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Doc Hines - Covid News & Views - 4 Apr 2022

Updated: Nov 9, 2023

Today we are reminded there is a Covid Crisis, a Ukraine Crisis and a Climate Change Crisis. In which order would you place them in terms of its impact on your current and future life on this planet? The answer will I think very much depend on how old you are, where you live and whether you have been very ill with Covid, or perhaps are still suffering with Long Covid. Let me know which is the most important for you and your family.

Did you know that Long Covid is fast becoming a very serious concern for young people. The Office for National Statistics now calculate 116,000 school children have Long Covid and it is having a real impact on schooling for these children. Some months ago, I mentioned my niece and her family had all had Covid. Her daughter has gone on to suffer quite severely with Long Covid whilst the rest of the family made a normal recovery.

There is a new charity, recently launched, called “Long Covid Kids” and friends, which I strongly recommend you have a good look at. Just Google it and if you like it become a member and support it. My niece and her daughter went to 10 Downing St seeking recognition and more support for these children, over the weekend. There are some excellent articles by parents and professionals. There is an excellent resource pack that is available. If you are a health professional or know someone with Long Covid please use these resources, they are free.

Today’s statistics have been influenced by a change in the way they are collected. The number of positive cases include both new first episodes and reinfections. With only 4.3 million tests done in the week ending yesterday it is 350,000 less than the previous 7 days, it is estimated that now only 1 in 7 cases are being detected. The number positive per week has dropped by 131,000 or 22.4%, the actual number being 455,931. The number testing positive per 100,000 has dropped to 789.3, this is entirely due to the reduction in testing. I repeat these tests are now of little value in assessing the progress of the pandemic. Absenteeism from work and school may well be a better indicator. We know that the airline industry has been badly hit by workers off sick, with a significant number of flights cancelled as people try to get away for a short holiday.

The number admitted to hospital is only rising very slowly. 16,311 were admitted in the week ending 29th March, just 1,466 more than the previous week. The total number in hospital is 19,903.on 1st April compared to 19,575 the day before. The number on a ventilator has actually dropped by 4 to 352.

The number of deaths remain static, 1,109 in the week ending yesterday and the death rate is 1.5 per 100,000 of the population.

When we look at the immunisation statistics, they are given to the nearest 0.1%. That is equivalent to 100,000 people. There has been a 0.1% rise in first jabs and also in the number of 3rd jabs, 91.9% hade now had a first jab, 86.0% a second jab and 67.6% a third jab. this is still the best way to avoid being ill. If you are eligible sign up for your booster now.

There have now been reports of about 600 cases of the Covid XE variant in the UK. It is thought it may be 10% more transmissible or has a 10% higher rate of infection as Omicron. We need to watch this, but variants occur all the time, many die out. They are identified by our excellent genetic testing and are not inevitably a problem.

As Easter approaches, we can see by these figures Covid does not intend to go away. 1,100 are dying a week still. We have little idea of the real numbers of deaths in Ukraine, but I fear exceed what we are being told by a long way. Crimes against humanity are occurring daily yet the media give more attention to partygate offences. We are forgetting Climate Change is rapidly catching up on us. Big changes needed soon or parts of our world will be uninhabitable for our grandchildren.

We have been warned, its very real. Somehow, we must do our part to stay apart, to live in harmony side by side and consume much less energy. An unintended consequence of one crisis might just force us to reduce the carbon footprint by using less fossil fuels and so ease a second crisis. Please all stay Safe.

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