Sunday, 19 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 18th / 19th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 18th / 19th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7.429,746 (+29,612)
Losses of Life: 135,203 (+56)
Tests: 1,059,522
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,573,881 (89.4% of UK aged 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,428,209 (81.7%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 374,143 cases and 5,179 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

World: 229,144,868 ( +235,770 since midnight GMT ) reported cases and 4,703,212 (+4,002) losses of life (added numbers are not a full 24 hours' reports). 

UK Gov lets keep air moving open a window. Text and simple window image

Good news for everyone who has had the Moderna vaccine, including around 1 million people in the UK. A CDC study has found it is most effective at preventing hospitalisation, and after 3 months, that gap is even wider.
Overall from March 11th to August 15th (while the USA had mainly Alpha then Delta Variants), Moderna was 93% effective at preventing hospitalisation, Pfizer 88% and Johnson and Johnson 71% (in US adults without compromised immune systems).
After 120 days, Moderna was 92% effective at preventing hospitalisation, and Pfizer 77%. (Johnson and Johnson only has data to 28 days, which was 68% - they don't have enough people past 120 days to give a reliable figure).
This could become Dolly Parton's biggest hit yet. 

Friday, 17 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 17th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 17th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,371,301 (+32,651)
In Hospital on Thursday 16th: 8,068
Using A Ventilator on Thursday 16th: 1,020
Losses of Life: 134,983 (+178)
Tests: 1,059,522
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,528,901 (89.3%)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,298,076 (81.5%)

Cases by Nation for the last 7 days:
Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 15,697 / 495.2
Scotland; 37,155 / 679.7
Northern Ireland; 10,371 / 547.1
England; 162,811 / 287.9

Rep. Of Ireland: 371,301 (+1,413) cases and 5,179 losses of life

World: 228,078,110 reported cases and 4,687,928 losses of life

Travel to from the uk is changing October 4th text and a large hollow framed globe

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has today confirmed that parts of Boris' Plan B are in his Plan A for Wales.
"We are able to remain at alert level zero but the rise in cases and the current uncertainty mean we will must all redouble our efforts to do the simple things which keep us all safe."
- Work from home whenever possible
- Face coverings will continue to be mandatory as before, in indoor public places and on public transport
- All frontline health and care staff, everyone living and working in care homes, everyone over 50 and all those with underlying health conditions aged 16 and over will be eligible for a booster at least six months after they received their second dose (as in England)
- 12 to 15-year-olds will start receiving letters next week, inviting them to be vaccinated
- The NHS COVID Pass (proving vaccination status, exemption or negative test) will need to be shown to enter the following venues and events from Monday 11 October:
1. Nightclubs and similar venues.
2. Indoor non-seated events for more than 500 people, where people are mixing closely for prolonged periods.
3. Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people, where people will be mixing closely for prolonged periods.
4. Any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

September 2021 85 Months #TBCSmiles...

I'll start with my apology,  the smiles are a day late, and that's because I was stressing over an important hospital appointment this morning, and I just couldn't get into the headspace for writing anything yesterday. I guess we all have those days, even me, and I don't think allowing yourself to let go a little if you can is losing. I think it's protecting your own mental health.
Thankfully my appointment went swimmingly, and in 3 months I should have an idea of when I'll have some pretty major surgery. And crikey, the surgeon is the nicest bloke. I could have hugged him - so there are plenty of smiles from me today. 

Annoyingly I then got home to discover my Internet had the power of a baby's breath, and uploading photos wasn't happening, or this post would have been live many hours earlier... 

My two boys - both in high school uniform with smat grey blazers and ties

There are thankfully many smiles from you guys - we had loads over the last month - including all of those children in shiny shoes and new oversized uniforms, ready to go back to in-person school. Full of anticipation and nerves, especially when the school is new to them. You can also see Summer turning to Autumn over the last month, the blue is less, and the orange is creeping in...

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 15th/16th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 15th/16th September 2021

A note about today's figures:
"Because of a technical issue affecting the availability of data, there has been no update to cases, testing and vaccinations for Scotland. Therefore newly reported numbers for the UK include England, Northern Ireland and Wales only."
(That means tomorrow's numbers for the UK are likely to be artificially high.)

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,339,009 (+26,911)
In Hospital Weds 15th: 8,339
Using A Ventilator Weds 15th: 1,081
Losses of Life: 134,805 (+158)
Tests: 1,084,585
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,503,181 (89.2% of UK aged 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,229,777 (81.4%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 371,301 (+1,413) cases and 5,179 losses of life.

World: 227,512,652 reported cases and 4,677,473 losses of life.

160921 COVID vaccinations UK text

There's not masses of COVID news today... the UK and a lot of the world press seems a bit distracted by the new AUKUS (Australia, UK, US) defence treaty announcement...

Today, 282 days after the first person in the UK was given the AstraZeneca jab, the NHS delivered their first booster dose.
All frontline NHS and social care staff, anyone aged 50 and over, people under 50 with health conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID, and 'adult household contacts of severely immunosuppressed people' should all receive an invitation in due course - around 8 months after your 2nd vaccine dose (a minimum of 6 months after).

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update and COVID Response: Autumn And Winter Plan UK Briefing 13th / 14th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update and COVID Response: Autumn And Winter Plan UK Briefing 13th / 14th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,282,810 (+26,628)
In Hospital on Monday 13th: 8,413
Using A Ventilator on Monday 13th: 1,056
Losses of Life: 134,446 (+185)
Tests: 1,043,118
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,458,700 (89.2% of UK 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,108,746 (81.2%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 367,536 cases and 5,155 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 226,367,764 reported cases and 4,657,189 losses of life.

140921 UK Briefing slides 2020 compared to 2021

"You have to take it as it comes. I think anybody that can say, with confidence, they know how this is going to work over the next few months, has not fully understood, I think, the range of possible ways this could happen."
Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England. 

Monday, 13 September 2021

UK (are vaccinating kids 12+) Briefing 13th September 2021

UK (are vaccinating kids 12+) Briefing 13th September 2021

I don't usually write up the scientific and data briefings specially, but this is a biggie - it's important even if you don't have secondary aged children.

Today's briefing was with:
Chris Whitty, - Chief Medical Officer for England
Dr Gregor Smith - CMO for Scotland
Dr Frank Atherton - CMO for Wales
Sir Michael McBride - CMO for Ireland
Dr June Raine, MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency)
Prof Wei Shen Lim, JVCI (Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation)

Chris explains this is a difficult decision, and the first principle of medicine is balancing risk and benefit.

 

130921 COVID briefing with JCVI CMOs and MHRA Vaccination 12-15 year olds

This decision started with the MHRA approving both Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines as safe and effective for age 12+.
(They found it to be as effective in children 12-15 as in adults, with a clear result after only 1 dose. The safety matched that of young adults.)

Sunday, 12 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 11th / 12th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 11th / 12th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,226,276 (+29,173)
Losses of Life: 134,200 (+56)
Tests: 1,241,334
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,422,588 (89.1% of UK 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 43,991,875 (80.9%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 365,313 cases and 5,155 losses of life (not yet reported today).

World: 225,307,666 reported cases and 4,641,812 losses of life.

You can still get your COVID vaccine NHS UK

The UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on telly this morning that England WILL NOT be going ahead with the vaccine passport scheme. This is mere days after Nicola announced Scotland WILL be having a scheme, and she's really arguing with Boris right now, so I wouldn't like to guess on the complete list of motivations.
That said, Nicola has generally been less cavalier with her population's wellbeing throughout.
So, as it stands at the moment, from next month in England, you won't have to prove vaccination status to enter a nightclub or book a festival ticket, but in Scotland, and for any other establishment or event which decides they require it, you will.

Friday, 10 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,168,806 (+37,622)
In Hospital on Wednesday 9th: 8,098
Using A Ventilator on Wednesday 9th: 1,060
Losses of Life: 133,988 (+147)
Tests: 1,241,334
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,370,340 (89% of UK aged 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 43,805,608 (80.6%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 362,228 cases and 5,155 losses of life.

World: 224,269,097 reported cases and 4,624,307 losses of life.

100921 UK indieSAGe vaccination status of those hospitalised

The UK's JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) are due to make a final decision on Booster Jabs any day now.
Although the UK seems to be swimming in vaccines, we are limited. We have to ensure we have enough for everyone who is entitled, and it has to be fair.
We recently signed a deal for 35m Pfizer, which could offer boosters in a different flavour to everyone over 50, or vaccinate schoolchildren, and boosters for more vulnerable people could be AstraZeneca. These sort of decisions go on behind closed doors all the time - which is exactly why the independent SAGE collective started - they wanted to discuss options and plans openly in front of the public. Don't forget the indieSAGE group contains members of the UK Government's actual SAGE panel. 

Thursday, 9 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 8th / 9th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 8th / 9th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,132,072 (+38,013)
In Hospital on Weds 8th Sept: 8,085 (Up from 7,596 a week earlier, which is actually a slightly slower increase than the previous week).
Using A Ventilator on Weds 8th Sept: 1,060 (Up from 1,030 a week earlier - again, a slower increase this week than last week. Fingers crossed).
Losses of Life: 133,841 (+167)
Tests: 1,254,874
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,344,566 (88.9% of UK adults 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 43,708,906 (80.4%)

Cases by nation in the last 7 days:
Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 16,273 / 513.4
Scotland: 43,950 / 804.1
Northern Ireland: 10,073 / 531.4
England: 186,998 / 330.7

Rep. Of Ireland: 360,957 cases and 5,155 losses of life (not yet reported today).

World: 223,720,246 reported cases and 4,614,250 losses of life. 

9th September 2021 COVID vaccine surveillance report from last week

"After all this time, this still has to be said. Head. Desk.
Also more clarification is needed. Indeed SARS-CoV-2 is not one of the 4 coronaviruses that cause common colds, but the majority of common colds are caused by rhinoviruses, which are from a totally different family."
Dr Angela Rasmussen of the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security, responding a hoax which is doing the rounds right now.
No, COVID is not the same virus as the common cold - built in a similar way, but like polar bears and sloths, not actually the same. You all knew that already though.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Ad|Guest Post: Should You Enforce a Sleep Schedule for Your Kids?

This month I'm sharing some posts from Maria Miguel at Better Help, where you can find a huge FREE resource library of advice for all kinds of mental health niggles and problems. Today, it's sleep. We raised 7 children, and even though I'm one of the softest parents you might find, I have always insisted on a regular bedtime routine. It's for my own sanity at least as much as theirs... 

Child reading in bed with cosy blankets and child's duvet cover


 Should You Enforce a Sleep Schedule for Your Kids?

There are many reasons a parent may want to enforce a bedtime on their children; there are just as many reasons for families to do away with the practice. However, for certain age groups and households, a regular bedtime routine can benefit your children’s mental health, lifestyle developments, and sleep quality. Here are some benefits of creating a sleep schedule and tips to ensure it’s the right move for you and your family.