Tuesday 6 October 2020

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

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

The UK added 14,542 cases today (the same time last week we added +7,143) and now has reported a total of 530,113 positive cases of COVID-19 (Up 83,957 since the same time last week, when the total was 446,156). We completed 273,100 tests yesterday. 

There were 2,833 patients in hospital on Sunday 4th October, with 393 using a ventilator yesterday.  (Up from 2,049 / 297 the same time last week). 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 76 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 42,445 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Yes, we clearly have a problem. Never forget though, that we still aren't in the position we were in during Spring, when we might have only been catching 1 in every 10 to 20 cases. Now we believe we catch around 1 in 2. That doesn't mean we can be complacent, but keep it in perspective. 

Rep. Of Ireland 38,549 cases and 1,810 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 35,893,179 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,051,146. Already 26,998,272 people have recovered.

WHO children emulate stress be calm

"Our best estimates tell us that about 10% of the global population may have been infected by this virus."
Dr Mike Ryan, World Health Organisation

As we spotted when the guidance for schools changed last week, the English Government is about to bring in a Tier System, which will hopefully simplify all of the various rulings in place in England. Rather than having to refer to your local authority to find out exactly what you can and can't do, each location will be given a standardised 'Tier' and that will have restrictions associated with it.
I covered what this means for schools on 28/29 September, and further information is probably also buried within different guidance pages, but few humans have time to read them all. Further announcements are expected imminently. 

Trump seems to have relied almost entirely on testing everyone in order to 'prevent' COVID-19 ever reaching him. He rarely wore a mask, didn't socially distance, and I can't comment on whether he even washes his hands. New York Times has it in one headline:
"Trump campaign officials say his illness shows the futility of precautions, many of which he did not take."
Nailed it. 

Boris said lots of words at the virtual Conservative Party Conference today, some were about COVID. I'm not reporting on most of it because it can just be pleasant sounds to impress his party following, it doesn't always mean action. Highlights include:
-  we won't be going back to 'normal', we should start fresh and build a new Jerusalem.
- fixing the injustice of care home funding
- extra 1on1 tuition for pupils who have fallen behind

WHO advice over 60 or vulnerable

The Daily Fail have an unconfirmed report about the almost 16,000 cases which the UK added in as extras over the weekend. It states they were missed from previous reports due to an Excel database parameter being set too low, so once it ran out of space, it stopped counting any more. Awesome. Well done to anyone involved. Now, back to school and learn how Windows works with the year 6's. 

Because of the failure to add 16,000 positive cases of COVID-19 to the database, the UK public and local authorities were unable to see the true picture,  and now some of them are peeved. Manchester in reality now has at least 495 cases per 100,000 population, and cases have doubled within a week. Until Sunday night even the Mayor didn't know it was the most heavily affected place in the UK. Spectacular. 

The US CDC has again revised their guidance to say COVID can be spread via airborne transmission, and I believe this edit will stay. It has implications for anyone who didn't believe everyone else when they said it, and hasn't already made suitable adaptations to public places and workplaces.
"Airborne transmission is infection spread through exposure to those virus-containing respiratory droplets comprised of smaller droplets and particles that can remain suspended in the air over long distances (usually greater than 6 feet) and time (typically hours)." 

Boris Johnson barely paused for breath on Monday in between saying "Work from home if you can" and "go to the cinema".
Basically, if it requires money, and you have any, he wants you to spend it. There's a large dose of irony in being able to sit 'safely' 2m away from my eldest son in a cinema, yet it's apparently been too dangerous to have him visit my spacious outdoor garden since late July.

At Monday's press conference Nicola Sturgeon for a SECOND TIME accidentally said 'Margaret Covid' instead of 'Margaret Ferrier', when referring to the disgraced SNP MP who is currently ill with COVID (and hopefully not popping on any more trains to and from London).
Margaret Covid. Aye, like Plague Mary or Barry shoplifter. Nicola never even raised an eyebrow. I cried laughing. 

WHO Health Workers take care of yourselves

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak was on the BBC this morning and the reporter asked if he accepted "Eat Out To Help Out" might have contributed to the spread of COVID-19.  Rishi replied with a rambling non-answer about transmission inside homes and what the world is doing.
The example the reporter gave was Manchester,  which over 5 weeks has risen from 32 cases per 100,000 population to over 500 per 100k... And hasn't allowed mixing among households since 31st July...
That's a "yes". 

Famous People With COVID:
25 people who have had close contact with Donald Trump (superspreader) including, but not limited to:
Kayleigh McEnany (Trump's press spokesperson)
Kellyanne Conway (Trump aide)
Mike Lee, Utah senator
Hope Hicks (another aide)
Thom Tillis, North Carolina Senator
Bill Stepien (campaign manager)
Chris Christie (advisor)
Ron Johnson, Wisconsin Senator.
Ronna McDaniel (Republican party chair)
Karoline Leavitt (assistant press secretary)
Chad Gilmartin (principal assistant press secretary)
Trump's Military Valet
Michael Shear, White House correspondent
Margaret Covid

Trump of the Yesterday:
Sunday night President Trump went on a drive around outside the medical centre where he's being treated, so that he could wave at supporters.
Press and medics are not impressed. He has COVID. and is prepared to put other people's lives at risk for literal showboating. 

WHO how much physical activity

Researchers in Sweden have been measuring the quantity of COVID-19 virus in Stockholm's wastewater for the last few months, and have detected a spike. Quantities have doubled over the last week, and are currently at the levels they were in May.
There had been some suggestions that a recent rise in reported cases was due to increased testing. Sadly it seems not.

The BBC have investigated redundancies and discovered that the UK has lost at least 498,000 jobs since the start of the crisis. Most are lower paid, and worked by young people and women. It's going to cause a lot of hardship over the coming months. Genuinely I am sorry to everyone in that position - including my own young person in London, who worked in a restaurant to supplement their Uni loan. 

Trump of the Last Night:
"I will be leaving the great Walter Reed Medical Center today at 6:30 P.M. Feeling really good! Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life. We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge. I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"
Donald Trump decided he was better on Monday afternoon. Crowds of well-wishers were there to whoop and honk horns as he left hospital, and generally upset the rest of the patients.
When he got back to The White House, he took off his mask and gave a wave from the balcony, before walking inside, into a room full of people.
It was incredibly evident that we were looking at a man who was really struggling for breath, and should be in hospital.
There's a problem with being super rich, and surrounding yourself with people who agree to everything you say. You simply can't make everything better with money and power. Don't let pride kill you (or your employees) Donald... same goes for anyone out there. If you are struggling to breathe, get medical help. The fatality rate for COVID-19 is incredibly low, but only when people have access to medical care and oxygen. 

St Helier Hospital in Sutton, Surrey, has closed to some services after an outbreak in their intensive care and renal unit. 6 patients have tested positive. An investigation has been launched. COVID can be very hard to avoid, and very cruel. 

The Financial Times has interviewed Kate Bingham, head of the UK's vaccines task force, and is reporting that she was quite clear that, should a safe vaccine be created, NOT EVERYONE in the UK will receive it. According to the article, vaccines will be for less than half the population. No-one under 18 will be vaccinated, and the vaccine will mainly be for people aged over 50. This does back up the 'priorities' Boris Johnson mentioned once, about umpty million years ago, at a UK briefing. 

Trump of the Day:
"Flu season is coming up! Many people every year, sometimes over 100,000, and despite the Vaccine, die from the Flu. Are we going to close down our Country? No, we have learned to live with it, just like we are learning to live with Covid, in most populations far less lethal!!!"
I honestly give up.
He's lied about the numbers. The CDC estimate "between 12,000 – 61,000 deaths annually since 2010."
His refusal to ever give the public bad news and recklessness with other people's health, in an attempt to get more voters, really does nothing but frustrate me.
Mr Trump himself said back in early February that it was "worse than even a strenuous flu", and he owes the fact he can currently type to a team of 10 doctors, a private medical suite and a very expensive smorgasbord of brand new pharmaceuticals. If he did succumb, he's probably already had a headstone engraved with "Don't listen to them, it really wasn't so bad".
Data from the CDC shows that more Americans have died from COVID-19 since January this year, than have died from flu in the last 5 years combined. By anyone's maths, that makes it over 5 times more dangerous and deadly. 

wash hands

Ex-Trump Advisor Kellyann Conway's 15 year old daughter (they've both tested positive) is spilling the beans about Trump on Tiktok:
"Guys, lmao, he's not doing "better"."
"He is so ridiculous. Apparently he is doing badly lol and they are doing what they can to stabilize him."
I'm guessing that's one teenager who has now had their phone confiscated... 

There's a fascinating article in MedicalXpress about Public Health England data presented over the weekend. They tested UK keyworkers who believed they previously had COVID, and found no evidence to suggest around half had.
If twice the number of people think they've already had COVID, than have actually had COVID, it could lead to them becoming complacent.
The study found anosmia was the real distinguishing symptom between those who likely had, and those who likely hadn't, and the control group (who definitely had). 

Thailand's supermarkets are displaying some of the clever thinking that we may have to embrace, at least for a while, to function in the new COVID world. As you enter the supermarket, you look at a thermometer/camera which reads your temperature, checks your face covering, and then automatically opens the gate to let you in. 

Jacinda Ardern has announced New Zealand is COVID-free again. The country has 5 people yet to recover, but appears to have completely suppressed the recent outbreak in Aukland, so local restrictions will be lifted at midnight Wednesday. Testing will continue and citizens are asked to be alert.
Nice one Jacinda. If only every country back in January had taken the same tactics.... 

Some people. Almost every one of them would tell you COVID is not a flu: 

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

USA 7,690,352 (+10,708) 215,238 (+206)

India 6,724,380 (+42,307) 104,032 (+432) 

Brazil 4,946,913 (+6,414) 146,908 (+135)

Russia 1,237,504 (+11,615) 21,663 (+188)

Colombia 862,158 not yet reported today 26,844

Spain 852,838 not yet reported today 32,225

Peru 829,999 not yet reported today 32,834

Argentina 809,728 not yet reported today 21,468

Mexico 789,780 (+3,417) 81,877 (+180) 

South Africa 682,215 not yet reported today 17,016

France 624,274 not yet reported today 32,299

UK 530,113 (+14,542) 42,445 (+76)

Iran 479,825 (+4,151) 27,419 (+227)

Chile 473,306 (+1,560) 13,070 (+33)

Iraq 387,121 (+4,172) 9,531 (+67) 




"CDC updates its guidelines to acknowledge airborne transmission of COVID-19"

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