Sunday, 9 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 8th /9th August 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 8th /9th August 2020.

The UK added 1,062 cases today and now has reported a total of 310,825 positive cases of COVID-19. That is the highest daily total since June 26th. 

We completed 165,176 tests yesterday. 1,067 people were in hospital on Thursday 6th, with 67 using a ventilator on Friday 7th.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we reported the loss of another 8 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 46,574 losses of life in all settings.

England 268,312 / 41,948
Northern Ireland - Not given today (I don't think it's sinister, I think it's just a day off.)
Scotland 18,998 / 2,491
Wales 17,451 / 1,579

Rep. Of Ireland 26,712 (+68) cases and 1,772 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 19,919,745 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 731,727. Already 12,801,438 people have recovered.

How to wear a non medical mask safely page 2

The African continent has now reported over 1 million cases
The United States of America has now reported over 5 million cases.
Brazil has now reported that over 100,000 people have succumbed to COVID
By tonight there will be over 20 million cases of COVID reported worldwide.
Almost 13 million people have been reported as recovered.  

Even now, after almost 8 months, COVID has not managed to infiltrate the entire globe. Okay, at least 2 of these countries and territories are maybe not entirely truthful, but I believe most of them when they officially say they have never had a single case:  Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, North Korea, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. 

Friday, 7 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 7th August 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 7th August 2020.

The UK added 871 cases today and now has reported a total of 309,005 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 185,980 tests yesterday. 1,101 people were in hospital on Wednesday 5th, with 69 using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we announced the loss of another 98 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. Please bear in mind that they often add historical data on a Friday, so 50 of these people at least succumbed earlier this year. We now very sadly have a total of 46,511 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

England 266,645 / 41,886

Northern Ireland 6,064 / 556

Scotland 18,890 / 2,491

Wales 17,406 / 1,578

Rep. Of Ireland 26,372 cases and 1,768 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 19,395,730 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 720,242. Already 12,453,855 people have recovered.

Avoid the 3 C's WHO advice Close contact enclosed spaces crowds

World Mask Week starts today. I've no idea who thought that one up, but it does mean there will be lots of promotions and possibly discounts etc. It's a rare one this - most of the world is actually required to wear masks or face coverings by law, so it's a genuine world event - even if most people won't realise it's happening. 

As part of #WorldMaskWeek, the World Health Organisation have launched the #WearAMask challenge - which seems to basically involve posting a photo of yourself in a mask. Obviously the cooler the better. So for today, if you make or sell face coverings, or if you bought an especially awesome one - feel free to drop a photo (and a link to your etsy or other online shop) in the comments below the post on my Facebook page

The UK Government have made it clear they aren't happy with people wearing face visors, or masks with valves (including N95 type), and you shouldn't wear surgical grade masks as that causes shortages for medical and care staff. 

Thursday, 6 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 5th/6th August 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 5th/6th August 2020.

The UK added 950 cases today and now has reported a total of 308,134 positive cases of COVID-19 (yes, that is going back up unfortunately). We completed 174,519 tests yesterday. 1,118 people were in hospital on Tuesday 4th August, with 73 patients using a ventilator yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 49 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 46,413 losses of life in all settings, which is an increase of 203 from 2 days ago.

England 265,849 / 41,795
Northern Ireland 6,049 / 556
Scotland 18,847 / 2,491
Wales 17,389 / 1,571

Rep. Of Ireland 26,303 cases and 1,763 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 19,115,474 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 713,895. Already 12,258,906 people have recovered.
WHO guidance on how to handwash correctly, with several line drawn images showing different stages.
"Today, more than 18.5 million cases of #COVID19 have been reported to WHO and 700,000 lives have been lost.
No country has been spared. Low, middle and high-income countries have all been hit hard. The Americas remain the current epicentre of the virus and have been particularly hit hard. 
Just three countries have reported over half of all COVID19 cases."
Dr Tedros, head of WHO. 

Ex-SAGE member Sir Neil Ferguson has said he believes if we reopen all education then the R number / reproductive rate could increase by as much as 0.5. 
Chris Whitty also warned us that we can't reopen everything, and we have probably reached the limits of what can be opened without risking a dangerous rise in cases. 
It's a play off. If they want to reopen schools, colleges and universities for in-person teaching in September, they'll have to close something else. Bear in mind that from August 1st, shielded people and many others returned to work, so we have already increased opening over where we were when Chris Whitty made those comments. 

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 3 / 4 August 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update  3 / 4 August 2020.

The UK added 670 cases today and now has reported a total of 306,293 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 158,666 tests yesterday. 1,230 people were in hospital last Thursday 30th, with 86 using a ventilator on Friday 31st.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm the day before yesterday, we lost another 9 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 46,210 losses of life in all settings. Remember these numbers (see below), they are not being updated today.  

England 263,602 / 41,598
Northern Ireland 5,988 / 556
Scotland 18,694 / 2,491
Wales 17,339 / 1,565

Rep. Of Ireland 26,208 cases and 1,763 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 18,548,386 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 699,835. Already 11,765,798 people have been officially reported recovered. The true figure is far greater. 

FACTS beat fear WHO

"On Friday the Emergency Committee on #COVID19 met & reviewed the current pandemic. It was a sobering moment coming 6 months on from when the Committee advised, & I agreed, that the outbreak constituted a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
At the time, 30 January, there were fewer than 100 cases and no deaths outside of China. 
When the Committee met three months ago, 3 million cases of COVID19 had been reported to WHO, and more than 200,000 deaths.
Since then, the number of COVID19 cases has increased more than fivefold to 17.5 million, and the number of deaths has more than tripled, to 680,000."
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation on Saturday. 

The UK Government have finally got around to sorting out the broken Public Health England data. They were asked for an urgent review on July 17th. Until now, if you had EVER tested positive, then PHE added you to the coronavirus losses, even if you were hit by a car. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) use what it says on your death certificate, so are much more reliable. Daily data on deaths in England will be paused until they sort it out. 

Monday, 3 August 2020

Conservation Crisis Strategy Board Game Giveaway (Age 7+) With Tunza Games.

We've just reviewed Conservation Crisis, which was sent to us by Tunza Games, and I'm pleased to say they've offered one of my readers a copy for themselves. Easy to play and suitable for 2-4 players or teams aged around 7+, there's a lot of strategy involved, so competitive adults will enjoy this as much as younger players. 

Conservation Crisis Family Board Game Giveaway (age 7+) With Tunza Games

This is a clever family board game which makes you really think about some of the real problems facing communities and conservationists, all while playing a game. 

Manage your wildlife reserve and save as many animals as possible, while keeping the local community and the donors happy, and the reserve maintained. It's actually incredibly easy to play, and with a bit of luck a new young player can do just as well as a competitive adult, so it's a great one for different age groups to play together. You can find my full Conservation Crisis game review here

Conservation Crisis Family Board Game Review (age 7+) Sent by Tunza Games

Our latest game review has been sent to us by a smaller independent company, who are the kind of people I like to support because you can find some hidden gems. Conservation Crisis is an easy to play board game where you take the role of head of a wildlife conservation. Suitable for 2-4 players aged 7+ or teams, you have to work to save your species, and it really does make you think...

Conservation Crisis Family Board Game Review Pack shot of box with wild animal images

Inside the box is everything you need and it's entirely plastic-free and incredibly Earth-friendly. Main playing board, 4 x wildlife reserve boards, instruction booklet, wooden playing pieces, press out cardboard tokens. Event cards, bribe cards, community meeting cards and money. It will only take a minute to pop out the tokens before first play, after that there's no set up time needed. 

Conservation Crisis game review box contents strewn across table

Each player (or team) chooses an animal to work to protect, and is given their first funding. Each time you go around the board, you have to spend all of your funding in order to get any more. You can pick which route you take, and that decides what you spend cash on - research, vets, livelihood schemes for ex-poachers, rangers, fences, education etc. 

Sunday, 2 August 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 1st /2nd August 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 1st /2nd August 2020.

The UK added 744 cases today and now has reported a total of 304,695 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 162,088 tests yesterday. 1,230 people were in hospital on Thursday 30th July, with 86 using a ventilator on Friday 31st. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 8 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 46,201 losses of life in all settings.

England 262,746 / 41,589
Northern Ireland 5,948 / 556
Scotland 18,676 / 2.491
Wales 17,315 / 1,565
Rep. Of Ireland 26,162 (+53) cases and 1,763 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 18,136,195 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 690,806. Already 11,406,201 people have recovered.

Be active PAHO

A new case of COVID-19 is reported to the World Health Organisation on average every 3 seconds, and a higher number of cases are being reported each day. 
While a vast swathe of Europe has hopefully passed it's peak (and we are in the suppression stage, catching clusters and with the ability to test even asymptomatic people), the Americas, Africa and Asia are still on a rise towards the height of their epidemic. On Saturday Mexico overtook the UK as the country which has lost the third largest number of people, behind Brazil and the USA. This is far from over. 

There are some reports that the UK 's shielded category could be expanded to include a large amount of over 50's in future. Not because you're old,  but because you have a higher risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID. 
Naturally this doesn't come directly from government, it was "leaked" to press. Which is getting boring now. There must be a running tap to a couple of news outlets because they announce something new every Sunday, days before we get any official word. It may be to test public reaction, but it's highly unprofessional and implies our government can't keep anything secret. 

Friday, 31 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 31st July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 31st July 2020.

The UK added 880 cases today and now has reported a total of 303,181 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 206,656 tests yesterday. 1,251 people were in hospital on Wednesday 29th, with 84 using a ventilator yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 120 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 46,119 losses of life in all settings.

England 261,348 / 41,512
Northern Ireland 5,948 / 556
Scotland 18,627 / 2,491
Wales 17,258 / 1,560

Rep. Of Ireland 26,027 cases and 1,763 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 17,608,350 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 679,334. Already 11,015,941 people have recovered.

At home shouldnt mean at risk This is a safe space for victims of violence to speak up

"Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives"
"Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives"
"Hands, Face, Space....plus get a test if you need it"
Give Me Strength.

Well it all got very exciting last night after 7pm. 
In case you missed it yesterday, people from different households within these areas are not allowed to spend time together indoors or in private gardens, for the next two weeks:
Greater Manchester
Blackburn with Darwen 
Burnley
Hyndburn
Pendle
Rossendale
Bradford
Calderdale
Kirklees
City of Leicester
If it has a method of payment, it remains open. You can all still go to the pub, but you can't sit together with different households. 

There was a surprise English press conference today to give us all the bad news that new cases are going up. Boris was there to deliver his own bad news for once, but it's okay, because there was a shiny new slogan to take our minds off it, and Chris Whitty, Chief Medical officer, alongside for the science. 
New cases are just over 100 each day. We have 87 people using a ventilator today (which is 3 more than yesterday) and the number of deaths is falling, but we can't ignore rises in cases. The weekly survey by ONS (Office for National Statistics) says cases in the community are going up. Around 1 in every 1,500 people in the UK community has COVID, compared to 1 in 1800 on 15th July, and 1 in 2,000 on 2nd July. We have around 4,000 new infections per day. We can't ignore this evidence. 
We have new restrictions on household contact - households mixing, which data tells us is causing the rise. Restrictions on workplaces do not change. 
Measures taken in Leicester and Luton have worked, and allowed us to relax restrictions. 

Thursday, 30 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29 / 30 July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 29 / 30 July 2020.

The UK added 846 cases today and now has reported a total of 302,301 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 154,746 tests yesterday. 1,273 people were in hospital on Tuesday, with 87 patients using a ventilator yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 38 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,999 losses of life in all settings.

England 260,534 / 41,398
Northern Ireland 5,938 / 556
Scotland 18,597 / 2,491
Wales 17,232 / 1,554

Rep. Of Ireland 25,942 (+13) cases and 1,762 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 17,334,919 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 673,026. Already 10,827,388 people have recovered.

COVID is a world problem WHO

The advice on self-isolating in the WHOLE UK has changed. From now on anyone who has symptoms of COVID, or a positive test result, has to self-isolate for minimum 10 days - and immediately book a test if you haven't had one.
The vast majority of people seem to stop shedding virus within 10 days of catching COVID, so most countries go for 14 days self-isolation to be sure. 7 days was always too short and not in line with the science.

The people of Leicester were expecting an announcement regarding their local lockdown today, but it's been delayed until tonight. Rumour is that "there is an issue unrelated to Leicester that the Government's had its eye on which has held things up.....". 

For the first time ever, the ONS (Office for National Statistics) have published comparison data on all-cause mortality across Europe, from January to June 12th. They looked at how many people died (from any cause) over that time period, and compared it with 5 year averages. The extra people who died in 2020 are the 'Excess Mortality' - those people who we assume died because COVID exists. It's grim reading:
- Every local authority area in the UK experienced excess mortality during the peak weeks of w/ending 3 April to w/ending 8 May, while other Western European countries experienced more geographically localised excess mortality
- The highest rates of excess mortality were in Central Spain and Northern Italy; Bergamo (Northern Italy) had the highest peak excess mortality of 847.7% (week ending 20 March) compared with the highest in the UK, Brent at 357.5% (week ending 17 April).
- Looking at major cities, the highest peak excess mortality was in Madrid at 432.7% (week ending 27 March) while in the UK, Birmingham had the highest peak excess mortality of any major British city at 249.7% (week ending 17 April).
- "While England did not have the highest peak mortality, it did have the longest continuous period of excess mortality of any country compared, resulting in England having the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole."
Sadly, we are world-beating at something... (and it's not Track and Trace). 

300720 Relative age standardised mortality per 100 k pop Europe until 12th June 2020

Nicola Sturgeon has today confirmed Scotland remain in Phase 3 of lockdown:
- Shielding will be paused from August 1
- Pupils will be able to return to school from August 11, with extra measures in place to keep everyone safe. 
- Gyms will remain closed until at least September 14.
Scotland have lost no-one to COVID for 14 days. Well done guys. Keep it up. 

In case you don't remember, 10 days isolating is what any of us should do if we have symptoms of COVID - and book a test! They're super easy now, my son did a postal test at the weekend (as part of the random population sampling by ONS) and the only effort was getting him to stop bouncing long enough to put the swab up his nostrils. 
If a member of your household has a positive test, the rest of you isolate for 14 days, because it is pretty likely you will have been exposed to the virus in the home, but it can take a few days before it grows to big enough numbers to affect you, cause symptoms and/or give you a positive test result. 

"The season does not seem to be affecting the transmission of this virus currently."
Dr Margaret Harris of the World Health Organisation, with a warning that Summer will not kill off covid in the same way that it suppresses flu. She also warned that we are still in the first wave, and it's a big wave which will go up and down a bit. "The best thing is to just flatten it and turn it into just something lapping at your feet."

Boris Johnson has defended his decision to impose quarantine restrictions on travellers from Spain, saying "I’m afraid you are starting to see in some places the signs of a second wave of the pandemic." 
Lapping ripples in parts of Europe haven't ever really stopped, and sometimes those ripples get a bit bigger than you are comfortable with. Fingers crossed Spain get it back under control swiftly. 

300720 Relative age standardised mortality COVID major European cities until 12th June 2020

It being reported that at least 10 English schools are expecting pupils to wear washable face masks when they return in September. I'm presuming they are all secondary schools, and I can't imagine it'll go down well with all of the parents, but it's commonplace in Asia and Africa, and makes more sense to me than a tie - which has no use whatsoever.  

Facebook has removed a Breitbart COVID news video for misinformation, but only after it had already received 20m views. They say they are going to have an inquiry as to why it took longer than it should, but representative Andy Stone has stressed the text from their press release:
"...between April and June, we removed 7 million pieces of content on Instagram and Facebook for violating our policy against sharing dangerous COVID-19 misinformation."

The chief official at Heathrow Airport has asked why we aren't testing new arrivals? He hopes to use testing instead of 14 day quarantines. It isn't as effective at catching all cases, but is used in several countries, including Iceland. 

The Philippines is beginning to really suffer, and lockdowns and restrictions have left thousands of people without work and needing to go home. They announced a government transportation scheme and thousands of unexpected stranded Filipinos turned up at a stadium to be tested for travel - cramming into a baseball stadium and completely ruining any hope of social distancing. 

After failing to immediately suppress the recent covid19 outbreak, the state of Victoria in Australia has had to introduce further measures. Last night they announced 723 new cases, 13 losses of life, and mandatory face coverings when outside the home from midnight on Sunday. This is a massive blow for a country which for so long seemed to have avoided the worst - fingers crossed they still can. 

Brazil closed entry to foreign air travellers in March, and has now reopened entry to all comers. The only rule is that you have to have health insurance. Yesterday Brazil reported single day totals of +70,869 cases and +1,554 people lost. 
Tempting as it is, I think I'll pass on that one just for now... 

ECDC Physical distancing not social distancing

Trump of the Day: 
He's been ranting about this coming November's election being rigged again, and here he is with what we were all expecting: 
“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???” 
I honestly think science and pandemics are not your strongest fit Donald, I'm stunned you are so adamant you don't want to pass it over to ANYONE else. The election is due to take place on November 3rd, and if he loses, Donald should leave in January.

While some people just chuck them into landfill or throw them in the sea, clever folk worldwide are trying to solve the issue of disposing of bio-hazardous disposable masks. UV light bins may provide an answer to at least the bio-hazard part. Obviously if you aren't part of a medical or care team, reusable cloth face coverings solve that whole issue almost entirely. 

If you are looking for a new job then I have just the position. Boris Johnson is advertising for a TV-friendly Press Secretary. You'd have to “represent the Government and the Prime Minister to an audience of millions on a daily basis, across the main broadcast channels and social media”. Apparently major journalists wouldn't be interested because the fee is around half their wage, at a mere £100,000 a year. I'm clearly in the wrong job here... 

Some people, all of them with favourite foods, music, animals, and people:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (some states /provinces yet to report):

USA 4,601,406 (+33,369) 154,562 (+722)
Brazil 2,566,765 (+11,247) 90,383 (+195) 
India 1,639,184 (+54,800) 35,786 (+783) 
Russia 834,499 (+5,509) 13,802 (+129) 
South Africa 471,123 not yet reported today 7,497
Mexico 408,449 (+5,752) 45,361 (+485) 
Peru 400,683 not yet reported today 18,816
Chile 351,575 not yet reported today 9,377
Spain 332,510 (+2,789) 28,443 (+2) 
UK 302,301 (+846) 45,961
Iran 301,530 (+2,621) 16,569 (+226) 
Pakistan 277,402 (+1,114) 5,924 (+32) 
Indonesia 106,336 (+1,904) 5,058 (+83)
Philippines 89,374 (+3,954) 1,983 (+23) 
Sweden 80,100 (+34) 5,739 (+9) 
Oman 79,159 (+590) 421 (+9) 
Bolivia 73,534 (+1,207) 2,808 (+88)
Israel 69,603 (+1,304) 499 (+8)
.

.



Sources

https://coronavirus-staging.data.gov.uk/
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/statement-from-the-uk-chief-medical-officers-on-extension-of-self-isolation-period-30-july-2020
https://twitter.com/scotgov/status/1288763385333645312
https://twitter.com/Channel4News/status/1288117727068995588?s=19
"WHO official warns that COVID-19 is 'one big wave'" https://twitter.com/i/events/1288401164300480513?s=09
https://twitter.com/BBCr4today/status/1288371032005509121?s=19
https://twitter.com/andymstone/status/1288206256277258240?s=19
https://twitter.com/AajFake/status/1288686726534148096?s=09
https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1288818160389558273
https://twitter.com/BBCScotlandNews/status/1288798954965131264
https://twitter.com/Danjamesmartin/status/1288882871898382337
"England's self-isolation period may increase to 10 days" https://twitter.com/i/events/1288737706369888256?s=09
https://twitter.com/Danjamesmartin/status/1288882871898382337
https://twitter.com/i/status/1288721124176596992


Wednesday, 29 July 2020

Herd Mentality Game Review Age 10+ (Sent by Big Potato)

We love Big Potato games - they're pick up and play, and perfect for our family. The latest game they've sent us to review is Herd Mentality, and it's a goodun. One of our new favourites and we've played it several times already....

Suitable for 4-20 players aged 10+, this is a game where being unique wins you a rubber cow... 

Herd Mentality Big Potato Games Box cover with flocked cow print design

This game is plastic-free except for 2 tiny stickers holding the box shut and the single pink rubber cow. Absolute stars - Earth and Christmas-morning friendly. Gorgeous flocked box too, it feels a lot nicer than a real cow! 

Herd Mentality Big Potato family game fluffy box

Inside the box is everything you need except pencils. It's more eco-friendly if you supply your own mark-making materials. You need to assemble the paddock for your cow, which is a fun construction activity lasting about 3 minutes before first play. 

Tuesday, 28 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 27th / 28th July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 27th / 28th July 2020.

The UK added 581 cases today and now has reported a total of 300,692 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 99,090 tests yesterday. 

1,286 people were in hospital on Sunday 26th, and for the first time since March, we have less than 100 people using a ventilator. 97 were reported yesterday, 27th July.  

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 119 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,878 losses of life in all settings.

England 259,022 / 41,282
Northern Ireland 5,912 / 556
Scotland 18,554 / 2,491
Wales 17,170 / 1,549

Rep. Of Ireland 25,892 cases and 1,764 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 16,765,653 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 660,140. Much more positively, 10,318,323 people have been reported as officially recovered.

1 metre plus rule UK brought in on 4th July

Oldham is the latest English area to have extra restrictions imposed, in order to avoid a local lockdown. They had over 100 new cases last week, so for the next 2 weeks:
- No social visitors to your home
- Maintain 2m social distancing with everyone not in your household when you are outside
- Shielded people should stay at home for 2 weeks from this Friday. 
- Care Homes will not accept visitors
The 3 areas which have most cases in the UK as of today are: 
1. Blackburn with Darwen
2. Leicester
3. Oldham
The area which is currently losing most people is still East Kent. 

Monday, 27 July 2020

Trolls World Tour Movie Dance Party Edition (PG) Review and 3 x DVD Giveaway

Trolls Word Tour is available 27th July on Blu-ray and DVD and to celebrate a month of positivity, check out the Trolls UK Facebook page. Universal Pictures Home Entertainment sent us a screening link to take a sneak preview, and have also offered 3 of my readers a copy for themselves on DVD... 

Trolls World Tour DVD giveaway UK Sent by Universal Pictures

The images below are Trolls World Tour activity sheets you can save and print off in A4. 

I wouldn't have put Trolls World Tour anywhere near the top of my watch list, but reviews were really good. The Dance Party Edition is 2 movies for the price of 1, as it includes an interactive dance party mode. This really is a party movie, launching into the first song almost instantly, and just like the name of those 80's/90's multi-band tours, the rock never stops... 

Sunday, 26 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 25 / 26 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 25 / 26 July 2020

The UK added 747 cases today and now has reported a total of 299,426 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 123,954 tests yesterday. 1,445 people were in hospital on Thursday 23rd, with 104 patients using a ventilator on Friday 24th. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 14 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,752 losses of life in all settings.

England 257,859 / 41,156
Northern Ireland 5,891 / 556
Scotland 18,551 /  2,491
Wales 17,125 / 1,549

Rep. Of Ireland 25,872 (+12) cases and 1,763 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 16,321,464 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 650,357. Already 9,983,208 people have recovered.

Health Workers look after yourselves WHO

At midnight last night the 'travel corridor' between England and Spain closed (It closes at midnight tonight in Scotland. Wales and Northern Ireland are also closing theirs.) This is not a "dramatic u-turn", it's a safety measure and exactly what they promised they'd do. Anyone returning from Spain will now have to undergo a 14 day quarantine. This is very bad luck for everyone who had raced out there for a holiday (including Grant Shapps, Transport Minister, and family), but Spain appears to have temporarily lost control of the virus, and it is a risk you'll be taking if you go anywhere abroad for a long while. 

If you think suddenly closing a travel corridor is harsh, just imagine for one minute that we had imposed a 14 day quarantine on everyone returning from Italy in February half term. We knew by the Friday that they were having a disaster, and tens of thousands of people from all over the UK returned over the next two days alone. We'd have had such a different 5 months, and we'd have saved possibly tens of thousands of lives. There is no point waiting. Ask Jacinda. 

Friday, 24 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 24th July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 24th July 2020.

The UK added 770 cases today and now has reported a total of 297,914 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 152,533 tests yesterday. 1,634 people were in hospital on Wednesday 22nd, with 111 using a ventilator yesterday. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 123 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,677 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

England 256,428 / 41,082
Northern Ireland 5,891 / 556
Scotland 18,520 / 2,491
Wales 17,075 / 1,548

Rep. Of Ireland 25,845 (+19) cases and 1,763 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 15,795,688 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 639,159. Already 9,627,155 people have recovered.

New normal closed places close spaces

"Almost 10 million COVID19 cases, or two-thirds of all cases globally, are from 10 countries, and almost half of all cases reported so far are from just three countries. 
As we have said previously, political leadership and community engagement are the two vital pillars of the COVID19 response. 
One of the tools governments can use is the law – not to coerce, but to protect health while protecting human rights."
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO, at the launch of COVID-19 Law Lab, a platform that shares legal documents from over 190 countries.

If you are obese, your risk of serious illness from COVID is bigger, and that risk increases along with your increasing weight. It is anticipated that the English Government will be encouraging those of us carrying some extra pounds to lighten up a bit. It's for your own good - don't say I didn't tell you. 

Thursday, 23 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22 / 23 July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 22 / 23 July 2020.

The UK added 769 cases today and now has reported a total of 297,146 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 147,595 tests yesterday. 1,504 people were in hospital on Tuesday. 110 patients were using a ventilator yesterday (22nd July).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 53 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,554 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

England 255,740 / 40,959
Northern Ireland 5,876 / 556 (no losses of life for 10 days)
Scotland 18,500 / 2,491
Wales 17,030 / 1,548

Rep. Of Ireland 25,826 (+7) cases and 1,763 (+9) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 15,503,657 officially reported cases worldwide - among other things, testing limitations, government policy and reluctance to get tested mean the true number is far, far greater.
The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 632,708. Already 9,434,866 people have recovered.

230720 test and trace figures

From tomorrow face coverings are compulsory in English shops, supermarkets, shopping centres, transport hubs, banks, building societies, post offices, and when buying food and drink to take away. Face coverings are also already mandatory on public transport. 
DON'T wear N95 masks, DON'T leave any rubbish behind, and it doesn't have to be a mask. A scarf for a shopping trip will prevent us spraying COVID around the shop and all over the produce too - remember it has to cover your nose as well as your mouth. Washable reusable masks are a fashion statement - and there are loads of small businesses selling them online if you don't want to make your own.

The UK government remind us that it is not your job to challenge people without face coverings  - unless it's actually your job. 
"...remember that it's not possible for people with certain conditions to wear a face covering. Please be mindful that not all disabilities are visible."
Face coverings for shop staff are NOT compulsory. (They really aren't paid enough to have to also wear a face covering for 8 hours a day - our behaviour protects them.) 
Children under age 11 are not required to wear face coverings, and Public Health England advise that children under 3 shouldn't wear face coverings or masks, as there can be a risk of strangulation or smothering. 

Tuesday, 21 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 20 / 21 July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 20 / 21 July 2020.

The UK added 445 cases today and now has reported a total of 295,817 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 101,741 tests yesterday. On Sunday 19th July 1,612 people were in hospital with COVID, and on Monday 129 people were using a ventilator. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 110 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,422 official losses of life in all settings.

England 254,519 / 40,828
Northern Ireland 5,859 / 556
Scotland 18,474 / 2,491
Wales 16,965 / 1,547

Rep. Of Ireland 25,802 (+36) cases and 1,753 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 14,965,116 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 615,767. Already 8,985,407 people have recovered.

COVID-19 Health workers look after yourselves

On Sunday, for the first time since the virus took hold in February, Lombardy in Italy reported no daily loss of life to COVID-19.

The Oxford vaccine candidate phase 2 study results are out, and they are excellent. There were no patients who experienced a 'severe clinical event', so it seems safe. The Oxford uni press release tells it very clearly:
"The vaccine provoked a T cell response within 14 days of vaccination (white blood cells that can attack cells infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus), and an antibody response within 28 days (antibodies are able to neutralise the virus so that it cannot infect cells when initially contracted)."
Remember we DO NOT yet have proof that a vaccine will actually prevent you from catching COVID,  or how long it will give immunity for, but this is the best place to start. 
Phase 3 human trials are already underway in two countries where COVID is rife in the community, Brazil and South Africa, and 30,000 patients are being recruited in the USA. There will also be a paediatric study. 

Monday, 20 July 2020

Teen Calm Subscription Box Review (Sent for Review).

The Teen Calm box is exactly what it sounds like - a box full of soothing and relaxing goodies to make any young person feel cared for and calmed. I was asked if we'd like to receive a box to review and as I don't have any actual teenagers here at the moment, my almost 12 year old son said he'd happily take a look. 

Uncertainty and changed plans are things my son finds quite hard, so a global pandemic and closing schools aren't exactly what he'd have chosen for 2020. I know he isn't alone. Teen Calm has come along at the perfect time... 

Teen Calm Box Review (sent for review)

Boxes such as this are generally aimed at girls, so I'm especially impressed with the fact that Teen Calm have worked hard to make their product accessible to everyone, with a feminine or gender-neutral option. 
"Teen Calm is for anyone who needs their confidence lifting and a little reminder that they’re not alone. Any teen out there who feels left out, anxious, or in need of an extra boost, will benefit from the Teen Calm subscription box."
Although their main business is in subscriptions, you can also order a one-off Mystery Box, also in feminine or gender-neutral. 

Teen Calm Box review outer packaging

Inside everything is wrapped in tissue, which my son really liked - apparently boys don't often get specially wrapped packages, so that's a win. And it is true. 

Sunday, 19 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 18/19 July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 18/19 July 2020.

The UK added 726 cases today and now has reported a total of 294,792 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 140,393 tests yesterday. 

1,690 people were in hospital on Thursday 16th, down from 2,172 a week before.  On Friday 17th, 143 patients were using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we reported the loss of another 27 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,300 official losses of life in all settings.

England 253,585 / 40,706
Northern Ireland 5,834 / 556
Scotland 18,445 / 2,491
Wales 16,928 / 1,547

Rep. Of Ireland 25,750 (+10) cases and 1,753 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 14,530,599 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have officially lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 606,762. Already 8,670,395 people have recovered.

Children mental health WHO advice talk to them

Over the two days Friday and Saturday, almost 500,000 new cases of Covid-19 were reported to the World Health Organisation. Over those 2 days, the United States of America reported more than 138,000 new cases of COVID. 
Since the beginning of the outbreak, Europe has in total reported over 3m cases and The Americas (North and South) over 7m. 

England's Test And Trace continues to get a proper slating. Professor Dominic Harrison, the public health director of Blackburn with Darwen borough council (which has a significant outbreak) investigated, and found Track And Trace in the North West was so bad, it's actually hampering efforts to contain the outbreak. Andy Burnham, Manchester Mayor, put it incredibly succinctly:
"The local public health teams identify 99% of the contacts of those they test. But they don’t get data from those tested by Deloitte. And Serco have managed only 59000 contacts in 6 weeks ie <1 contact per tracer per fortnight. A £10 billion shambles."

Friday, 17 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 17th July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 17th July 2020.

The UK added 687 cases today and now has reported a total of 293,239 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 165,966 tests yesterday. 1,835 people were in hospital on Wednesday 17th,  with 142 using a ventilator. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 114 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,233 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

England 252,117 / 40,640
Northern Ireland 5,834 / 556
Scotland 18,401 / 2,491
Wales 16,887 / 1,546

Rep. Of Ireland 25,698 cases and 1,749 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 14,059,170 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 595,005. Already 8,360,756 people have recovered.

Local Government changes from 18th July 2020

๐˜ž๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜จ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ช๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ. ๐˜ž๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ฌ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜ฌ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฆ๐˜น๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ... 
๐˜ˆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ค๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜จ๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฏ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ถ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด๐˜ต๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ – ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜บ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ – ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜บ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ: ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ง๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ช๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ด...
๐˜ž๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ญ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ต ๐˜จ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฃ๐˜บ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฑ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ, ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฏ๐˜จ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ ๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ช๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ’๐˜ด ๐˜ท๐˜ฐ๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฑ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ.
...๐˜ž๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฎ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ท๐˜ช๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ญ๐˜ด, ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ญ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ช๐˜ณ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฅ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ง๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฉ๐˜ต ๐˜ฃ๐˜ข๐˜ค๐˜ฌ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ด ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ ๐˜ด๐˜ฐ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ด๐˜ข๐˜ช๐˜ฅ, ‘๐˜‹๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ’๐˜ต ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ.
๐˜ ๐˜ธ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ข๐˜ด๐˜ฌ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ข๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ช๐˜ฆ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ฆf๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ฆ๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜บ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฆ’๐˜ด ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ค๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ & ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฎ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆr...๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ต ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ช๐˜ด ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฃ๐˜ฆ๐˜ต๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ต๐˜ณ๐˜ช๐˜ฃ๐˜ถ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ๐˜ด๐˜ฆ ๐˜ธ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฏ๐˜ฐ ๐˜ญ๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜จ๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ ๐˜ธ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜ฉ ๐˜ถ๐˜ด ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ฏ ๐˜ต๐˜ฐ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ต๐˜ฆ๐˜ค๐˜ต ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ญ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ & ๐˜ฆ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด๐˜ถ๐˜ณ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ต๐˜ฉ๐˜ฆ ๐˜ฅ๐˜ช๐˜จ๐˜ฏ๐˜ช๐˜ต๐˜บ ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง ๐˜ฐ๐˜ถ๐˜ณ ๐˜ฑ๐˜ณ๐˜ฐ๐˜ง๐˜ฆ๐˜ด๐˜ด๐˜ช๐˜ฐ๐˜ฏ๐˜ด.”
Aroa Lรณpez, Nurse, Madrid, Spain. 

"So far, about 10% of all COVID19 cases globally are among health workers."
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO (World Health Organisation). 

Thursday, 16 July 2020

NatGeo Family Learning At Home Site - 'Be Inspired' Session Review with NatGeo Explorers

I'm sure you know how much we love science, so being asked if we'd like to take part in a 'Be Inspired' learning session online with NatGeo Explorers was right up our street. This is to demonstrate the type of content and experience on NatGeo's new platform, NatGeo Family, to help you and your children learn from home without any chance of getting bored. Even better, it's all FREE (although obviously if you subscribe to National Geographic, you can get more in-depth content over on the grown ups site). 

Our one hour workshop was over a lunchtime, held online via a meeting app. which we could just use as a guest. We received the invite and log in details by email the day before, so we were able to get ourselves ready and be there prompt for the 1pm start. 

NatGeo Explorers Be Inspired Session review Invitation with time and who'll be talking

The July National Geographic Magazine is a special Everest edition, and Sharkfest 2020 is about to start, so the NatGeo Explorers joining us were Yannis Papastamatiou (Shark Expert), Tom Matthews (Climate Scientist) and Dawa Yangzum Sherpa (Mountaineer).

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 15 / 16 July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 15 / 16 July 2020.

The UK added 642 cases today and now has reported a total of 292,552 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 152,063 tests yesterday. 

1,865 people were in hospital on Tuesday 14th, down from 2,172 last Thursday 9th (the previous reported date). 153 people were using a ventilator yesterday, down from 191 on Friday 10th. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we reported the loss of another 66 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 45,119 confirmed losses of life in all settings.

England 251,482 / 40,528
Northern Ireland 5,815 / 556
Scotland 18,384 / 2,490
Wales 16,871 / 545

Rep. Of Ireland 25,683 cases and 1,748 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 13,807,695 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 589,193. Already 8,215,423 people have recovered.

parenting spent time with each child

Sir Ed Davey has asked if there will be a public inquiry to the English government's handling of the coronavirus crisis, and Boris confirmed there will: "We will seek to learn the lessons of this pandemic in the future". 
That'll be a fun watch.... 

From 16 August, Wales will be pausing shielding, as long as cases of coronavirus continue to decline. 

All Scottish school children will return full time after the Summer break, and will not be expected to socially distance. This is reliant on cases of coronavirus continuing to decline. 

Public Health Scotland is running a serology surveillance programme, testing the blood from around 500 people per week for antibodies. Since April 20th, the main points they have found so far are: 
- The proportion of people who had antibodies to coronavirus is estimated to be 4.3% over the combined weeks of this pilot study.
- The proportion varied each week between 1.9% and 6.8%. Across these weeks, we can be 95% confident that the value lies between under 1% and 10%.
- The proportion among males and females showed similar patterns across the study period.
- Week to week variation varied less when compared by age, in particular among older age groups.

Matt Hancock has announced easing of restrictions in Leicester. Pubs, restaurants and bars will remain closed and travel restrictions remain.  Schools, nurseries and non-essential retail can re-open from 24th July.

Public Health England have started publishing data on trends during the coronavirus crisis. The week lockdown was announced, alcohol sales went up from around 51,000 litres to 74,000 litres - and it's stayed that way. The good news is that the number of people who report 'often feeling lonely' has remained steady, and for men it actually dropped slightly over April and May. 

Wednesday, 15 July 2020

#TBCSmiles 71 Months....

We're back again with this month's #TBCSmiles, and it's almost the Summer holidays. Obviously this means the rain has returned and it's about 15 degrees outside - you can't beat a British Summertime. 

This year is very different. Some children have returned to school, some are even back to clubs. Some of you haven't yet returned to work, and some of you will work from home forever more. Some of you have been able to enjoy days out and meeting up with your family, friends, shopping, meals, the pub. For a lot of people the last couple of weeks have been considerably more free than the few before. Some people haven't yet felt ready to leave the safety of their home, their safe space. 

#TBCSmiles 71 Months....

However you are feeling just now, it's okay. We've all taken a mental battering, and that's worldwide, not just the UK, or you. We all understand what it is to be scared of something we can't entirely understand. We all have to put our faith in people we'll never meet, and trust our loved one's safety into their hands. 

Tuesday, 14 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 13/14 July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 13/14 July 2020.

The UK officially added 398 cases today and now has reported a total of 291,373 positive cases of COVID-19. 2,172 people were in hospital last Thursday, 9th - which is a long time ago, and the figure they've used since Sunday. They've also not updated people using ventilators, which was 191 on Friday 10th. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we reported the loss of another 138 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 44,968 losses of life in all settings.

England 250,379 /40,379
Northern Ireland 5,790 / 556
Scotland 18,368 / 2,490
Wales 16,836 / 1,543

Rep. Of Ireland 25,638 cases and 1,746 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 13,337,515 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 577,885. Already 7,782,643 people have recovered.

Avoid the 3 C's WHO advice Close contact enclosed spaces crowds

"There will be no return to the “old normal” for the foreseeable future. But there is a roadmap to a situation where we can control COVID19 and get on with our lives. No matter where a country is in its epidemic curve, it is never too late to take decisive action."
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation. 

Well, waddayaknow. You WILL have to wear face coverings in shops and supermarkets in England from a week on Friday. It will be genuinely mandatory, with a £100 fine for non-compliance, reduced to £50 if you pay within 14 days.
"From 24 July, it will be mandatory to wear a face covering in shops and supermarkets, as well as on public transport. Your face covering must cover your nose and mouth at all times."
"You don't need to wear face coverings if: 
- physical or mental illness, impairment or disability means you cannot wear one
- wearing one causes you severe distress 
- you or someone you’re travelling with or providing assistance to relies on lip reading"
Previous UK Guidance on face coverings says they should NOT be used by children under 3, and children under 11 don't have to wear them on public transport, so I'm guessing shops will be the same (but wait until they say for sure). That said, you can get some cute little visors which clip onto sun hats and caps as an alternative - in all sizes. 

Already the English face coverings backlash and anti-backlash has started on social media, with some people referring to face coverings as muzzles. If you can't speak when you're wearing it, you have it on wrong. If it's preventing you biting other people, bonus. 
It's a tiny bit of cloth, and it'll get us out of restrictions more quickly - plus that sideline bonus of saving people's actual lives... 

Sunday, 12 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 11th / 12th July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 11th / 12th July 2020.

The UK added 650 cases today and now has reported a total of 289,603 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 134,890 tests yesterday. 2,172 people people were in hospital on Thursday 9th, down from 2,838 that time last week. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we reported the loss of another 21 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 44,819 losses of life in all settings.

England 249,510 / 40,234
Northern Ireland 5,772 / 544
Scotland 18,359 / 2,490
Wales 15,962 / 1.541

Rep. Of Ireland 25,611 cases and 1,746 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 12,935,527 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 569,208. Already 7,535,262 people have recovered.

WHO advice how to wear a face covering safely

The press have caught on to the fact we have been building up towards making face coverings mandatory in shops in England. Michael Gove said on the telly this morning that he doesn't believe it should be mandatory, but it is his advice. It's actually been government advice now since lockdown, but they have rarely mentioned it. 
At first there was a real risk we'd completely run out of PPE, and the UK government, like many, said not to wear medical masks. They hadn't really thought of 'face coverings' or washable masks, and were so scared, they even went slightly the other way, suggesting that it could be more dangerous. Evidence wasn't available at the time to support the use of face coverings by untrained public, but it is now (although we were always capable of looking at Asian countries and saying "how come they don't have so many cases, what could possibly be the big difference?"). Now we have study results, we see face coverings can protect others by up to 85%, and can also help protect YOU. Learn how to remove it safely (by the loops). 

Friday, 10 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 10th July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 10th July 2020.

The UK added 512 cases today and now has reported a total of 288,133 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 160,970 tests on a rolling 7 day average. 2,248 people were in hospital on Wednesday 8th, with 188 using a ventilator. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 48 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 44,650 officially reported confirmed losses of life in all settings.

England 248,089 / 40,066
Northern Ireland 5,772 / 554
Scotland 18,333 / 2,490
Wales 15,939 / 1,540

Rep. Of Ireland 25,589 (+24) cases and  1,744 (+1) losses of life.

There have now been a total of 12,503,566 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 559,546. Already 7,291,738 people have recovered.

reduce the risk of covid WHO

The English Government have published the latest R rate and it's not as good as last week. Some areas may be seeing no decline in cases, and others only a little. There is generally a little 'blip' whenever lockdown restrictions are eased, and around a 2 week delay in reported cases (3 1/2 week delay in mortality), so this is a result of reopening of schools, shops, bubbles forming etc. There will always be a blip because getting together with new people will give limited spread, but if everyone keeps to the rules, it's still very limited (e.g. you just pass it to your bubble mates and that's where it stops). 
Region / R (Growth rate % per day)
England 0.8-1.0 (-4 to -1)
East of England* 0.7-1.0 (-4 to +1) 
London* 0.7-1.0 (-5 to +1) 
Midlands 0.7-0.9 (-6 to -2) 
North East and Yorkshire* 0.7-1.0 (-5 to -1) 
North West 0.7-1.0 (-5 to -1) 
South East* 0.8-1.0 (-4 to 0) 
South West* 0.7-1.1 (-6 to +1) 
Apparently "*Extra care should be taken when interpreting these estimates as they are based on low incidence and/or clustered outbreaks within this area".

Current R values in devolved administrations: 
Northern Ireland - The current estimate of R is 0.5 – 0.9
Scotland - On 8 July, R in Scotland was estimated to be between 0.6 & 1.0.
Wales - "There is confidence that the R number in Wales is below 1 and has been for several weeks. However, the low number of cases and clustered nature of outbreaks means that the R number for Wales is no longer considered to be a reliable estimate to rely on as an overall measure of the epidemic." (True that. A massive outbreak at a food processing plant or two doesn't mean you are suddenly over-run, and is far easier to contain and suppress than the half that number of cases scatterbombed all around the country.)

Thursday, 9 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 8th/9th July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 8th/9th July 2020.

The UK added 642 cases today and now has reported a total of 287,621 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 152,362 tests yesterday. 2,388 people were in hospital on 7th July, with 185 people using a ventilator on 8th July.  

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we reported the loss of another 85 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have an official total of 44,602 reported losses of life in all settings.

Excitingly, these figures were updated differently on the 2 government websites. Let's hope they can decide which is correct. 

England 247,609 / 40,018
Northern Ireland 4,894 / 554
Scotland 15,851 / 2,490
Wales 15,929 / 1,540

Rep. Of Ireland 25,542 cases and 1,738 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 12,275,294 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 554,465. Already 7,142,533 people have recovered.

reduce the risk WHO

Rishi Sunak and the UK Treasury have confirmed a budget to reopen the economy with a bit of a bang. It includes:
- Over £15b purely for PPE
- VAT on hospitality and entertainment cut from 20% to 5% for 6 months
- During August from Monday to Wednesday, eat out at 50% cost with the Govt paying the remainder to restaurants (*limit £10pp, no alcohol).
- Temporary cut of stamp duty on all house purchases (first £500,000). 
- If you bring back someone who was furloughed - and continuously employ them through to January we'll pay you (the employer) a Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 per person.
- As the crisis is easing, NHS Staff in England will soon have to pay parking fees again at work.... 

6 Reasons to Invest in a Used Car (guest post)

I'm keen on using things until their usefulness is done, and I always like saving money, so the following is a promotional guest post which supports my ethos and looks at some of the positives to buying a used car...

Car red plastic recycled toy

When it comes to buying vehicles, everyone wants to make the right choice, although there are pros and cons of buying either a new or used car. However, if you want to purchase a vehicle that suits your budget and will have you saving some money too, then you should opt for a used vehicle. Take a look below, we’ve listed 6 of the very best reasons for buying a used car!

1. Lower price tag
If there’s anything stopping you from buying a used car, here’s the push that you need. You’ll end up saving money! All your money doesn’t have to be spent on a pricey new vehicle. You can get your desired car in a mint condition for your desired budget or even less. The money that you save from this purchase can be then spent on either your dream vacation, savings or for car maintenance, if required.

2. Option of driving a better car
One cannot deny that some of the older models of cars are still better than the new ones coming in the market. These priceless models may not be available in the market now, however in the used car market, they’re always there! Getting a chance to drive a better car in our desired budget? What else can we wish for!

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

The World's Strongest Medium Roast Coffee... Sent for review by Black Insomnia Coffee Company

I've been a coffee drinker for as long as I can remember, but I like it watery, and at times I've even been a decaf drinker, so being sent a selection of the world's strongest Medium Roast Coffee for review is an interesting one! My partner and my oldest son like a robust coffee to get themselves going, so I reckoned they'd like it... and I was intrigued as to whether I'd hate it.

Black Insomnia LOGO on cardboard box
 
Black Insomnia have also just launched Nespresso-compatible coffee pods which are 100% home compostable, and I'm a sucker for a green alternative. They sent us a selection from their range to take a look... 

Black Insomnia World's Strongest Coffeee range beans ground coffee capsules and drip bags

Beans, ground coffee, really clever coffee drip bags and those compostable coffee capsules. I don't have a coffee machine which takes these pods, so my partner will take these into the office for when he has to go in. Full marks for packaging too - plastic free, they even use paper tape. 

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 6th/7th July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 6th/7th July 2020.

The UK added 581 cases today and now has reported a total of 286,349 confirmed cases of COVID-19. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we reported the loss of another 155 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 44,391 losses of life in all settings. ONS figures including suspected cases total over 55,000 people succumbed in the UK. 

England 246,386 / 39,815
Northern Ireland 5,761 / 554
Scotland 18,302 / 2,488
Wales 15,900 / 1.534

Rep. Of Ireland 25,531 cases and 1,741 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 11,818,570 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 542,818. Already 6,796,453 people have recovered.

Cloth masks How to wear a non medical mask safely

The ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures for England and Wales today show that for the 2nd week running, the total number of deaths was lower than the 5 year average. It was lower in hospitals and care homes, but still more people died at home than usual. GO TO HOSPITAL if you are unwell. 

Edit to blog 6 / 7 The ONS have also published some detailed data on the random swab testing (do I have it right now?) that has been completed so far among people living in the community:
"Over the whole study period, an estimated 0.32% (95% confidence interval: 0.26% to 0.38%) of the 36,061 people providing swab test results have ever tested positive for COVID-19
"There is no evidence of differences in COVID-19 infection rates over the study period by sex and age bands, and only limited evidence of differences by ethnic groups."
They say they can't have confidence because their sample size is too small and started in April, when it was centred more towards urban and less affluent areas, but their figures show around twice as many people from BAME groups test positive for antibodies than white, and we are reminded:
"Recent analysis of COVID-19 related deaths shows that the mortality rate for those of White ethnic background was generally lower than for other ethnic groups. In particular, the rate of deaths involving COVID-19 for Black males was 3.3 times greater than that for White males of the same age, while the rate for Black females was 2.4 times greater than for White females."

Boris has pledged £1.57b to the UK's arts. Theatres, music, dance, heritage, museums, galleries - they often run on a shoestring anyway, not being able to open to patrons has meant they can't earn, and for many there's no real end yet in sight. Our lives would be so much less rich without beauty. 

Sunday, 5 July 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 4th/5th July 2020.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 4th/5th July 2020.

Local UK testing data is now much more comprehensive (someone has bought a calculator apparently), and as a result, lots of duplicate cases have been taken off the total. Thousands of other cases have been correctly added to their own region - as a result the total is lower, but regional figures are higher. By regional, I mostly mean 'England'. 

The UK added 516 cases today and now has reported a new total of 285,416 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 205,673 tests yesterday. 2,838 people are in hospital, 231 on a ventilator.. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we lost another 22 people who have tested positive to COVID-19. We now very sadly have a total of 44,220 losses of life in all settings.

England 245,483 / 39,647
Northern Ireland 5,747 / 554
Scotland 18,296 / 2,488
Wales 15,890 / 1,531

Rep. Of Ireland 25,527 (+18) cases and 1,741 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 11,466,228 officially reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 535,028. Already 6,487,946 people have recovered.

standing 2 metres apart is standing up to the virus
"We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States!"
Kanye "2020 crazy is now at level 48/10" West. 

Pubs and bars reopened in England yesterday, and judging by the news reports and the videos, anyone watching would assume we were just leaving 3 years of temperance. No we weren't. Alcohol sales have never been prohibited in England, and we haven't had a shortage. People really were just that desperate to go out and see their mates. Social distancing was, as anticipated,  appalling in some busy places, but reports are that most people behaved sensibly. 

The World Health Organisation (WHO) haven't been able to find any benefit from using hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir with hospitalised patients, so there's no point carrying on with those trials - especially when we know we definitely can get improved results from Dexamethasone and Remdesivir. 
"These interim trial results show that hydroxychloroquine and lopinavir/ritonavir produce little or no reduction in the mortality of hospitalized COVID-19 patients when compared to standard of care. Solidarity trial investigators will interrupt the trials with immediate effect."

According to NBC News, the USA public message is going to change from next week, stressing the potential longevity of the pandemic, but giving a really negative message that I'm pretty sure will make many world leaders despair, "We need to live with it".