Tuesday, 24 May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Tuesday 24th May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Tuesday 24th May 2022

The UK COVID Statistics page has been amended, and hasn't been updated since Friday, when I last took note of the numbers, so there seems little point having any statistics today. Hopefully on Friday they'll update it promptly, and I will be able to compare week on week differences. 

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,551,835 cases and 7,244 losses of life (not yet reported today).

World: 528,498,202 reported cases and 6,302,354 losses of life.

Monkeypox what to look out for UK HSA collage of 3 images describing symptoms and if in doubt check with your doctor

The UK HSA has announced quarantine guidance regarding Monkeypox - any close contacts with highest risk of exposure should self-isolate for 21 days. This includes sexual partners and households of people who test positive, as well as exposed healthcare workers. There's been a lot of people very shouty about this because it's usually a mild illness - however it can be dangerous for unborn babies, immunosuppressed people, pregnant women, and children under 12. Pretty much everyone who is pregnant or under 50 right now worldwide does not have any immunity via childhood vaccination for Smallpox. The spots can really cause nasty scarring too. I think it's fair, and I'm pretty sure most people who test positive or are direct contacts will too. 

Friday, 20 May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Friday 20th May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Friday 20th May 2022

UK COVID Statistics:
Cases last 7 days: 58,786 (average 8,398 per day)
Admitted to hospital with COVID in the last 7 days: 5,074
In hospital yesterday: 6,729 (substantially down from 9,619 a week earlier)
Using a ventilator yesterday: 191 (down from 203 a week earlier)
Losses of life last 7 days: 789
Total losses of life within 28 days of a positive test: 177,890
Total losses of life with COVID listed as a cause: 194,550
Tests last 7 days: 1,566,809 (average 223,829 per day)
Vaccinations 1st dose: 53,337,395
Vaccinations 2nd dose: 49,844,562
Boosted / 3rd dose / Spring Boosters: 39,474,656

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,551,835 cases and 7,244 losses of life.

World: 526,114,020 reported cases and 6,297,640 losses of life.

Vaccinations you should have before you leave for uni (from birth onwards) shows 2 young people hugging

"UKHSA have confirmed 11 new cases of Monkeypox in the UK. This morning I updated G7 Health Ministers on what we know so far. Most cases are mild, and I can confirm we have procured further doses of vaccines that are effective against Monkeypox."
Sajid Javid, UK Health Secretary.

"In Downing Street there is a sense of injustice and considerable upset that the 126 Partygate fines have been levied disproportionately on women and junior officials. One source said: “the majority of [those fined] are very junior diary managers etc on 24k-ish and these fines are really stacking up for them. Typically they are getting fined for events they were at with their males bosses who seem to have got away no problem. Pretty clear also that people who bothered lawyering up [like the PM] are fine. There is a lot of very angry and upset people.”
Robert Peston, ITV's Political Editor. 

Thursday, 19 May 2022

Butterfly Garden Complete Kit from Insect Lore (sent for review by Bright Minds)

This Spring we were invited by Bright Minds to review the Butterfly Garden from Insect Lore. This is a complete kit which contains everything you need to raise your own butterflies - including a voucher to send away for live caterpillars when you are ready to begin. 

InsectLore Butterfly Garden Kit Box front showing contents and smiling children

Because you raise real live animals, you can only use the kit in Spring and early Summer - which is when the butterflies (Painted Ladies) hatch.

Tuesday, 17 May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Tuesday 17th May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update Tuesday 17th May 2022

UK COVID Statistics:
Cases last 7 days: 63,296 (average 9,042 per day)
Admitted to hospital with COVID in the last 7 days: 5,771
In hospital yesterday: 7,604 (well down from 9,619 a week earlier)
Using a ventilator yesterday: 189 (down from 214 a week earlier)
Losses of life last 7 days: 986 (average 140 per day)
Total losses of life within 28 days of a positive test: 177,410
Total losses of life with COVID listed as a cause: 194,550
Tests last 7 days: 1,627,672 (average 232,524 per day)
Vaccinations 1st dose: 53,337,395
Vaccinations 2nd dose: 49,844,562
Boosted / 3rd dose / Spring Boosters: 39,474,656

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,535,451 cases and 7,203 losses of life (not yet reported today)

World: 523,559,119 reported cases and 6,291,622 losses of life.

Vaccinations you should have before you leave for uni (from birth onwards)

Latest UK HSA data shows 79.2% of those people aged 75 or over, who became eligible at the end of March for the COVID Spring booster, have taken up the offer and received their vaccination.

Also UK HSA data, and 59.5% of those giving birth in January 2022 had received at least one dose of the vaccine, up from 53.7% in December 2021 and 48.7% in November 2021.
Over half (50.6%) had received 2 doses, up from 43.3% in December 2021 and 38.4% in November 2021.
Between January 2021 and January 2022, 125,365 vaccinated people have given birth in the UK (88,736 of those with 2 doses and 14,378 with 3 doses).
"Despite the upward trend in the number of pregnant women coming forward, women of Black ethnicity and those living in the most deprived areas of England remain the least likely to be vaccinated."
Between November 2021 and January 2022, just 30.5% of Black women had one or more vaccine doses by the time of delivery, compared to 57.5% of White women. In the most deprived areas of the country, 38.9% had received one or more doses by the time of delivery, compared to 71.1% in the least deprived areas. Why do we have these disparities? Accessibility (no time/transport/childcare)? Misinformation? Distrust of authorities?

Monday, 16 May 2022

May 2022 #TBCSmiles 93 Months...

I've promised my family I won't work weekends, and while we are having to move we don't really have the time, so the #TBCSmiles have been relegated to today. That doesn't mean they are less important, in fact if anything they are more important - especially this month. 

We just had Mental Health Awareness Week, and it's no coincidence that it's placed here in the year. This month we've had the least smiles that we've had in 5 years, and while I'd love to be surprised by that, I'm not. It's been a lot harder for us to make smiles, and it's required more effort for just about everyone. 

4 of my boys in the dark, sitting in the glow of a bonfire

Spring in the UK is often cold, disappointingly not-so-sunny, and everyone is tired. Really we need to work less hours through Winter and sleep more, and then we'd be ready to face the world. Instead we are all a bit gloomy and really waiting for Summer to kick in and brighten everything up. On top this year we have the war in Ukraine, the ongoing COVID infections which really haven't gone away, the residual tiredness that most of us feel after catching COVID, the fuel bills flying through the roof and food prices going up. The comfort we've felt for the past 30 years is slipping away, and it's only now we realise just what we had to lose.

Friday, 13 May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 13th May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 13th May 2022

UK COVID Statistics - we are missing updated figures for Northern Ireland, as they are delayed:
Cases last 7 days: 76,867 (average 10,981 per day - UP slightly on 10,829 a week earlier)
Admitted to hospital with COVID in the last 7 days: 6,020
In hospital yesterday: 9,619 (down from 10,763 a week earlier)
Using a ventilator yesterday: 203 (down from 253 a week earlier)
Losses of life last 7 days: 1,389 (average 198 a day - UP from 186 a week earlier)
Total losses of life within 28 days of a positive test: 176,708
Total losses of life with COVID listed as a cause: 193,713
Tests last 7 days: 1,821,189 (average 260,169 per day)
Vaccinations 1st dose: 53,264,512
Vaccinations 2nd dose: 49,780,389
Boosters / 3rd doses / Spring Boosters: 39,345,313

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,535,451 (+524) cases and 7,203 (+27) losses of life.

World: 519,990,677 reported cases and 6,285,251 losses of life.

It's not weak to speak numbers to ring in the UK

"A fever whose cause couldn't be identified explosively spread nationwide from late April and more than 350 000 people got fever in a short span of time, and at least 162 200 out of them were healed completely. On May 12 alone, some 18 000 persons with fever occurred nationwide and as of now up to 187 800 people are being isolated and treated. Six persons died (one of them tested positive for the BA.2 sub-variant of Omicron.)"
North Korean official media KCNA.
I don't know about you, but by crikey I just want to give them a hug. 

MOC-82591 Medieval Church Brick Set Review (sent for review by Let Bricks)

I was recently sent the Let Bricks Medieval Church set MOC-82591 for review. This has been designed by Peter Keith, and I was sent a hand-picked set - so I do have some errors which are unlikely to appear in the final store product. 

This is a 516 piece set, which is a nice build and creates a really attractive little chapel... 

Let Bricks Medieval Church Brick Set completed model shown on a table

As it's only a 516 piece set it doesn't need to have numbered bags, and the instructions are on a USB key, so although you don't have a paper copy, you can access them on any device - and enlarge them at will.  

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update May 10th 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update May 10th 2022

UK COVID Statistics (most data, such as 'cases last 7 days' is now only updated by the UK on Mondays and Thursdays):
Cases last 7 days: 102,089 (average 14,584 per day)
Admitted to hospital with COVID in the last 7 days: Has not been updated since May 3rd
In hospital yesterday: 9,619 (well down from 12,475 a week earlier)
Using a ventilator yesterday: 214 (well down from 304 a week earlier)
Losses of life last 7 days: 1,512 (average 216 per day)
Total losses of life within 28 days of a positive test: 176,424
Total losses of life with COVID listed as a cause: 193,713
Tests last 7 days: 1,788,178 (average 255,454 per day)
Vaccinations 1st dose: 53,264,512 (92.6% of UK aged 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd dose: 49,780,389 (86.6%)
Boosted / 3rd dose / Spring Boosters: 39,345,313 (68.4%. Every time I type this I consider the fact that some people have had a 3rd jab and a booster and a Spring jab, so this percentage is meaningless now.)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,524,555 cases and 7,163 losses of life (not yet reported today).

World: 518,032,714 reported cases and 6,278,793 losses of life.

Young people off to uni get vaccinated photo of two hip young folk grinning at each other. His luck is in.

"I'm starting to see signs that many people (scientists included) are getting convinced that going forward, we no longer need to vaccinate against COVID-19. Why? Because infections will do the trick. That thought is as delusional today as it was in 2020. Let's not go there."
Kristian G. Andersen, Infectious diseases & genomics Professor and Immunologist at the Anderson Lab at Scripps Research Institute. 

Friday, 6 May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 4th / 5th / 6th May 2022

COVID-19 Coronavirus UK and World News Update 4th / 5th / 6th May 2022

UK COVID Statistics:Cases last 7 days: 75,809 (average 10,829 per day)
Admitted to hospital with COVID in the last 7 days: 7,126
In hospital yesterday: 10,763 (well down from 13,027 a week earlier)
Using a ventilator yesterday: 253 (well down from 302 a week earlier)
Losses of life last 7 days: 1,300 (average 186 per day)
Total losses of life within 28 days of a positive test: 176,212
Total losses of life with COVID listed as a cause: 192,464
Tests last 7 days: 1,808,795 (average 258,399 per day)
Vaccinations 1st dose: 53,189,550 (92.5% of UK age 12+)
Vaccinations 2nd dose: 49,730,039 (86.5%)
Boosted / 3rd dose / Spring Boosters: 39,254,038 (68.3%)

Rep. Of Ireland: 1,522,363 (+889) cases and 7,131 (+23) losses of life.

World: 516,102,810 reported cases and 6,273,069 losses of life.

Smiling young person in partywear with hands drawn together and huge grin

From 09 May 2022, the Public Health Scotland COVID-19 dashboard will be updated on Mondays and Thursdays, before moving to weekly updates, on a Wednesday, from June.
(Handily I report on a Friday and Tuesday, so I should still have current data.)

Wales and UK headline vaccination data will now be updated weekly - data up to Thursday will be reported the following Monday.

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Home: My Life in the Universe by Mark Ballabon. Teenage / Young Adult Book Review (sent for review)

Home: My Life In The Universe is written by Mark Ballabon, with illustrations by Grant Macdonald. It is suitable for teenage and young adult readers aged around 12+, and is a book which really does make you think about what home is, and where it is...?

The story focusses on Leah, a teenage girl who is growing into the adult she'll become. It is a coming-of-age tale, with the climate crisis and our place in the universe right at its heart. 

Book cover showing young woman standing at night in a field of grass under the stars

Leah is an 'ordinary' teenager, and she's unique, just like every teenager. She feels she is weird and different, yet really plain, and she's okay with individuality to a point, but she wants to fit in, and she wants to be liked, but she doesn’t enjoy the feeling of being plain. She also wants to try new experiences and push herself out of her comfort zone, which she does when, together with her younger brother, she goes away to spend 3 weeks at an international camp over Summer. It's there that she meets people who test her patience and her mood, and others who encourage her to understand that we all have a backstory - reasons why we act as we do.