discount. I’ll cycle around Brighton picking them all up! What support did you get from Sussex University for your start-up? W: We applied to Start-up Sussex phase one, which was a six-week course, where they take you through stages where you learn how to make a business model, and a business plan,
W: Next year I am planning on running my own business as well as this, James is going to a graduate job, and Tom is doing his third year. Then hopefully the year after that we’ll be able to do this full-time. Our end game isn’t to be in supermarkets and to be some huge rum producer, we really just want to focus on the sustainability. J: We would like to scale up, but it would have to be with the support of someone who is going to help us keep the sustainable spirit going. So where do you see it going? W: We want to be able to do special and experimental batches, and like limited editions for Christmas, and
West Pier Drinks which all leads up to a pitch day. We pitched against twenty or thirty other participants, ten were moved through to phase two. They helped us with funding, but we already invested money ourselves, and we’re looking at crowd funding. At the end of phase two we pitched for £10,000, and we have a mentor, and Santander (who sponsor Start-up Sussex) have been really helpful. J: [Start-up Sussex] is a really good program, and it’s quite international, two thirds of the people on the program were international, with a good amount of master’s students as well. This gives you loads of different perspectives on ideas and stuff which is so helpful. W: We ended up being one of the winners of Start-up Sussex and we did get funding from Santander. Do you find that your university work helps with your business? W: It’s actually been the other way round, I find that having done Start-up Sussex, it helps me in class. J: Same for me actually, but it is a struggle balancing all the time commitments. W: Lots of the things in class have given me different insights, but a lot of it is then applying that theory to something I’ve done through the business. How are you planning on balancing this with other jobs etc in the next few years?
just be able to offer our customers something new. We want to keep the core ones going too. Brighton is our main place, and the first place they will actually be available, at all the niche and smaller bars in Brighton, basically anywhere you see Brighton Gin. W: Obviously, our launch plans have changed, so we’re now planning a soft launch in the wake of the pandemic, in June or July, where we will be available online and from Deliveroo. W: We’ve also decided to make hand sanitiser because of the pandemic. A lot of distilleries and alcohol manufacturers are making hand sanitiser because it has a high alcohol content as they have the excess alcohol and the supply chain to be able to make hand sanitiser quickly, so that’s why we’re doing it, and we will be donating some to places that need it, we’ll be doing NHS discounts, and it will be available for the public. What advice would you give someone who wants to start a business? W: I would say go for it, there’s a lot of help and support from the university and entrepreneurship networks, but you have to know it’s high risk and have to be committed because that business will become your life. J: Yeah, be ready to commit a lot of time and be realistic about how much you actually have to spare, and find some co-founders that make up for your weaknesses.
The Badger 4th May 2020
Out of the closet and into the bathroom
Features Sub-Editor Olly Williams explores how joy and fear polarise what it means to be trans and non binary
ait, how do you drink without getting lipstick on the glass?” - We were sitting adjacent in the poorly lit student’s union bar. I was a few double vodkas deep, but I could recall enough of my mum’s ‘lesson on the application of lipstick’ to instruct my recently out nonbinary best friend. I’d only ever worn lipstick out once, my mum wanted to make sure my prom suit had the ‘critical feminine aspect’ to it. By that point in my life I had changed my name from Olivia to Olly, painted my room from pink to grey. I was a nonbinary young person. A month before I started uni, I got a call at 2am from someone I’d met on tinder. We’d seen each other for a week or so before they moved back north to begin a career with the Police Force. “I know this is weird”, they told me, “but I think I might be transgender”. Since then she’s changed her name from David to Delilah, we went clothes shopping together, I imparted my lipstick wisdom once more and, most importantly, she’s happy. Anecdotes and stories like these are defining adolescent memories, just as much as my first driving lesson, or exam results day. As a community, trans and nonbinary people have struggled to not be defined by anything other than ourselves. As a Mexican myself, I know that in pre-colonial Mexico gender existed in more than binary forms - as it was in many pre-colonial nations. For many Anthropologists and Gender Historians, the acceptance of gender is less about stepping forwards and more about stepping back, back to a time where our visions of ourselves weren’t imposed by colonialist mindsets. What is undeniably a step back, however, is the recent news that our core identity itself is under threat from within our own government.
and LGBTQ History month were a recent reminder of how our community of pride and celebration is brought together by struggle, loss and now what is being called a “detrimental and unprecedented attack” by the new UK Equality Minister, Liz Truss.
When I said I wanted news other than the Coronavirus, this is not what I meant Fighting for our right to be ourselves is nothing new to the LGBTQ+ community. Trans Day of Remembrance
I love the trans community’s unwavering resilience and determination to be ourselves in the face of all the animosity. The new policy comes as part of the review and updating of the 2004 Gender Recognition Act. The proposal would see vital hormone blockers, denied to transgender people under 18 in the UK. LGBTQ+ charity Stonewall have raised concerns over much of this announcement, pointing particularly to Minister Truss’ stated intention to ensure “that the under 18s are protected from decisions they could make, that are irreversible in the future”. Whilst gender reassignment surgery is unavailable to under 18s in the UK, transgender identifying young people can still access medical services such as hormone blockers. Hormone blockers work to delay the process of puberty in young people and prepare them for the option of gender reassignment surgery. This medication is reversible and is often also prescribed to children experiencing the condition precocious puberty. The medication is known to possibly affect fertility; however, it has saved many young transgender people from suffering crippling and often deadly gender dysphoria that can be brought on by adolescence. Furthermore, Minister Truss announced her intentions for “the protection of single sex spaces”, which threatens a transgender person’s right to choose which public bathroom they use. This is something that is not only integral to a trans persons’ identity, but to their safety. Amongst the politics, acts and debates surrounding trans rights, are the lives of people. People who are teachers, key
Quinn Dombrowski workers, family members and friends, whose stories, similar to my own, are real. From our own homes the British trans and nonbinary community have come together to cry, comfort and celebrate our identity. So, I spoke to one of my friends, Eva, about what being transgender means in her life.
was one. It feels like denying me basic dignity and telling me that people don’t feel safe around me. I know it’s TERF (Trans exclusionary radical feminism) rubbish, but the fact that there are people agreeing with it is scary.
Being trans is a journey that brings more joy than sadness, a sentiment that sometimes gets lost
I love the trans community’s unwavering resilience and determination to be ourselves in the face of all the animosity. It was inspiring to me before I transitioned, and it inspires me now. Being trans is a journey that brings more joy than sadness, a sentiment that sometimes gets lost amidst constant transphobia and the fight against it. But we’re strong, strong enough to at the very least, exist and find joy in lives we’re told we shouldn’t have.
When did you decide it was the right time to take your identity as a trans person out into the world? I took my identity as a trans person out into the world slowly, but also kind of all at once. I was about 15/16, began slowly telling friends and experimenting with clothes and makeup, until it suddenly got out after someone found a private Instagram account I had. So, with the entire school knowing I was trans, I went “screw it”, and began to publicly present femme and transition. What helped you experience validation and solidify your identity? Early validation came from my friends, using my name and pronouns without question because they knew how much it means to me. Meeting other trans people was also really nice because it showed me that I wasn’t alone and there were finally people that understood. How would it affect you if you could no longer use your preferred bathroom?
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
It would be quite dangerous if I couldn’t use the bathroom. Earlier in my transition when I was less confident and out in public I’d have to walk for however long it was to the nearest gender-neutral toilet, if there even
What are some of the things you love about the transgender community?
In their statement Stonewall said: “When Stonewall was campaigning to oppose section 28 [a 1986 Act that sought to prevent education and “promotion” of homosexuality in schools”] we were often told that young lesbian, gay and bisexual people are impressionable, vulnerable and don’t understand themselves. Today we know this simply isn’t true… so, we can’t let history repeat itself”. So much resonated with me in Eva’s comment that “being trans is a journey that brings more joy than sadness”. As a community, LGBTQ people have fought, and continue to fight not only for our rights, but for our identities themselves. Being nonbinary has been nothing but happiness for me. The only sadness, confusion and regret I’ve experienced in my identity has stemmed not from an uncertainty of myself- but from the uncertainty and violence of those who oppose our existence. If you are trans and need support during lockdown and beyond, please contact Mermaids’ helpline at 08088010400 (Mon-Fri, 9am-9pm).
The Badger 4th May 2020
Arts • Music and Theatre
A Pandemic Project Gone Astray Jude Whiley-Morton examines the creative anxieties of quarantine and the saving grace of music Jude Whiley-Morton Arts Online Editor Six weeks ago, when Boris Johnson took to a podium with the intent of announcing three weeks of national lockdown, content producers went into overdrive. Like piranha around a bleeding steak, they rushed the internet with articles promoting lockdown productivity. Suddenly, and somewhat lamentably for a nation of depressed, unemployed, anxious prisoners, lockdown became styled as an ‘opportunity’. Just as hundreds of thousands were coordinating a chronological binge of the twenty-two Avengers movies. Pretty much as the microwave door shut, and the popcorn caromed inside the bag, the lockdown turned from a Government mandated Easter to the ideal time for you, yes, you, to write your novel. Nevermind if you’re uncreative, dyslexic, more interested in
filmmaking to be honest, you have a good enough concept. Write that book! Perhaps it wasn’t a book, you may have been pressured to order your wardrobe, or crochet. What persists was the endless fetishisation of international catastrophe so that a few could keep up clicks on their lifestyle sites, and make you feel substandard. This is not to say that I don’t believe lockdown to be a pretty rare moment. If you are a creative, social distancing has provided the perfect excuse to retreat to the cave and get on with your work. However, for many, it’s a stressful time; writing isn’t necessarily the most ego-affirming pastime. Personally, I curse myself most when fretting over a sentence. With this in mind, allow me to propose a music-themed approach to lockdown, one that requires zero artistic assertion, merely appreciation. Pick a musician, and bingelisten their work. The music binge is less favoured than the
film or television series binge, and yet there are many artists who have a substantial enough opus to engage with over a period of days or even weeks. Many people have a particular musician that they fawn over; David Bowie, Beyoncé, and Jay- Z all have spectacular corpuses that can be listened to and enjoyed. What’s more, you can order these works chronologically (for Michael Jackson, from childhood to death), or in accordance with era. Joni Mitchell has a spectacular body of work
spanning from the sixties through to the modern day. Perhaps peculiarly, I believe the music binge works best with artists who are no longer with us. The opportunity to watch an artist’s development can only truly be understood in context with their death, which Bowie so perfectly executed. Beethoven, who worked from childhood to death too, can also be celebrated, it being the 250th anniversary since his birth. Obviously, it may be the perfect time to get up to date on the work of artists you will have the opportunity to see, such as St. Vincent or Janelle Monae, and never run the risk of seeing a boring gig, waiting for your favourite tune. You can rank their songs by favourite, or playlist them alternately, for different moods or sunny days. So there you have it, forget the novel, forget organising anything. Pick an artist, pick an album, and binge them. It’s the best way to pay tribute to the music you love, and a great way to spend the lockdown.
Sounds of Isolation Fancy some fresh perspective? Your Spotify playlists are remixed to death? See below our favourite new singles to drop this month
Dreamland Glass Animals
The Curtain Call How writing for the stage will open your mind, and possibly become your next epidemic spurred obsession Jessica Hake Theatre Editor Well dear readers, this is it. I bid you adieu as the curtain closes on my reign as theatre editor. Ideally this would be represented with a genuine curtain sealing shut around me and an accompanying standing ovation by you all; however, sadly lockdown has forbidden this. I also highly doubt the Editor-In-Chief of The Badger would have allowed me to orchestrate all of that. Therefore, instead I will be using this article to push the bounds of the acceptable dramatic and eccentric writing that a theatre editor is allowed. During this lockdown, now more than ever, it seems as though appreciation and recognition of the arts has increased tenfold. Creativity mimics the nectar needed by the bee, a necessity in order to provide life in these days where we occasionally struggle to survive. Where would we be without a streaming service and books, whatever would we do with all our time? In reality, we would
probably do the actual work and jobs on our to-do lists, instead of filling our days with comedy, romantic-comedy, drama, horror, thriller - the list is endless. Yet, as social distancing continues and our brains are yawning from lack of use, you may want to get involved yourself. We’ve all seen the rise in bread making and increase in baking as people turn their hand to creativity. Theatre only requires pen and paper/a laptop and an open mind in contrast to flour, egg, sugar and yeast. Coupled with this, there hasn’t been a reported shortage of biros and notebooks. So why not give script writing a go? If it’s your first time you’ll probably want to be gentle, approach it slowly, read up about it online and talk to your friends about what you’re thinking to make sure you don’t have too high an expectation of what is to come. Personally, I would throw caution to the wind and go for it. Vomit all your creativity onto a page or two and immerse yourself in the world
of your head. Follow each little thought down its path until it reaches the designated conclusion. Why would you worry about messing up? Each stupid idea, regardless of the size, just brings you closer to a decent one. How to write a script is the next question but it is not necessarily conducive to the process of creativity. You don’t need to feel the need to cement all your ideas straight away, which some people think is what a script does. You can cross out words, delete paragraphs and completely reorganise your story with a few simple clicks of your keyboard. Although there are some basic methods in script writing in regard to how a script is set out so it all makes sense, there are very few restrictions. Coupled with this, the entire point of this process is to be creative. When you implement rules then there are forced restrictions in your mind that in all reality don’t need to be adhered to. The major question is
usually how to access your mind. Drink and creativity are often thought to go hand in hand; however, prominent writers such as Stephen King claim that this idea is ‘one of the great pop-intellectual myths of our time… Any claims that drugs and alcohol are necessary to dull finer sensibilities are just the usual self-serving bull****’. Given this period of social distancing has taken a toll on the world’s mental health, I would also advise against this. Instead, I would listen to music and take your time. There isn’t an imminent time limit. Theatre is highly underrated. It is often viewed as an outdated and irrelevant artform that was merely the precursor for film and television. There’s a beauty to a live performance, much like a concert in contrast to an album listened to on Spotify. Maybe your forage into script writing will alight a new passion for theatre in you? I hope you all find the joy in your Hamlet’s, Fleabag’s, Les Miserables’ and Royal Ballet’s that I do.
You’reTooPrecious James Blake
Treat You Right Yellow Days
PDLIF Bon Iver
The Badger 4th May 2020
Arts • Books and Film & Television
What we’ve been watching
Our Film Co-Editors Michael Humphreys and Jack Parker bring you their recommendations for essential isolation viewing Are you slowly suffocating being inside all of the time? Look no further than these film recommendations, for the lockdown coronapocalypse moods! Searching (2018) A film where all the events are displayed using a computer screen (sounds a bit too much like real life). However, unlike other films who use the same style, Searching uses the medium to create intrigue and tension as a father (John Cho)
searches through the internet for any clues that would help find his missing daughter. By using real life websites, Searching is a grounded and gripping tale that could seamlessly blend in with lockdown life. Plus, it’s opening 5 minutes could rival UP (2009) in it’s ability to bring tears to eyes. Mission Impossible (19962018) In my opinion, Mission Impossible is the best film franchise today. With only one relatively weak link (MI:2), Mission Impossible consistently blends intense action, an interesting plot and insane stunt work to produce cinema magic. The cherry on top is leading man Tom Cruise who (regardless of your thoughts on his beliefs) is certainly one of the most dedicated actors in Hollywood. Whether he is
flying helicopters, hanging on to the outside of a plane during take-off or breaking his foot during filming, he, as well as the entire cast and crew are committed to providing absurd escapism that’s impossible not to enjoy. Spirited Away (2001) The quintessentially peaceful film. From Studio Ghibli, we follow young Chihiro (aka Sen) as she is brought into the beautiful world of dragons, ghosts and talking animals. Whilst the film is so much more than the previous sentence, it would be a disservice to those who have yet to experience the film if it were stated here. But with a unique story, a wonderful score and near perfect pacing, Spirited Away is pure, innocent imagination that, even with the 2-hour run time, flies by as you are entranced by each and every beautiful scene.
Educated, a novel by Tara Westover A look into Cambridge graduate’s novel detailing the difficulties of her Mormon upbringing Eric Barrell Books Co-Editor Biographical stories sit at the intersections of genre: non-fictional stories with the narrative structure of a novel. Biographies like Tara Westover’s fantastic memoir Educated (2018), provide insight into some truly fascinating lives that might help distract you from all the madness of the world right now, or even give a new perspective on your own life. Tara is an Historian who grew up with her parents and six siblings in a survivalist Mormon family ‘off the grid’ on a Mountain in rural Idaho. Her Father was a strongly religious man who believed that the end of the world was coming, and that education and conventional medicine were a government conspiracy. She did not receive a birth certificate until she was nine and spent much of her childhood working in her Father’s junkyard or assisting her Mother with making herbal remedies. The family suffers serious injuries, in car crashes or through working on the land. With the Father’s belief that doctors
and hospitals would take his children away and give them poisonous medicines , these injuries were treated with Tara’s Mother’s herbal remedies and prayer. She received some limited home-schooling and had to discreetly teach herself subjects like algebra and grammar out of textbooks so she could pass her college entrance exam. Against her Father’s wishes, she managed to get into University but struggled to adjust to the ‘real world’ of academia and women dressing ‘sinfully’. Nevertheless, she gradually broke away from the abusive and often violent family relationships of her past and discovered a love of learning that lead her to graduate study at Cambridge University and eventually a PhD in History. Her story is shocking, fascinating and lifeaffirming, showing the struggle of growing up in such a situation. An ongoing theme of the book is the difficulty Tara faces reconciling all the ingrained ideas of her upbringing with the completely different world she inhabits as an adult.
Although the work could perhaps do more to explain the psychology of abuse, Tara’s experiences speak for themselves to show the depths of the bonds of family and the difficulties that arise when families deny abuse to protect themselves. A key catalyst to Tara’s leaving at 17 is the violence of her older brother, and she describes how he would injure her and force her to apologise for the smallest of wrongdoings, and then apologise himself and work alongside her parents to gaslight her into believing nothing was wrong. Educated deals with the internal conf lict Tara wrestles with as she learns about healthy relationships and mental wellbeing in the ‘real world’, and the difficulties she faces recognising the abuse but also not wanting to be cut out of the lives of the family she loves. Educated is a gripping account of an upbringing so removed from what most of us know. Tara Westover’s story gives a voice to the power of education and individual strength to forge one’s own identity against difficult odds.
The Dark Knight (2008) Though being released in 2008, few films have retained as much praise and popularity as The Dark Knight. Whilst Heath Ledger’s masterful take on the Joker is the highlight, there is so much more that deserves praise. The script masterfully captures every iconic character as well as providing infamous lines that will be referenced for years. Paired with Christopher Nolan’s direction, The Dark Knight stands as a modern day classic, but in times like these, a classic may be what we need. Hercules (1997) If you are bored out of your mind, be assured all of us are, then I’d recommend Disney’s Hercules. A fun and nostalgic throwback, it is peppered with adult jokes and references that will have you entertained from start to finish bringing a new side to a childhood classic. Easy watching if you are
bored and completely drained from the pandemic period. Bridget Jones’ Diary (2001) Feeling lonely? Friends all left to go back home? Bridget Jones is calling your name. I don’t just mean the first film, I mean all three, what better use of your time than to follow Britain’s premier hot mess in all of the escapades of her life? An uplifting series of films that will have you feeling slightly less alone and slightly better about your own life choices. Harry Potter (2001-2011) With eight films in the series, they are a great time waster and will makeback you feel back at home as if you were reminiscing with family. It’s easy to binge watch all eight, but if you have to choose just one I recommend Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), directed by stylistic master Alfonso Cuarón.
Our Netflix Picks
Netflix’s latest series, this experimental drama centres around aspiring filmmakers and actors in 1950’s Hollywood.
If you aren’t already a superfan of this cultural sensation, now is the perfect time to start bingewatching all 12 seasons.
(Dir. Ryan Murphy, 2020)
(Dir. Sandi Tan, 2018)
Sandi Tan’s documentary covers the mystery and making of her 1992 road movie Shirkers - which has strangely disappeared.
(Logo TV, 2009-2020)
(Dir. Cary Joji Fukunaga, 2018)
Emma Stone and Jonah Hill star in this sci-fi comedy series, - a playful exploration of loyalty, love and sanity.
The Badger 4th May 2020
Lucy Howell is a photographic artist and facilitator based in Brighton. Currently studying a Photography BA at the University of Brighton, and having worked in the care sector beforehand, Howell is extremely passionate about equality, advocating for accessibility within the arts. Documenting with the purpose of subverting perspectives, Howell’s practice is an intuitive visual investigation upon the idiosyncrasies of the human experience. How did you get into photography? I originally studied Fashion in my A-Levels, but after dropping out of four Fashion degrees ten years ago, I took a break from everything creative. I fell into a job as a support worker, that led to a role in facilitating art workshops for neuro-diverse artists. Collaborating within the workshops, I found joy in photography as a way of making images that I had struggled to communicate for years. Your photographs concern themselves with subject matters surrounding football. Tell me more about that. Women’s football was banned in 1921 by the FA, on the grounds that “the game of football is quite unsuitable for females and ought not to be encouraged.” This overt masculinist idea is still engrained in the culture, and is another example of the
patriarchy controlling women and LGBTQ+ communities. Therefore, it is important women’s football becomes more accessible, visible and respected. I also played football in goal for my school during my primary years. However, as I grew older, there was more stigma attached to women playing football. I experienced name calling and stopped playing after caving into all of the social “girl” pressures. Photographing women’s football teams has become a way to reconnect with something I love, and I intend to use the photographic medium to deconstruct football, to offer new perspectives and to subvert the gendered ideas. I document to explore and celebrate the rise in grassroots women’s teams. What are your plans for the future, regarding your work? I would love my “Grassroots” series to gain visibility via relevant publications and events, in order to share the message of inclusion and diversity. I would like the teams to be seen and celebrated. I would like to continue to photographing subject matters that I believe need visibility and elevation. Words: Grace Sowerby Instagram: @lucyelhowell
The Badger 4th May 2020
Travel & Culture 13 COVID-19 in Africa Pentecostalism, prayer and conspiracy: how the pandemic has hit the continent
Charlotte Brill Staff Writer
Religion is at the core of African sociality, affecting the way people live their lives and engage with the state. It is central to the vast majority of Africans’ identities and for many it is not simply a faith but a reality which they earnestly embody and live by. Pe nt e c o s t a l - C h a r i s m at i c Christianity has boomed since the era of decolonisation. It is related but somewhat different to other Christian denominations in Africa emphasising direct and personal experience of the Holy Spirit. Starting in Nigeria, this ‘born-again’ religiosity has vastly expanded across the continent and into the mundane reaches of everyday life. Religions’ centrality to Africa’s social and political landscape puts religious leaders in a powerful position of influence and authority as a source of solace and guidance for congregants during this unprecedented time of COVID-19. Many African nations put restrictive measures in place as the coronavirus threat became increasingly imminent. This commonly meant the suspension or cancellation of religious-type gatherings and the closure of places of worship; an alarming prospect for many people. Not all religious leaders have followed government guidance, at least not without force. This includes some of the most famous Pentecostal preachers. They are not keen to preach it, leaving their congregation confused and at risk. Fears over how the outbreak will unfold in Africa are rising, particularly for poor countries with weaker health systems and in densely populated urban areas. ‘’Africa should wake up, my continent should wake up’’, said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO), at a virtual press conference in March. Dr Tedros advises African countries to learn from the unprecedented acceleration of the fervent coronavirus in other countries, to ‘’prepare for the worse and prepare today.’’ WHO’s official recommendation to curb the spread of the virus is that ‘’mass gatherings should be avoided’’, Dr Tedros comments.
Appreciative of the integral nature of religion to African tradition and of the critical role faith communities can play in the response to COVID-19, South African President met with religious leaders to ask for their support in reducing the virus’s spread. It is not unique that coronavirus restrictions have transformed ‘ordinary’ life across the globe, nonetheless the implications on peoples’ religiosity have been profound for Africa’s most devout faith communities. On the reactions on Northern Kenyan forum posts, James Drew, Course Convenor of Anthropology of Africa at
oboye, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), addressed his millions of followers in a short video on Twitter: ‘’I want to assure you that there is no virus that will come near you because it is written that ‘He that dwelleth in the secret place of Most High shall abide under the shadow Almighty’’’ This announcement was made in February, when few cases where confirmed and the pandemic remained a relatively distant phenomenon for Africa. As coronavirus’s grip tightens in Nigeria, however, megachurch auditoriums across the country have been shut and
RCCG House of Praise, London
University of Sussex said: ‘’There initially seemed to be strong resistance to the idea of closing from churches and their congregations. Some people still protest the closure, but most people are complying as the dangers of the virus become real.’’ In Nigeria, preaching wholehearted prayer and service to God throughout the outbreak, Popular Pentecostal Pastor Ade-
communal worship has moved online for the RCCG and most other churches. Conscious of their huge popularity and influence in Nigeria, and beyond, the RCCG have been using social media channels not only to preach scripture but to inform their followers on how to protect themselves from COVID-19 Through their Christian Social Responsibility (CSR)
initiative, Pastor Adeboye has also donated tens-of-thousands of medical supplies, including essential PPE, to support frontline medical support. Some religious leaders have not been so quick to respond to the threat of coronavirus and comply with state protocol. Notably, Abuja Pastor of the Jesus Reign Family Church was arrested by Nigerian authorities after holding a Sunday service, despite government bans on mass congregations. Several conspiracy theories have also emerged. World-famous TB Joshua, Pastor of Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), ‘prophesied’ that the coronavirus pandemic will be defeated on the 27 March. ‘’By the end of the month, whether we like it or not, no matter the medicine they might have produced to cure whatever it will do the way it came’’, he preached.
What killed people in Wuhan China? It was not the virus, it was 5G’’, said Oyakhilome in a virtual sermon at the beginning of April. When his ‘prophecy’ was proved false he found himself heavily mocked on the Internet. He has since defended himself in an interview on his own TV station, TV Emmanuel, saying: ‘’I am not a politician; I just have to give you the message as the spirit gave it to me.’’ A controversial conspiracy theory came from influential Nigerian Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, founder of LoveWorld Incorporated, who claimed that people were not being killed by coronavirus but by the installation of 5G networks: ‘’What killed people in Wuhan China? It was not the virus, it was 5G’’, said Oyakhilome in a virtual sermon at the beginning of April. He explained that the reason for lockdown in Nigerian towns, Aduja and Lagos, was not to halt the spread of coronavirus but to keep people inside so that 5G digital stations could be installed. ‘’What is the reason for social distancing? It is not because of infection. That is the easiest way to prevent protests’’, he continued. Oyakhilome, has claimed the
popularisation of 5G technology is part of the Antichrist’s plan to facilitate a new world order with one-world government, one world religion and one world economy. Similar theories have also emerged in the UK with claims that either by suppressing the immune system or by direct transmission, 5G radio waves are somehow responsible for the coronavirus pandemic. Such rumours and conspiracy have spread rapidly through social media networks and have led to a series of troubling incidents, including the arson of mobile phone masts in Birmingham and Merseyside. These claims have been widely condemned by scientists and branded ‘’The worst kind of fake news’’, by NHS England Medical Director Stephan Powis. Speaking on YouTube Channel, CountdowntoChrist, South African Pastor Mark Osbourne discusses how coronavirus, in the context of the increased frequency of economic hardships and tensions between nations, is a sign of the Second Coming and the End Times. ‘’Jesus talking about the End Times is wars and rumours of wars and tribulation of believers… in midst of that… is this pestilence so I believe that the coronavirus…is part of this sign of the End Times’’, said Osbourne. He continues to say that we should not be fearful of the coronavirus because it is not the end of the world, but a sign of the End Times and we should have faith and hope that Jesus will come and rescue us. Prayer and devotion to God are preached across Christian faith communities in Africa as being vital to fighting COVID-19. It is important for so many African’s that they are able to maintain a spiritual connection with God and their faith community, especially for hope in the wake of crisis. However, whether they preach that coronavirus is a test of faith, a sign of the End Times, or something else religious leaders must also be consistent with public health guidelines and avoid spreading false information. At the heart of African sociality and in powerful positions of influence and authority these religious leaders have a moral responsibility to protect their congregants from exposure to this virus to avoid catastrophe across the continent.
The Badger 4th May 2020
Travel & Culture 14 ‘Failed’ year abroad: thinking back fondly Yazz James
I’m a Global Media and Communications student which – at the time I signed up for the course – meant that I was guaranteed a year abroad in Hong Kong. Due to the political climate in the region, the University (understandably) made the decision to call all Sussex students studying there home in November. As disappointing as this was, it was no longer safe for us to stay and all classes had been cancelled. Afterwards, a quick effort was made to find all of us alternative solutions; for me, this meant moving to the Netherlands in January to begin a semester at University College Maastricht, but due to the pandemic, I have once again had to return home. When I speak of my two “failed”
semesters abroad, most people are immediately sympathetic, comforting me with apologies and pitiful looks. It’s appreciated; this year has been extremely draining – both emotionally and financially – but the reaction also makes me feel somewhat guilty. Despite everything that has happened, I am unbelievably privileged to have been able to study in two countries within six months. The global issues of Hong Kong/ China relations and COVID-19 are obviously much larger and important than a uni student from the UK jetting off to experience other cultures and courses. I don’t want to make it seem like I’m hard done-by. Instead, during this time of upset and uncertainty, I think I should focus on being grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. Prior to my semester in Hong Kong, I’d never been to Asia
before; moving there meant that pretty much everything was new to me. Surrounded by another language, trying other foods and living in a warmer climate was overwhelming in the best way. I got to take classes I’d never seen offered before like East Asian film and photojournalism. My campus was on a mountain, and every morning I woke up to a view of the water and the Tsz Shan Monastery’s Guanyin statue. Within forty minutes, I could be in the city-centre, wandering around Ladies Market or admiring the skyline from a rooftop – there was always something exciting happening. One of my favourite memories from first semester would undoubtably be the Mid-Autumn Festival; my friends and I admired the lanterns in Victoria Park and ate at a local restaurant before
we headed to Lantau Island for a beach party. We swam and danced all night, staying until we got to watch the sun rise over the mountains the next morning – I don’t think I’ve ever experienced something so dreamlike before, it almost doesn’t seem real now. Another of my favourite days would be our trip to Sai Kung; a couple of buses up tiny mountain roads and a hike got us to a bluewater beach and an incredible (yet terrifying) cliff-jumping spot. After spending the afternoon lounging in the sun and swimming in rockpools, we got a speedboat back as it turned dark. My second semester was a lot closer to home – especially with my mum being Dutch. I’d visited Maastricht a couple of times before and so it was nice to have the opportunity to explore it more. My time in the riverside
Letters from lockdown
city was filled with walks around tiny streets, café study sessions and chatty nights at the pub. I gave a new sport a go and joined the lacrosse team and got to spend a couple of hilarious days celebrating the eccentric carnival. The location of the city also meant I had the chance to travel a little – I took myself to Paris, visited friends in Amsterdam and did a group trip to Berlin. Each time my semester was cancelled, it happened very quickly with me packing my life up in a day. It’s certainly been a complicated year with constant mixed-feelings; it’s been sad to leave the people and places I’ve come to love, I feel guilty for being able to leave and lucky enough to be in good health, and then I’m also thankful that I got to have these experiences at all. To dwell solely on the negatives of this academic year would be somewhat ungrateful and taint the good memories I do have.
Wonder what other students are up to outside your front door? Here’s how they’re coping... Rosie Joyce - West London
Gemma Laws - Bexley, Greater London
Veronica Wong Nok Kwan - Hong Kong
ack before life as we knew it was turned on its head, when we could hug a friend we bumped into on the street, when we didn’t have to play trolley tetris when trying to walk down a supermarket aisle and when I could choose what I fancied eating that day and go to a restaurant which provided it, I would never have dreamed of spending as much time as I currently do nurturing a flour and water slime. But seeing as I now have more time on my hands than I know what to do with, I thought I may as well figure out how to make something I will occasionally spend an extortionate amount of money on as a treat. I’m making my own sourdough bread. You see, I have a dissertation to write. Well, two dissertations technically. And an exam. However, with the world being a little bit over and all, I can’t really focus on them. Instead, I’ve decided that what would alleviate my stress is growing a very needy mixture of flour and water that begins as a ‘starter’, is fed two or three times daily with more flour and water until it turns into a ‘levain’, and then making a dough which seemingly requires 6 billion proves and mixes and folds and… time, until I can bake it for 22 minutes with a lid and then 22 minutes without a lid, not forgetting to keep it at the ideal temperature throughout; not too hot, no direct sunlight, but also not too cold... don’t even get me started on trying to locate flour in these apocalyptic times. In short, making bread is not therapeutic and it is indeed very stressful. I mean, the bread is bloody delicious. It’s crusty and crunchy on the outside, light and moist (sorry) on the inside. It’s great with a poached egg on top, with some fake bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiched between slices, or even toasted and blended up with oil and garlic into breadcrumbs to top pasta with. But it’s bloody laboursome. When I’m asked what I’ve learned from quarantine in an attempt to create positivity in an otherwise rather negative time, I say that I am not ready to have a child for a very long time. If you fancy seeing how my bread parenthood took shape check out my Instagram, @porkbellyandtofu.
efore actually sitting down and writing this, I wanted to give the impression that, despite the chaos around me, I am managing to function as normal. It’s the same thing I want to tell my friend at the other end of the phone, my mum after a long day of trying to be productive and myself when I awake to another day of lockdown. But we are all affected by this, albeit to varying degrees. Do not fault yourself for not functioning perfectly. It is the situation that is frustrating, not you. My experiences with long-term depression and anxiety have taught me to take pride in the small things in times of (personal or global) crisis. Establishing larger goals and projects can work for some people, but I’m learning not to punish myself for not ‘making the most out of this time’ by learning a new language or reading 100 books or establishing an ambitious at-home exercise regime. Besides, my dissertation means that I already have a substantial project to work towards for the foreseeable future, which I’m sure is the same for many students. Difficulty focusing seems to be universal right now, and ‘brain fog’ has been a recurrent problem for me. Under these conditions, getting anything down is a start. If I know the day is likely to turn into hours of staring at a blank screen, I instead turn to free-writing - usually by hand, then typing it up. I’ve also started having regular calls with a few coursemates, as a way to talk through our research and ideas and make working on our assessments feel less lonely. Lockdown has also meant that my relationship with my partner of a few months has suddenly become long-distance. The uncertainty is difficult, but we’re managing it by setting time aside for chats and Netflix-watching sessions. I am lucky in that I also have a wonderful (albeit currently virtual) support group of close friends - to distract me or to hear my complaints. It is important to keep in mind that I’m in a relatively privileged position, but that doesn’t make my frustration and sadness any less real. So connecting with friends has been a healthy mix of playing Animal Crossing together and letting off steam over a cup of tea - or a glass of wine. As with most people, I’m still finding my feet one day at a time. But I remind myself to stay grateful for other people - for my partner and close friends as well as the strangers doing essential work. If things cannot go back to normal, I hope that at least we will be more kind and patient with ourselves and others - because all we have are these connections.
returned to my homeland, Hong Kong on 21 March under the advisory action of my home institution. (Yes, I am an exchange student and leaving the UK was one of the hardest decisions in my life) and underwent 14 days of mandatory quarantine alone at my aunt’s house. It was a crazy time for me, given that I have not lived alone, especially in a considerably unfamiliar environment. Since I have gone through this challenging period, I would love to share my story plus some tips and tricks to all of you encountering lockdown. First and foremost is the adaptation. Hong Kong is usually eight hours ahead of the UK, but seven as it’s summertime. Insomnia arising from jetlag hit me so bad for the first week. I would either be sleeping three hours every day or staying up till 8 in the morning and waking at 6 in the evening. It was a struggle, a suffering and a sabotage. To tackle this horrendous nightmare, my best advice is not to take a nap in the afternoon and let your body clock pick up the regular rhythm. Besides, wearing a blindfold to prevent any sunlight penetrating could greatly alleviate insomnia. (Imagine falling asleep at 10 am and the sun greets, “Good morning!” through the window blind) The most indispensable issue is face-to-face conversations. Having some regular conversations is so important. Facetime or Zoom (be careful with its security) helps to lower your emptiness and loneliness during this horrible phase. Binge-watching Netflix (I love The Stranger and Sex Education) and YouTube (my pick would be beauty and cooking videos) is probably too general as a tip but having something to distract is great as an escape. Last but not least, learning something new is also fabulous to kill time. You would say the current zoom lectures and tutorials are not the best option when it comes to learning. Instead of academic-oriented knowledge, there are always new things we are yet to explore like Dalgona Coffee. There will be something you are into; the start of a new hobby. Those 14 days were crazy to me. I would never forget that I have never felt more grateful than when I completed quarantine and saw the light from the outside. There is dawning being blotted out during the epidemic but the sun will bathe the land again.
The Badger 4th May 2020
Science & Technology
Are lasers the key to a faster Internet?
Finn Rawlins “Broadband is indispensable infrastructure in the 21 st century.” – Julius Genachowski, US Federal Communications Commission chairman. Use of the Internet is practically unavoidable today. From everyday use of social networking to use in employment and business, scientific and technological advancement and the dissemination of information for the preservation of democracy, being online has become unavoidable when engaging in modern life. Major international organisations agree that the Internet is an essential commodity and attempts to develop a faster connection are becoming more and more intense. This search has led to many developments in the technology utilised for the function of the Internet in the last decade, advancing from fibre optic broadband to 4G and now beyond. A collaboration of researchers from the universities of Nottingham and Leeds, working in fields ranging from physics to nanoelectronics, believe they may have found the next step in the search for faster Internet speeds by making use of high-frequency, high-power,
highly efficient lasers, called quantum cascade lasers. Quantum cascade lasers are fundamentally different to traditional, semiconductor lasers. Semiconductor lasers use two poles, positive and negative, to function, with a current flowing through the apparatus causing emission of light and this light escaping through holes in the surface of either pole. On the other hand, quantum cascade lasers are constructed by layering thin samples of a variety of materials with different properties, across which currents flow individually. This design allows light to escape at each individual level in the apparatus and combine, causing the performance of quantum cascade lasers to exceed that of standard semiconductor lasers by a factor of 1000. The team from Nottingham and Leeds, headed by Dr Aniela Dunn, recognised the possibility for quantum cascade lasers to be used for fields requiring highlyefficient data input. However, the standard method used to encode informationin a signal, which utilises electronics, was found to be limited by the devices involved. Dunn et al. published a paper in February 2020 display-
ing the results of an experiment which instead made use of light to increase the efficacy of data input by the quantum cascade lasers studied; this approach mostly avoids the limitations of electronic devices. Their method requires applying light waves to the experimental apparatus, which cause vibrations akin to sound waves to be generated. These vibrations allow for efficient data input when a current is applied. This new method could possibly increase Internet speed far beyond what is currently publically available. For perspective, the average bandwidth in the United Kingdom is 13 Mbps and a standard Ethernet connection operates at around 100 Mbps. The bandwidth theoretically possible using the methods of Dunn et al. sits at around 100 Gbps, a factor of 1000 above that of Ethernet and a factor of 10,000 above standard United Kingdom Internet connection. The speed of this connection is, in fact, above what is currently used by NASA, whose own Internet functions at a speed of 91 Gbps. This new, improved Internet could facilitate access to technology that today seems
tommyvideo at the very least futuristic, if not seeming like something taken directly from science fiction. With better bandwidth researchers predict major improvements in augmented reality, opening the doors for a future with fully immersive interactive gaming and holograms. These developments could lead to developments in a newly emerging field with very direct human benefits: telepresence. Telepresence is essentially an advanced form of augmented reality which, through robotics and the Internet, allows for a user present in a given location to feel present or give the appearance of being present in another location via technology, allowing for pancontinental personal communication and keeping separated families close and connected to their loved ones. Robotics will likely experience major progression as well, pushing humans and
robots closer together and linking them more tightly. High-speed connections are predicted to facilitate the rise of emotional computing, allowing robots to interpret and adapt to emotional cues from humans, and more sensitive, efficient technology could facilitate constant medical care, allowing the burden on humans to provide round the clock care to be lifted. Will laser technology be bringing these developments to our everyday lives any time soon? In all likelihood, no: the connection methods developed thus far utilising this technology are not at present commercially viable for individual consumption. However, laser technology is likely the key to faster Internet andcorporations are hungry for higher bandwidth connections, so with corporate backing we could be seeing huge progression in the next 5 to 10 years.
all walks of life including computer science, graphic design and even sociology. The relevance of your degree is not the most important aspect but what you as a graduate can offer is highly valued. Generally speaking, UX designers manage consumer analysis through planning and validating with customers and deliver a design solution to a company. It is the responsibility of the UX designer to be the customer conscience and campaign for the interests of the users while maintaining the business objectives. It is no wonder that companies place a big emphasis on experience within the industry as they are entrusting their companies’ business strategies in the hands of the UX designer. By building a portfolio with Gradprentice, graduates have the opportunity to work on a range of projects
and ultimately build an employable CV to allow them to be considered for the role. Without the portfolio, graduates’ risk being rejected from tech companies which expect nothing less than an appreciation for the role they will be carrying out. The current agenda posed by Gradprentice is to be able to provide graduates with further relevant training collaborating with Universities and tech industry experts and learn from their experiences. Fortunately, they are looking to expand their Gradprenticeships to other tech roles, such as those within software and graphic design. Ultimately, graduates could certainly benefit from being provided with full ownership of their projects in tackling the real-life challenges and positively develop their employability skills. If you would like to learn more about their mission please follow the link: www.gradprentice.co.uk
No Tech degree? No Problem
Ayah El-Dakal Science & Tech Co-Editor
According to the Office for National Statistics, in the UK, there is a shockingly high demand for tech graduates with a whopping number of unfilled vacancies. In a commitment to scout for those with top commercial awareness, tech employers are offering higher salaries to those with more experience. Many bosses provide noncompliances to those without the relevant skillset in avoidance of utilising resources for training. In fact, according to the Edge foundation, conducting ground-breaking research on the future of education, an estimated 1 million unfilled tech job vacancies cost the UK economy £63 billion per year. However, even with the increased glorification, the tech industry remains evaluating their desire for a
talented pool of candidates. When diving deeper into this issue it appears that the cause of concern is due to a lack of training with employers stating that there is a shortage of industry wide skills. Studies have shown that 9/10 employers struggle to find skilled workers. 43% of graduates have found themselves working in non-graduate jobs, and 5.1% of graduates unemployed six months after leaving university. Many students have become aware of the misconception of a raised desire for further study in order to compete with other graduates. While with some jobs, this has been found to be true, this is not the case for the tech industry.
Indeed, it comes as a shock that many students are unaware of the opportunities provided to them after university. The company Gradprentice is just one of many that supplies graduates with solid projects to become fully equipped with the practical skills necessary to secure their dream jobs. Having said this, they are also one of a few which offer this professional level of experience completely free. At the moment they focus on UX design, where their ‘Gradprentices’ undertake real life projects provided by employers and work in a team each contributing their own skills to ensure a wellrounded enterprise. They accept graduates from
The Badger 4th May 2020
Geordies and Sheikhs, the new footballing powerhouse?
Charlie Batten Sports Sub-Editor
It seems that very soon Newcastle United will complete a very controversial £300 million takeover headed by Amanda Staveley and heavily backed by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, so why is it so controversial? On the surface the deal is incredibly similar to the 2008 Man City takeover where a rich Middle Eastern investor poured huge amounts of money into the club. Newcastle’s potential new owners come from a consortium led by Amanda Staveley who is a businesswoman who for many years has had connections to Middle Eastern investors. Another member of this consortium are the Reuben Brothers who are claimed to be the second richest family in Britain with a net worth of almost £17 billion. But the biggest backer of this takeover is the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF) which is led by the crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad bin Salman. It is the PIF’s backing that could make Newcastle the richest club in the
world as they have an estimated wealth of $400 billion. The problem that many people are having with the potential deal is the cloud of human rights violations and political controversy that hangs over Prince Salman. For many years Saudi Arabia has been known for its lack of human rights, specifically the way it treats women and those who oppose the state. Similarly, the murder of Jamal Khassoggi last year, which was thought to be orchestrated by Mohammed bin Salman, has not aided his image. In recent years the Prince has brought change. Women in Saudi Arabia now hold more rights than in the past, but many charities and activist groups still claim not nearly enough change has been brought in. Although it’s improved for women, people who the government view as a threat to the state are still treated with an absolute disregard for human rights. Journalists, academics and activists are often reported as imprisoned, missing or dead,
Staying Fit in Lockdown
Johnny Garwood Sports Editor
I’m sure you’ve probably heard the word ‘unprecedented’ a few too many times over the past month of lockdown. However, there are few words within the English lexicon which emphasise quite how emphatic the UK’s enforced ‘stay at home measures’ have been on our livelihoods. As sport has ceased (and rightly so), gyms have closed, and other than your daily run, how do you keep fit during the lockdown? Since being back at home, I’ve eased off into the lockdown period with a mixture of worry, fear, loss and excitement as to what might come over this period of quarantine. My university studies have effectively ended - despite having a dissertation deadline creeping up on me and I am distant from my sports editorial team, my badminton and cricket teammates, and my university gym. Nonetheless, other than shaving my head and debating whether to shave my ‘quarantine beard’, I’ve been contemplating my own ways of keeping fit in these circumstances. Back in 2015, I attempted Beachbody’s Insanity programme for the first time in an attempt to wipe away those exam-time calories. This summer, as lockdown restrictions began to increase and the weather got warmer, I thought, why not
make another attempt? The programme, fronted by Shaun T and an entourage of fitness personalities, combines high-intensity cardio with elements of body-weight training and calisthenics. It serves as great encouragement to avoid the comfort of the sofa (and fridge) and achieve those pre-lockdown gym “gains” which we all dream of having. It seems like a lot, but I press on. So far I’ve reached day 32 which I do alongside catching up on Tiger King and the English Game on Netflix, as well as the daily FIFA or Warzone game with distant friends. Harrison Fitzgerald Seeing as all sports seasons have been cancelled, the only viable option left to me is to become fitter than ever before. Isolation means being bored enough to work out twice as much as you did normally. My goal was to run. A lot. I decided to make myself run for 30 days straight, something that is indeed daunting. The challenge is for two things in particular. For one, it is to get and keep fit. In a time of sitting in one spot on my xbox or watching the entirety of YouTube’s content, my step count was maybe 1000 steps a day. And the other thing is to get out of the house in some of the most amazing weather I have
with their deaths heavily linked to the state. It’s not only the treatment of its people that should raise alarms but also how it acts with other countries. Saudi Arabia has played a major role in the war in Yemen with the supplying of military aid to the government fighting the Houthi rebels which has resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians including an estimated 50,000 children due to starvation. Amnesty International have pleaded to the government to prevent the Newcastle takeover as a stand for human rights, and also because they believe the only reason Saudi Arabia are investing in the club is as a means to improve their public image and to distract from their controversies. However, what may actually prevent the deal is a Middle Eastern television network’s illegal broadcast of Premier League matches. BeoutQ is a television network which broadcasts Premier League matches illegally throughout Arab countries and it
has strong links to Saudi Arabia. This has caused the government to take a look at the network. This means that the government may step in not to protest Saudi Arabia’s poor treatment of its citizens but instead to protest the fact they weren’t paid for screening football matches on TV. Throughout the takeover saga, one thing that’s been lacking is the voice of Newcastle fans and their view of the new owners. One thing that many nonfootball fans don’t understand about why Newcastle fans want the new owner is that they hate Mike Ashley more than anything. The Sports Direct owner has owned Newcastle since 2007 and many fans would blame him for the lack of success they’ve had since he bought the club. From the 90’s to the mid noughties Newcastle were a fairly successful team in which the side very nearly won the league - only faltering due to a midseason catastrophe in which Manchester United clawed back an incredible array of points -
and had a core of players such as Alan Shearer and Michael Owen in their team. They are also known for having one of the most dedicated fan bases in the country. However, many point the finger and Ashely for the disappearance of this passion and disillusionment of the fans. Many think Ashley caused a lack of drive in the club due to the fact that he viewed the club as a business first and football club second. He also took the pride away from the club with the fact that he briefly renamed the stadium to the Sports Direct arena and had the club’s main sponsor as the pay-day lender Wonga. For years fans have wanted the owner out and it seems their prayers are finally being answered. Even though the new owners may not be ideal due to their actions in their own country, I think the best way to sum up Newcastle fans view is with Youtuber The True Geordie’s view, “all [the takeover] means is we’re about to have Mike Ashley ejected from Newcastle United.”
seen in England. Ironic right? There is no lying that this has been hard, both the quarantine and the running. The aches in my legs come back every time I run, screaming for me to not do this run! As of day 22 I have run over 120km, so nothing crazy, just consistently 4-6km a day. The days where I did only four were especially hard, leaving it until just before sunset when I dragged myself out to trot around the block. After the challenge a day off, or two, will certainly be needed, but at least I’ll know I haven’t been a complete slob during this time.
the popular ‘run 5km’, ‘donate £5’ and ‘nominate 5’ friends has inspired me to work on my 5km personal best. This has meant doing some strength and conditioning at home as well as heading down to the local 400m track to work on building up some speed.
A final point, keep the nutrition in check. A good plan will provide the energy and motivation needed to keep fit in your own home. You will reap the benefits.
Laurie Corbel I live in Jersey (Channel Islands) and the lockdown is pretty similar to the UK. Like many stuck at home, I am trying to look at the situation with a glass half full. I play badminton for the uni but sadly can’t train specifically for that at home, as shuttles don’t fly too well in the garden. I do, however, love a bit of triathlon and that’s perfect for a lockdown workout lifestyle. Given that I am only allowed out for two hours per day, I can’t exactly cycle hundreds of miles in that time. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stop me going out on my bike – Jersey is full of steep, long and muscle burning hills which make for the perfect short, fast and hard hill session to fit into two hours. As I am sure you are aware,
Max Kilham Lockdown has got us all stuck in a rut. Gyms are closed and at first glance we have nowhere to turn. However, this situation has opened up the world of calisthenics, otherwise known as bodyweight exercises. Cardio has never been my thing, I just can’t see the appeal of huffing and puffing for an hour when you can get an effective workout completed within 30 minutes. The key for me has been replacing volume for intensity, by completing High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Raising the intensity and lowering the volume has produced workouts that are not only demanding, but also convenient due to time decreases. I have explored doing total body workouts, as well as shorter, muscle-specific calisthenics. My advice: mix it up. Variety ensures that you won’t get bored of your workouts, so keep it fresh. In addition to these workouts, myself and a couple of friends have been completing exercise challenges in order to keep pushing ourselves during isolation.
Tatenda Desmond Mombo As someone whose primary motivation comes from the thrill of competition, and whose stability is far too dependent on playing the sport I love (ultimate frisbee), lockdown has been a big adjustment. I don’t want to complain too much, as ultimately, I have my health. In lieu of actually being able to compete, I have instigated a 5-stage challenge between our club and six other Universities’ teams around the country. There are 5 different home exercises, the first club to do, and document, 10,000 repetitions of that exercise, wins the stage, with 50,000 total reps being the goal, so it has been aptly named, 5 x 10: Road to 50,000 – you can follow the carnage @mohawksultimate on Instagram. Now that my desire for competition has been satiated, I’ve also decided to develop my understanding of the game taking part in seminars and forums about different aspects of the game, so in a strange twist of events, after months of lockdown, and being unable to practise or play, I may come out of quarantine a better and more effective player.