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.
SATURDAY 16TH MAY 2020
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.
‘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.
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.
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.’
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
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
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.