Friday 31 December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 29th / 30th / 31st December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 29th / 30th / 31st December 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 12,937,886 (+189,846)
In Hospital on Wednesday 29th Dec: 11,918
Using A Ventilator on Wednesday: 868
Losses of Life: 148,624 (+203)
Tests: 1,507,040
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,771,384 (90% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 47,412,181 (82.4%)
Boosted: 33,924,738 (59%)

Area: Cases last 7 days / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 40,266 / 1,270.4
Scotland: 60,071 / 1,099
Northern Ireland: 26,014 / 1,372.4
England: 714,700 / 1,263.8

Rep. Of Ireland: 788,559 (+20,110) cases and 5,912 losses of life.

World: 287,555,450 reported cases and 5,449,799 losses of life.

World Health Organisation Celebrate safely

"As expected, T cell immunity holding up better against Omicron. This will protect us against severe disease. Please get vaccinated if you haven't!"
Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the World Health Organisation. 

Tuesday 28 December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 24th - 28th December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 24th - 28th December 2021

I thought we'd have more complete data today - how wrong was I!? (Very, apparently.) We have much missing data, so we'll start with the national totals...

28 December 2021
England: 10,545,584 (+117,093)
Scotland: 831,158 (no report)
Wales: 594,753 (+12,378 - represents 25th and 26th December)
Northern Ireland: 367,181 (no report)
UK: 12,338,676 (+129,471)
In Hospital / Using A Ventilator not updated since 22nd December (see below for more updated figures).
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,679,435 (89.9% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 47,289,628 (82.2%)
Boosted: 32,696,064 (56.9%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 731,467 (+9,006) cases and 5,890 losses of life.

World: 282,223,385 reported cases and 5,426,477 losses of life.

Millions already Boosted why not join them

"That, after all, is the teaching of Jesus Christ, whose birth is at the heart of this enormous festival – that we should love our neighbours as we love ourselves."
Boris Johnson, playing the 'religion card' in an effort to get us to continue going out to get vaccinated over Christmas.
It did cause some controversy, although the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury are among the billions of Christian and other religious people who agree with him.

Thursday 23 December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 22nd /23rd December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 22nd /23rd December 2021

(Due to a technical issue, testing totals are not complete.)

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 11,769,921 (+119,789)
In Hospital Yesterday 22nd December: 8,216 (Up from 7,611 on 16th December - an extra 100 ish patients a day average)
Using A Ventilator Yesterday 22nd December: 842 (fairly level still)
Losses of Life: 147,720 (+147)
Tests: 1,577,020
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,617,091 (89.8% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 47,210,053 (82.1%)
Booster / 3rd Dose: 31,684,926 (55.1%)

Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 21,232 / 669.9
Scotland: 38,662 / 707.3
Northern Ireland: 13,976 / 737.3
England: 517,580 / 915.3

Rep. Of Ireland: 680,375 (+7,411) cases and 5,890 losses of life

World: 277,891,348 reported cases and 5,397,228 losses of life

If you need medical attention over Christmas and it's not an emergency, try your GP surgery or 111

"2022 must be the year that we end this pandemic."
Dr Tedros, The World Health Organisation. 

No prizes for noticing the UK case rates are eye-wateringly high... and on the increase.

Wales will have stronger 'Alert Level 2' measures than previously announced. From 6am Boxing Day:
- social distancing returns to public spaces.
- the 'Rule of 6' returns in cinemas, theatres and hospitality. No more than 6 people may mix.
- all events and parties have a maximum 30 people indoors and 50 people outdoors.
- nightclubs must close.
- no spectators for sports fixtures, with a newly-announced exemption for grassroots and children's sport, which can have up to 50 spectators.

And Scotland has tweaked their measures too. Night clubs will now close for 3 weeks from 27th December, unless they wish to try and open 'as a bar' with table service and 1m distance between groups.
Scottish people have already been asked to stay at home more than they usually would, and limit gatherings to people from 3 households.

Tuesday 21 December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 20th / 21st December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 20th / 21st December 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 11,453,121 (+91,743)
In Hospital / Using A Ventilator not updated since Friday 17th
Losses of Life: 147,433 (+172)
Tests: 1,468,502
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,537,827 (89.6% of UK age 16+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 47,102,814 (81.9%)
Boosted: 29,876,223 (52%)

Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 19,208 / 606
Scotland: 35,177 / 643.6
Northern Ireland: 13,084 / 690.3
England: 454,133 / 803.1

Rep. Of Ireland: 666,657 (+5,269) cases and 5,835 losses of life

World: 276,145,149 reported cases and 5,380,831 losses of life

If you test positive, take positive action

Boris has filmed a spirit-boosting message for us all - and I'm sure many of you will be relieved to learn there will be NO MORE COVID measures or restrictions imposed in England (and currently also Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland) before Christmas:

Sunday 19 December 2021

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

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

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 11,361,387 (+82,886)
Losses of Life: 147,218 (+45)
Tests: 1,598,910 (if that's not a record then it's very close!)
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,463,255 (89.5% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 47,009,608 (81.7%)
Boosted: 28,060,874 (48.8%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 656,600 (+5,124) cases and 5,835 losses of life.

World: 274,820,401 reported cases and 5,369,415 losses of life.


"They must really think about the damage they are doing to society by… they take up hospital beds that could have been used for someone with maybe a heart problem, or maybe someone who is waiting for elective surgery.
But instead of protecting themselves and protecting the community they choose not to get vaccinated."
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Sky News today. Almost 90% of the eligible UK population have had their vaccinations, and the remaining 10% include 90% of the sickest people in hospital. 

The UK's efforts to administer vaccinations as quickly as possible really are world-beatingly excellent. On Saturday 906,656 people were vaccinated, including over 830,000 booster doses.
Well done to everyone involved.

Friday 17 December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 16th / 17th December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 16th / 17th December 2021

(Vaccination data for England is late today, so totals aren't complete.)

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 11,190,354 (+93,045)
In Hospital Yesterday 16th December: 7,611
Using A Ventilator Yesterday 16th December: 875
Losses of Life: 147,048 (+111)
Tests: 1,598,910
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,364,110 (89.3% of UK age 16+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,886,162 (81.5%)
Boosted: 25,598,784 (44.5%)

Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 16,420 / 518
Scotland: 25,791 / 471.8
Northern Ireland: 11,985 / 632.3
England: 315,611 / 558.1

Rep. Of Ireland: 640,548 cases and 5,835 losses of life (not yet reported today).

World: 273,597,144 reported cases and 5,357,220 losses of life.

Wait 28 days after testing positive before you get boosted

"Omicron is spreading at a rate we have not seen with any previous variant. I need to be very clear: vaccines alone will not get any country out of this crisis.
It’s not vaccines instead of masks, distancing, ventilation or hand hygiene.
Do it all. Do it consistently. Do it well."
Dr Tedros, World Health Organisation

And indeed attached is a graph from Theo Sanderson of The Crick Institute, showing Delta and Omicron infections in London. It is exactly as Chris Whitty explained at the briefing on Wednesday - the UK has 2 distinct infections running alongside each other. Delta numbers staying fairly flat, and Omicron has caught up and sped past. 

171221 Omicron in London cases by date and variant

Wednesday 15 December 2021

December 2021 #TBCSmiles 88 Months...

The problem with being in a pandemic is that you never really know what's coming next. You might think you have an idea, but then a curveball can fly at you from an angle, and you didn't see it coming...

Today is the 15th. That day of the month when I remind myself I can do this, and I can do it smiling... and you can do it too. We don't really go in for fluffy kittens, horizons and rainbows - we want belly laughs, rude jokes and cheekiness the likes of which can never be spoken aloud - but which makes itself known in the side smiles of youngsters with glinting eyes.

Me getting vaccinated standing in a vaccination centre

I thought today would be about protection, insurance, and confidence, because I had my COVID booster jab appointment (I'll not bore you with the figures, but they are definitely in favour of getting it done). Before I'd even left the house though, I had a message from my 22 year old daughter, who has tested positive. Today became about uncertainty, worry and feeling like Sheffield is on a distant moon, many many years of travel away from Manchester. 

UK COVID Emergency Briefing With Boris 15th December 2021

UK COVID Emergency Briefing With Boris 15th December 2021

Cases: 11,010,286 (+78,610)
Losses of Life: 146,791 (+165)
In Hospital Yesterday 14th Dec: 7,673 (up around 300 since last week)
Using a Ventilator Yesterday 14th Dec: 896
First dose: 51,332,920
Second dose: 46,842,497
Booster or third dose: 24,732,162

151221 UK Briefing slides cases UK

Soooooo.... another urgent UK Briefing today and little wonder really, as we have our highest ever daily new cases at +78,610. The previous record was 68,053 on 8th January.

If I see another person say "yeah, but hospitalisations aren't up", I'll actually scream. As a rule people don't test positive and fall immediately to the floor in need of medical help. It takes a couple of weeks before most people go to hospital. Sure it's always a good thing to see hospital numbers not going up, but don't get complacent - ITS TOO EARLY. If it's the same on Christmas Day, allow yourself a whoop! I do not think it will be, and nor do the UK scientific and medical advisory people. Sorry. 

Tuesday 14 December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 13th / 14th December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 13th / 14th December 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,932,545 (+59,610)
In Hospital Yesterday 13th December: 7,672
Using A Ventilator Yesterday 13th December: 900
Losses of Life: 146,627 (+150)
Tests: 1,307,252 (That's really high)
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,298,838 (89.2% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,804,609 (81.4%)
Boosters: 24,075,451 (41.9%)

Area: Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 16,366 / 516.3
Scotland: 22,786 / 416.9
Northern Ireland: 12,184 / 642.8
England: 293,521 / 519

Rep. Of Ireland: 628,306 cases and 5,788 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 271,397,526 reported cases and 5,333,158 losses of life.

Get Boosted Now image of very smiley lady every adult needs a booster COVID Omicron Emergency

"We can see that the growth in Omicron cases here in the UK is now mirroring the rapid increase that we are seeing in South Africa and the current observed doubling time is around every two days. Although yesterday we reported 4,713 confirmed cases of Omicron in the UK, the UKHSA estimate for the number of daily infections was 42 times higher at around 200,000. Scientists have never seen a COVID-19 variant that’s capable of spreading so rapidly so we have to look at what we can do to slow Omicron’s advance."
Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary in his address to Parliament earlier today.
He also said that there are still approximately 94,000 NHS staff who are still unvaccinated, and that COVID passes will always have a selection of routes to show eligibility, currently including proof of a negative test from the last 48 hours, proof of vaccination, a medical exemption or evidence of participation in a clinical trial.
UK MP's are voting on 4 different COVID measures tonight:
- Larger venue COVID passes
- Compulsory face masks in most indoor (non-hospitality) settings
- Avoiding self-isolation with daily lateral flow tests
- Mandatory COVID vaccinations for NHS employees by April 1st 2022

Sunday 12 December 2021

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

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

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,819,515 (+48,854)
Losses of Life: 146,439 (+52)
Tests: 1,326,438
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,254,510 (89.1% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2 Doses: 46,742,069 (81.3%)
Boosters: 23,124,829 (40.2%)

Up until Friday 26th November, according to the Office for National Statistics, 170,001 people in the UK have had COVID-19 listed as one of the causes on their death certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland: 623,623 (+4,667) cases and 5,788 losses of life.

World: 270,247,123 reported cases and 5,320,918 losses of life.

WHO getting vaccinated could save your life

"In 2020, as a result of disruption of health services due to the COVID19 pandemic:
- immunisation coverage (non-COVID) dropped for the first time in 10 years
- deaths from tuberculosis and malaria increased."
The World Health Organisation

Boris did a UK briefing at 8pm - that's very late in the day, so I came back and added this bit later. That's why it doesn't quite match up with the bits afterwards! Pah, it'll be fine....  

Boris was pre-recorded, solo, had especially tousled hair, and frankly eyebags that look like he really did just have a baby during a pandemic.
He started by saying "I'm afraid we're now facing an emergency with the new variant Omicron".
Omicron is doubling every 2-3 days. "No-one should be in any doubt there is a tidal wave of Omicron coming."
2 Doses are not enough - get your booster.
"Do not make the mistake of thinking Omicron can't hurt you". We have patients in hospital with Omicron in the UK already.
Today we are launching the "Omicron National Emergency Booster"  - in light of the Omicron EVERYONE ELIGIBLE AGED OVER 18 WILL GET A CHANCE TO BE BOOSTED BY THE NEW YEAR.
They are going to postpone some other appointments until the New Year in order to vaccinate.
He asks NHS workers to help.
Remember to work from home if you can from tomorrow - COVID pass or negative lateral flow from Wednesday.
If you haven't had any jab, please do it. If you need boosters, "get boosted now".
There ya go...

Boosters are about to roll out to anyone aged 30 and over in the UK. Hang on for the official announcement (which may be at 8pm), but you should be able to book from tomorrow.

Scotland at least is also hoping to roll out boosters for the 18-29 age group later next week.

From 9am on 13th December fully vaccinated children aged 12 to 15 can request an NHS COVID Pass letter for international travel.
(So I'm guessing kids are about to get their 2nd doses... ).

"Following advice from the UK Health Security Agency and in the light of the rapid increase in Omicron cases, the UK Chief Medical Officers and NHS England National Medical Director have recommended to ministers that the UK COVID-19 alert level should increase from Level 3 to Level 4."
And they have accepted that advice.
"Early evidence shows that Omicron is spreading much faster than Delta and that vaccine protection against symptomatic disease from Omicron is reduced. Data on severity will become clearer over the coming weeks but hospitalisations from Omicron are already occurring and these are likely to increase rapidly."
Remember a very small percentage of a very large number will still be a very large number. Your personal risk hasn't changed, but the risk we completely overwhelm medical facilities has done. If that happens, we won't be able to treat everyone who needs oxygen... or breaks their leg, or develops meningitis. That's what we are trying to protect against. 

UKHSA Omicron needs booster jabs quote from Mary Ramsey of NHS England

From Tuesday (or frankly from now if you have any common sense) in England all contacts of people with confirmed COVID should take daily free rapid lateral flow tests for 7 days whatever your vaccination status. Unvaccinated adults should still also self-isolate for 10 days.
(Catching up with Northern Ireland there... )

From Wednesday care home residents in England are only allowed 3 visitors, in an effort to lower the risk from Omicron. 

UK Education Secretary (and ex-Vaccines Minister) Nadhim Zahawi says we currently have no plans to roll out vaccinations to Primary School aged (5-11) children. 

Scientists are sweating watching the Omicron numbers. Basically in the UK they are increasing by 1/2 each day. (So if we had 2 cases, the next day 3. If we had 6 cases, the next day 9.)
We had 817 cases on Thursday
We had 1,265 cases on Friday
We had 1,898 on Saturday
Today, Sunday, the total is 3,137 - a single day increase of +1,239
This is how exponential growth can really upset everything very quickly.
National totals today stand at:
England - 2,953
Scotland - 159
Wales - 15
Northern Ireland - 10

- Omicron does NOT look more deadly. It could even be slightly less deadly than Delta, which is the COVID variant that has been most common worldwide for several months now, and which evolved on a different branch of the family tree all together.
- 2 doses of vaccination looks unlikely to prevent most people catching Omicron, and is less effective at preventing all symptoms, but is still very likely to keep most people from becoming very ill.
- 3 doses looks like it'll bump protection back up to "full levels". Do it. Don't delay, don't mess about. If you give yourself anything this Christmas, make it your booster jab.
- Kids can definitely catch Omicron, and we seem to be seeing higher numbers of children testing positive than with previous variants. It could be because they're more likely to have noticeable symptoms, it could be they stand out because vaccinated adults are less likely to have symptoms. It's early and could still be many reasons, including pure luck.
- A rise in cases won't be followed by a rise in hospitalisations for a good 2 to 3 weeks, and losses of life follows behind that. Any Government has to make a best guess decision - waiting until you know that you're in trouble for certain is too late. 

UKHSA Omicron 121221

COVID restrictions could save the lives of between 25,000 and 75,000 people over the next five months, according to the worst case scenarios from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and many experts and advisors are calling for the UK government to take a heavier hand.
I honestly can't see how that could be in any way easy. They kind of blew it already. We are too close to Christmas, and the general public are not going to readily accept restrictions right now. We also have the issue that people will refuse to 'follow Boris' rules' because they're annoyed he doesn't follow them himself.
It's not about him. It's about you, and the people you love and care for. Don't make it political, it's a virus. 

Media are reporting that Boris faces a rebellion from some of the MP's in his own party, who believe he's "jumped the gun" by bringing in measures against Omicron. The gamblers on the field are rumoured to total 60 or more, and include David Davis, Esther McVey, Dr Liam Fox and Greg Clark.
I guess you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't (although is anyone calling Jacinda Ardern daft for moving quickly). Personally I'd like some sort of Christmas, so I'm more than happy to wear a mask in Tesco... 

Virologist Trevor Bedford keeps crunching the numbers, he's almost doing rolling updates as more data on Omicron comes in. Right now we are watching the UK, Germany and the USA, who are all facing rapidly increasing numbers.
Trev is doing all kind software calculations, and currently he's estimating doubling times of around 2.5 to 3.7 days. This would be more alarming and concerning if we hadn't already spotted that he's probably correct... 

UKHSA how to protect yourself Images of vaccine bottle, handwashing, face mask and open window

It is being reported just about everywhere that 2 boys from the same Staffordshire school both died from COVID over October half term. This is utterly tragic. It is also almost definitely just a horrible coincidence, and it doesn't imply anything sinister.
It is incredibly rare for children to die from COVID, and while both teenage boys were considered healthy, they both had risk factors. The odds were stacked millions to 1 against this happening, but that always leaves that rare chance it will. Anyone who buys a lottery ticket has a 1 in 14 million chance of winning, but most draws, someone does.
COVID vaccinations hadn't yet taken place in their school, and at least 1 of the boys definitely hadn't had his jab. One boy died from a bleed on the brain which caused a stroke, and the coroner has yet to report on the second child.  

The UK Government are going to do some research at Addenbrookes Hospital, to see how effective air purifiers and air sampling are at preventing spread of COVID across hospital wards.
I can't help but feel they should have started that earlier... 

There have been massive demonstrations against COVID measures in Vienna. Around 44,000 people protested this weekend.
Austria is making vaccinations mandatory in February, and has just had a lockdown which ends this weekend - but only for fully vaccinated people.

With the knowledge that 3 jabs or hybrid immunity make all the difference to your risk of symptoms with Omicron COVID, Australia is following in the UK's wake and also fast-tracking booster jabs. Eligible Australians will now be able to get a booster 5 months after their 2nd jab. 

Lab leak anyone? Taiwan doesn't have any COVID in the community just now, and a lab assistant who was bitten twice by a COVID-infected mouse has tested positive. No prizes for guessing how they caught it... 

Personally we've cancelled the Grandparents coming to stay at Christmas. None of us felt confident. If they came here and caught COVID if would be awful, and if they came to any permanent harm, we wouldn't have been able to cope with that. Seriously consider what is worth doing, and what isn't. For some people any risk will be worth it, but for most, there is another day to get together.

Some numbers. All characters on this big rock floating around the sun:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life (since midnight GMT. In larger countries,  such as the USA and India, some states /provinces have yet to report today):

UK 10,819,515 (+48,854) 146,439 (+52)

Russia 10,016,896 (+29,929)289,483 (+1,132)

Germany 6,528,536 (+27,257) 106,326 (+118)

Poland 3,828,248 (+19,452) 88,479 (+65)

Italy 5,225,517 (+19,215) 134,831 (+66)

Netherlands 2,880,426 (+16,588) 20,112 (+38)

Vietnam 1,413,051 (+14,638) 27,839 (+228)

USA 50,772,474 (+9,803) 817,837 (+48)

Czechia 2,334,289 (+9,080) 34,451 (+39)

S. Korea 517,271 (+6,688) 4,253 (+43)

Denmark 554,389 (+5,989) 3,014 (+9)

Ukraine 3,559,092 (+5,275) 91,027 (+238)

Slovakia 774,857 (+4,913) 15,354 (+50)

Ireland 623,623 (+4,667) 5,788





 Update on Omicron numbers - Image image 

WHO images

Saturday 11 December 2021

Sent By Gibsons Games For Review: Out Of Order - The Trivia Game With A Twist (age 14+)

Out Of Order is a brand new game release from Gibsons Games, and we've been sent a copy for review. Described very succinctly as the trivia game with a twist, this is an hilariously funny fast-paced general knowledge for 2-6 players aged 14 or over. Anyone can pick it up and play straightaway, but even though the questions are easy, it's not at all straightforward and can be really hard! 

Out Of Order Game in box pack shot

This is a plastic-free game, made in the UK from FSC paper. Gibsons Games products are often plastic-free. All of the hardwoods used in their games are reforested, and the jigsaws made from 100% recycled board. 

Friday 10 December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update December 8th / 9th /10th 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 8th / 9th /10th December 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,719,165 (+58,194 - that's really high folks)
In Hospital Thursday 9th: 7,413
Using A Ventilator Thursday 9th: 900
Losses of Life: 146,255 (+120)
Tests: 1,326,438
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,207,496 (89% of age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,674,061 (81.2%)
Booster/3rd Dose: 22,184,983 (38.6%)

Area:  Cases / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 16,461 / 519.3
Scotland: 19,982 / 365.6
Northern Ireland: 12,753 / 672.8
England: 284,902 / 503.8

Rep. Of Ireland: 610,855 cases and 5,788 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 269,134,409 reported cases and 5,307,920 losses of life.

indieSAGE Omicron in South Africa hospital admissions by age

“Even though there’s very few cases here now, and it seems like an overreaction, it absolutely is not an overreaction.”
Professor John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage)

Plan B for England is mask-wearing in public indoor spaces, work from home when possible and COVID pass use for events. It also includes daily tests for contacts of people who test positive, instead of self-isolation - which hasn't been the ruling for ages unless you're unvaccinated anyway. 

Thursday 9 December 2021

Review Visit: Silcock's Winter Wonderland Manchester (at EventCity until 2nd January 2022).

This week family festive extravaganza Silcock’s Winter Wonderland opened for the 2021/22 Christmas season at EventCity in Manchester, and we were lucky enough to be invited along as guests to review...

Silcock's Winter Wonderland is organised by Kingpin Events, who are back in charge after a 3 year break, and EventCity is an ideal location, right beside the M60, 3,000 free car parking spaces outside, and with tram and bus links nearby... 

winter wonderland Manchester 2021 review visit collage of 6 bright photos with scenes from the event and title

The building itself is massive, with high ceilings and plenty of space for over 50 rides and attractions under 1 roof.  EventCity is right beside the Trafford Centre, so it's also handy if other people in your party would also like to go shopping...

Wednesday 8 December 2021

Briefing with Boris 8th December 2021

Briefing with Boris 8th December 2021

Sooooo, my laptop died yesterday, I thought I'd sorted another around lunch, but it's taken me until around 6pm to actually get up and running again, and a UK briefing was kind of beyond me!

Boris has announced we will move to 'Plan B'. It's not so huge as he makes out really, and mainly involves work from home if you can, mask wearing in indoor public spaces and the use of a COVID Pass for entry to events and venues.

Omicron is the worry. All the evidence coming through this week is early and needs longer to be sure, but suggests:
- Vaccination won't prevent all of us catching Omicron, but should still protect most of us from becoming very ill.
- Having a booster jab will really raise protection against hospitalisation from Omicron up past the 90% (so your personal risk is reduced to 1/10th of what it had been).
- Omicron doesn't look more deadly than other types of COVID.
- Omicron looks catchy as a catchy thing - potentially even 3 1/2 times as catchy as Delta COVID.
- If everyone catches it at once, the tiny percentage who end up in hospital will amount to many thousands of people, all at once.
-  The concern is we'll fill our hospitals. Yes we were warned that might happen right from the start, and it hasn't happened IN THE UK. It has plenty of other places though. The reason it hasn't happened in the UK is because we've slammed the brakes on whenever it looked possible.

081221 COVID passes from 15th December

Tuesday 7 December 2021

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

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

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,560,341 (+45,691)
In Hospital on 6th December: 7,317
Using A Ventilator 6th December: 901
Losses of Life: 145,826 (+180)
Tests: 1,122,003
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,138,245 (88.9% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,582,425 (81%)
Boosters: 20,909,809 (36.4%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 597,161 cases and 5,707 losses of life

World: 267,035,637 reported cases and 5,282,768 losses of life.

COVID boosters for everyone over age 18 UK

"You can safely ignore anyone who claims that any variant will render vaccines useless..."
Dr Angela Rasmussen, Virologist at the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization (VIDO). Genuine reassurance from a highly respected world leader. It just isn't going to happen that any variant can completely stroll past vaccinations.

Sunday 5 December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 4th and 5th December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 4th and 5th December 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,464,389 (+43,992)
Losses of Life: 145,605 (+54)
Tests: 1,128,774
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,094,640 (88.8% 0f UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,527,302 (80.9%)
Boosters: 20,258,417 (35.2%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 594,250 (+5,156) cases and 5,707 losses of life.

World: 265,970,075 reported cases and 5,267,130 losses of life.

World Health Organisation be a COVID hero and protect yourself and others

Omicron Watch:
86 additional confirmed cases of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 have been reported across the UK today (68 in England and 18 in Scotland).
The total number of confirmed Omicron COVID-19 cases is now 246 (Scotland 48, Wales 1).
Frankly, this is among us... 

From December 7th until January 9th in the Republic of Ireland:
Nightclubs close
Hospitality is table service only, rule of 6.
Indoor events maximum 50% capacity
Only 3 other households can visit your household at any time.

Friday 3 December 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 1st, 2nd and 3rd December 2021.

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 1st, 2nd and 3rd December 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,379,647 (+50,584)
In Hospital Yesterday 2nd December: 7,373
Using A Ventilator Yesterday 2nd December: 895
Losses of Life: 145,424 (+143)
Tests: 1,128,774
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,046,133 (88.8% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,462,63 (80.8%)
Boosters: 19,436,885 (33.8%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 578,064 cases and 5,707 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 264,816,872 reported cases and 5,254,442 losses of life

Celebrate Christmas safely UK Government advert showing man in Sata hat and lady smiling and laughing

Yesterday it was exactly 1 year since the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine received approval from the UK's MHRA. The Government have marked the occasion with 'Boost Day' and launched new adverts on the telly.