Friday 23 June 2023

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 23rd June 2023

 COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 23rd June 2023

We may as well start here... The Privileges Committee Report:
Within an hour of my last post, Boris Johnson resigned. This was after he received an advance copy of the 'Partygate' report - which he said finds him guilty "regardless of the facts". 
Even then he didn't actually give in, and reportedly sent the panel some extra evidence. They delayed the report by 24 hours to read it, which bizarrely resulted in Johnson getting shouty in Parliament about delays to publication.
On Thursday we were able to see what has been blindingly and unquestionably obvious since the very start. We were right there watching. Johnson lied to Parliament. Repeatedly.
He was emphatic that all of the COVID socialising rules had been followed, but as he has a brain and implemented them in clear English himself, he must have been aware he was breaking them.
Parliament still had to endorse the Privileges Committee's report, and they did, by vote of 354 - 7 (225 Conservative MPs abstained). 

COVID jab UK deadline July except vulnerable NHS

Among evidence which has now become public is a reminder WhatsApp isn't just for text messages, and the 'Partygate video'.
Handily this video appears to be from a party the met police didn't investigate through 'lack of evidence', and it shows people wearing paper party hats, laughing, flirting and dancing at an actual Christmas office party - with music, booze and catered food. Awesome.

I am so very sorry if you lost your next of kin, your parent, your child, during lockdown and restrictions on mixing. If you lost someone you loved very much, with very little contact or chance to say goodbye. If you attended a limited funeral, or weren't even able to go. If you had a baby, and couldn't show them off. If your Grandchildren grew, without you being able to watch. 
This affected ALL of us. They set the rules, and some never for a second believed those rules also applied to them. 

Look out for people who struggle to stay cool

Ongoing is the UK COVID Inquiry, and evidence began last week. This is looking at what was done right, or wrong, and will eventually include evidence from bereaved people and public, as well as experts and people in positions of authority and decision-making. 
Dame Sally Davies (England's Chief Medical Officer 2010-2019) gave her evidence. She was very emotional and very clear that she felt the UK was ill-prepared because we simply didn't have the resources to cope. 
Ms Davies reminded the panel that compared with other similar countries, at the start of the pandemic, the UK was at the bottom of the table in numbers of doctors, nurses, beds, intensive care beds and ventilators per 100,000 of the population.
The disintegrating state of UK healthcare after a decade of austerity was backed up by a report from Prof Sir Michael Marmot and Prof Clare Bambra. They found health was already in decline before the pandemic, with poor regions and ethnic minority groups faring worst of all. 

There are naff all UK COVID stats that are easy to pull out, but at present we are still on a downward gradient as we head into Summer, with a low prevalence of infection and very low hospitalisations - those vaccinations (and previous infections) are still doing their protective job. Talking of which...

"After 30 June, the COVID-19 vaccine will only be offered to those at higher risk of serious infection. 
People aged five or above (on 31 August 2022) can still get their first or second COVID-19 vaccines until 30 June."

Heat Exhaustion signs NHS cramps woozy headache etc

The Guardian are reporting that the Environment Agency have launched an inquiry into huge pile of PPE found in Calmore, Hampshire, in the New Forest.
The land owner says it is being stored temporarily. Some is labelled as made in China or that it contains aprons. It amounts to a massive quantity, and my own guess is it's some of the very expensive substandard PPE which is destined for the bonfire. 

The UK is extending the offer of vaccination for mpox (monkeypox) in eligible populations in London, after a small spike in cases last month (11). The offer is open nationwide until the end of July, and you should get 2 doses for long term protection. 
Don't become complacent chaps. It is still out there.

The Victorian government (Australian as opposed to historical) has settled a $5million class action regarding lockdowns. Residents from a group of 9 tower blocks in Melbourne, who were suddenly locked down for 2 weeks during a COVID outbreak, have won the argument that they were wrongly detained, and that being unable to leave the property for that time caused immense hardship. 

Mpox vaccination deadlines UK

Variant Watch:
The UK is now hardly testing anyone, so most samples come from hospital patients, and only a small percentage are investigated to look at which variant it is. The data is far from perfect, but what it does suggest is that we are seeing a broad mishmash of mainly Omicron XBB.1 variants just now. Mostly they are: 
XBB.1.9.2 (16.85%)
XBB.1.5 (16.11%)
XBB.1.16 (15.71%)
XBB.1.9.1 (10.77%)
XBB.2.3 (6.35%)
XBB.1.16.1 (5.39%)
There are some concerns in other parts of the world, including in East Asia and India, where Omicron's FU.1 (I kid you not), also known as XBB., looks capable of spreading about half as quickly again as regular XXB.1.16.1.
(At this rate the next new fastest variant will be so fast that we've probably already had it.)
Still nothing seems likely to cause more serious illness or loss of life, COVID just gets better and better at spreading quickly. 

Following on from that, the US FDA have met to discuss Autumn boosters, and have unanimously voted to update to a monovalent (single pronged) COVID-19 vaccine with an XBB-lineage of the Omicron variant, preferably XBB.1.5.

Heat Exhaustion signs include excess sweating, woozy, headache, sickNHS

The UK Government is currently running a consultation on visiting patients in various medical settings. This is very important to me, as it will be to anyone who had to bring home a very confused and sick partner with meningitis, because he kept attempting to abscond from hospital wearing only a pyjama top and an IV drip. At the time visiting hours were something like 3-4.30pm and 7-8pm - and almost impossible for me with 7 (mostly school aged) children. He did not cope well. 
Have your own say at consultations dot dhsc dot gov dot uk

More for the UK:
"By 31 October, all patients will be able to see information as it is added to their GP health record; online and through the NHS App."
They clearly want us to download the app, and it is a handy way to order repeat prescriptions and get test results, so in theory should free up some GP (and patient) time. They will no doubt study all your anonymous data for the next 20 years, but for me personally....meh, whatever... 

NHS App additions before 31st october 2023

It is the weekend, and there is a warning in the UK for extreme heat. We aren't used to it, and sunstroke isn't fun. Watch out for yourself and others, especially vulnerable people. If you find yourself overheating, especially if you feel woozy or sick, take action immediately. A good way to cool quickly is to put your wrists under cold running water - then your blood flow will help cool your whole body calmly and steadily. 

There is also a tick warning. Many UK ticks now carry Lyme Disease - and they're having a good year. They look like tiny spiders, often carry a backpack and need to be removed completely (use pointy tweezers to ensure you remove the teeny tiny vampire fangs). Check yourself and your pets after you've been in long grass or vegetation. 

Do not forget to treat yourself this weekend, and I hope you remembered last week too. Life is hard, it's stressful, and having something to give your mind and soul a break is essential for our wellbeing. You really do deserve it. You earned it. 

I'll be back in another 2 weeks - until then... Stay Sensible, Wear A Sunhat, Save The NHS. 

Total COVID cases / losses of life reported officially to date. Bear in mind that most countries no longer randomly or regularly test or report, and some never did. They look like numbers, but they're people:

USA 107,271,466 / 1,167,614
India 44,993,817 / 531,902
France 40,130,082 / 167,593
Germany 38,428,685 / 174,352
Brazil 37,655,917 / 703,719
Japan 33,803,572 / 74,694
S. Korea 32,018,486 / 34,960
Italy 25,887,444 / 190,706
UK 24,618,436 / 226,278
Russia 22,953,409 / 399,436
Turkey 17,232,066 / 102,174
Spain 13,905,048 / 121,622
Australia 11,690,064 / 21,612
Vietnam 11,619,990 / 43,206
Taiwan 10,239,998 / 19,005
Argentina 10,056,300 / 130,514


COVID Inquiry
COVID Inquiry evidence begins Tuesday 13th June 2023
health already in decline

Johnson 4 wine time Fridays image and text

Variant watch


US FDA boosters Autumn 2023

Mpox vaxx UK


UK Gov consultation


Another image

Hest exhaustion image

Orwell images:

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