Image: Wash Your Hands - COVID-19 Protection Advice from William Murphy's Flickr PhotoStream

As countries around the world go into lockdown because of COVID-19, we are devoting this weeks gallery to the ongoing crisis.

This health crisis should, and will, have a massive effect on the future of the sociology of health and illness and medical sociology.  We will try and reflect on this in the coming weeks.

What we have seen this week


Excellent people-to-people public health advice from an Italian grandmother. (the film has subtitles)

Coronavirus: Italian airforce put on uplifting display as the country remains on lockdown | indy100

One of our editors was in Spain over the weekend, here is their report:

“Tonight in Spain the Prime Minister gave a very impressive, absolutely clear and quite moving address on national TV explaining the details of and the rationale behind the State of Emergency being imposed this weekend. Soon afterwards there was a spontaneous demonstration of unity and anti-virus resolve with people leaning from their windows and balconies loudly applauding the country’s healthcare workers. It seemed to be happening all over Sevilla and apparently all over the country. (presumably organised on social media?) . On a short walk through the largely deserted streets tonight I saw two hastily prepared banners made from old sheets and hung from balconies “together we can beat the virus”. The collective resolve seems striking, unusual and unexpected to this English observer. If expressions of social solidarity actually mean anything, Spain is off to a good start. I was also left wondering whether the UK might be entering the bout with one arm tied behind its back…”


Sevilla- Ad hoc neighbourhood groups putting up signs “do you need help?”

One of our other editors is in Sweden

Here’s a message from my local bookshop. Desperate marketing or community spirited?

“Reading in the age of a pandemic.
Worried about running out off readings material during the pandemic?

We’re open as usual and are observing all precautionary recommendations. You are most welcome to pop in and talk and browse and shop (as most of you still do, if this weekend was any indication!) We’re all in this together, you are not alone.

If however you feel that you want a book or two, and are uncertain about how risky venturing outside is for you as an individual (or if you’re self-isolating for not feeling well), we do have a couple of options:

1. Use our regular mail order option. Call, email (simply reply to this email) or message us on facebook (send a message rather than post comments) and we will post you the books with an invoice. (If you want to make sure the book fits in your mailbox so you won’t have to go pick it up somewhere – pick a thin one! You can ask us.)

2. Our extra pandemic option – if you happen to live in our neighbourhood – contact us and let us know what you want and we will stop by with your delivery. You can pay by swish (preferred) or invoice. We’re not charging for this option – it’s a service to our locals. Cycling distance.

Stay strong, read a book and remember your local bookshop is thinking of you.
/your friends at the bookshop”

Notices put on a work toilet door in Sweden by a newly appointed ‘coronus communication officer’. After posting this they flew to Spain on holiday, leaving her deputy to communicate.

Meanwhile back in the UK

Seen on a van: “no toilet paper left overnight”

What with the run on pasta, I can’t help wondering if the Italians are stockpiling multipacks of cheese and onion crisps and jars of the proverbial yeast extract?

What we are watching this week

Prescient film about a deadly viral infection that spreads around the world

What we are reading this week

An account of a previous infection to sweep across Europe, showing many similarities of response to our current situation