After more than 18 months, the pandemic has impacted all of us, in many different ways. It has created new problems, but also further exposed existing ones, often worsening them.
The virus itself has brought misery to millions, but even the ways we have had to adapt as a society to it have had consequences for some. Sarah Wilson reports on the people who’ve been left behind in the digital divide created by Covid, and the organisations helping them.
Among others, she spoke with Meron, who settled in Sheffield as an asylum seeker late last year
She writes: “She, like most in her position, was rebuilding her life from scratch.
Arriving just ahead of the second national lockdown in November 2020, Meron, who asked NationalWorld to use her first name only, initially found herself at a loose end, given she “didn’t know any people, didn’t really have any friends and didn’t go out much”.
Meron soon busied herself by signing up for Zoom English classes and a coding course, yet it was here that she hit another wall: her lack of reliable internet access.
“I had to use my phone and top up £10 [every time]. But when you go to Zoom classes on video the data finishes really quickly.
“I was trying to find places with internet to join the class but I didn’t know many because I’m so new here, it was really challenging. Sometimes the internet I found was really bad and I couldn’t hear [the teacher],”
Man, 90, to abseil down Big Ben for charity
How do you imagine you’ll spend your days when you reach the age of 90? Most of us might imagine a lot of relaxing, and very little - if any - high-adrenaline extreme sports.
But most of us aren’t Brian Norrey.
NationalWorld’s Carly Roberts has the story on on the daredevil 90-year-old who is still “refusing to put his feet up and says he has caught the fundraising bug’.
She writes “The kind-hearted ex-structural engineer has been raising money for charity and is known for putting others first ever since he was a 12-year-old wartime evacuee.
“So far, Brian has raised £1,435 through JustGiving - with his heart set on raising hundreds more.
“He said: “They say as you get older you do crazy things. I suspect this is to prove to yourself that you are still as capable as you were in your youthful days.
“In my case, I appear to be proving the theory to myself, usually in a way that raises funds for well-deserving charities.
“I know the public will be generous, not because this old nut case is doing something silly, but because of the marvellous work carried out by this organisation.”
Vaccinations in Europe
For those who can afford it, a summer getaway this year will offer some much-needed respite from the stresses of the pandemic and everything that’s come with it.
Unless you’re staycationing somewhere in the UK, there are a number of possible options when it comes to holidays, despite the remaining restrictions on international travel.
Quarantine rules for people fully vaccinated against Covid-19 will be scrapped from 19 July, opening up more travel options for holidays.
The changes mean people who have had two doses of a coronavirus vaccine will no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days after returning to the UK from amber list countries.
The new rules come following further changes to the travel lists, which will see the Balearic Islands and the British Virgin Islands moved back on the amber list from Monday due to rising Covid cases.
While infections are on the rise, the vaccination rollout is helping to prevent cases spiraling out of control. But what is the vaccination situation like in Europe? Here’s a look at 10 popular European holiday hotspots and what percentage of the population has been vaccinated and their travel list status.