Swine flu and the hand washing bug

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The coverage from some corners of the media about swine flu is enough to make me have a serious attack of obsessive hand, home and everything washing.

Even as I type this, I’m wondering just how many dangerous germs are lurking on my less than pristine keyboard. Should I be wearing gloves? An airtight suit perhaps?

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What does the British Red Cross represent to you?

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If you had asked me that same question three years ago I would have replied with something like this,,,,,,,

“The Red Cross works exclusively overseas in areas of conflict and disaster handing out food packs to hoards of starving people from little, white, beaten down Land Rovers.” I probably would have also added that I believed the Red Cross was a religious organisation – you know, with the cross as their emblem.

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Fighting fear and fire in California

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This weekend I got some scary news. My brother is a firefighter in southern California, and he’s one of around 2,300 firefighters who’ve been fighting the Santa Barbara wildfires for the past few days.

I talked to his fiancée this weekend (they’re getting married in 10 days!) and she said Rob and some of the other firefighters had been at someone’s house waiting for an assignment when the fire suddenly came over a nearby hill straight toward them. They had to scramble to get their gear on and start fighting it. More

All hands to the bucket

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It was “all hands to the bucket” last week during Red Cross Appeal Week. On Friday Sahra and I collected at a garden centre near Bristol – it was certainly a case of “come rain or shine” not to mention wind – we were pretty cold at the end of two hours.

But it was well worth it as a lot of people put money in our buckets and it is encouraging to know that so many want to give money to the Red Cross. Several people told us that the Red Cross is their favourite charity. More

Monday Movement Update #8

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Here’s your weekly update on what different members of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement* are doing.

Several people in Sri LankaSwine flu: Read about Raúl Serrato, one of the Mexican Red Cross volunteers who’s helping distribute health information.

Sri Lanka conflict (pictured right): The ICRC has evacuated 13,000 people from the conflict zone since 10 February. Find out more about the work they’re doing.

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What will your move be?

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Just been flicking through today’s papers, unsurprisingly a pretty depressing experience. Here are some of the headlines:

  • Afghans riot over air-strike atrocity
  • Labour’s record on poverty in tatters
  • Witch hunts, murder and evil in Papua New Guinea
  • Villagers flee as military tackles Taliban in Swat
  • A year on, China quake survivors face uncertain future

But do you want to hear the good news? More

Community spirit hits home

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The other day my Mum was attacked right outside her house in broad daylight. She had just arrived home from work and was wheeling her bike into her drive, which is on a sleepy road in west London.

As she got her house keys out of her bag, she felt a hard thwack to the back of her neck. “I was terrified…I thought I was being mugged,” she told me later. Momentarily stunned, she looked around, but couldn’t see anyone behind her. More