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Music and Poetry in the Pandemic

As part of the Pandemic and Beyond project we are working in collaboration with a Lived Experience Panel, a group of people whose lives have been impacted in different ways by the Covid-19 pandemic, to help us shape how we communicate the work of the research projects to ensure that we reach communities who might benefit from the findings. In this audio post Ronald Amanze, a member of our Lived Experience Panel, speaks about what music and poetry has meant to him during the pandemic. Ronald is a musician and music producer who uses poetry and music to record and explore his experience of living with dementia following a stroke.

You can read more about Ronald’s work here, and you can also follow him on Twitter. You can listen to his Dementia Diaries here. Ronald has recently presented and co-produced an episode of Music Memories, which is available on BBC Sounds.

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Digital dissemination and visual communication in the time of COVID-19

Digital and visual communications are a crucial method in disseminating information during the COVID-19 pandemic. From slice-of-life diary pieces to public health information on guidance and symptoms, visual storytellers are using their platforms to share their stories and disseminate information. While digital platforms have the capacity to facilitate misinformation, they have also been utilised to ensure the spread of important, and potentially lifesaving, information. Following on from our Knowledge Exchange Workshops, in this blog post Shannon McDavitt, Research Assistant on ‘Comics in the time of COVID-19’, explores some of the AHRC-funded projects that are researching media communications and health messaging during the pandemic.

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Research on Museums and Collections in the Pandemic

A central aim of the Pandemic and Beyond project is to connect researchers working on similar Covid-19 research problems so that projects can share knowledge, data and findings. Our first Knowledge Exchange Workshops were key to achieving this, bringing team members from each research cluster together to present their work and to discuss the connections between projects. In this blog post, Mark Liebenrood, researcher on the ‘Museums in the Pandemic: risk, closure, and resilience’ project, reflects on the group of projects focused on the impact of Covid-19 on Museums and the work they are doing to ensure resilience in the heritage sector going forwards.

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The Pandemic and Beyond Plan: Connect, Coordinate, Amplify

We are now approaching three months of working on the Pandemic and Beyond project; our activities started at breakneck speed, and our work of coordinating, connecting and amplifying Arts and Humanities Covid-19 research is well underway. This blog post provides a brief overview of what we have been doing and looks forward to our plans for the next 21 months.

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A Human Rights Perspective on COVID-19 Triage

Covid-19 has forced governments and healthcare workers around the world to make difficult and painful decisions about whose care to prioritise and how. Arts and Humanities researchers provide vital insight and scrutiny into the ethical dimensions of these decisions. In this blog post Dr Vivek Bhatt, Postdoctoral Research Associate for the AHRC-funded project ‘Ensuring Respect for Human Rights in Locked-Down Care Homes’, outlines some of the findings of the Essex Autonomy Project’s work investigating triaging decisions from the perspective of human rights.

By Dr Vivek Bhatt, 10th May 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen many hospitals around the world run out of ICU beds and critical supplies such as oxygen, with frontline workers forced to decide who should be prioritised for potentially life-saving treatment. This decision-making process is referred to as ‘triage.’ The practice of triage began during the Napoleonic wars and developed further during the two world wars, with the implementation of systems for sorting and prioritising wounded soldiers for treatment. As recent events have shown, triage decisions are equally difficult, and just as often painstaking, in the context of COVID-19. In Ontario, Canada, a spike in ICU admissions for COVID-19 treatment may soon force doctors to activate triage policies that provide a matrix for deciding who should be allocated the few remaining ICU beds in the province. And hospitals in India, where oxygen is in short supply, have set up ‘war rooms’ in which clinicians try to decide who should be prioritised for ventilation.

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The Pandemic And Beyond: The Arts and Humanities Contribution To Covid-19 Research and Recovery

Reposted from the AHRC Arts and Minds Blog.

It is a year since the UK government announced the first lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since then, arts and humanities researchers have contributed significantly to tackling some of the major challenges caused by the pandemic. A new two-year project, The Pandemic and Beyond: The Arts and Humanities Contribution to Covid-19 Research and Recovery, has been funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) as part of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)’s rapid response to Covid-19. Led by Professor Pascale Aebischer and a multi-talented team at the University of Exeter, the project will work with universities across the country who have carried out AHRC-funded research related to the Covid-19 pandemic. In this post, Professor Aebischer shares the team’s plans for the project and how they intend to amplify the impacts of Covid-19 research.

When the Covid-19 pandemic struck the UK and the country went into lockdown, new laws were passed at speed, theatres and cinemas went dark, care homes stopped accepting visitors, and a population used to working, exercising and socialising outside the home was asked not to leave their houses or mix with other households. Soon it became apparent that the pandemic was affecting different communities in different ways, with particularly devastating impacts on older people and people with underlying health conditions, communities of African and South Asian descent, and those in frontline jobs and living in cramped conditions. As the death toll rose, families had to deal with not being able to be with their loved ones as they died and not even being able to comfort one another at a funeral. There was a rise in domestic violence, social media began to spread misleading messages and many freelance workers, especially in the creative sector, were left without access to the furlough scheme or any idea of when they might be able to return to work.