Author Archives: Michael Patcha

Clap for pay?

Today marks the seventh week of the clap for the NHS.

The ‘clap for the NHS’ began on the 26th of March as a way for the British residents to publicly recognise the efforts put in by the millions of NHS workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

The response by the public towards the NHS has been all but inspirational with people coming to their doorsteps or windows every Thursday at 8pm to raise their hands for the brave medical workers.

NHS workers have been receiving a tremendous amount of support. Food deliveries are being made to hospitals as well as workspaces throughout day and night to support those who may not have time to shop. Individual donations are also helping those who need more, get by.

Despite this, many of the British public and NHS workers believe that the ‘clap’ has been used to eclipse the key message of this period. Speaking to NHS Nurse, Emmanuel, he told WNOL,

“I am grateful that the public were taking time to acknowledge the situation we are in, but it really isn’t doing anything to change our situation. The clap does not give me strength, it just makes me realise how far the government will go to distract us all.”

The efforts put in by many of the key workers have been noticed by many, but the pay they receive doesn’t measure up with their recognition. For years and most recently, NHS workers have been crying out for increased pay, most significantly during this tough period.

Currently, the median salary for ‘full-time NHS workers’ is £30,353.

On the large social media platform, Twitter, many other British residents have come together to voice their dissatisfaction of the clapping ‘stunt’.

As the situation steadily continues to get better, will the government look to reward the NHS for their hard work after this horrendous period.

Later today, the public will once again take to their doors and windows to clap for our key workers. The clap will begin at 8pm GMT and will last for two minutes.

Photo credit: clap for our carers

Colourism: Influencers under fire over old tweets

Popular UK influencers have come under fire this week for a series of colourist tweets made in the past have resurfaced onto twitter.

Major names such as Stormzy, Lippy Lickshot, Nella Rose and many more have all been involved in this incident with several of them coming out to apologise to the public for their childish and immature behaviours of the past.

The topic of colourism has steadily become more relevant since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Colourism is prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

Twitter account @popinghottea created a thread addressing all of the colourist tweets coming from the various UK influencers.

WNOL spoke to a couple of individuals from the social media platform, Twitter, who recounted to us the troubles they went through dealing with colourism throughout their childhood.

Anonymous, 21

“I was fairly young when I started to use social media and browse the internet, but it didn’t stop me from experiencing the harsh reality of colourism on and off the internet. I remember in schools white students would call me names such as ‘blick’ and even go as far to put me in-between two other white students and call us and ‘inside out oreos’.

I account other moments where rooms would go dark, usually during drama class or watching something on the whiteboard, and many would shout “where is *my name*, we can only see his eyes’.”

Those tweets made by the influencers made me realise, that I was not the only one suffering this abuse and others received it too. However, the fact that they were at the time promoting this sort of content showed the lack of support for black people, who were really going through it.

As of right now only a couple of influencers have come out of hiding to apologise for their wrongdoings.

Nella Rose addressing the drama…

(Image source: courtesy of Michael Patcha)

Lockdown laziness: social media to entertain the masses

Since the March the 22nd, London has been on lockdown to reduce the spread of the deadly Coronavirus.

The Coronavirus, also known as Covid-19, has put a stop to many public proceedings confining active Londoners to their homes, looking for endless forms of entertainment.

Luckily, our non-stop internet celebrities knew exactly what to do to keeps young Londoners, high in spirits. For concert goers who missed the thrill of being entertained by their favourite musicians, well lucky for them, the musician have brought the music to them – for free!

Musicians are taking to social media to host radio shows, cover concerts and all sorts for their fans to get involved.

Rapper Tory Lanez, who’s music is much appreciated in London, has created his own source of entertainment with his new radio show – ‘Quarantine Radio’.

Using the livestream feature on Instagram, the US rapper has blessed many of his followers by playing a wide variety of  music as well as having A-list celebrities such as Drake, guest star on his ‘show’.

Fans too are able to get involved, a the radio show also switches over to a talent shows. Viewers get the opportunity to show case their talent whether it being singing, dancing, or sports and are then given a rating from the remaining viewers on how well they performed.

Despite the social distancing measures, due to the availability of social, young londoners are able to make the most of their time, although most may be spent bed-ridden.

Though not the most common form of entertainment, but for many londoners ‘fitness’ is essential in their day to day routines. British fitness coach, Joe Wicks, has been at the frontline, supplying their daily craving of fitness.

Wicks has been inspiring many to keep fit during these stressful times of the lockdown with his livestreams on the popular site, Youtube, amassing over 1 million views each.  In an interview with CNN, Mr wicks spoke on the reason he does these livestreams.

“I want people to feel optimistic during this tough period. For the first time, children, teenagers and adults are being fit and active together”

If fitness is not your thing, then trendy challenges might. All over the social media, hashtags challenges have been bringing everyone together to get involved.

The most notable challenge, toilet roll kick up challenge, has drawn the likes of many to show off their keepy up skills. The challenge has grown considerably attracting big footballing superstars such as Lionel Messi to show instagram how it is done.

The power of social media has given Londoners endless opportunities to keep themselves entertained. Despite the social distancing measures, social media has been able to mentally close those distances, making everyone feel involved.

Coronavirus: a racial epidemic

The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus also known as ‘Covid-19’ has spread through the UK causing problems in more ways than one.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 3,381 people have died globally from the virus while more than 97,000 infections have been confirmed in dozens of countries. Despite this, no place has suffered more devastation than China and the Asian community.

The virus has put a halt to businesses, flights, schools and the world of sports. Despite the severity of the situation, the virus itself has not only spawned a new health issue but a racial issue also.

The disease has caused a lot of unprovoked racism and tension towards the Asian community.  Most Asian residents have been subject to countless amounts of racist abuse, consisting of passengers moving away from them on public transport and many ‘faking coughs’ as they pass by.

The UK has not responded well to the virus. Many individuals in the Asian community have spoken up about the racial abuse which they have been receiving since the outbreak of the virus.  I spoke several Chinese students who told me about their experiences whilst living in London during the pandemic. The first student, who asked to be left anonymous, explained an altercation with a group of white passersby.

“I was walking in central when a group of white people walked past me. One girl shouted “Coronavirus” at me and continued to walk away, it made me feel sad that this is what people now thought of me and my people”.  -Anonymous

As of recent, Chinese University students have been wearing a mask to reduce and stop the potential spread or catching of the Coronavirus. This move had the opposite effect, bringing more unwanted abuse to their plate. Many Chinese students have decided to travel back to their homes. One student, I spoke to told me why she made this decision.

“It makes me feel uncomfortable. People walking past and coughing, the stares and the laughs. I returned because I believe back home in safer, they have this situation under control, and I feel safer here.

Though the xenophobia which is being spread is not only occurring on the lower level, but also with powerful public figures. President Donald Trump was recorded adding to the xenophobia in his last speech, labelling Covid-19 as the “Chinese virus”.

The guardian reported news of a group of Chinese students, who study at the University of Southampton, have been abused since the outbreak of the pandemic. One student was verbally abused, called a “fucking virus”, and another student was struck with rocks whilst being told to “go back to your own country”.

 

uni of southampton.jpg

University of Southampton: Credit the Independant

A University of Southampton spokesperson said: “The university is extremely concerned by unacceptable comments directed at Chinese students. We have not had any reports of incidents on campus but we do not tolerate any form of racism and would take action as a matter of urgency on any such behaviour.”

I am not a virus im a human

A poster made by Southampton University’s Chinese Students and Scholars Association.