Friday 25 September 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 25th September 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News update 25th September 2020.

The UK added 6,874 cases today and now has reported a total of 423,236 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 245,363 tests yesterday.

1,616 people were in hospital on Wednesday 23rd (up from 1,020 a week earlier), with 243 using a ventilator yesterday (up from 127 a week earlier).

(Today it's Scotland who have a technical problem, and are unable to report people lost to COVID). In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, the UK (excluding Scotland) officially reported the loss of another 34 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 41,936 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland +326) cases and 1,797 losses of life. 

There have now been a total of 32,564,743 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 989,815. Already 24,048,380 people have recovered.

standing 2 metres apart is standing up to the virus

"Early next week the world will cross 1m reported COVID19 deaths.
If we continue at the current pace we will end up with 1.5m reported deaths by the end of the year.
It is those 500,000 lives that we can help to save with our actions in the next three months."
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO

The Independent SAGE Group briefing today wasn't as bad as you might think. Yes, cases are going up, but there's a possibility it's slowed slightly during September. UK data is really not the most helpful, so everything is a 'possible', but what we can see implies we've gone up to 7 days  doubling time, slowed a little over the past couple of weeks, and over the last couple of days it's speeding up again. Their estimates are pretty similar to the UK Gov, in that we have an average doubling time currently of around 8 days, and are heading towards 1,000 new hospital admissions per day by mid October. (This was the point that we were at when we locked down in March).
There's a massive number of new cases in the 17-24 age group, which correlates with reopening of Universities. It's particularly obvious in Scotland.
The Netherlands opened Universities on 2nd September. Almost 40% of their outbreaks are currently in education, mainly Universities.
Testing data suggests that care homes are being prioritised, but it's hard to really tell for certain. Although cases have spread from young people to older age groups, the over 70's aren't yet being really affected - a very good thing.
ONS data suggests only 10% of people are isolating properly after contact with an infected person. We need to get support systems in place to enable people to do this, and they need to have better understanding of why they should self-isolate, even if they feel well. 

Professor Gabriel Scally, Royal Society Of Medicine, talked about a paper he's recently released called "A Deliberate Population Immunity Strategy Before A Vaccine - Why It Wouldn't Work And Why It Shouldn't Be Tried." I think you get the gist already... It's not just about the thousands of people who would die. He mentions long-term effects and says we simply don't know what they will be, and it's even possible that people whose brain is affected now may suffer decades into the future. We have no idea. It's too risky. He's quite blunt. "We haven't really tried to suppress this virus." (Tell it like it is!) Then he talked about Sweden, which made me feel smug, because last night I wrote up the paragraphs about Sweden which you'll find below... 

Self isolating means staying at home

Cases are rising in areas of WALES, and local restrictions, including travel restrictions, will come into effect in Llanelli (from 6pm tomorrow Saturday 26th) and Cardiff and Swansea County areas (from 6pm Sunday 27th). Residents won't be able to enter or leave all of these affected areas without reasonable cause, including work. NO Holidays.
Measures vary by area, and include only being able to meet other households outdoors, and all licensed premises have to stop serving alcohol at 10pm.

The University situation in SCOTLAND is not getting better. (Sorry to everyone with kids at Uni, I understand, we have 3 of them.) Some students are now being informed their courses will be entirely online for the forseeable future,  have been warned they must not break the Rule of 6, asked not to visit pubs, and reminded that it's possible they may find themselves unable to go home for Christmas. Many are fleeing back to the parents in case they're about to be locked down, and pretty much everyone affected is not happy with the fact they've paid rent and other fees that they may have been able to avoid. 

The Chief Medical Officers of Ireland and Northern Ireland have released a joint statement, asking that people avoid crossing the border, after spikes in cases along the border area. 

Next time someone says "ah, but Sweden have managed okay and they haven't had a lockdown", remember that the UK haven't really had a hard one either. In fact our restrictions are not so different, except theirs is not actually law - however it's all being treated with respect and adhered to by most. They didn't close business and education nationwide, only when an outbreak occurred, but the full guidance in Sweden comprises pages of text, and here is a sample of what it's like, courtesy of a Swede: 
- No meeting with people over 70
- No social gatherings, including funerals and weddings
- No organised gatherings of more than 50 people
- Social distance of 1.5m strongly encouraged in public places
- Table service only in hospitality
- Stay home if you have as much as a sniffle, and get tested immediately
- Public transport seating is every 2nd row only and essential travel only
- Everyone who can works from home, and offices are re-arranged so that seating is at least 2m spacing
- Public changing rooms in gyms and public baths are closed.
During June they even had a movement limit of 1 hour from home by car.
Sadly they now have a concerning outbreak and are considering extra restrictions in the Stockholm area, so those people still using them as an example might have to find another... 

It is National Eye Health Week, and around 5 million of us are now behind with regular eye tests. Not only can you have accidents if you can't see properly, your eyes really can be windows into your brain. I was diagnosed with high blood pressure because of what was happening with my eyes, and I've known more than 1 person discover a serious brain condition via an eye test. Contact your local optician if:
-your vision has suddenly changed or become blurry
- you have a painful or red eye
- you have been referred by NHS 111, your GP practice or other healthcare professional
- you have broken or lost your glasses and can't function properly without them
- you have a problem with your contact lenses
- you have a foreign body in your eye
- you are worried about your vision or eye health
Half of all sight loss is preventable if treated early enough. And please remember, a drive to Barnard Castle wearing your wife's glasses is no substitute for a check up by a trained professional...

National Eye Health Week 250920 be eye aware

Recently a study was released which said wearing ordinary eye-glasses can help protect you from COVID-19. It's had some hilarious peer-reviews because it's completely flawed, including guessing how many people in the area wore glasses, based on how many local students were short-sighted in the 80's. However it does have a point. You can catch COVID-19 in your eyes, and a well-known symptom is pink eyes.
Further research is likely to find a difference, although how big it is, well, that's currently anyone's guess... 

"By the end of next year, the ACT Accelerator aims to deliver 2 billion doses of #COVID19 vaccine; 245 million courses of treatment; and 500 million diagnostic tests to low and middle-income countries."
Dr Tedros, at today's WHO COVID briefing. 

Luxury Cruise Tom Cruise News:
The team behind Mission Impossible hired 2 of Hurtigruten's cruise liners in September, so they could continue the filming of the next movie.
I bet when they planned the scenes last year they'd never have dreamed that hiring 2 complete cruise ships would be a mission possible.... 

Tesco have announced they're setting limits on some essential items which were stockpiled in Spring, causing shortages for everyone who wasn't aware, quick or rich enough to join in. Panic buying has been a feature in countries where cases are rising sharply, and in the UK it definitely isn't necessary.
I'd hope everyone has learned enough that you try to keep a couple of week's worth of essentials, but realistically most of us will have no trouble getting whatever we need, even when self-isolating... You know that tin of peaches at the back of the cupboard will never have it's day any other way. 

Trump of the Day:
Last night President Trump signed an executive order to protect healthcare provision for people with pre-existing conditions, ensuring everyone in the US can access Health Insurance without discrimination.
This is an excellent thing, and it's actually already in place due to the Affordable Care Act - which Donald's administration is attempting to get the Supreme Court to overturn.

Our self-isolation ends this weekend, and everyone here is feeling better (although obviously no-one is going anywhere unless they're really well). I've actually found it incredibly refreshing to be left alone while everyone has been ill, and not felt pressured into getting back to school etc. The world forgot a long time ago that we are just humans. We're complicated animals who are vulnerable to all kinds of pests, parasites, viruses and germs. We get ill sometimes. It's sad that the machines we use to study or work are usually let off with far more downtime than we are. 

Face coverings now mandatory except when actually eating 250920

Spain, Italy, France and UK all saw the beginnings of a 2nd wave coming, but only Italy seems to have been able to prevent it getting out of hand. They credit early adoption of mask-wearing, mass testing, effective track and trace, and good adherence to rules and guidance. That's pretty much everything you can do on an individual level, and business are also taking it seriously. Personally I'm noting that Italy were the only 1 of the 4 to really become overwhelmed with their initial wave, in that they even had to make decisions on who to treat, and who to send home. I can imagine that puts you in a position you honestly will do anything not to repeat. 

Nothing to do with COVID, but next Tuesday night at 7pm Al Murray 'The Pub Landlord' will be hosting a ‘Bloody Big Quiz’ to raise funds for the charity DKMS, and it'll be streaming live on their YouTube and Facebook pages.
DKMS match patients with blood cancer to suitable donors, who then donate blood stem cells for cancer treatments. They have arranged almost 88,000 donations to date. Everyone who joins the UK STEM Cell Registry gives another chance of a match to someone with Leukaemia, Lymphoma and other blood cancers - and it just requires a cheek swab you post back to them. Google DKMS to find out more. You could save a life. 

Have a good weekend, the UK is forecast some sunshine on Sunday, so get out and catch yourself some Vitamin D before Autumn really starts getting cold. Back Sunday.... Go Outside, Socially Distance, Save The NHS. 

Some people. Every one used to believe a monster could be under their bed: 

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

USA 7,204,424 (+18,953) 207,884 (+346)

India 5,877,154 (+61,051) 92,883 (+566)

Brazil 4,659,909 not yet reported today 139,883

Russia 1,136,048 (+7,212) 20,056 (+108)

Mexico 715,457 (+5,408) 75,439 (+490)

Chile 453,868 (+2,222) 12,527 (+58) 

Iran 439,882 (+3,563) 25,222 (+207)

UK 423,236 (+6,874) 41,936 (+34)

Bangladesh 356,767 (+1,383) 5,093 (+21)

Iraq 341,699 (+4,593) 8,867 (+68)

Saudi Arabia 332,329 (+472) 4,625 (+26)

Turkey 311,455 (+1,665) 7,858 (+73)

Pakistan 309,015 (+798) 6,444 (+7)

Italy 306,235 (+1,912) 35,801 (+20)

Philippines 299,361 (+2,630) 5,196 (+69)

Germany 282,163 (+818) 9,522 (+3)

Israel 217,899 (+5,784) 1,412 (+34)

Ukraine 191,671 (+3,565) 3,827 (+70)

Canada 149,503 (+409) 9,250 (+1) 



Indie SAGE:

Self-isolating - can I go out?

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