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UK named one of the best places to survive a cataclysmic event by new research

The UK is one of the top five places to ride out a cataclysmic event

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We’ve got some good news for you – sort of – in that the UK and Manchester have been named among the best places to survive a cataclysmic event.

According to new research, the UK is actually one of the world’s ‘most resilient’ countries when it comes to future threats, whether that be a complete breakdown of society, a natural disaster or the effects of climate change.

If one of these scenarios were to happen, some countries would be better able to cope than others according to the study.

New Zealand was named the best location to ride out a cataclysmic event, with Iceland, the UK, Australia and Ireland also top places for survival.

Researchers looked at a range of different events, from viral pandemics to extreme flooding or droughts, and only a few countries seemed protected even under such circumstances.

Image by JL G from Pixabay

The study, undertaken by the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, concluded that being surrounded by water was a good protection from climate catastrophes.

On top of that, the amount of farming and housing land, ‘carrying capacity’, energy and manufacturing self-sufficiency, and how far a country is from large populations who might be displaced were taken into account.

The people responsible for the study had a dire warning for us, saying that our planet is currently in a ‘perilous state’ because of ‘large and growing risks in multiple spheres’ – with much of this brought about by climate change.

Image by JL G from Pixabay

While Professor Aled Jones – one of the authors of the research paper – said he ‘wasn’t surprised’ at New Zealand coming in top spot, he was by the UK scoring so highly.

Professor Jones told the Guardian: “We were quite surprised the UK came out strongly.

“It is densely populated, has traditionally outsourced manufacturing, hasn’t been the quickest to develop renewable technology, and only produces 50 per cent of its own food at the moment. But it has the potential to withstand shocks.”

The research was published in the journal Sustainability, and concluded that the five most suitable countries to survive societal collapse had certain things in common.

This included high levels of both ‘societal and technological complexity’, lower temperatures to offset the worst excesses of climate change, and the ability to supply their own energy.

Image by 733215 from Pixabay

New Zealand was easily the most resilient country as it boasts massive geothermal and hydroelectric energy reserves, as well as lots of farmland and low density population – Iceland, Australia and Ireland presented a similar picture.

The reasons for the UK taking a top spot are more complex, with fertile soils and large agricultural variety being a big plus, while the large amount of food we import raised questions about future self-sufficiency.

The researchers didn’t have an exact answer for what might kickstart a collapse of society, they suggested it could either be a sudden incident that happens in less than a year with no warning or a ‘long descent’.

However, there was some optimism among all the doom and gloom, with the experts saying the very worst consequences of climate change are avoidable if we start making changes.

Professor Jones said: “Significant changes are possible in the coming years and decades.

“The impact of climate change, including increased frequency and intensity of drought and flooding, extreme temperatures, and greater population movement, could dictate the severity of these changes.”

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GP reveals why ‘worst cold ever’ is affecting people across Greater Manchester at the moment

That explains a few things…

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Annie Spratt / Unsplash

A GP has offered an explanation as to why people across the region are experiencing what has been described as ‘the worst cold ever’.

As you’ll probably be aware, thousands of Brits have been experiencing crippling symptoms not unlike those of Covid-19, but are receiving negative PCR tests. The only other explanation? Well, it has to be some form of super cold on steroids.

Some people have been claiming that the new ‘super cold’ has left them feeling like they’ve ‘been hit by a bus’, while others have said with confidence that it is ‘the worst cold’ they’ve ever had.

So, why is the seasonal cold so bloody awful this year?

Well, a GP has offered her expertise on the matter and, as it turns out, the easing of Covid-19 restrictions could be to blame for the new illness.

Dr. Philippa Kaye told BBC Newsbeat : “We’ve actually been seeing a rise in the number of coughs and colds and viral infections. We are mixing in a way that we haven’t been mixing over the past eighteen months.”

She added that during the first lockdowns, numbers of other non-Covid infections fell as a result of social distancing measures and the restrictions on mixing with other households. 

@candidbcolette / Unsplash

Dr. Kaye advised to always take a Covid-19 test when feeling unwell and, if it comes back as negative, to simply consume ‘loads of fluids and rest, over-the-counter simple painkillers for headaches and aches and pains’.

She added: “You can get lots of advice from your local pharmacist for minor coughs and colds.

“But if you become more unwell, if you cough up blood, have chest pain, if you have shortness of breath or chest tightness, then you need to seek medical advice.”

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Manchester woman called GP 673 times in one morning to be told to ‘try again tomorrow’

‘Waited further 20 minutes to speak to receptionist to be told there are no appointments left and try again tomorrow’

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David Totterdale / Wikimedia Commons & @taylor_grote / Unsplash

A woman from Manchester recently shared her experience when trying to book a face-to-face GP appointment, saying she called over 600 times to be told to ‘try again tomorrow’.

Francine Jury, a health researcher, took to Twitter to explain how difficult it was to get an appointment via the telephone at her local GP surgery.

She wrote: “Just Dialled GP 673 times over 28 minutes to get into phone queue at position 9. Waited further 20 minutes to speak to receptionist to be told there are no appointments left and try again tomorrow #primarycare is broken. #NHS”.

Francine later followed up her tweet by explaining that her frustration wasn’t with the NHS staff themselves, but with the ‘broken’ system that manages appointments.

She wrote: “The incredible NHS primary care staff are working in a completely broken system. Needs better funding and GPs need more flexibility… GP practices know their patients and communities best and how best to serve them.

“Give them the support they need to make the system work for everyone. Founding principle of NHS- healthcare free at point of NEED, needs better support at primary care level.”

This comes just one week after Rossendale Borough Council raised concerns over the current booking systems and availability of in-person appointments since the pandemic.

Councillor Alan Neal said that patients are visiting NHS walk-in centres and accident and emergency departments as an alternative to the lengthy waiting times to see their own doctors.

@nci / Unsplash

He said: “This is not a criticism of the medical profession. It is a criticism of the organisational system. A few years ago, CCGs [clinical commissioning group] were were set up across the country but, sadly, that system is not fit for purpose.”

Health secretary Sajid Javid recently urged GPs to scale down phone consultations now the height of the crisis is ‘way past’.

He told MPs last week that the government ‘intends to do a lot more’ to ensure in-person consultations go ahead, but did not reveal what specific actions ministers would take.

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Calling women ‘birds’ is ‘plainly sexist’, a judge has ruled

The woman’s boss allegedly used the phrase around her repeatedly, despite her asking him to stoo

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@fotoloredo / Unsplash & Barclays

A UK judge has ruled that calling women ‘birds’ is ‘plainly sexist’ and to even use the term jokingly is ‘foolish’ in a landmark discrimination case.

Judge John Crosfill was ruling on the case of a Barclays investment banker who won a sex discrimination claim after her boss repeatedly referred to herself and other female employees as ‘birds’.

According to the Daily Mail, the tribunal heard how Anca Lacatus grew uncomfortable after her boss James Kinghorn continued to use the term, even after she had asked him to stop. Kinghorn defended his use of the word, however, by saying he was being ‘light-hearted’ with the term, but the tribunal ruled the term is ‘plainly sexist’.

The tribunal, based in East London, heard that Lacatus was initially reluctant to complain about her boss’s sexist language out of fear it would have been damaging to her career, but is now set to receive compensation for his treatment of her.

Barclays

In a statement, Lacatus, who worked as a £46,000-a-year analyst for Barclays in what was her first job in investment banking since graduating from university, said her boss had first referred to a female employee as a ‘bird’ in February 2018.

She said that she immediately told him off for using the phrase but he allegedly continued to say it in a deliberate effort to make her feel uncomfortable.

The tribunal heard how Kinghorn assumed Lacatus saw his use of the word ‘bird’ as light-hearted banter, and that he was joking when he told her not to report his behaviour to HR. At the tribunal, he also accepted his language had been inappropriate.

Judge John Crosfill said: ‘The use of the phrase ‘bird’ was a misplaced use of irony which inadvertently caused offence. We accept that when this was pointed out to [Mr Kinghorn], he ultimately got the message and stopped trying to be funny. We consider that it was very foolish to assume that anybody else would find this language amusing.

@fotoloredo / Unsplash

“We find that it is likely that it took some time before Ms Lacatus was sufficiently blunt that the message hit home. The language is plainly sexist, whether misplaced irony or not.”

At the tribunal, Lacatus also won her claim that Barclays failed to accommodate to her request to change her working hours as a result of her endometriosis and anxiety diagnosis’, with her being expected to work past 7pm and between forty to forty-eight hours a week on average. Judge Crosfill slammed this as a ‘serious act of discrimination and one that was exceedingly thoughtless’.

She was signed off in January 2019 and was later made redundant by the bank. A hearing to decide compensation will take place at a later date.

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