Friday, 19 August 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update August 19th 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update August 19th 2022

UK COVID Statistics:
England:
In the 7 days until 12th August 744 COVID-related deaths were reported. This 189 less than the week before (-20.3%). 
In the 7 days to 15th August, 6,005 people were admitted to hospital with COVID. 
Scotland:
In the 7 days to 14th August 66 COVID-related deaths were reported. 
In the 7 days to 14th August, 448 people were admitted to hospital with COVID.
Northern Ireland:
In the 7 days to 12th August 16 COVID-related deaths were reported. 
In the 7 days to 12th August, 60 people were admitted to hospital with COVID.
Wales:
In the 7 days to 13th August 17 COVID-related deaths were reported. 
In the 7 days to 12th August, 278 people were admitted to hospital with COVID.

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,653,576 cases and 7,742 losses of life reported in total as of yesterday.

World: 599,293,153 reported cases and 6,467,625 losses of life.

Who gets an Autumn booster UK 2022

The UK has become the first country to approve Moderna's new "bivalent" Omicron-specific COVID vaccine as a booster jab. Bivalent refers to the number '2', and it targets boring old COVID, as well as specifically targeting Omicron variants (by having especially shaped attachment points). Omicron variants now account for almost all cases on the globe, including most of those with the more disturbing collections of mutations. 
In tests people given the new vaccine were found to increase their protection against Omicron by 8 times, and protection against older strains of COVID was actually very slightly higher too. This is exactly what you would hope from a tweaked and upgraded vaccine. 
At the moment the UK MHRA have approved the jab as a booster for adults over age 18. 

The UK's Autumn COVID booster will begin rollout on 5th September with care home residents and housebound people among the first in line. Wider rollout will begin a week later. Eligible people are basically anyone in a special jab group or aged 50 or over. You will be invited to attend when it's your turn, and you will be offered the new Moderna Omicron-specific jab.

Wednesday, 17 August 2022

July AND August #TBCSmiles...

In all the time I've collected the #tbcsmiles I haven't missed a month until last month. I have already apologised, and I really was very much grieving my Mum, and dealing with her funeral and all of the other things that need to be sorted when someone dies. My head was far too full, I didn't want to have to turn on my laptop and I just wanted to be left in peace. I guess it happens to all of us at times, and I'm glad I was able to tell myself to stop, and rest. 

I've spent a lot of time sitting in the garden staring at insects, and it's allowed me to think, and wonder, and remember a time when all of those around me now weren't there, and a cheekily-grinning and innocent little girl was.

Me and my mum in 1974 She is crouched and holding my baby sister on her lap

For anyone who didn't know why I collect my smiles, it is because they are incredibly precious, but so often we let them slip by unnoticed, or forgotten. It's easy to count how many times you cried last month, but how many times did you laugh? We need to remember these times equally. They remind us we can be a success, we can make people's day a bit brighter, we can make other people laugh too. They are the reason we are here. When you strip everything back, all any of us ever really want is to be happy. Start counting the happy times, and revel in your own success with an extra grin. 

Monday, 15 August 2022

#TBCSmiles... 96 Months... 8 Years.

 8 years ago today, we woke up to find that one of our teenage children hadn't survived the night. In the early hours of the morning she had taken her own life. I wrote about it at the time, here

After 8 years we know that today isn't likely to be as hard as you might fear. It's not a reminder of Elspeth, because there is nothing forgotten, and mentally we know this date is coming, so we can brace ourselves for it. This is a day we can at least take off the mask and any illusion of pretending to be fine, even if we aren't. 

Sunflower drawn for us by a young student in Wakefield

Any day might be interrupted with a surprise memory, a badly chosen comment, a celebrity story, or a worry about someone you know, or don't. Any day can end badly just as it can end well, but each and every day is a mundane sort of grief, a new normal that you learn to live alongside. 

There are never quite enough people for dinner, or enough washing to go in the machine, and nowadays I cook mainly in silence standing alone, without Elspeth sitting at the kitchen table chatting. I usually love cooking, but sometimes I just can't bring myself to do it. 

Friday, 12 August 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other viruses UK and World News Update 12th August 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other viruses UK and World News Update 12th August 2022

World COVID Statistics: 
Cases: 593,567,442
Losses Of Life: 6,449,589

UK COVID stats regarding cases, hospitalisations and deaths are on the way down. According to the ONS random survey week ending 25th July for Wales and Northern Ireland, and 26th July for England and Scotland:
"The percentage of people testing positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) continued to decrease in England, Wales and Scotland; and the trend remained uncertain in Northern Ireland."
- England, estimate 2,106,000, equating to 3.86% of the population, or around 1 in 25 people.
- Wales, estimate 108,800, equating to 3.58% of the population, or around 1 in 30 people.
- Northern Ireland, estimate 109,800, equating to 5.98% of the population, or around 1 in 17 people.
- Scotland, estimate 260,800, equating to 4.95% of the population, or around 1 in 20 people.

UK heat advice met office - take water, be sensible

A clinically extremely vulnerable chap named Nicholas Chavez has pulled out some exciting COVID stats for us. That's exciting as in startling rather than fun... we'll start with England’s COVID hospital admissions in the first week of August: 
2022: 6,842
2021: 4,738
2020: 411
And how about England’s excess deaths during the month of July (more deaths than average, via the ONS):
2022: 6,260
2021: 2,109
2020: −1,018
Well, that's going well then. Funny how well masks, distancing, being sensible and acting like we might have a disease worked, as compared to this year's "it's finished, we're done with that now. Move on".... 

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Ad | 15 Ways Your Baby’s Name Can Shape Their Future

15 Ways Your Baby’s Name Can Shape Their Future


Once your baby has been placed in your arms, the next step is to select a simple, modern, and sweet name for the baby. The most difficult part is selecting a meaningful name. But does it end with the meaning only?
You may find it funny but your baby’s name can impact their future. There are studies claiming that certain names can cause hatred, love, and success. As a parent, that news may be shocking. All this time you thought there were no 'good' or 'bad' names, yet here we are.

My friend's baby Una with a massive grin


1. Is It Easy to Pronounce?


A Marquette University study suggests that an easy-to-pronounce name can help get more favor from others. They have a higher chance of reaching a reputed position. For example, Frank is one of the more easily-pronounced Norse names for boys. This is because of the way our brain process a name. Simple names are easy to memorise, and then we tend to like it more.

Friday, 5 August 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and Monkeypox UK and World News Update 5th August 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus and Monkeypox UK and World News Update 5th August 2022

The UK is currently reporting an average of around 9,000 new COVID cases per day, and 120 losses of life. 

World COVID Total: 587,110,053 reported cases and 6,431,557 losses of life.

"ONS deaths data has been released for week ending 22 July, the week of the heatwave.
1,885 more deaths were recorded in-week compared to the 2015-19 average. That’s 21% more.
Year-to-date there have been 320,980 deaths recorded which is 4% more than the 2015-19 average." 
Stuart McDonald, COVID Actuaries. 
No surprise that death registrations for the week of the UK heatwave show a marked increase. Not all deaths which occurred will show in these figures, so there'll also be a higher than average total next week too. COVID losses are also showing a marked increase in the previous week, up to 745.
I am sorry to everyone who lost somebody they cared for.

UKHSA Monkeypox vaccination for these people

We have some excellent news from the COVID Actuaries, COVID is truly DOWN:
"Hospital admissions with COVID are now falling rapidly across England. 7-day average is down 21% week-on-week. Implied R estimate is around 0.9.
Regionally, falls of between 13% (Midlands) and 25% (South West).
Bed occupancy with COVID is also falling, down 17% week-on-week."
Good stuff. 

Sorry about July's #TBCSmiles...

So there were no #TBCSmiles in July. My mother had died, and the funeral was on the 19th. I was exhausted and having a desperately needed few days at home with my family. They needed me to be there, even if just to ruffle their hair occasionally and feed them something including vegetables. I needed some normality and a break. 

Flowers from my mothers funeral red yellow colourful and bright

Funerals are mainly organised by other people after talking to you, but they are still really stressful. It was forecast to be the actual hottest day ever, and with people travelling (mainly by train) from all over the country, any stress was doubled. We went down a day early, and avoided the midday. It was a mere 31 degrees in the shade at 7am...

Tuesday, 2 August 2022

Ad | 4 Fantastic Ways to Light Your Home

4 Fantastic Ways to Light Your Home


Light is a fundamental part of every interior design project; it can do wonders at improving
the look of a space and alter the aesthetic of a room.
A well-designed lighting plan can make even the smallest of rooms seem open, and the
dullest of décor look bright.
If your renovation is need of a lighting lift to brighten up your home, then here are four
fantastic ways to light up your home.

Boy holding light up building construction blocks called light stax


1) Fun Neon Fixtures

Lighting is serious business, but that doesn’t mean you need to be serious. Have some fun
with your fixtures and turn your lighting into a talking point.
While neon signs are often associated with commercial properties, they’re becoming a
popular addition to homes as well.
Companies like Sculpt Neon Signs allow you to design the ideal neon sign to suit the
aesthetic of whatever room you want to install it in. Kitchens are a particularly popular
placement, so why not think of a catchy breakfast slogan to hang on the wall?

Friday, 29 July 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus (and Monkeypox) UK and World News Update Friday 29th July 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus (and Monkeypox) UK and World News Update Friday 29th July 2022

World: 580,003,877 reported cases and 6,415,501 losses of life.

"Many people now are boasting about the fact "I've had this four times". I wouldn't like to have COVID19 four times. And I do think there's some evidence to suggest that sequential COVID19 infections do result in higher risk of long term Long COVID, or cardiovascular or neurologic complications. You don't want to get this disease once if you can avoid it, and you don't want to get it four times for sure.
Dr Mike Ryan, Executive Director of WHO Health Emergencies Programme.

COVID-19 Coronavirus (and Monkeypox) UK and World News Update Friday 29th July 2022

"The risk of monkeypox to the public remains low in the UK.
If you develop symptoms, stay at home and call 111 or a sexual health clinic.
The NHS is vaccinating at-risk groups and thousands more will be invited shortly. If eligible, please come forward when contacted."
Message there from the UK Government.

UK COVID hospital admissions are down - everyone together "Hurrah!"
The lovely COVID Actuaries have summarised neatly for us:
"Hospital admissions with COVID are now falling rapidly across England.
7-day average is down 19% week-on-week. Implied R estimate is below 0.9.
Regionally, falls of between 14% (East and NW) and 25% (London).
Bed occupancy with COVID is also falling, down 15% week-on-week."
Nice...

Friday, 22 July 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 22nd July 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 22nd July 2022

UK: 23,212,565 reported cases and 182,727 losses of life (within 28 days of a positive test) as of July 15th. 
World: 573,017,988 reported cases and 6,398,940 losses of life.

Meet outdoors or let fresh air in Image of happy people enjoying a picnic in the sunshine

"The UK Commission on Covid Commemoration has been established to secure a broad consensus from across the whole of the United Kingdom on how we commemorate the COVID-19 pandemic and mark this distinctive period in our history at a national and community level. The Commission is expected to report to the Prime Minister [whoever that may be] by the end of March 2023."