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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.

NHS COVID pass is FREE

"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.
EVERY ADULT OVER 18 WHO WAS VACCINATED AT LEAST 3 MONTHS AGO CAN GO TO A WALK-IN FROM TOMORROW AND BOOK FROM WEDNESDAY.
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

Recap:
- 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

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Sources: 

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

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

https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1470028204052295687?t=pgHuao6DOSbLVii4iofj6w&s=19

 Update on Omicron numbers

https://twitter.com/UKHSA/status/1469680341401100289?t=2s24QSzLxihKE6SON4MQsA&s=19

https://twitter.com/GBNEWS/status/1470019065913749511


https://inews.co.uk/news/politics/plan-b-anger-grows-as-boris-johnson-faces-rebellion-by-more-than-60-tory-mps-1348469

https://twitter.com/sajidjavid/status/1469707042566938630?t=FGp9xDcUnp0DszjMQy0Nog&s=19

https://twitter.com/UKHSA/status/1469680341401100289?t=fCarwwn3aYWkfJ2DC8pclA&s=19

https://twitter.com/UKHSA/status/1470038788198080520?t=1NuhUjqJsTdMWS4rtXRyUg&s=19 - Image 

https://twitter.com/UKHSA/status/1469962483091873792?t=9gxNguwTDiZlOcI2xUTQhQ&s=19 image 

WHO images

https://twitter.com/WHO/status/1469745165912977412?t=y72v-sxDO_J-Cpon_1E7gg&s=19

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/covid-hospital-infections-air-purifier-omicron-b1904711.html

https://news.upday.com/uk/tougher-restrictions-would-prevent-thousands-of-deaths-from-omicron-scientists-2/

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-coronavirus-covid-19-alert-level-increased-from-level-3-to-level-4

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-12-12/booster-rollout-fast-tracked-as-data-reveals-omicron-immunity-de/100694070

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-59593729

https://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/double-tragedy-after-deaths-two-6337372

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-59625302

 https://twitter.com/trvrb/status/1469784750986465281?t=7KekqTOBNL5w4Rli_TQIzg&s=19

https://www.businessinsider.com/taiwan-lab-worker-became-infected-with-covid-19-after-mouse-bite-2021-12

https://twitter.com/UNICEF_uk/status/1464200520059527179






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. 

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update and UK Briefing 29th / 30th November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 29th / 30th November 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,228,772 (+39,716)
In Hospital: 7,631
Using A Ventilator: 916
Losses of Life: 144,969 (+159)
Tests: 1,014,359
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,963,718 (88.6% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,367,149 (80.6%)
Boosters: 18,215,535 (31.7%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 564,657 cases and 5,652 losses of life.

World: 262,686,518 reported cases and 5,229,286 losses of life.


World Health Organisation Do It All Protect YOurself


"If it emerges that the Omicron variant is no more dangerous than the Delta variant, then we won't keep measures in place for a day longer than necessary."
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid.
(Surely you won't keep any measures 'longer than necessary' anyway Saj?)

Monday, 29 November 2021

Manchester Theatre Review Visit: Waterside, Sale ~ The Not So Ugly Sisters

Last Thursday we were guests of Waterside theatre in Sale, Manchester, for the press night of their 2021 festive family musical - The Not So Ugly Sisters. Brought to us by theatre group Wrongsemble, and suitable for anyone aged 5 or over, this is a family show and very much a family theatre. And it was excellent... 

Waterside festive family musical the not so ugly sisters tickets and programme

Waterside is incredibly easy to get to - it's right opposite Sale Tram Station and there is loads of parking nearby too. Next to the river, it's a gorgeous area with lots of reasonably priced food and drink available nearby too. 

Inside the theatre, the set for The Not So Ugly Sisters is big, bold, bright and airy, and instantly recognisable as a hairdressers, so you know this isn't going to be a familiar Cinderella story.

The story is moved to present day, and we are with the 2 sisters left behind when Cinders finds media fame because of her connection with, and imminent wedding to, the Prince. 

Not So Ugly Sisters on stage

Sunday, 28 November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 27th / 28th November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 27th / 28th November 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,146,915 (+37,681)
Losses of Life: 144,775 (+51)
Tests: 1,048,739
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,917,949 (88.5% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,309,909 (80.5%)
Boosters/3rd Doses: 17,581,331 (30.6%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 560,054 (+3,735) cases and 5,652 losses of life.

World: 261,651,854 reported cases and 5,216,327 losses of life.

281121 Changes to combat Omicron

"People should continue with their plans as normal for Christmas, I think it's going to be a great Christmas."
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid. Bet everyone feels reassured now. 

Yesterday at the UK COVID Briefing, Boris Johnson announced the reintroduction of compulsory face coverings on public transport and in shops. ANYONE who complains about this is being incredibly selfish. Transport and shop workers generally receive a low level of pay for long and awkward hours, and don't have a choice about being there and interacting with copious members of the public. The least you can do is wear a ruddy mask.
Other measures announced in reaction to Omicron Variant are that:
- ALL international arrivals have to self-isolate until they receive a day 2 negative PCR test.
- ALL contacts of Omicron cases will have to self-isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status.
These measures will be reviewed in 3 weeks time. 

UPDATE: Currently Sajid is saying face masks become mandatory in shops and on public transport on Tuesday - AND the Dept. For Education has recommended pupils in year 7 and over wear masks when moving around school.

Saturday, 27 November 2021

COVID Saturday November 27th 2021 - (not the) UK Briefing

COVID Saturday November 27th 2021 - (not the) UK Briefing 

I'm in a bit of a tricky spot today, as it's my son's birthday weekend, I'm in the pub, and Boris has called an emergency COVID briefing. I have been typing up what we know about the Omicron Variant as it emerges, and I will come back later and add any other salient points in the comments, but it is unlikely Boris, Chris and Pat will have any more to tell you than the below:

Soooooo, Omicron. It is still very early days. We know very little for certain, and we definitely shouldn't panic. Mainly it looks like it has potential to be super flipping catchy, even if you are vaccinated, and... erm... that's about it. 

Trevor Bedford, who is an epidemiology genius, has looked into where it came from, and surprisingly it is a bit of a wild card. 
The ancestry can't really be easily tracked directly backwards, the closest relatives we know of are incredibly old strains of COVID from May 2020.  
It appears to have evolved quietly somewhere where there is very little or no genome testing (definitely not South Africa), or (and this is very likely) it has evolved inside a single human being or just a few human beings who spent a very long time trying to beat COVID. 
Mr Bedford estimates Omicron escaped into the community around early October, the first case we've discovered tested positive November 11th.
Trev estimates unchecked (no masks, distancing, restrictions etc) doubling time to be 4.8 days, and he does believe it will have quicker transmission and be able to sneak past vaccinations - but to what extent, only time will show us. 

The good news is that people who are testing positive for Omicron aren't exactly dropping like flies. Anecdotal and other evidence is suggesting even fully vaccinated people who have recently had a booster are catching it, but they aren't necessarily falling very ill. South African health officials say of the very few cases known to be in hospital, they are virtually all unvaccinated. 
We already have that situation with Delta - most of us can still catch it, but very few vaccinated people get serious symptoms, and less than 1/10th end up in hospital. We have no reason to believe Omicron is any more of a danger. 

Omicron has now been detected in the UK. The first 2 cases are recently returned travellers, linked, but now in Chelmsford and Nottingham - where they are isolating as they should be, and surge testing will take place. It has also been detected in South Africa, Botswana, Israel, Hong Kong, Belgium, Germany (not yet confirmed).
I think we can assume it will be worldwide any minute. 

And to back that up, Dutch authorities are frantically sequencing samples from a staggering 61 passengers who have tested positive from just 2 flights back from South Africa. That is a huge amount of COVID positive people - and bear in mind they wouldn't usually have been able to board those flights without negative tests. Did they board just after catching it? Did they catch COVID at the airport? On the flight? Will it turn out they do all have Omicron? Is Omicron catchy as a catchy thing?
Well, it looks possible. 

The UK Government are still moving far more quickly than ever before, and from 4am tomorrow, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Angola will join the travel Red List.

Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Novovax have all confirmed they are ready to work on a version2 vaccine if we need it, and it would be ready within around 100 days.
To date, even though we have gone through Alpha, Beta, Delta, Mu and other variants, all vaccines created against original wild COVID have still worked to prevent the vast majority of severe illness and keep people out of hospital, so no tweaking has been necessary.

It's a virus. It simply isn't as clever as we are. It can get a lucky break, or even a lucky streak, but ultimately we will win. Again the main concern here is overwhelming hospitals because so many people become ill at once - and that's the main worry for everyone - especially nations not lucky enough to have vaccinations... 

Go and continue with your weekend. Worrying won't change a thing. 
Be sensib, and book your jabs if you have any coming up...



Friday, 26 November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 24th / 25th / 26th November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 24th / 25th / 26th November 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 10,070,841 (+50,091)
In Hospital Yesterday 25th: 7,633 (DOWN from 8,079 a week earlier)
Using A Ventilator Yesterday 25th: 925 (923 a week earlier)
Losses of Life: 144,593 (+160)
Tests: 1,048,739
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,875,712 (88.5% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,255,081 (80.4%)
Boosters/3rd Doses: 16,779,656 (29.2%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 546,909 cases and 5,652 losses of life.

World: 260,682,363 reported cases and 5,203,984 losses of life.

We'll start with today's big news and, spoiler, it's not great. Don't panic just yet - it's waaay too early to fret - you don't even know what you'd be fretting over...

Omicron vs Delta vs wild COVID 3 lines showing how quickly it can take over

Thursday, 25 November 2021

(Sent for review) IDo3D Ultra Review - 2 Pen Funky Pets 3D Modelling Set (Age 8+)

We've been sent the IDo3D Ultra 2 Pen Funky Pets Set for review - this is a 3D modelling pen which sets the 'ink' under the enclosed UV light in less than 1 minute.
Suitable for age 8+, it's a very affordable introduction to thinking and creating in 3D - you can even draw vertically, straight up into the air... 

I Do 3D 2 Pen Activity Set Funky Pets box front and contents beside - instruction sheet 2 x pens 1 x UV light

Inside the I Do 3D Activity Set are 2 x pens in green and yellow, with screw on twist close nibs. There is a 3 bulb UV light which actually clips over the pen to 'light up as you draw', 1 x themed mould/tracing sheet, 1 x plain non-stick drawing sheet and an instruction sheet.

Don't miss the little press-out tool - it is really handy for scraping and shaping the wet ink. 

ido3d pack contents pen system screw on twist close nibs etc

Tuesday, 23 November 2021

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

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

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,932,408 (+42,484)
In Hospital Yesterday Monday 22nd: 8,088
Using A Ventilator Yesterday: 928
Losses of Life: 144,137 (+165)
Tests: 979,922
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,800,732 (88.3% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Doses: 46,186,817 (80.3% of UK age 12+)
Boosters: 15,639,477 (27.2%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 538,255 (+3,661) cases and 5,609 losses of life

World: 258,755,918 reported cases and 5,179,602 losses of life

WHO do it all stop COVID

People in Northern Ireland are being asked to 'work from home if you can', in an effort to bring case numbers down. It has been the official guidance for a while, but ministers are keen to try and keep numbers down and are reiterating with a 'stronger message'.
This is also the guidance in Scotland and Wales - but has not been the case in England since June. 

Sunday, 21 November 2021

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

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

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,845,492 (+40,004)
Losses of Life: 143,927 (+61)
Tests: 993,405
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,759,550 (88.3% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,152,913 (80.3%)
Boosters/3rd Dose: 15,064,693 (26.2%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 524,783 cases and 5,609 losses of life.

World: 257,708,604 reported cases and 5,167,044 losses of life.

Hands face space fresh air images

"We could have potentially saved over 160,000 of the 180,000 lives lost in the US to COVID since June if every eligible person had been fully vaccinated."
Professor Vincent Rajkumar from the Mayo Clinic, USA

Friday, 19 November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 17th, 18th & 19th November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 17th, 18th & 19th November 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,766,153 (+44,242)
In Hospital yesterday 18th November: 8,079
Using A Ventilator 18th Nov: 923
Losses of Life: 143,716 (+157)
Tests: 993,405
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,707,953 (88.2% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2 Doses: 46,108,608 (80.25)
Booster /3rd Doses: 14,266,368 (24.8%)

Area: Cases last 7 days / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 16,530 / 521.5
Scotland: 21,372 / 391
Northern Ireland: 10,433 / 550.4
England: 222,096 / 392.7

Rep. Of Ireland: 515,691 cases and 5,609 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 256,667,497 reported cases and 5,151,787 losses of life.

191121 Latest transmission stats ONS UK

From today: "travellers who have had a booster or a third dose will be able to demonstrate their vaccine status through the NHS COVID Pass from today. This addition will enable those who have had their booster or third dose to travel to countries such as Israel, Croatia and Austria who have already introduced a time limit for the COVID-19 vaccine to be valid for quarantine-free travel".

Important news yesterday regarding vaccinating children who have had COVID. Always bear in mind it is TINY percentages who are affected - but every child matters.
COVID infection has been found to cause myocarditis in a significant minority of people, especially young people. Vaccination is associated with a very tiny number of cases of myocarditis, mainly in young people. There are some signs from abroad that vaccination when you've not fully recovered from COVID can increase the risk of myocarditis - and obviously that's potentially mainly in young people.
Therefore 12 to 17 year olds ONLY should wait 12 weeks after testing positive before you get your vaccination.
Myocarditis is heart inflammation and most people who get it would only notice if they try and push themselves physically. It usually heals all by itself, but can take a while because you can't rest your heart on a stool while you watch telly - it has to keep working while it gets better.
It's virtually unknown to catch COVID again within 3 months (some countries use it for a COVID Pass), so there is no loss to this, and if it prevents some young people having a hard few weeks or months, or losing their place on a team, struggling to maintain their social life or even actually saves their life, it's worth doing.

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

87 Months... #TBCSmiles November 2021

I am late (again) with the #TBCSmiles this month, but at least with good reason. It was my 50th birthday on Sunday, something I can't quite believe myself. I'm not saying I don't look or act 50, but I certainly don't feel it inside. 

The Brick Castle Birthday Cake Huge, dense, strawberries and cream cake about 9 inches tall and diameter

Inside there is still a small part of me which will always be the little girl, and when I find myself wide-eyed at a birthday cake, or crying an expectant and warming tear over a daft Christmas advert, or just hugging someone hard because I really do love them and miss them, I'm glad. I never want to lose that little girl part of me...

Me, sitting at a restaurant table with the ginormous cake in front of me and someone handing me a slice bigger than my head. I am grinning

A huge personal thank you to everyone who made my 50th birthday the best ever.... 

This time of year is traditionally quiet for smiles, although Instagram seems to be hiding more and more people from the hashtag! There are 250 less smiley photos than last month, which I don't think can be down to people deleting their photos... If you do share yours, and I don't like or comment by the end of the month, it is probably because I've not seen it. I love to see each and every one, so don't be scared to tag me and call me out! 

Tuesday, 16 November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 13th to 16th November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 13th to 16th November 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,637,190 (+39,705)
In Hospital / Using A Ventilator aren't regularly updated over the weekend
Losses of Life: 143,159 (+47)
Tests: 916,832
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,614,550 (88% UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 46,045,964 (80.1%)
Boosters: 13,147,333 (22.9%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 507,413 (+4,395) cases and 5,566 losses of life

World: 254,873,337 reported cases and 5,126,745 losses of life

161121 Book online from next Monday extra jabs for 16 to 17 year olds

Soooooo, Boris must have known I was taking a long weekend off and yesterday we had a JCVI COVID Data Briefing, and then a UK Press Briefing. I'm proud to say I was in the pub having a birthday meal, so I missed them. The UK Press Briefing with Boris was mainly to pass on the latest figures from the Data Briefing, the advice offered by the JCVI, and decisions made based on that.

Friday, 12 November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th, 11th 12th November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 10th, 11th 12th November 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,487,302 (+40,375) - for the first day in ages, this is an increase.
In Hospital Yesterday 11th November: 8,652
Using A Ventilator Yesterday 11th November: 999
Losses of Life: 142,678 (+145)
Tests: 980,626
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,491,701 (87.8% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2 Doses: 45,964,488 (79.9%)
Booster / 3rd Doses: 11,823,643 (20.6%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 490,001 (+5,478) cases and 5,566 losses of life.

World: 252,967,467 reported cases and 5,099,784 losses of life.

121121 UK NHS has delivered over 90 million vaccinations text over blurry hospital style scene

"Almost 2 million cases of COVID19 were reported in Europe last week, the most in a single week in that region since the pandemic started.
Almost 27,000 deaths were reported from Europe, more than half of all COVID-19 deaths globally last week.
COVID19 is surging in countries with lower vaccination rates in Eastern Europe, but also in countries with some of the world’s highest vaccination rates in Western Europe.
It’s another reminder, as we have said again and again, that vaccines do not replace the need for other COVID19 precautions."
A warning to the UK and others there from Dr Tedros and the World Health Organisation. 

Thursday, 11 November 2021

The Humble Co. Eco-friendly Toothcare Review (sent for review)

I love anything which reduces single-use plastic and waste, and my family have been using compostable bamboo toothbrushes for the last couple of years. We hadn't tried Humble before though. They've sent us a selection of eco-friendly tooth and mouth care products to review.... 

The Humble Co Humble Brush review Close up of wooden handle with logo

The Humble Company products have been developed by dentists and designed in Sweden, and they all use minimal plastic without compromising on hygiene and safety.

The Humble Company Bamboo Toothcare Review

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

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

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

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,366,676 (+33,117)
In Hospital Yesterday 8th Nov: 8,900 (DOWN from 9,538 a week earlier, still higher than 8,693 two weeks earlier)
Using A Ventilator Yesterday 8th Nov: 1,025 (Slightly DOWN from 1,030 a week earlier, and up on 913 two weeks earlier)
Losses of Life: 142,124 (+262)
Tests: 920,068
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,296,294 (87.5% of UK adults aged 16+)
Vaccinations 2nd Doses: 45,873,038 (79.8%)
Booster /3rd Dose Vaccinations: 10,580,122 (18.4%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 472,547 cases and 5,492 losses of life (not yet reported today).

The total number of people who have tested positive for COVID worldwide has passed 250 million.
World: 251,333,353 reported cases and 5,075,739 losses of life.

091121 New regulations announced that all NHS and care staff have to be fully vaccinated

"I have concluded that all those working in the NHS and social care will have to be vaccinated."
Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary, confirming to Parliament that all patient-facing NHS England workers will have to be vaccinated by 1st April next year.
"The majority of NHS workers are already vaccinated, as over 92.8% have had their first dose and 89.9% have had both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. In social care, 83.7% of domiciliary care workers have had their first dose and 74.6% have had both doses.
Latest published data shows, however, that over 103,000 NHS Trust workers and 105,000 domiciliary care workers have not been reported as fully vaccinated and the government is urging them to take up the offer now, to keep themselves and those they care for safe."

Sunday, 7 November 2021

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

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

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,301,909 (+30,305)
Losses of Life: 141,805 (+62)
Tests: 914,955
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,234,416 (87.4% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2 Doses: 45,836,791 (79.7%)
Booster / 3rd Dose: 10,062,704 (17.5%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 469,386 (+3,428) cases and 5,492 losses of life.

World: 250,527,992 reported cases and 5,063,647 losses of life.

071121 total boosters and 3rd doses uk

"An amazing 10 million people across the UK have already come forward for their booster.
We know vaccine immunity wanes over time, so boosters are vital in keeping you and your loved ones protected through the winter.
Please get this lifesaving jab as soon as you are called."
Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister.

“I strongly urge everybody who is eligible for a Covid-19 booster or flu vaccine to take up the offer as soon as you can.
For those not yet eligible, please help your parents, grandparents or vulnerable loved ones get their jabs, it could save their life.
And if you haven’t yet had your first and second vaccines, it is not too late, the NHS will always be there to welcome you with open arms.
This truly is a national mission.
If we all come together and play our part, we can get through this challenging winter, avoid a return to restrictions and enjoy Christmas.”
Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary, with an impassioned speech there, and a belief vaccinations alone will fix the pressure on the NHS.

Friday, 5 November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 3rd, 4th, 5th November 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 3rd, 4th, 5th November 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,241,916 (+34,029)
In Hospital Thursday 4th: 9,160
Using A Ventilator Thursday 4th: 1,034
Losses of Life: 141,588 (+193)
Tests: 914,955
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,156,656 (87.2% of UK 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 45,790,934 (79.6%)
Booster/ 3rd doses: 9,347,074 (16.3%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 458,370 cases and 5,492 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 249,633,651 reported cases and 5,049,391 losses of life.

Celebrate bonfire night responsibly use your COVID app

"The age-adjusted risk of deaths involving COVID19 was 32 times greater in unvaccinated people than in fully vaccinated individuals between 2 Jan and 24 Sept 2021"
UK Office for National Statistics (ONS)

WHO has granted emergency use listing to COVAXIN (developed by Bharat Biotech), This is a massive relief to India especially, and it's been a long time coming. All of the countries who rely on WHO to ensure their medicines and treatments are safe, can now use the COVAXIN vaccine. It also opens up travel for anyone already vaccinated. 

Tuesday, 2 November 2021

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

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

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,130,857 (+33,865)
In Hospital on Monday 1st Nov: 9,538 (UP from 8,693 a week earlier, 7,749 two weeks earlier)
Using A Ventilator on Monday 1st Nov: 1,030 (UP from 913 a week earlier, 823 two weeks earlier)
Losses of Life: 140,964 (+293)
Tests: 905,663
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 50,025,020 (87% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2 Doses: 45,731,565 (79.5%)
Booster Vaccinations: 8,356,172 (14.5%)
(Great vaccination numbers, low level of testing, better case numbers, but losses of life is really not good at all, and we are still admitting over 1,000 people a day to hospital, and patient numbers are rising.)

Rep. Of Ireland: 452,172 (+3,723) cases and 5,436 losses of life.

World: 248,117,814 reported cases and 5,025,075 losses of life.

COVID Booster eligibility UK as of 021121

Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, and Suffolk local authorities are receiving additional support because of very high levels of COVID  - what used to be known as 'surge' testing and vaccinations.

Boris Johnson has ensured us Christmas isn't anything to worry about:
“I see no evidence whatsoever to think that any kind of lockdown is on the cards.”
Bet that's put your mind at ease.

Sunday, 31 October 2021

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

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

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 9,057,629 (+38,009)
Losses of Life: 140,632 (+74)
Tests: 875,931
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 49,955,853 (86.9% UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 45,697,856 (79.5%)

Area: Cases total last 7 days / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 19,018 / 600 (1 in 166)
Scotland: 17,992 / 329.2 (1 in 304)
Northern Ireland; 8,545 / 450.8 (1 in 222)
England: 246,472 / 435.8 (1 in 229)

Rep. Of Ireland: 445,594 (+1,963) cases and 5,436 losses of life.

World: 247,352,866 reported cases and 5,013,900 losses of life.

Over 99% of people registered with a GP in England live within 10 miles of a vaccination site

Mark Drakeford, Welsh First Minister, has made some big announcements and suggestions over the past few days. I didn't cover him on Friday because there was so much to read through, he really took the brakes off and has been all over the telly and radio.
- He says he has been urging the English Government to initiate Plan B for some time
- Measures such as working from home could be reintroduced
- 2,000 cases of a suspected-to-be more transmissible Delta Variant have been detected in Wales
- The self-isolation rules if someone tests positive in your household have been tightened up. IN WALES:
*Fully vaccinated or age 5-17 - self-isolate and take a PCR test. If your test is negative you can stop isolating.
*Not fully vaccinated - self-isolate for 10 days. Take a PCR test on day 2 and day 8. You should self-isolate for 10 days even if your tests are negative.
(Children aged under 5 do not have to self-isolate or take a test.)
- From Monday 11 October IN WALES people will be required to show the NHS COVID Pass to prove they are either fully vaccinated or have a recent negative Lateral Flow Test to attend nightclubs, indoor non-seated events where over 500 people are mixing closely for prolonged periods, outdoor non-seated events where over 4,000 people are mixing closely for prolonged periods, and any event of more than 10,000 people

Friday, 29 October 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 27th / 28th / 29th October 2021

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 27th / 28th / 29th October 2021

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 8,979,236 (+43,467)
In Hospital on Thursday 28th: 8,983 (UP from 8,238 a week earlier/ 7,086 two weeks earlier - still an increase, but it's slowed a bit)
Using A Ventilator on Thursday 28th: 946 (UP from 892 a week earlier/ 783 two weeks earlier. Again, an increase, but a less steep curve upwards)
Losses of Life: 140,392 (+186)
Tests: 875,931 (low - possibly due to school holidays?)
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 49,882,904 (86.7% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2 Doses: 45,651,222 (79.4%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 440,665 (+2,541) cases and 5,436 losses of life.

World: 246,561,955 reported cases in total and a very grim milestone, as over 5 million people have now officially been reported as dying from COVID.  5,000,844 people have lost their lives.

Over 99% of people registered with a GP in England live within 10 miles of a vaccination site

"I am upset that so many people have lost their lives, and still our governments fail to protect the healthcare workers that they need most.
There is something seriously wrong, and we all have responsibility."
Annette Kennedy, President of ICN (the International Council of Nurses), for the World Health Organisation. Around 40 countries have not yet been able to vaccinate all of their frontline healthcare workers.

Our World In Data:
"49.1% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
6.97 billion doses have been administered globally, and 23.6 million are now administered each day.
Only 3.3% of people in low-income countries have received at least one dose."

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.