Friday, 24 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 24th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 24th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,601,487(+35,623)
In Hospital on Thursday 23rd: 7,124
Using A Ventilator on Thursday 23rd: 916
Losses of Life: 135,983 (+180)
Tests: 1,063,394
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,705,771 (89.6% of UK adults)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,644,887 (82.1%)
Up until Friday 10th September, 158,664 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland: 380,720 cases and 5,209 losses of life (not yet reported today).

World: 231,605,504 reported cases and 4,745,680 losses of life.

240921 case rates england by age

"The UKHSA’s best estimate for R in England is between 0.9 and 1.1. R is estimated to be between 1.2 and 1.5 for Scotland, 1.1 and 1.3 for Wales, and 0.9 and 1.1 for Northern Ireland."

During its most recent week (ending 3 September), the ONS COVID infection survey estimates that an average of 754,600 people had COVID-19 in the community in England, Scotland 117,300, Wales 46,800, Northern Ireland 31,800. (Community only - doesn't include prisons, care homes or hospitals.)

Thursday, 23 September 2021

COVID UK and World News Update 22nd / 23rd September 2021

COVID UK and World News Update 22nd / 23rd September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,565,867 (+36,710)
In Hospital on Tuesday 21st: 7,588
Using A Ventilator on Tuesday 21st: 943
Losses of Life: 135,803 (+182)
Tests: 969,173
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,674,154 (89.6% of UK aged 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,600,070 (82.1%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 380,720 (+1,354) cases and 5,209 losses of life

World: 231,117,855 reported cases and 4,736,455 losses of life

Dont' accidentally spread COVID image of man wearing face mask

The UK Government have learnt a few lessons from the pandemic, and have been in consultation about how to improve things for British workers.
They have made a proposal to make the right to request flexible working a day one entitlement - meaning employees can go to their boss and reasonably ask for flexibility over when and where they work - obviously this isn't possible for everyone.
The Government will also introduce "a day one right to one-week’s unpaid leave for carers balancing a job with caring responsibilities"- if you are a carer and have a disaster which keeps you off work, or need to attend an important meeting, you really shouldn't be risking your job for it.

LEGO NINJAGO Empire Temple of Madness Review Set 71712 Age 9+ (Sent for review)

Over the years one of my children has collected several LEGO NINJAGO dragons, so the LEGO NINJAGO Empire Temple of Madness set 71712 took his eye immediately. We were sent this set for review, and no surprises, the 12 year old was on it like a shot... 

LEGO 71712 Empire Temple of Madness image of front of box showing built product

This is an 810 piece set, which is recommended for builders aged 9 and over, and we agree with that assessment. My 12 year old had no problem building independently, and was not at all disappointed with either the build or the final model. 

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 20th / 21st September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 20th / 21st September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,496,543 (+31,564)
In Hospital on Monday 20th: 7,731 (DOWN from 8,413 a week earlier)
Using A Ventilator on Monday 20th: 982 (DOWN from 1,056 a week earlier)
Losses of Life: 135,455 (+203)
Tests: 984,065
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,617,703 (80.4% of age 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,512,572 (81.9% of age 16+)

Rep. Of Ireland: 376,517 cases and 5,179 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 230,045,673 reported cases and 4,717,179 losses of life.

Look out for your Winter vaccines invite UK NHS - image of letter and autumn leaves

The latest ONS figures show that:
- In the week ending 10th September there were 1,853 more deaths than the 2015-19 average. (Up by 20%.)
- Since the beginning of 2021 we have reported the loss of 404,768 people. (Up by 9%.)

Despite those grim figures, over the last 10 days new UK cases have dropped to a lower average level, and now hospital admissions are showing a marked drop - including in Scotland.
"Number of covid+ patients in English hospitals has fallen by nearly 900 over the last 8 days (14%) - the vaccination of younger people beginning to have an impact? Lowest total for over a month."
Alistair McLellan,  Editor of the Health Services Journal.

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.)