In Depth

The Week Unwrapped: Alcohol, furlonteering and swimming in sewage

Why are South Africa’s hospitals overflowing? Should furloughed staff be working for free? And why are British beaches still not clean?

The Week Unwrapped Team

Olly Mann and The Week delve behind the headlines and debate what really matters from the past seven days. Why are South Africa’s hospitals overflowing? Should furloughed staff be working for free? And why are British beaches still not clean?

–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––To get six free issues of The Week magazine and a moleskine notebook visit theweek.co.uk/offer and enter promo code: pod25–––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

In this week’s episode, we discuss:

Coronavirus and alcohol

Hospitals in South Africa are dealing with a big influx of patients this week - not patients with coronavirus, but people who’ve been injured in alcohol-related accidents and violence. The cause of the sudden rise is the lifting of a ban on the sale of alcohol imposed when the country’s lockdown began in March. That measure was very effective - but also very unpopular.

Furlonteering

Hundreds of furloughed staff have been using their leave from work to donate their time and skills to struggling charities. But critics say a growing number of start-ups are now cashing in on so-called "furlonteering" to get free labour, funded by the taxpayer. So what are the other potential costs of this underreported practice, and is it ethical?

Swimming in sewage

The quality of bathing water at Britain’s beaches is among the lowest in Europe, as water companies continue to discharge raw sewage into rivers and other waterways. What’s meant to be an emergency dispensation to release untreated wastewater was exercised 140,000 times in 2018, and there are fears that the very wet weather this winter may have exacerbated the problem.

You can subscribe to The Week Unwrapped on the Global PlayerApple podcastsSoundCloud or wherever you get you get your podcasts.

Recommended

‘Hope in the post’
Today's newspaper front pages
Today’s newspapers

‘Hope in the post’

Mayor dog raises funds for playground
A goat
Tall Tales

Mayor dog raises funds for playground

Parks, mindful robots and selfish vaccines
Paris at dusk
Podcast

Parks, mindful robots and selfish vaccines

Europe scrambles to impose Covid-19 restrictions
Residents at a care home in Belgium receive the Covid vaccine
In Focus

Europe scrambles to impose Covid-19 restrictions

Popular articles

How scientists developed a Covid-19 vaccine in record time
A nurse prepares a dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine
In Focus

How scientists developed a Covid-19 vaccine in record time

Stalin-themed kebab shop closes after one day
Tall Tales

Stalin-themed kebab shop closes after one day

Who are the richest people in the world?
Elon Musk
In Focus

Who are the richest people in the world?

Free 6 issue trial then continue to