Sunday 22 November 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 21 /22 November 2020.

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News weekend update 21 /22 November 2020.

The UK added 18,662 cases today and now has reported a total of 1,512,045 positive cases of COVID-19. 

16,390 people were in hospital on Thursday 19th, with 1,421 using a ventilator on Friday 20th November. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 398 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 55,024 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Up until Friday 6th November, 63,873 people have had COVID written on their death certificate. 

Rep. Of Ireland 70,143 cases and 2,022 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 58,779,998 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,391,046. Already 40,664,880 people have recovered.

open the windows most covid cases are shared indoors

About 6 or 7 years ago, back in Spring 2020, the UK announced that AstraZeneca was working on an antibody cocktail for people who can't be vaccinated. On Saturday the UK became the first country to start phase 3, mass human trials of the 'experimental long-acting monoclonal antibody combination drug'. It's hoped this can offer up to a year's protection for many of the people who, for no fault of their own, have lowered immunity, are very ill, very vulnerable. The people we need to protect the most. The UK has ordered 1m doses. 

Bizarrely the UK removed 150 people from the losses of life yesterday, so they reported an artificially low +341. They regularly remove or add after the fact, often without explanation, and sometimes they re-add numbers removed a few days earlier. I'd say it was to give a certain effect depending on whether they want to tell us to be careful, or get out there and spend money, but it doesn't always match up. 

It seems likely there'll be a press conference tomorrow and Boris will announce a tighter 3 Tier System for when we come out of lockdown, and then we'll find out which tiers we are in on Thursday. Dates for your diary there. 

We are still going to have a pretty darn high level of COVID on Dec 2nd. The previously announced tiers were really soft and could only slow the increase in cases, they were not actually reducing cases or keeping the R below 1 anywhere. Even in the South West, which had been doing okay comparatively, it was just a slow burner. Last week Swale in Kent had a 7 day infection rate of 618 per 100k population. Sheppey East was 1,917, meaning almost 1 in every 50 people tested positive in a single week - over 7 times the national average of 274.3. That doesn't mean the lockdown hasn't worked, it means that people infected their households (and prison cell mates), who then only developed symptoms over the last fortnight. 

vaccine facts teach us to make antibodies

Several parts of Europe are in a bad place at the moment, and the percentage of positive test results you get can be a telling indicator. The World Health Organisation believe anything over 5% shows you are missing cases. These countries KNOW they are missing cases, and for some it's a really worrying amount, which means they're failing to bring COVID under control: 
Switzerland: 24.8%
Austria: 23.3%
Italy: 16%
Sweden: 12.6%
France: 11.6%
Spain: 11.3%
Germany: 9.5%
United Kingdom: 8.1%

On CNN today, Dr. Moncef Slaoui, chief scientific adviser of America's Operation Warp Speed vaccine programme said:
"Our plan is to be able to ship vaccines to the immunization sites within 24 hours from the approval, so I expect maybe on day two after approval on the 11th or the 12th of December."
The USA, as with any country that has a shred of sanity left, will prioritise health care workers, the elderly and people with underlying medical conditions.
Dr Anthony Fauci recently said:
"I think that everybody else will start to get vaccinated towards the end of April.... And that will go into May, June, July. It will take a couple of months to do."

There will be initial stocks of any vaccines proven safe and effective, because manufacturers went ahead and started making them after initial trial results seemed hopeful. It's a gamble, but luckily for all of us, so far seems to have paid off. The entire world has pretty much agreed that it's fairest to share, and immunise those at greatest risk of losing their life first. Once that allocation has gone out, there will be a wait for further batches of vaccines to be produced, which is why the world is all looking to Spring or Summer before we have a real level of 'normality'. 

Toronto, Canada's largest city, and the Peel region are under lockdown from midnight Sunday for 28 days. All inessential shopping, leisure and hospitality is closed (take away / / collection / drive through only). Hotels can stay open, but only rooms for sleeping. Indoor gatherings are barred, outdoor gatherings maximum 10 people. (It's really snowing over there already!) 

Alcohol Awareness Week 191120 Don't drink to cope

Famous People With COVID:
Donald Trump Jr - son of the orange mardy one. 
Chicago R&B Artist Jeremih - now off a ventilator and in a regular ward. 

The BBC are reporting Rishi Sunak is to announce £500m for mental health. Once we can feel safe from the physical effects, for many people, the mental effects will remain. Bereavement, fear, money insecurity, loss, anger, frustration, and exhaustion. There are probably more, but you get the picture, and I'm sure you also understand. We'll all be a little fragile for a while. Sadly events such as civil war are not unknown after an epidemic, and it's in no small part because people's lives have been beyond their own control for such a long time. 

Meanwhile the Daily Mail are reporting the the UK government are considering a Freedom Pass - for people who test negative twice a week. I'd be quite disappointed if they hadn't discussed it to be honest, some Asian countries take it very seriously, and they should always look at other countries for ideas and evidence.
It could be a very useful thing for frequent travellers, NHS and social care staff maybe. I'd be super disappointed if they brought it in for any common reason though. It's really not going to suit Westerners, and it's potentially quite elitist, and discriminatory.  

'Should schools be open?' is a hot topic of debate across the world. Science Mag has studied the evidence and says it can be interpreted however people choose to go - there's evidence to support both viewpoints, especially in areas with lower levels of COVID. There's a brilliant comment from Jennifer Lerner, who studies the psychology of judgment and decision-making at Harvard University:
“Families look to schools to communicate what’s OK. Even when schools are doing all they can to mitigate COVID-19 spread inside their buildings, the mere act of opening can send an unintended message that mixing together is benign—and provide more opportunities to do so."
There isn't really a general consensus, and probably won't be, but scientists seem to agree on 2 things:
1. Schools closing should be one of the last measures taken
2. Students should be comfortable in school, but they need to open the windows. The air in a closed classroom becomes saturated with exhaled breath very quickly. Windows should either be open a crack all the time, or opened wide regularly. (Berlin schools had to install tens of thousands of handles because they had locked school windows shut!)

Robbie Williams is releasing a COVID-themed socially distanced Christmas record. I think the jury is out on that one until we hear it... 

Whatever lifting of restrictions happens over the next few weeks, in order that we can celebrate with some of those who matter most to us in the world, use what you know and your common sense to help prevent it being something you remember forever, for the wrong reasons.
1. No bringing Granny round to belt out a Family Von Smith version of Fairytale Of New York. Save that beauty for video call. 
2.Avoid singing, shouting, and getting messy and leaning all over people whispering. You're drunk, everyone can hear you anyway. 
3. Wash your hands. When you arrive, before you prepare food or drinks, after preparing food, and before you eat. And when you have a wee, obvs. 
4. Hot with all those people in the house? Brilliant. Leave the heating on and open a window instead. It's only going to cost a couple of quid. Sorry Earth, on this occasion it's worth it. 
5. If you aren't ill, don't have symptoms, maybe don't even know of anyone with COVID, and still manage to infect someone else. IT WASN'T YOUR FAULT. Don't carry that with you. Put it down. 

Some numbers. They all have Winter festivals and parties, and people who matter:

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

USA 12,479,130 (+28,464) 261,966 (+176)
India 9,129,003 (+33,095) 133,589 (+326)
Brazil 6,052,786 not yet reported today 169,016
France 2,127,051 not yet reported today 48,518
Russia 2,089,329 (+24,581) 36,179 (+401) 
Spain 1,589,219 not yet reported today 42,619
UK 1,512,045 (+18,662) 55,024 (+398)
Italy 1,408,868 (+28,337) 49,823 (+562)
Mexico 1,032,688 (+6,719) 101,373 (+550)
Germany 922,829 (+4,558) 14,260 (+21)
Poland 861,331 (+18,467) 13,618 (+330)
Iran 854,361 (+13,053) 44,802 (+475)
Ukraine 624,744 (+12,079) 10,951 (+138)
Belgium 556,904 (+3,224) 15,522 (+170)
Indonesia 497,668 (+4,360) 15,884 (+110)
Czechia 491,647 (+897) 7,164 (+69)
Netherlands 484,648 (+5,388) 8,891 (+21)
Turkey 446,822 (+6,017) 12,358 (+139) 
Romania 418,645 (+5,837) 10,047 (+131)
Pakistan 374,173 (+2,665) 7,662 (+59) 



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