Holloway Road uni investigates impact of virus lockdown

Appeal for volunteers as London Metropolitan University examines effects of social distancing and self-isolation measures

Friday, 8th May 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Dr Paul Matewele

‘Much-loved’ micro­biologist Dr Paul Matewele, who died after contracting coronavirus

RESEARCHERS at London Metropolitan University are looking for volunteers to take part in a study looking into the impact of lockdown measures.

As part of the university’s research work with Whittington Hospital, Dr Stephen Hills and Dr Yolanda Eraso are leading a study into people’s perceptions, behaviours and experiences of social distancing and self-isolation measures.

Volunteers are wanted from Islington and Haringey, and will be asked to fill out an online survey and take part in a follow-up telephone interview where researchers will examine their experiences of quarantine and isolation.

A spokesman said: “The results will help us understand the barriers and facilitators of lockdown measures on individuals and local communities, identify which groups are most vulnerable, and better understand the support that is needed.

“The results of the study could provide valuable information for local policymakers.”

The Holloway Road university has itself been hit by the crisis, with staff paying tributes to “much loved” leading micro­biologist Dr Paul Matewele, who died after a battle with the virus.

Dr Matewele had been at the university for more than 30 years, and is survived by his 18-year-old son William.

Dr Una Fairbrother, Head of the School of Human Sciences, said: “Paul was a very special colleague. He was an exceptionally kind and happy character with an unequalled passion for cakes, he shared his teddy bear hugs amongst all who wanted them.

“Uniquely, he managed to combine being a dynamic researcher, a smashing teacher and being enormously laid back and unflappable.

He was generous with his time and with his smile.”

She added: “He will be enormously missed by our staff and students. Our thoughts are espec­ially with his close friends and family, including his son, William.”

A fundraising page has been set up in Dr Matewele’s memory, and the proceeds of will be used to support his son.

You can donate by visiting the webpage: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/sheelagh-heugh

And If you are an adult, resident in the London boroughs of Islington or Haringey, you can participate in the university’s lockdown research. You can find out more by visiting https://londonmetresearch.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/covid-19

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