BBC Os Conversations

Episodes

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Addiction During A Pandemic2020081620200817 (WS)Covid-19 has forced social isolation upon many of us. Nuala McGovern considers alcohol and drug addiction relapse during the pandemic. We hear from two men, in Kenya and the United States, about how they have fought their addictions while under lockdown.
Nuala also talks about the importance of family in these times and hears how one man travelled more than 2,000 km across the US to play his trombone for his brother, who was recovering in a rehab centre after a fall.
She also talks about how hobbies are helping us and joins a wrestler, a dancer and a musician in conversation about social distancing.

(Photo: Hand rolled cannabis joint)

How two men fought their addictions during lockdown

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus Global Conversations20200809is a place to talk about the impact of the disease.

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus Global Conversations2020082320200824 (WS)is a place to talk about the impact of the disease.

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus Global Conversations2020090520200906 (WS)is a place to talk about the impact of the disease.

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus Global Conversations20200912
Coronavirus: Back To Normal In Wuhan?2020092620200927 (WS)How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

We hear a conversation about what life is like now in the Chinese city where Covid-19 was first detected. Officials have declared Wuhan virus-free. Lots of people have been sharing pictures from bars in the city, which suggest life has gone back to the way it was before. It's a huge contrast to much of the rest of the world, which is still dealing with high infection rates and associated restrictions. Two people who live in Wuhan tell Nuala McGovern about their newly restored freedoms. Are they confident that they've seen the back of the virus?

We also spend some time in countries at very different stages of their epidemics. There were street parties in the Czech Republic at the end of June to say "farewell" to coronavirus, including one on the famous Charles Bridge in the capital, Prague. As cases surge again, we speak to one of the organisers of that party as part of a group of Czechs, who talk about their tolerance for restrictions and how their lives have been changed.

Meanwhile, people in Panama have only just emerged from one of the strictest lockdowns in the world, which lasted many months and had one unusual feature. Men and women were allowed out of their homes on alternate days. We hear how three Panamanians feel about what they've been through and the implications for the future.

(Photo: Inside a bar in Wuhan, China, 18 September 2020. Credit: Getty Images)

What life is like now in the Chinese city where Covid-19 was first detected

Coronavirus: Brazilian Doctors20210403Brazil's health service has been pushed to the brink as coronavirus cases continue to climb. Some 66,570 people died of Covid-19 in March, more than double the previous monthly record, and the total number of Covid-19 related deaths is over 320,000. Yet President Jair Bolsonaro continues to oppose lockdowns and has been heavily criticised for his handling of the pandemic. There have also been problems with the rollout of Covid vaccines.

Two Brazilian doctors, in Sao Paolo and the southern city of Porto Alegre, share their experiences during these challenging times. One hasn't seen her family in 14 months and describes colleagues crying during shifts.

Host Karnie Sharp also hears from three midwives in Romania, Nigeria and the United States about overcoming women's fears from giving birth during a pandemic - especially if they have Covid-19.

(Photo: Medical staff works in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of the hospital of Clinicas, in Porto Alegre, Brazil, 21 March 2021. Credit: Marcelo Oliveira/EPA)

Brazil's healthcare system is on the brink of collapse

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Children With Special Needs2020083020200831 (WS)Children around the world are starting to return to school after months of absence because of the coronavirus pandemic. Nuala McGovern talks to Unathi in South Africa and Jamie in the US - both have a child with special educational needs - about the unique challenges their families have faced during this period. They are joined by Tzofia, a teacher at a special education high school in Jerusalem. We also hear a conversation with mental health professionals from the US, Canada and Sweden about how school closures have affected children.

(Photo: Unathi Dyantyi Credit: Unathi Dyantyi)

How parents of children with special educational needs have coped in lockdown

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Festive Celebrations2020112820201130 (WS)How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

The arrival of winter for many countries brings the threat of increased infections as people gather indoors to escape the cold. It's also a time for celebrating religious festivals and holidays.

Host Nuala McGovern shares conversations with an American family in Indiana about Thanksgiving, and two young women in Gaza relate their experiences of curfew during the pandemic.

In Japan, officials have already warned of a possible third wave of infections. Three people living there discuss why they think cases are rising, the implications for Japanese New Year and whether the Olympics should still go ahead in 2021.

(Photo: Erin, Eden and Carliss Stennett in the US Credit: Erin Stennett)

Conversations about the impact of coronavirus in the US, Japan and Gaza

Coronavirus: Forgotten Voices2021010220210104 (WS)Host Nuala McGovern checks in with two so-called Covid-19 ''long-haulers'', who are still enduring symptoms several months after catching the disease. We also hear from residents living in some of the world's poorest communities in Kenya, India and Brazil; and a parent living in Chile who is bringing up a child with Autism.

Three mothers from three different countries also come together again with Nuala. They faced the daunting prospect of giving birth in 2020, as medical staff were under pressure due to the virus. The women reflect on their birth experiences, the first few months with their new babies and how the current situation has left them feeling more isolated. Thanks to BBC OS Conversations, they have now formed their own virtual support group.

(Photo: Brooke Young Russell Credit: Joseph Russell)

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

We return to people we spoke to earlier in the pandemic

Coronavirus: Friendships During Lockdown2020091920200920 (WS)Covid-19 is affecting our relationships - some are better, others are more challenging. A jewellery designer in India and a lawyer in the United States share their experiences and discover they have a lot in common when it comes to changing friendships and building your ‘Covid tribe'.

For those wishing to meet someone special, this is an especially difficult time. Three single people from Zimbabwe and the US discuss dating during a pandemic.

And an Israeli doctor airs concerns about the social effects of isolation, as the country becomes the first in the world to undergo a second national lockdown.

(Photo and Credit: Danyl Patterson)

A conversation about friendships during the pandemic

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Guilty Mums2021020620210208 (WS)Many parents are finding it hard to be a teacher and a parent at the same time during this pandemic. Two mums - Priya in India and Mpulte in South Africa - share their experiences.

Host Nuala McGovern also hears the urgent appeal being sent to medics to help in Portugal's intensive care units, as the country undergoes a worrying spike in cases. “We need you,” is the message sent to one nurse, who is being drafted into ICU for the first time.

Plus, three women in Germany, Australia and the United States come together to explain why the pandemic has led them to sell naked images and videos of themselves online.

(Photo: Mputle Dikobe Credit: Mputle Dikobe)

Challenges of parenting and home schooling during lockdown

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Healthcare Workers And Burnout20210515Dr Solelwa Sifumba in Johannesburg, South Africa, recently left the profession after experiencing such chronic anxiety that it even led to her considering taking her own life. She is joined by two fellow doctors in the UK, as they discuss burnout and the mental health challenges of working in constant crisis mode since the pandemic began. They tell host Nuala McGovern about the difficulty in their profession to say they are not ok.

We also talk to two therapists in the United States and UK. They offer their professional view of the situation and discuss potential solutions; and they explain how the challenges for healthcare workers, and doctors, in particular, began long before the arrival of the pandemic.

(Photo: Doctors wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) walk after examining patients inside a Covid-19 care centre and isolation ward facility near a Hospital in New Delhi, India, 10 May 2021 Credit: Idrees Mohammed/EPA)

Three doctors talk about working under pressure during the pandemic

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Homelessness20210327The coronavirus has changed almost everyone's lives and for some losing their jobs has led to homelessness. Edward in the United States had to sleep in the New York subway and train stations before finding help from a mission, while Walter spent five months homeless in South Africa - even for a stint, on the famous Table Mountain.

Italy is facing the prospect of another total shutdown, little more than a year after it became the first country in Europe to introduce a national lockdown. Host Nuala McGovern hears how families in Rome are approaching the renewed restrictions.

Nuala also considers the future workplace and how the pandemic has been good for robots. Two robotics experts in Denmark and Switzerland discuss why they believe the increasing use of robots doing jobs in the future is to be welcomed rather than feared - especially when it comes to reducing infection from Covid-19.

(Photo: Walter Nyanmugama. Credit: Walter Nyanmugama )

Two people who became homeless because of the pandemic tell us their stories

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: India20210501A second coronavirus wave is ravaging many parts of India and the health services continue to struggle. Two doctors in Delhi and Mumbai share their experiences of working under increasingly difficult circumstances. They tell us about the hurt they are feeling as they try to do their jobs and save lives.

And three BBC journalists in India reveal what it's like to report on the ground in Ahmedabad, Delhi and Mumbai as their family and friends are infected by Covid-19. Both the doctors and reporters use the word “helplessness” to describe how many people are feeling.

We also hear from the young volunteers who are doing their best to help people in whatever way they can - from cooking and delivering food to Covid patients at home - to sourcing oxygen canisters or hospital beds for those in a more serious condition.

(Photo: Aanchal Sharma cries over the body of her husband, who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), inside an ambulance at a crematorium ground in New Delhi, India, April 30, 2021. Adnan Abidi/Reuters/ TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Two Indian doctors talk about the coronavirus crisis in their country

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Intensive Care2021010920210111 (WS)How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

As vaccines begin to be administered in several countries, many places are experiencing worrying rises in cases and deaths from Covid-19. One effect is that hospitals have to try and cope with the increasing number of patients. Host Nuala McGovern hears from three doctors working in ICUs in South Africa, Brazil and the United States on the stressful frontline of intensive care. They also share their frustrations about some people having a distrust and reluctance towards being vaccinated, including medical colleagues.

Meanwhile, many around the world are adapting again to various increased restrictions. The pandemic continues to disrupt the education of millions of children in 2021. But while some people remain in severe lockdown, children in some countries are finally returning to school after months of being at home. Two parents from Kenya and Pakistan share their thoughts on whether they think it's safe to go back into the classroom and the effects on their children of being without face-to-face teaching and school friends for the best part of a year.

(Photo: Dr. Joseph Varon looks on as medical professionals treat people infected with the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas, U.S., November 12, 2020. Credit: Callaghan O"Hare/Reuters)

We hear from ICU doctors in the US, Brazil and South Africa

Coronavirus: Living In A Refugee Camp2021022020210222 (WS)How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Tasneem recently graduated from university. Like everyone else, her future is on hold because of coronavirus. But for Tasneem it's a particularly uncertain time, as she's been living in Jordan at one of the world's largest refugee camps, since leaving Syria with her family in 2013. Host Nuala McGovern has a conversation with her and her father about life in a refugee camp during the pandemic.

We also hear why Tanzania is denying its people are dying from Covid-19; and how sniffer dogs in Finland can be trained to detect the virus among passengers arriving at Helsinki airport - with unprecedented success.

(Photo: Khedywi Al-Nablsi and Tasneem Khedywi Al-Nablsi Credit: Tasneem Khedywi Al-Nablsi/AP)

We hear from a Syrian father and daughter at Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

Coronavirus: Loss Of Smell And Taste20210410The loss of smell and taste is now considered one of the major symptoms of Covid-19 and it can have a huge impact on people's lives - especially when these senses don't return after someone's recovered from the disease.

Host Nuala McGovern hears from people in Costa Rica, the US and the UK about how it's affected their lives - from coffee that has become too pungent to drink and steak that tastes metallic - to being unable to smell fresh paint or the natural scent of a child.

Two parents in France and England also discuss the frightening impact of "Long Covid" on their teenage children, and three doctors in Mexico reveal how they're coping on the frontline after recently revised figures indicated that the number of Covid-19 related deaths is much higher than originally reported.

(Photo: Lisa Fox. Credit: Lisa Fox)

Three people describe what it is like to lose sense of smell and taste for months

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Mental And Physical Toll2020112120201123 (WS)How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Women in Ecuador, Peru and Brazil reveal the frightening effect of the pandemic and lockdowns on women in Latin America. Many are living with their aggressors and are unable to escape to a safe place.

Many countries are now dealing with a new rise in coronavirus cases. Host Nuala McGovern hears from medical professionals from Madrid, Paris and New York as they share how the stress of dealing with patients is taking its toll on the mental health of doctors, nurses and paramedics.

Sweden's approach to the pandemic continues to provoke debate. Care homes were badly hit at the start of the pandemic but most of its schools, restaurants and businesses remained open. Two Swedes offer different views on how the outbreak has been handled in their country.

(Photo: Arlete Mendes from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Credit: Arlete Mendes)

Three women in Latin America talk about how coronavirus has affected their societies

Coronavirus: Pilots And Trainee Doctors20210508The pandemic has caused millions of job losses during the past year. The travel industry is one area that has been badly affected as many countries closed their borders or restricted entry. As a result, thousands of pilots are no longer flying and are out of work. Host Nuala McGovern hears from two pilots in Canada and the UK about what it's like to lose a job that's part of your identity and what the future has in store.

We also return to the emergency situation in India. We hear from medical students and junior doctors about how the pandemic means they have to delay internships, training and graduations to treat Covid patients. They tell us about the emotional strain when they find themselves in a situation of “playing God” and having to decide whose lives to try and save. Plus, we discuss the anxiety of living thousands of miles away from relatives in India and being concerned for their safety - especially when one of them works in a hospital and treats coronavirus cases.

(Photo: Steve Zago Credit: Steve Zago)

We hear from two pilots who lost their jobs during the pandemic

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Reporting Covid-192021032020210322 (WS)During the last year hundreds of people across the globe have shared their experiences on the programme about living during a pandemic. This time, we view this challenging situation through a journalist's lens.

Reporters from India, Brazil, the United States, Italy, South Africa, Rwanda and New Zealand share, with host Nuala McGovern, what it's like to work on possibly the most important story of their careers.

They reveal the difficulties of obtaining accurate information, the influence of governments, and how they now deal with misinformation. They also talk about the challenges of telling a story that people often don't want to hear, about personal abuse on social media inlucding death threats.

(Photo: Healthcare workers from Prague Ambulance Service transport a Covid-19 patient to Semily Hospital after transfer from overloaded Ceska Lipa Hospital, Czech Republic, 18 March 2021. Credit: Martin Divisek/EPA)

We speak to journalists who have spent the past year reporting on the pandemic

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Reporting Covid-1920210321It's a year since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. Many of us around the world have felt the impact and many of us have been learning on a daily basis about the development of the coronavirus. BBC OS has been bringing people together each day, in conversation, to share their experience of the pandemic.

For news organisations this has been one of the biggest stories of a generation; one that has touched and affected so many, in so many places. In a special edition, Nuala McGovern speaks with journalists in various countries who have spent every working day of the past year reporting on the coronavirus. She discusses the challenges of documenting the unrelenting nature of the virus; presenting the scientific facts and addressing misinformation and misunderstanding.

(Photo: Intensivist doctor and chief of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) Intensive Care Unit (ICU) ward Flavia Machado gives support to doctor Daniere Tomotani after a patient died at Hospital Sao Paulo in Sao Paulo, Brazil March 17, 2021. Credit: Amanda Perobelli/Reuters)

We speak to journalists who have spent the past year reporting on the pandemic

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Resilience During A Year Of The Pandemic2021031320210315 (WS)One year ago, the World Health Organisation announced that Covid19 was spreading across different countries at such an alarming rate that it needed to be classed as a pandemic.

It's been a challenging year for everyone and host Nuala McGovern shares conversations with people who perhaps don't always receive public recognition for their work or actions. This includes one of the researchers who helped make the first vaccine to be approved for use around the world and two of the volunteers who took part in successful vaccine trials.

We also hear from supermarket workers in South Africa, the US and the UK about the stress keeping shelves full while working with hundreds of customers - some of whom don't always respect their jobs or safety during a pandemic.

(Photo: Emma, a supermarket worker in the UK. Credit: Emma)

We hear from people whose lives have followed an extraordinary path during the pandemic

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Resilience During A Year Of The Pandemic2021031420210317 (WS)
20210318 (WS)
It has been a year since the Covid-19 outbreak was declared a pandemic. During the past 12 months, BBC OS has been bringing people together in conversation to share their experience of the coronavirus. Nuala McGovern will host a special edition, as she hears from people whose actions and lives have followed an extraordinary path during the year of the pandemic.

Guests around the world talk about how they have coped with bereavement due to the virus. Two daughters and a father in the US discuss their lives after losing their mother, and wife, to the virus. She died while the father was in a coma after contracting the virus.

Also, doctors and nurses in various countries will share how they have got through a year on the medical frontline. Vaccine researchers will talk to those who have volunteered to administer the Covid jab. And supermarket workers, teachers and bus drivers will also reflect on their year working amid the virus.

(Photo: (Left to right) Paige, Russell, Shaye, Judy. Credit: Patrick Rosch)

We hear from people whose lives have followed an extraordinary path during the pandemic.

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Two daughters and a father in the US discuss their lives after losing their mother, and wife, to the virus. She died while the father was in a coma after contracting the virus. Guests around the world will also discuss how they have coped with bereavement due to the virus.
Doctors and nurses in various countries will share how they have got through a year on the medical frontline.
Vaccine researchers will talk to those who have volunteered to administer the Covid jab.
And supermarket workers, teachers and bus drivers will also reflect on their year working amid the virus.

Coronavirus: Spikes And Santas2020121920201221 (WS)How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

We are in the biggest holiday season for large parts of the world but many countries are experiencing a rise in Covid cases.

It's worrying for those in South Korea's capital Seoul, where around half the country's 52 million population live. So far there has not been a national lockdown, but this may be about to change as the authorities deal with a third spike in cases. Since around one in three South Koreans are Christians, Christmas will bring potential risks. Host Nuala McGovern hears from three people who live in South Korea about their experiences during the pandemic.

Also, ski instructors in Europe discuss the uncertainty of resort closures during the winter season.

And three Santas from Finland, the UK and the United States discuss how they are safely dispensing Christmas cheer during a pandemic.

Picture: Santa Larry speaking to the BBC from the North Pole / Dallas (BBC)

Conversations about Christmas during a pandemic

Coronavirus: Sudan20210424Sudan has recorded only 32,000 cases of coronavirus infections and just 2,300 Covid-19 related deaths so far. It is also rolling out vaccines. But the numbers are thought to be much higher and host Nuala McGovern hears from three women living in the capital, Khartoum, about how their experiences of family and friends dying differs greatly from the official Covid-19 figures. The losses they are witnessing is due in part to the inability of Sudan's health system to cope.

We also return to intensive care units in the UK, US and South Africa to hear from the specialist doctors who are responsible for patients on ventilators and pain management. Three anaesthetists come together to discuss their changing roles during this pandemic and the emotional toll of often being the last person to have physical contact with a patient - and sometimes a colleague - who dies of Covid-19.

(Photo: Tagreed Abdin Credit: Tagreed Abdin)

We hear the experiences of three women in Sudan during the coronavirus pandemic

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Surviving Isolation20210417The pandemic has caused many people to feel lonely and isolated. For three women, the isolation is as a result of travelling and having to quarantine in hotels on arrival - Michelle in Australia, Amanda in Indonesia and Charlotte in New Zealand. They tell host Nuala McGovern how they are passing the time and share recommendations.

It's not just people living alone who can feel isolated, of course, and three single parents from the Philippines, the United States and the UK share their experiences - both the highs and lows - of living with their children 24/7. For theatre artist Floyd in Manila, it has resulted in singing regularly with his ten year old son.

(Photo: Michelle Murphy Credit: Michelle Murphy)

We hear the stories of single parents and those who are isolating alone in quarantine

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Surviving The Pandemic2020122620201228 (WS)After hearing so many incredibly moving stories since the pandemic was first declared, we've decided to return to some of those people who've been guests on the programme and hear how their lives have changed - from two residents in Wuhan, China - to the English couple who had a lockdown wedding and decided to ‘elope' to save guests from getting the virus.

Lockdown and isolation has also left many people across the world struggling with isolation and loneliness. Two women in Canada and the United States share how they've been faring without human contact and how appearing on BBC OS produced the start of a blossoming friendship.

Host Nuala McGovern also talks to two chaplains who continue to offer spiritual advice to those in need. One is based in New York which, when we first spoke to her, was the worst affected city in the world. Today the chaplains share their experiences of the meaning and purpose of life and how to grasp small moments of joy.

(Photo: Lindsay van Dijk, Humanist Chaplain in NHS hospitals in the UK Credit: Edward Thompson / Twitter @_edthompson, Instagram @mredthompson )

We return to people we spoke to earlier in the pandemic

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: The Vaccinated2021021320210215 (WS)How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Around the world, millions of people are receiving their first dose of vaccines against Covid-19. Healthcare workers are often prioritised and today we introduce two hospital workers; a porter here in the UK and a cleaner in the US. They share their feelings about what it's like doing a job that comes with a high risk of catching Covid-19. Host Nuala McGovern hears their stories. They share the pride they take in doing their work, despite feeling they don't always get the appreciation they deserve.

We also hear from two young adults in the UK. They have just received their first vaccine because they are clinically vulnerable. They tell us how relieved they are, after having to stay mostly indoors, since the start of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Israel extended its vaccinations to 16-18 year olds to enable them to return to school. We hear from two teenagers about the growing prospect of going back to some form of normality.

(Photo:Candice Martinez)

A hospital porter and a hospital cleaner talk about their work during the pandemic

Coronavirus: Vaccine Approved2020120520201207 (WS)How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

The UK has become the first country to approve the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine and is due to start a mass immunisation programme next week. Meanwhile, Russia is due to begin a vaccination programme with its Sputnik V vaccine this weekend. And China is promising countries millions of vaccines. A pathway to an end to the pandemic and a return to normality could be in sight.

Host Nuala McGovern talks to Kerry. She has muscular dystrophy and has been shielding, or isolating, at home in England since March. We also hear from Dr Joseph Varon, Chief of Critical Care at the United Memorial Medical Center in Houston, Texas. He has been working without a break for 258 days. A photo of him cradling an elderly man on a Covid ward went viral this week. He explains the picture and shares his experiences of working non-stop due to the virus.

Joe Biden has this week called on Americans to wear masks for his first 100 days as US president. Nuala also talks to two campaigners in the US who are sceptical of face coverings and other coronavirus restrictions. We hear them in conversation with a doctor in Toronto, who treats Covid patients.

Picture: Kerry Thompson (Credit: Kerry Thompson)

Is imminent large-scale vaccination a path back to normality?

Coronavirus: Vaccine Hesitancy Among Ethnic Minorities2021013020210201 (WS)Millions of people across the world are currently being vaccinated against Covid-19. Black, Asian and Latino groups have been the hardest hit by the first wave of the pandemic and yet people within these groups are more reluctant to take up the offer of the coronavirus vaccine.

Two doctors in the United States and the United Kingdom counteract the misinformation and share their experiences of patients' vaccine mistrust with host Nuala McGovern, and a British Imam explains how he promotes the safety of the vaccine among the Muslim community.

The pandemic has affected many people in numerous ways and the wearing of masks is causing particular problems among people who stutter or stammer. People from India, the UK and US with speaking difficulties explain how masks are affecting their communication.

(Photo: Pharmacist Bhaveen Patel gives a dose of the Oxford / AstraZeneca covid vaccine to Joshua Labor at a coronavirus vaccination clinic held at Junction Pharmacy in Brixton, London. Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

We hear why some people from ethnic minorities are worried about the vaccine

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Vaccines, Frustrations And Hope2020121220201214 (WS)How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Two doctors in Nairobi tell host Nuala McGovern why conditions for health workers in Nairobi are leading to calls for a strike. They include rising death rates, unpaid salaries and lack of a comprehensive medical insurance.

We'll also hear from two members of US President-elect Joe Biden's Covid task force about combatting vaccine hesitancy after the United States recorded the highest daily death toll in the world so far.

And as vaccines make people think about a possible return to normality, we hear from those who have had to move in with their parents during the pandemic.

(Photo: Kenyan doctors wearing protective face masks hold candles and portraits of their colleagues who died due to Covid-19 during a vigil outside the Ministry of Health offices in Nairobi, Kenya December 9, 2020. Credit: Monicah Mwangi/Reuters)

Two Kenyan doctors explain why they're prepared to strike over their working conditions

Coronavirus: Venezuela's Hospitals2021022720210301 (WS)Venezuela's hospitals are dealing with a pandemic at a time when the country is already in an economic crisis. Many hospitals don't have running water and there are shortages of oxygen and other medical supplies to treat Covid patients. Two doctors in the capital Caracas share their stories with host Nuala McGovern.

In the United States, more than 500,000 lives have now been lost due to Covid-19. A reverend and deacon from a baptist church in New York, at one point the epicentre of the disease, reflect on how their community is coping almost a year after the pandemic was first declared.

Plus, three nightclub workers in Beirut, Warsaw and London discuss their fears for the industry's survival despite the rollout of vaccines.

(Photo: A Venezuelan health worker prepares to vaccinate a colleague with Russia"s Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus disease at a hospital in Caracas, Venezuela February 22, 2021. Credit: Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Reuters)

Two doctors in Venezuela talk about the healthcare crisis in their country

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: War And Covid Trauma2021030620210308 (WS)We hear from two US veterans who served during the war in Vietnam about the similarities between their experiences and the trauma experienced by many during the pandemic.

Covid vaccines are bringing renewed hope across the world when it comes to Covid-19 but thousands of people are continuing to die from the disease on a daily basis. The emotional toll of losing loved ones is being felt by so many around the world. Three people struggling with grief - from Bangladesh, Sweden and the United States - share their experiences.

(Photo:Marsha Four with her father. Credit: Marsha Four)

How does the experience of a pandemic compare to being in a war?

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Coronavirus: Young Widows2021011620210118 (WS)How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Each Covid-19 death has a tremendous personal impact on loved ones. Host Nuala McGovern talks to three women who have lost their husbands to the disease. Their Facebook group 'Young Widows and Widowers of Covid-19' is supporting others in the same situation. They call it “the club that nobody wants to join”.

We also hear from three people in South Africa, Australia and the US who share the unexpected social consequences - both positive and negative - of wearing face masks when you have a facial disfigurement or difference.

(Photo: Jennifer Law with her family Credit: Jennifer Law)

Women who have founded a support group after losing their husbands to Covid-19

Covid-19 'long-haulers'2020082320200824 (WS)Thousands of people across the globe are experiencing a worrying cycle of Covid-19 symptoms months after recovering from the disease. Four of the so-called 'Covid long-haulers' - from South Africa, Canada, Bangladesh and New Zealand - share their persistent symptoms, from dizziness to brain fog, with Nuala McGovern.

Education is also a long-term concern and US parents discuss the different paths they've chosen for returning their children to school during a pandemic. For one teacher in Arizona, however, it resulted in a difficult decision. He explains why he chose to resign rather than return to the classroom.

(Photo: Freya Sawbridge Credit: Andrew Dickie)

People who have had Covid-19 but are still suffering from debilitating symptoms

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Covid-free Nations2020090520200906 (WS)Vanuatu, Micronesia and the Solomon Islands are among a handful of nations that have no registered coronavirus cases. Yet, despite this enviable status, the pandemic is introducing other problems with people suffering from economic and psychological distress.

But for two couples in the United States the pandemic has produced an unexpected positive. Chloe Tilley meets those who found love during lockdown.

In Europe, the recent rise in coronavirus cases across the continent is causing some doctors to be concerned about a second wave. We share conversations with a doctor in Italy and France who are especially worried about the number of young people now being infected.

(Photo: Liz Pechan in Vanuatu)

We hear about life on Pacific islands with no coronavirus cases

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Death Of Elijah Mcclain2020072620200727 (WS)Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old black man, was killed after an encounter with police in Colorado last year. He had been put in a chokehold and injected with ketamine. No-one has been punished over what happened. Following the outcry over the killing of George Floyd, a petition gathered millions of signatures calling for justice for Elijah McClain. The state of Colorado has now said it is re-examining what happened. Elijah's mother, Sheneen McClain, explains what happened to her son.

And a conversation with two women - both white - with a shared experience of adopting a black child. Cath Duncan from Cape Town, South Africa and Noelle Palmer from Minnesota, USA, exchange what they have learned about racism in raising their children.

(Photo: Elijah McClain Credit: McClain family handout)

We hear from Sheneen McClain, whose son Elijah died after being detained by police

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

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Os Conversations On20210529How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world
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President Biden: Call For Unity2021012320210125 (WS)The new US President Joe Biden inherits a deeply divided country - whether by politics, race or religion. We hear from evangelical Christians in Ohio and Seattle about whether the church can support a president who's a practising Catholic and about the rifts within their faith.

Nuala McGovern also hosts conversations with a Republican couple in Nevada and with Black Lives Matter supporters in Kentucky and North Carolina about the challenges that lie ahead for the Biden presidency.

(Photo: US President Joe Biden speaks on his administration"s Covid-19 response in the State Dining Room of the White House, 21 January 2021. Credit: Al Drago/EPA)

Conversations about America and American politics

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Remembering Those Lost To Covid-192020091220200913 (WS)It is six months since the outbreak of a new coronavirus was declared a global pandemic. Very few lives around the world have not been affected by Covid-19. More than 27 million people have been infected. More than 900,000 have died with the virus and the numbers increase daily. Behind every case, there is a story.

Since March, BBC OS has been hearing those stories. The programme has been bringing people together from around the world with a shared experience of living through the pandemic. It has also been collecting audio messages from friends and relatives of loved ones lost to the virus. Those messages span different continents and different languages. Each articulates the memory left by each individual; the thing that made them special. And in many cases, they highlight the shared shock and speed of their passing and the feeling of helplessness.

Presenter Nuala McGovern guides you through those messages and remembers the names and the stories of those we have lost, through the words of those who love them.

Image: Faylita Hicks and her Uncle Fudge (Credit: Linda Gamez)

The stories behind the numbers in the coronavirus pandemic

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Reporting Covid-192021032120210324 (WS)
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It's a year since Covid-19 was declared a pandemic. Many of us around the world have felt the impact; many of us have been learning on a daily basis about the development of the coronavirus. BBC OS has been bringing people together each day, in conversation, to share their experience of the pandemic.
For news organisations, this has been one of the biggest stories of a generation; one that has touched and affected so many, in so many places. In a special edition, Nuala McGovern will speak with journalists in various countries who have spent every working day of the past year reporting on the coronavirus. She'll discuss the challenge of documenting the unrelenting nature of the virus; presenting the scientific facts and addressing misinformation and misunderstanding.

We speak to journalists who have spent every day of the past year reporting on coronavirus

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Spain's Tourism Industry2020080220200803 (WS)We hear from Spanish business owners as the UK adds Spain to its quarantine list

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

The Beirut Explosion2020080920200810 (WS)Beirut has been left destroyed by this week's massive explosion: more than a hundred are dead; thousands injured and hundreds of thousands have been left homeless. It has devastated lives, belongings, buildings, businesses… the country. Lebanon was already struggling from challenges on several fronts, including covid-19. With many questions still to be answered, it is unclear what the longer term effect of this week's tragedy will be.

Nuala McGovern has been talking to people in Beirut. Among her conversations, she has been hearing from eye witnesses who experienced the blast, three young adults who share their fears for the future of Lebanon, and the doctor who helped a mother give birth after the hospital was badly hit by the blast.

(Photo: Woman wearing a protective face mask views the damage near the site of blast in Beirut, Lebanon August 7, 2020. Credit: Reuters/Aziz Taher)

We speak to people in Beirut following a massive explosion at its port

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Us Election: A Test Of Democracy2020111420201116 (WS)Joe Biden is the projected winner of the race to be the next president of the United States. Donald Trump, however, refuses to concede the election and many of his supporters continue to believe that he'll remain in power after the inauguration in January.

Host Ben James shares conversations among Trump supporters in Georgia, Florida and Washington DC, who believe President Trump's unsubstantiated claims of voting fraud. One of them changed from a Democrat because she felt Trump treated immigrants better.

Plus women from both political sides come together to consider the impact of Kamala Harris as America's first female Vice-President elect.

(Photo: Trump supporter Bobbie. Credit: Bobbie Donnelly)

US voters discuss the election

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Us Election: Divided Nation2020110720201109 (WS)The US election has amplified political and racial divisions across the nation, so how do voters feel about the splits in their society?

Host Nuala McGovern is in Reno, Nevada, speaking to people across the political spectrum to hear how they feel about the vote and the state of their nation. In this election assumptions have been overturned and expectations upended. Double the number of Black voters are believed to have supported President Trump at the polls compared to 2016, and several prominent Republicans publicly declared they were voting for Joe Biden, instead of the leader of their own party.

Among our conversations, we hear from three Black Trump supporters about why they voted for him, and two women from opposing sides of the political fence on the controversy surrounding the voting and counting.

(Photo: Trump voter Marcia. Credit: Patrick McManus)

Voters from across the country share their thoughts and feelings about the election

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Us Election: Losing Your Job2020101720201018 (WS)Our conversations reflect the impact Covid-19 has had on the US economy and on people's jobs and wellbeing.

We introduce a cook in northern California and a PBX switchboard operator in Massachusetts. They both lost their jobs and are struggling to make ends meet and pay the bills. They talk about how they feel forgotten, how the social system isn't working for them, and how the main presidential candidates are not talking to them.

And we bring a conversation between three flight attendants, who all lost their jobs after an economic relief plan in Congress stalled. They are all trying career changes but it's not easy. They also share experiences of how passengers' attitudes changed amid the pandemic, around issues such as wearing a face covering. One of them, Breaunna Ross, posted a video of her emotional farewell to passengers on her final flight, which has been viewed more than two million times on YouTube.

(Photo: Flight attendant Breaunna Ross. Credit: Breaunna Ross)

People across America talk about losing their jobs during the pandemic

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Us Election: Race And Policing2020103120201102 (WS)As the presidential election campaign nears its conclusion, another American city witnesses protests for racial justice after police officers shoot dead a black man on the streets of Philadelphia.

Host Nuala McGovern shares several conversations on the prominence of race in this election campaign including two police officers from New York and Missouri and several Black Lives Matter protesters in Charlotte, North Carolina.

After the presidential debates promoted controversy around white supremacy groups, we also hear the individual stories of a man and woman who joined Neo Nazi groups in the US and their fears for post-election America.

Picture: Joseph Imperatrice

Conversations with serving officers, Black Lives Matter protesters and former Neo-Nazis

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Us Election: Testing Positive For Covid-192020101020201011 (WS)The President of the United States is recovering from Covid-19, after a week when the world watched him leaving hospital briefly in a motorcade to wave supporters and - on his return to the White House - moving his mask on a balcony. Donald Trump then told the country there was nothing to fear from the disease. So how were his words received by the Americans across the country? Nuala McGovern hears from those in California, Iowa and Alabama who were thrilled by the president's show of strength against Covid-19 and from others less enamoured by his attitude.

As well as coronavirus, race remains a divisive issue in the US. Nuala returns to Charlottesville, a city scarred by race protests, and brings together a Deacon and a student activist to get their thoughts on race in this election.

(Photo: President Donald Trump pulls off his protective face mask as he poses atop the Truman Balcony of the White House Credit: Erin Scott/File Photo/Reuters)

Americans discuss President Trump's Covid-19 diagnosis

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Us Election: Trucking And Farming2020102420201026 (WS)Nuala McGovern speaks with truck drivers and farmers in the United States as they share their thoughts on how their lives and livelihoods have been under the past four years of the Trump presidency.

Wisconsin is known as America's Dairyland. It's an important state in this election, where the vote could go either way, and where more than one in ten of the electorate are farmers. Three farmers in Wisconsin explain how trade deals by the US have impacted what happens on their farms and how that affects their votes this time.

And three truckers -Michael in Arizona, Pat in Indianapolis and Sunny in California - describe what they have seen driving across the country over the past four years. For some of them, the coronavirus pandemic had led to an upturn in their business prospects.

(Photo: Michael Ware Credit: Michael Ware)

Truck drivers and farmers talk about the past four years of Trump presidency

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world

Us Election: Trump And Coronavirus2020100320201004 (WS)The coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 200,000 lives in the US and there are more than 7 million confirmed cases. President Trump, whose approach to the virus divides opinion, has now himself tested positive for the virus. As the Americans prepare to vote for a new president or give Donald Trump four more years, coronavirus is one of the issues that will inform voters' thinking.

During the election campaign Nuala McGovern will be hearing from those Americans right across the country.

We bring together Republicans and Democrats in Texas, Georgia and Florida who have all seen their lives impacted by the virus. They share how they think the president has handled the coronavirus crisis. And, two mothers from Idaho and South Carolina discuss how Donald Trump's presidency has affected their families' lives - for better and worse - as well as their hopes for the future.

(Photo: US President Donald J. Trump Credit: Yuri Gripas/EPA/POOL)

President Trump and First Lady have tested positive for coronavirus

How major news stories are affecting the lives of people around the world