Friday 8 January 2021

Now that's what I call blogging 2020: the Covid edition

Posted by Mark Welford, Fuse Communications Officer, Teesside University

It was business as usual for the Fuse blog in January 2020.  PhD student Kelly Rose told us about having sleepless nights thinking about school food and teenage diets; Coral Hanson and her co-authors channelled their inner Mr Motivator to consider whether exercise referral was fit for a new decade; and Angela Wearn asked if reaching the ‘hard-to-reach’ meant leaving traditional academia at the door?

So far so good… and then the ‘C’ word arrived and the world changed and with it the Fuse blog in the form of John Mooney’s frighteningly prescient post on the 5 February - Coronavirus: expect the unexpected in an unfolding emergency.

Last year we published posts about workplace health, tackling obesity through planning policy, the impact of commercial actors on health, food shaming, mental health, the emotional road to impact, Universal Credit, facing a Parliamentary Select Committee, inequalities, family carers of people living with dementia, International Men’s Day (yes, there is one!), and kicking Coca-Cola out of Christmas.

Our authors asked: 

  • Can your education, income or even your job affect your chances of receiving newer cancer treatments? 
  • Why is it so difficult to change our health habits? 
  • Does antibiotic prescribing penalise communities in most need? 
  • Would easy-read documents for all mean a more inclusive healthcare system? and;
  • What is the recipe for a happy retirement?

But it will come as no surprise that the 2020 chart of the top five most-read Fuse blog posts is dominated by one topic: Coronavirus, Covid-19 or just plain COVID.

Here are our chart-toppers of 2020:

5. Experts by Experience challenge us to create opportunities for them to take the lead in research

First up is our only non-Covid related entry in which Angela Broadbridge and Ged Hazlehurst from the Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead project write about co-producing research with people with lived experience of multiple and complex needs.

Page views: 1727.  Posted: 15 May 2020

4. COVID-19 has brought the “digital divide” to the fore

Gemma Wilson from Northumbria University explores how a lack of access to technology and wider support networks during the pandemic is significantly heightening inequalities.

Page views: 1839.  Posted: 29 May 2020


3. Coronavirus: expect the unexpected in an unfolding emergency

Up next is the aforementioned post by John Mooney, Locum Consultant in Public Health at NHS Highland and one-time specialist in the epidemiology of respiratory infectious diseases. Published days after the first confirmed UK cases, John's blog was prophetic in highlighting the potential for symptomless transmission, virus instability and divergent strains.

Page views: 1909.  Posted: 5 Feb 2020


2. This crisis has shown how many people were only just about managing

Our runner-up is Mandy Cheetham from Northumbria University writing about her experience with a community hub delivering food parcels, prescriptions and supporting vulnerable people during the pandemic.

Page views: 2019.  Posted: 9 May 2020


1. Working from home isn’t for everyone - here’s how to cope if you’re struggling

"Being isolated at home can be hard; it is easy to feel cut off from friends and co-workers, to feel out of the loop when it comes to work decisions and to feel stressed with how best to work when at home."  

During the first national lockdowns imposed by the UK governments, Annabel van Griethuysen from Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, shared her tips on working from home. These include keeping a routine, eating and drinking well, having a completely separate space to work (if possible) which is tidied or hidden away at the end of the day, staying connected and reaching out to talk to your social circles if you feel anxious and stressed.

At a time when many people are again being asked to work from home it is apt that Annabel's post should take the crown as most popular blog in 2020.

Page views: 2106.  Posted: 9 April 2020

So there you have it, the top five Fuse blog posts from 2020.  All five received more page views than last year's number one, which is thanks to our loyal readers and fantastic contributors - thank you!  

Can we do any better in 2021?  If you fancy giving it a go, please find out what we are looking for and how to take part here.  All contributors receive a much sought-after Fuse badge, and the writer of the most read post wins a rare and coveted Fuse paperweight.*

Happy New Year!

*when we are allowed back in the office!


  1. "Now That's What I Call Music! 1991" by Brett Jordan is licensed under CC BY 2.0
  2. Courtesy of Fulfilling Lives Newcastle Gateshead:

All page views correct at the time of writing.

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