Sunday 9 January 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 8th and 9th January 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 8th and 9th January 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 14,475,192 (+141,472)
Losses of Life: 150,154 (+97)
Tests: 1,820,674
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 51,950,528 (90.3% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 47,677,951 (82.9%)
Boosted: 35,499,486 (61.7%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 978,104 (+21,384) cases and 5,952 losses of life.

World: 306,696,347 reported cases and 5,504,438 losses of life.

No need for PCR after lateral flow now Jan 11th 2022

Over 150,000 people from the UK have now OFFICIALLY lost their lives within 28 days of first testing positive to COVID. Boris made a statement, it's in the images below. (If you use a reader and need a transcript, just ask - I didn't have time before tonight's report).

“Wales is following the same path of putting protections in place that is being followed by Scotland, Northern Ireland, and not just devolved governments in the UK, but governments across Europe and across the world.
The questions as to why the UK Government has decided not to follow that course of action are for them to answer, not for me.
I think they have not done what the science would have told them they should do.
But that’s decisions for them to answer for – I’m answerable for the decisions we take here in Wales.”
Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford has complained that Boris and the UK Government are ignoring the science, which in turn is making it really difficult for Wales to have different restrictions (that are actually very similar to the entirety of the Northern hemisphere except England). The public are confused - both Welsh people and English visitors. 

From 11 January in England, if you get a positive lateral flow test result:
- you will no longer need to take a follow-up PCR test
- you should still self-isolate immediately
This is a temporary measure while COVID19 cases remain high.

Press are reporting that shopping has been named as the most risky activity as regards COVID - but they are being a bit excitable really.
The UK Government's SAGE Virus Watch Study (not-yet-peer-reviewed) has found that going to shops once a week meant people were up to 2.18 times more likely to contract the virus. HOWEVER. If you have a household and 1 person goes out once a week to shop, they'll be more likely to catch COVID than people who don't go out. It's pretty obvious. If you go out to shop, you're also more likely to catch a bus, taxi, or go into other shops, and pubs, cafes, and generally mix with people. If you are cautious then you are far less likely to be strolling round Aldi every Friday, and far more likely to wear a mask, keep distance, be shielding etc.
There's no magic to this - the more you go out, the more risks you take - and the figures don't actually show you'll catch COVID IN the shop, it just tells us a little about who you are and what you are up to.
Likewise, the study found taking part in outdoor sports increased risk, but it may not even be the sports - it could be the socialising that goes alongside it. 

If you have symptoms isolate and test

The Sunday Times was reporting that as the UK public are about to be told to "live with the virus", free Lateral Flow testing is going to be scaled back to care homes, hospitals, schools and people with symptoms.
Nadhim Zahawi, Health Minister, has responded by saying "This is absolutely not where were are at" on Sky News. Unusually clear there, and glad to hear it Nadhim.

The UK public are also about to be reminded we should want to lose weight. Being in the "ideal weight" band reduces your risk from severe COVID quite considerably, and as 3 out of every 5 UK adults are overweight, it's not a small deal. expect to be badgered.... 

Finland are going where others fear to tread - eyes wide open and looking to the future. The Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services, Krista Kiuru, has warned that the Finnish expert panel’s summary of over 4,000 international studies shows 50% (1/2) of adults and around 2% (1/50) of children "may experience prolonged symptoms connected to COVID-19", or Long COVID as we like to call it.
They believe it has potential to cause most of Finland's chronic disease in future - especially as their findings are also that around 20% of sufferers are likely to see long-term cognitive impairment due to the virus entering the brain (causing problems with brain fog, memory, sleep, confusion, concentration etc).
As a reminder - this damage can be actually seen and photographed using tools such as MRI, it isn't made up or imaginary. (Yes, you really ARE ill.)
And as a more reassuring reminder - my partner had meningitis back in 2013, and while he was incredibly ill and will never again be exactly the person he was before, even now sometimes we see improvements. Brains can continue to heal for a very long time. Keep going with gentle exercise...

Other long term health implications for societies affected by COVID may become evident over time. A study by the US CDC has found people who have tested positive for COVID were 2.6 times more likely to be newly diagnosed with diabetes than those who hadn't had COVID.

Jan 2022 negative lateral flow days 6 and 7

Tennis player Novak Djokovic is utterly determined he should play in the Australian Open tennis championship. He has been refused a private chef and access to a tennis court while he is in the Australian quarantine hotel, and has his lawyers on the case. He now claims he tested positive for COVID in December and is attempting to stay on those grounds. In opposition, that defence only works for Australian nationals, and besides, there are photos of him un-masked at public charity events (he really is a good guy, even if he is an anti-vaxxer) the day after he claims he tested positive.
His latest claim is that he was guaranteed by the Australian government that having previously contracted COVID would give him entry, but documents filed with the court don't back that up.
A decision is due tomorrow. 

Within minutes of me going live with the report on Friday, Northamptonshire had declared a major incident due to the number of COVID patients requiring ambulances/medical care and the amount of staff off ill. I haven't kept up this weekend, I can't begin to tell you how many NHS Trusts are in trouble. Just try and be sensible and leave 999 for people who's life is in danger - and for goodness sake, if your life is in danger - USE IT!! 

The JCVI have decided we don't all need a 4th jab at the moment. The UK population have enough protection against Omicron for now.
A big part of this is because the UK HSA's latest research shows that the booster gives at least 90% protection against hospital admission for even older adults - the group most likely to have more quickly waning immunity. 

We are reminded to please not show photographs of lateral flow tests online, because criminals are using them to create fake COVID passes. Naughty naughty... It's okay to show the windows with the result, but not the code... 

090121 Daily cases the world
Daily New Cases - The World. Courtesy of Worldometer 

Responses to anti-vaxxers on Aspergers forums are hilarious right now. Favourite jokes here include "When I've had the vaccine will I be Autistic? I've always been Autistic, I just wondered" and "Just had my booster. Levelled up 3 times, so I'm expecting my Aspie superpowers to kick in any minute".

For anyone who isn't sure, the 12 person study which suggested a link between Autism and vaccinations (it was MMR actually) was completely panned in the peer-review, the author was struck off, it was proven that results were made up, and one of the participants was permanently disabled by the 'testing', sued and received a massive settlement. I think we can safely dismiss it.

American teacher Sarah Beam is in trouble for locking her 13 year old son in the boot while she took him to a test station. (Probably, we've all considered it...). He'd tested positive at home, and she didn't want to risk becoming infected while she took him for a PCR test.
Thankfully healthcare workers (It's in the name) said there would be no test until the boy was sat safely in the back of the car, and then reported her to the authorities anyway... Yes, as a parent whose 6 children have now ALL tested positive for COVID once each, yeah, I appreciate your concern. But the first thing I wanted to do for any of mine was give them a great big hug, not lock them somewhere out of reach by themselves.. 

Hoax Of The Day:
Video of a lateral flow test showing a positive result from tap water.
It is designed to mislead.
Lateral flow tests are actually very complex and technologically advanced bits of equipment. They are designed to be used in a specific way, as per the instructions, and doing something different won't give you an accurate result.
Sure there are lots of ways to confuse or destroy the test, and you can get yourself a fake negative or fake positive result pretty easily, but that doesn't mean COVID is in the tap water any more than spraying yourself orange makes you a tiger.
The usual cleaning and disinfecting of tap water removes and destroys viruses, including COVID. The chemicals used to clean swimming pool water also remove and destroy viruses.
Lateral flow tests are sensitive to acidity, so depending on where you live in the world (and even within the UK), your tap water may cause the tests to show a positive. For example my water in North Manchester is full of peat and a little acidic, whereas areas where the soil is limestone (Derby) or chalk (Dover) are usually more alkaline. This is exactly why we don't use tap water to do the tests, we use the buffer liquid, which is designed to hold at a specific level of neutral acidity.

Boris when 150000 people have died from COVID

I got my PCR test result back finally! Whoot! I was negative, so my ear infection was just a bonus! Yeeeay...  I think... Our 24 year old does not yet have his positive (he was ill and testing positive on lateral flow), and the rest of us, well, 6 days wait I'm afraid guys. They are running behind and have their own staff absences, so are not likely to catch up any time soon.

Back Tuesday, this is a normal 5 day week, sorry everybody in the Northern hemisphere. Let's start a campaign to "bring back hibernation for Winter!" - you know it makes sense. 3 1/2 days work, more sleep, less being awake when it's dark - especially in the mornings. Until then...

Some numbers. They are all people, all completely unique - but I bet they'd all like a lie-in in Winter:

Countries / Cases / Losses of life YESTERDAY - all countries reporting over 20,000 cases in the 24 hours up until midnight GMT last night (remember weekend reporting affects many countries, and nations with small populations will be even more greatly affected, despite reporting lower figures. Ooh, and notice Australia - that once COVID-free nation has fallen, like Vietnam, but under vaccination. Look at their totals compared to the other nations who had earlier epidemics with much greater losses of life, such as the UK, Argentina, India, USA etc. That delay bought them time to protect their population):

USA 60,954,028 (+468,081) 859,046 (+669)

France 11,815,121 (+303,669) 125,348 (+142)

Italy 7,281,280 (+197,535) 138,881 (+184)

India 35,528,004 (+159,632) 483,790 (+327)

UK 14,333,720 (+146,365) 150,057 (+313)

Australia 877,433 (+115,507) 2,344 (+25)

Argentina 6,237,525 (+101,689) 117,465 (+37)

Turkey 9,916,725 (+66,237) 83,529 (+141)

Brazil 22,499,525 (+49,303) 619,981 (+103)

Germany 7,500,818 (+42,422) 114,652 (+161)

Greece 1,489,024 (+37,670) 21,328 (+65)

Portugal 1,613,427 (+35,643) 19,091 (+20)

Canada 2,514,464 (+32,322) 30,743 (+75)

Colombia 5,300,032 (+31,170) 130,288 (+38)

Mexico 4,083,118 (+28,023) 300,101 (+168)

Netherlands 3,310,662 (+27,890) 21,073 (+8)

Israel 1,490,694 (+27,494) 8,259

Philippines 2,936,740 (+26,323) 52,135 (+265)

Ireland 956,720 (+26,122) 5,952

Belgium 2,231,686 (+24,694) 28,459 (+13) .





Nadhim Zahawi denies plans to scale back free lateral flow tests


No need for fourth jab yet as booster offers strong protection, experts say


Image lateral flow

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