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39 Expensive Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making With Your Pets



Technically, I didn’t pay anything for my dog; he was a rescue a friend of a friend was fostering, so they gave him to me for free so long as I promised to take great care of him. (He even came with his own crate.) And yet, even though he cost me nothing up front, Oscar the Mal-Shi was one of the steepest investments of my life. I’ll be the first to admit that, as a new dog owner, I made some pretty expensive mistakes while learning how to best care for my pet.

Yeah, I got a little experience that time I temporarily fostered that cat who was born in my dad’s backyard, but ultimately, once you take your pet home for good, all of those bills really start to add up. There’s the cost of food and the groomer and the toys, of course — but there are also all of those messes and mishaps that take some serious money to fix: The fur-caked carpet, the chewed-up furniture, the stained blankets, the damaged hardwood, the emergency vet visits. Fortunately, a lot of those can be prevented — if you have the right tools.

Thousands of pet owners swear by these genius products because they really do help to minimize costs over time. Plus, they’ll keep your furry friends clean, healthy, and well-behaved, so you can focus on all the good aspects of pet ownership.

Using Sticky, Disposable Lint Rollers To Get Rid Of Fur

ChomChom Roller Dog Hair Remover

If you’re still using those sticky paper lint rollers to get rid of fur, do yourself a favor and invest in the ChomChom roller instead. It uses an effective brush system that captures hair and moves it to the built-in waste compartment, all with a simple back-and-forth motion. It’s earned more than 80,000 ratings, and buyers rave about how it’s saved them tons of money on replacements, vacuum bags, laundry detergent, and more.

Spending Too Much Money On A Vacuum

FURemover Pet Hair Removal Tool Broom

“I vacuumed the day before I used this broom and was shocked at how much hair my vacuum left behind. And we have a vacuum that’s meant for pet hair,” one reviewer wrote. Needless to say, unlike expensive pet vacuums, the FURemover broom is worth every single penny. It uses natural rubber bristles to attract fur like a magnet, so you can deep-clean your floors, area rugs, and carpets. It also has a built-in squeegee edge and a telescoping handle to make reaching under furniture easy.

Filling Your House With Expensive Cat Furniture

PEFUNY Cat Window Perch

This window perch keeps your cats off of the furniture and ensures that they remain entertained with all the happenings of the outside world, according to reviewers. It attaches to glass (damage-free) using sturdy suction cups, and the built-in hammock can support up to 40 pounds of weight, all while remaining comfortable, quick-drying, and easy to maintain. “My cat is not one to like the things I buy for her,” one reviewer wrote, “but this she LOVES.”

Ruining Your Hardwood With Sloppy Eaters & Drinkers

Gorilla Grip Silicone Pet Feeding Mat

One reviewer swears that their pet is the “the worlds’ messiest drinker,” but this Gorilla Grip feeding mat “catches all the water” and stops it from “dripping onto [their] wood floors.” Its raised edges and dotted texture also help to contain crumbs, kibble, and wet food — and since it is silicone, it’s nonslip and can even be thrown in the dishwasher when it gets dirty. Get it in several sizes and tons of colors.

Letting Food Go Bad When You Buy It In Bulk

Gamma2 Vittles Vault Outback Airtight Pet Food Container

I buy my dog’s food in bulk, but once the bag is open, it’s hard to keep it fresh. The Gamma2 Vittles Vault (available in six sizes) fixes that. This container creates an airtight seal that keeps moisture out and freshness in, so your pet’s food stays crunchy, healthy, and flavorful. It’s also made from BPA-free material and has square corners for compact storage inside cabinets and in closets.

Tossing Old Beds Because Of Spills Or Accidents

Bedsure Waterproof Dog Beds

“These beds are so easy to clean,” one reviewer wrote about the Bedsure waterproof dog bed. “Dogs throws up on the bed? No problem. Dog has another accident on the bed? No problem!” Even though it’s filled with comfortable stuffing, the polyester cover is washable and fully lined with a waterproof layer, so you don’t have to toss the whole thing due to spills and accidents. It comes in three sizes and two colors, and it’s rectangular to fit in crates.

Forgetting To Protect Your Car Seats

Vailge Bench Dog Car Seat Cover

Odds are, you’ve made an effort to protect your indoor furniture, but car upholstery can be even more expensive to replace. That explains why this car seat cover has over 5,000 reviews and an overall 4.7-star rating. It’s made from heavy-duty, nonslip, rip-resistant material, and it’s designed to fit most standard bench seats in most vehicles. It’s also washable and has all the necessary straps and materials to secure it to your car.

Wasting Electricity Or Half-Drying Your Pet’s Bedding

SnugPad Wool Dryer Balls (6-Pack)

It’s a race against the clock every time I have to wash and dry my dog’s bed; he’s eager to get it back, but I don’t want him sleeping on a damp wad of fabric or spends tons on electricity bills, either. Dryer balls are the answer. They’re made from premium New Zealand wool, so they’re free from fragrances and harmful chemicals. Still, they speed up drying time, reduce wrinkles, minimize static, and ensure that bedding and blankets don’t clump up in the machine. They also last over a thousand loads.

Never Establishing Boundaries With Your Cat In Your Home

Bodhi Dog 3-in-1 Cat & Kitten Training Aid with Bitter

Using a scent that’s safe but extremely unpleasant for your cats, this Bodhi bitter spray stops them from chewing up your flowers or scratching your furniture. It also repels them from certain areas of the house, if that’s your objective, and it can be used on fabrics, wood, floors, carpets, blinds, and plants. Put simply, “it works,” wrote one reviewer who has “tried so many sprays” before finding this one.

Letting Your Dog End The Day With Excess Energy

Squishy Face Studio Flirt Pole

A tired dog is a good dog. In other words, when your pet has excess energy, they’re way more likely to take that out on the things in your home. The Squishy Face Studio flirt pole has thousands of five-star ratings because it’s easy and low-effort for you, but it still offers ample mental and physical stimulation for your dog. The polyester lure is durable, pre-attached, and catches your pet’s attention for play or training purposes, while the pole comes in multiple size options and has a grip for your comfort.

Ignoring Your Dog’s Dental Health

Arm & Hammer for Pets Faux-Hide Dog Dental Treats

Made with baking soda, these Arm & Hammer dog dental treats help reduce tartar buildup so your pup’s teeth stay healthy. Made from a gentle alternative to rawhide, they’re chicken flavored and also help with bad breath. And while every pooch’s taste is different, “my dog does back flips for these,” one customer reported.

Buying Expensive Toys Your Cat Doesn’t Care About

HNYYZL Crinkle Balls Cat Toys (25-Pack)

“My cat is obsessed with these,” one reviewer wrote about these crinkle balls, which are made from sparkly, lightweight aluminum. “The kitty won’t play with any other cat toys, but chases these crinkle balls all over the house!” according to another. Since they come in a pack of 25 for $9, you’ll be set for quite a while — even if your cat tends to lose toys underneath furniture.

Letting Fleas & Ticks Get Out Of Hand

Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Home Spray

Maybe it’s where I live, but for months after I got him, my dog was a magnet for fleas and ticks. It took a combination of different products to finally tackle the issue, but one of the most effective was Vet’s Best flea and tick spray. Its formula contains certified natural, steam-distilled oils (like peppermint and clove) to repel and eliminate pests, but it’s still safe for your dog, upholstery, and home.

Going Through Countless Toys With An Aggressive Chewer

VANFINE Dog Squeaky Toys

One reviewer has a dog who “chews through everything within a matter of minutes,” but according to them, this durable toy actually lasts and doesn’t break the bank. It’s made from all-natural, nontoxic rubber that’s soft and elastic, but also super resistant to rips. It also has a built-in squeaker and comes in three different shapes. Not a believer? The brand offers a lifetime replacement guarantee that they’ve honored for countless reviewers.

Buying Tons Of Replacement Tennis Balls

Chuckit! Ultra Ball, Dog Toy

If your dog goes through tennis balls at the speed of light, these Chuckit! Ultra Balls have over 70,000 reviews and an overall 4.8-star rating for a reason: They’re bouncy, lightweight, and extremely durable. Instead of a hollow core, they feature thick rubber inside, so they can stand up to chewers — but they’re still soft on a dog’s teeth. Get them in several sizes and value packs.

Letting Your Cat Scratch Up Your Furniture

Panther Armor Cat Scratch Deterrent Tape (10-Pack)

If you have a cat who loves to scratch on your couch, these furniture protectors could be the thing that gets them to stop. At the very least, they’ll protect the upholstery, and at the most, they’ll help nip the habit in the bud due to the texture, which some cats find unpleasant on their nails. They’re transparent, can be cut to any size, and stick right onto your furniture with adhesive that’s designed to not leave behind any residue.

Wasting Pricy Medication On A Picky Cat

FELINE GREENIES Pill Pockets Cat Treats

Let’s face it: Cats can be pretty fussy, so if yours hide, spit out, or refuse their medication, you’re not alone. Luckily, these Greenies pill pockets are a genius solution and a “wonderful product” that reviewers report “actually work.” They encase the pills or capsules in a moldable treat with a delicious chicken flavor that masks the taste of the medication, and they’re made without artificial flavors and preservatives.

Bringing Your Pet To The Groomer To Help With Shedding

FURminator Undercoat Deshedding Tool

The FURminator deshedding tool reaches deep into your pet’s undercoat to remove excess fur before it ends up all over your home. One reviewer wrote, “My dog enjoys the grooming and we have so much LESS fur all around the house.” Even though it’s shockingly effective, it’s still comfortable and safe for both of you, and it comes in two types and three sizes for all kinds of breeds.

Cleaning Up Pet Messes With Standard Sprays

Rocco & Roxie Professional Strength Stain & Odor Eliminator

While any old cleaning spray might eliminate the odors as far as your nose is concerned, cats and dogs can still smell it — and as a result, they’re much more likely to continue marking the same spot over and over again. Rocco & Roxie’s stain and odor eliminator is an enzyme-based spray that breaks down organic messes so there are no traces of them. It works on everything from urine to vomit, and it’s safe to use on carpets, furniture, bedding, and hard surfaces.

Leaving Your Floors Exposed During Potty Training

Amazon Basics Dog and Puppy Pads (100 Count)

According to experts, when you’re first training your dog, you need to watch them constantly — but it’s impossible to be on them every second of every day. That’s where these pee pads come in. They’re great for potty training and accidents because they have five leak-proof layers that turn liquid into gel. They also have a built-in attractant and are easy to clean up, since they dry quickly and feature an anti-overflow border.

Buying All Of Your New Cat Supplies Separately

Van Ness Cat Starter Kit

This cat starter kit comes with five essential tools and costs just over $10. It includes a litter box, 12-pack of plastic liners, scooper, and food and water dishes. “This is a great kit for someone with a new pet in the house,” one reviewer described. “Everything is good quality and it’s so convenient to get everything in one kit.”

Wasting Money On Expensive Litter Mats That Don’t Work

Polarduck Cat Litter Mat

Even the most expensive litter mats still have you whipping out the vacuum on a regular basis, but according to past buyers, this one is different. “I’ve tried several different types of litter catchers and this is the best I’ve found,” one reviewer wrote. Its honeycomb top traps all kinds of residue, while its waterproof bottom layer is easy to empty; the whole thing is washable and comfortable on your cats’ feet, too.

Not Keeping Your Dog’s Nails Managed

Dremel Cordless Pet Dog Nail Grooming & Grinding Tool

Clippers can be intimidating, and groomers and vets are expensive. Thankfully, if your dog scratches at your floors and furniture, the Dremel nail grooming tool offers a safe, convenient way to manage their nails. The battery-operated tool has two rotation speeds, while the interchangeable drums get the job done fast while offering optical control. “It is SO EASY to use and works amazingly well,” wrote one reviewer whose dog “hates having his feet touched.”

Buying Expensive Treats Your Picky Cat Won’t Eat

TEMPTATIONS Classic Crunchy Soft Cat Treats

“My cat loves these and will not eat any other treats,” one reviewer wrote about these Temptations cat treats. Even though they’re under two calories per treat, they’re nutritionally balanced and have a crunchy exterior with a soft interior that many cats simply can’t resist. Reviewers have used them for training purposes as well as meal toppers, and they come in 10 different flavors.

Bringing Your Dog To The Vet For Digestive Issues All The Time

BERNIE’S PERFECT POOP Digestion & Health Supplement

Of course, if you’re concerned there may be a serious problem with your dog’s digestion, you should bring them to the vet ASAP — but if they’re just having trouble pooping, Bernie’s Perfect Poop supplement might be able to help. It’s filled with careful ingredients that help revitalize your pet’s digestive tract: specifically fiber, prebiotics, probiotics, and enzymes. According to thousands of rave reviews, it works for both constipation and diarrhea, and it’s safe for most sensitive stomachs.

Paying The Groomer To Take Care Of Knots Or Matted Fur

Pat Your Pet Pet Grooming Tool

Dog and cat owners alike are in love with the Pat Your Pet grooming tool, which has earned an overall rating of 4.5 stars after feedback from thousands of buyers. Using two rows of curved, stainless steel teeth, it removes knots, cuts through matting, and thins the undercoat to reduce shedding, all while remaining safe and comfortable for your pet. “I was about to send him to the groomer to give him a buzz-cut,” wrote one reviewer who has a long-haired cat, but instead, they “ordered this and it’s absolutely AMAZING!”

Or Paying The Groomer To Take Care Of Everything Else

oneisall Dog Shaver Clippers

Looking to try your hand at DIY grooming? This pet-friendly electric clipper set makes it easy. The base is rechargeable, quiet, and low vibration for your convenience and your pet’s comfort, while the ceramic-and-stainless-steel blades cut quickly and evenly. You also get scissors, a comb, a cleaning tool, and six interchangeable guards for all different lengths. “This thing is an absolute miracle,” one reviewer wrote. “I could cry about how easy it is to keep our little gal groomed and happy now.”

Buying Dog Chews That Don’t Last

Native Pet Yak Chews for Dogs (5-Pack)

If you have a heavy chewer, you know that treats can disappear likethat. That’s where these yak milk treats come in. Since they’re hard (so be sure to watch your pet while they’re enjoying them!), they’ll last a long time. They come in a range of sizes and are packed with protein without the lactose or gluten.

Jacking Up The AC Just To Keep Your Pet Comfortable

K&H Pet Products Original Pet Cot Elevated Dog Bed

You don’t have to crank up the air conditioner just for your pet. The K&H pet cot helps to keep them way more comfortable in hot weather due to its elevated design and air-circulating mat. The metal frame is lightweight, but sturdy enough to support up to 200 pounds — and you can get it in three other colors and three additional sizes.

Or Letting Your Pet Overheat Anywhere Else

TheGreenPetShop Dog Cooling Mat

Since it’s compact, flat, and self-activated (meaning it doesn’t need any batteries, freezable gels, or electricity), TheGreenPetShop cooling mat is amazing for travel or home use. Put it in your car, on the deck, or in the crate, and as soon as your dog sits on it, the cooling exterior helps to reduce their body heat for more comfortable lounging. It comes in three sizes, and reviewers have written that it’s “a must-have for warm weather” and “great for fluffy puppies” who otherwise can’t get comfortable.

Buying Countless Beds Your Pet Won’t Use

Best Friends by Sheri Calming Bed

My dog is very picky about beds, and I ordered several before I finally found one that he would use consistently: the Best Friends by Sheri donut bed. Because the edges are raised and plush, they can curl up in the middle with a heightened sense of security. The fluffy exterior looks like vegan shag and comes in eight stylish colors, but you can also toss the removable shell in the washing machine in case of accidents. Choose from four sizes.

Giving Your Chewer Easy-To-Destroy Dog Toys With Stuffing

SHARLOVY Dog Squeaky Toy

When your dog has the stuffing out of toys within seconds, this plush toy is the answer. Why? They don’t have any stuffing to begin with. It does, however, come as an adorable lion and with squeakers to keep them entertained. “My dog is a very aggressive chewer and these have lasted for months,” one reviewer wrote. The toy also comes in of sets of three and six and in a variety of designs.

Calling In Backup When It’s Time To Groom, Travel, Or Administer Medication

Cat-in-The-Bag Cozy Comfort Carrier

Even owners of the fussiest cats have raved that the Cat-In-The-Bag carrier is “worth every penny” and the “best carrier for a happy cat.” The adjustable collar keeps them feel safe and secure while you’re on the go, but others have noted that it’s a life-saver for nail-trimming and administering medication, too. It’s made from soft cotton, but woven to resist rips and snags. Plus, it has a seatbelt pass-through so you can secure it in the car and a strap for extra leverage while you’re carrying your baby.

Not Giving Your Cats A Place To Stretch & Scratch

Dimaka Tall Cat Scratching Post

Cats need to scratch — it’s a natural behavior that keeps their nails healthy — but that doesn’t mean you should have to sacrifice your furniture for the cause. The Dimaka scratching post is durable, sturdy, easy to set up, and attractive to cats, all while remaining pretty darn affordable. The base is made of chipboard covered with carpet-like material, and the cardboard scratching post is covered in sisal rope and measures 29 inches for cats to stretch out. It even has a plush ball on top for them to play with.

Bringing Your Pets To The Groomer Just For Their Nails

gonicc Dog & Cat Pets Nail Clippers and Trimmers

“I love these!” one buyer raved about these nail clippers. “I’ve always been paranoid to cut my dog’s black nails, so much I have never done it on my own, but this makes it easy.” Even though the stainless steel blades are extra-sharp for quick and easy clipping, they have a safety guard to avoid over-cutting. There’s even a nail file that stores inside the handle.

Allowing Your Dog To Eat All The Cat’s Food

Door Buddy Adjustable Door Strap and Latch

Multiple pets? The Door Buddy adjustable latch keeps them separate when necessary (like if your dog is getting into the cat’s food or litter box). Here’s how it works: The durable adhesive attaches to your door and your doorframe, the strap is length-adjustable, and the clip allows you to disengage the strap much more easily than a pet gate. Since cats are adept at getting into small places, they can easily slip in and out, but the dog stays put.

Renting A Carpet Cleaner

BISSELL Pet Stain Eraser

Even though it is handheld, cordless, and rechargeable, the BISSELL Pet Stain Eraser packs a serious punch when it comes to removing stains and messes from soft surfaces. (That includes rugs, furniture, and auto interiors.) It sprays a fabric-safe cleaning formula, which comes with your purchase, before scrubbing and vacuuming up any residual mess. “I was expecting to be let down and have to rent a Rug Doctor, but I will say with the help of some stain remover and pre-treatment, my couch actually looks new,” one reviewer wrote.

Neglecting Your Cat’s Dental Health

Virbac C.E.T. Intellident Cat Bites

Don’t let your cat’s teeth get neglected. These Virbac C.E.T. Intellident cat bites have a crunchy texture that works with a cat’s chewing patterns to reduce plaque and tartar. They also taste great, freshen breath, and are made with no artificial preservatives.

Petting Your Dog Or Cat Without These Grooming Gloves

Pat Your Pet Grooming Gloves

For $13, this might be one of the smartest pet-related purchases you ever make. These Pat Your Pet grooming gloves feel like a gentle massage as far as your pet is concerned, but while you’re spending quality time with them, you’re also removing excess fur so it doesn’t get all over your home (or mat up and cause more issues). They’re also easy to clean, comfortable to wear, and work on all types of pets with all lengths of fur.


Personal Care

Cassidy Timbrooks on ‘The Bachelor’ Isn’t the Villain You Think She Is



I knew Cassidy Timbrooks was going to be eliminated from The Bachelor the second she addressed a table full of children as “you small people.”

But it wasn’t until Clayton Echard learned she had a “friend with benefits” back home that her number came up. The Bachelor rescinded the rose he had already given her and predictably sent the 26-year-old executive assistant packing on Monday night’s episode.

In the eyes of the show, she had committed two cardinal sins: Not acting overjoyed to be around kids, and not putting her sex life on pause for a man she had never met.

That’s why her ride home from the mansion was more than just another early villain exit. The Bachelor is clearly trying to get back to basics this year — and by basics I mean American sexual politics circa 2002. The fact that Cassidy got the boot so swiftly shows how quickly the show is returning to its traditional roots. In an era of dating apps and delayed motherhood, ABC’s long-running reality dating franchise is recommitting in Clayton’s season to its core tenets: Love, marriage, and family — preferably before age 30.

In the eyes of the show, she had committed two cardinal sins: Not acting overjoyed to be around kids, and not putting her sex life on pause for a man she had never met.

Only against that backdrop would a woman like Cassidy strike anyone as an outlier. Outside of the show, she doesn’t exactly seem nefarious. Since the premiere aired, I have been following her on Instagram, where she’s been posting incredibly lucid and self-aware reflections about her time on The Bachelor, conceding in one of her Stories that she struggled to balance “confidence” with “considering other people’s takes.”

Indeed, like so many hated contestants before her, Cassidy appears to have been the victim of a selective edit and a mocking soundtrack. The unflattering edit began in earnest when she largely ignored the children at a birthday party group date to talk with the Bachelor instead. At one point, seated around a table sipping tea, she told a group of kids, “I spend as little time around you small people as possible, so forgive me…” and then immediately went on the back foot as they latched onto the comment.

I don’t blame the kids for taking offense. But any adult viewer who paid attention to her tone should have recognized the droll delivery. Was it an inartful thing to say? Sure. Children aren’t the right audience for wry humor, especially if you’re joking about avoiding them. But Cassidy didn’t deserve to be demonized as a kid hater, either.

“I knew I was giving villain, but I thought I was far more amusing and harmless,” she wrote in one of her post-show Instagram Stories, “and I think a lot of the hate is based in misogyny internalized and otherwise.”

She’s not wrong. Cassidy was punished, both in the edit and by a segment of the audience, for not going googly-eyed at the notion of spending an afternoon building a dollhouse. She certainly didn’t echo the enthusiasm of a fellow contestant who saw the kids from afar and exclaimed, “Oh my God! I’m so excited! I love children!” while running toward them.

The Bachelor is retreating to an extremely white, hyper-hetero comfort zone in which babies are the ultimate goal.

To be fair, that attitude is more in line with Clayton’s. In the first five minutes of the current season, the new Bachelor was twice moved to tears by the thought of raising a family. He introduced himself in the opening voiceover by saying, “I can’t wait to get married and have kids,” and later choked up while reading a letter from a child predicting that he will “have lots of kids.”

Clayton is nothing if not sincere, but there’s probably a reason the producers picked someone like him in the first place — and why they’re emphasizing childrearing so much this early. After years of controversy over racism in the franchise, culminating in the departure of ex-host Chris Harrison — and after more recent flirtations with progressive casting including the first same-sex engagement, a (gasp!) 39-year-old Bachelorette, and several leads of colorThe Bachelor is retreating to an extremely white, hyper-hetero comfort zone in which babies are the ultimate goal.

I used to wonder whether the horror novel I wrote satirizing Bachelor-style shows would be outdated by the time it comes out later this year, but if anything, this season has felt ripped out of time in the worst way.

Cassidy’s storyline especially has highlighted double standards that should be long dead by now. Clayton himself recently addressed viral TikToks about his dating history by saying that he “enjoyed [his] singleness” for “the last six years of my life.” This is the same Bachelor who confronted Cassidy on Monday night’s episode about allegedly “seeing someone up until the point that you came here,” as though she were beholden to him before then. Hookups for me but not for thee?

Presented in the weird logic of the show, you’d almost forget that Cassidy is one of 30 women Clayton dated simultaneously — and that, in season previews, the Bachelor will later admit to being “intimate” with two contestants. Somehow that behavior is more “for the right reasons” than having casual sex with someone before filming even began?

Cassidy may be off the air now, but her brief run was telling. This throwback edition of The Bachelor needed a villain, and the producers chose a confident woman with a history of casual dating who said “F*ck a dollhouse” on camera. It’s probably a bad sign when someone that refreshing doesn’t make it to the second rose ceremony.


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Personal Care

Another Day, Another Musk Tweet Pumps Dogecoin up 9%



Musk, who is the founder of Tesla and SpaceX, said he would eat a Happy Meal on TV if Fast food giant McDonald’s starts accepting Dogecoin

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Personal Care

Everything You Need to Know About the UK Government’s COVID Inquiry



On May 12, 2021, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced an independent public inquiry into the government’s response to and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. Established under the Inquiries Act 2005, the COVID Inquiry will examine the government’s “actions as rigorously and candidly as possible,” according to the Prime Minister, and will aim to “learn every lesson for the future.” It will do so by summoning the production of documents and witnesses to give evidence under oath in order to examine the government’s response to the pandemic.

Rt Hon Baroness Heather Hallett DBE will act as Chair of the inquiry, which is set to begin “sometime in spring 2022”. In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about the COVID Inquiry and what we can expect from the process.

How Will The COVID Inquiry Work?

According to BBC News, the Chair of the Inquiry can call whoever they want to give evidence, “whether they are witnesses to an event or people with particular expertise.” As barristers’ chambers Doughty Street Chambers notes, witnesses to an event will be asked to give evidence of their experience or direct knowledge of what took place. They speak on behalf of an organisation, like the NHS or the police.

Evidence sessions will be given in public and under oath, per BBC News, and most sessions will be available to watch on TV and online. There’s no time limit to the inquiry either, and they can often take years due to the “huge amount of evidence that needs to be read.”

What Will Be Included In The COVID Inquiry?

The exact aims, issues, and remits included won’t be announced until closer to the start of the inquiry, but the Prime Minister has said his government would work closely with the devolved administrations and governments in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland before setting out what exactly will be included in the inquiry itself.

Shortly after announcing that an inquiry would take place, the Prime Minister told MPs that the inquiry would consider his government’s handling of the pandemic before the first lockdown in March 2020, per The Guardian. As for other issues, law firm BDB Pitmans suggests that the higher death rate in general, especially among ethnic minority groups, will be a major point of contention, as well as the government’s “procurement processes” of contracts awarded during the pandemic.

What Issues Have Been Raised Around The COVID Inquiry?

Undocumented Migrants

Following the publication of a report by the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), it’s vital that the voices of undocumented migrants are properly heard during the COVID inquiry. The report found that the UK “lagged far behind other European countries” in protecting undocumented migrants during the pandemic.

Caitlin Boswell, author of the report and policy officer at JCWI, said in a statement that if the government “wants to learn lessons” from this inquiry and “fully recover from the pandemic”, it needs to “stop prioritising its anti-immigration agenda above saving lives.” An anti-immigration agenda which is more commonly known as the Hostile Environment.

The term “Hostile Environment” is used by many to describe a set of policies that are intended to block undocumented migrants from using public services like the NHS and the police, as well as making work and housing inaccessible; effectively making life as difficult as possible.

Boswell added that the government “must listen to migrants’ voices, including those who’ve lost status, and ensure that in the future, no-one has their life put at risk because of their immigration status.” Boswell concluded that in “doing so will not only protect the most marginalised, it will help protect all of us.”

People With Disabilities

Sense, a charity which focuses on complex disabilities, has also called for the government to take the experiences of disabled people and their families into account. As the charity notes, 6 out of 10 people in the UK who have died from COID are disabled, despite making up 22 per cent of the general population.

“Decision-makers did not engage with us, our needs were often overlooked and communications were largely inaccessible,” Fazilet Hadi, Head of Policy for Disability Rights UK, explained. “Health bodies treated our lives as less valued, disabled people receiving social care were inadequately protected, some disabled children were denied education and support, and supermarkets failed to ensure that we could access food.”

There is yet to be a date announced or confirmed for the COVID Inquiry.

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