Monday 28 February 2022

Ad | Signs Your Child Is Living With PTSD

 **Trigger Warning: This article by health writer Maria Miguel discusses trauma and mentions common causes of trauma such as violence or death of a loved one. For us here at The Brick Castle PTSD is something we all understand very well - adults and children.**

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex anxiety disorder that is most commonly associated with adults. After all, adults may be more likely to experience a traumatic event due to the fact that they are no longer protected or sheltered by their parents. 

Boy on a boat ride at a theme park looking at a field of metal sunflowers

Unfortunately, we cannot always protect our children from everything, so they may experience a traumatic event before reaching adulthood. Though some children may bounce back with love, support, and counselling or treatment, some children struggle to go back to normal after the traumatic event has passed.

PTSD occurs when a child is involved in a major, traumatic life event. They can either directly experience the event, be a witness, or just learn about the event from someone else.

If you believe your child may have PTSD, then read on to learn about the causes and symptoms of PTSD in children and how you can help and support your child.

Ad | The Three Types of Temperament in Children

Like many parents, you probably want to know and learn as much about your child as possible so you know how to support them. The field of psychology offers many ways to do this, primarily through studying personality and temperament. Here is a guest post from health writer Marie Miguel, who is part of a research team compiling a vast database of FREE health support at BetterHelp.

Two boys, one inside a cardboard car, chasing in a garden

Temperament is an essential part of child psychology as it determines their behavioral style. Though many traits make up temperament, most children fit into three categories. Read on to learn more about temperament, why it is important, and what the three common types of temperament are in children. 

What is Temperament? 

Temperament refers to a child’s behavioral style. It is the inclination that a child will experience the world and react to it in specific ways.

Each temperament type determines how a child will react to their environment or situations. Temperament types also predict how a child will express or regulate their emotions.

However, do not mix temperament with personality. Personality refers to who a person is and why they act in certain ways. Temperament refers to a person’s behavioral style or ‘how’ they act or react to certain situations.

There are nine characteristics that make up temperament. These are all spectra, with most children falling somewhere in the middle. The nine traits of temperament are:

Sunday 27 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 26th / 27th February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 26th / 27th February 2022

There are no UK Daily Statistics today.
World: 435,315,212 reported cases and 5,965,853 losses of life.

There's very little COVID news that has made it's way through, and none of it is particularly urgent, exciting or important (although New Zealand really have cracked now - see the chart at the bottom). The entire world has it's focus on Ukraine, and Russia, including all Western governments and journalists.

Ukraine extension of all visas Priti Patel

Around 1.30pm GMT today Putin announced on Russian TV that because of aggressive statements made by NATO leaders, he was implementing "special mode of combat duty of the deterrence forces".
This refers to his nuclear capability, and is another threat to the West to back off, but according to Tass (Russian news agency) and anonymous online accounts, it hopefully doesn't mean anything else.
"Hard to tell with certainty, but most likely it means that the nuclear command and control system received what is known as a preliminary command"
Within minutes Ukraine's officials agreed to talks just over the border in Belarus. The Kyiv Independent:
"The Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko assured Zelensky that all planes, helicopters and missiles stationed on Belarusian territory will remain on the ground during the Ukrainian delegation’s travel, talks and return."
Tragically just after 5pm the Zhytomyr airport was bombed - and the bombs were launched from inside Belarus. That seems very likely to have broken the agreement as well as being the actual bombing of an airport, so sadly it doesn't bode well.

Friday 25 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 23rd - 25th February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 23rd - 25th February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 18,804,765 (+31,933)
In Hospital Yesterday 24th Feb: 10,767
Using A Ventilator Yesterday: 289
Losses of Life: 161,224 (+120)
Tests: 685,308
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,606,239 (91.5%)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,953,594 (85.1%)
Boosted / 3rd Dose: 38,138,518 (66.3%)

Area: Cases (Positive Tests) Last 7 Days / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 6,618 / 208.8
Scotland: 43,161 / 789.6
Northern Ireland: 17,598 / 928.4
England: 234,902 / 415.4

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,287,908 cases and 6,471 losses of life.

World: 432,741,524 reported cases and 5,950,972 losses of life.

67 per cent lower risk of death with Omicron than Delta - gold text on black

"President Putin, in the name of humanity, bring your troops back to Russia."
United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres.

"Ukraine is a country that for decades has enjoyed freedom and democracy and the right to choose its own destiny.
We – and the world – cannot allow that freedom just to be snuffed out. We cannot and will not just look away."
Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister, announcing to the UK that we will not be watching this one from the stands. We're in the players dugout at the moment, but prepared to warm up and appreciate we may need to step onto the pitch. Still hoping to avoid any serious gameplay. Not actually COVID, but for a lot of nations it will undoubtedly have a massive effect on case numbers, testing, travel etc...
Any Ukrainian nationals living, working and/or studying in the UK will be able to extend their stay (although if that hadn't been the case, you'd have been able to legitimately apply for sanctuary as a refugee anyway). There is currently no announcement of a resettlement scheme or other measures to provide an easy, legal and safe route for any Ukrainian refugees to enter the UK.

Thursday 24 February 2022

Derby Museum And Art Gallery Review With Visit Derby (standard admission is FREE of charge)

As a child in the early 80's I was allowed to go 'into town' on my own from around age 9. Obviously I had no money and nothing to buy, so I spent my Saturday mornings exchanging my books in the library, and wandering around Derby Museum and Art Gallery. 

Derby Museum and Art Gallery Review with Visit Derby

I revisited the museum and art gallery during my review trip with Visit Derby, taking a look at the cultural attractions my old home town has to offer, and I'm pleased to say all of my museum favourites were still around, as well as some new exhibits - including a lot of 'hands on' activities to really bring our history to life. 

Full size remains of Wooden Bronze Age longboat resting on a base of pebbles and stone

Derby Cathedral Tour (Review Visit with Visit Derby)

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to work with Derby Tourist Board and Visit Derby, reviewing some of Derby's excellent cultural attractions. Included in the trip was a pre-booked tour of Derby Cathedral, which is obviously usually free to visit for anyone, although tours and Tower Climbs usually incur a fee. 

Derby Cathedral view from Irongate with glorious sunshine and flag at full mast

I'm originally from Derby, and this visit was particularly nostalgic for me. I actually sang in Derby Cathedral as a child several times, including Silent Night in German when I was a 7 year old Brownie, and at countless Christingle services. It is  beautiful Cathedral full of light, which is evident as soon as you step inside. 

Interior of Derby Cathedral from main entrance down main aisle

Tuesday 22 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 21st /22nd February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 21st /22nd February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 18,695,448 (+41,130)
In Hospital Yesterday 21st Feb: 11,357
Using A Ventilator Yesterday: 324
Losses of Life: 160,815 (+205)
Tests: 816,387 (PCR testing capacity is 835,117)
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,581,000 (91.4% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,901,901 (85%)
Boosted: 38,051,955 (66.2%)

Area: Cases Last 7 Days / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 7,654 / 241.5
Scotland: 43,125 / 789
Northern Ireland: 18,489 / 975.4
England: 251,073 / 444

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,280,058 (+3,280) cases and 6,452 (+9) losses of life

World: 427,237,595 reported cases and 5,913,601 losses of life

England until 24th Feb isolate if you test positive - like this chap sitting on a sofa using a laptop

"Covid will not suddenly disappear. So those who would wait for a total end to this war before lifting the remaining regulations, would be restricting the liberties of the British people for a long time to come.
This government does not believe that is right or necessary.
Restrictions pose a heavy toll on our economy, our society, our mental wellbeing, and the life chances of our children.
And we do not need to pay that cost any longer."
Boris Johnson, addressing Parliament yesterday. 

Ad | How to Support Teenagers With A Mental Health Condition

Over the next couple of weeks I'll be sharing some posts from Marie Miguel at Better Help, which has a huge FREE resource library of health advice. Marie has been writing and researching health-related topics for nearly a decade, and she has a focus on subjects related to anxiety and depression.

How to Support Teenagers With A Mental Health Condition

Life as a teenager can be quite difficult. This is the period of time where both their minds and bodies are changing rapidly. They are starting to figure out who they are and have to navigate a complex web of school, social lives, and extracurricular activities, all while planning for their future.

3  young men aged 12 to 22 sitting outside in a garden wearing sunglasses

However, life can become even more challenging if your teenager lives with a mental health condition. Until recently, the mental wellness of teenagers was a subject that wasn’t dealt with seriously. Even though times are changing, many adults still dismiss mental health conditions in teenagers as hormones or moodiness. However, about 49.5% of adolescents experience some sort of mental health condition, so this stigma needs to be challenged.

Monday 21 February 2022

COVID 21st February 2022 Boris' Living With COVID Masterplan

COVID 21st February 2022 Boris' Living With COVID Masterplan UK Briefing 

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: +38,409
Losses of Life: +15
In Hospital (Friday 18th): 11,223

A special message for anyone who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, for anyone under the age of 12, and anyone who is especially vulnerable to COVID - particularly people who will never develop good immunity, however many jabs you get, or however many times you catch COVID. YOU ARE IMPORTANT. YOU MATTER.
If anyone in my family tests positive, they'll be isolating, and avoiding you...

JCVI advises an extra Spring Booster dose for people who are over 75, live in an older adult care home or are immunosuppressed

"Chris Whitty and Patrick Vallance have been notably silent of late.
I've signed this open letter asking them what the science advice to govt was & to publish any evidence supporting that this is a good time to end self isolation & scale back testing... "
Professor Christina Pagel, indieSAGE member and Professor of Operational Research at University College London

Professor Sir Andrew Pollard, Head of the Oxford Vaccine Group, has sidled his way out of giving an opinion about Boris removing legal requirement to isolate. His answer on BBC Radio 4 this morning was:
"There isn’t a right or wrong answer. If restrictions change this week or the week after, in six months’ time the number of transmission events will likely be very similar.
If we’re talking about very short-term delays when we make a decision, it really doesn’t make a huge amount of difference which week it is. So people are getting very hung up on that, it doesn’t have a huge impact.”
Erm... yeah. Clear as mud. I think basically he's saying "it's going to happen, this week isn't dramatically different from next, not going to tell you if I agree with it or not". 

Sunday 20 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 19th / 20th February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 19th / 20th February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 18,605,752 (+25,696)
Losses of Life: 160,581 (+74)
Tests: 900,352
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,566,648 (91.4% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,871,729 (85%)
Boosted / 3rd Doses: 37,989,163 (66.1%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,265,124 cases and 6,417 losses of life.

World: 424,519,181 reported cases and 5,904,075 losses of life.

the Queen Elizabeth II has COVID

"Covid will not suddenly disappear, and we need to learn to live with this virus and continue to protect ourselves without restricting our freedoms.
We’ve built up strong protections against this virus over the past two years through the vaccine rollouts, tests, new treatments, and the best scientific understanding of what this virus can do.
Thanks to our successful vaccination programme and the sheer magnitude of people who have come forward to be jabbed, we are now in a position to set out our plan for living with Covid this week."
Boris Johnson, UK Prime Minister. 

Friday 18 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 16th to 18th February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 16th to 18th February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 18,546,205 (+47,685)
In Hospital Yesterday 17th Feb: 11,555
Using A Ventilator Yesterday: 331
Losses of Life: 160,379 (+158)
Tests: 900,352
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,551,460 (91.4% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,839,853 (84.9%)
Boosted / 3rd Dose: 37,945,645 (66%)

Area: Cases Last 7 Days / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 9,511 / 300.1
Scotland: 43,350 / 793.1
Northern Ireland: 21,505 / 1,134.5
England: 304,633 / 538.7

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,265,124 (+4,795) cases and 6,417 (+15) losses of life.

World: 421,193,766 reported cases and 5,885,389 losses of life.

180222 UKHSA Surveillance cases by age

Guernsey has removed all remaining COVID restrictions. (We are pretty much 100% expecting Boris will remove them for England on Monday.)

Vaccination passports for large events are no longer legally mandatory in Wales from today. Venues can still choose to use them if they wish. 

Tuesday 15 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 14th /15th February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 14th /15th February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 18,393,951 (+46,186)
In Hospital on Monday 14th Feb: 12,304 (DOWN from 13,793 a week earlier)
Using A Ventilator on 14th Feb: 393 (DOWN from 443 a week earlier)
Losses of Life: 159,839 (+234)
Tests: 888,781 (that's really low - potentially partly because of school holidays, but also because less people are needing to test)
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,522,201 (91.3% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,777,079 (84.8%)
Boosted: 37,818,285 (65.8%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,255,571 cases and 6,291 losses of life.

World: 414,932,355 reported cases and 5,848,854 losses of life.

Vaccine inequity is a moral failure UN

The Good Law Project and the Runnymede Trust have been to court this morning against the UK Government and won.
Ex Health Secretary Matt Hancock broke the law by appointing Baroness Dido Harding as 'Chair of the National Institute for Health Protection' and Mike Coupe as 'Director of Testing'. Prime Minister Boris Johnson broke the law by appointing Baroness Harding as 'Chair of Test and Trace'.
By making those 3 appointments without any competition, they breached the Public Sector Equality Duty under section 149 of the Equality Act 2010. This legislation exists to eliminate discrimination and advance equality of opportunity in the United Kingdom.
Basically, no-one else even got a chance to apply. I've said it many times. I could have supplied an inadequate and not fit for purpose Track and Trace for far less than 36 billion British pounds. In fact, pay me 20 grand and I'll fit you one in tomorrow morning.
And what will happen now? Will they be imprisoned or penalised like any regular person?... seems unlikely. 

February 2022 #TBCSmiles... 90 Months...

"It is February - yeeeay!" said hardly anyone ever... for the UK it tends to mean cold and dark, with added wet. No beautiful snow, but frozen pipes and fingers. Getting up in the dark, going home in the dark, and Christmas and New Year celebrations behind us. Even the Chinese New Year has passed, and Easter in 2022 is incredibly late. We are left waiting for Spring and hopes of sun to break us out of the gloom. 

Have some cake... 

Image of half a cream covered sponge pasted next to remains of a lemon drizzle cake on a plate

Good news is that Spring IS coming - the first crocus are beginning to break through, and the birds are nesting. The days are getting longer, and we can begin to remember what it's like to be out and about in daylight. 

Even the longest and hardest of Winters (or most freezingly mundane and boring) will end. This year should be easier than the last. Less fear, less illness, less disruption to our lives, and maybe even a little 'normality'. We need to regain some control, and when we do, it'll give everyone a sense of wellbeing. 

Sunday 13 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 12th and 13th February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Weekend Update 12th and 13th February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 18,306,859 (+41,270)
Tests: 1,041,542
Losses of Life: 159,570 (+52)
Up until Friday, 28th January, 180,033 people from the UK had COVID-19 mentioned as one of the causes on their death certificate.

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,242,806 (+6,618) cases and 6,291 losses of life.

World: 411,616,195 reported cases and 5,831,549 losses of life.

get boosted now  image of envelopes

"The worst thing that could happen is that we remove things too quickly and we end up undoing a lot of the good that we've done and worked so hard for."
One of the regional NHS heads has gone politely rogue. Jillian Evans, head of health intelligence at NHS Grampian, has "urged a slow and cautious move out of the existing restrictions".

Friday 11 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 9th, 10th and 11th February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 9th, 10th and 11th February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 18,220,515 (+58,899)
In Hospital Yesterday Thursday 10th Feb: 12,753
Using A Ventilator: 430
Losses of Life: 159,351 (+193)
Tests: 1,041,542
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,480,344 (91.3% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,693,091 (84.7%)
Boosted / 3rd Doses: 37,684,442 (65.5%)

Area: Cases Last 7 Days / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 13,040 / 411.4
Scotland: 44,423 / 812.7
Northern Ireland: 26,495 / 1,397.8
England: 449,015 / 794

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,242,806 (+6,618) cases and 6,291 losses of life

World: 407,698,096 reported cases and 5,812,609 losses of life

50% of people with mental health problems it started before age 14

The UK's Rosalind Franklin laboratory in Royal Leamington Spa has now processed over 5 million PCR tests. 

The UK has surpassed 2 million SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences uploaded to the international Global Initiative on Sharing Avian Influenza Data (GISAID) database.
(We really are truly world-beating at virus family trees.)
(GISAID was created back in 2008 to freely share the genetics of flu samples,  so that the world can prepare the most effective flu vaccines, and keep an eye on the situation. It was a perfect database for COVID. To date over 8,137,571 COVID genetic sequences have been uploaded.)

Tuesday 8 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 4th - 8th February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 4th - 8th February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 17,932,803 (+66,183)
In Hospital yesterday Monday 7th Feb: 13,793
Using A Ventilator yesterday: 443
Losses of Life: 158,677 (+314)
Tests: 1,127,178
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,447,403 (91.2% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,617,355 (84.5%)
Boosted: 37,586,043 (65.4%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,224,862 (+3,780) cases and 6,228 losses of life.

World: 399,569,028 reported cases and 5,773,593 losses of life.

030222 ONS Long COVID chart

Boris and Sajid have announced a great plan to 'tackle England's NHS backlog'. They were going to announce it on Monday - but it was delayed until today. It's 50 pages in total, and they have published a 3 page explanatory letter - in precis here:
'This plan... sets out a clear vision for how the NHS will recover and expand elective services over the next three years. It details ambitions, guidance, and best practice to help systems address key issues, ensuring we have a service that is fit for the future.'
"A central aim is to maximise NHS capacity, supporting systems to deliver around 30 per cent more elective activity by 2024-25 than before the pandemic, after accounting for the impact of an improved care offer through system transformation, and advice and guidance."
"The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is not limited to elective care, and it can be seen across mental health, primary and community care. It will be important to give these areas the same focus as elective care, and for the challenges in these areas to be tackled in unison."
Crucially, the plan has a strong focus on improving patient outcomes and their experience of NHS services.
Goals include:
- eliminating waits of over one year by March 2025
- eliminating waits of over two years by July 2022
- reducing diagnostic waiting times so 95% of patients receive tests within 6 weeks by March 2025
- at least 75% of urgent cancer referrals receive a diagnosis within 28 days by March 2024
- the 62 day backlog returned to pre-pandemic levels by March 2023
"The plan requires our collective focus to:
• Increase capacity and separate elective and urgent care provision, while freeing clinicians’ time for new patients and those with the greatest clinical need
• Prioritise diagnosis and treatment for those with suspected cancer or an urgent condition, and offering alternative locations with shorter waiting times for those waiting a long time
• Transform the way we provide elective care, including streamlined care and fewer cancellations, and more convenient access to surgical and diagnostic procedures, using digital tools and data to drive the delivery of services
• Better information and support to patients, providing personalised, accessible support to patients whilst they wait, improving outcomes and reducing inequalities in health outcomes."
Fingers crossed eh... 

Thursday 3 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 2nd / 3rd February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 2nd / 3rd February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 17,607,832 (+88,171)
In Hospital Wednesday 2nd Feb: 14,816
Using A Ventilator Weds 2nd Feb: 483
Losses of Life: 157,730 (+303)
Tests: 1,337,828
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,385,688 (91.1% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,494,414 (84.3%)
Boosted: 37,419,104 (65.1%)

Area: Cases last 7 days / Rate per 100,000 population
Wales: 17,380 / 548.3
Scotland: 24,816 / 454
Northern Ireland: 29,868 / 1,575.7
England: 605,032 / 1,069.9

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,193,156 cases and 6,228 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 386,369,853 reported cases and 5,722,054 losses of life.

mental health time to talk day 3rd feb 2022

This week's English COVID surveillance report shows:
- Case rates were highest in those aged 5 to 9, with a weekly rate of 1,925.5 per 100,000 population
- Case rates were lowest in those aged 70-79, with a weekly rate of 301.3 per 100,000 population
- case rates are highest in the South East and lowest in the North West
- the North East has the highest amount of hospital admissions
- hospital admissions are highest among those aged 75 to 84
- COVID-19 hospitalisations decreased in most age groups, though have increase slightly in those aged 0 to 4 and 5 to 14

Scottish secondary school pupils will continue to wear face masks for another week at least as a mandatory measure. 

Tuesday 1 February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 31st January / 1st February 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 31st January / 1st February 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases: 17,428,345 (+112,458)
In Hospital: 15,669
Using A Ventilator: 511
Losses of Life: 156,875 (+219)
Tests: 1,217,791
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,360,487 (91% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 48,440,773 (84.2%)
Boosted: 37,342,083 (64.9%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,187,216 (+4,208) cases and 6,136 losses of life.

World: 379,822,966 reported cases and 5,694,569 losses of life.

Severeley immunosuppressed can now book boosters online

"Firstly I want to say sorry. I am sorry for the things we simply didn't get right and sorry for the way this matter has been handled.... It’s no use saying this or that was within the rules and it’s no use saying people were working hard. This pandemic was hard for everyone."
Boris Johnson, Head of the Downing Street Wine Appreciation Society and UK Prime Minister.