Tuesday 26 October 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 25th / 26th October 2021

"Because of technical issues at Public Health Wales yesterday, the cases and deaths reported today cover a 72-hour period. However, due to further technical issues, not all cases in the 72-hour period have been flagged as new. The true number of new cases since the previous update is likely to be just over 8,000. The cumulative total is unaffected by this reporting issue."
Also - UK vaccination totals are wrong, so I've left those for today. Counting can be so tricky...

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 8,853,227 (+40,954)
In Hospital on Monday 25th: 8,693 (UP from 7,749 a week earlier, 7,003 two weeks earlier - it's growing by more each week).
Using A Ventilator on Monday 25th: 913 (UP from 823 a week earlier, 747 two weeks earlier - again growing at an increasing rate).
Losses of Life: 139,834 (+263)
Tests: 820,481

Rep. Of Ireland: 431,722 cases and 5,369 losses of life.

World: 245,086,616 reported cases and 4,974,870 losses of life.

Depression can happen to anyone. It is not a sign of weakness

"For every 100 people in high-income countries, 133 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, while in low-income countries, only 4 doses per 100 people have been administered."
World Health Organisation. 

Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary who may or may not reside in an alternate dimension, believes Christmas is going to be fine. He was on the telly and radio  yesterday reassuring the UK public.
He's also implied he is pretty keen on the idea of mandatory vaccinations for Health and social care staff. This is incredibly common elsewhere, it's something many countries are making law.
Approximately 100,000 NHS staff and 100,000 care workers aren't yet vaccinated in the UK. 

Leader of the opposition Keir Starmer is among those calling for exclusion zones around UK schools, to prevent staff and pupils being harassed by anti-vaxxers. The Guardian report that a staggering 79% of schools surveyed by The Association of School and College Leaders (ASCL) have been targeted. 

Not COVID, but it's going to be health related. Thousands of dead sea creatures have washed up on shore in the North West of England. An investigation was launched 2 weeks ago when it first started, and since then it's increased day on day, to the piles of dead crustaceans which have washed up on North Yorkshire beaches since the weekend. Pollution is the obvious suspect... 

RSV infection can be dangerous in the elderly or babies

I love a good bit of direct honesty, and we rarely get it from MPs in the West. They often seem to think we wouldn't understand, so they don't explain, and they try to avoid saying anything with strong language, so they can wheedle out of it later. I am a fan of New Zealand’s Jacinda Ardern, and this is another example of why...
She announced in addition to mandatory vaccinations for people working in health or education, workers at any New Zealand business that requires vaccine certificates will also have to be vaccinated - barbers, hospitality, gyms etc. An interviewer asked her 'although you probably don't see it like this, you're creating "two different classes of people, if you are vaccinated or unvaccinated. You have all these rights if you are vaccinated"'.
Jacinda replied:
"That is what it is, so yep. Yep."
Whether you agree with her or not, she couldn't be clearer.

A huge thank you to the anonymous reader who put me right about "Maggie Erewash" last Friday. One of our newer Health Ministers is in fact Maggie Throup, the MP for Erewash - a lovely part of the UK. Sorry Maggie. 

The US Biden Administration has announced "a new international air travel policy that is stringent, consistent across the globe, and guided by public health".
From November 8th:
- foreign national air travelers to the United States will be required to be fully vaccinated and to provide proof of vaccination status prior to boarding, with only limited exceptions.
- vaccines accepted will include those FDA approved or authorized, as well as vaccines with an emergency use listing (EUL) from the World Health Organization (WHO).
- ALL fully vaccinated air travellers will continue to be required to show documentation of a pre-departure negative viral test from a sample taken within three days of travel to the United States before boarding.
- unvaccinated travelers – whether U.S. citizens, LPRs, or the small number of excepted unvaccinated foreign nationals – will now need to show documentation of a negative viral test from a sample taken within 24 hours.

China is one of the latest countries to find itself struggling to control Delta Variant. Despite some reported lockdowns, they recently cancelled the Beijing and Wuhan Marathons, and have announced plans to start vaccinating children aged 3 and up. 

261021 daily stats UK HSA

Not COVID, but footage of raw sewage being pumped out of a massive pipe for  49 hours at Langstone Harbour in Hampshire, UK, is making the news *bowk*.
Least offensive comments and headlines include 'at least COVID means you won't be able to smell it'. Boom boom.
Privatised UK water companies paid £57 billion to shareholders between 1991 and 2019, and now report debts of £48 billion. I'm no businessman, but even I can see that's not the right way to run a business.
Anyway.... apparently along with all the other shortages, there is a shortage of chemicals to clean the water up, so the UK solved that by relaxing the rules on how much raw sewage can be discharged into our waterways. Rivers Trust have an interactive map that'll show you where it's being discharged nearest to you, and possibly make you cry a little bit. 

It is always interesting to see what other countries make of us, and Bloomberg Opinion have kindly obliged, in an article entitled "COVID Cases Are Soaring In Britain Again. Why?"
It's a good article, but fairly depressing, and somewhat embarrassing for the 4th largest economy in the world... In summary:
'The U.K. ought to provide a warning for other countries. The lifting of many restrictions at once looks unwise, at least when combined with:
- Widespread de-masking
"Britain reopened in July without guard rails in place. Prime Minister Boris Johnson encouraged the public to get off the pause button and hit “play.” Britons now seem to lack any inhibition when it comes pandemic protection."
- Inadequate sick pay
"There is a big disparity between low rates in the U.K. and more generous levels on the Continent. That has forced many Brits infected by Covid to continue working, spreading the virus to others."
- Vaccination programs that are too slow to inoculate children.'

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard of the Oxford Vaccine Group told MP's today that it's unfair to "bash the UK" over our high COVID cases. He believes we test far more than other countries, so "it's not right that those rates are really telling us something that we can compare internationally".
(If you listen carefully, you can hear around 100 world leaders breaking into a tiny chuckle and a wry smile.)
Why yes, it's true, many countries don't test as much as the UK, and their underestimates are even larger than ours. It is far more difficult to compare country to country than you'd imagine. Population density, travel, types of work, household sizes, age of population, it all makes comparing far from straightforward. We can all tell a mule from a stallion though, right?

A London businessman called Charlie Mullins OBE is a big fan of the frothy coffee economy. He was on telly this morning with some bizarre opinions:
"People working from home that can go to work is the equivalent to drawing benefits when you should be at work"
(No Charlie, it's literally "being at work". It avoids you drawing benefits.)
"Of course it's a bad thing for the children to be at home and just see their parents working from home. They're not going to want to go into the workplace, they're gonna think that's the normal."
(Eh... what's 'the normal'? And millions of people work from home, but their grown up kids don't always follow suit. Choice Charlie, it's about what works best for you at the time.)
"You don't go to work, you sit at home, watch Netflix and do all your chores and all that. That's not everybody who works from home, the people that need to. But the people that don't need to work from home should get back in the workplace and get the economy going."
(Psst Charlie, my partner took a 120 person contact centre and sent them all to work from home. Did they all watch Netflix all day and their employer's company collapse? No. Did it work well for everyone? No. Does it work well for most people? Yes. Did some people work even more productively and happily from home, including my partner? Yes. Choice Charlie, choice.)
This is a businessman with a very nice tan, who I imagine takes more holidays a year than most of those workers he's referring to take in a decade. I also imagine he continues to answer calls and emails even when on holiday or (heaven forbid) when he's at home. But he doesn't think you should be allowed to. For reference, Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, has (supposedly) the most important job in the country, and he works from home. 

Working from home was what most people did right up until the industrial revolution, with the creation of factories and the need for more administration, in the late 1700's. I'm not sure exactly what year management became convinced employees wouldn't actually work unless they were being stared at, but it probably coincided with lower pay, less respect and worse working conditions.

Get your booster get your flu jab get protected UK GOv

Famous People With COVID:
Daytime UK telly person Eamonn Holmes. He will be unavailable for in-person commitments (sorry if you'd booked him for a birthday or bar mitzvah).

The UK has a Government Budget on Wednesday. Rumoured changes include a rise in the minimum living wage to £9.50 per hour (most employees aged 23+). Minimum wage limits for younger people and apprentices will also see a rise, and the cap on public sector pay may be removed. It'll be live on telly tomorrow and all the news channels will have details of how it'll affect you.
We aren't actually meant to get any clues ahead of a budget speech to Parliament, but Chancellor Rishi Sunak leaked it himself - and the House Speaker Lindsey Hoyle has asked him to resign. The sitting party are cheekily deciding just about everything at the moment without bothering to ask/inform the House first. It is VERY bad form. If I make a major decision I'll always check with my partner, and I'm not even in a position where I could kill hundreds of thousands of people.

My 11 year old is now full on irritating his siblings, so he's very much better, and we are all still testing negative so far. A huge thank you to everyone who has wished him well - it did the trick. I hope if you have COVID too, that you are also feeling much better, much cooler, and wanting to eat everything in the house.... 

Some numbers. All people on our tiny little planet:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life for the full 24 hours YESTERDAY up to midnight GMT. These are the countries reporting the most new cases yesterday:

USA 46,417,525 (+48,771) 757,849 (+510)

UK 8,812,273 (+39,066) 139,571 (+38)

Russia 8,279,573 (+37,930) 231,669 (+1,069)

Turkey 7,879,468 (+27,663) 69,344 (+232)

Ukraine 2,784,039 (+14,634) 64,202 (+330)

India 34,201,357 (+11,873) 455,100 (+357)

Romania 1,571,115 (+9,187) 44,992 (+299)

Thailand 1,859,157 (+8,675) 18,799 (+44)

Iran 5,868,360 (+7,516) 125,363 (+140)

Hungary 850,513 (+6,688) 30,567 (+75)

Serbia 1,104,117 (+5,908) 9,571 (+62)

Bulgaria 575,306 (+5,863) 23,316 (+243)

Brazil 21,735,560 (+5,797) 605,884 (+202)

Netherlands 2,087,859 (+5,296) 18,320 (+6)






















Rivers Trust Dashboard: 








"Covid cases are soaring in Britain again — more than in Europe. Why?" https://twitter.com/i/events/1452645886098554888





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