Talking to my dad about what’s happening in the UK at the moment, how serious this pandemic is, what the consequences might be and how the UK’s government is responding to it.
Hello listeners out there in the world. How are you? I hope you’re ok. What a weird time this is on planet earth.
Here’s my second episode about the coronavirus which is currently sweeping across the globe in fairly dramatic fashion.
This one is an episode of the Rick Thompson Report on Luke’s English Podcast and this is where I talk to my dad, who is a semi-retired journalist, about current affairs and politics.
Obviously, the big story at this moment is the coronavirus COVID-19. So let’s hear what my dad has to say about it.
This is the second episode I’ve done on the subject. Yesterday I uploaded an episode which covers some of the key vocabulary relating to this issue. If you’d like to know some specific words and phrases that will help you to talk about this topic, then go back and listen to episode 652. Listening to that first should help you understand this conversation better and the idea is that getting specific teaching from me and then just listening to a conversation about it, you’ll be better equipped with the right language for your own conversations in English.
There’s also another episode in the archive which is all about vocabulary and phrasal verbs for feeling ill. That is episode 40. So, two episodes with specific explanations of high-frequency vocabulary on the coronavirus and on feeling ill in general.
Neither of us are experts on this subject of course but my dad does his best to stay informed about things like this and my listeners often comment that they appreciate the clear way he describes what’s going on.
Our conversation focuses mainly on what’s happening in the UK at the moment, how serious this pandemic is, what the consequences might be and how the UK’s government is responding to it.
Just before we start, I want to give you a quick reminder of two words – a cold and the flu.
A cold or the common cold is what we call a mild virus that people typically catch during the winter. It’s not very serious, just annoying really. Having a cold usually means having a sore throat, a bit of a cough, perhaps a headache or a runny nose, but you can still usually work or do the things you usually do even if you feel a bit run down. That’s a cold and we say ‘to have a cold’ or ‘to have got a cold’ or ‘to catch a cold’ when you refer to the moment you become infected. “I’ve got a cold”, “I’ve caught a cold” or “I’m coming down with a cold” or “I’m getting over a cold” (recovering). So that’s a cold – not serious, but very common.
Then there’s the flu (full name: influenza) which is also very common but much worse because it usually knocks you off your feet. If you have the flu you will have to stay at home, probably stay in bed for several days. The flu gives you much stronger symptoms, like a very bad cough, a high temperature, aches and pains in your body, weakness, very sore throat and sometimes diarrhea. “I’ve got the flu” or “I’ve caught the flu” or “I’m coming down with the flu”. So that’s the flu. More serious than having a cold.
I just wanted to clarify those things because in my experience there’s always some uncertainty from learners of English about the exact difference between a cold and the flu and they are words that come up in this conversation.
OK. I will talk to you again at the end of the episode, but now, let’s talk to my dad and here we go.
Professor Graham Medley on BBC Newsnight yesterday
Right, so there we go.
Thank you again to Dad for his contribution.
I wonder what you think of the UK’s position on this whole thing? I expect some people will definitely disagree with the apparently casual approach that the government is taking. Is it irresponsible not to close the schools and put the country on lockdown? Is it possible to really stop this happening? Is it better to let the population get exposed to the virus, in order to create herd immunity, or is that just irresponsible? Is it realistic to imagine that putting everyone in isolation will curb this? I don’t know all the answers, but I am curious to read comments from people in different countries.
What is going on where you are?
Get in touch, leave a comment on the website. Where are you? In which country do you live? What is the situation there? What are people doing and saying?
So, this is all pretty weird isn’t it? It’s like something out of a film. The whole world is facing this situation and it is really impacting on our daily lives.
Speaking for myself, I don’t know what the future holds. I don’t know how long this is going to go on. I don’t know the extent to which the country will be on lockdown, and as a result I don’t know how the podcast will be affected. In terms of LEP Premium, as I said, there is a new series coming very soon and I just have to put the finishing touches to it before publishing it as soon as possible. The series is about common errors, this first one dealing specifically with some linking words of contrast, like despite, in spite of and although, plus some spelling and pronunciation of tricky words. To sign up to LEP Premium in order to hear all the episodes (and there are over 60 of them now) go to teacherluke.co.uk/premium.
There are worse ways to spend your time than using my content to really push your English.
My thoughts go out to you if you are directly affected by this.
What more can I say than just “keep calm and carry on”.
I don’t know if I will be referring to this again in future episodes, this isn’t the coronavirus podcast. In future episodes it will just be business as usual, as long as I manage to get the time to produce more content. I might be spending all my time just hanging out with my daughter and keeping her busy. We will see.
But as I said, leave your comments on the website and I will speak to you soon. First in a premium episode and then in other episodes of LEP which are yet to be decided.
Thanks for listening, speak to you next time, but for now, it’s bye bye bye….