Friday 26 January 2024

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 26th January 2024

 COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 26th January 2024

World COVID Statistics: 702,382,516 reported cases and 6,973,669 losses of life.

"In the week ending 12 Jan 2024 (Week 2) of deaths registered:
▪️ 17.7% involved influenza or pneumonia (2,425 deaths)
▪️ 2.8% involved COVID19 (388 deaths)"
UK ONS (Office for National Statistics). 
These figures are higher than a normal week in part due to delays from Christmas and New Year, and a lot of people are unhappy that many folk hospitalised with pneumonia are not even being tested for COVID, nor is it considered relevant to these stats if they tested positive a couple of weeks or more previously.
The good news is that alongside preliminary figures since then, we don't seem to have quite as many people sick with COVID as this time last year. 
The bad news is that we already have a lot of people in hospital with flu, and significant pressure on the NHS, causing 'critical incidents' in several trusts (including Leicester). Unusually we have had 2 flu waves and may not be at the peak of this one for hospitalisations, so fingers crossed that tapers off.
If you are ill, whatever it may be, please stay home if you can.

WHO Measles is one of the world's most contagious diseases

Wednesday 24 January 2024

Ad | Simple Steps To Get More Proactive With Your Healthcare In 2024

Simple Steps To Get More Proactive With Your Healthcare In 2024

In the pursuit of well-being, a proactive approach is paramount to ensuring a healthier and more fulfilling life. This comprehensive guide provides essential steps and insights to empower you on your journey towards proactive health in 2024. You can lay the foundation for a thriving and balanced lifestyle by addressing various aspects of physical and mental well-being.

National Health Service launch leaflet explaining we are all paying for the NHS

Embrace A Holistic Approach To Fitness

To kickstart your journey towards proactive health, consider adopting a holistic approach to fitness. Instead of fixating solely on traditional gym workouts, explore diverse activities that engage both your body and mind. Activities like yoga, Pilates, or even outdoor exercises can contribute to your overall well-being. This approach not only keeps you physically active but also promotes mental clarity and emotional balance.

Prioritise Mental Well-Being

A proactive stance towards health extends beyond physical fitness, encompassing mental well-being. Engage in mindfulness practices such as meditation or deep breathing exercises to alleviate stress and enhance your mental resilience. Consulting with a mental health professional can also provide valuable insights and coping mechanisms tailored to your specific needs.

Drawing of young man sitting on the ground looking scared

Cultivate Nutritious Eating Habits

Nutrition plays a pivotal role in proactive health. Rather than adhering to restrictive diets, focus on cultivating sustainable and nutritious eating habits. Incorporate a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains into your diet. Consult a registered dietitian for personalised advice, ensuring you meet your nutritional requirements while enjoying a diverse and satisfying range of foods.

Address Skin Issues That Have Been Bothering You

Your skin is a reflection of your overall health, and addressing skin issues is a proactive step towards well-being. If you've been dealing with persistent skin problems, consult with a dermatologist. Whether it's acne, eczema, or other dermatological concerns, seeking professional advice ensures effective treatment tailored to your skin type and condition. You can find a lot of medications for skin issues, as well as problems like migraines and hay fever, at an online pharmacy. The Independent Pharmacy treats 88 medical conditions online, and they offer speedy delivery. Visit their website to find out more.

Overhead view of 12 small plastic cups filled with different coloured juice drinks

Stay Hydrated

Hydration is often underestimated but is crucial for maintaining optimal bodily functions. Make a conscious effort to stay hydrated throughout the day by drinking an adequate amount of water. Carry a reusable water bottle to encourage consistent hydration, supporting your overall health and well-being.

Foster Quality Sleep

Prioritise a good night's sleep as an essential component of proactive health. Establish a consistent sleep schedule, create a relaxing bedtime routine, and ensure your sleep environment is conducive to rest. Quality sleep positively influences physical and mental recovery, contributing to improved focus, mood, and overall vitality.

Young boy fast asleep leaning over the back of a Manchester tram seat

Regular Health Screenings And Check-ups

Being proactive with your health involves regular health screenings and check-ups. Schedule routine appointments with healthcare professionals to monitor key indicators of well-being. Address any concerns promptly and work collaboratively with your healthcare team to implement preventive measures.

Final Thoughts

Embarking on a journey towards proactive health requires a commitment to holistic well-being. By incorporating these essential steps into your lifestyle, you can cultivate a foundation for lasting health and vitality. Remember that proactive health is an ongoing process, and small, consistent efforts lead to significant and sustainable results. Prioritise your well-being and embrace the positive transformations that come with a proactive approach to health in 2024.

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Futliit LED Backpack Reviewed By Teenagers (Sent for Review).

We recently moved to rural Scotland, and a big change for my teenage boys has been walking a mile to and from the school bus down an unlit country lane, often in the dark. I'd seen LED backpacks for younger children, but was delighted when Futliit got in touch to see if we were interested in reviewing their much more teenager-appropriate light up backpack. 

Futliit Backpack review with 6ft tall teenager wearing backpack 2 LED strips lit up

My initial reaction upon opening the package is that this is an excellent quality bag. The material is still soft, but feels incredibly robust and waterproof. 

Futliit Backpack shoulder strap and padding close up

The stitching is very well done, and the inside lining is soft and will wipe clean. There are some lovely details which make all the difference, including a strong carry handle on top, and neatly shaped thick padding on the straps and the rear of the bag, as well as the base - this bag is designed to last a long time. 

Wednesday 17 January 2024

Simba Hybrid All-Year Duvet Review (with temperature control technology). Sent for review.

What could be more timely than a duvet review? In this cold, Wintery weather we all want to feel snug and warm, and the Simba Hybrid Duvet really does do the trick. 

Simba Sleep have sent me their 10.5 Tog all-year Hybrid Duvet with Stratos® responsive temperature control technology. Not only is it warm in Winter, it dissipates excess heat so that you won't be too hot in Summer, so you can use this duvet all year round. 

Close up of Simba label showing some duvet fabric all around

The duvet arrives covered in a 50% recycled plastic bag, with a recycled textile zip up storage bag inside - storage bags are always handy, and it's a really nice touch - plus I love the fact we don't have loads of waste plastic. 

Simba Duvet inside recycled fabric storage bag

I unzipped the bag and the first thing I noticed was just how luxurious this feels. The plain cotton on the underside of the duvet is super soft, it's almost a shame you won't be sleeping without a duvet cover. 

Friday 12 January 2024

COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 12th January 2024

 COVID-19 Coronavirus and other virus UK and World News Update 12th January 2024

World COVID Statistics: 701,603,634 officially reported cases and 6,967,340 losses of life.

Hello again after my longest break in 4 years - and Happy New Year to you all! I hope your festivities went well and you spent time with people you love. Glad to have you with us... 2024 off we go... 

"We are entering the 5th year of the pandemic and we are certainly in a different phase.  This phase is marked by an evolving virus (with the XBB and BA.2 sublineages circulating and JN.1 becoming dominant).
It’s marked by reduced impact compared to the peak of COVID19 a few years ago, but it’s still a global health threat and it’s still a pandemic causing far too many (re)infections, hospitalisations, deaths and long covid when tools exist to prevent them."
Dr Maria Van Kerkhove, COVID technical lead for The World Health Organisation (WHO), trying very hard in her end of year message to remind us that the COVID pandemic isn't over, and we should all do the simple stuff like stay home when you are ill, and wearing masks when in busy enclosed spaces. 

120124 UKHSA Stats

Over the past 3 weeks the UK Health Security Agency and mainstream media have avoided saying "COVID" as much as possible. We've had warnings about Flu, RSV, seasonal illness and 'cold weather making lung conditions worse', but if you can find COVID mentioned, it usually isn't in the headlines. 
The Guardian ran an interesting piece about a surge in English hospital admissions due to flu, with "an average of 1,313 people in hospital with the virus each day during the week ending 31 December", but read on and you discover "an average of 3,929 people in hospital" with COVID each day during the same week. This is despite very little testing, even reportedly in people admitted to hospital with obvious symptoms. 
You just can't make something go away by pretending, however hard you try.