Tuesday 8 March 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 7th / 8th March 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 7th / 8th March 2022

UK Daily Statistics:
Cases last 7 days: +322,917 (average 46,131 per day)
Tests last 7 days: 4,392,544 (average 627,506 per day)
Tests / Cases means 1 in every 13 is positive.
(That's really high. World Health Organisation say anything greater than 1 in 20 means you aren't catching them all.)
In hospital yesterday Monday 7th March: 11,318 (UP from 10,551 eight days earlier - that's a BIG jump of almost 100 a day)
Using A Ventilator yesterday Monday 7th March: 268 (DOWN from 290 a week earlier)
Losses of life last 7 days: 729 (average 104 per day)
Vaccinations 1st Dose: 52,677,564 (91.6% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd Dose: 49,120,352 (85.4%)
Boosted / 3rd Dose: 38,396,473 (66.8%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,326,946 (+4,355) cases and 6,571 (+1) losses of life.

World: 448,780,890 reported cases and 6,030,409 losses of life.

Healthcare is not a target World Health Organisation

"Thanks to all the women have made an outstanding contribution to the COVID-19 pandemic response. In 2021/2022 women represented 46% of SAGE participants, giving invaluable advice in their work as epidemiologists, social scientists, engineers and much more."
Sir Patrick Vallance, UK Chief Scientific Advisor.
Women also made up a large percentage of indieSAGE (a lot of people speak on both the UK Government official advisory panels AND the unofficial advisory panels). 

The number of people who have officially died from COVID worldwide has now passed 6 million. The true figure is likely to be somewhere between 14 and 23 million. 

"Today the outflow of refugees from Ukraine reaches two million people.
Two million."
Filippo Grandi, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Those are huge numbers. HUGE. It is easy to feel overwhelmed, and insignificant. Each and every person matters. Each and every person should be able to live without fear from disease or war.  

charlie mackesy image for Ukraine shows rear of child and mole in love heart

Today UK Health Minister Sajid Javid set out his new vision for NHS reform in a speech at the Royal College of Physicians.
I did put it on, then I fell asleep (which I'm blaming on the COVID, not his speech).
It might be called the "Road To Recovery" (I dunno. Your Road To Recovery is the COVID recovery information) and as mentioned the other day, seems to include options to demand treatment at private facilities on NHS coinage. I'm struggling to see much else.

Now that all the figures are in, there's no doubt or escaping the fact that in the UK, hospitalisations are going back up.
We are still at around 1.000 admissions a day, which is fairly low compared to highest levels, but really, that's still very high. 

Back to that neurological damage I mentioned the other day, and it's not fabulous news, but we definitely can't claim complete surprise - there's a new not-yet-peer-reviewed study which adds further evidence to previous observations.
The University of Oxford have studied 2 sets of brain scans from 401 people who caught COVID while they were taking part in the UK Biobank study anyway. Volunteers were aged between 51 and 84.
They discovered that 'brain volume' in the areas which control smell had decreased by an average of 0.7%, compared to a control group of similar people who hadn't caught COVID.
Apparently in that part of the brain over an average year, middle-aged people ordinarily lose around 0.2% volume, older people lose 0.3%, so this is a significant increase.
Researchers also found that people who had previously tested positive took longer to complete cognitive tests.
I don't think this will be a huge surprise to anyone who has had brain fog, confusion or problems concentrating since having COVID, but at least it offers more evidence that you aren't going mad - you have a genuine problem that can be seen and measured. The good news is not everyone had a notable difference, some people were unaffected, the 0.7% is an average.
It is impossible to say whether any of these folk will 'make up for it later' or even improve slightly, but there is a possibility we may pay a price for COVID in the future. Dementia, memory and other problems could become more prevalent or even begin to occur a little earlier on. 

UK vs EU refuges requirements - basically 20 steps or 2

10 lowest overall Covid death rates in the EU over the course of the pandemic (per 100k)
1. Finland 46
2. Denmark 84
3. Netherlands 126
4. Ireland 131
5. Malta 137
6. Germany 148
7. Luxembourg 155
8. Austria 165
9. Sweden 171
10. Estonia 173
(Courtesy of COVID Data Check)

"So a fellow psychiatrist ridiculed me for receiving therapy for mental health problems
I was taken aback as I expected more from them
To be clear
I am Dr Ahmed Hankir
I have recovered from mental health problems & I'm not ashamed to say so
Please help reduce stigma"
Dr Ahmed Hankir, The Wounded Medic. 

Finnish Artist Mauri Kunnas
Finnish Artist Mauri Kunnas

Scientists from the University of Edinburgh and Genomics England have discovered 16 different genes which they believe make people more naturally predisposed to become severely ill if you catch COVID. These genes are linked to "the immune system’s ability to recognise foreign pathogens, alongside the biological mechanisms involved in blood clotting and lung inflammation", (which is a quote from the Financial Times, which had a great article about it).
This is a massive study, using "whole genome sequencing in 7,491 critically-ill cases compared with 48,400 controls to discover and replicate 23 independent variants that significantly predispose to critical Covid-19".
In part it may start to answer why some entire families die from COVID, and others are barely affected.

From today US citizens can order your second box of free at-home COVID tests.
(In England remember your opportunity to order free tests ends at the end of this month.)

The US Truckers convoy proper arrived in Washington at the weekend, after mostly missing their warm up gathering (while Joe Biden did his State of the Union address). In the end "hundreds" turned up, and although I admit I'm not sure on the latest, it seems to have gone pretty peacefully, with a couple of laps each day of the 'beltway' (which I'm guessing is our equivalent ring road or M60 if you're in Manchester).
They are mainly protesting vaccination mandates for border crossing, and are supported by various groups with complaints about most things COVID. 

Womens Day in Ukraine 2022 shows drawing of a rear view of people (based on a photo) of a woman with a gun on her shoulder, holding a child's hand

It is International Women's Day. Women have really proven themselves during the COVID pandemic, and last year I listed some of those who have been instrumental in creating vaccines and saving millions of lives. This year, as a mother of 5 sons, my heart is with all of those mothers who have had to say goodbye to their children as they go off to war, wherever they may be. With all of the women fleeing, leaving their loved ones behind to fight for their right to freedom, and with all of those women staying behind themselves. I cannot begin to appreciate the position any of these women are in, and I hope I never do. I wish peace to you all. 

You guys have all been lovely while I've been ill. I'm so lucky to have you - thank you. Sorry I haven't always replied - my eyes have been incredibly sore and my reading/typing/spelling has been dreadful - especially once the laptop is off.
I am definitely getting better (enjoying waking up from surprise 2 hour daytime naps), so I should be back Friday (my OH is also doing okay yeeeay!).
Remember to limit the time you spend 'doomscrolling'. Availability of rolling news 24 hours a day can make it tempting, but you need to turn off - and remember that most people only want peace. All hopes that tomorrow is a brighter day...

Some people. They look like numbers here, because I don't know all of their names...

Countries / Cases / Losses of life YESTERDAY in the full 24 hours up until midnight GMT):

S. Korea 4,666,977 (+210,713) 9,096 (+139)

Vietnam 4,582,058 (+147,358) 40,891 (+78)

Germany 15,951,350 (+122,895) 124,716

Russia 17,014,818 (+73,162) 356,949 (+668)

Netherlands 6,771,643 (+64,441) 21,612

Japan 5,393,533 (+55,417) 24,935 (+146)

UK 19,245,114 (+41,977) 162,147 (+47)

Turkey 14,388,231 (+34,343) 95,681 (+132)

Malaysia 3,649,463 (+26,856) 33,305 (+77)

Austria 2,893,913 (+26,153) 15,026 (+18)

USA 80,979,977 (+25,751) 985,914 (+508)

Hong Kong 496,767 (+25,150) 2,287 (+280)

Italy 13,049,336 (+22,645) 156,017 (+130)

Finland 694,142 (+22,369) 2,571 (+184)

Australia 3,385,982 (+21,804) 5,448 (+32)

Indonesia 5,770,105 (+21,380) 150,430 (+258)

Thailand 3,047,857 (+21,162) 23,303 (+65)

New Zealand 240,319 (+17,552) 65

France 23,071,822 (+14,496) 139,451 (+176)













Published in Nature

See.also Eric Ding from Sunday - link

Neurological damage






Finnish cartoonist Mauri Kunnas














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