News Mash-up: Covid-19

Category: Health


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. mar / mɑr / (v.) – to damage something, making it less good, beautiful, or enjoyable

    A child marred the newly painted walls with crayons.

  2. jubilant / ˈdʒu bə lənt / (adj.) – extremely happy or joyful because something is good or successful

    Anna’s family was jubilant when they found out that she was getting married.

  3. scrap / skræp / (v.) – to stop or cancel something, such as a plan or system

    They had to scrap their first idea because it wasn’t working.

  4. avert / əˈvɜrt / (v.) – to prevent something bad or harmful from happening

    The two countries started talking again in an attempt to avert war.

  5. tally / ˈtæl i / (n.) – a record or count of things such as votes, scores, etc.

    The local government keeps a tally of the number of residents over 100 years old.


Read the text below.

UK’s ‘Freedom Day’ marred by soaring cases

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s “Freedom Day,” ending more than a year of lockdown restrictions in England, was marred July 19 by surging infections, warnings of supermarket shortages and his own forced self-isolation.

Johnson’s bet — that he can get one of Europe’s largest economies firing again because so many people are now vaccinated — marks a new chapter in the global response to the coronavirus.

While entertainment businesses are jubilant, many are worried about scrapping restrictions. (Reuters, AP)

Cases of delta variant spreading in China

The delta variant poses new risks for the world’s second-biggest economy as it spreads from the coast to China’s inland cities and presents fresh challenges to authorities who have for months managed to avert any widespread outbreak of the coronavirus.

Nanjing, the capital of Jiangsu province, confirmed its first delta cases July 20, traced back to a flight from Russia. Since then, many cities in southern China and a few in the north including Beijing have reported infections. The tally of locally transmitted cases stood at 353 as of Aug. 1. (Reuters)

These articles were provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • The UK celebrated “Freedom Day,” which ended more than a year of lockdown restrictions. In your opinion, when should officials scrap Covid-19 restrictions (ex. when the majority of people are vaccinated, as soon as possible)? Should your country also have a “Freedom Day”? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Some people fear that restrictions will continue indefinitely. How do you predict life in your country will be at this time next year? How about life in other countries then? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Nanjing traced its first delta cases back to a flight from Russia. What, if anything, do you think they could’ve done to prevent the spread of the delta variant? Why? Discuss.
  • Some people worry that stronger and stronger variants will continue to develop, while others feel that new variants will eventually get weaker. What do you think? Why? Discuss.