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On this day in 2020 - 16th May.

Extract from the upcoming book,

‘Coronavirus – 2020 Vision

A complete diary and events of the COVID-19 pandemic.’

- Keith Wright.



Facts and figures.

34,466 total deaths in the UK.

468 deaths yesterday.

2,489,563 tests have been undertaken.

240,161 have tested positive overall.

136,486 antigen tests were done yesterday.

3,451 tested positive yesterday.

Daily news.

‘Wish you weren’t here.’

Good weather is predicted over the weekend, and we have a curious situation where beauty spots and tourist attractions are pleading for people not to visit them.

North Somerset Council put out a news release entitled ‘Wish you weren’t here.’ Councillor Mike Bell went on to tell Sky News,

‘This won’t be forever though, and when the time is right, we’ll be ready and waiting to give visitors a very warm welcome again in Weston-Super-Mare and North Somerset.’

Peter Williamson, chair of Norfolk and Suffolk Tourist Attractions Association, told BBC Radio 5 Live – ‘What we’re trying to say to people is we’re not open, please don’t come because there is nothing for you here at this moment in time.’

The RAC has predicted around 15 million drivers heading onto the roads over the weekend, which is low and tends to suggest people will be travelling closer to home in England. The problem is that beaches and beauty spots do not have shops, bars, cafes, hotels and notably toilets open, to support any visitors attending.

Mental Health Awareness week.

Bubbling under the surface around this ongoing crisis is the issue of mental health. In every home, different challenges are being played out, and in many, mental health will be a feature.

Correspondent Katerina Vittozzi tells us a survey of the Royal College of Psychiatrists has revealed a 43% increase in urgent and emergency mental health cases since the end of March 2020. Broader issues attached to this are the number of routine psychiatric appointments that have been cancelled, and the impact on family members during lockdown.

This coming week is Mental Health Awareness Week 2020, with a theme of kindness and looking out for each other. The pandemic and lockdown are no doubt affecting people’s mental health, causing disruption, uncertainty and anxiety:

Adding to specific triggers.

Undermining existing coping strategies.

Accentuating existing physical health problems.

Causing social deprivation and acute financial pressure.

Creating difficulties accessing support.

Putting people at risk of violence and abuse.

During the 2008 financial crisis, there were 1,000 extra suicides, and the fear is that the coronavirus is storing up more problems across the globe. All things must pass, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. I have seen far too many over my policing years.

‘Open today – close tomorrow.’

Along with Spain and Germany, Italy continues its attempts to creep back to normality. It began lifting restrictions on 4th May 2020.

On Monday, hairdressers, restaurants, and coffee bars are allowed to open up again in Italy. There will still be social distancing; they can only take reserved bookings, and records have to be kept of all customers. Understandably many are concerned that there will be a second wave and there have been modest protests from restaurant owners who think it is too early.

At one demonstration, a placard read- ‘I won’t open today to close tomorrow.’ One shop owner said, ‘The sense of uncertainty is dominating everything.’

Italy suffered terribly when its health services were overwhelmed during the height of its epidemic. Next, they are lifting the ban on foreign travel on 3rd June 2020, and people can also start to move around the country freely on the same day.

Big mistake.

It is the countries opening their borders to welcome in the citizens of heavily infected countries that I think will prove to be the big mistake. When you have worked so hard to limit your new infections, maintained them by your local measures, you go and blow it by letting in the rest of the world.

Scuba diving.

Unsurprisingly we see that many men in the USA are not wearing facemasks because they somehow think it might show they aren’t very strong. Really? What about your families? Your children and grandparents? How tough does it make you?

Author’s note. It is the same here in the UK. It defies logic of any kind. It is like scuba diving without the gear.

History repeats itself.

However, a study at Middlesex University discovered that most men would wear a face mask if they were compulsory. Which, I would suggest, is the answer, for now.

I couldn’t help but draw a parallel with the Spanish flu when at the height of the flu pandemic in 1918/19, the ‘Anti-Mask League of San Francisco’ formed to protest.

Ellen Gutoskey’s blog tells us $5 fines were issued for not wearing a mask, and a couple of hundred people were thrown in jail. Local Red Cross chairman John A. Britton told the San Francisco Chronicle at the time,

‘I wanted to be independent. I did not realize that the cost of such independence was the lives of others.’

The masks seemed to have a good effect; on January 15, 1919, the day before the mandatory wearing of masks, there were 510 new flu cases and 50 deaths. Less than two weeks later, on 26th January 1919, there were 12 new cases and 4 deaths.


Yesterday we saw an almost comical snapshot of the absolute idiocy of the human race.

What was this purview of brilliance? It took place at Hyde Park in London, and 19 arrests were made. It was the so called, ‘UK Freedom Movement.’

The reason for the 50 demonstrators? The coronavirus is fake and social distancing is ‘tyranny.’

One protester held a placard,

‘Tell us the truth – no more fake pandemic.’

Mr. Corbyn (brother of former Labour leader Jeremy) was led away in handcuffs after saying the pandemic was

‘a pack of lies to brainwash you and keep you in order.’ (PA news agency).

One 50-year-old man, who ‘works in finance’ told PA news that he attended the protest because he

‘never thought I’d see in my generation the suppressing of civil rights’ over a ‘fake virus.’

Some were spouting the 5G theory that mobile phone masts were the cause. But hang on a second, the cause of what exactly? The coronavirus doesn’t exist, does it?

In the cause of fairness, stupidity isn’t just confined to London, in Southampton, a dozen protesters held placards saying,

‘Stop the lies,’ ‘Say no to tyranny,’ and ‘Fight 4 freedom.’

‘Sticky blood.’

30% of seriously ill patients with COVID-19 are getting dangerous clusters of blood clots (thrombosis) as a result of the disease. Hundreds of micro-clots can collect in the lungs of some patients.

Some recent studies have shown that nearly half of the patients have a pulmonary embolism or blood clots on the lungs.

According to thrombosis expert Professor Beverley Hunt, the virus is also creating ‘sticky blood,’ which leads to higher rates of strokes and heart attacks. This is a complex and nasty virus that affects many different types of patients in many ways.

Pulling out from the UK problems for a moment and taking stock of what is happening around the world, it is easy to see how the global number of cases is starting to gain momentum like a snowball rolling down a slope:

2nd April – 1 million cases worldwide.

16 April – 2 million cases.

28April – 3 million cases.

10 May – 4 million cases.

Author’s note. As much of Europe starts to get onto the road to recovery, the virus is exploding elsewhere. The countries where deaths are rising fast are Brazil, Mexico, Peru, and Russia.

I am keeping a weather eye on Africa too. Personally, I will be incredibly surprised if we do not get a big hit from a second wave, as countries in Europe are bizarrely opening their borders slowly. It makes no sense. I hope I am wrong.

4 pm Press Briefing. – Gavin Williamson. Secretary of State for Education.

Mr Williamson tried to make a case for some children returning to school on 1st June 2020, if the conditions are right, in light of the growing protests.

He said, ‘we owe it to the children’ to get pupils back to school. He said he was aware of the anxiety felt by some parents, but offered that it would be ‘a cautious, phased return.’

The Secretary of State for Education said their approach was based on the ‘best scientific advice.’ And that ‘children are at the heart of everything we do.’

He offered a little reassurance with the caveat,

‘We will only start inviting more children back into schools once we have satisfied the key five tests.’

A reminder of the five pillars to meet prior to lockdown:

1) Protect the NHS

2) The death rate is sufficiently down

3) Infection rates are down

4) Testing is ready now and for the future

5) There is no chance of a second wave occurring

Family life.

Today was Lily’s Saturday House Party again, which we held by video conferencing. We played a word association game, and I had done a little quiz. We chatted, and Chris, my eldest son, read us and notably Lily, a children’s book he was finalising called ‘Why can’t penguins fly?’

It is a charming rhyming story he has written, of a baby penguin who cannot understand why he can’t do all the things that others can, until he realises that he can do things that others cannot.

I love the fact that my children are so creative, and I hope he gets the book published; it seems really good to me.

Quote of the day:

‘We worry about what a child will become tomorrow, yet we forget that he is someone today.’ – Stacia Tauscher.


‘Coronavirus – 2020 Vision

A complete diary and events of the COVID-19 pandemic.’

- Keith Wright.

This day-by-day factual and complete account of events throughout the coronavirus pandemic, written as it happened, gives incredible insight into what life was like during this tragic and historic pandemic in the United Kingdom and worldwide.

It includes facts and figures, government initiatives, news events, moving individual accounts, and the horrific consequences, as they happened each day.

There is also a daily, personal slant on what life was like for the author and his family during what threatened to be an apocalyptic event.

It reveals all humanity in its idiocy, compassion and brilliance; the key elements, significant dates, statistics, human stories, tragedies, government strategies, the twists and turns, the humour and the obtuse.

The coronavirus will define this generation and identify these times, like other rare global historical events such as the bubonic plague and the World Wars.

This book is something to show your children and grandchildren when they ask you what it was like during such a frightening time. It can also be used as a point of reference for historians, commentators, and educators. It is also merely for posterity.

Were you alive? Do you recall it? Do you remember our Prime Minister almost died with Covid-19? Remember, the Queen saying ‘we’ll meet again’ during lockdown? Surely you recollect the EU conducting ‘an act of hostility’ towards the UK to get their hands on our vaccines? The thirty police officers fined for having a haircut, or the first man in the world to be vaccinated being called William Shakespeare from Stratford Upon Avon!

The whole world was plunged into chaos, with death, suffering and economic disaster. How did we cope? How did all of this happen? According to Keith’s wife, Jackie, it was ‘all because a man ate a bat.’

Keith Wright previously worked leading Corporate Investigations for a global pharmacy retailer. He has worked on major Crisis Management Incidents alongside senior executives impacting across the world of pharmaceutical product management.

Critically acclaimed crime novelist, and former CID detective, Wright moves from fiction to a factual account of arguably the most historic natural event to blight humanity in modern times.

He has four children and lives in Nottingham, England, with his wife, Jackie.

All rights reserved ©Keith Wright 2021

Copyright©KeithWright 2021

If you are affected by any issues raised in the book contact:

The Samaritans or check local charities.

All information believed correct at the time of writing.

Diary entries gathered from an array of publicly available visual, audio and written sources and merged

to give a holistic and creative editorial view.

Glossary and source lists are available at the end of the book.

This book is dedicated to those who have lost their lives and the extraordinary bravery of front-line NHS staff, key workers, carers, and everyone who, in their own way, have contributed to help others. We are grateful, and we thank you, wholeheartedly.

Author’s note.

My mother's first husband was killed in World War 2. His name was Arthur Smith. When I spoke with her about it, which, with hindsight, was too infrequently, she said he wasn't a fighter; he was a gentle, kind man, thrown into a hell with which he would struggle to adapt. He was an infantryman who died doing his duty for others, near Geel in Belgium, pushing through from the D-Day landings in 1944.

I use this as a loose analogy for our NHS heroes in the front line. These people are not emergency workers such as the police who are used to conflict and danger, nor are they like firefighters physically battling a fire and saving lives. These are people who have a caring disposition. (Not that the police and firefighters, don't care, bearing in mind that they risk their lives on a daily basis, but you see the point I am making).

NHS front-line workers are sensitive to the human condition and understand the nuances of helping another human being survive illness and injury. They are also people who have now seen the effects of COVID-19 and the nightmare conditions it engenders. Every fibre of their being is focussed on kindness and caring. Yet they have to find peculiar courage. The courage to risk their own lives and possibly even their families lives to treat others every day. Not only do they have to wear a surgical mask, but they have to display the mask of quiet reassurance, professionalism, and positivity, despite their fears. They have to fight with decisions like holding a hand of an infected dying patient when your COVID instinct dictates you surely must not do this.

Dear reader, this is real courage. I hope they are well looked after once this is all resolved, and they receive counselling to help them recover from this incredibly traumatic time.


As I commence this diary, this is what is known; our knowledge will grow over the months and years.

Coronavirus is a respiratory virus discovered in 2019. In lay-person terms, it causes the lungs to clog up, inhibiting the oxygen supply to the blood, and eventually causing organ failure. Its potency is in how virulently contagious it is. Coronavirus is the virus that leads to the disease COVID-19.

It is believed to be a zoonotic illness, meaning it jumped species to infect humans. Researchers believe the most likely source is the Rhinolophus sinicus, otherwise known as the horseshoe bat which was consumed having been purchased from a ‘wet market’ in Hubei Province, China.

COVID-19 was originally known as 2019-nCoV. It stood for the year of its discovery - 2019, the fact that it was a new (novel) virus (n), and it came from the Corona Virus family (CoV).

The name was changed to COVID-19 when it became a pandemic. The World Health Organisation had to allocate a name for the disease that did not relate to a person; a group of persons, an animal, a geographic location, was pronounceable, and relatable. Beyond this, the formal name for the virus given by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses called it the 'severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2' or SARS-CoV-2, because it is related to the virus that caused the outbreak of SARS in 2003. For the avoidance of doubt, it will be referred to by the name everyone uses; COVID-19 or ‘Covid.’

Early analysis of the virus suggests that two main strains exist, designated L and S. The L strain appears to be more prevalent (70% of cases); however, it is the S strain that is the ancestral version. L strain appears to be the most aggressive and spreads quickly. It should be noted that this is a new virus to humanity, and we are starting from absolute scratch in our understanding of it. Even as knowledge grows, the chances of mutation are possible, if not probable, and suddenly all bets can be off.

The coronavirus is transferable by hand to mouth from surfaces or contact and close proximity with someone affected. As with all such viruses, it is also spread by droplets, contact, or airborne particles. It causes a continual dry cough, breathing difficulties, and some aches and pains. Latterly we discovered a loss of taste and smell was also a major symptom. It is a mild to moderate condition for 80 per cent of those who catch it. However, older people and those with underlying illnesses are at a much higher risk of death. As the disease progresses, we see more and more younger able-bodied people in intensive care and dying because of the virus. The World Health Organisation state that 3% of those contracting it will die. There is no cure and no vaccine.

The virus uses its outer prongs to lock on to a living cell. It then inserts its genetic material (RNA – Ribonucleicacid) into the cell. Once inside, it hijacks the machinery of the nucleus of the cell to make numerous copies of itself. It then destroys the cell, and the copies burst out and spread, to do the same thing to multiple other living cells and so the cycle continues, with the virus growing and multiplying exponentially.

The incubation period in a human can be anything from 0-15 days. Some people are asymptomatic and are oblivious to having caught it. Most people's immune system mounts an appropriate response, and they begin to feel better after around 5-7 days after a debilitating flu-like illness. In some people, the immune system goes into overdrive and starts attacking the lungs and other organs and the coronavirus. Infection can cause pneumonia, breathing difficulties, and further organ damage. In others, the immune system cannot cope, and they die. Some can appear to have overcome it and then deteriorate rapidly and die in a day, often with hypoxia – lack of oxygen. Some have been in a coma for 60 plus days, yet still, survive, but forever scarred and impaired.

It is reported that the first case of the disease was presented by a 55-year-old man in Hubei Province, China, on 17th November 2019. It spread and was located in Wuhan Province, China, a month later, in December 2019.

Other theories have emerged around the virus' origins:

The eating of a diseased bat (or Pangolin) at a wet market. (This seems initially to be the most likely. ‘Pangolin and chips please, no vinegar.’).

A leak or intentional dispersal from the biological warfare lab situated in Wuhan, China.

It began in a region south of Wuhan as early as September 2019. Cambridge scientists are exploring the September theory by tracing pathogens. This earlier outbreak could have been carried by humans well before it mutated into a more lethal form.

Others suggest that traces of faeces in Italy’s sewerage show the virus earlier than it began in China in the summer of 2019. This was later corroborated by research into blood samples of cancer patients taken in early October 2019 which had COVID-19 antibodies present, which means they would have had the disease in September 2019.

Regardless of the exact trigger point, the coronavirus was initially thought to have arrived in the United Kingdom on 28th February 2020, and the first confirmed case being on 31st February 2020. In August 2020, samples by the University of Nottingham discovered that the earliest person to contract and then die with the virus was a 75-year-old woman from Nottinghamshire who tested positive on 21st February 2020.

It is now understood that a traveller returning from South Korea on 28th February 2020 most likely caught the virus in Nottingham rather than Korea as first assumed. Professor John Ball, one of the authors of the study, said ‘there was widespread community transmission of coronavirus’ in Nottingham in early February 2020.

In the UK, we have the National Health Service (NHS). This means that medical care is free at the point of need for all its citizens. The working population pay for this service through their taxes. Each country around the world has different healthcare systems, some insurance based. The NHS does not have any added complications around whether someone can afford to pay for their care through insurance coverage or otherwise.

Key players in the management of this crisis in the United Kingdom are:

Boris Johnson; Prime Minister,

Matt Hancock; the Health Secretary of State,

Dominic Raab; the Foreign & Commonwealth Secretary of State (deputising for the P.M.),

Rishi Sunak; The Chancellor of the Exchequer,

Professor Sir Patrick Vallance; the Chief Scientific Advisor and chair of SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies),

Professor Chris Whitty; the Chief Medical officer for Public Health England,

Professor Jonathan Van-Tam; Deputy Chief Medical Officer for Public Health England.

The virus has caused tens of millions of infections and millions of deaths worldwide, creating a global lock-down and an almost dystopian planet, of death and deserted streets, never before experienced in modern history. Some describe it as an apocalyptic disease. The fabric of society is changed with people told not to socialise and to stay at home. These changes have a massive effect on our way of life, the economy, and family interaction. What will life be like when we come blinking out of our homes in months or years ahead, assuming we survive, into a new world that is changed forever? Our hope is for a vaccine, yet this is impossible for many months, probably years, if at all. Sadly, the world has been unable to develop a vaccine for any of the previous coronavirus such as SARS, (or even the common cold, which is part of the coronavirus family), so it would be remarkable if they manage to do so with this one.

Immunity after the disease is unclear. There is nothing to suggest that previous sufferers have immunity, nor for how long it will last if they do. There is even the danger of those recovering from COVID-19 gaining, something known as 'enhanced immunity.' This relatively unknown syndrome happens with Denghi fever, which means you get the disease far worse the second time. I start this diary uncertain whether I will be alive to finish it or sustain it if I become one of the coronavirus victims. Will I be too ill to continue? Will I die? Things change day-to-day, and suddenly the future is more uncertain than ever before in my lifetime.

No one would have believed, a matter of a few short weeks ago, the changes that this vicious, dangerous pandemic would bring to our lives: the deaths, the uncertainty, the trauma, the separation, and the loss.

This book is intended to bear witness, record statistics, collate news articles, personal stories, front-line accounts, precis government briefings, and offer an intimate view of family life during this historic and tragic period in the year 2020 and beyond.

Release date July 2021.


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