Views & Reviews The Bigger Picture


BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 14 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b110
  1. Mary E Black, public health physician, Belgrade, Serbia
  1. drmaryblack{at}

    Belgrade, 8 January, the day after Orthodox Christmas. It is snowing hard, and it’s 10 degrees below zero. Serbia has no gas, the overloaded electricity grid is creaking, and many homes and some hospitals have no heating. My family bundle up around a small electric heater in the kitchen, children doing homework, husband and I working on international health consultancy work, thanks to the internet. Like high tech camping, it is not so bad, unless this goes on for longer. We huddle companionably under piled duvets to watch the news. Then we know …

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