Tuesday 1 March 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 28th February / 1st March 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 28th February / 1st March 2022

UK Statistics:
Cases over the last 7 days: 231,973
Cases total: 18,985,568
In hospital Sunday 27th Feb: 10,551
Using a ventilator Monday 28th Feb: 290
Losses of life over the last 7 days: 741
Losses of life total: 161,630
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,634,448 (91.5% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 49,014,524 (85.2%)
Boosted / 3rd doses: 38,235,339 (66.5%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,303,720 (+3,298) cases and 6,508 (+11) losses of life.

World: 437,846,432 reported cases and 5,978,646 losses of life.

Ukraine needs help World Health Organisation

Happy St David's Day Welsh people! You no longer have to wear a face covering in most indoor places, including cinemas, theatres, community centres, museums and gyms.
Face coverings are still a legal requirement for adults and children aged 11+  in all retail settings, on public transport and in health and care settings.

From 1 March 2022, multiple infection episodes are included in cases for Scotland:
- cases include both new infections and possible reinfections
- deaths following possible reinfection are reported
- cases by specimen date and deaths by date of death have been revised back to the beginning of the pandemic
- historical cases and deaths by report date have not been revised, so there has been a step increase in the cumulative number of cases of around 60,000 and in the number of deaths of 75

A record-breaking 400 staff each week are leaving the NHS. I'm not entirely sure, but it could have something to do with over 2 years of working non-stop overtime in stressful and regularly dangerous conditions, with full volume frustration from patients and their families, in return for a complete lack of respect and a paltry pay rise... maybe... Worries are that this can't go on indefinitely, and patient care will be severely affected if the numbers of qualified, experienced staff continue to fall. 

Join the NHS reservists Image of smiley medics in a corridor

Yesterday the UK Health Security Agency published weekly rather than daily case numbers and losses of life, prompting a lot of people to say "oh ffs, okay then".
Today they continued with the "last 7 days" weekly numbers, half of which were exactly the same as yesterday's. Prompting a lot of people to say "wait a minute!" or "what the heck?" or "would you like to borrow a calculator?"
Tragically I'm only 50% sure they are that bad at maths, so I'm saying "well done for trying, we spotted you"... I didn't have time to do the maths today - sorry! I'll take note on Friday... 

After watching a video this morning of troops walking through a town in Ukraine, while someone in the background coughs throughout, we are reminded that the pandemic does still exist. Ukraine is struggling to keep up oxygen supply in hospitals, the EU and the World Health Organisation are attempting to keep humanitarian aid flowing, and Oxygen is at the top of the delivery list, but situation is not improving any time soon.
How bad is the COVID position in Ukraine? Well... not great. They had their 3rd wave over Autumn and Christmas, the same as most of Europe /Northern hemisphere /UK. Cases were dropping until the second week of January, and since then they've gone up massively. Highest peak previously was end of October/ beginning of November, with around 26,000 daily cases, and at the beginning of February they were reporting over 40,000 cases a day. That was improving, with around 25,000 daily cases by this time last week. We really cannot be certain what's happening now.
Sadly Ukraine isn't doing incredibly well with vaccinations. As of 23rd Feb, 35.02% of the population, or 1 in 3, is fully vaccinated (1 or 2 doses depending on the vaccine). Only another 1% are partly vaccinated. They are not incredibly well protected. The population is just under 41.5 million people.

Remember the US truckers convoy? Well, apparently they are still at it, and truck drivers and their assorted hangers-on are still gathering and travelling together in several major cities.
The truckers are mainly protesting vaccination and mask mandates. 

Good news US truckers, the CDC changed their recommendation about mask-wearing last week.
The agency has a traffic light system, and only where the risk of COVID is high in the community are they still advising people (including schoolchildren) to wear masks indoors in public spaces.
"People may choose to mask at any time. People with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask."

UK Say businesses should bolster online defences in case of cyber attack

A study in the Lancet estimates that up until October 31st 2021, at least 5.2 million children had lost a parent or caretaker to COVID.
"Our findings show that numbers of children affected by COVID-19-associated orphanhood and caregiver death almost doubled in 6 months compared with the amount after the first 14 months of the pandemic. Over the entire 20-month period, 5·0 million COVID-19 deaths meant that 5·2 million children lost a parent or caregiver. Our data on children's ages and circumstances should support pandemic response planning for children globally."

The world keeps turning, and nature continues to exert her power. There has been the worst flooding in known memory in Eastern Australia. At least 7 people have been killed, 6 of them in Queensland.

Hong Kong is having such a nightmare with COVID that we are being told bodies are being stored in Emergency Rooms because morgues are struggling, and some funeral homes are refusing to take any more infected bodies. Dr Larry Lee, Clinical Manager of Integrated Clinical Services was shown on TV saying:
"In the past two weeks, given the very cold weather, usually we would have a surge in deaths. And when you add on this epidemic, the mortuaries at the public hospitals are already at capacity"... he went on to say that the added legal responsibilities when working with the body of someone who has died from COVID mean everything takes longer and that is also causing delays and pressure.
Hong Kong has a population of roughly 7.76 million people, and reported 34,466 new cases yesterday - this is still rising.
A huge temporary isolation facility has been built, with more under construction, and 2 recently completed housing blocks will be repurposed. In all, another 70.000 rooms or beds will become available for COVID positive people. 

Ukrainians transferred $50 million in 3 days to support the army.
People were given an option to donate their 1,000 hryvnias ($38) payment which they received from the government as a reward for getting their Covid-19 vaccination. 

010322 UK HSA daily oops no, sorry, weekly stats

The BBC are reporting that around 4.7m doses of COVID vaccines (including 1.9m AstraZeneca) were wasted in the UK by the end of October 2021.
This is actually less than anticipated at about 4% of the total. It's in part because once they are out of the fridge, you have a time limit. You can't put them back, or use them once the time is up. Pfizer's vaccine needs to be stored in specialist freezers at -70. Once it's thawed out you have a day at most, and it still has to be kept cold. Opened bottles can't be stored under usual circumstances, so odd doses left over also go to waste.
The UK stockpiled masses of doses, and we gave away millions which we wouldn't have been able or likely to use in time. Ridiculously, some were given away too close to expiry to be useful, but thankfully that seemed to stop in more recent months. (You can't give an incredibly poor nation 10m doses of vaccine with 3 weeks on it and expect them to be able to distribute them in time!)

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukrainian President who previously was a popular actor, is also the Ukrainian voice of Paddington Bear. Wait for it...
"This is heartbreakingly apt. Paddington author Michael Bond told me shortly before his death that he had been inspired to create his refugee bear by watching WWII newsreels showing the "terribly sad" scenes of "people pushing a pram with all their belongings down a country road"
Etan Smallman, Journalist and Author. 

Famous People With COVID:
The Queen is improving! She held 2 'virtual' engagements today, a week after testing positive. Always good to hear someone is on the mend. I hope she takes it easy. 

010322 Daily Cases Ukraine

My 13 year old tested positive for a second time yesterday, and this time he's quite poorly. That's the 3rd time we've had COVID in the house, and another roll of the dice for my partner and I, who haven't yet tested positive at any time. Fun...

We will all be testing regularly, wearing masks in the shop and avoiding other people whenever possible, especially if they are more vulnerable. It is our responsibility to try to protect you - because you DO matter. If any of us test positive, we can very easily stay home, so we shall.

Lots of people asked about our kitten - she is called Sonja, which is a shortening of the Ukrainian word for sunflower. It is their national flower, and a symbol not only of strength, but also peace. Sonja is incredibly tiny and cute, but quite scary because she can hide anywhere!

My 13 year old lying on the sofa looking very hot and ill, with a kitten sleeping on his chest

Stay sensible... back with more COVID stuff on Friday... it's Shrove Tuesday, and I'm not actually a religious person, but I'm pretty sure it means we should eat everything delicious in the house. On a pancake. Enjoy!

Some people. Lots of languages, favourite foods, favourite TV, favourite clothes, favourite songs. But so much more in common...

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):

S. Korea 3,273,449 (+138,993) 8,170 (+112)

Russia 16,495,369 (+97,333) 352,446 (+786)

Japan 5,005,892 (+55,243) 23,633 (+187)

Italy 12,829,972 (+46,631) 155,000 (+233)

Netherlands 6,398,114 (+36,488) 21,570 (+16)

Germany 14,851,512 (+27,364) 123,490 (+44)

Malaysia 3,468,590 (+25,854) 32,827 (+78)

Australia 3,236,095 (+25,017) 5,210 (+39)

Austria 2,704,530 (+24,788) 14,841 (+32)

Indonesia 5,589,1769 (+24,728) 148,660 (+325)

Thailand 2,912,347 (+20,420) 22,979 (+43)

Finland 657,443 (+19,686) 2,380 (+14)

New Zealand 118,812 (+17,991) 56

Denmark 2,651,267 (+17,508) 4,649 (+37) 











YYY Delilah


A record-breaking 400 staff each week are leaving the NHS. 


Weekly dashboard figures














Image and weekly figures:



Small kitten playing behind a LEGO house


If Russia nukes the UK, according to Putin we can blame Liz Truss. Ermmmm. I think not. She made lots of interesting, and at times showboatery, comments over the weekend:
“If we don’t stop Putin in Ukraine we are going to see others under threat – the Baltics, Poland, Moldova, and it could end up in a conflict with Nato.
We do not want to go there. That is why it is so important we make the sacrifices now."
Then she stated that she would support British nationals if they went to fight in Ukraine. No Liz, that is ILLEGAL.
Putin turned up his nuclear response dial Sunday lunchtime, and on Monday Putin's spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said it was because:
"There were unacceptable statements about possible conflict situations and even confrontations and clashes between Nato and Russia.
I will not name the authors of these statements, although it was the British foreign secretary."
I think that gave us all the clues we needed...
Sure she's not winning any prizes for tact and diplomacy or clever words, but victim blaming is never pretty. If you decide to nuke someone who isn't actually posing an imminent threat to you, it's always going to be your fault.  

Yesterday teatime we had an announcent from Ukraine's Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Malyar, that several thousand foreigners have submitted an application to the newly created International Territorial Defense Legion to help Ukraine fight against Russia.
(Now look what you did there Liz Truss... you have coaxed people into law-breaking... ) 



Ukraine is the only country outside Israel where both the President and Prime Minister are Jewish.  

Anonymous on Monday played the Ukrainian anthem on loop over the radio frequency used by the Russian military.
On Sunday they gave Belarus "one warning and this is it". Belarus did not respond, and an hour later their rail network was taken down. People could not book seats or buy or register tickets. 


The Belarusian public seem just as against the war as the Russian citizens do. After despotic nutjob President Lukashenko suggested he would join in and send his troops to fight alongside the Russians, the streets of Minsk were noisy as heck all night with people shouting such things as "stop the war" and "glory to Ukraine".
Lukashenko was a surprise win at the last election, mainly because no-one knew who voted for him, yet he reportedly got 80% of the vote. His Presidency is not officially recognised by most of the Western world.
His opposition had to flee to Lithuania in order to keep her life. She is currently urging all of her supporters not to fight, engage in peaceful disobedience and resistance.


It's like the bit after the credits which you miss if you leave early... 

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