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On this day in 2020 ... 16th December


WEDNESDAY 16TH DECEMBER 2020


Facts and figures.

35,383 new cases. *11,000 ‘missing’ cases added from Wales’ data.

532 deaths.


Missing figures found down back of settee.

Astonishingly, an extra 11,000 positive COVID-19 tests are missing from official figures in Wales because of an IT issue due to ‘planned maintenance’ causing a significant under-reporting of positive tests between 9th and 15th December 2020. It means that positive tests will be twice as high as previously thought. The additional positive tests will be reported today.


Weekly jabber.

A week has passed since vaccinations started and 137,000 people in the UK have received the first COVID-19 jabs. Nadhim Zahawi tweeted that in those 7 days.

‘England: 108,000. Wales: 7,897. Northern Ireland: 4,000. Scotland: 18,000. UK Total: 137,897.’

He went on to say,

‘That number will increase as we have operationalised hundreds of PCN (primary care networks).’


Any old shit.

Author’s note. Good news although I do find it a little odd that three of the four home nations managed to vaccinate a perfectly round number of people. I do sometimes think we are told any old shit.


Daily news.


Exercise and relax.

Prime Minster Boris Johnson has said that all UK nations have reached a ‘unanimous’ agreement to continue with the plans to relax measures at Christmas. He also said that people,

‘should exercise a high degree of personal responsibility,’ in their decisions on whether to visit relatives over Christmas.

Earlier in parliament during Prime Minister’s Questions, Mr Johnson said,

‘Although some things are unquestionably going well…we must remember that transmission takes place asymptomatically in so many cases. We should exercise extreme caution in the way we celebrate Christmas – we can celebrate it sensibly, but we have to be extremely cautious in the way we behave.


Christmas behind bars

He later said,

‘we don’t want to criminalise people’s long-made plans, but we do think it’s absolutely vital that people should at this very, very tricky time exercise a high degree of personal responsibility especially when they come into elderly people (sic) and avoid contact with elderly people wherever possible.’


Sort of unanimous.

Author’s note. While the P.M. says the agreement was unanimous, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said only two households should ‘form an exclusive Christmas bubble.’ He said a smaller Christmas is a safer Christmas. Wales is also going into a lockdown on Christmas day by closing all hospitality premises again and moving to alert level 4 from 28th December 2020. This will mean much tighter restrictions on household mixing, staying-at home-orders, holiday accommodation and travel.

Scotland’s Nicola Sturgeon said that her ‘strong recommendation’ was that people spend Christmas ‘in your own home with your own household.’

It doesn’t seem a very scientific decision to me, that is why my family are very much limiting our Christmas and having no one in the house.


Christmas is demanding.

My own view is that the restrictions as they are today should hold over Christmas. Don’t relax them. It would save lives, lives which could have celebrated many more Christmases. It is no good just looking a few days ahead and demanding Christmas, much as we are desperate to have a get-together it may feel a bit sour if someone gets COVID and dies. What will future Christmases be like then?


Party masks.

The World Health Organisation has urged Europeans to wear masks and socially distance during family gatherings at Christmas. It said that Europe was at a high risk of a new wave of coronavirus infections as transmission remained high. It also recommended family gatherings should be held outside if possible. It said,

‘Vulnerable people and older friends or relatives may find it very difficult to ask loved ones to stay away physically, regardless of the anxieties or concerns they may have. Consider what others may be feeling and the difficult decisions they will be facing.’


Pre-order.

Biotech company Valneva has begun clinical trials for a new coronavirus vaccine in the UK, which is being developed in Livingstone, Scotland. The UK government has pre-ordered 60 million doses of the Valneva candidate. The initial trials are relatively low-key on 150 people at testing sites at Birmingham, Bristol, Newcastle and Southampton.


Cardiff Arms Park.

Staff at a mass vaccination centre in Splott, Cardiff, have tested positive for COVID-19. Nine staff members caught the virus, and the programme will be put on hold until Thursday as other staff members are tested. Cardiff has seen a huge spike recently in cases with a 90% rise in the last week alone. It will delay people getting needles in arms for a few days at least.


Fools charter.

I am a big believer in free speech, and everyone is entitled to their opinion no matter what garbage they come out with. Social media is a magnet for crazy ideas because you can instantly find a sympathiser and the snowball starts rolling.

Before social media, someone would espouse a crazy thought, and this would be laughed away or explained away by the majority of those around, causing it to lose impetus. This is not the case today particularly when someone with a similar view is discovered and they follow each other, and this builds very quickly. It then appears in your little world that it is you in the majority with only a handful of dissenters.

This is quite a dangerous recipe, particularly for impressionable people. I thought I would give an example of this by selecting tweets I was reading today about COVID-19. I cannot include them all as there are too many, but it will give a flavour of the argument and idiocy level that becomes their truth on this particular subject. Most are in the USA.

This is how it started:


‘Not one Hospital in America has requested the National Guard to erect makeshift hospitals because of overflowing corona patients. It’s all a scam…we are being fed false information.’


‘Scamdemic.’


‘It’s actually Satanic Lies.’


‘The word “deaths” is barely mentioned. Try and Google the survival rate for COVID. You have to search and search. This is total disinformation. They don’t want you to know. First, overstating the threat was a way to beat Trump. Now it’s to control us completely.’


‘In addition, I’ve spoken with acquaintances who have survived COVID say it’s the sickest they’ve ever been. So, are the hospitals lying to their patients AND employees about the numbers? Are the dead – who had NO underlying conditions – misdiagnosed? Serious questions here.’


‘Massive psy-op being perpetuated in order to break people down mentally and financially in order to ‘Build Back Better’ with government being the solution for everything. They see it as being a great awakening or enlightenment. I see it as commie, control freak bullshit!’


‘Honestly, even if there was a true pandemic it still should be up to me to stay at home or not, to wear a face diaper or not. We can smoke, drink, hunt, drive, climb Everest, but as for the flu, we can’t make our own decision??’


‘I can tell you from personal experience. Currently we are NOT overflowing with COVID patients! And yes, you are being lied to!’


‘Hospitals $13,000 per diagnosis. Hospitals $35,000 per admittance. Let that sink in.’


‘How in the actual f**k can you still be asking this? 300,000 dead Americans, 400,000 dead by the end of the year, and you’re still saying it’s a scam? What in the actual hot f**king living hell is wrong with you?’


I’m with the last guy.


All of this confusion is loitering in the background of everything the different governments around the world do or say. In truth, the vast majority of people know the reality of the virus (hence the willingness to comply and be vaccinated).

While governments, I’m afraid, will try to seek advantages from the situation in whatever way they can, you should make up your own mind about whether this is the great reset and a global conspiracy or a centennial virus.


3.30 pm Press Briefing – Prime Minister Johnson.

The Prime Minister was holding the briefing to explain the thinking around the Christmas arrangements.

He explained that one in three infections was caught from asymptomatic people who appeared to be fine. He did not want to criminalise people over the Christmas period, and he wanted to give families their own responsibility and for them to ask are you doing enough to protect your family?


Avoid elderly relatives.

The Prime Minister’s recommendations are:

· A smaller Christmas is a safer Christmas.

· 5 days before reduce the number of people with whom you have contact.

· Avoid staying away from home.

· Avoid travelling from one region to another.

· If you are elderly wait until you have had both parts of the vaccine before being indoors with others.

· If you have an elderly relative you might want to avoid them this year.

· Avoid large crowds for the Boxing day sales and do not gather for New Year’s Eve.

He finished by saying,

‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas…and I do mean little.’


Situated decisions.

Professor Whitty spoke on behalf of doctors, nurses and health professionals saying it is important to situate the decisions you make bearing in mind we have a vaccine available for you in the next two or three months. Professor Whitty gave us four things to remember about celebrating Christmas this year:

· Keep it small

· Keep it short

· Keep it local

· Think of the most vulnerable.

Prof Whitty re-iterated the difficulties balancing decisions because they have to consider loneliness and mental health issues alongside the physical health risk and find a middle way.

People should think seriously how to minimise the risk.

Along with social distance, the vaccine will start to reduce the transmission, but if we suddenly stop distancing and mask-wearing, the virus, will spread and have a huge surge. With more numbers of infection, the age of those dying will likely lower, as the more vulnerable are protected, but those not immunised are exposed.


Lost transmission.

It is still unclear whether the vaccine stops the recipient or stops the virus from being transmitted to others as well. We will know in time. It seems likely it will, but we need it confirmed. Coronavirus will keep circulating but at a much lower death rate, similar to flu. We will not get a zero risk. It is up to governments when to start reducing distancing, mask-wearing and restrictions.


‘Inhuman’ to cancel Christmas.

The Prime Minister said that the relaxation of numbers to three households over five days is a maximum, not a target to achieve. He said he felt that cancelling Christmas would be ‘inhuman.’

Professor Whitty said that modelling the changes at Christmas obviously shows an increase in risk and increase in deaths by doing this. It also shows that by doing the four things he has recommended will reduce that risk. He gave the analogy that because you can drive at 70 mph on a road legally, you would not choose to do so if it was covered in ice.

Author’s note. A good analogy, but the speed signs on the motorway would be adjusted accordingly to guide the public and this is what the government is avoiding doing.


Cromwell’s time.

The virus is still a substantial and rising problem. This is not a time to relax, quite the reverse. Various experts and medical journals indeed have conflicting views, but they all agree with the general principle.

The Prime Minister that there have never been such restrictions ‘since Cromwell’s time.’ He said that ‘You can constrain people too much, you have to be reasonable.’


Goalposts.

After the briefing the Welsh government moved the goal posts and said that only two households can meet between 23 to 27 December, which they will put into law.

Welsh Police have said they will not be knocking on people’s doors to check on Christmas Day but will respond to any calls they receive about breaches of the rules.

Welsh hospital admissions are at 1,500 a day which is 500 more than it was at the peak in April.


Bogged down.

MP Margaret Hodge tweeted that she has been told north east London hospitals bed occupancy is as high as 95% with cases rising. Amazingly she added,

‘Meanwhile the Nightingale hospital is practically empty because they didn’t install toilets. The lack of foresight is staggering and will cost lives.’


Family life.


Thwarted.

I texted my son Harry last night, as I have not seen him since he came back from university other than meet him at the train station. Our attempt to meet up for a walk was thwarted by bad weather and him sleeping in.

He asked if we could have a conference call this week as we missed last weeks with me having a headache. He said he was fine and was mainly in his room but was ‘going on a lot of walks.’ It is good that he is getting some exercise, but I wondered if he was telegraphing for me to join him on one.


Forgotten.

I texted him today to ask if he wanted to go on a walk tomorrow and he said yes. I sense he is feeling a bit down. I might be wrong. This lack of contact is not very nice. Once we get the other side of the vaccine hopefully and get some normality, all this will be forgotten.


Vaccine roll-on.

Jackie’s son, Ashley, text me asking if I could take him to work as he has a problem with his car. He will wear a mask and sit in the back. I had to regretfully turn him down. I wouldn’t have my own son, Harry in the car or at the house, so I have to be consistent, it would not be fair otherwise. And it does not seem like a necessary risk. Roll on the vaccine.


Quote of the day

‘Christmas is doing a little something extra for someone.’ – Charles Schulz.



Today's extract was taken from Coronavirus 2020 Vision, The Road to Freedom Day, PART 2. By Keith Wright.




Coronavirus 2020 Vision, The Road to Freedom Day, PART ONE, by Keith Wright is now available to listen to on Audible, iTunes and Amazon audiobooks.


Click below to listen to a brief sample.





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