Friday, 17 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 17th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 17th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,371,301 (+32,651)
In Hospital on Thursday 16th: 8,068
Using A Ventilator on Thursday 16th: 1,020
Losses of Life: 134,983 (+178)
Tests: 1,059,522
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,528,901 (89.3%)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,298,076 (81.5%)

Cases by Nation for the last 7 days:
Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 15,697 / 495.2
Scotland; 37,155 / 679.7
Northern Ireland; 10,371 / 547.1
England; 162,811 / 287.9

Rep. Of Ireland: 371,301 (+1,413) cases and 5,179 losses of life

World: 228,078,110 reported cases and 4,687,928 losses of life

Travel to from the uk is changing October 4th text and a large hollow framed globe

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has today confirmed that parts of Boris' Plan B are in his Plan A for Wales.
"We are able to remain at alert level zero but the rise in cases and the current uncertainty mean we will must all redouble our efforts to do the simple things which keep us all safe."
- Work from home whenever possible
- Face coverings will continue to be mandatory as before, in indoor public places and on public transport
- All frontline health and care staff, everyone living and working in care homes, everyone over 50 and all those with underlying health conditions aged 16 and over will be eligible for a booster at least six months after they received their second dose (as in England)
- 12 to 15-year-olds will start receiving letters next week, inviting them to be vaccinated
- The NHS COVID Pass (proving vaccination status, exemption or negative test) will need to be shown to enter the following venues and events from Monday 11 October:
1. Nightclubs and similar venues.
2. Indoor non-seated events for more than 500 people, where people are mixing closely for prolonged periods.
3. Outdoor non-seated events for more than 4,000 people, where people will be mixing closely for prolonged periods.
4. Any event, of any nature, which has more than 10,000 people in attendance.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

September 2021 85 Months #TBCSmiles...

I'll start with my apology,  the smiles are a day late, and that's because I was stressing over an important hospital appointment this morning, and I just couldn't get into the headspace for writing anything yesterday. I guess we all have those days, even me, and I don't think allowing yourself to let go a little if you can is losing. I think it's protecting your own mental health.
Thankfully my appointment went swimmingly, and in 3 months I should have an idea of when I'll have some pretty major surgery. And crikey, the surgeon is the nicest bloke. I could have hugged him - so there are plenty of smiles from me today. 

Annoyingly I then got home to discover my Internet had the power of a baby's breath, and uploading photos wasn't happening, or this post would have been live many hours earlier... 

My two boys - both in high school uniform with smat grey blazers and ties

There are thankfully many smiles from you guys - we had loads over the last month - including all of those children in shiny shoes and new oversized uniforms, ready to go back to in-person school. Full of anticipation and nerves, especially when the school is new to them. You can also see Summer turning to Autumn over the last month, the blue is less, and the orange is creeping in...

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 15th/16th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 15th/16th September 2021

A note about today's figures:
"Because of a technical issue affecting the availability of data, there has been no update to cases, testing and vaccinations for Scotland. Therefore newly reported numbers for the UK include England, Northern Ireland and Wales only."
(That means tomorrow's numbers for the UK are likely to be artificially high.)

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,339,009 (+26,911)
In Hospital Weds 15th: 8,339
Using A Ventilator Weds 15th: 1,081
Losses of Life: 134,805 (+158)
Tests: 1,084,585
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,503,181 (89.2% of UK aged 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,229,777 (81.4%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 371,301 (+1,413) cases and 5,179 losses of life.

World: 227,512,652 reported cases and 4,677,473 losses of life.

160921 COVID vaccinations UK text

There's not masses of COVID news today... the UK and a lot of the world press seems a bit distracted by the new AUKUS (Australia, UK, US) defence treaty announcement...

Today, 282 days after the first person in the UK was given the AstraZeneca jab, the NHS delivered their first booster dose.
All frontline NHS and social care staff, anyone aged 50 and over, people under 50 with health conditions that put them at risk of severe COVID, and 'adult household contacts of severely immunosuppressed people' should all receive an invitation in due course - around 8 months after your 2nd vaccine dose (a minimum of 6 months after).

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update and COVID Response: Autumn And Winter Plan UK Briefing 13th / 14th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update and COVID Response: Autumn And Winter Plan UK Briefing 13th / 14th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,282,810 (+26,628)
In Hospital on Monday 13th: 8,413
Using A Ventilator on Monday 13th: 1,056
Losses of Life: 134,446 (+185)
Tests: 1,043,118
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,458,700 (89.2% of UK 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 44,108,746 (81.2%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 367,536 cases and 5,155 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 226,367,764 reported cases and 4,657,189 losses of life.

140921 UK Briefing slides 2020 compared to 2021

"You have to take it as it comes. I think anybody that can say, with confidence, they know how this is going to work over the next few months, has not fully understood, I think, the range of possible ways this could happen."
Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Officer for England. 

Monday, 13 September 2021

UK (are vaccinating kids 12+) Briefing 13th September 2021

UK (are vaccinating kids 12+) Briefing 13th September 2021

I don't usually write up the scientific and data briefings specially, but this is a biggie - it's important even if you don't have secondary aged children.

Today's briefing was with:
Chris Whitty, - Chief Medical Officer for England
Dr Gregor Smith - CMO for Scotland
Dr Frank Atherton - CMO for Wales
Sir Michael McBride - CMO for Ireland
Dr June Raine, MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency)
Prof Wei Shen Lim, JVCI (Joint Committee on Vaccinations and Immunisation)

Chris explains this is a difficult decision, and the first principle of medicine is balancing risk and benefit.

 

130921 COVID briefing with JCVI CMOs and MHRA Vaccination 12-15 year olds

This decision started with the MHRA approving both Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines as safe and effective for age 12+.
(They found it to be as effective in children 12-15 as in adults, with a clear result after only 1 dose. The safety matched that of young adults.)

Sunday, 12 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 11th / 12th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 11th / 12th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,226,276 (+29,173)
Losses of Life: 134,200 (+56)
Tests: 1,241,334
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,422,588 (89.1% of UK 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 43,991,875 (80.9%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 365,313 cases and 5,155 losses of life (not yet reported today).

World: 225,307,666 reported cases and 4,641,812 losses of life.

You can still get your COVID vaccine NHS UK

The UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid said on telly this morning that England WILL NOT be going ahead with the vaccine passport scheme. This is mere days after Nicola announced Scotland WILL be having a scheme, and she's really arguing with Boris right now, so I wouldn't like to guess on the complete list of motivations.
That said, Nicola has generally been less cavalier with her population's wellbeing throughout.
So, as it stands at the moment, from next month in England, you won't have to prove vaccination status to enter a nightclub or book a festival ticket, but in Scotland, and for any other establishment or event which decides they require it, you will.

Friday, 10 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,168,806 (+37,622)
In Hospital on Wednesday 9th: 8,098
Using A Ventilator on Wednesday 9th: 1,060
Losses of Life: 133,988 (+147)
Tests: 1,241,334
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,370,340 (89% of UK aged 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 43,805,608 (80.6%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 362,228 cases and 5,155 losses of life.

World: 224,269,097 reported cases and 4,624,307 losses of life.

100921 UK indieSAGe vaccination status of those hospitalised

The UK's JCVI (Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation) are due to make a final decision on Booster Jabs any day now.
Although the UK seems to be swimming in vaccines, we are limited. We have to ensure we have enough for everyone who is entitled, and it has to be fair.
We recently signed a deal for 35m Pfizer, which could offer boosters in a different flavour to everyone over 50, or vaccinate schoolchildren, and boosters for more vulnerable people could be AstraZeneca. These sort of decisions go on behind closed doors all the time - which is exactly why the independent SAGE collective started - they wanted to discuss options and plans openly in front of the public. Don't forget the indieSAGE group contains members of the UK Government's actual SAGE panel. 

Thursday, 9 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 8th / 9th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 8th / 9th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,132,072 (+38,013)
In Hospital on Weds 8th Sept: 8,085 (Up from 7,596 a week earlier, which is actually a slightly slower increase than the previous week).
Using A Ventilator on Weds 8th Sept: 1,060 (Up from 1,030 a week earlier - again, a slower increase this week than last week. Fingers crossed).
Losses of Life: 133,841 (+167)
Tests: 1,254,874
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,344,566 (88.9% of UK adults 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 43,708,906 (80.4%)

Cases by nation in the last 7 days:
Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 16,273 / 513.4
Scotland: 43,950 / 804.1
Northern Ireland: 10,073 / 531.4
England: 186,998 / 330.7

Rep. Of Ireland: 360,957 cases and 5,155 losses of life (not yet reported today).

World: 223,720,246 reported cases and 4,614,250 losses of life. 

9th September 2021 COVID vaccine surveillance report from last week

"After all this time, this still has to be said. Head. Desk.
Also more clarification is needed. Indeed SARS-CoV-2 is not one of the 4 coronaviruses that cause common colds, but the majority of common colds are caused by rhinoviruses, which are from a totally different family."
Dr Angela Rasmussen of the Georgetown Center for Global Health Science and Security, responding a hoax which is doing the rounds right now.
No, COVID is not the same virus as the common cold - built in a similar way, but like polar bears and sloths, not actually the same. You all knew that already though.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Ad|Guest Post: Should You Enforce a Sleep Schedule for Your Kids?

This month I'm sharing some posts from Maria Miguel at Better Help, where you can find a huge FREE resource library of advice for all kinds of mental health niggles and problems. Today, it's sleep. We raised 7 children, and even though I'm one of the softest parents you might find, I have always insisted on a regular bedtime routine. It's for my own sanity at least as much as theirs... 

Child reading in bed with cosy blankets and child's duvet cover


 Should You Enforce a Sleep Schedule for Your Kids?

There are many reasons a parent may want to enforce a bedtime on their children; there are just as many reasons for families to do away with the practice. However, for certain age groups and households, a regular bedtime routine can benefit your children’s mental health, lifestyle developments, and sleep quality. Here are some benefits of creating a sleep schedule and tips to ensure it’s the right move for you and your family.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 6th / 7th September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 6th / 7th September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 7,056,106 (+37,489)
In Hospital yesterday: 7,976 (UP from 7,015 ten days earlier)
Using A Ventilator yesterday: 1,062 (UP from 988 ten days earlier)
Losses of Life: 133,483 (+209)
Tests: 1,346,631
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,292,811 (88.8% of UK popn. age 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 43,535,098 (80.1%)
According to the ONS, up until Friday 27th August, 156,888 people had COVID listed as a cause of death.

Rep. Of Ireland: 359,420 (+1,465) cases and 5,112 losses of life.

World: 222,266,621 reported cases and 4,593,633 losses of life.

Build Back Better front cover title 070921

Congratulations to Boris, Matt, Rishi, Dominic and everyone else who is ultimately responsible for the UK's handling of COVID. The UK has recorded over 7 million official cases - and this is probably somewhere between one and two thirds of the true figure.
Award yourself a hearty slap on the back (face).
This is only officially beaten by the USA (population 331m), India (population1,396m), Brazil (population 214m) and Russia (population 146m).
It may well in reality be matched by a few other poorer countries... 

Monday, 6 September 2021

Ad | Guest Post: How to Effectively Express Your Love to a Teenager

This month I'm sharing some tips from the experts over at Better Help, where you can find a huge FREE library of advice that anyone can access. This post is written by Marie Miguel, who has been covering health related topics for over a decade, and something very important to my own family. 

How to Effectively Express Your Love to a Teenager


There’s a notorious stigma that after becoming a teenager, we start to disconnect from our parents and their affection. However, this isn’t necessarily true and it’s important for parents to avoid leaning into this stereotype. Instead of using affection as a tool for teasing or withholding it because they seem “too old”, recognise changes and make adjustments to the way you express your love for your children.

my daughter and I at a train station both smiling to camera

Sunday, 5 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 4th/5th September 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 4th/5th September 2021.

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 6,978,126 (+37,011)
In Hospital Thursday 2nd: 7,541
Using A Ventilator Thursday 2nd: 1,038
Losses of Life: 133,299 (+68)
Tests: 1,155,929
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,245,337 (88.8% of UK aged 16+)
Vaccinations Fully Vaxxed: 43,378,193 (79.8%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 356,819 (+1,180) cases and 5,112 losses of life.

World: 221,394,352 reported cases and 4,579,498 losses of life.

ICNARC outcomes may 1st to Sept 1st 2021

"Good to meet Dr Tedros ahead of G20 Italy health summit.
We discussed shaping the current global health response inc. supporting work on Covid origins, establishing a Global Pandemic Radar, and getting ahead of the threat from AMR."
Sajid Javid,  UK Health Secretary

"Great meeting with UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid in Rome. Constructive discussion about the proposed treaty on pandemic preparedness and response, the origins of COVID19, antimicrobial resistance and building a stronger WHO. Grateful for the UK's long-standing partnership."
Dr Tedros, Head of WHO.
(Psst, I'm not sure Sajid got the bit about a stronger WHO?). 

Friday, 3 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 3rd September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 3rd September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 6,904,969 (+42,076)
In Hospital Thursday 2nd: 7,541
Using A Ventilator Thursday 2nd: 1,038
Losses of Life: 133,041 (+121)
Tests: 1,155,929
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,171,998 (88.6% of UK population aged 16+)
Vaccinations 2 Doses: 43,142,747 (79.4%)

UK Nations Cases Last 7 Days:
Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 13,566 / 428
Scotland: 40,309 / 737.4
Northern Ireland: 11,035 / 582.2
England: 171,166 / 302.7

Rep. Of Ireland: 354,236 cases and 5,112 losses of life.

World: 220,296,235 reported cases and 4,562,014 losses of life.

030921 UK CMO's to get responsibility of deciding if kids get jabs


The UK's JCVI have just announced updated advice regarding vaccinating young people 12-15, and they say NO.
"The assessment by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) is that the health benefits from vaccination are marginally greater than the potential known harms. However, the margin of benefit is considered too small to support universal vaccination of healthy 12 to 15 year olds at this time.
It is not within the JCVI’s remit to consider the wider societal impacts of vaccination, including educational benefits. The government may wish to seek further views on the wider societal and educational impacts from the Chief Medical Officers of the UK 4 nations."
That's the JCVI passing the hot potato, and the Government have already publicly written to the 4 Chief Medical Advisers to request their advice:
"We agree with the approach suggested by JCVI, and so we are writing to request that you take forward work (drawing on experts as you see fit) to consider the matter from a broader perspective, as suggested by the JCVI.
We will consider the advice from the CMOs of the 4 nations, building on the JCVI’s advice, in making our decision. Given the importance of this issue, we would be grateful if you could provide your advice as soon as possible."
Watch this space... 

Thursday, 2 September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 1st /2nd September 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 1st /2nd September 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 6,862,904 (+38,154)
In Hospital 1st September: 7,596
Using A Ventilator 1st September: 1,030
Losses of Life: 132,920 (+178)
Tests: 1,027,201 (higher - reflecting the first of the school testing)
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,131,996 (88.6% of UK age 16+)
Fully Vaxxed: 43,023,372 (70.2% of UK age 16+)

Rep. Of Ireland: 354,236 cases and 5,112 losses of life (not yet reported today).

World: 219,622,854 reported cases and 4,550,511 losses of life. 

Just got back from a festival, take a rapid test. Image of 3 young adults laughing and joking in a bedroom

"People who refuse to accept vaccines, I think the right response for them is not to force them to, but rather to insist that they be isolated.
If people decide 'I am willing to be a danger to the community by refusing the vaccine', they should then say, well, I also have the decency to isolate myself."
Noam Chomsky, American Linguist and Philosopher.
Not a massively popular opinion, but he is being quoted out of context in the media with this. If you watch the whole interview, he's referring to an imagined scenario where COVID became as deadly as Smallpox (30% mortality, 1 in 3).
It has precedent. Quarantine islands and facilities are historical fact. Possibly the most famous detainee was Typhoid Mary, who spent a total of over 30 years isolated on North Brother Island, because she refused to stop working as a cook and killing people.  

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Ad| Blackburn Brickburn Town Centre LEGO Trail 2021 - Brickosaurs!

When you think of a good day out in the North West of England, Blackburn Town Centre might not be top of your list, but it's well worth a visit. Often overshadowed because we have so much to see and do locally, Blackburn has a huge pedestrianised town centre, lots of shops, a really vibrant, airy indoor market, and some gorgeous buildings.
And if you arrive by car, you can always find somewhere to park right in the heart of the town, at a really reasonable rate...

Brickosaurs LEGO Trail Blackburn 2021 collage of 9 images, mainly dinosaur faces

We were in Blackburn last week to have a go at the Brickburn LEGO Model Trail, and this year the theme was dinosaurs, or 'Brickosaurs'. 15 models were placed around the town centre, and although we didn't catch them all, we genuinely did have a 'roarsome' time.

Ad: Coping With An Empty Nest And Maintaining Strong Relationships

Mental Health is something that is incredibly important to me, and I'm delighted to be working with author Marie Miguel, who, over at Better Help, has played a part in creating a huge free online mental health advice library that anyone can access. Here she writes about something very familiar to me, and anyone else with grown up children - the time when they move out... and how that can affect all of the relationships in the home. 

Student carrying shopping uni co-operative food cropped


Coping With An Empty Nest And Maintaining Strong Relationships

For many parents, there seems to be an unseen countdown to the day when you no longer have your kids in the house. There will no longer be shouting from the other end of the house, an extra pair of shoes at the door, or a cluttered bedroom to clean. Instead, what is there to expect? And are you ready to take on that new step in life after they’re grown and on their own? Here’s how you can cope with empty nest syndrome and effectively maintain a strong relationship with your kids.

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 26th to 31st August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 26th to 31st August 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 6,789,581 (+32,181)
In Hospital: 7,015 (on Friday 27th)
Using A Ventilator: 988 (on Friday 27th)
Losses of Life: 132,535 (+50)
Tests: 672,479
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 48,048,009 (88.4% of UK population aged 16+)
Fully Vaxxed: 42,790,585 (78.7%)

Area: Cases last 7 days / Rate per 100,000 population last 7 days
Wales: 13,014 / 410.6
Scotland: 35,215 / 644.3
Northern Ireland: 11,664 / 615.3
England: 178,267 / 315.2

Rep. Of Ireland: 351,065 cases and 5,092 losses of life (not yet reported today.)

World: 218,223,304 reported cases and 4,528,320 losses of life. 

Care home workers MUST be vaccinated. Deadline timeline

I'm back! There hasn't been too much COVID news while I was away on a relatively remote farm in Scotland thankfully, so I managed entire days without even reading a single news article, press release or study. And crikey, how amazing it was to see Grandma and Grandpa after 2 years apart! (Thanks for having us x.)

Sadly I'm not Boris, so I don't get another break this week... (who knew Prime Minister was such a part time position?)

While I was gone:
- The UK Government announced a study to see the effect of 3rd 'Booster Doses' in people with weakened immune systems (about time guys... tsk).
- We had movement in the UK travel 'Traffic Light' lists - Montenegro and Thailand move to the red list. The Azores, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania and Switzerland move to the green list.
- There was extra COVID support sent to South West England. Holidaymakers arrived en masse bearing gifts. As a result, Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Plymouth and Torbay will receive help for around another month.
- The UK Government have announced a study to try and discover why some people are reinfected, and some are not. Data will be collected via the SIREN Study, the PITCH study and other studies with capital letter acronym names.
- The UK (and I suspect a few other places) is facing an 'unprecedented crisis' recruiting and retaining social care staff. Historically underpaid and undervalued, I think throwing them to the lions while their service users feared for their lives might have been a straw too many. Well, that... and Brexit plus a global pandemic saw a lot of staff wave goodbye and leave for elsewhere in the world. 

Wednesday, 25 August 2021

COVID Quick Update 21st to 25th Aug 2021

COVID Quick Update 21st to 25th Aug 2021

Today's UK Summary:
New Cases: 35,847
Losses of Life: 149 people
In Hospital: 6,172
Using a Ventilator: 957

There has been trouble in New Zealand at anti-lockdown protests.
Sometimes it's hard to see the big picture and appreciate what you have - and how much worse it could be. They might be under lockdown every now and again, but nothing compared to a lot of countries - and without the accompanying loss of life.

"You are not a horse. You are not a cow. Seriously, y'all. Stop it,"
That's the exasperated US FDA, warning people not to take super concentrated veterinary drugs to treat COVID.
Specifically they are referring to Ivermectin, which is generally used for parasites and fleas. There is NO accepted evidence it helps anyone with COVID - but if you take enough of it, you'll have no headlice and a glossy coat for your hospital photos.

Remember the other day we had a study that found everyone has a similar level of virus when they're at their most infectious? But I said it is anticipated vaccinated people will be at their most infectious for s shorter period of time? We've got data!
A new study from Singapore (Not yet peer-reviewed) has found that, among 218 patients hospitalised with the Delta strain, it takes 'eight to nine days for vaccinated people to clear their viral load to a point where it could not be picked up, compared to two weeks in those not vaccinated.'
The infection rises, peaks and then falls once your body overpowers it. If that whole event takes 8-9 days rather than 14, you'll have a far, far smaller chance of infecting anyone - hopefully just a small window (as opposed to a barn door).

The US FDA has granted full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. Until now, all COVID vaccines just about everywhere are working on emergency use authorisation.
Normally it takes forever and a day to get everything written up and rubber stamped by all the correct departments, and because it all costs a fortune, money often has to be raised to pay for your new wonder drug too. Maybe a few people would request emergency use authorisation on compassionate grounds while this happens (such as with promising new Cancer drugs), but with COVID it has been a whole new game. It's amazing what can be done, especially when money, overtime and government pressure are thrown at something.

The Zoe Symptom app. has data on reinfection and waning protection from vaccination, and it matches pretty closely with other data we've already had.
It looked at positive Covid PCR tests from May to July this year, repirted by over a million people who had received two doses of Pfizer or AstraZeneca vaccine.
Pfizer decreased from 88% at one month to 74% at 4-5 months.
AstraZeneca dropped from 77% to 67% at 4-5 months.
Both are still really very effective, and we always knew it was likely immunity would wane over time - Coronavirus are not so good at that as things like Measles or Chicken Pox.
Tim Spector, the guy behind the COVID app. points out that distribution of booster doses should definitely be targeted because, for example, people with 2 doses and prior infection won't get much benefit, and those vaccines are going to save far more lives elsewhere.
You can read the results on the Zoe app. or the BBC have an excellent article with scientific comments.

Nicola Sturgeon has announced the Scottish inquiry into handling of the COVID response will take place before the end of this year. The English inquiry won't begin until Spring next year.

Johnson&Johnson (single dose vaccine) have issued a press release saying that early signs are that a second 'booster dose' generates a much stronger immune reaction - potentially up to 9 times higher than after a single dose.

Over 9,000 COVID cases can be linked directly to the EURO 2020 football matches.
Best quote of the report has to be that England's success at getting through to the final "generated a significant risk to public health across the UK".
So, as a reminder, that "Mass Event Trial" was a FAIL. Oh no, my error, official word is it was a success. Awesome.

The UK have announced a huge new COVID19 antibody testing survey.
From 24 August, up to 8,000 people per day who opt-in & test positive with a PCR test will receive two antibody tests - they want to try and understand how protected you are/will be, how that changes, and how it affects whether you become severely ill.

Business Insider are reporting that a prominent anti-vaxxer, who in June this year told a court that the COVID vaccine could make people magnetic and connect them to the 5G network, is making $$$,$$$s from people watching her videos.
I wonder if I can sue her and claim my life is ruined by disappointment because I'm not magnetic?

Rumour is that Dominic Raab, the UK Foreign Secretary, was told to come home from Greece on the Friday, but ignored it, had his weekend and came back on Monday - the day AFTER the Taliban took power.
Turns out the UK's Minister For Afghanistan was also on holiday that weekend. At least Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon was in the UK..
I can imagine these factors are especially important if you are among the UK nationals or Government staff still over there.

On Monday Taiwan began administering their first domestically manufactured COVID19 vaccine, made by Medigen. Several politicians, including President Tsai Ing-wen were among the first in the queue.

The UK have signed a deal for another 35m doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, to be delivered in the 2nd half of 2022.
That's a booster dose for everyone who wants one I reckon.
Sajid Javid, Health secretary:
“The UK’s phenomenal vaccination programme is providing tens of millions of people with protection from Covid-19, saving 95,200 lives and preventing 82,100 hospitalisations in the over 65s in England alone."
Vaccines are like magic, but they work so well, we forget just how clever they are.

The Paralympics have started - best of luck to all of the competitors, and host country Japan.

Dozens of UK anti-vaccine protesters on Monday forced their way into the headquarters of ITN (who make ITV and Channel 4 News), and then went to protest outside the Google headquarters afterwards.
After they messed up their BBC protest last week, I'm not sure whether the point was to protest against vaccines (which aren't mandatory), or just to prove they could use modern maps.

I'm still on holiday - and didn't have much chance to find WiFi signal over the past couple of days, so if I've missed anything important - please feel free to add it into the comments. Sometimes the things you guys tell us are far more interesting than any of the big news stories - you are, after all, all experts at your own COVID situation.

Use Sunscreen, Play Outdoors, Save The NHS....

 

Friday, 20 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Friday 20th August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Friday 20th August 2021.

The UK added 37,314 cases today (Up from 32,700  a week earlier) and now has reported a total of 6,429,147 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 822,777 tests yesterday.

The counter says 47,516,505 people (87.4% of UK population over age 16) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 41,332,128 people (76%) had received 2 doses.

6,441 people were in hospital yesterday 19th August (Up from 5,875 a week earlier), with 928 using a ventilator (Up from 882 a week earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 114 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 131,487 losses of life in all settings.

Up until Friday 6th August, 154,811 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.

Area: Deaths / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 7,928 / 250.1
Scotland: 10,405 / 190.4
Northern Ireland: 3,045 / 160.6
England: 132,369 / 234.1

Rep. Of Ireland 333,304 (+2,098) cases and 5,074 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 211,155,597 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,422,710. Already 189,046,199 people have recovered.

200821 indieSAGE cases by day

The latest Public Health England estimates suggest that the vaccination programme has "prevented over 82,100 hospitalisations in those aged 65 and over in England. Further data suggests that it has also prevented 95,200 deaths and 23,957,000 COVID-19 infections more widely."
Excellent stuff.

Thursday, 19 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 18th / 19th August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 18th / 19th August 2021

The UK added 36,572 cases today (UP from 33,074 a week earlier), and now has reported a total of 6,392,160 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 808,235 tests yesterday.

The counter says 47,460,526 people had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 41,157,069 people had received 2 doses. As this now includes people aged 16-17, but the percentages they give are age 18+, their maths needs sorting out.

6,379 people were in hospital yesterday, Wednesday 18th August (UP from 5,909 a week earlier), with 909 using a ventilator (UP from 871 a week earlier). Those figures are creeping upwards, albeit thankfully slowly.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 113 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 131,373 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 331,206 (+1,818) cases and 5,074 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 210,485,717 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,411,859. Already 188,538,308 people have recovered.

Care home workers MUST be vaccinated. Deadline timeline

"10 countries have administered 75%+ of COVID19 vaccines, while low-income countries have received just over 1%, nowhere near enough to fully vaccinate their healthworkers, older populations & others at highest risk. This is why a moratorium on boosters is needed."
Dr Tedros, WHO.

"Our latest data shows that 62,311 women, who reported they were pregnant or could be pregnant at the time of receiving the vaccine, have come forward and received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, up to 31 July.
This is an increase of 10,587 from 51,724 as of 18 July."
Public Health England.
If you catch COVID when you are pregnant, you have a bigger chance of being very poorly, especially in the 3rd trimester. I'm not going to tell anyone they have to get vaccinated, especially a pregnant person, but please consider it carefully with your medical professionals.

Tuesday, 17 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 14th to 17th August 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 14th to 17th August 2021

The UK added 26,852 cases today and now has reported a total of 6,322,241 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 699,466 tests yesterday.

The counter says 47,369,418 people (89.6% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 40,841,971 people (77.2%) had received 2 doses.

6,303 people were in hospital yesterday, Monday 16th August, with 918 using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 170 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 131,149 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 326,188 cases and 5,059 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 209,043,777 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,389,376. Already 187,396,717 people have recovered.

Close contacts no longer need to isolate if under 18 or double vaccinated image of hand holding phone and text

All young people aged 16 to 17 in England are to be offered a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by next Monday 23rd August "to give them protection before returning to school".
(Yeah... they're rushing now they've realised how quickly September comes around...  )

And as if by magic...
"Today we can confirm that we have authorised the COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna in 12-17 year olds.
The vaccine is safe and effective in this age group."
The UK Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA)
Excitingly the Moderna vaccination is also called Spikevax... 

Monday, 16 August 2021

#TBCSmiles August 2021 84 Months....

I am a day late with this month's TBC Smiles, but hopefully you'll forgive me. They aren't any less fabulous, and that's got to be the main thing. 

84 Months is 7 years, and I've been collecting my family's smiles for all of this time because they are the reason we do everything, and in the times when I feel like I'm failing, looking at the smiles reminds me that WE CAN DO THIS. 

Sunflower by Lizzie Royle Image of flower over cropped out text paragraphs from Les Miserables
By Lizzie Royle (my niece)

Anyone else is welcome to join in with TBCSmiles, share your smile, grins, giggles and chuckles over on Instagram with the hashtag #TBCSmiles (watch the spelling, I've just found lots of very old smiles with slightly mis-spelt hashtags).

Sunday, 15 August 2021

2,557 Days...84 Months... 7 Years...

"Summer has come and passed
The innocent can never last
Wake me up when September ends.
Like my fathers come to pass
Seven years has gone so fast
Wake me up when September ends..."

Our 11 year old left Primary school last month, and Facebook showed me a memory to remind me of the day he left nursery, which was 18th July 2014. It's one of the most painful images I have. My innocent littlest baby, full of promise and joy at the world, and delighted with his "Goodbye" bag of goodies. It hurts so much because it's "before", and less than a month later, his sister was dead, and we were a family full of broken people. His life wouldn't ever be so innocent again.

Small boy in school uniform holding tiny plastic bag of sweets

Friday, 13 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Friday 13th August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Friday 13th August 2021

The UK added 32,700 cases today and now has reported a total of 6,211,868 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 813,378 tests yesterday.

The counter says 47,215,352 people (89.3% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 40,206,029 (76%) people had received 2 doses.

5,875 people were in hospital on Thursday 12th August, with 882 people using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 100 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 130,801 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 320,915 (+1,978) cases and 5,059 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 206,613,680 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,353,844. Already 185,388,795 people have been reported to have had COVID and recovered.

Cases of COVID in England to 12th August indieSAGE

"The first doses of COVID19 vaccines donated to COVAX by the UK are set to land in Zambia and the DRC today! 3 million AstraZeneca doses will be delivered to 11 African countries in the coming days; the first of 80 million pledged to COVAX in total."
GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance
The UK have pledged 80 million doses by the end of June 2022. The countries due to receive vaccines this week are: Zambia - 119,200
Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - 51,840
Malawi - 119,040
Senegal - 140,160
Egypt - 299,680
Uganda - 299,520
And in the next few days/weeks Angola, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria will finalise arrangements for deliveries.

The UK Government have today sent an Emergency Medical Team to Tunisia to help tackle their Covid-19 crisis. Cases have surged there over July, and although it has eased over the past week or so, hospitals are full.
"The team includes nine doctors, nurses and logistics experts, from the UK, France, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Italy. The medical experts specialise in emergency medicine and infection, prevention and control, as well as humanitarian healthcare. They will provide clinical supervision and support to Tunisian healthcare services and are expected to deploy for up to twelve weeks."
Tunisia's population is under 12 million people, and they are reporting around 3,000 cases a day at the moment. 

Good as his word, UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid did ask the Competitions & Markets Authority (CMA) to investigate the price and quality of private COVID tests.
"There are 3 areas that the CMA is currently exploring:
- Whether individual PCR providers may be breaching their obligations under consumer law and should be subject to enforcement action.
- Whether there are structural problems in the market for PCR tests, affecting price or reliability.
- Whether there are any immediate actions that the Government could take in the meantime."

Up until July 30th the USA has recorded a total of 4,404 cases of Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome in children who have COVID.
60% of cases were in boys, and 37 of the children have died.

130821 vaccination take up by age UK

This weekend the UK has the Edinburgh Fringe, cricket at Lords, and the return of football league matches. People will start travelling and gathering, and as a result it's inevitable we'll see more cases.
We are all a bit more relaxed. We're all mixing more. We're all quite rightly enjoying the Summer. But it will have a cost. What that cost will be is really anyone's guess.
At the moment we are far, far below the highest modelling scenarios. We are well below the mid-range modelling scenarios. It IS going really well, and a lot of people around the world are acting in response and removing restrictions on their vaccinated populations.
But it still has a vague hint of something not being quite right, and very few people are entirely confident that we won't see a marked increase once schools go back and that Summer sunshine disappears behind a cloud. Fingers, as ever, crossed. 

In the USA we are seeing a potential disaster emerge. Atlanta, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, and even New York are struggling to curb cases.  Hospitals are really feeling the pressure, with many full, and temporary tents outside at least two hospitals in Texas.
The UK NHS started out with far less beds, but managed to stretch to accommodate tens of thousands of COVID patients. America's health system simply isn't so integrated. I honestly don't know how well their bed capacity can be adapted, how easily they can transfer patients, and how that works in a private healthcare system. I would hate to think anyone could end up dying for lack of a bed, because someone else paid for a private room, but realistically it must be happening. 

Why is the USA falling over because of Delta, but the UK doesn't seem to be? A few of you have asked. It really is likely to be a combination of things, and it's impossible to say which is having the biggest effect.
- Prior infection. Millions of people in both countries have already had COVID, and potentially at least 20%ish each, but it's impossible to have any exact figure. It could easily be around 30% or more in the UK, and that could make a big difference.
- Hospital 'surge' capacity may be smaller in the USA, or barely exist - see above. When your hospital is full, it's full.
- Vaccination rates in the USA are currently a little lower than they are in the UK.
Age 18+
USA = 1 dose 71.5% / 2 doses 61.3%
UK = 1 dose 89.3%/ 2 doses 75.7%
The USA vaccinate people aged 12+ though, so as a proportion of the entire population:
USA = 1 dose 59.2% /2 doses 50.4%
UK = 1 dose 70.4% / 2 doses 59.8%
- Some studies do suggest being fully vaccinated with the AstraZeneca vaccine offers better protection against Delta Variant than the posh, expensive mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna). Often when given a choice, people take the expensive option, assuming it'll be better. The more traditional vaccines such as AstraZeneca and Janssen have received some bad press in the USA, so take up has been very, very low, whereas in the UK,  around half the vaccinated people have had AstraZeneca - including most of our workers, the people out there day after day mixing.
- The USA is really diverse. Their averages vary massively from state to state, whether it be cases, losses of life, vaccinations, population density, use of restrictions to curb cases etc. For example, Mississippi has administered just 76,000 doses per 100,000 people, compared to Vermont's 137,000 per 100,000. Some states had ditched restrictions months ago, some still have them. It will make a big difference. The whole UK on the other hand was in restrictions, or only just slowly relaxing restrictions, when Delta emerged.
- Political pressure. One main party is refusing to see COVID as a threat, the other is refusing not to. It just doesn't work like that. COVID honestly doesn't have political affiliation. If you have lots of cases and full hospitals, smiling and saying "vaccines will save us" isn't what a Governor should be doing. Likewise if you don't have many cases, restrictions are unpopular at best. 

130821 covid cases by age england

Today's indieSAGE offered some hope to Northern Ireland, which is seeing a real rise in cases at the moment. Their positivity rate is going down, meaning they are catching more of the hidden cases that are there anyway, and the increase isn't actually so stark - and hopefully it's getting under some control.
The ONS Infection Survey results (where they randomly test thousands of people to see if they test positive) show that bouncing up and down that we've seen in case numbers, but overall on August 7th each UK nation was showing a true small decline in case numbers.
Sadly that has bounced a bit in the last week, and in England we can see cases rising - most markedly in people aged 20-59. The people who are out there mixing.
The volume of UK case numbers is having an effect, even though the vast majority of people are protected from serious illness by vaccination. Each day we are admitting around 200 more people aged 65 or older to hospital than we were this time last Summer. That's a little ominous, not as good a place to head into Autumn from.
indieSAGE continue to be concerned about the number of children who might potentially end up with Long COVID. They discussed the varying advice on school reopening this Autumn:
European CDC - be careful.
US CDC - Wear masks, be careful.
UK - it's okay, kids don't really catch COVID, and they probably don't really pass it on either, and they almost definitely won't die. It'll be fiiiiiiiine.
indieSAGE aren't entirely confident it's going to be easy sailing from here in:
"We are approaching autumn with cases 25x higher and hospitalisations 10x higher than last year and an NHS that is severely under strain. We are only one doubling away from July peak – not much room to manoeuvre."
There's our warning. 

India was absolutely ravaged by Delta Variant, and despite their relatively young population, they lost far more people than we'll probably ever know. Their '4th National Sero-Survey' last month found that 67.6% of the total population, and 62% of unvaccinated people, have developed antibodies against COVID.
The price of protection via disease is incredibly high. A report last month estimated that the true loss of life in India was around 10 times that which has been officially reported, somewhere between 3.4m and 4.7m people.

Iran looks bad. Their case rate is rising incredibly fast, despite so many prior infections. They cannot afford to lock down again, and are now reporting 40,000 cases a day - a number which is likely to be a massive under-estimate. 

130821 ONS infection survey indieSAGE

Chile has started offering Booster Vaccinations to their older citizens, and they are using a different vaccination to the first 2 shots, in hopes it will give better protection against Delta Variant.
They intend to fully vaccinate 80% of their population - with the idea it will bring herd immunity. Everyone aged 14 or over has now been invited to be vaccinated (I believe that's still true!).
Currently they've vaccinated over 80% of people aged 14+, which means 67.44% of their whole population is fully vaccinated, and another 7% need their 2nd dose. Not bad at all! They just another 6% to get to their goal...

Some countries relax border entry rules for people who have natural immunity - England does NOT.
We are also strict about "fully vaccinated" meaning 2 doses of the same vaccine. There's quite a lot of evidence to suggest mix-and-match vaccines may give better protection across a range of variants, and some countries either by design, or lack of other options, offered citizens different vaccines for their 2 doses. Some combinations work better than others, and I think that's why England has decided on refusing as a blanket measure.
Under these rules, Angela Merkel, ex German Chancellor and professional scientist, wouldn't be counted as fully vaccinated. Germany gave people the option, and she chose AstraZeneca first, Moderna second. I personally think it was a wise choice facing Delta Variant.
It may become a bit of an issue in future,  and I can foresee the single dose Johnson&Johnson / Janssen vaccine suddenly becoming a very popular "booster", because 1 dose of that IS fully vaccinated. 

Turkey is still ablaze, as are parts of Italy, Greece, the Ukraine and a whole swathe of Southern Europe. My thoughts with everyone affected out there, and please let it end soon. 

School guidance Autumn Term European CDC US CDC and Uk

It's Friday 13th!! *Insert scary ghost whooooohooo sound effect*. Thankfully we protected ourselves from bad luck today by taking it all yesterday (discovered a rat in the kitchen / the toilet leaks / my partner trod in poo). I hope your day has been a good one, and that you all have an excellent weekend. Do NOT forget your treat - for YOU. The situation in the UK may not be as bad as it has been, but you know you have still earnt it.

On Sunday it will be 7 years since we lost one of our teenage children, so I won't do a COVID report, my day will be better spent with my family. I shall be back on Tuesday (or Monday if Boris does a press conference, or earlier if anything incredible happens).

Do Something That Makes You Smile. Then Pass It On To Someone Else. And Save The NHS....

Some numbers. All of them were once just a thought, and a smile:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (since midnight GMT. In larger countries some states /provinces have yet to report today):

USA 37,215,814 (+12,165) 636,369 (+71)

India 32,149,514 (+32,462) 430,631 (+346)

Brazil 20,285,067 not yet reported today 566,988

Russia 6,557,068 (+22,277) 168,864 (+815)

France 6,398,983 not yet reported today 112,487

UK 6,211,868 (+32,700) 130,801 (+100)

Turkey 6,039,857 (+21,372) 52,860 (+157)

Argentina 5,066,253 not yet reported today 108,569

Colombia 4,856,595 not yet reported today 123,097

Spain 4,693,540 (+15,657) 82,470 (+63)

Italy 4,427,827 (+7,409) 128,379 (+45)

Iran 4,359,385 (+39,119) 96,742 (+527)

Germany 3,817,059 (+2,743) 92,355 (+7)

Indonesia 3,804,943 (+30,788) 115,096 (+1,432)

Mexico 3,045,571 (+24,975) 246,811 (+608) 

.

.

Sources:

https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

Daily hospital admissions 

https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/covid-19-hospital-activity/

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/how-to-quarantine-when-you-arrive-in-england

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-emergency-medical-team-deployed-to-help-tunisia-tackle-covid-19-crisis

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations_vacc-total-admin-rate-total

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#mis-national-surveillance

https://twitter.com/gavi/status/1426121730242842635?s=19

https://www.gavi.org/news/media-room/uk-donated-covid-19-vaccine-doses-reach-african-countries

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/consensus-statements-on-covid-19

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-emergency-medical-team-deployed-to-help-tunisia-tackle-covid-19-crisis

https://www.hindustantimes.com/india-news/40-cr-indians-don-t-have-covid-anti-bodies-vulnerable-reveals-4th-serosurvey-101626779228818.html

https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/23/coronavirus-how-india-is-doing-now-after-delta-variant-spread.html

https://www.news-medical.net/news/20210208/New-machine-learning-algorithm-estimates-number-of-COVID-19-cases-in-the-US.aspx

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#mis-national-surveillance

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-emergency-medical-team-deployed-to-help-tunisia-tackle-covid-19-crisis

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-concerns-about-price-reliability-and-quality-of-pcr-testing

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-57888460

https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2021/07/20/1018438334/indias-pandemic-death-toll-estimated-at-about-4-million-10-times-the-official-co

https://twitter.com/i/events/1425889513449140236

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202107/1229444.shtml

https://www.thestatesman.com/world/chile-immunises-80-of-target-population-against-covid-1502988625.html

https://twitter.com/i/events/1425889513449140236

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/this-state-is-frightened-by-what-is-coming-next-with-the-covid-surge/ar-AANhjt3?ocid=msedgntp

https://www.independentsage.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/WeeklySlides_13August2021.pdf

https://effis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/apps/effis_current_situation/



Thursday, 12 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 11th / 12th August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 11th / 12th August 2021

The UK added 33,074 cases today (UP from 30,215 cases a week earlier, and 31,117 two weeks ago) and now has reported a total of 6,179,506 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 842,591 tests yesterday.

The counter says 47,170,968 people (89.2% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 40,013,470 people (75.7%) had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated 14 days after that 2nd dose.

5,909 people were in hospital yesterday, 11th August, with 871 using a ventilator.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 94 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 130,701 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 317,204 cases and 5,059 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 205,822,170 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,342,466. Already 184,790,391 people have recovered.

120821 70% of UK young people have been vaccinated text over a UK flag

The UK GCSE results were released today. I have the same message for you as I did for A Level students. Anyone who passed a formal qualification has done an extraordinary thing in extraordinary times. Well done to all of you.

Academic grades are only a tiny part of all the things that make you, you. There is so much more to who you are, and there are hundreds of options available, whether you got the grades you hoped for or not.
Re-sits, whole new GCSEs, vocational courses, apprenticeships, A levels, work. Take a deep breath. It will be okay. Some of the most intelligent, witty, creative and successful people around did not pass their exams first time, or in some cases, ever. 

Tuesday, 10 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 9th / 10th August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 9th / 10th August 2021.

The UK added 23,510 cases today (UP from 21,691 a week earlier / identical to  23,511 two weeks earlier), and now has reported a total of 6,117,540 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 725,764 tests yesterday.

The counter says 47,091,889 people (89% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 39,688,566 people (75%) had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated 2 weeks after that 2nd dose.

5,909 people were in hospital yesterday, Monday 9th August (DOWN from 6,099 a week earlier / 5,918 two weeks earlier), with 859 using a ventilator (DOWN from 895 a week earlier / UP from 820 two weeks earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 146 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 130,503 losses of life in all settings.
Up until Friday 30th July, 154,202 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.

Area: Deaths / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 7,906 / 249.4
Scotland: 10,354 / 189.4
Northern Ireland: 3,014 / 159
England: 131,867 / 233.2

Rep. Of Ireland 313,876 cases and 5,044 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 204,469,679 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,322,202. Already 183,645,612 people have recovered.

UK Gov Lets keep masking up image of man and woman wearing masks

"30.2% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 15.6% is fully vaccinated.
4.48 billion doses have been administered globally, and 36.36 million are now administered each day.
Only 1.1% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose."
Our World In Data. 

The A Level results were out today, and a record percentage of students received A and A* results.
It's a pandemic. Anyone who has received an A Level pass (or any formal qualification) has done an extraordinary thing in extraordinary times. Well done to all of you.

If you didn't get the grades you wanted, you are part of a huge club of people who were forced to have a re-think. Focus on what you HAVE achieved, and where you CAN go now. For many people, this turns out to be the best thing that could have happened. It'll be okay.

Sunday, 8 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 7th / 8th August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 7th / 8th August 2021

The UK added 27,429 cases today and now has reported a total of 6,069,362 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 825,501 tests yesterday.

The counter says 47,036,796 people (88.9% of UK adults 18+) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 39,429,468 people (74.5%) had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 39 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 130,320 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 312,465 (+1,837) cases and 5,044 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 203,256,063 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,304,987. Already 182,598,948 people have recovered.

Olympics 2020 Tokyo Medal Table

ICNARC has restarted their weekly reports on ICU use in the UK.
THIS WAVE IS NOT LIKE THE OTHERS - and we have to assume this is almost entirely because of vaccination.
In this wave compared to waves pre-vaccinations:
- ICU patients have an average age of 49, this is 10 years younger than the previous wave. We have more younger people seriously ill in hospital as a percentage of all patients, but it's impossible to say if (because of Delta) we have 'more' younger people in hospital than previous waves.
- 1 in every 4 female patients aged 16-49 in ICU is pregnant or has has a baby within 6 weeks. Vaccination take-up rates are much lower in pregnant people, and COVID is very hard on pregnant bodies (it is a very hard decision to make when pregnant, I appreciate that, but give it some consideration. If you do defer, please think about getting vaccinated as soon as you can when baby is born.)

Friday, 6 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 6th August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 6th August 2021

The UK added 31,808 cases today and now has recorded a total of over 6 million officially reported cases - 6,014,023. We completed 825,501 tests yesterday.

The counter says 46,961,830 people (88.8% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 39,047,529 people (73.8%) had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

5,631 people were in hospital yesterday 5th August (DOWN from 5,916 a week earlier, up from 5,001 two week earlier / 3,964 three weeks earlier), with 871 using a ventilator (very slightly UP on last week's 869, up from 699 two weeks earlier / 551 three weeks earlier - this will take longer to fall than hospitalisations - younger people especially often take several weeks to have an 'outcome'. Fingers crossed for positive outcomes).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 92 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 130,178 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 308,800 (+1,781) cases and 5,044 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 202,049,669 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,285,942. Already 181,725,241 people have recovered.

060821 indieSAGE positives by day uk

"Great news! All countries & areas in the WHO Western Pacific Region now have enough COVID19 vaccines to protect all of their healthcare workers.
Over 20M of the total doses received were delivered by COVAX, thanks to the support of donors & partners."
The World Health Organisation.

"Rolling out additional booster shots of covid19 vaccines widely is no different than going for a second helping while there’s still a long line of people waiting to get any food at all.
And we’re not even sure whether that feeling in our stomachs is hunger - or just anxiety."
Kai Kupferschmidt, German Science Journalist.

Thursday, 5 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 4th / 5th August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 4th / 5th August 2021

The UK added 30,215 cases today (still slightly down from 31,117 a week earlier) and now has reported a total of 5,982,581 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 845,680 tests yesterday.

The counter says 46,926,330 people (88.7% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 38,874,837 people (73.5%) had received 2 doses and are fully vaccinated.

5,686 people were in hospital yesterday, August 4th (down from 6,034 a week earlier, but up from 4,861 two weeks earlier), with 881 using a ventilator (up from 853 a week earlier / 647 two weeks earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 86 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 130,086 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 305,527 cases and 5,044 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 201,360,015 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,275,763. Already 181,272,358 people have recovered.

050821 UK Public Health England dailty stats

"I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the Delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world's most vulnerable people remain unprotected."
Dr Tedros, Head of the World Health Organisation.

Tuesday, 3 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 2nd / 3rd August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 2nd / 3rd August 2021

The UK added 21,691 cases today (down from 23,511 a week earlier) and now has reported a total of 5,923,820 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 724,299 tests yesterday.

The counter says 46,898,525 people (88.7% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 38,590,332 people (73%) had received 2 doses.

6,099 people were in hospital yesterday, 2nd August (up from 5,918 a week earlier / 4,567 two weeks earlier) with 895 using a ventilator (up from 820 a week earlier / 611 two weeks earlier).
Significantly these are still increases, but they are visibly slowing - we might just be winning this... but I just can't bring myself to trust it just yet...

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 138 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 129,881 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 303,426 cases and 5,035 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 199,936,865 reported cases worldwide - which will be 200 million within the next few hours. A grim milestone indeed.
The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,254,571. Already 180,336,389 people have recovered.

Wear face coverings in crowded places to protect others UK Gov 2 workmen sitting on a bus wearing masks and chatting together

"60% of all adults in the EU are now fully vaccinated.
Full vaccination protects us from COVID19 and its variants.
Let's stay vigilant. Let's get vaccinated! For our own health – and to protect others."
Ursula Von Der Leyen, President of the EU Commission.

The UK (including Scotland) have relaxed quarantine this week. Double vaccinated travellers to the US or EU no longer have to self-isolate for 10 days when they return from Amber List countries, except for people who have been in France in the previous 10 days.

Sunday, 1 August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 31st July / 1st August 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 31st July / 1st August 2021

The UK added 24,470 cases today and now has reported a total of 5,880667 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 863,554 tests yesterday.

The counter says 46,851,145 people (88.6% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 38,345,841 people (72.5%) had received 2 doses.

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 65 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 128,719 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 302,074  (+1,098) cases and 5,035 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 198,845,081 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,238,127. Already 179,505,242 people have recovered.

Mums with COVID and babies should stay together

"With the Delta Variant in terms of severity, we have seen a few countries demonstrate increased hospitalisation rates. In terms of people who are infected with this variant, it had not yet translated into increased mortality.
What we do know is that public health and social measures do work against the Delta Variant.
We know that our vaccines are safe and effective against severe disease and death.
And so those who have access to the vaccine - when it's your turn, please get vaccinated and make sure that it's with the full course of your dose, because it is definitely working against severe disease and death.
There is some data that suggests that people who are vaccinated can be infected and they can transmit, although the likelihood of that is much reduced if you are vaccinated.
But it's important that we look at "vaccines and" and not "vaccines only", and that we use a comprehensive approach to understanding, and to controlling transmission."
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, Epidemiologist and COVID19 Technical Lead at the World Health Organisation. 

From August 7th, double-jabbed adults in Wales are exempt from isolation if they are identified as a contact of someone who test positive to COVID.
England will bring in the same policy on August 16th.
I have no idea why. 

Friday, 30 July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 30th July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 30th July 2021

The UK added 29,622 cases today and now has reported a total of 5,830,774 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 863,554 tests yesterday.

The counter says 46,775,525 people (88.4% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 37,962,407 people (71.8%) had received 2 doses.

5,916 people were in hospital yesterday 29th July (up from 5,001 a week earlier / 3,964 two weeks earlier), with 869 people using a ventilator (up from 699 a week earlier / 551 two weeks earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 68 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 129,583 losses of life in all settings.

Up until Friday 16th July, 153,342 people had COVID listed as a cause on their death certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland 298,048 cases and 5,035 losses of life. (Not yet reported today.)

There have now been a total of 197,703,056 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,219,658. Already 178,754,952 people have recovered.

Never too late to book your vaccination

“Delta is a warning..
“It's a warning that this virus is evolving. But it's also a call to action: That we need to move now, before more dangerous variants emerge."
Dr Mike Ryan, World Health Organisation. 

Thursday, 29 July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 28th / 29th July 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 28th / 29th July 2021

The UK added 31,117 cases today (down from 39,905 a week earlier) and now has reported a total of 5,801,561 positive cases of COVID-19. We completed 911,012 tests yesterday.

The counter says 46,733,115 people (88.4% of UK adults) had been given at least one dose of a vaccine in the UK by midnight last night. 37,782,252 people (71.4%) had received 2 doses.

6,034 people were in hospital yesterday Wednesday 28th July (up from 4,861 a week earlier), with 853 using a ventilator (up from 647 a week earlier).

In the 24 hours up until 5pm yesterday, we officially reported the loss of another 85 people who have tested positive to COVID-19 within 28 days, making a total of 129,515 losses of life in all settings.

Rep. Of Ireland 298,048 (+1,361) cases and 5,035 losses of life.

There have now been a total of 197,035,002 reported cases worldwide. The number of people who have lost their lives worldwide to COVID-19 is 4,209,410. Already 178,353,731 people have recovered.

290721 3 in 5 people aged 18 to 24 have has a vaccination

"One billion doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine have now been supplied to 170 countries. This British vaccine, distributed at cost, is saving lives across the globe.
Together we can vaccinate the world by the end of next year and build back better from coronavirus."
Boris Johnson, UK PM

"BREAKING: The number of covid positive patients in English hospitals has FALLEN for the first time in 30 days!
One swallow doesn't make a summer - but VERY good sign."
Alistair McLellan, Editor of the Health Services Journal.
According to the figures London has a sudden drop of 80 patients, which is a bit weird, but even if you ignore London, figures look static/slightly down elsewhere.
I still won't believe it for another week myself, but I'll be more than happy to be proven wrong if this continues, and every less patient in hospital is a good thing. (Across the whole UK, the drop was 1 patient.)