Sunday 8 November 2020

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 7th / 8th November 2020

 COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 7th / 8th November 2020.

The UK added 20,572 cases today and now has reported a total of 1,192,013 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 344,045 tests yesterday. 

12,949 people were in hospital on Thursday 5th November, with 1,185 using a ventilator on Friday 6th November. 

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 156 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days. We now very sadly have a total of 49,044 officially reported losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 64,855 cases and 1,945 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.) 

There have now been a total of 50,521,740 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 1,259,506. Already 35,678,893 people have recovered.

Face covrings should cover your nose

“You chose hope, decency, science, and truth."
Madam Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris. First female, first Indian-American and first African-American person to be in this position. And hope for all American children. You really can reach for the stars, whoever you are. 

The US election is over - almost. Some votes are still counting. Some states will have a re-count, and Donald Trump will continue to throw lawsuits for a while, but Joe Biden has basically won it, and the scientific world has let out a collective sigh of relief. 

Disadvantaged children in the UK WILL continue to get free lunches through the next few school holidays, in part after a petition by Marcus Rushford gained over 1m signatures. It's a big package announced this weekend:
"The Covid Winter Grant Scheme is a new £170m Coronavirus scheme to support children and families this winter.
The money will reach the hardest hit during the pandemic, helping families put food on the table, heat homes and pay bills."
"This is part of a long-term plan to help tackle health, hunger and education.
The Holiday Activities and Food programme, which has provided healthy food and engaging activities to disadvantaged children since 2018, will also be extended across England next year."
"Healthy Start scheme payments are also set to increase from £3.10 to £4.25 from next April."
UK Department of Work & Pensions. 
(Good stuff. Thank you.)

There was a big 'anti-lockdown' protest today in Manchester's Piccadilly Gardens. 
I. De. Spair. 

The UK is asking for more NHS Volunteer Responders. In Spring they were overwhelmed with offers, but a lot of people aren't able to continue or come back, so anyone who wishes to help out Google NHS Volunteer Responders to sign up. I can't comment on how well it is run or what you'll do, but if they used their brains, they could use you guys for local community contact tracing and support for shielded and self-isolating people, as well as support staff for any overspill hospitals. 

Text NHS Volunteer Responders needed and image of happy lady in mask getting into a car

The UK Government are in trouble for the slides and some of the numbers used in their last press briefing - the U.K. Statistics Authority says they have:
“... not consistently been supported by transparent information being provided in a timely manner..."
(they didn't match any known figures, or any data provided to the public)
"..there is potential to confuse the public and undermine confidence in the statistics.”
The UK Government are incredibly good at giving different data each time, changing wording subtly, and giving "incomplete data". One week we find out how many people in Bristol caught it at work, the next week it's how many teachers caught it in Liverpool. One week we're told how many people needed a ventilator over the last 2 weeks,  and the next week we are told how many people needed Intensive Care over the last month. It's hard to compare and often seems deliberately misleading. Inexact as they may be, that's why I try to keep the statistics I give you consistent. 

Trump of the Yesterday:
"We will pursue this process through every aspect of the law to guarantee the American people have confidence in our government.” 
(To guarantee confidence in law, they'd pretty much have to guarantee to eject you for trespass Donald.) 
And at 3.36pm
(tagged with a warning for 'a race not yet ended' by Twitter)
Pennsylvania was called within minutes, and several press sources said it was game over.  At 4.35pm even the New York Times was announcing Joe Biden as new President. Congratulations - and Hurrah!!! I'm not here to discuss any of their other politics or who their party is, just COVID response. It's worth swapping Trump out for LITERALLY ANYONE. 
Why can’t trump go to the White House after January 20th?
Cause it’s for-Biden

Restaurants, pubs and cafes in England have been granted automatic permission to serve takeaway food and drink until March 2022. No messy time-wasting applications. Hurrah! 

The World Health Organization have clarified the mink situation: 
"Since June 2020, 214 human cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Denmark with SARS-CoV-2 variants associated with farmed minks, including 12 cases with a unique variant. This particular variant strain displays a combination of mutations not previously documented. Laboratory tests conducted in Denmark indicate that this strain may have reduced response to neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2."
"Mink farms, in several European countries, including Denmark, Spain, Sweden, Italy and the Netherlands, have shown that the virus can move between mink and human. It is always a concern when a virus moves from animals to humans as genetic changes can happen as it moves back and forth."
Mink really seem to be incredibly good hosts for COVID. Which is really unfortunate for mink, and mink farmers...

Text Holiday Activities and Food Programme to be expanded

Biden of the Last Week:
"Today, the Trump Administration officially left the Paris Climate Agreement. And in exactly 77 days, a Biden Administration will rejoin it."
To date, the U.S. is the only country that has formally ever left the agreement to clean up our air and our world.
Mr Biden has also committed to rejoining the World Health Organisation on his first day in office, and taking the COVID-19 crisis seriously. He says that tomorrow he'll be naming scientists and experts for a panel to advise his administration on what the heck to do with the COVID situation he's inherited. Sounds so hopeful... fingers crossed. 

Seems Trump may have started with the parting gifts early. His election night superspreader gathering, which he held at The White House because it was illegal anywhere else, is already looking like a bad idea - as predicted. Trump's Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, and campaign aide, Nick Trainer, have both tested positive.

Bosnia’s Prime Minister Zoran Tegeltija is the latest Parliamentary leader to test positive. COVID-19 loves Ministers, they must be a high risk profession.
Tegeltija is reported to be comfortable. 

There was a great article in WIRED last week about Africa. If what happened in Europe had been replicated, it would have been a disaster of epic proportions, but the temporary hospitals lay empty, despite the number of hospital beds across Africa being far below the numbers in Europe. Africa covers 54 countries with 1.2 billion people, and yet they have lost 40,000 people in total. 
There are several apparent reasons for Africa's success with COVID-19, as well as lots of theories, including:  
1. Their population is much younger. 60% of people are under 25. 
2. The medical infrastructure understand infectious disease outbreaks - they're used to them. They often don't have the luxury of a fully vaccinated population and herd immunity. They understand complacency costs, and don't over-estimate their own ability. 
3. HIV has devastated Africa. It has taught the people a lot, and left a legacy whereby the population understand disease better. They know to respect disease, to report symptoms, to listen to contact tracers.
4. Theories also include the population being lower weight, with less diabetes and heart disease, and the Vitamin D effect, boosting their immune systems with all that sunlight. 
Whatever it is - long may it continue. 

Everton thanking Marcus Rashford 081120

The COVID situation can be really tough. We've lost freedoms, control, money, jobs, and people, and all at a time when we have also lost access to our support networks. DO NOT BE ALONE. We ALL understand,  we ALL know how hard it is, and we are ALL here to support each other through it. Keep in touch with people - call, Skype, write a letter, send a surprise parcel. 
The numbers of people, of all ages, who suffer physical or mental abuse, are much higher under lockdown. Now is the time to check on your neighbours, your friends. None of us are perfect, it gets too much for everyone at times. Hold up someone else, and it'll help hold you up too. If you are struggling, ask for support. We CAN do this, and there will be an end, but it's much longer and harder if you feel alone. You aren't. There is ALWAYS someone to talk to. 

Today I've shown yesterday's full 'end of day' figures. Many of the countries with the most cases currently are in the Americas, so at 6pm when I collect numbers, they haven't usually reported, or it's incomplete. This gives possibly a truer picture of who has some control, and who doesn't. The numbers are all people, all very much like you: 

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

USA 10,182,977 (+124,390) 243,257 (+1,031)
India 8,507,203 (+46,318) 126,162 (+557)
Brazil 5,653,561 (+21,056) 162,286 (+251)
Russia 1,753,836 (+20,396) 30,251 (+364)
France 1,748,705 (+86,852) 40,169 (+304)
Spain 1,388,411 Does Not Report At Weekends 38,833
Argentina 1,236,851 (+8,037) 33,348 (+212)
UK 1,171,441 (+24,957) 48,888 (+413)
Colombia 1,136,447 (+8,714) 32,595 (+190)
Mexico 955,128 (+5,931) 94,323 (+551)
Peru 920,010 (+2,507) 34,840 (+57)
Italy 902,488 (+39,809) 41,063 (+425)
South Africa 735,906 (+1,731) 19,789 (+40) 
Iran 673,250 (+9,450) 37,832 (+423)
Germany 658,481 (+17,119) 11,435 (+71)
Poland 521,640 (+27,875) 7,636 (+349) 
Belgium 488,044 (+8,703) 12,708 (+188)
Ukraine 450,934 (+10,746) 8,312 (+187) 

The world could learn a lot from how Africa is handling Covid-19


  1. You are very wise. There is always someone we can talk to, share the worries. xxx


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